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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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  • Juls Owings October 06, 2017

    Dollar General has the $5 off $25 every couple month here in northwest OH. I see it online as I joined their website and get an email about coupons.

  • Melissa October 02, 2017

    Sometimes a little jam on bread that is not quite as tasty as you like will make a difference...

  • Heidi October 02, 2017

    I have some home canned pears that I am trying to use up as well. Here is a recipe that worked well last week.:
    Buttermilk Pear Ginger Cake
    * I substituted drained canned pears for the fresh.
    * I also baked it in two 8 inch cake pans since we have a small family (I froze one).
    * Sprinkle with powdered sugar and I also topped it with Sugared Almonds that I quickly made on the stove top.

  • Darcy October 02, 2017

    You gave me two great ideas:
    Using canned instead of fresh pears in the recipe and making two pans of it and freezing one. The recipe sound really good, too!

  • Maxine October 02, 2017

    Praying for the people killed and injured in the Las Vegas shootings, and for their families.

    Happy October, everybody! My favorite month of the year. Last week’s frugal accomplishments--

    1. I listed 3 items on craigslist and sold $370 worth of tools in 3 days. Less stuff to store and move.

    2. Used a $4 off $20 purchase coupon at Rite-Aid.

    3. DH, DD and I got flu shots, paid for by our insurance. DH also got a Prevenar 13 pneumonia shot. He had pneumonia last spring.

    4. I returned two items to Amazon for a refund.

    5. Got several alcohol wipes free from the plebotomist and several more from the pharmacist for my first aid kit. I just asked! (They both told me not to buy a box because they would dry out).

    6. Sold an old clothes dryer for scrap metal for $2.50. Best part: they unloaded it.

    7. Cut up an old pair of Levis to make an apron for a Christmas gift. I also made the binding from fabric in my stash. Now I just have to sew it together.

    8. Transplanted an 18 in. tall smoke tree/bush to the nursery bed--things I am taking with me when I move.

    Brandy, while reading your past posts, I read about and admired the costume Winter made for the re-enactment. I am absolutely blown away by her skill and attention to detail…and this was her first project! My first project was hemming a tablecloth and napkins!

  • Holly October 02, 2017

    Ladies, Walmart.com has Ball 12 count wide mouth quart jars on rollback for $10.26. I ordered four cases with free shipping over $35. (Walmart is an hour from me) And then it asked me if I wanted to wait til Saturday to receive them and it would take $8.26 off so with tax I paid $35.17 for 48 wide mouth quart jars!

  • Juls Owings October 02, 2017

    Thank you Holly. I ordered some as I am down to the last 2 cases of wide mouth quarts and have 80 lbs of apples to can.

  • Samantha October 02, 2017

    This last week we celebrated a friend's birthday over an ice cream social. We played games at their home, and we took homemade pumpkin spice ice cream and other toppings from our food storage that needed to get rotated out.

    We also celebrated a niece's 2nd birthday and purchased a reasonable gift through rewards points online. I walked around Target trying to find another small gift to go with her main present and decided that she'd be receiving plenty of gifts and decided to save the money instead. She indeed had more gifts than what she knew what to do with!

    I cooked nearly all of our meals at home, and worked on rotating food and eating from the freezer. It's been raining all week so at least I won't have to water the garden! We also saved $30 from our utility bill last month by changing our heating and cooling schedule and unplugging unused appliances. It was a welcome savings!

  • Dara October 02, 2017

    From the mother of two small children, thank you so much for not buying an additional gift! We are often overwhelmed with gifts from well-meaning relatives to the point where our children can't enjoy what they do receive for being so distracted with their presents. Then we have to store/take care of it all Less is definitely more!

  • Mitzie October 02, 2017

    I cleaned out clutter and took a car load to the local thrift store.

    I ate from my freezer and pantry.

    I used the library and spent $1(suggested donation) to inter library loan a book rather than purchase it new for over $20.

    I walked my dog twice a day. I gave the dog a bath and got a shower myself in the process :/.

    I repaired several things around the house that weren't major but definitely annoying and inconvenient to have to deal with on a regular basis.

    I am working on a meal plan. Going through my pantry there were several items that had not expired that I will never eat. They were sent to the local food pantry for someone else to enjoy.

    I organized my small appliances and got rid of the ones no longer used or that were redundant.

    I switched over from my summer wardrobe to my winter wardrobe and donated clothing I never wore, did mending, stain treatment and altered a few things on the clothing that I will be keeping an wearing. I also aired out my winter coats and did mending and alterations on them.

    I donated some socks that I never wore that I was gifted. I am slowly trying to teach myself not to hold on to something just because it was a gift. Sometimes those gifts are clutter that become cumber. I can stop many things from coming into my home, but some people don't get that I don't need anything and a few people like my parents I choose not to have that battle, I just accept the gift and pass it on.

    I have enjoyed the cooler temperatures and I am spending as much time outside as I can. I did clean up outside around the house and did some fall garden maintenance.

    As part of my meal planning and some long term prepping, I'm looking at some freeze dried and dehydrated foods. If anyone has any websites or books or other sources that they have found worth while I would be interested in what you have found helpful or beneficial - even if it was a failure and you learned from it.

  • Juls Owings October 02, 2017

    check Brandy's bulk page she has a list of who she orders from. That's what I did.

  • Teresa October 03, 2017

    Hi Mitzie,
    There is a FB group called Safe Canning Recipes and there is a link to a FB group for dehydrating on their page. The canning group follows safe canning practices and the admins are very helpful.

  • Christina October 02, 2017

    It's so sad about what is happening in Las Vegas. Sending good thoughts their way.

    I attended a free business class at the local library. I learned so much valuable information! I encourage everyone to check out what free classes and resources your library has.

    My Keurig broke that a coworker gave me last year. I will not buy another one. I'm experimenting with pour over. So far it's pretty weak.

    Here are some other frugal things from this past week:

    Happy Monday, Everyone!

  • cathy October 02, 2017

    The keys to good, dark, full-bodied pour over coffee are: having a cone-shaped filter, dark roast coffee, making sure your coffee isn't ground too course (if it's ground for a drip coffee maker, it'll be too course), and pouring slowly. I started with a plain Melitta filter over 30 years ago; now we use a Chemex because we make 8 cups at a time. We use a little bit of the boiling water to wet the grounds. Then give it a minute or two for the grounds to absorb the water and "bloom." Then slowly pour water so it fills up the filter and then wait for it to drip through the grounds. If you need more water, then just as it's about to run out of the filter, add a bit more. We've found that this way it drips slower, which makes the coffee richer. Apologies if I'm telling you something you already know!

  • Juls Owings October 02, 2017

    This is what to coffee pot does that Mom always used...hum, Brother was 6 so 1955. The finer the ground the stronger the coffee,like espresso.

  • annlee s October 04, 2017

    Christina, years ago we lived "up north" here in Canada, the folks in that small town made their coffee (and I copied them)
    by boiling water in a pot, when at a boil they would toss in a handful of coffee grounds, a tiny bit of salt, and set the pot aside for 10 minutes before pouring. it was delicious. ann they called it cowboy coffee.

  • Jeannie October 02, 2017

    Last week's money saving efforts were directed toward cleaning out, throwing away, and selling junk. My husband posted (free) in the local paper a slightly used electric hedge clipper which we needed at our suburbia house before we moved to the country 13 years ago. It was destined for the dump since we don't own miles of electric extension cords and have never used it at this house. It sold for $10. Hubby shoved the cash in his pocket, began looking around, and then asked: “What else can we sell?” He is having fun and I am encouraging him.

    This week will be a time of transition from a summer to a winter garden. The summer garden is winding down and it is time to begin harvesting everything before the first frost which is usually around October 15. Most of the seeds for the winter garden have been planted but that is all that has been done.

    This week I kept a list of all I have harvested:
    Zipper peas, White rice beans, green beans, Lima beans
    Carrots, squash, chili peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions, okra
    Swiss chard, collard greens, French sorrel, kale, lettuce
    Strawberries (just beginning to bear again)
    Pears (from the wild Chinese tree)
    Peanuts (dug one plant to see if they are ready, they are)
    Herbs: basil, chives, mint, stevia, lemon balm
    Medicinal herbs: feverfew, ashwaghanda, gynura

    I have posted a detailed garden update

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Mandy October 02, 2017

    What is your secret to keeping the animals from eating your garden? I lost so much to critters this year :(

  • Juls Owings October 02, 2017

    We lost 97% of the sweet potato harvest to mice this year. Some was the size of Hubby's size 10 shoe :(

  • Jeannie October 03, 2017

    MICE THE SIZE OF YOUR HUBBY'S SHOE! That is scary! Mice also carry diseases which makes them dangerous. I haven't had a problem with them because my neighbor loves cats. I see them in the field stalking mice and welcome them (the cats are stalking the mice, not my neighbor). Scooter, hates them and barks and whines while watching them through the fence (It is my neighbor's cat that Scooter is barking at not my neighbor. No, wrong again. Scooter also barks at my neighbor. Forget I said anything).

    Wait, did I misread your comment? Was it the sweet potatoes or the mice that were the size of your hubby's shoe?

    Just ignore me.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

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