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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Fall Zinnia Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains affiliate links.

I cut and dried lots of basil from the garden.

I printed free school worksheets from Education.com (they have a limit of 10 free worksheets each month).

I planted seeds in the garden for artichokes, Swiss chard, and parsley.

I covered my artichoke seedlings from a previous week that had come up with small canning jars, to keep the bugs from eating them and to create a mini-greenhouse, allowing them to grow faster larger.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I experimented making a few loaves of pear bread, using quarts of home-canned pears that have been on the shelves for a few years. I ground whole wheat into flour in our grinder and used that in the recipes. The first two loaves were fine, but lacked excitement (we ate them anyway). I'll keep trying some variations until we find something we really enjoy, as we have a number of older jars of home-canned pears that need to be used up.

My brother-in-law was offered a number of free tickets to a show downtown on Tuesday. My husband and I were able to attend. We were even told to park in a certain lot downtown. We saw a parking garage on the way, but our vehicle was too tall to park there. We found the lot that we had been told to park in; it was a small lot and the entrance wasn't even clear. To our surprise, the lot stated that it was free to Nevada residents for 24 hours, provided the driver had a valid id! We did have to walk a distance, but the weather was pleasant and gave us a chance to talk. (For those who live in Las Vegas, this lot is east of Planet Hollywood, and you enter it from Harmon Ave. There is no noticeable entrance; just a fence with a small entrance and a drive behind it. As you drive to the lot, you will see Bally's employee parking lot is connected to this lot.) We ended our evening by going out to eat using a gift card that we had.

(I know some of you are wondering about the shooting in Las Vegas. We don't live close to downtown and are very rarely there, though as I mentioned we were earlier this past week. You can read about the shooting here--warning about the photos.) 

My husband used barge cement to repair two pairs of children's shoes.

I gave our youngest a haircut. He thinks the trimmers tickle, which makes it a bit tricky, but he was very good about having his hair cut!

My son brought home leftover cookies from a Scout Court of Honor that no one else wanted to take home.

My mom went to a garage sale and blessed us with several items she found: 3 pint jars, brand-new girls' hair elastics (I was just about to go buy some at the dollar store, where they sell them 100 for $1, but this saved me a dollar!), sidewalk chalk, and sewing machine oil.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • Becky October 03, 2017

    I recently read that book, based on the recommendation here. I, also, highly recommend it. I wish I had discovered it last year when I was doing WWII with the girls I homeschool. It was so good. Does anyone know the title of the sequel?

    Right now, I am reading Kisses From Katie to the girls. It is about a young woman who went to Uganda and ended up starting a ministry that feeds and educates impoverished children. She herself, ended up adopting many (14, I think). It's a few years old, but we just discovered it, and am delighted to see that a sequel has just come out.

  • Athanasia October 04, 2017

    Becky, the title is THE WAR I FINALLY WON.

  • Mandy October 02, 2017

    I am so glad you and your loved ones are safe and sound. My prayers go out to all those affected and heartbroken by this awful tragedy. I will never understand what goes on in peoples' minds that deliberately hurt others. :(
    I was able to spend $30 at the grocery store last week so I purchased some lunch items for my daughter's school lunches (the school lunches here are disgusting) and some basics we were out of or low on. All our meals were cooked at home. We mainly used items from the pantry and freezers. I took my lunches and snacks to work with me (leftovers and homemade snacks), I drank free coffee and water. I worked 3 hours of overtime on Saturday and my department is scheduled to work 10 hour days this week which is 10 more hours of overtime, plus my normal 40 hour work weeks on my first check :) I also earned 3 hours of paid time off on Saturday (the only paid time off I will have this year).
    My daughter has been playing with her art supplies more here at home and playing on her swing set here at home.
    I harvested more tomatoes, green onions, and mullein before the plants died.
    If I didn't have a good reason to leave the house I stayed home, which means I didn't spend money :)
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Andrea Q October 02, 2017

    Is anyone else (besides Brandy) using Education.com for the free worksheets? The most I have ever been able to print is eight; some months the limit is six. I cannot find any info on the site about the actual hard limit. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the age of your account?

  • Lorna October 02, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    So glad Brandy you were able to get tickets to a concert and get free parking too.

    Our joy of the week was that we got lots of rain that filled up our rain water tanks and watered the parched ground and vegetable garden beds. We also took in a homeless kitten who turned up on our doorstep.

    Our frugal accomplishments and savings included -

    Education -
    - Attended another weekly class of our free church run personal finance course.

    Financial -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account bringing us to around 44% of the way there to building our home price.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Washed out used clip seal freezer bags and orange juice bottles to reuse.
    - Blanched and froze 6kg of turnips and 2.2kg of broad beans picked from the gardens making 15 more meals of turnips and 4 more meals of broad beans for the two of us.
    - Made a large pot of pumpkin soup to last 3 days for the 2 of us from a pumpkin and onions we had in storage from the gardens.

    In the garden -
    - Picked 2.2kg of broad beans and 6kg of turnips saving $48.27 over purchasing them in the shops.
    - Planted 5 x 2mt rows of sweet corn, 3 x 2mt rows of onions, 2 x 2mt rows of carrots, 1 x 3mt row of basil, 1 x 3mt row of lettuce, 4 x 2mt rows of cucumbers, 2 x 2mt rows of spring onion and 1 x 5mt row of lavender seeds in the gardens.

    Water preservation -
    - Saved vegetable steaming and cooling water, water from blanching vegetables and rinsing water from freezer bags and orange juice bottles to water new vegetable seeds and seedlings in the gardens.

    Electricity savings -
    - Only turned on our hot water system for 10.5hrs and used our solar lanterns all week to light our home saving approx. $10.37 in electricity costs.

    Have a fantastic week ahead everyone :) .

  • Marybeth October 03, 2017

    Congratulations on the kitten. Its sounds like you had a great week.

  • Athanasia October 06, 2017

    Yes Lorna, congratulations on adding a kitten to your property. Get her (or him) neutered and vaccinated and it will be worth it all. Our cats keep down the mice, chipmunk, vole and ground squirrel population and thus protect out gardens and crops.

  • TerriC October 02, 2017

    So sorry to hear of the tragedy in Las Vegas last night...

    Thought I'd join in earlier this week. I had a decent week. I just pulled up the little tomato plants Mama gave me. They were from seed she'd tossed into a pot and they made 8 plants. She gave me three. I guess all told, I got about a pint of tomatoes off them. Considering most days were over 95F I think they did pretty well. I held back a half dozen to plant and make new tomato plants.


  • Juls Owings October 02, 2017

    Brandy I am glad you and yours is safe. I have family and friends in that area and was worried as I didn't hear from them immediately, they are okay, a couple were helping with the victims . Prayers for all that have been touched by this and prayers for our country.

    I had a doctor appt with my back doctor (pain mgt doctor actually)at lunch time 2 hrs away one way so ate at McD's using a gift card someone gave Hubby at work because they don't eat McD's. I had to pay 64¢. The good news is he thinks he can help with the pain and inflammation I am having that will allow me to start using my arm correctly sooner rather than 6-12 mos. If insurance won't pay for all of it he is willing to let me make payments on the difference at the price the ins would pay plus 10% discount for paying cash. Not only would it save me the time but also from having to go to 3 different doctors.

    Coming home I was within about 10 miles of a Goodwill that I used to go to all the time so I went out of the way to see if they had any curtains since I didn't get any at the community yard sale. SCORE... Total of 10 pairs 84 inches long for $4.40 each. A couple sets are not lined but would easily go over another set of curtains or be lined. Better yet, they actually go with our furniture and bed comforter. ;) I did buy a couple smaller serving bowls as Mom O suggested and a couple sweaters... I didn't realize the one was cashmere blend that I got for $1.99 until I Googled what it was to see the care instructions.

    Have a blessed and safe week everyone
    Blessed Be

  • It's very sad to watch and her about the shootings. I'm glad you are safe and were away from all of it. You just never know what may happen to you anywhere.

    We are still harvesting the garden here. It has cooled off but we have had an abundance of sunshine to help ripen the tomatoes.
    Here is the list of the rest of my accomplishments

  • Jen@FrugalSteppingStones October 02, 2017

    Our 6 year old has some beloved red cowboy boots that are separating at the sole. I may just try that barge cement to fix them!

    I took advantage of some freebies this week, including a few free items from Kroger, a couple free magazines, and free babysitting thanks to my mom.

  • TerriC October 06, 2017

    I just ordered a tube of that Barge cement so John can repair a pair of athletic shoes he has that are good but for the sole coming loose.

  • Mable October 02, 2017

    What one does for love is not always frugal: my husband is older than I am (not that I am a spring chicken, by any means). The other day he said he wanted to talk about winter frugality and told me last winter he really suffered because I kept the temperature of the house so low that he was always cold even though he wore sweaters and so on. He said he is turning 70, has worked his entire life and now would like to use some of that money to be comfortable in his older age. I was horrified and ashamed that I had not noticed his discomfort last year. We have a well insulated house but in the depths of winter, at 30 below zero, the corners and window areas are especially chilly. I told him I don't care if he jacks the heat up to 100 degrees and I have to wear a bathing suit indoors, I am happy for him to be as warm as he likes.

    Frugal things:
    Helped with a potluck and brought home several pounds of hamburger that were not used. When asked, no one else wanted to take home leftover food, except for the chips and soda.

    Won a $50 gift card to Subway by entering a newspaper contest.

    Babysat a friend's Great Dane for 10 days. I refused to take any money and a few days later I got a card with a grocery store gift certificate for $100 and a note thanking me and saying it would have cost her $45 a day to board her big boy.

    Milk was about to spoil, which seldom happens in our house. Made pudding and yogurt to extend its life.

    Made more applesauce, adding rhubarb to extend it. Apples are expensive here and the rhubarb was frozen from this pat summer's garden.

    A friend admire a glass bowl I had. I liked it okay, but she really liked it. For her birthday I filled it with her favorite homemade cookies and gave it to her as her gift. I won't miss it at all.

    Traded canned goods from this summer's garden for five dozen eggs.

  • Sheila in Alabama October 03, 2017

    Your husband sounds like a sweet man and handled the discussion perfectly to just tell you how he felt instead of attacking your frugal ways. Communication is key in so many areas of life!

  • Marybeth October 03, 2017

    I'm always amazed that people don't want leftover food. We always take whatever is offered because I can always change it into something else or find someone who will eat it. I hate to see food go in the garbage.

  • Juls Owings October 03, 2017

    I got this same message from Hubby and we talked about him sitting in the coldest part of the front room out of habit, there is just the two of us so it's not like there is no where else to sit that he can't see the tv and since he opened that door I brought up him turning the electric heater on in the bedroom and NOT getting under the ALL the covers. I also bought him so heavier socks and told him to pick out a new pair of winter slippers. If My feet is cold I am cold all over. I am thinking of finding a couple quilts or blankets to hang on the walls in the corner where he prefers to sit to see if that will help .

  • Maxine October 03, 2017

    H'mm. We are in our 70s and frugal because that's what we've always been...we enjoy the lifestyle. However, we do not like being cold, and since we can well afford it, we are turning the temperature up at night a few degrees over what it has always been. This is mostly to satisfy my DH...but he worked for over 40 years so we could afford it. I agree, if my feet are cold, I'm cold all over. But my coldness seems to come from within; throwing another blanket on the bed doesn't cut it.

  • TerriC October 06, 2017

    My husband has a thyroid disorder and often stays quite chilled in winter. I keep the house at about 70f which is still a bit cold to him. I try to make sure he keeps warmer clothing on hand for the winter, add extra blankets to his side of the bed, etc. I've just finished making him some little night caps to go on his poor old head. I told him that in winter he'd likely be warmer if he had on a night cap. But I agree Mable, that if he wants to jack up the heat we can do that, too. Life is too short to remember being miserably cold all winter long. I can cut many areas that bother him far less than being cold.

  • PJGT October 03, 2017

    I understand perfectly...except it is the other way around for us in the summer...my dear husband wonders about the ac...he loves us, so we compromise.

    In the winter he wears a short sleeved tees while the rest of us are in sweaters, cozy pants and warm socks. We adjust the heat if he is still cold after adding layers.

    Where one sits is important as well...I have lap blankets all over!

    25 years and we are still figuring if out!

  • Pam McCormick October 03, 2017

    I thought you were the kindest in how you wrote about your husband being cold and you will increase temp
    And the gift to your friend of the admired bowl with cookies was outstanding example of friendship
    Really awesome to read
    Thank you

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