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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Lettuce and Spinach The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested lemons, lettuce, garlic chives, oregano, spinach, and a couple of apricots from the garden.

I cooked chicken in my solar oven, which not only didn't use gas, but it also kept the house cooler.

Peppa Pig Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated a birthday at home for my 2-year-old with homemade cupcakes.

My son picked more mulberries from our neighbor's tree (with permission). The birds planted this tree in her yard, and while she likes the tree, she doesn't like mulberries. Most of the berries were too high to reach even with our extension ladder, but we had enough to put over pancakes for breakfast.

We renewed library books online when it became obvious that we weren't going to get the books back on time.

My 13-year-old sold a few camp cards to earn money for his Scout camp this summer.

I got some free exercise at home while I pulled weeds and bolted chard plants from the garden.

Elsa Baptism The Prudent Homemaker

My daughter was baptized on Saturday. She wore the dress that I made for my eldest daughter, which each sister before her has worn.


What did you do to save money this past week?




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  • tanja May 15, 2018

    Hello everyone, here just a few frugal accomplishments from the Netherlands. Worked a lot in my vegetable garden as the weather is beautifull and warm for this time of the year in our region ( about 25 degrees celcius and a lot of sun). So the solar panels are producing a lot of energy!
    I harvested Swich chard , leeks and herbs from the garden.
    I cashed an rather unusual gift card from master card, it was hard to get it cashed in a real store ( our facuumcleaner dead so I tryed it in this shop, but they didnt take it). We needed to cash the exact amount of money, otherwise we had to pay MC for keeping an account!!!
    So I bought washingpowder and toiletpaper online. (I make my own washingpowder to, but for the really dirty stuff I use store bought powder). It wil not go to waist and you always need toiletpaper.
    I mended a sweater and a t-shirt
    For mothersday we picked up chinees/indonesian food (wich is very cheap in our country) and eat the leftovers on Monday.
    Goodbey to you all!

  • Rhonda A. May 15, 2018

    Tanja, my husband and I are planning a visit to the Netherlands next April. Where abouts do you live? We are planning to visit Amsterdam and Rotterdam. My husband's grandmother is from Rotterdam but came to Canada as a war bride. His grandfather was a soldier in WWII (one of the many Canadian troops who helped liberate Holland), where they met. We are really looking forward to seeing the country she grew up in.

  • tanja May 16, 2018

    Hay Rhonda, so you are visiting the big city's? I do not know very much about those city's. I have been to Amsterdam with schooltrips long ago, I don't like city's to crowded for me. We have been to Rotterdam with the kids once, take a boat through the harbor and climbing the Euromast, so you can look over the city. It was fun!
    I live in Friesland near a little city called Bolsward (up north). We live very rural. Bolsward is one of the 11 city's of the ELFSTEDENTOCHT. This is a very famous route through Friesland, you can look it up at google. When the winters where more cold and the ice was thicker it was/is a famous iceskating event. The whole country goes mad when/if it ever happends again. They also cycle this route every year on pentecost (this year 21-5), they hike it, they ride it with oldtimers, moterbikes....you name it. Stavoren and Hindelopen and Workum are also nice little villages to visit. (Promoting province, smile)
    After WW II a lot of dutch went to Canada an the U.S.A and New Zealand and Australia. One uncle on mothers side went to New Zealand and one uncle on fathers side went to Canada.
    I hope you will enjoy your visit, The Netherlands is a very nice country to live in, with our social services and every thing.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada May 16, 2018

    After the war, many Dutch people came to Canada. My kindergarten teachers were Dutch; my Grade 5 beloved teacher was Dutch. Many neighbours were and are Dutch. Even now, I have a tremendous fondness for the Dutch. My father fought in the liberation of Holland during WW II. I would still love to go visit Holland. I have always dreamt of doing so.

  • Rhonda A. May 17, 2018

    Thank you, Tanja! I will definitely look into some of the places you mentioned. I suspect your big cities are like ours, very multi-national and don't always represent what the rest of the country is really like. I was sad to read that Rotterdam was pretty much destroyed during WWII. We will not be able to see much of the city hubby's grandmother grew up in. However, we did read there was a section near the harbour that was preserved, so a harbour tour sounds like a great idea! Although we will be staying in Amsterdam as our base, we would be happy to do some day trips to other areas to see more of the countryside. It takes us around 2 hours to travel by car to Toronto (depending on traffic) from where we live, and around 4 hours to Ottawa (where my brother currently lives), so traveling a few hours to another place is rather normal and doesn't bother us at all. We, too, have heard the Netherlands is a very nice country to visit and are so looking forward to experiencing your culture!!!

  • Athanasia May 15, 2018

    Tanja, I had trouble with an electric card like that also. I sent in a rebate for 2 items purchased of vegetarian brand meatless items and the rebate was about 4.50, the price of one of the items, so it was like buying one getting one free in the end. They sent it in an email but the store would not take it! I did not want to give up so I went to the service desk and they also said no. I still did not want to give up as I was using the rebate to buy another of these items. Finally, the store manager decided to take it and give me a gift card in same amount which I then used to pay for the food. He said he would deal with the reimbursement. I hope they did get their money!!

  • Elizabeth Schroer May 15, 2018

    1. We finally got our state tax return back, so that went straight into savings.
    2. My father gave me two freshly butchered chickens and 3 dozen eggs...it pays to have a farmer in the family:)
    3. No food waste this week
    4. Used digital coupons at Kroger to get cheese for great prices and stocked up on chicken breasts while they were on sale (this was before my dad gave me those chickens!)
    5. Earned $30 in cash back bonuses from reward points on my credit card

  • Libby May 15, 2018

    I love that you use what you have i.e., lots of sunshine to be able to cook a chicken in a solar oven – just brilliant.

    Thank you for continuing to post when you have a newborn. I love this community you have created :)

    • Went to Manhattan for the day using up the last train ride on a punch ticket and the last sightseeing entries on a pass. My only cost was for food, water, and the parking garage at the train station.
    • Made swag goal x 2
    • Researched how much state park annual passes will be this year and was pleasantly surprised that all fees are waived in 2018 for state residents! Yippee – I’ll be going to the beach more this summer. Although I imagine I'll have to get there super early as the parking lots are sure to fill up fast.
    • Donated to charity shop & got receipt for taxes, found an exercise shirt and velour pants 50% off at the charity shop
    • Washed plastic ziplock bags to reuse
    • Made hummus, asparagus quiche, and carrot cake
    • Watched old Moonlighting episodes via YouTube

  • Marybeth May 16, 2018

    I live on Long Island. Where are you?

  • Libby May 17, 2018

    Shoreline CT. I'll wave next time I'm at the beach :D

  • Lori W/ May 15, 2018

    There is nothing like a new baby in the house! He is beautiful!

    I have taken a page from your book and started sowing more seeds in my yard rather than buying plants which saves so...much...money! My zucchini are up!!! My kids and I took the day to trim all of the shrubs instead of hiring it out. This is a multi-day ordeal (not in a good way), but it saves so much money, and I have a huge issue with paying someone for something I can do myself with a little sweat regardless of how much I dislike doing it. I also declined to buy poison to kill the very large patch of bermuda grass that had spread into a flowerbed and used some thick black plastic I had on hand weighed down with old bricks to smother it out. Worked like a charm. Next up is using a square ended shovel to edge all of my beds because the metal edging that the previous owners installed is rusting out, and I am not paying to replace it.

    Thank you for these posts. I will have both children in college next year, and this inspires me to think outside the box and see where even the smallest changes can add up.

  • mmckms May 18, 2018

    Oh Lori you are an answer to my prayers with this post. I have been looking for someone with kids in college (a little bit ahead of me) to learn from. My oldest is graduating in a few days headed for college this fall 3 hours away. Trying to stay ahead and frugal with one leaving...for example looking at computer $ online to send him to college with a computer (which is required) hard to stomach (refurbished vs new etc) also just looking online and found out the dorm only uses XL twin sheets started looking online for those they range from 26 -46$ I about fell on the floor...he only wants cotton sheets and I understand it is extremely hot where he will be going. So I get it but dang it seems like a racket!!! and boy on paper (as I have not made these purchases yet) looks like I could just choke!!! Thanks for any and all suggestions!!!

  • Maxine May 18, 2018

    My current computer is refurbished and came in an open box from Best Buy. When people hear that I only paid $412 for it and it has a solid state hard drive, they can't believe that's all I paid.

  • mmckms May 18, 2018

    thanks I looked online at there store and was overwhelmed. The closest Best Buy is 40 min away but I may have to make the trip to get face to face and talk to someone. I did sign up for their student email/deals I am hoping they will send us some kind of coupon maybe when it gets closer. I also looked up the state tax free weekend hoping I could atleast save some sales tax wherever I can find the best deal. This is all very hard to get my head around...I guess if I just wrote a check and choked on it then recovered I would make it. But we live very frugal watch every penny and really, really shop for big ticket items. To keep it all in check. I also want my college kid to realize when he is out in this big crazy world that he has to watch his money and we really try to set an example. Thanks for the suggestion Maxine.

  • Jacki May 20, 2018

    I see xlong sheet sets for college at our local Target store every summer before school starts very cheap !

  • Chris M May 18, 2018

    The X-long twin sheets and other bedding will go on sale in August before school starts. It might be harder to find 100% cotton, but that's when the dorm stuff goes on sale.

  • Jen May 19, 2018

    Try Target for the sheets. I think I paid maybe 12 or 13 dollars there. Walmart may carry them too. Especially in the summer because both places have "dorm" bedding and pretty much all of the dorm beds use extra long sheets.

  • Heidi Louise May 19, 2018

    And do watch for information from the school in mailings or on its website about computer purchasing, bedding, lists of what is and isn't recommended for housing, etc. If you go to the campus for a registration or orientation event over the summer, there will probably be parent programs, or at least information sessions when you can ask how to make the best use of your money. Call or contact the school's computer center if you have questions.
    At least you can look forward to the Lifetime Learning Credit or the American Opportunity Tax Credit in the future!

  • Rhonda A. May 20, 2018

    If you do go for a visit to the school, or have a college town close to you, make time to stop at some thrift stores in the area. I bet they have lots of items you are looking for, as previous students gave them away instead of lugging it all home.

  • Heidi Louise May 20, 2018

    Excellent point about thrift stores!
    Also, start watching for student discounts: There are many, including on buses and trains, that he can take advantage of with his student ID. Amazon Prime has a special introductory rate for addresses that end in .edu.

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