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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Yellow Pansies The Prudent Homemaker

$0.56 worth of pansies cheer up this pot and I can see them from inside the house.

I began sewing a birthday gift for a daughter using fabric and a pattern I had on hand.

My dad had leftover scraps from his back patio/deck (which runs right into our matching stairs between our backyards) to redo our stairs. Last year, a leak developed in the water line underneath the stairs. The only way to get to it was to take the stairs apart (and redoing it would be difficult, as the screws strip the boards when being removed). My dad cut holes in the stairs and my husband repaired the leak. My dad will redo the stair treads using his scraps this week.

We celebrated a fun Valentine's Day at home. I used some mini heart-shaped cake pans that I inherited from my grandmother to bake lemon poppyseed muffins for breakfast.

I used a small amount Rit Dye I had to dye a table runner pink. The table runner was ordered online years ago and was supposed to be a cream color, but was more orange, and I never really liked it. Dying it pink made it perfect for Valentine's Day and upcoming daughters' birthdays. You can see a photo over on my Instagram feed.

I spent some time organizing things indoors. While I organizing, I was able to find a place for some things I had been keeping in a basket. I didn't want to buy another basket, but I also needed a place to put the items that were being stored in the basket. The basket will be repurposed to what I used to use it for (diapers for a newborn). 

I asked my 11-year-old to go through the baby girl socks that I have. I figured most of them (if not all) were too old and had the elastic shot, and that if I have a girl I would need new socks. She went through them all, threw out the ones that were no longer any good and any that didn't have matches, and I still had socks that were good left, so if I have a girl, I'm set for socks (plus, I gained some space in the drawer where the other socks were being kept).

I got rid of some things I no longer needed, which made my existing storage space in my closet more effective.

I was wondering if I could get rid of enough items for a garage sale. I decided to clean out several closets (with family help) and we reorganized the linen closet and the games/dress up closet. I went through the girls' clothing boxes from sizes 6 to 12, keeping only the nicest items that would fit in each box and that were liked by the girls (I had enough in some sizes for more than one box, so they needed to be narrowed down in order to fit in the storage space I have). We put several things aside for a garage sale in March.

I still don't have enough of my own things to sell, but my mom was going through her closets this week as well, and she has a ton of stuff she no longer wants, so we piled her items on a table in my entry (with my stuff filling in under the table) to prepare for a sale. This next week, we both plan on going through more closets and cupboards and getting rid of things we are no longer using. I plan on using whatever money I make from the sale to go to the community garage sales in April to get things we need. I recently updated my garage sale list, so I am ready to go shopping with specific needs and wants in mind.

We cleaned the inside of the dishwasher and the vacuum cleaner so that both will run more efficiently.

 Pansies in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker


$1.13 worth of pansies to fil in my urn.

I went to the local nursery to purchase some more drip line for the garden. While there, I noticed they were clearing out their pansies for $0.25 each (regular prices is $0.98 each). Pansies grow here from October through April/May. The manager came over to talk with me, and he told me I could have a flat of pansies for $3 (saving an additional $1). I purchased 16 pansy and viola plants for $3 ($0.1875 each), which will fill in a couple of spaces in my garden until warmer weather will permit me to plant something else in their place. I had specifically been looking for annuals (as well as the drip line) to go in the center urn for my white garden, but most of what I wanted would not be available until mid to late April. This filled in the spot nicely and gave me flowers for a couple more spaces in the garden. This was the only money I spent all week.

I harvested garlic chives and green onions from the garden.


What did you do to save money last week?




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  • Elizabeth M. February 19, 2018

    Sounds like a wonderful meal plan. I'd be very happy with it.

  • Tammy February 19, 2018

    Thank-you Elizabeth. I am happy that we have food on hand, as this has not always been the case. I realize that I am blessed to have food and fresh water. I've tried to keep a pantry because I don't want my family or me to ever be hungry again. It was difficult when my kids were little for awhile. Things are much better now. I don't have a huge pantry and my freezer is almost empty. But we are making it, and that is a blessing. As soon as I can I will stock the pantry and freezer again, watching for sales.

  • PJGT February 20, 2018

    Tammy, I am with you in always having food, even if it is not exactly what we want to eat. That's when I started buying rice, beans and oatmeal by the 25-50 lb bags...one at a time of course since they take do much on a meager food budget. Eventually we had a supply to rotate and there are a ton of recipes for these three staples. Cooking with rice and beans was new to me as I grew up on a farm with plenty of meat, potatoes and vegetables. Very excited to hear that you are doing so well during tough times!

  • Tammy February 20, 2018

    Thank-you PJGT!

  • Melonie K. February 20, 2018

    Tammy, your menu plan has made me SO hungry! :D I am going to have to make quiche soon - hadn't made it in a while and you've given me the urge.

  • Tammy February 21, 2018

    Thank-you Melonie K.

  • Becky February 18, 2018

    The first part of the week was about normal. I cooked several items, went to work, did homeschool, etc. as always. My niece and I had a good time throwing rocks in the river and counting the cars on a ferry--we had a sunny, but brisk day, and it fell good to get out. I put a picture of that on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/weekly-update-saving-money-february-17-2018/

    The second half of the week went a little wild.

    My nephew got sick, so he stayed at my house Wednesday morning and Thursday, while I did homeschool with the big girls. We also had a Valentine's lunch for my Mom on Wednesday, and then she took him to his house and watched him for the afternoon. The chocolate was really flowing at my house and at my niece and nephew's house this week. I finally put some of their chocolate away! It was too tempting for me with all those bowls of candy out to nibble on. They had a youth group meeting there Tuesday night, and I took some food to contribute to that, and that's one reason there was a lot left--it was my own fault!!!

    Friday, I took a friend to the dentist, shopped the sales at one store on the way, and also did some errands while out and about. That evening, my husband took me on a date to JoAnn's so I could spend the last gift card I had. What a guy!!! I got several patterns for 99c each, and some embroidery floss, plus some sale fabric. When I got home, and for hours and hours on Saturday, I corrected and graded. I have an upcoming meeting with the place where we are enrolled in a diploma program for the girls and I need to turn grades in. My husband brought home Chinese food as a treat because he knows how long it takes, and how much I don't enjoy grading and scoring. I love the teaching part.

    Then, I hunted up fabric, pattern, notions, thread, etc. and started some sewing projects for the girls. It's more challenging to find things since we moved, and hard to set up the machines, as there isn't much room for me to do that. So, this long weekend is a perfect opportunity. They will just need to eat elsewhere for a couple of days. Then, I had a sick kid in the night, and another one who decided to work on her laundry at 12:22 (???), and so only got 4 hours of sleep, then woke up to an inch of snow (our first this winter). So, we stayed put today, and I got some sewing worked on, and lots and lots of rest, as I was not feeling super good (sadly, probably eating out is where my stomach ache came from--I'm pretty sensitive to food cooked elsewhere, which is my own fault, but annoying just the same). I was able to find some flannel for p.j. pants for one, and a nightie for another in my stash. I cut them both out, and started on the pants. I was also able to finish up a skirt I started a while back. I was so glad I found the buttons, made the buttonholes and got them sewed on. I have several more hours to devote to this tomorrow, and can't wait to see what else I can get done!

    There are a couple of stores that are having a price war near my sister's house. My aunt gave me the special Safeway coupons that are for that Safeway only, and told us what was on sale at the new Waremart (like Winco but with no bakery or deli). I got 10 lbs of potatoes/99c each (2), apple juice for 99c (2) and Ritz crackers for 99c (1). My husband got pork loin for 99c/lb.(2), tomatoes for 25c/can (2), o.j. for 99c/carton, cereal for 99c/box. He did it again today when he took Patsy to youth group. I shopped Fred Meyers (Kroger) using the app for coupons, and got peanut butter for 99c/small jar (5), apple juice for 99c (5), and 1-lb pkgs pasta for 50c (5). I also got some other items that we were out of, such as celery, milk, cottage cheese, etc. It is work to shop the sales, use the coupon apps, go to several stores, etc., but it is worth is to me to stock my pantry for much less than if I didn't do it. We are also using a lot of our home-canned/frozen items, which makes me happy since that's why I preserved them and it leaves me more money for these other items when I find them at a great price.

  • Lorna February 18, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) and what a cheery display of lovely pansies for such a low cost.

    This is how we saved and what we got accomplished this week -

    Home organisation -
    - DH and I organised and vacuum sealed all unused things in the linen cupboard in the bathroom and managed to fit more blankets and sheets from our dressing room in there too. We also went through our dressing/medical/second pantry room and vacuum sealed all out of season clothing and also the remaining blankets on top of the medical bookshelf. Both the bathroom linen cupboard and dressing rooms look far more organised and clean now.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.

    In the garden -
    - Planted a 3.5mt row of turnip seeds in one of the vegetable gardens.

    Gifts -
    - Said yes to a close friend to the offer of 24 figs from her tree she couldn't use saving $24 over purchasing them.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased a local supermarket $350 E-Voucher for $300 for groceries from eBay saving $50 or 16.66% off usual prices. With this we stocked up the items that never come on special here being our staples. We purchased 5mths worth of flour, 6mths worth of white sugar, 6mths worth of rolled oats, 3mths worth of tinned champignons and diced tomatoes, 4mths worth of tinned pears, 2mths of cocoa powder, 4mths worth of powdered milk and 6mths worth of freezer bags. This brings us now to 12mths worth of flour, raw sugar, and oats and we are working on more stocks of other items gradually as our budget permits.
    - We purchased a new mattress for our bed after ours collapsed which pretty much decimated this month to date's house deposit savings but it was a needed item and we are both sleeping much better and DH is in far less pain with his back injuries too.
    - While picking up pain medications for DH I noticed that our local pharmacy had specials from 15 - 63% off multivitamins and needed ear drops. We purchased 3 x 100 tablet bottles of multivitamins and 1 container of ear drops saving $47.24 on usual prices.

    Fuel savings -
    - Whilst out of town at a church function we came across a service station that had fuel for 22c per litre less than our local town so we filled up our car fuel tank saving $6.69.

    Electricity savings -
    - Saved $7.50 by using our solar lanterns to light our home at night and only turning on our electric hot water system when needed.

    eBay Listings -
    - Listed 10 handmade items on eBay on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :) .

  • momsav February 19, 2018

    Lorna, Don’t you love saving money when buying gift cards? That was a great savings you got! Too bad about the mattress but good about better sleep and pain management. It’s funny how things work out, sometimes. I love serendipity.

  • Lorna February 19, 2018

    Hi Momsav and an E-Voucher is kind of buying your groceries ahead of time and they email you a code which you can use for online shopping here in the supermarkets. With buying the over $300 E-Voucher we also got free delivery (usually $11 here) to our door as well so it saved us even leaving the house.

    We also love serendipity too and the mattress cost is well worth a good night's sleep and also to see my husband in not so much pain is a blessing too. The happy side effect of my husband sleeping well is he is much happier for me to be around too :p and not so grumpy :D , which is always a plus with anyone who suffers chronic constant pain.

  • Jenny February 20, 2018

    Hi Lorna, may I ask what solar lanterns you use? I've been tracking my electricity spending and realised that my biggest days are when I need to use the lights early in the morning. If I could use solar power then, I'd probably drop my bill.

  • Melonie K. February 20, 2018

    I'd love to know what solar lanterns you use as well. We have a couple, including two of the little blow-up Luci lanterns, but I find they don't shed much light for reading. I'd like to find something brighter. Do you use your lanterns for task lighting like that, or more for general light around the house for things like the bathroom or dining? I do try to read books on my phone at night, so we have just one lamp on, but sometimes I want to read a paper book, as I'm tired of electronics by then. I've read some folks use a headlamp for a reading light - has anyone here done that? I wonder how fast I'd kill the battery.

    Lorna, I've been meaning to ask - have you a blog? I so enjoy your comments and would love to see what things look like that you describe. I often wonder if the idea in my head is anywhere close to what things look like at others' houses.

  • Lorna February 20, 2018

    Hi Melonie K and glad you enjoy my comments but unfortunately I don't have a blog as I am usually so busy here in everyday things.

  • Lorna February 20, 2018

    Hi Jenny and Melonie :).

    These are similar to the ones we use that we buy on eBay -


    They have little solar panels you mount outside the house in the sun and plug them into the solar lantern to charge, even in bright sun all day you would want to charge them on your laptop/computer/car through a phone charger via DC for another hour though to get a full charge using a USB charging cable, best to take in your lantern to a shop to get the USB charging cable they cost about $5 here (known as USB to mini USB). This is also good because if it is cloudy you have a way to charge them too.

    We like these ones as they have a hook on them and we can hook them on our neckline of our tops or hang them on hooks near where we are working to light an area. In the lounge room at night we hang them on our venetian blinds behind our lounge chairs to read and do computer work at night. We run with around 5 - 6 of these so we have some in use while the others charge.

    Any way we can reduce our electricity/power bills is good I think as utilities are getting so high in price everywhere :( .

  • momsav February 20, 2018

    Lorna, Thanks for the link to the light. Once before you gave me information on solar lights but a picture is much nicer. I never did buy because I was unsure of which one. I can buy lights at our local hardware but they are small and cheap. And, I mean cheap as in poor construction which is not what I want. This is very helpful.

  • Andrea Q February 20, 2018

    Have you tried LED bulbs? You can buy 60-watt equivalents for $2 or $3 each. It costs around $1 per year to run an LED bulb for 2 hours a day (every day for a year) and the bulbs last for years (some say 30+ years). US states have Home Energy Savings Programs that provide rebates for energy efficient products or have special offers where you can buy lightbulbs directly from them. The programs are often the state abbreviation and the word save or saves (masssave.com, mosaves.com, michigansaves.org) Maybe your state has something like that?

  • Jenny February 19, 2018

    I love the white pansies in the white urn. So pretty.
    This week I cooked a bit from the garden. I made a kale and tomato fritatta. I had chopped onions gifted to me from a church fund raising event and so I used those as well as chives. Only the eggs and the oil were bought Very yummy.
    Also made another lemon slice from lemons in the garden. Gave my parents some items I got as part of work's Christmas present to staff, a mobile phone battery charger and a garden moisture gadge.
    The roses are blooming and I have them in the house.
    Finally I picked up 5 packets of wraps (6 per pack) for $2.00 total. One wrap is enough for lunch, so I have the beginnings of 25 work lunches. I just need fillings for the wraps and I think the garden will supply.

  • Gardenpat February 19, 2018

    I can’t wait for our Midwest weather to turn to Spring once and for all so that we can enjoy flowers blooming outside!! But, for now, we are grateful that Saturday’s snow was light and that it has melted away already!
    To save money:
    This week a friend brought over two big bags of apple peelings that I have been tossing into my food processor with some leftover bread and spinach to make a tasty treat for my chickens! The 8 of them have still been giving us about 4 dozen eggs/week!!
    I made strawberry cheesecake Rice Krispie treats and oatmeal raisin cookies from ingredients I had on hand.
    I made a big batch of Heroburgers on free long baguettes which we will enjoy for a week!
    I hard boiled another dozen eggs from our chickens to go into the fridge for a healthy snack.

    I was able to get 5 jars of peanut butter and 5 bottles of 100% apple juice for 89 cents each!

    I picked up 4 more 100% cotton flat sheets to use for quilt backs at the thrift store for 98 cents each! Also 2 nice food storage containers for a total of 98 cents! I do love half price Wednesday’s at our local SA store!

    I was tempted to buy a DIY book of mixes and pantry items but I looked online at our public library and there it was! I reserved it and went over about an hour later since it was on my errand running route and there it was with my name on it so I could just run in and out and be on my way to other errands within less than 5 minutes! Saved me almost $30 over the price of buying the book!!!

    Extra income:
    We sold 3 dozen eggs .
    I sold a scrappy quilt for $150.
    We built and sold a soap cutter for $130.
    We built and sold 3 small soap display cases for $140
    We built and sold 2 simple tabletop open bookcases for $200.
    I am quilting another quilt that I made for a client which I will finish this week and be paid for with customer provided materials.
    I have another quilt to make in the queue to make for another client when I finish this one.
    I am part way through upholstering a chair for a client.
    So our little side gig business is doing quite well to supplement our income!!

    We are planning our outside projects- building and planting so that once Spring actually arrives, we will be ready!!
    All in all, a very good week!!

  • Melonie K. February 20, 2018

    Gardenpat, I'd say your side gig is definitely working out! Congratulations on a great lot of sales!

  • Jennifer O. February 21, 2018

    I do a lot of quilting and never thought to use purchased sheets as backing! Thank you!

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Guest September 24, 2018

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