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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Thai Basil Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker 

I pulled the Thai basil plants (above) from the grass that had grown on their own. I'll replant them in the garden this week.

I harvested colander of tiny tomatoes, 4 1/2 butternut squash (2 decent-sized ones, 2 tiny ones, and half a tiny one; the other half was bug eaten), green onions, garlic chives, basil, and Swiss chard from the garden.

My eldest daughter applied for four scholarships.

My eldest son took a free ACT prep class.

I mended a sandal.

I added water to my lotion bottle to get out the remaining lotion. It yielded me a week's worth of lotion.

We had a surprisingly humid week. I was able to collect several gallons of water each day from the air conditioner drip, which I used to water potted plants in the garden.  On Thursday night we got a few minutes of rain, during which I went out and moved buckets to catch the rain. It rained a bit on Friday morning as well, so I was able to collect more rainwater in buckets and turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation for the day (it's always nice when it rains on my assigned watering day!)

My husband and I enjoyed a date out using a gift card that we were given.

 

What did you do to save money last week? Did you try something new?

 

 

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Comments

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 11, 2017

    I tried cutting the bottle once, but mine is very hard and I just about sliced my hand in half as well! So I decided to use water instead (it is an 18-ounce bottle so rather large as well as thick).

  • Juls Owings September 12, 2017

    Hubby uses a small hand saw to cut bottoms off stuff for me... figured I would cut my hand off it I tried it with a knife . Dad said to take the lid off and turn upside down into a cup that the opening didn't touch the bottom of cup where it would drain out and leave it alone for awhile.

  • Debby in Kansas September 12, 2017

    I completely forgot to post about the lotion bottles! I'm a bottle cutter. I use a box cutter, always away from my hands. A couple of my friends think it's crazy to cut them open, but I keep telling them that I can get another few days of lotion out of there and that adds up!! I also use the flat end of an orange stick (for manicures) to scrape out the last of my chapstick!!

    Glad to see that I'm in good company! :)

  • Marcia R. September 11, 2017

    Last week was mostly catching up on housework and cooking after the holiday weekend. We went to a car show on Sunday and got rained upon quite thoroughly. Husband won second place in his class, so he didn't care about the rain. I had all the laundry to do and had to make salad dressing, bread, granola, and various staples that I put together myself. I went to two yoga classes also. We ate homemade pizza, goulash, chicken fingers with potato salad, and pork roast with potatoes and fresh green beans. I went to the Amish store for 10# of oatmeal for granola. Went out to eat one night with my husband's two best friends from grade school--who are now 75 years old. We try to get together often, but this summer seemed to be hard to get us together at the same time. It was good to see them.

  • Sheila in Alabama September 13, 2017

    How wonderful for your husband to win second place for his car. I love the part about you both being 75 and getting together with grade school friends. It's the little things....

  • Cindi September 11, 2017

    Hello everyone. I have been away for a couple of weeks. We took a road trip to visit a favorite cousin in Nebraska and good friends in Wisconsin. We were gone 9 days and spent about $600 on gas, 3 nights hotel, and a few meals. The trip would have been three times that much flying from our remote area. The cousin gave us two gallon bags of sweet peppers from her garden. We ate some, but most I chopped and put in the freezer. We had house sitters stay in our place and watch the dogs while we were gone, at no cost to us. I'm picking tomatoes, lettuce, chard, collard greens, strawberries, a few zucchini and a little okra from the garden. This was a good week to stock up at the grocery store. So far I have purchased 40 lbs. of sugar at 25 cents a pound and plan to get another 20 pounds when I am in town tomorrow. I have a rain check for Tillamook cheddar at $4.88 for a 2-lb loaf (I will buy 2), and 2 cases of canned green beans at $5.88 a case. I also purchased pork loin chops. They were buy 1/get 1 pkg free, and marked down 30%, so I was able to get 16 good-sized chops for $13. I planted more lettuce seeds and transplanted brocolli and cabbage seedlings into the garden. My raspberry bushes are loaded down with green berries -- I am praying we won't get a frost before they ripen -- no indication that we will.

  • PJGT September 11, 2017

    Just so thankful! Am still working on figuring out how to make life work here as we build and move along. Celebrated my son's 21st birthday with an extended dinner out (a gift from his grandparents) and cake at our cabin. Thankful the weather held and he was able to have a wonderful birthday. We were able to buy him some clothing earlier, but on his birthday I surprised him with a full wetsuit. I am delighted to report that I found it earlier in the year for $10! An amazing price for a perfect present.

    Last week was exhausting and I am so very, very glad I made it through! We didn't have any extra money so were very frugal. I had hooked up the dryer to vent inside and now we only have to wash our clothing at the laundromat. The water is not strong enough yet to hook the washer up and my MIL'S washing help is over...she was such a blessing.

    Praying for those who have less and will have to rebuild. Just cannot complain. God has been good to us.

    Finding ways to save and stretch the dollar. I put my elbows through my winter nightgown and will patch it. Was given 2 tomatoes by the neighbor and ate one for dinner and will have one another day. Received a cucumber from a friend and am going to have it tomorrow.

  • PJGT September 11, 2017

    Just so thankful! Am still working on figuring out how to make life work here as we build and move along. Celebrated my son's 21st birthday with an extended dinner out (a gift from his grandparents) and cake at our cabin. Thankful the weather held and he was able to have a wonderful birthday. We were able to buy him some clothing earlier, but on his birthday I surprised him with a full wetsuit. I am delighted to report that I found it earlier in the year for $10! An amazing price for a perfect present.

    Last week was exhausting and I am so very, very glad I made it through! We didn't have any extra money so were very frugal. I had hooked up the dryer to vent inside and now we only have to wash our clothing at the laundromat. The water is not strong enough yet to hook the washer up and my MIL'S washing help is over...she was such a blessing.

    Praying for those who have less and will have to rebuild. Just cannot complain. God has been good to us.

    Finding ways to save and stretch the dollar. I put my elbows through my winter nightgown and will patch it. Was given 2 tomatoes by the neighbor and ate one for dinner and will have one another day. Received a cucumber from a friend and am going to have it tomorrow.

  • Lilllanna Pickles September 11, 2017

    Dear Brandy, I found your original post about how you survived when your income dropped so drastically. I followed the link to the original post and ended up on a LDS (?) page. I would like to say I found great inspiration from many of the articles and have so much more insight. I have had a profound thought that I need to change many things. My injuries from 3 car wrecks in 11 months is having serious consequences on our life. I will never work again. We are secure at the moment but things are catching up quick. A financial settlement will eventually arrive but not soon. Couponing has always fed us , but food prices are horrible. At some point, I see the potential to crash. I am completely revamping our budget. I cancelled insurance on a vehicle we are selling. I cancelled my medical insurance. It is cheaper to pay out of pocket by 75%. Overall , I am making decisions based on financial stability and not emotions. My home is paid for and keeping it secure is paramount. I appreciate the great enlightenment you have given me. Thanks to you and your readers, I have found so much more to improve. They say I have moderate brain damage. I am swallowing my pride and am filing my disability so my special needs daughter will be secure. That makes me sad.

  • Beth Soelberg September 11, 2017

    Lilllanna - I am impressed by the way you are so courageously making changes to your life and budget to adjust to your unexpected circumstances! It can be hard to make those decisions, especially as you cope with the emotional part of your serious health concerns. Please know that disability benefits are there for a reason, and they will help your family to be more secure. I hope your insurance settlement arrives sooner than expected, and I'm sending you good wishes that everything will work out for you! - Beth

  • Susan September 11, 2017

    You are doing what you have to do in a difficult situation. Taking care of yourself and your daughter comes first and their is no shame in filing for disability. We have 3 children with special needs that are able to use Medicaid and Medicare for their insurance. We never abuse it and are so thankful to have it since my husband and myself are both over 65 and only have Medicare coverage and no private insurance that would cover them.

  • PJGT September 11, 2017

    Hang in there. Three years ago our 20 year old daughter suffered a severe head injury. Against all odds she will graduate from college this May and move on to live a different, but full life. The body and the brain are amazing! I have watched her struggle, but have been so amazed and blessed by her resolve and determined good humor.

    I've been reading your posts for some time now and I see those same amazing characteristics in you. You have my prayers.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 11, 2017

    I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time, Lillianna. It sounds like you're super-resourceful. Your daughter is lucky to have such a devoted mother!

  • Juls Owings September 12, 2017

    My grandson's father is 31 and is on disability, hard for him to file but did it to provide for my grandson. My niece is 38 on disability with 3 as a single mother , she struggled even with emotional support because they denied her 3 times so she just felt more like a failure every time. I talked her in to getting a lawyer and it was approved...so if you get denied DO NOT feel like a failure. Get a lawyer (there are those that deal with this and work with you). SS tends to deny 2-3 times before they approve. My cousin has been on disability since he was 18..he has seizures so he can't work. He used his money to support his mother when she couldn't work due to surgery. He does help several neighbors including my dad without pay. Said that the govt paid him to help them. Let's him keep his pride.

    You are not alone, you are not a failure, you are doing what is RIGHT.

  • Christina Black September 11, 2017

    Good afternoon, Brandy and Everyone.

    I got a part time job in addition to my full time. I love that I can work on my own time via my computer and phone. That extra money will go to savings.

    I learned of an event at my local library: a free class about how to make your online business successful. I signed up.

    My son and I picked wild blackberries from the yard for my mother in law. She was pleasantly surprised.

    My mom brought over a lot of bananas that she couldn't use up in time so I made a double batch of banana bread. My son was so excited because I made some "baby" loaves for him.

    Here are some other things I did recently to save money:
    http://2minimize.blogspot.com/2017/09/recent-frugal-efforts.html

  • Melissa V September 11, 2017

    * Hubby took me to Salvation Army to look for a pair of shoes and a couple pairs of jeans. It was sooo thrilling to me to be able to grab a bunch of jeans and actually find some that fit and don't need any altering. And I also found some hardly worn leather tennis shoes (I didn't realize that I'd lose weight in my FEET! My shoes don't fit right anymore either) And while he waited for me to finish trying the jeans on, he found us another "popcorn bowl" (aka Tupperware's Thatsa Bowl) WITH it's lid for only $2.99! We have needed another big bowl with a lid for icing blanched veggies as well as marinating large amounts of meat. Patience pays off!
    * I have decided to sell our chicken coop. It is not an easy decision for me as my Dad built it with me(& I really like my hens) but after last nights possum visit, we are down to only one chicken hen. The coop easily holds 15 birds and is too far off the ground really for ducks to use it (I have 2 other A-frame coops for them). That money will go towards next months bills (If it sells) I am now on the look-out for some free fencing to put over the top of the chain link pens to prevent another visitor from getting into the pen (the possum went out in a body bag so no worries about it returning - it made a run on my garden first!)
    * Finished another sewing project and used that money for the Salvation Army visit.
    * Made all meals at home - even when we didn't feel like it (which for me is every night.....sad to say but I HATE to cook - I'd rather be outside building something or inside crafting/sewing something....anything but coming up with a meal)
    * Used a $5 rewards certificate to purchase the duck and quails feed. Only spent $5 oop on the food which should last a month since I just opened up the almost done garden for the ducks to forage in.
    * Rounded up all of the old pots I have had kicking around in the shed to use for lettuce and possibly cabbage in the greenhouse.
    * We seem to have switched from summer to fall over night here in Michigan so I switched out my clothing and discovered that many of my long sleeve shirts are too big. I am going to try to take in the side seams on the biggest ones so I can avoid purchasing anything more.
    * We sold our fishtank - I can't keep up on that on top of all the other animals, hubby and work. That money also is set aside for bills and toiletries we are low on. I also have other things listed on Craigslist, one I really don't want to sell but the item is just cluttering up the place and if we downsize, there really won't be a place for it (antique sideboard)
    * I brought in all of the cut down branches that I had stashed in our shed. I can't start the chipper and no one would help, so I just cut them all down with the loppers and pruners and stored them in buckets in the shed. With the turn towards colder weather, I thought I should get them in where we will use them and it's less gas or wood we will have to pay for this fall/winter.

    I think that's it :)

  • Janet September 12, 2017

    Melissa V,

    People sell the branches wraped in twine as fire starter logs. JUST FYI

  • Melissa V September 13, 2017

    We have a wood-stove that we use to keep the furnace from kicking on as much during the day. There are 14 cat litter buckets and 8 feed bags full of the dry branches. They will burn fast but hot and won't last long but it will help with the gas bill a bit. I still have to cut down more of the branches that were too big for the loppers but I need to borrow my Dad's electric chain saw for those.

  • ElisaB September 15, 2017

    One really great thing about getting jeans at a thrift store is that they don't shrink when you wash them. If they fit, they will always fit.

  • Lorna September 11, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) . Brandy I was glad you got some rain and were able to turn off your watering system one day too, it has been incredibly dry here so we are wanting rain desperately shortly.

    It has been a good week in that we have been able to increase our food storage and baking items we needed for the home and also in a round about way in trying to give service which our neighbour insisted on paying us traded our labour for honey too.

    Education -
    - DH and I attended another free class for self reliance personal finance run by the church. We will get a certificate on completion by the BYU university.

    Household needs purchases -
    - Purchased 2 large biscuit trays, 4 lge cake cooling racks, an additional spring form pan and a set of measuring spoons and cups on special at Aldi saving $35.96 over purchasing them in our local supermarket.

    Groceries -
    - Increased our food storage by 8kg of flour, 9kg of raw sugar, 1kg of icing sugar, 4lts of vegetable oil and 5 x 500g of butter.
    - Increased our honey supplies by 30kg by helping our apiarist neighbour do an exit rental clean of his home as he didn't have time to do it. We offered to help him without payment but he insisted on paying us in some way which is a true blessing since honey is running out at $12kg here in the local supermarkets.
    - More blessings we were gifted 25 lemons from our other neighbour on the other side too saving us $16 over purchasing them in the shops.
    - Said yes to using a $10 off voucher we earned from our supermarket rewards points to reduce our grocery bill and purchased 4lts of vegetable oil needed for the pantry too and still came in under our 6 weekly grocery budget.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made another batch of tomato soup using tinned diced tomatoes that needed using in the pantry along with rehydrated garlic, frozen onions in the freezer picked from the gardens and dried basil.
    - Blanched and froze the remaining 20kg of sweet potatoes we had curing in the garage picked from the gardens saving us $240 over buying the equivalent organic ones in the local supermarket.
    - Made a litre of lemon cordial for $1 from our gifted lemons saving $4.31 over purchasing it in the supermarkets.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on our electric hot water system for 8.23 hrs this week and used our solar lanterns to light our home saving $10.48 in electricity costs.
    - Used our firewood sourced and cut free by us in the slow combustion fireplace to warm our home rather than using heaters.
    - Used water heated on the slow combustion stove to make our cuppas and steamed our vegetables for dinner for 2 nights on the fireplace.

    Water savings -
    - Used all vegetable washing, blanching and steaming water all week to water in newly sprouted vegetable seeds in the gardens.

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