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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

 Yellow Rose Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated a daughter's birthday at home with a simple party at home and a homemade cake. I have pictures that I hope to share soon in a birthday post.

I used the leftover icing to decorate cupcakes as a snack one afternoon. I had some rather old quarts of canned pears that, while still fine to eat, weren't as tasty had they been newer. I blended them and used those in the cupcakes in place of the liquid and oil. I think this is how I will be using the rest of those canned pears in the next little while (in baked goods, but not necessarily cupcakes with icing).

I harvested two Armenian cucumbers, some Swiss chard, a few cherry tomatoes, and basil from the garden.

September Arrrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I spent some time tidying the garden to get it ready for fall. I had a large dusty miller plant die. It was so large, that I have decided that in its place I can plant 2 artichoke plants, 2 Swiss chard plants, and a zucchini plant (all of which I have seeds for already). This is a plant in the front yard in my white garden. After removing the plant, I fertilized the apricot tree it was growing under with fertilizer I had received for free with a coupon earlier this year.

I took every opportunity to open the windows in the mornings to cool the house. It is still rather warm here (we had days above 100º) but in the mornings it was 79ºF and even a little lower a few days. We kept the windows open as many hours as possible each morning before closing up the house and turning the air conditioning units back on.

My eldest started her first online college class this week. Her first class is one that has the book available to download online for free, which made for a less expensive start to school. 

She will take 24 credits of BYU Independent Study online classes (which we researched to make sure that they all transfer to her school of choice for her major) before going off to school. We'll save money by having her stay at home for the next 16 months while she takes online classes.

I started a list of everything she'll need for her first apartment. The apartments are furnished (and generally have 6-8 women in each), but she'll need kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom supplies, laundry supplies, warmer clothing, and food. We started researching prices and I will look for some items at garage sales over the next 16 months (Garage sale season is beginning again in earnest now here). We'll also purchase many items new, looking for sales and coupons to keep costs low. I noted that Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond have the same costs for several of the basic supplies on our kitchen list, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond regularly has 20% off coupons (you can use their expired coupons and use one per item with as many per transaction as you have items). I have a stack of these coupons that have come in different things, including with the free magazines that I get; one even came this week with one of my free magazine subscriptions--and I will put them aside to purchase some items for my daughter's apartment. I also researched prices at Target and Ikea; at some point, we'll definitely be making the drive to Ikea in town when we're ready to purchase a large number of items. I'll also look at Sam's and Costco for their holiday sales for pots and pans. Basically, we'll compare prices to make our money go as far as possible while getting her some good quality items to fulfill her needs.

We learned that there are two grocery shopping options in the city where she hopes to attend school: a grocery store and a Walmart. She has cousins that attend the same school and they all said that the grocery store is pricey and that Walmart is where everyone shops. We found that there is even a free shuttle that goes to Walmart! So, I took her to Walmart near us, and we talked about shopping and prices. We talked about her favorite meals, and I also typed up a basic pantry list of items as well as fresh items she'll need to start cooking once she is on her own. 

We noted that there is a stop near the thrift store in town near one of the free shuttle stops, too!

Dishes and Napkins The Prudent Homemaker

After we made this list, I bought Winter's choice of 4 plates, 4 bowls, 2 mugs, and 4 glasses at Walmart. The plates, bowls, and mugs were all $0.88 each, and the glasses were on clearance for $0.75 each. Winter will take silverware from our old set. She sewed herself 6 matching napkins from an old pinafore that used to belong to her grandmother.

We went to the thrift store, where I dropped off our donations (and received a receipt for taxes). We compared prices there on kitchen items, and noted that the thrift store prices were high on most kitchen items (plates were $1 each), though I did pick up a tiny whisk for Winter for $0.50.

I found 2 pairs of jeans for myself there ($4 each) and a sweater ($5), plus $1 for a shirt for another child. 

My eldest son attended a free ACT prep class again, and practiced taking the English section of the test this past week.

I picked up two pamphlets on Federal Student Financial Aid that were free at the local library.

Thanks to a reader letting me know that the city of Henderson has free symphony performances, we were able to attend an outdoor symphony performance with our children for free about 40 minutes from home.


What did you do to save money last week?





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  • Diana in Indiana September 18, 2017

    My husband and I are VERY blessed to both have strong incomes. We are empty nesters but will soon have the need to take care of both sets of our parents who are aging. We are working on becoming debt free. Our frugal accomplishments over the last few weeks:
    - Cut both cable and internet
    - pack lunches daily
    - eat from the pantry and freezer
    - crocheted a baby shower gift from yarn I already had
    - enjoyed a church pot luck. I brought a dish made from my pantry.
    - Hubs accepted an online class teaching assignment for extra income
    - paid off my car
    - open windows and turned off the air conditioner
    - I'm losing weight so bought 3 pairs of work pants at thrift store
    - enjoyed a work lunch cookout
    - Asked for a senior discount. (I'm only 50 but they gave it to me anyway!)
    - Rereading some favorite books instead of buying new.
    - Put together a puzzle with my husband
    - Invited my kids/spouses over for popcorn and games instead of going out for dinner/movie

  • Mandy September 20, 2017

    Congratulations on paying off your car! :D

  • Kim Mozdzen September 18, 2017

    I learned just how unprepared my family is for emergencies. (not just hurricanes). My stockpiles have dwindled away since we moved to Florida. I have 1 rubbermade container left with things like canned chillis, white vinegar, black olives, etc...nothing you can make a meal out of. I had been planning on purchasing some canned or ready to eat items in case of a hurricane. I had several cases of water and was never able to get the rest. We wound up at the childrens hospital for 2 weeks. I sent my husband home to work after the holiday weekend, and then we got hit with the hurricane and power outages, and then gas shortages. My parents are in a manufactured home, they had a mandatory evacuation, so they came here and brought food........keeping my husband fed helped a lot. We cant afford to let him loose in a grocery store any more than I can at the food court in the hospital. I had some friends send me some money and that helped tremendously. Options at the hospital were wendy's, subway, chickfilet...nothing cheap, I dont know how the hospital staff can afford it. We have to go back 3 more times. My 13 year old was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, had surgery and 1 round of chemo. When I complained of no money before, its even worse now! I plan to stock the car with things that I can microwave and eat I am also stocking the freezer with things that dh can eat at home and when he comes to visit, he can bring a meal. I wouldnt let him visit after he left because of the lack of gas in central Florida and the amount of gas his truck uses. The keurig has been packed and put away. I just don't have the money to buy a box of k cups, no matter how cheap I can get them. I was using my staples & office depot rewards for them, but the rewards would be better off spent on toilet paper and paper towels. I bought a 4 cup mr coffee maker from someone on facebook for $8. She also gave me a pack of filters with it. I bought a large bag of flour and sugar at walmart and am now baking my own bread. Not much else to report.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 18, 2017

    Oh, Kim! I am so sorry to hear about your daughter!

  • Cindy in the South September 18, 2017

    I am so, so sorry to hear of your daughter's illness...hugs and prayers

  • Jenifer September 18, 2017

    So sorry to hear about your daughter. Don't know which hospital you have been working with, however I am at MCV.. and the food court options you listed sound like it. If that's where you are, please check out The Doorways. It is designed for families of ill patients. It has lodging, and meals for the the families. Sending prayers for you all. - Jenifer

  • http://Erika September 18, 2017

    I am so sorry about your daughter! Prayers!

  • Margie from Toronto September 18, 2017

    So terribly sorry to hear about your daughter's illness, never mind having to prepare for a hurricane! Just wondering if there is a Ronald MacDonald house near your daughter's hospital as they provide housing for parents who have a sick child and have to be away from home. Does the hospital possibly have a Social Services Dept. who could perhaps put you in touch with nearby churches etc. that might be able to offer some help? You've probably thought of all these things - but just in case.

  • Andrea Q September 18, 2017

    So sorry to hear of your daughter's illness. Many hospitals can put you in touch with programs that can help, but you would probably have to find the right person to ask. You might find help through the following:

    Tom Coughlin Jay Fund
    About Tom Coughlin Jay Fund: The fund’s mission is to help families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional and practical support.

    Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
    About Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation: Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation was created to help patients who need financial assistance while undergoing treatment. Thru its AVAIL Fund, the Foundation allows those fighting their battle with cancer to concentrate on recovery rather than their overdue rent, mortgage, electric, or water bill.

  • Lilli September 18, 2017

    This actually has tears streaming down my cheeks. I just got my daughter out of ICU a few weeks ago. This hits so close to home. My prayers are with you. We went in for pneumonia and they found Lymphoma. That In Itself was a blessing. Otherwise we would not have known.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 18, 2017

    Lilli, I am sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis.

  • Cindy in the South September 21, 2017

    So sorry, Lilli, prayers and hugs

  • Juls Owings September 19, 2017

    Lilli prayers for you and yours... I am glad she's out of ICU.

  • Mandy September 20, 2017

    Lilli - You and your family are in my prayers!

  • Rhonda A. September 18, 2017

    Ovarian cancer at 13years old...that's got to be tough on everyone. Add a hurricane and that's down right miserable. So sorry you are dealing with such financial and emotional hardships right now, Kim. I hope you are able to find some help with the expenses. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Lynn September 18, 2017

    The Children's Hospital in San Diego has a Ronald Mc Donald House where family can stay for free and eat for free while a child is undergoing a catastrophic illness. There is also a shuttle that picks up families that can't afford gas or don't have transportation. If you haven't ask the Hospital social worker how they can help. Also look online for children's cancer support groups they have many resources that can help. So sorry your going through this.

  • Jeannie September 18, 2017

    Kim, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I am a cancer survivor and my prayers this evening will be for her. So sorry.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

  • J September 18, 2017

    Kim, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's diagnosis. I will say a prayer for you and for her.

  • Juls Owings September 19, 2017

    Kim prayers for you and yours. A really good friend went through this with his youngest when she was 12. He made refried beans and carried it with him to the hospital. Single father of 6. His wife had died in car accident.

  • Athanasia September 20, 2017

    Kim, I am sorry to hear of your daughter's diagnosis. We'll pray for her and your family and her doctors and nurses.

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Guest September 25, 2018

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