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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

White Larkspur The Prudent Homemaker

For the first time ever, I have apricots and peaches ripe at the same time (usually the apricots are ripe first). This past week we enjoyed both from the garden.

I watched a few shows on for free.

I harvested a few white alpine strawberries from the garden.

Strawberries were on sale for $0.99 a pound with no limit at Smith's. I bought 24 pounds. I froze berries and made strawberry popsicles made chocolate covered strawberries.

I went to several garage sales with my parents on Saturday morning. I found a few clothing items for our family, each priced between $0.50 and $2 each. I found a small urn for $2 (an item that has been on my list for a while). I found a garage sale where the books were free! I brought home several free books for my children and one for my husband (a photo book about Prague). I also purchased a few books for them between $0.10 and $.50 each. I found a small basket for $0.50 that I will use to organize some things in my sewing room. I found a lightweight coat for my husband for $5. I found a small purse ($0.50) and some decorative bobby pins ($1) that I will save for gifts for Winter. 

I found two games for $2 each. One of them was Stratego. My friend's son (our exchange student) has loved playing this game while he has been here, so I bought it for him to take home. When I sat down in the car, I noticed the front of the box was in English and French! I peeked inside and noticed that there were instructions in both languages inside, and also that the board was marked in both languages! When I got home and double checked to see that all of the pieces were there (something I should have done at the sale but had not), to my surprise, the pieces were still sealed in the original bags--the game was brand-new!  (The other game, 7 Wonders, also looks to be brand-new as well!)

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Cindi May 15, 2017

    What fantastic garage sale finds -- that game is an especially nice memento for your friend's son to take home with him. Hearing about peaches and apricots made my mouth water -- not to mention all those strawberries.
    I am getting enough lettuce and arugula from the garden for salads a couple times a week.
    I found some narrow elastic in my sewing room and used it, along with some knit scraps, an old T-shirt and a free pattern I found online, to make a free pair of underwear for myself. I am so pleased with the fit and comfort that I cut out fabric for 3 more pair. I will have to buy more elastic, but can get all I need for less than $5. Good underwear costs more than that, and this was a great way to use up some scraps.
    I made a homemade card for my MIL for Mother’s Day. We already gave her her gift (pillows I made) when we visited last month.
    I returned a bunch of plastic pots to the nursery – they will reuse them and it cleared out space in my garage.
    At the family reunion we attended last month, we were given a bunch of old family photos that had been in my husband’s grandmother’s house when her children cleaned it out after her death. Many of them were of my FIL’s childhood and his time as a young man in the Navy, and as a young husband and father – including the only pictures of his at-home wedding to my husband’s mom. I scanned all the photos into my computer, then used a free coupon to create a photo-book on Shutterfly – I only had to pay shipping. This is going to be a wonderful Father’s Day gift I know he will love. I also ordered a second copy for my husband – he will treasure it as well.
    I mended the collar on one of my husband's shirts.

  • Lilllanna Pickles May 15, 2017

    I love the Shutterfly books. This is a special gift he will cherish. I stopped at the grocery store earlier today. The Catalina machine was distributing Shutterfly coupons for 20.00 off a purchase. I picked up 5 all together. ( most people seemed to drop them in the trash can ,next to the register ) I will use them for gifts during the year.

  • Athanasia May 16, 2017

    I don't understand these Shutterfly coupons I get, and the notices of free gifts with Shutterfly that come from Joann's. Not sure what to do with them and how are they giving us free books etc? Do we have to give them all kinds of our information? I suppose they want credit card information for the shipping?

  • Cindi May 16, 2017

    Yes, you need to give them credit card info for the shipping. And the shipping isn't exactly cheap. But without the coupon, the photo book costs $29 -- with the coupon I think I paid $8 shipping. And they are very nice hardcover books.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC May 17, 2017

    In my experience, the 'free' books are smaller and have fewer features then most of what they sell. The free ones are nice, but there's certainly room to 'upgrade' to something else for money.

  • tadpole May 15, 2017

    What a great and precious gift you are giving your FIL. Love this idea!

  • Anne May 15, 2017

    What a great "win" on buying a brand new game for that price! Love it!

    Frugal accomplishments last week include:
    spray painting an old metal chair a color called rubbed bronze, previously it was hunter green
    cutting up wood with a chop saw, pieces were too small to split, but thick enough to burn in our wood furnace
    re-purposing an old vintage tablecloth into new, vintage aprons
    finding a vintage glass Turkey candy dish for $2.00 at a garage sale
    broke my sunglasses, but found a like new pair at a garage sale for .50
    repaired my sunglasses
    ate from the freezer, found some yummy soup for a quick thaw and eat dinner
    and as always, hung dry our laundry!

    Have a beautiful, happy week everyone!

  • Molly May 15, 2017

    I made three loaves of bread, mayonnaise, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

  • Rhonda A. May 16, 2017

    Molly, I have been wanting to try making cottage cheese. I'm hoping you might be able to answers some questions I have. Have you ever used milk that was starting to spoil to make your cottage cheese? How long can you keep the homemade cottage cheese in the fridge before it goes bad? Can you use skimmed milk to make cottage cheese? I would so appreciate any info you can provide, as I have not been able to find these answers on-line through research!

  • Laurie May 17, 2017

    Have you searched a how to on YouTube?

  • Rhonda A. May 18, 2017

    Yup! I'm fascinated about the idea of using milk that has spoiled to make cottage cheese, as my mother has mentioned my grandmother used to do this (though she doesn't know how). I see short dated milk all the time on discount. Cottage cheese is such a great way to use it up without waste. But everything I have read, they are always using fresh whole or 2% milk, then curdling it with vinegar or lemon juice. Nothing is mentioned about using skimmed milk, which is what I buy. They also don't tell you how long it will last in the fridge. Since the batch would be relatively large, I want to know how long it can be kept in the fridge before it needs to be used up. That way when I play with the recipe, I can figure out how big of a batch it makes and whether we can use it up quickly enough with our needs before it is no longer safe to eat. So many questions, so few answers...but I'm determined to find out!

  • Joan May 19, 2017

    Hi Molly,
    I was wondering how long your homemade mayonnaise stay safe? I've always wanted to make some but can't find this information. This would be for my husband and myself so it would need to last a good while. Thanks for any tips you can share.

  • Nancy. com May 15, 2017

    We had 28 people over to celebrate a relatives 1st birthday. The theme was spring butterflies. Made butterflies out of tissue paper..pipe cleaners..hung from fishing wire all over room. My daughter painted beautiful signs on large roll paper we had. Hung balloons.
    Some guest stayed for Mothers Day. Frugal meal.
    Burger on sale..on grill. Pasta salad. .49 pasta 1.00 Italian dressing. I had other items to fill in. Homemade potato salad. Had everything to make on hand.
    Few bags of chips bought. Other frugal items.:
    - Gifted a beautiful vera Bradley apron..*I love your aprons Brandy
    -bought a few silver spoons at an estate sale. Cleaned up and will add to small blue n white pitcher next to coffee
    -free cookies at grocery to snack
    -free items at grocery with in store game
    -free medicine I need
    - able to use my carpet cleaner and get all carpets done.

  • Mandy May 15, 2017

    Last week was filled with medical appointments for me. I have an outpatient procedure scheduled for this Friday afternoon and should be recovered by Monday morning. The Doctor's office was 2 cities over (for the procedure) and the other Doctor's office was 1 city over. I managed to not eat out on any of those days. I brought snacks with or ate when I got home (depending on if my daughter was with). My husband took Friday afternoon off to pick up our daughter from school and my mom is taking me for the procedure.

    We put the fencing around the garden back up, including some new-to-us fencing given to us by my mother in law. That left some plastic fencing not being used. I used that fencing along with some bamboo poles I purchased ($5 for a pack of 10) to create trellises for peas, cucumbers, some squash, cow peas, and something else to grow vertically. I also planted carrots, turnips, tomatoes, delicate squash, pumpkin, parsley, basil, green onions, yellow onions. We spread fertilizer around the previous day.

    I started a new job today (Monday)! I took my lunch with me but my new employer bought us lunch :)

    We did the usual things: keep lights off, turned the heat off for good last week until this fall, was mindful of how much water I used, washed and reused baggies and jars.

    Have a great week!

  • Athanasia May 16, 2017

    Mandy, congratulations on the new job. Did you mention that this one was in walking distance?

  • Cindy in the South May 17, 2017

    Yay for the new job!!!!

  • Juhli May 15, 2017

    Hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day!
    - Borrowed both electronic and print boos from the library and bought one for $1.50 from the Friends of the Library bookstore to support my borrowing habit
    - Continue to eat all meals at home
    - Gave some extra storage bins that were bought secondhand and used to move across the country to my son for his business
    - Shopped carefully for items needed for our new home and found low cost but acceptable quality versions of what we needed
    Not frugal: my dog had a bad reaction to bee venom after stepping on one so off to the vet and a hefty bill

  • TerriC May 15, 2017

    What a nice gift for your exchange student to have to take back home! We had news last week that our peach crop was damaged badly by the late freeze after the trees bloomed. I love peaches but am wondering exactly how high the price has to be for me to not want them, lol. I had a great week:

  • K May 15, 2017

    Wow! What awesome garage sale finds!

    Here are our frugal accomplishments:

    * I took inventory of everything left in the pantry, fridge, and freezer, and reworked our meal plan a bit to use up some more items from the freezer so we won't need to haul them with us when we move.

    * I cut up a pineapple and froze the pieces for smoothies, since my SO shouldn't be eating pineapple (due to wisdom teeth removal), but it was a very good price. I have a few bananas and strawberries in the freezer for the smoothies.

    * I made an apple and cranberry chutney (ala BudgetBytes) that's delicious in oatmeal, plus it used up a bag of cranberries from the freezer.

    * I purchased cards for mother's day and my dad's birthday at the Dollar Tree, instead of paying $3 per card elsewhere.

    * I did laundry at my mom's house, so I got to spend time with her and avoid paying $2.50/load.

    * My mom and I swapped some food items- I gave her some baking chips (and half a bottle of rum, since my SO and I rarely drink), and we got some ham and some sparkling juice in return. She'll use both for entertaining in the summer, and we got items that we will actually use in return.

    * We got a free item when we ordered takeout (to celebrate my successful thesis defense for my Master's). I had long ago budgeted for the takeout, but it was nice to get the extra freebie!

    * The spinach seeds that I had gotten for 9c for a packet have given me 8 spinach plants so far! More seedlings are continuing to sprout from my herb and greens starters. I will be asking my family members for extra planters, as I do not want all of these plants to go to waste! In particular, extra spinach and herbs can always be frozen!

    * I started my meal plan for after we move, based on what will be left in the freezer and pantry. I've also started plans for restocking the pantry post-move.

    I hope everyone else is having a good week!

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