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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Helping Grandpa The Prudent Homemaker

We had the most beautiful weather all week: temperatures of 70-75ºF/21-24ºC. I opened the windows and we enjoyed fresh air in the house all week.

We enjoyed lemons, Swiss chard, oregano and parsley from the garden.

I enjoyed working in the garden in the record highs for this time of year. Usually, I'm still sporting long sleeves and a jacket while I do the busy work of January and February in the garden, but this year I'm in a short-sleeved t-shirt.

I used stakes and concrete mesh wire that I already had to add another vertical growing space to the garden. I planted Armenian cucumber seeds under it.

I planted seeds for alpine strawberries and poppies.

I opened the house up to air it out for several hours each day.

I stocked up on pasta (I bought 96 pounds) at the lowest price it gets here ($0.49 a pound). This price only comes around 2-3 times a year. When I was leaving the store, I picked up a dime I found in the parking lot.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a Target gift card. I'll use this to reduce my out-of-pocket expenses for February's shopping trip.

I read two e-books from the library.

My two eldest downloaded a combined 12 free songs from the library through the Freegal program.

We enjoyed watching the last bits of the lunar eclipse early in the morning.

I gladly accepted a hand-me-down infant car seat and matching stroller from a reader who lives very close by.

Nap The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Comments

  • Rhonda A. February 05, 2018

    I really liked the flexibility with this type of meal planning. If something came up, like an appointment, we would choose a meal that was quick and easy or could be made around the appointment. I was careful to save the "quick and easy meals" for those days, too. Otherwise, we could choose from the list what to have according to what we felt like having that day. It flowed nicely with our moods instead of constraining us to a rigidly set weekly/daily meal plan.

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden February 08, 2018

    I live this idea nd I think I'll try to do this in some way soon. Thanks for the idea!

  • Jennifer O February 06, 2018

    I have gotten out of that habit (list of meals we have everything for). Thank you for reminding me!

  • Ant February 06, 2018

    I don’t post much.....mostly read. I very much enjoyed this post Rhonda. Gives me some things to think about incorporating here. Thank you!

  • Lesliehas6kids February 05, 2018

    He’s darling!

  • Cindy in the South February 05, 2018

    I made pizza using the Tightwad Gazette's recipe for the crust. I made a much easier version of tomato sauce than the one she uses, although hers looks fabulous!. I just use tomato paste, water, spices, and a little sugar to cut the acid. I cooked my 49 cent lb chicken. I used the leftover chicken in a casserole, which I combined with leftovers from my $1.00 turnip greens (which I sauteed with leftover onions, added a bunch of spices) cooked rice, added cheese. The key word here is "leftovers"...lol. I took my lunch to work, as always. I cut my hair. I keep it at chin length so it is easy to trim. I did my nails. I made mulberry "tea" for my free mulberries (I think it is probably more of a fruit drink, with sugar and water, but whatever....lol). We received two inches of rain over the weekend, and my back yard is a floating mess. I slogged out to my car this morning in the front yard, which is higher ground than my back yard, by about an inch. The water table is very high here. I did go walk at the local park by the river during a window of time when it was not raining. I just keep on keeping on......

  • Cindy in the South February 05, 2018

    By the way Brandy, your little guy is adorable!

  • Becky February 05, 2018

    After you tip last week, I looked for the pasta at that price, and it wasn't in our store:(. Oh, well--we use gluten-free pasta for our house-hold use, but I was hoping to get some regular at that price for times when I take food places. I'm glad you got so much at that rock-bottom price.

    Your son is SO cute! Of course, you already know that, but thanks for sharing his cuteness with all of us:)

    This week, I went and got groceries using a $10/50 coupon, got 69c avacados, Tillamook cheese for $4.99/2-lb brick, 18 egg for 99c, and a lot of other groceries.

    My autistic niece decided unexpectedly to spend the weekend with us rather than go out of town with her parents. Part of the hours are paid, part are auntie/uncle time. But, it's a really good thing I will be getting a little extra money because....my oven broke completely, with a Big Bang, a smell like burning electrical makes, and a blown fuse. My husband said it was non-fixable. It was an old one that came with our house, and has been on it's last leg for quite some time, but we were using it up. I guess it's used up:) He went out and got a new one the same day. He just went back to the same little hardware store out in the country where he bought our microwave a few weeks ago (when it rains, it pours) and got a middle-of-the road oven/stove. Our entire family has bought appliances from that store for years and years, and they have great prices and great customer service, such as giving him $50 off because he hauled it himself in our van.

    Rob finished our greenhouse. It was so nice that he was feeling better from the flu that knocked him flat for almost 2 weeks, and could get out there and finish it up. He was able to use some free, reclaimed boards to build most of the planting bench inside. I only had time to plant 3 kinds of seeds, but I will be planting more this morning. It's time to get those peppers going! They take so long to grow, as do onions. All of the seeds I ordered are here, and what I do is plant about 1/2 of the packages of each kind of pepper, and save the rest for next year. That way, I don't have to order so many seeds each year, and I've had great success doing this in the past. If I need a great many plants, then I will plant them all, but things like pear tomatoes, Serrano peppers, etc. are not items I use very many plants of each year.

    We were able to have a little Super Bowl party for the family and a few kids my niece brought along, using things I made myself. Everyone that came brought chips and I had bought some....the kids were delighted. It was just another example of how it doesn't have to be fancy or expensive to be enjoyed. I made turkey hot dogs, home-made chili, raw veggies, chips, simple dip, guacamole, and some brownies from a mix I had. I arranged it in a simplified "stadium" on the table and everyone loved it. Some of the ones on Pinterest were outstanding and amazing, but mine was quite simple and did not require me to purchase any special pans or anything to build it. They were touting "make your stadium for only $25 or less" and I decided to go with the less, and use pans I already had on hand. (I had not seen this idea before, although I'm sure many of you have, but you basically were supposed to buy lots of tin pans, and tape or glue them together into a football stadium and serve your food from your "stadium.")

    My oldest daughter and son-in-law were coming for dinner when the oven broke. It's really hard to cook dinner without a stove or oven. So, my daughter and I got on the computer and figured out how to make baked potatoes in my Instant Pot, and after that, we made carrots in there. The meat was BBQ'd, and by the time it was time to sauté the frozen green beans, the new stove was installed! I'm sure going out to dinner would have been fun, but it was much better to have our home-made food, and the peace and quiet to visit in at home. Our son-in-law joked that he was sure we had invited them that day because we knew we would need his help installing the new stove:)

    There are pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/weekly-update-and-saving-money-broken-stove-edition-february-3-2018/

  • Jan February 11, 2018

    Instant Pot baked potatoes are a game changer!!!

  • Megan Z. February 05, 2018

    I’ve been gone or sick almost the entire January. In some ways I spent more than I would have but in others I saved a lot. I did have to pay for some meals out but I didn’t go to the grocery almost the whole month. I now need to do a big stocking up on meat so that will be expensive. I was able to find some odds and ends in the freezer than I’m thawing out for my husband to eat this week. Hopefully the stores will have some good sales this week.

    I am going to start some seeds indoors. I have eggplant, tomatoes and peppers to begin. I can’t wait until it warms up so I can garden outside.

  • Jane February 06, 2018

    I hope you are completely well very soon Megan

  • Laurie in central NC February 05, 2018

    Oh my, such a sweetie! I can't wait until I can open the house up for lots of fresh air. We've got any needed garden seeds for the year. Now I need to make a plan for what get's planted when. Then you for sharing your life and wisdom with us here. I'm happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/02/scones-suet-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • Terri February 05, 2018

    Your son is so precious! It will be a couple months before we can open the windows and air out the house, but I am looking forward to that day. Your blog post last week made me start thinking about planting and I looked up the last frost date for our area and it is right around the corner in March. So I started my seeds indoors last night, just herbs though since we live in a condo and don't have much gardening space.

    I've been blogging the things I do to save money every day at my blog: https://thefrugallist.wordpress.com/

  • Maxine February 05, 2018

    We are living in an isolated town of 200 people until next summer. There isn't much reason to leave the house, because there isn't much here! So, 5 of the 7 days last week were no-spend. That was the biggie!

    We also cooked and ate all meals at home, per the menu plan I wrote last weekend. Doing the same this week.

    Accepted a 7-day trial of PBS/Masterpiece streaming in order to watch all of the episodes of Bletchley Circle, which would have cost $6.95. I am canceling the trial todayr

    Saved $4 at Hobby Lobby with a phone app. I didn't have it, but the lady in line behind me did!

    Got a good deal on airline tickets for a family trip to Hawaii in April (celebrating our 50th anniversary).The next morning the Honey app notified me that I had earned 998 points on the tickets. Only 1,000 points and you get a $10 GC. I checked my account and I have over 2,000 points pending.

    Brandy, do you ever buy trees from mail order nurseries, and if so, which nurseries?

  • Bobbie February 05, 2018

    Those photos are adorable! Such a fun age :)

    This week I decided it was time for me to give up soda (I'm admittedly a bit of an addict). I switched to seltzer water, and it has been great! I had to drink a few of them before I could finally get over the lack of sugar in them, But wow- now I like it quite a bit. I guess it's the bubbles I like, not the sugar. I only buy unsweetened, I can't stand artificial sugar. Hopefully this will be a little bit of a money saver for us.

    Still working on amending my garden soil. Saving my coffee grounds to add to my raised beds, and will clean out the chicken coop again in another two weeks to spread in the garden.Im in Southwest Virginia, so I won't till it in until the first few weeks in March. It's still a wee bit cold out there :)

    Made a big pot of chilli this weekend using leftover ground beef, dried beans, and stewed tomatoes with spices. Was very inexpensive and fed us for three meals. I have been trying to shop for 2-3 weeks at a time and it seems to be working okay. Our food/household budget for our family of 4 is $250 per month. Avoiding the stores helps me stick to that.

    I met a family through the course of my employment who were complaining about the amount of their food stamps- they are a family of 7 and receive $1250 per month. I about fell over- I thought the $1250 was quite generous for only 7 people. We do not receive anything like that- it's no judgement for those who do- but I was still pretty shocked.

    We adopted a small dog this weekend. The kids fell in love and they have all been playing and having a great time together. Not frugal, but the little fluff ball sure adds some love into our home.

  • Louise February 05, 2018

    Bobbie, I don't think your comment about the amount of $1,250 for food stamps for seven people was judgmental. We are not on any assistance and budget. Our groceries, including toiletries, paper products and cleaning products is $440/ month for 4 people. We eat very well and rarely go out. Making food from scratch, shopping sales is very doable, but takes time most people don't want to spend. I was in line at Walmart recently and amazed at the cart-fulls of processed and pre-packaged foods. Expensive and unhealthy. Its a shame few younger people cook from scratch anymore or attempt to, saying they dont have the time. I have a full-time job and im only 43. It has saved us a lot of money and we are healthier for it to.

  • Lynn February 05, 2018

    Good for you giving up the soda habit. I drank 2 Dr. Peppers a day for 20 years. I had a patient that lost his leg to Diabetes. His Doctor attributes the Diabetes to his soda consumption. That did it for me quit cold turkey with bubbly water. Never looked back. Lost weight and feel better.

  • PJGT February 05, 2018

    I like the bubbles too and have a non-electric Seltzer maker. I'm the only one that uses it; however there are ways to hook up a larger tank if it were to be used more. Lowers the cost more and more.

  • Melonie K. February 06, 2018

    I use seltzer to cut my soda drinking too! I agree with you - for me, it's the bubbles! My family jokes that I am that fish from Finding Nemo, swimming around yelling "Bubbles! Bubbles! MY bubbles!" ;)

  • Lilli February 05, 2018

    I want to thank Rhonda A for all the encouragement she left me last week. I am trying hard to focus only on the beautiful things in life as I am feeling particularly low. I have skipped several visits with my elderly father due to the gasoline expense. I went and saw him yesterday and had a wonderful visit. I also saw my nephew and was so happy to see him. I wanted to make the most of my trip, so I went by Aldi's to exchange some mushrooms that looked like they had cream cheese on top of them. Bizarre! I ran into the Dollar Tree and bought my daughter a six pack of Hansens soda. She had requested soda and cans do better as I can ration them out. I cooked up some heavenly bacon from Costco that have off the clearest grease I have ever seen. I saved it and will use it for cooking selected items. I took all the fresh vegetables I had bought and cooked all of them. They were packaged and frozen for future use. I often mean to cook them and don't and they go bad. There will be no more of that ! We loss three of our six Siamese cats last week. Sugar cookie was heart broken. These were rescues we took in about 8 years ago
    and bottle fed . I have made a list of all kind of things to try at home this month. Sugar cookie will be very unhappy that we have no money to do anything with this month but it doesn't take much to make her happy. I have a few ideas that should help. Here's to wishing everyone a great week. The photos of Brandys children always make me smile.

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