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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Floral Arrangement Prep The Prudent Homemaker

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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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  • tanja June 06, 2018

    still having high temperatures in the Netherlands, that usely leads to heavy showers with lost of rain, hail, gusts and thunderstorms at the end of warm days. So far no real damage to the vegetable garden.
    We eat strawberries from the garden and I cut Basil from the garden. I accepted left over ham and cheese buns after working at an event in the townhouse and also after volunteer work at the sportscanteen.
    Used an app to get some free or half price groceries.
    A college is throwing empty deposit money bottles (?) in the bin for some time now, I take them out and bring them to the supermarket to cash the money.
    How easy-going some people are...its just lazyness.
    Greetings Tanja

  • Cindy in the South June 06, 2018

    I drove three hours to the northern part of the state and, along, with my cousin, went to Decoration Day, at the "other" family grave yard, and decorated our grandparent's graves. I did go out to eat with my cousins at the restaurant we always go to ($13), and also bought a bbq sandwich on the way home at my friend's restaurant ($8). These are planned expenses I do every year. It was good to see the cousins. On the way home, I also stopped at Natural Bridge, which is a private park, ($3.50) and the Sipsey River in the Bankhead National Forest (another $3.00). I then drove home. The next day, I went to Talladega National Forest and swam at the lake there ($3.00), and then the next day, I went to Miller's Ferry Campground and swam there ($2.00), which is an Army Core of Engineer's park. I enjoyed all of them! I did not buy an annual pass because I usually swim at state parks. Anyway, I had fun, and I spent the night each night in my own bed!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada June 06, 2018

    Yesterday, I met the neighborhood kids entrepreneurs plus! My boulevard always grows fast, there is a fine of $150 or more if the grass is higher than 6 or 8 inches. The kids came by and we settled on a fee of $10 for the boulevard alone. Since the rest of the yard is shay, the grass doesn't grow as fast but they threw in a couple of other small areas for an extra $5. Mowing the whole lawn will be $25.00. The 3 entrepreneurs were keen to offer other service such as splitting firewood (my emergency supply), fixing my fence (a minor repair) and finishing or helping to finish the dry stream rock garden. All of these things, especially the lawn, have been weighing heavily on me. I have paid $40-50 to mow the entire lawn each time so I am saving money while hiring our keen and eager neighborhood kids who seem very safety conscious. Tomorrow I will take handibus both ways to the farmers' market to pick up fresh asparagus. it will cost me $6 in bus tickets as opposed to $60 round trip by cab. I think none of my friends are available to go.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada June 07, 2018

    That should say "the rest of the yard is shady", I had a great but quick trip to the farmers' market. The saleslady pointed out I could save a few $ by buying huge bag of asparagus seconds but I will do it next time since I want to freeze it but didn't have room in my freezer quite yet. It is a wonderful year for asparagus and the lady said it'll be available until the end of June. I was so happy to have a low cost way for me to get to the market independently of others. I only have my handibus pass while my arm is still broken. It is so liberating and economical!

  • JJ June 07, 2018

    Ellie’s friend from Canada,, are you talking about Edgar’s asparagus? I am hoping that it is available now.

  • Ellie’s friend June 08, 2018

    JJ. Yes and it is really good! She said they have lots and sure enough they did! Delicious. I think it might have been on sale as it was $5.98 per bunch. Enjoy

  • Ellie's friend from Canada June 09, 2018

    Hi JJ,

    I answered this before but somehow it didn't appear. yes, definitely the asparagus is Edgar's. It is great weather for it and the crop is excellent.
    So lovely. I hope you get to the market this weekend! Ann

  • Margie from Toronto June 08, 2018

    It is so good that you were able to use the pass and be independent once again - friends are wonderful and I do appreciate offers of help at times but it is much better to feel that you can still be independent. Were you able to carry much with your arm still healing? I've used a bundle buggy for years and even though friends laughed when I bought it - it has made shopping so much easier at times!
    I too have been eating a lot of asparagus lately - love it lightly grilled with mushrooms! I am going to pick up another couple of bunches today as I'm off to do a bit of shopping. I need to get in some walking after sitting at a desk for 14 hours yesterday - worked at a polling station for yesterday's election here in Toronto.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada June 09, 2018

    Hi Margie,

    Yes, I think I enjoyed it all the more because the handibus gave me independence. There is quite a lot of waiting involved and time taken dropping off other riders but it is so nice to be picked up and dropped off at one's home. We are only allowed 2 shopping bagson the handibus so that meant I just concentrated on asparagus and spinach. The bags were light and I could manage using only my good arm and did not have far to walk so all went well. I'll bet you were tired from working at the polling station.

  • Jo June 06, 2018

    I cooked a roast in the pressure cooker and got two evening meals for us both plus three lunches for me out of it. For the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker, I used broth saved from the last time I cooked a roast. I freeze the leftover broths/meat juices from the cooking pans these days and use them again for gravy or cooking liquid. They have a lot of flavor from the first cooking's seasonings.
    We had a hidden worm chewing on our 3 container tomato plants' fruits. I had a dab of Bt left in a bottle from last year, so I mixed it according to directions for a quart sprayer and sprayed the plants. No more worm holes, so the Bt was still good.
    I batched errands and stayed home as much as possible over the weekend.
    My entire work outfit today, including shoes but excluding undergarments, is thrifted, as it often is.
    I've been picking blackberries as they ripen from our lone thornless bush. I'm keeping an eye on the wild blackberries, to see if there will be any to pick. We used to have a lot more around our area, but they dislike deep shade, and the woods on either side of us have grown up a great deal.
    I'm almost out of honey. I've been buying raw honey from a fellow on the other side of town, but I just saw a sign for raw honey much closer to the house. I will check out their prices.

  • Kim June 06, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    I love your flowers on the table- they look awesome.
    I took inspiration from you and made a flower arrangement for my entry way. I used roses, peonies and lambs ear from my yard. Every time I walk by the flowers, I think of you and all the wonderful people that contribute to this blog. (Makes me smile)

    I was able to purchase a very large sturdy wicker basket at the thrift store for $2- it had a half price tag. I use these as planters and grow flowers and veggies. I fill the bottom half of the basket with styrofoam cups from the dollar store so it isn't so heavy to lift or move around if needed. Even in our rainy Pacific Northwest, these baskets last me several years. They are high enough to keep out the rabbits that like to eat my veggies.

    We are going on vacation next week to Legoland in Carlsbad, California with our kids and grandson. My daughter researched and found the cheapest transportation to/from airport/ hotel for us which saved a lot of money. We are only bringing carry on bags so we don't have to pay to check any luggage (saving more money). With all our cost saving measures, this vacation is being very frugal and not costing anymore than a similar vacation we took almost 20 years ago!! We are hoping this will be a memory making time for our family and especially our grandson. We live frugally and are so happy we could make this special trip happen. This will be our first vacation in about 10 years and we are only going to be gone 4 days but we are looking forward to it. As a bonus, we will get to spend one evening sharing a meal with my husband's brother and his wife that live in San Diego.

    Also wanted to mention, I picked up a new tank top for myself and my daughter for $1 each new at WalMart for the trip. I picked up a couple other tops for myself and a new shirt for grandson at thrift store for about $6. I purchased a dot to dot coloring book for grandson and an adult coloring book for myself with some new markers for the plane ride. Grandson is so excited about my coloring book- he thinks it is really neat that Grammy will be coloring with him. The coloring supplies were purchased at the Dollar Store. He already asked if he could color one of the pages in my book if he lets me color one of the pages in his book.

  • Annaliese June 07, 2018

    Hey all! Brandy- What do you do with the mint you harvest? I have mint plant that is going wild and I really don't want to waste any of it. Here's my list for the week- not bad since last week was so bad with so much money going out on car (s) repair:
    - Got Holiday pay on Monday plus the day off to spend with family.
    -Sold a couple pieces of clothing on ThreadUp. Waiting for more to sell. I sent off for the free bag, which was quite huge, and the prices for resell aren't that bad.
    -There was some bread from a local bakery on the "free" table at work and I took 3 loaves, (whole wheat & oatmeal, sourdough and Texas toast). Made a batch of French toast with the Texas toast, sandwiches with the sour dough and put the whole wheat and oatmeal in the freezer for later use.
    -Last Thursday was my last day to cook for the Reality Center by my choice. It seems to be the only day I get to myself. I have been doing it for over 10 years. Before I left, they gave me a hooded sweat jacket with their logo on it and the kids made me a stack of nice cards and well wishes. My son still goes there on Thursday's and that's an added bonus to my day. --
    - Helped clean out the freezer at the center and brought home 1 1/2 qt size bag of blueberries, loads of cheese, 1 qt size bag of cooked dark kidney beans, a bag of corn, a gallon bag full of assorted chopped peppers and2 bags of spinach. I wish I could of brought home more but my freezer is already slammed full.
    -Separated some cucumber plants to other bins for more crop-gave a couple to in-laws for their garden.
    -Went thru barn and found more containers to use in garden.
    -Cut the watermelon from a couple of weeks ago and made ice cubes. Made a lot!!
    -Hubby sold a computer and other technology stuff=help pay for all of the car(s) problems of last week.
    -Another expense but we tried to save on it= a couple of big trees fell during the past weeks of storms. We had to hire someone to come cut them apart and haul off -they were huge! (the wood was not the kind to keep for the wood bin). We cleaned up the rest of the debris to save on the bill.
    -The biggest grocery find was using a loyalty store coupon for $2 and another $2 coupon sent to my phone on Memorial Day to use on fresh meat. I bought 2 very large bone-in chicken breasts and got them FREE. Will use the bones to make broth for chicken & dumplings for DS.
    I hope everyone has a blessed week! I will be out in the pool...(backyard).

  • Krissy in Sacramento June 07, 2018

    I love that your family is getting so many great things as your sister-in-law downsizes! We don't get a lot of things from relatives anymore, everyone's pretty much settled in. Would love to though!
    Last week's frugal accomplishments:
    -Ordered a few items for my mother-in-law online and will get some Swagbucks posted to my account later.
    -Harvested basil from the little plant my husband got at a work function. It hasn't died yet! I am hopeful, have never kept a plant alive this long.
    -Opened a new box of fabric softener sheets, transferred them to the old box, and flattened and cut open the new box and put it in the linen closet. Not sure where I got this tip from, but it scents the towels a little bit. Once it seems to be out of scent, I put it in the recycle bin. I also do this with the boxes that soap bars come in.
    -Watered down my face wash bottle to use up the bits in the end. Actually combined the last bits of three bottles into one.
    -Have been using a scrub sponge I got as an In-Home Use Test thru Swagbucks. Will switch to another one after I answer the first survey they send me. Not sure how many SBs I'm going to be earning, but hey, any is great, plus two free sponges!
    -Read 3 library books.
    -Took a battery operated "fabric pill shaver" to the pilling on the fitted sheet on the bed. It's a cheap sheet, and I really need a new one, but this'll do until I can find one that I like.
    -FINALLY earned enough points on Dailybreak to earn a $10 Target gift card. It's been years, I think, that I've been working on it, a little each day. At least it's an interesting diversion...I feel like I'm up on pop culture stuff I wouldn't always see. And I enjoy the Memory Match game.
    -I'm most proud of myself for following my meal plan for the week. One day last week I was feeling less than my best and had a bunch reasons in my head to not cook the dinner I planned and have my husband bring home takeaway. But I talked myself out of it, as we had plenty of food, and it wasn't even that much work.
    Being mindful of what we're doing to keep expenses isn't always easy, and I'm pretty lazy about writing stuff down and posting it here, but hey, I've done it two weeks in a row now. Thanks to all who've read.

  • Tammy June 08, 2018

    Eating at home. Using library. Picking cucumber, basil and asparagus. turning off lights unless directly over us and we cannot utilize the sunlight through the window. Listening to Pandora for free music. Entertaining ourselves with the internet. Learning new recipes on the internet. Not spending money outside of groceries and a few things to get house done. Finally getting ahead of bills. Free exercise cleaning and working in garden. Taking grandkids to free events.

  • Ellie's friend June 09, 2018

    Tammy, this sounds great! Nice to hear you are getting ahead of bills. Do you have much left to finish the house? Best wishes, Ann

  • Tammy June 10, 2018

    Thanks Ann,
    The house is getting done bit by bit. But It is starting to look nice inside and I am happy. We are finding things as we go through boxes. My son is staying with us this week. It is nice to have him around. Best wishes for you too!

  • Jennifer June 12, 2018

    I've been working a lot more than usual so I didn't do a ton to save last week. I did make a cookie recipe to use up a jar of cookie butter that was expiring. Unfortunately, the recipe turned out to be a real dud so I think that was more of a waste of flour and egg than anything else.
    I set up automatic bill pay for two medical bills I'm paying off through my hsa at work.
    I went to my favorite thrift shop and found three really adorable aprons. I collect aprons and this particular shop sells them for a dollar each for some reason.
    I planted flower seeds. I got all my dahlia tubers planted. But I'd like to plant more if I can find a good, affordable source of tubers.

    Brandy, I really enjoyed your sharing about the concert tickets. I think that was an especially good solution to not having money in the budget right now for tickets. I love Dvorak too.

    Do you know about Your Classical Daily Download podcast? It's called a podcast but really it's just a piece of classical music that's sent to your phone every morning for free to listen or to download to keep. I really love it.

  • Nicole June 14, 2018

    Can you explain the advantages of ordering garlic ear oil rather than making it? I’m a first time mom and my baby has been suffering from recurring ear infections (and repeated courses of antibiotics) and I’m desperate for anything that will help while we wait for a referral to an ENT doctor. Thank you!

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