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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut cucumbers, pears, basil, grapes leaves, oregano, and butternut squash from the garden.

I mended an item of clothing.

Cemetery Flags The Prudent Homemaker

We took a little trip to the cemetery to see the flags; there were almost 3000. Each one represented a person who had died on September 11, 2011, and you could read about each person. It was very sad (I found myself crying) but an important history lesson.

I worked on (but did not yet finish) sewing a dress for myself.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

We needed to get another computer, as the children are now spending more time on it for school with typing, foreign language, and math studies. My husband found one at Walmart that included a disk drive (many do not anymore). He loaded all of their math dvds onto the computer, which will prevent scratching damage (and keep me from having to replace them if that had happened). Rather than buying Microsoft Word, he downloaded Open Office to the computer. It's a free program that I have been using for several years and it works well. 

Butternut Squash Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I used a $10 off coupon for the local nursery. I had to replace a valve that had cracked. I also picked up some white mums on sale, as well as some herbs for the garden.

September Garden Urns The Prudent Homemaker

I have been watching soil temperatures every day, as it is close to planting several items. I took a chance and planted a few seeds in the garden, including green onion and lettuce seeds that I collected from my own garden. It's a bit early for lettuce, but soil temperatures are dropping at night, so I am hoping that they will germinate. This may be frugal if they germinate; if not, it was a waste of seeds. I started them in the white garden, which is fairly shaded and cooler than the rest of the garden.

Cucumbers and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

Armenian Cucumbers, almost 2 feet long

I figured out 4 Christmas gifts that I can make for my children, using fabric I already have. I will make these in November as part of my Gift a Day series.

I went to the thrift store with my 13-year old son. We found several items of clothing for him. Thes best deal we found is a pair of Scout pants for him in the new "zip off" style (they convert into shorts by unzipping at the knees) for $6. These are on sale for $45 online (regular $50 online) and are $75 at our local Scout office. The pants we found are just his size and he is thrilled!

When we were done looking for him, we went over to the women's dress section. I didn't find anything for myself, but Cyrus found a dress for Winter in her size that is exactly her style (for $6). I bought it and since she was babysitting, Cyrus put it out on her bed for her to find when she came home. She absolutely loves the dress and wore it to church on Sunday. I was touched that he paid enough attention to what she wore to see a dress with a bodice very similar in style to one of her blouses.

I used my solar oven to cook a pot of beans one day and to cook a meal another day.


What did you to save money last week?


Just a note: Please save your frugal accomplishments from this upcoming week and the next week to share on October 2nd. 

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  • Fiona Chain September 19, 2016

    Hi Brandy, I love hearing about your frugal achievements especially all the fruits and veggies you are able to grow, it give me hope.
    This weeks frugal achievements at our house were-
    Made a jar of passionfruit butter from home grown passionfruit
    Made a beautiful chicken stock from the carcass of a roast chicken we had for Sunday's dinner
    Line dried all the washing
    Made a batch of laundry liquid
    Finished a little baby quilt to give as a gift
    Caught the warm up water from the shower to water the figs out front
    Cleaned the house using home made cleaners
    Packed my lunch for work every day
    Blitzed the fruit and veggie scraps for the worm farm

    I hope you have a lovely week

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 19, 2016


    I had hoped to have passionfruit by now, but since ours never fruited, I dug the plant out. I had hoped to make passionfruit sorbet. I'm glad it was successful for you! I'm sure you will have lots of success with your garden this coming season.

  • Mandy September 19, 2016

    Passionfruit butter sounds delicious!

  • I love that brotherly love Cyrus has for his sister! He cares enough to pay attention to what she wears and he got a great deal too! I see that love in my grandchildren also and it warms my heart.

    I also was at the thrift store and found a large bag that I was able to use for material for just 49 cents.
    Here are the rest of my frugal ways this past week:

  • Susan in So Cal September 20, 2016

    Hi Vickie! I love the placemats you made! What a wonderful repurpose of a thrift store bag!

  • Jennifer Brown September 19, 2016

    What great finds at the Thrift store! Your produce collection this week is impressive. Do you ever have problems with ants on your cucumber blooms if so what do you use to rid your plants of them?

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 19, 2016

    I've had a few but I haven't been able to rid the garden of ants, despite trying many things.

  • Sheeba m September 19, 2016

    Have you tried cinnamon and red chilli powder mixed on the veggies or even around the perimeter of the bed? It jus came to me as we have had ants in spring in our house n use that...also a friend told me using sweet n low packets kills the ants though I have not used it...

  • Pam September 19, 2016

    Have you tried baby powder? A exterminator friend suggested it to me and it worked.

  • Jennifer Brown September 19, 2016

    Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll try them. I've used baking soda/sugar combination but mostly I just pray and squish ants

  • Mandy September 19, 2016

    We won a free pizza at a local pizza restaurant and ate that for dinner one night. All other meals were cooked and eaten at home. I have taken my lunch and snack to work with me all week. My daughter took a lunch from home all week as well.

    We have been mindful of our water (and consequently sewer as well) usage. We have challenged ourselves to use as little as possible each day. I can't wait to see our next bills :) My husband has a gym membership ($10 per month) to help with some medical issues and he has been showering there after he exercises rather than at home. We have been using two dishpans to do the dishes (one for washing one for rinsing). My daughter and I have both been taking "navy showers".

    I stayed home except for one trip to the grocery store. I was either at work or home, which saved gas and wear and tear on the car.

    My hubby rearranged our pantry for me. I had started it but had no time to finish it. It was so disorganized and messy that I was completely overwhelmed and stressed out about it. It now looks great and he used things we already had to organize. Looks so much better :)

    I exchanged some books at the library for myself and my daughter.

    That's about it. Have a great week everyone!

  • Athanasia September 19, 2016

    Mandy, that is so nice that your husband would finish organizing the pantry for you.

  • Darcy September 19, 2016

    What a beautiful harvest from your garden and what a blessing!

    My frugal accomplishments include:

    I finished my grandson's pajamas for his birthday. He turns 2 next Sunday. It had been awhile since I had sewn anything besides mending and I remembered how much I enjoy it. Next I will be working a nightgown for one of my granddaughters. She will be 6 in October.

    While I was grocery shopping on Saturday morning I found canned tomatoes on sale for 49 cents per can and bought 10 of them. The large cans of crushed tomatoes were 79 cents each. I bought lots of those too. I also found black beans and white beans for 50 cents a pound. For buying meat it is my goal to only buy the loss leaders and discounted meat. We have several grocery stores in our area.

    I was given an eggplant, a butternut squash and yellow squash and cooked those for our dinners this week. I bought frozen berries and frozen broccoli and cauliflower from the dollar store.

  • Laurie in central NC September 19, 2016

    Hello everyone! How lovely to find the perfect pieces of clothing for Cyrus & Winter at the thrift store, Brandy. It sounds as though Cyrus has a good and caring heart. I also cut butternut squash last week, and had a good thrift store trip, picking up vintage buttons, wool yarn & a floral painting on half price day. We are getting some greatly needed rain today. I think I will replant a few fall seeds that didn't do well or got dug up, such as lettuce and swiss chard. I look forward to reading what everyone else has been up to, & am joining in here: http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-september-garden-thrifted-treasure.html

  • Rhonda A. September 19, 2016

    The tribute to 9/11 would have made me cry to, Brandy. It was a very emotional and scary time for us in Canada as well. You are right, though, it is a very important history lesson in deed!

    I've had a pretty good week on the frugal front, with the exception of all the school expenditures. This week my daughter brought home a bunch of order forms and requests for money for various things. It probably totaled around $50 when all said and done...that's a lot for one week! I think it should be settling down for a little bit now, though. Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week:

    *Meals made at home included lasagna (homemade, from freezer) with garlic toast, baked chicken smothered in cheddar cheese soup with rice and broccoli, tacos, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with salad and apple crisp (homemade, from freezer), pancakes with breakfast sausages, and hamburger helper with corn. Leftovers were used up in lunches, both mine and my daughters.
    *Harvested 2 yellow peppers from the garden. Just when I think it's done, we get more.
    *Bought 2 10lb bag of carrots on sale for $1.97/bag (3lb bags of carrots are typically around $1.50). We blanched and froze all 20lbs to use this winter. I saved some of the peeling in the freezer to use when making stock later.
    *Turkey's were on sale this week for $0.97/lb. We bought one to use for Christmas.
    *Accepted a huge bag of Red Fife wheat bran for free from work this week. Bran is a by-product of milling wheat into flour, which is done at our grist mill in the pioneer village. They sell the Red Fife wheat flour in the gift shop, but not the bran.
    *A co-worker gifted me a huge bag of crabapples. I boiled the crabapples and strained the juice on Sunday and will make jelly with the juice today (Monday). I've never made jelly before, so this will be my first time attempting this. Rather a cheap experiment since the only cost is sugar which I have already in my pantry (bought on sale this summer, too).
    *Another co-worker gave me a strawberry rhubarb pie with one small slice out of it to take home with me one day. Free pie! It didn't take long for my family to devour it. I have great co-workers, don't I?
    *One of the young ladies I work with at the pioneer village does super cool, cinematic type makeup as a hobby (like they do on the show Face-off). She is looking for volunteers models to do makeup on for her "Countdown to Halloween" and asked if I'd like to be turned into a zombie. Being a huge walking dead fan, of course I said "yes"! Still confirming when it will happen...but I'm so excited to be doing this!!!

    That's about it for me. Can't wait to read everyone's comments this week. I learn so much from all of you! Have a wonderful week everyone!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 19, 2016

    That's a great deal on carrots!

  • Rhonda A. September 19, 2016

    This is the second year that I have done this. We seem to have this deal every fall, as the harvests are coming in around Ontario. The sale usually only happens once a year, so I make it last by buying a large amount, then blanch and freeze enough to last through winter.

  • Margaret @approachingfood September 19, 2016

    I just saw that deal too! No Frills also has beets and onions on sale -- $1.97 for a 10lb bag. I'm seeing lots of pickled beets in my future!

  • MissPaula September 21, 2016

    Love pickled beets!

  • Laurie in central NC September 19, 2016

    I made my favorite apple butter using crabapples. The taste seemed much more complex than with regular apples. Alas the tree, which came from Monticello, died some years ago. Best of luck with your jelly. We are hoping to plant our first Red Fife wheat patch this fall. The challenge is dealing with all the field peas and peanuts we planted as cover crops first. Hopefully, we won't run out of time.

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