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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I am still ill but was determined to accomplish as much as possible last week. Unfortunately, that went like this:

I was laying in bed on Sunday with a pen and paper on the bed next to me, and I thought, "Why don't I write a list of the things I can get done this week from bed?"

And then I thought, "That's too exhausting", laid down, and went to sleep.

If you ever want to know what a difference you make in your family, being sick for a few weeks will certainly let you know!

I did manage a few things.

Orchids in Bloom The Prudent Homemaker

One of my orchid plants started blooming again. I moved it to the entry table. (I keep non-blooming orchids in my bathroom, where they get bright, diffused light and humidity.)

Lavender Sachets 1 The Prudent Homemaker 

I sewed 4 lavender sachets. These will go in between our sheets in the closet. The lavender helps to keep the scorpions and spiders away.

 Lavender Sachets 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I mended several items of clothing from the mending pile.

I started sewing some new pillows and covers.

I picked tomatoes and a cucumber from the garden.

My husband took the children swimming three times.

My husband gave himself a haircut.


What did you do last week to save money and beautify your life?

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  • nancy haywood August 21, 2016

    i'm sorry to hear you are sick, i do hope you will be better soon. have you got the flu? hope everyone else are well. like to see how much the baby has grown.

  • http://Gabrielle August 21, 2016

    I'm sorry to hear you are still sick, Brandy!

    We visited a free splash pad with all 4 kids that we had never been to. It was lovely and completely fenced in ( important for a family with two sets of twins). While the children played, I cleaned the playground. It's kind of my thing. I keep trash bags in my car and whenever we visit public areas, I pick up trash. I figure for free fun, it is the least I can do. It also keeps me busy while my children play.

    My husband and I redeemed a zip line Groupon my local Mother of twins club sold. Because we got there late, and we had retiree iDs, they let us do the 4 hour zip and obstacle course free. I have my Groupon to a friend. But oh I was sore the next day! The obstacles were tough!

    I cleaned out our fridge and made meals out of leftovers. My most successful meal was haddock and potato cakes. I made a vegetable soup completely from my garden. The

    1 more week until school starts here!

  • Holly August 21, 2016

    Our nearest Walmart rarely has the best prices because it is adjacent to some very nice lakefront homes and it has little local competition, for the nearest Aldi is about 15 mikes away and the nearest Kroger 10. But they consistently have one personal care necessity at the best price so we find ourselves there a couple of times per month. This time, the ink for my ink-guzzling Canon printer was 8-12% cheaper than Staples or Office Depot, a summer top for my mom was marked down to $2 but actually cost only $1, milk was inexpensive (poor dairy farmers, fortunate consumers), and Walmart brand decaf coffee bricks were only $1 each. Score! Brandy, thank you for telling us about the page yield of your printer's toner cartridge. I am sure it will help us make bettee choices when it comes time to biy a new printer..... and probably will speed up the "when." I hope you feel better soon. I feel bad for you being under the weather with such a little baby in the home. My dad hated the word housewife. Mom was the homemaker, not the house' s wife.☺

  • Alexa McAllister August 24, 2016

    Like that word Home Maker :)

  • I love your sachets even though I don't like the thoughts of having scorpions and spiders!
    I canned 28 pints of peaches last week. We bought them at the Farmers Market and canned them over several days.
    You can read the rest of my frugal ways here:

  • Anne August 21, 2016

    You actually have scorpions that get into your house? :(

  • Scorpions are very prevalent here, especially this year. I have never seen any inside my house, but I have seen them in the garage and outside in years past. My brother-in-law was stung twice in one week from them in his shoes a couple of years ago. I have seen them at church (inside) before and I know they are a problem there. They don't like lavender. I am sure they are here; it's pretty normal to have them in Las Vegas. I haven't gone outside with a blacklight, but some people do that at night to get rid of them.

  • Susan August 21, 2016

    Brandy, I too am so sorry you are I'll. I will be praying for you.
    A few years ago we had a lake house in Austin, TX. I pulled back the covers to climb into bed one night and noticed a scorpion there in the bed. The next day I almost stepped on a scorpion as I was going down the stairs and saw yet another when I went to check on one of the Grandbabies. The scorpion was just about a foot away from the crib. Needless to say my husband found how to remedy the house of scorpions that very day. The Texas variety won't kill (I'm told) but most unpleasant! Austin is very hot and dry and resembles the desert.

  • TerriC August 21, 2016

    My kids have them in South Georgia as well. I'll be sure to mention to my daughter in law that lavender is a deterrent.

  • Debby in KS August 21, 2016

    My mom used to have them outside when she lived in the Mojave desert. I never saw any live ones when I was there, but I did see a large one that someone ran over in the driveway. It was at least 4" long. Yikes!!

  • Cindi August 21, 2016

    I'm so sorry to hear you are still sick. I hope you are better soon -- illness is so draining, and then when you are well there is so much catching up today.
    I love your sachets. I have some dried lavender from my garden -- I should do this.
    We cut another cord of wood in the National Forest. This is the last of the four cords we needed to cut this year. The permit to cut is $10 per cord. Counting gas and oil for the truck, chainsaw and wood splitter, my husband estimates we spent about $120 total – less than the cost of one split cord around here.
    While eating our picnic lunch in the forest, we picked about a pint of wild raspberries for our dessert – so good.
    I mended a sheet and a pillowcase. I needed a patch for the sheet. This was a set from Target that came in a little matching cloth bag. I had saved the bag in the linen closet and used this to make the patch. We’ll see if the sheet is still strong enough for the patch to hold.
    I cut open a container of body lotion and found several days’ worth that wouldn’t come out with the pump. I found a cork in the kitchen that fits the opening to keep it from drying out. I laugh every time I see it sitting on the bathroom counter – it’s not attractive, but I’m pleased not to be throwing away all that lotion.
    I received my Costco renewal notice in the mail. Last year I signed up for their Executive card, which is an additional $55 and included a 2% rebate on your purchases. They promise a refund on the difference between the cost of the upgrade and your rebate if your rebate is less than $55 – but you have to ask for the refund. They don’t give it automatically. (I think this is how they make money – so many people don’t remember or know to ask for the refund). My rebate was only $13, so I called and they issued a refund and down-graded me to a regular membership. Since we no longer live close to a Costco, we don’t shop there as much as we once did, though I still like having the membership and use it a few times a year when travel takes us near a store.
    My husband changed the brake pads on my car. Cost -- $39. Would have been over $100 at the mechanic.
    My husband helped friends install a new furnace. They took us to dinner as a thank you.
    I made new pillow covers out of fabric I purchased at a yard sale for $1.
    In the garden this week I transplanted some asparagus, moved strawberries into a bed where they will have more room, planted parsnips, carrots, chard, lettuce and peas for the fall garden.

  • Meredith August 25, 2016

    I love your use of the cork! Good thinking!!

  • Mariana August 21, 2016

    My biggest savings is making all the meals at home and taking my lunches to work with me. Basically I say the same thing every week but it is really the case.
    I am also spending more time with my 'low maintenance' friends. Not going out surely saves a lot. :)
    My weekly update is up as well.

    Wishing everyone a great week. X

  • Michelle S. August 21, 2016

    Goodness, l am sorry you are still sick, Brandy! I hope you are feeling better soon. This week we went on vacation for the first time in quite a while. We tried to do it as frugally as possible, and l think we succeeded.

    We drove to Oregon, and packed food and drinks in a cooler to eat on the road. It is a 13-hr drive from our home in California, so we stopped over in Sacramento the first night to visit old friends. They cooked dinner for us, and our only cost the first day was gasoline. I packed breakfast and lunch for us from home, so we had food to eat on the drive the next day. Our friends offered us some tomatoes from their garden, and we took those to eat, as well.

    Instead of getting a hotel, l found a small cottage to rent from Air BnB online. It was far cheaper then a hotel ($75 a night) and had a full kitchen. I went to the farmer's market in Oregon for some truly beautiful produce and bought food at the grocery store. We ate all of our breakfasts at the cottage, l packed lunches for us to eat on the go each day , and l cooked all but 2 dinners at the cottage, too, which saved us a lot of money.

    We did several beautiful hikes. All were free except one state park that had a $5 entrance fee for our vehicle. We did museums the other days. Some were free and one was only $10 for our whole family. We hit some local thrift stores for fun and found a few great deals on things such as books and a hand saw and blade to replace my husband's broken one.

    We had a great trip for a low price and it gave us a lot of joy and time together. I hope everyone has a great week!

  • Lake Livin' August 21, 2016

    I think taking a nap was the PERFECT task for your to-do list!

  • tina August 21, 2016

    * made a HUGE pear crisp from pears that were gifted to me!
    * bought bananas off the discounted rack (sometimes these look perfect!). A few were eaten and the rest are in my freezer "smoothie bag"
    * it's been hot for us in Wa so one night I grilled pizza on the BBQ
    * picked some more blackberries from our yard
    * getting some cucumbers from the garden so I made a patch of refrigerator pickles
    * tonight is my hubbies birthday. I am making a pasta dish he saw and wants to try and we will have some garden veggies and homemade cookies
    * went thru our school supplies to see what I actually need to purchase
    * sold a few things on eBay
    * used Kohl's cash to get my son some new shoes in the next size up

  • Debbie in Florida August 21, 2016

    So sorry you aren't feeling well. I love the sachets – they are just lovely!!

    My frugal accomplishments -
    One of my banana plants broke in a bad storm. I brought the bananas inside to ripen. I cut up the leaves and stalk to add to the compost bin. After the bananas were ripe, I put them in the freezer for smoothies.

    I went to Home Depot and spent some of my garden money. I got a Key Lime tree, 2 more giant clay pots and the rest of the seeds I need for fall. I will get another papaya tree for the second pot another day when I can get to a smaller nursery that carries the kind of papaya I want. I also got a few things for projects around the house. All the money was budgeted and I paid cash.
    I transplanted my everglades tomato plants into the garden. I started more tomatoes and broccoli in peat pots. I pulled lots of weeds and added more mulch. I planted 2 different kinds of watermelon and 2 different summer squash. I pruned the blackberries and raspberries. I picked a few more blackberries. I pruned the grapevines that had grown off the pergola and onto the fence. I clipped some Greek oregano and let it dry. I fertilized the blueberry bushes, Mexican heather, lemon, orange, and papaya. I moved some vincas that had reseeded. I added more soil to my figs in pots and remulched. I moved a few plants around in the butterfly garden. I added my own compost to the native soil when I transplanted the tomatoes and planted the seeds in the garden.

    I shopped at Aldi and spent $37 on groceries for the week and a few things to bring to a party a co-worker was having. I also stocked up on tissues. They had a 3-pack of tissues for $2.79, so I bought 3. I continue to update my price list each time I shop. My price list is a 7 page Excel spreadsheet; so every time I shop, I will update 1 page.

    I entered Coke reward points from tops I pulled from the garbage at work.

    The plumber came over to put in new shut off valves in the kitchen sink, so we will be able to turn off the water when we take out the old counters. The old valves were so gunked up, a piece of crud must have clogged the cold water side of the faucet cartridge when he took the old valve off. Options were to have the plumber take apart the faucet and try to get the cold working and pay his hourly fee, install a new cartridge ourselves for about $25 which may not fix it, install a new cheap faucet, or live with just hot water for the next 3 weeks. We are living with just hot water. We are being SUPER CONSERVATIVE with our water usage.

    I made Double Batch Chickpea Cutlets. I baked them in the oven with a spritz of Pam instead of frying in oil (healthier and cheaper) then froze for quick future meals.

    Have a great week everyone!!

  • Athanasia August 22, 2016

    Debbie, your garden always sounds so exotic compared to our mid-west kind.

  • Hilogene in Az August 21, 2016

    Brandy, I am sorry to hear you are still under the weather. Hope you are able to get enough rest to recover quickly.

    This past week we ate all our meals at home! We tried a new bread recipe that turned out exactly like a brown bowling ball, we sliced it out of curiosity then it went to bread heaven. We don't eat a lot of bread so I decided not to save the pieces for other uses. I dont even think ducks would have eaten this ;). Not that we have a lot of ducks near us in Phoenix.

    Made a big pot of pinto beans and ham in the crock pot, served us one meal and three others for the freezer. One of our favorite meals but we don't eat it much in the summer here.

    My husband works at home part time and I have been retired for almost two years. The side effect of me being at home now is that we use more electricity during peak times. i have gotten very lazy and run major appliances during on peak times, and the bills have gone up considerably. So last week I started watching what I was doing again.

    I continue downloading and reading ebooks through our local library. My friend still buys ebooks from Amazon, she said she spends $50 a month on books. I had taken her and her iPad to the library to sign up for the ebook program but she still doesn't use it. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water ;)

    Hope you feel better soon Brandy!

  • Linda Higgy August 22, 2016

    Hilogene, I loved your bread description! Sometimes we have to have a few bowling balls before we get fluffy clouds. lol

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