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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

White Garden in Late September The Prudent Homemaker

I mended an item of clothing.

I harvested pears, a handful of tiny tomatoes, garlic chives, chocolate mint, and basil from the garden. I dried some basil for us to use throughout the year.

My mom and I went through her kitchen drawers for duplicates and unused items, and found several things that Winter can take with her to college, so we packed those away in the box I have started for her.

I used warm-up water from the shower to water potted fruit trees on the patio.

I try to make sure that all of my garden purchases are made at the lowest prices. Our local nursery has lower prices to start with on items than the big box stores (typically $1 to $2 lower per 1-gallon plants and $10-$15 lower on 5-gallon plants) and then they have sales on top of that. I watch their ads online (their sales run Fridays through Wednesdays) and I also know when things are generally on sale by month as well. I purchased some fruit trees on sale to replace those that have died in the garden. I purchased grass seed on sale to fill in the bare spots in the yard, which I can do when it cools down some more. I also purchased manure on sale to add to the garden and to use on the grass.  When I was there, the manager told me they would be having a Saturday in October where they will be giving a free viola plant to anyone who comes in! I typically don't shop there on Saturdays (I like to go during a weekday when it's quieter), but I will watch the ads online and make sure to stop by for my free plant (update: It's a buy any item get one free viola on October 7th).

I wear sandals here more than half of the year. I purchased two pairs of sandals on clearance; they should last me two years. I signed up for their app in the store to save an additional $10 off my purchase.

The aerator in our kitchen faucet completely disintegrated. My husband called the company to order a replacement. They said they would send him one for free!

My son changed out the air filters in the house so that the air conditioner run more efficiently.

Another son attended a free robotics class at the local library.

Fall gave us a beautiful preview by showing up on the first official day of fall! Temperatures will go back up starting on Monday, but for two days we were able to turn off the air conditioning completely and even turn off the fans those two days. On the other days, I opened the windows at 5 am and was able to keep them open until 10 a.m. each day before it reached above 79º in the house (we keep our air conditioner set at 79ºF).

I read the expected weather forecast for the next three months for the U.S. (you can read it here).  I'm planning my garden planting a little differently as it should be warmer here than usual (we normally don't even see a frost until December, so I'm not sure what this means for us this year). I'll plant more chard first and wait a bit longer for lettuce if I have to (I read the weather online each day and also check soil temperatures so that I can plant). I typically plant my fall garden the first two weeks of October, so I will watch and see what soil temperatures are to make sure it's not too hot to plant so that I don't waste seeds.

I resisted buying items I don't need that weren't part of my planned purchases. With one of the items that I was tempted to purchase (it was $2), I stopped to think about what I really wanted to buy that cost the same amount of money. This made it easier to walk away.

My husband and I enjoyed a date night at home, playing a card game together after the children were in bed.

I studied French online for free.

 

It's been a while since I've shared what I did to find joy during the week. This past week, my greatest joy was serving a refugee family in my city (I am SO glad that I have been studying French, as one member of the family speaks French--as a fourth language--and it has been invaluable to be able to communicate with this family.)  If you're looking for a way to serve others in your area, check out justserve.org.

 

What did you do to save money and find joy last week?

 

 

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Comments

  • Leslie September 28, 2017

    I am new to to your blog and website, and am enjoying it immensely! Thank you for your tips, especially related to food storage and saving money on groceries. I joined Sam's after reading your 40 Cents a Day posts, and stocked up! I am loving being able to cook from my pantry so often, especially as a new vegetarian. Tonight, we tried your Meatless Chicken Fried Steak, and it was delicious! Wow! Even my meat-loving husband enjoyed it. This week, I have made up jars of homemade skillet lasagna mix to keep in my pantry for those days when we would love to eat out and skip cooking altogether. It's my go-to fast food. I was traveling for part of the week, and bought fresh food to eat on the road, rather than eat out. I did a little more stocking up at Sam's, and have stayed true to cooking from scratch and saving in that way. I also made, and then used, my vegetable scraps stock (I keep a large bag in the freezer to save otherwise thrown - away scraps, then make veg stock once it is full) to make a delicious vegetable soup. I also made up a large batch of my kitchen/bath cleanser (baking soda with clove essential oil this time) and gave away a set of my cleanser with my homemade 'windex' as a gift to a new friend. So, that's my week of saving money so far! Thanks again for the wonderful website.

  • Susan O September 29, 2017

    Last week was a little different for us because my sister (who is never sick) came home from work on Tuesday very ill. Wednesday she ended up in the ER with a kidney stone that didn't pass until Monday morning. Most of our time was spent keeping her comfortable while she waited. However, some frugal things were accomplished:
    We collected 32 eggs; we sold 1 1/2 dozen and delivered another 1 1/2 dozen to a family who had pre-paid.
    We harvested cucumbers, zucchini, tomatillos, tomatoes, chili peppers, bell peppers, figs, and apples.
    I baked 2 loaves each of savory and sweet zucchini bread.
    Monday (the day before she got sick) was my sister's birthday. My mom was at the grocery store that day and, instead of buying a big cake just for the 4 of us, she saw a large piece of birthday cake and bought that for us to share, instead. We also ended up with leftover cake from the party they had for her at the preschool where she works. Mom made vanilla ice cream to go with the cake.
    I cut my sister's and my mom's hair; Mom cut mine.
    We had unseasonably cool weather last week and the air conditioner only went on for a few minutes on Saturday afternoon; it was off the rest of the week. Not so much this week.
    I made "jello" from scratch a couple of times when my sister wasn't up to eating solids. She also sipped my home-made chicken stock and my mom made her soup from leftover chicken, home-made stock, and some veggies.
    We did the normal things like hanging out laundry, cooking from scratch, doing the bi-weekly grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and Grocery Outlet, opening the windows at night, etc.

  • TerriC September 30, 2017

    I've been reading the past few weeks but haven't posted a link to my own savings. My excuse is that I mean to do it at the beginning of each week when I read that Brandy has a new post up but then I don't go to the blog until Friday evening as a rule, lol.

    This week I did a pantry inventory with a twist. I not only noted what I had on hand but what I thought I might need for it to last six months. I was surprised to find I had need of loads of some things and to buy no more of others. It was an eye opening task to do it in that way. On grocery day I filled several gaps, not completely but most I was able to pull up to a three month supply. We needed few groceries this past week and it seemed a good time to get ahead.

    Brandy must concur with the Revereware cookware. My mom still has the set my grandparents gave her 60 years ago. I have a set she gave me 20 years ago and it's as good as new. Well worth the investment and mine is just a smaller five pot set.

    my blog: http://www.bluehousejournal.blogspot.com

  • Jenna September 30, 2017

    I colored my own hair saving $180. I cut hubby's hair, I worked 2 days and held three sales this past week. I saved using coupons at the grocery and I watched my grandchildren saving money spent on babysitters, I used up leftovers and I polished shoes and glued one pair to save . I grouped together the errands and did the Target deal for the Pand G products . We used a coupon for date day but I also spluged and we spent money on a boat ride which was awesome! This week we will go to the park and have a picnic and a hike. The weather is perfect for it. I only bought what we needed and did no other shopping returned a few items we did not need and I am continuing to watch the electric and water usage and clear out the clutter in the home.

  • Jenna September 30, 2017

    I took a unused nail polish to a friend and some scented dryer sheets and some washer type fabric softner to a friends she gifted me $30 dollars with of grocery store coupons.
    We ate at home all days and we line dried some clothing.
    Clearing out clutter and organizing things has been what I have been doing with all of my free time.
    I'm working on getting into nursing school and this old lady is hoping to be admitted.

  • Tara from Massachusetts September 30, 2017

    Hi Brandy,

    I just read Mable's post about the letter she sent to her former teacher. I almost cried reading it. I named my oldest daughter Charlotte (who is now 14) after my second grade teacher, Charlotte Fleming. My teacher was an amazing individual who taught me the meaning of excellence and the tremendous amount of effort involved in pursuing excellence. I cannot express in words how much of an impact this teacher had on me. She died before I was able to let her know that I named my daughter after her. My teacher never married or had children, and it breaks my heart that I never shared with her how much she meant to me. I am so blessed to have had this amazing teacher in my life, and I am doubly blessed that I have such a loving daughter with a beautiful, priceless name! Mable, thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure your letter brought so much peace and joy to your former teacher.

  • HappyHappy October 02, 2017

    The week brought many blessings and much to be thankful for....
    -Put big knee patches that I created from old jeans for my work jeans.
    -Made homemade chilli from tomatoes that my SIL gave us from her garden.
    -Got 3.5 yards of quality quilt cotton at a rummage sale for $1.50.
    -Found big boxes of "snaps" for bibs I am making for .50 while it would have been $15.00 at Walmart.
    -Made bread crumbs from unused bread, made homemade stuffing.
    -Revamped our "recycling" center in the garage, using plastic tote boxes and didn't purchase anything new.
    -Enjoyed a "fish fry' out on a Friday night, ordered water with lemon, and skipped the cocktail.
    -Friend gave us apples from her yard, enjoyed making an apple pie.
    -Saved $25 when we noticed our car was registered in the wrong county, got it changed, and save.
    -Stopped drinking "flavored bagged coffee" and are back to non-flavored cans of coffee.
    -Read 10 magazines on-line using my Amazon Prime account-no subscription necessary.
    It's a new week, hope to continue with saving habits.

  • Janice Collins October 06, 2017

    Hi Brandy, I've been following your inspirational and helpful blog for sometime.. I would love to relearn French. How are you learning it?
    ThAnk you so much for all you do.
    Janice

  • Janice, You can read my blog post about it here.

    http://theprudenthomemaker.com/blog?view=entry&id=18625

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