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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Floral Arrangement Prep The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains an affiliate link.

I cut flowers from the garden.

We harvested Katy apricots, blackberries, chocolate mint, peppermint, chamomile, green onions, and Mission figs from the garden.

I planted seeds for Dark Opal basil and Armenian cucumbers in the garden.

I received an email advertising a discount for season tickets for the Philharmonic. Purchasing them, even with a 10% discount, is not in my budget. I read through the concerts and noticed that one of them was for Dvorak. I love Dvorak's "New World Symphony," so I decided to enjoy it now. I looked up the piece on You Tube and enjoyed listening to and watching the New York Philharmonic perform the piece.

We spent Memorial Day organizing and tidying several things inside and out, so that we can enjoy our home more. 

I used garlic ear oil to treat my ear infection. One dose is usually all it takes, and that was the case this time too.

I opened the windows each morning to air out and cool the house. I was able to keep them open until 9:30 a.m. each morning before the house heated to 79°F/26°C, which is how hot I keep the house in summer (that won't be the case this week, as that was the low temperature this morning!)

My husband took several of our children with him to help his sister (who recently moved and downsized considerably) load a trailer of items to donate. He brought home several items, including tools and tool boxes, a package of balloons, and some white paper lunch bags. 

I bought nothing at all last week.

What did you do to save money last week?



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  • I'm impressed with the variety of flowers that are all blooming at the same time in your garden! Gorgeous photos as always!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - I made a Creamy Fire and Ice Salad (http://approachingfood.com/creamy-fire-and-ice-salad/) using some vegetables I had in the fridge (I only had to buy a red onion), and some sour cream (on sale, plus I had a rebate offer), lemon, homemade yoghurt and homemade ranch dressing mix. Super-yummy and very refreshing in this hot weather!
    - I redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 gc to Amazon, twice. I’m saving my credit there for a large purchase.
    - I dehydrated oregano from my balcony garden and added it to my pantry, and I cut some green onions from the garden and added that to my freezer. I also cut some parsley and used it when making garlic bread.
    - I dehydrated some apples to add to my work lunches for the week.
    - I wanted some good dirt to top up a few planters with but didn’t want to buy a whole bag. My mum had extra and gave me some. Yay!
    - I saved the tissue paper from a package that came in the mail. Perfect to use when making up gift bags.
    - My latest fun and frugal activity is to look at all the posts on Instagram with the hashtag #debtfreecommunity. Lots of tips and inspiration to pick up about frugal living! I don’t have debt besides my mortgage, and I don’t even have an Instagram account (yet), but I can still see the posts, and it’s very inspiring!
    - I needed to see a dentist and decided to switch from the practice I was with from childhood, to a practice in my neighbourhood. I went through Opencare (an app to find a dentist based on what is important to you, ex. location) as it will give me a $50 gift card back once I send in the receipt (as proof of purchase). I checked with my insurance to see what would be covered and confirmed with the receptionist how it would be coded. Between my work insurance and my insurance through my husband’s work, I ended up paying $0 OOP for this visit. So I’ll actually come out $50 ahead! I’ve requested an amazon gc so that I can apply it to my account as there is a large ticket item that I am saving for.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Margaret, I don't know if the rules are different for Swagbucks in Canada, but a reader pointed out to me that if I wait until I have 2200 Swagbucks, I can get an Amazon gift card for that amount (instead of 2500). You can only get one a month at this price (12% off) but it helps! They have other options for $25 gift cards that are also 2200 points instead of 2500. I have been waiting to redeem mine until I have 2200 ever since so that I can make my points go further.

  • Lilli June 04, 2018

    I bought my 25.00 Bath and Body Works last month for 2200 and I just got a 25.00 Jiffy lube for 2200 this week. I had to search for sales under one of the tabs on the redeem page. Hoping to find a Jiffy lube coupon to use with it.

  • mable June 04, 2018

    Lilli, there are lots of Jiffy Lube coupons on line. If you can't find one, ask at the counter and they often have one they will apply. However, I have not paid for a lube job in years because I do shops for www.conferoinc.com. They are legit and by doing a shop I get a free lube job plus payments ranging from $5 to $40, depending on how fast they need it done and so on. I also do other mystery shops, so I can attest to the fact that this company is legitimate. You pay for the service because the place is not supposed to know they are being evaluated, but you get reimbursed for that, plus whatever fee they agree on. We have a van and an old beater that we use in the summer for hauling soil and so on, and I can't remember when I paid to have a lube job done on either one. We also use my sister's car sometimes, so I have had them done on her car, too. It isn't a lot of money, but every penny...

  • Lilli June 04, 2018

    Thanks Mabel, I will check this out. I had signed up for a mystery shop some time ago. It was legitimate, but we live in a rural area and by the time we could have driven to the opportunities, it just wouldn't have been worth it. I will check back and see what is available in my young daughters area.

  • Thanks, Brandy! You're absolutely right, it's better to save one's swagbucks and redeem for a $25 gc as opposed to redeeming in $5 increments. I find for myself, that I'm more motivated to earn SB if know I can redeem it within a week, as opposed to waiting at least a month for it to accumulate. Normally I'm all about delayed gratification for better outcomes, but in this case, I let myself be a bit wasteful with SB because weekly rewards motivate me to earn more, and also because I know that at the end of a month, I'll have between $20-25 worth of gc anyway (I currently fall into a somewhat desirable demographic for surveys). But in general, I agree with you, it's wayyyy better value to redeem for $25 and save the equivalent of $3 in SB! When times are tight, $3 can go a long way.

  • Siiri June 05, 2018

    Thanks for instagram tip!

  • Samantha June 08, 2018

    Hi Margaret,
    I also lack an instagram account (not a fan of the Facebook company), but I'm enjoying the community you mentioned in your post- thanks for sharing! Your Fire and Ice salad looks great!

  • Jennifer June 12, 2018

    Hey Margaret,

    Thanks for the tip about the instagram hashtag. I am on instagram so I'll check it out. Until a hospital visit this past winter, the only debt we had was our house payment, which I had been hoping to start making double principal payments on. But, I'll get back to it!

  • Janet June 04, 2018

    We have been eating the food we have on hand. Last week I worked two days. I had a doctor's appointment and I have new glasses now.
    My glasses were purchased off Zenni. We ate all meals at home except our Sunday lunch . We sold 7 items last week. I organized my closet and I spent time reading to grand children.
    We had family in from out of town and they bought a meal and had it brought to the home from a nearby diner. The place got all of the meals wrong. I called and let them know they are sending us a gc.
    We made Coffee mugs with the grandson for his mother's day gifts.
    I still owe a nice thank you note to a neighbor .
    I have three new clients to work for.

  • Lorna June 04, 2018

    Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy I am so glad you heard the piece from your favourite composer and the philharmonic orchestra too and glad you were able to fix your ear infection. The flowers you pick and display in your home are such a beautiful sight and would brighten up everyone's day just looking at them :).

    Here is what we did to save money last week -

    Earnings -
    - Earned $13.76 from the sale of a homemade bread bag and I banked the money into the pantry stocking budget to recoup more funds spent on additional food storage buckets and a $350 for $300 grocery e-voucher.

    Service and blessing others -
    - Supplied some freshly picked sweet potatoes to our supermarket student delivery driver to feed their student household and some to our chimney sweeps family along with some starts so he can grow some in his garden too.

    Trading -
    - Traded 14 bottles of failed homebrew for a 3kg leg of grass fed pork given to us by one friend to another friend who was using it for garden bug traps saving us $27 over purchasing one in the local supermarkets.

    Purchases -
    - Used 1 x $350 grocery e-voucher and saved an additional $22 with specials and we used the rest for generic brand staples that never come on special such as rice, tinned fruits, cocoa, flour, white and raw sugar, butter, tinned corn, baked beans, diced tomatoes, and tinned mushrooms.
    - Took advantage of another 2 x $15 off $100 purchase in store supermarket in store vouchers I received in the mail and finished off our 2 monthly grocery shopping at that shop and saved all up with 50% off specials $70 in total taking advantage of half price probiotic and Echinacea and zinc tablets.
    - Dh purchased a laptop battery off eBay after pricing them locally saving $118.11 over purchasing them here in our small country town.
    - Purchased a years worth of or 4 x 60pk of activated charcoal and 12 x 20pks of Imodium tablets on eBay saving us $41.86 over purchasing them in our local pharmacy. We put the charcoal in our car and home medical kits and it is amazing what you can use it for.

    Financial -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home deposit bank account bringing us to 25.92% of the way there. We banked $1200 + more than our budget target in May :).
    - Listed 60 handmade items on eBay using a free listing and free final auction value fee if it sells promotion saving $99 on usual listing fees.

    In the gardens -
    - Thinned out and transplanted cauliflower seedlings growing to close in our nursery bed for additional food.
    - Weeded around our broad beans in the front yard, staked them and mulched them and the newly planted cauliflower seedlings with a 50 50 mix of Lucerne hay and grass clippings run over by the ride on lawnmower with catcher on.

    Other usual frugal things we save by doing -
    - Did the usual washing out clip seal freezer bags for reuse, boiling our kettle for cuppas in the slow combustion stove, heated our home with almost free to us cut and sourced firewood, watered garden seedlings in with dish rinsing and shower warm up water, and watered lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machines.

    Hope everyone else has had an equally great week.


  • Melissa V June 05, 2018

    WOOHOOO!!!!! You made it over 25% (almost to 26%!) :) I have been so impressed with your saving and that you keep your eye on the big picture - those small amounts have REALLY added up for you both!

  • Lorna June 05, 2018

    Thank you Melissa V for your encouragement we are really excited too :) to be getting closer to our house target before we take out a bank loan for the remainder.

    We are hoping we will be where we want to be by about October/ November next year with all going well and to plan.


  • Janet June 06, 2018


    May I ask what state you live in ?

  • Janet, Lorna lives in Australia.

  • Genevieve June 10, 2018

    Australia has states too!

  • Lorna June 11, 2018

    Genevieve and Janet you are correct we do have states and I live in Queensland in Australia :) .


  • Mandy June 04, 2018

    We were able to turn the air conditioning off the last three days due to cooler temps.
    We ate all meals at home last week, cooking food from scratch that we already had.
    I made taco soup and added a small amount of orzo pasta I had left in the pantry to use it up. I also made banana bread, cupcakes using up a mix I've had for about a year in my pantry. Frosted with chocolate frosting in the pantry, unopened, that was just as old. They were delish! Some of the meals we made were lasagna, meatloaf, French toast and scrambled eggs, homemade pizza, oatmeal, sandwiches.
    I harvested green onions (sliced into small rings and frozen for use in the winter) and a handful of strawberries.
    I transplanted a volunteer strawberry plant that grew outside the strawberry bed into a pot.
    I planted some other vegetable plants I started from seeds into pots after finding a nest of baby bunnies in my large garden bed. We have struggled with finding a way to keep the rabbits out of our large garden bed in the past years. We have decided to just use our raised beds and containers from now on. We can't keep them out and then they eat my plants. This will also save us money on water usage and no need to rototill up the garden bed, which we have to rent.
    I downloaded several free kindle books
    I was given some audiobooks on a flash drive from a co worker, which I downloaded onto my laptop. Free listening for many hours at work (data entry)
    I resisted the urge to buy some unnecessary "wants", instead saving them into my wish list on Amazon for a possible future purchase.
    I worked several hours of overtime last week, and am doing so again this week.
    I spent $12 on some groceries we were out of for this week. That is all I will be purchasing this week, and hopefully next week as well.
    School is out here and my husband and I both work during the day. My mother is watching our daughter, 7 years old, during the day until my husband picks her up. I pay her $20 per week plus provide food for lunch and snacks. This is saving us a lot of money over hiring a babysitter. She didn't ask for the money but I know she can use it and it's not much.
    Have a great week!

  • Julie June 05, 2018

    Hi Mandy,
    How do the frozen green onions turn out when you defrost and use them? I have never tried freezing them, have always dehydrated mine. Can you use the frozen like fresh or do you just put them in things you are cooking? Thanks!

  • Krissy in Sacramento June 07, 2018

    Same. I tried to freeze some in a plastic water bottle, which I read about somewhere online. The water bottle was supposed to keep the bits separate so they could freeze better, but it was a bust for me.

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