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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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  • Becky June 04, 2018

    I have been doing a lot of shopping this past week--way more than normal. This is because I have a party to give on Saturday for my daughter's graduation, a dress to buy for that graduation (no luck yet), a birthday party coming up that I will help with, several graduation gifts for kids we know that are graduating, family birthdays, 3 of my own children's birthdays, and so on.

    So, I've been trying to stretch those dollars as far as I can. I am still not done, but gaining on it. I've been shopping the sales at each store, to get the best possible price on the food I'm going to serve, and have also accepted help in the form of other family members bringing things.

    We are simply buying a $5 coffee gift card for each of the graduates and putting it in a card. I would love to buy/give more, but this is what we can afford, and it lets them know we are thinking about them. We've got the cards chosen and purchased, and are going to start giving them out and mailing them this week.

    I've been using the Ibotta app I downloaded a few weeks ago to get a little back from some of these purchases. Because I was new at Ibotta, there were several bonuses for things like ordering something on line, your first order, and so on. So, I did all those deals, while getting things for gifts or groceries.

    I worked a few extra hours, and will do so this week, again. Because my autistic niece is done with school now, there are more hours when she needs support. Now that I'm done with homeschool for the year, I can provide them. One thing I did with her last week was take her to Meals on Wheels where she had been volunteering as part of her school program. Now, I or my husband will just take her each week, so she can keep up that community involvement. I was all prepared, and offered, to help in any way needed, but they were completely covered that day, so I just watched and hung around in case my niece needed something. She didn't, but was so proud to show me what she was doing. It was interesting.

    I worked in the garden and yard.

    My daughter had her dance recital. This is frugal because we are now done with costumes, tights, recital tickets, lesson fees, and so forth after many, many years, and many, many daughters. (The youngest tried it and did not want to take dance after trying 2 kinds of dance 2 different times). It's bittersweet, because I enjoy it, but I also accept that things change.

    I cooked several things. Today, I cooked a few freezer meals. Things are so crazy around here that I am having trouble getting dinner on the table, so this should help.

    I took a walk through a park with a rose garden with a friend. I put pictures on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-june-3-2018/

  • Shara June 04, 2018

    I'm always in awe of your harvests!

    I think my biggest accomplishment was that for last week's meals I spent just under $11 at the grocery store. We were well stocked. Going into this week I spent $65, but almost $30 of it was for long term storage. (an additional $20 a week on those totals goes into a produce share box we paid for early in the year)

    I did find myself a couple of summer tops and one dress at Goodwill. Other than that it was the routine -- hanging laundry, not wasting food, borrowing books from the library, and things like that.

  • Sarah June 04, 2018

    Wow Brandy your flowers are beautiful! We also had a kiddo with an ear infection that seemed to come on suddenly in the middle of the night. I used garlic oil while waiting to see the Dr. and his pain was gone almost immediately! Shortly there after we had another kiddo come down with a UTI and I swear the natural treatment worked faster than the antibiotics. I'm a big fan of seeing a dr. when necessary, but I forget that some of these remedies have been around for so long because they work! Anyway- we had a great month over in our neck of the woods and freed up $425 a month to go toward debt repayment. https://frugalfive.com/2018/06/04/june-1st-frugal-state-of-the-union/

  • Lilli June 04, 2018

    In some ways, my week has been spectacular. College girl came home for a week. She was under the weather and needed mommy to doctor her. This one nursed for two years and she had always been a mommy's girl. She gave me 50 dollars to buy all the stuff she had on her I need list. We hit the salvage store and she danced in the aisle when we found Argan Oil salon hair products for 5 dollars. She googled it and showed me where it sells for 50 dollars. It smells incredible but even in a great week I would never have paid full price for that. I chatted with Amazon about a package that is 2 weeks late. They gave me a random credit of 18 dollars. I was extremely polite and very grateful. I applied it to a case of 252 diapers and paid 8.00 for the difference. My son's best friend gives me 10 dollars a month to buy for his new expected Xmas baby. I will continue to find him goodies and may possibly hit the jackpot tomorrow. Swagbucks has actually become quite interesting. I was offered a survey for 200.00 .. I spent a total of an hour on it over several days. I may potentially do a second portion for another large amount. I find that some of the ones offered are nothing more than fishing expeditions trying to gather lengthy personal information on you. These, I just shut down. But then, there are the real ones. I am finding them very valuable. I am going to cash out for some PayPal this next week. I need new brakes on my car and just received an outrageous water bill. Funny thing is, all my neighbors had double the costs this month. This is going to require some investigaton. Something hadn't been right for a couple years. Corruption and politics are not something I want to engage in when we only have 2000 residents. 185.00 almost knocked me to the ground. No outside water usage and no leaks. I imagine the accounting center is crooked. This shouldn't even be a possibility. The little spending money I had was eat up by the water bill for the most part. I used my Bath and Body works gift card that I had gotten last month with Swagbucks for their annual sale. I bought 11 products for college girls upcoming birthday. combined with an online coupon, I spent 3.00 out of pocket. College girl will be thrilled. My new profession may now be listed as a swagbuckser. I continue to pick up Coke and Pepsi caps. College girl just shakes her head and said she had decided she would just pick her battles with me and this one wouldn't be it. I refuse to reduce my savings each month. Swagbucks and bottle caps are my best friend. I hope everyone is finding a way in life.

  • Lilli, I'm always impressed by how you manage to do so much with limited funds! You really do think outside the box! Thanks for the reminder that SB can be redeemed for Bath and Bodyworks gc; I might start saving some for Christmas gifts for friends. By the way, have you ever thought of reselling some of the items (ebay or similar) that you find at the bargain centre? The Argan Oil products are a case in point -- even if you only sold them for a $5 profit, that's still $5 extra. Just an idea! I hope Sugar Cookie's medical issues are getting better.

  • Laurie in central NC June 09, 2018

    Lilli, I'm curious to know more about the Swagbucks surveys. I tried some early on, thinking they would be asking my opinion on things, but quickly got disgusted when they seemed to be exactly as you say, fishing expeditions trying to gather a great deal of personal information. Not necessarily in this post, but at some point, if you could share tips on how you determine a good survey, it would be very much appreciated, ie: are there certain questions when you decide to shut it down because you've learned it's a fishing expedition, or things to look for in a good one, etc.

  • Libby June 04, 2018

    • I had a wonderful time on my Laura Ingalls Wilder trip. Thank you all for the suggestions. It was hotter than Hades – 104 on the prairie in MN on Sunday. After picking up the rental car, my next stop was a grocery store to buy a case of water, lunch, and snacky foods. I used a soft-sided cooler during my trip. Each morning I packed ice from the hotel in double-bagged ziplock bags to keep everything cool. My flights were free using mileage, two days of the rental car were free using points, all four nights in hotels were free using points, and three days of airport parking were free using points. My costs were gas, food, and entrance fees.
    • I stopped at Aldi on my way home from the airport. Aldi is 25 minutes from my house. I didn't realize that Aldi sold cat food. I bought one can of Aldi cat food to try. Cats loved it. One can of Aldi cat food is $0.39 while the same size in a brand name purchased locally is $1.39. If I switch 100% to Aldi, I’ll save $60 a month.
    • Made swag goal x 3
    • Hung laundry out to dry
    • Made cucumber, feta, couscous salad, made asparagus soup – normally I use potatoes to thicken the soup but I was out so I substituted rice. Made asparagus quiche and pad thai
    • Painted kindness rocks for a raffle donation.
    • Updated my monthly net worth spreadsheet.
    • I was visiting with my neighbor while she was making chicken soup. After picking off the meat from the carcass, she was going to throw it away. I said I would gladly take it home, which I did and into my slow cooker it went!
    • Put a mixture of vinegar and salt onto weeds growing in the driveway. First time I’ve tried this so will see if it works.

  • Athanasia June 05, 2018

    Libby, I am glad you had a good trip, but yes, that was a very hot spell here. We even reached 91 (a record) one day which for us is not normal. We seldom get over 90 even in July or August, though the humidity makes it feel higher.

  • Melonie K. June 04, 2018

    The flowers look amazing - I bet they smell just fantastic too. *SWOON!*

    I'm trying to really pull things together on the work front, so I got cracking on some writing as well as a Facebook author page. It's free marketing, so frugal, right? ;)

    We also did some birthday things and took full advantage of our libraries' offerings. Every day I'm grateful for the riches of library systems. I don't know what I'd do without them.

    Happy Monday, everyone!


  • Athanasia June 06, 2018

    Melonie, you are quite the reader! I only saw 2 books I recognized though and have read, the CAROLINE book by Miller and the BROKE WITH TWO GOATS by McGaha. A YEAR WITHOUT A GROCERY STORE sounds interesting.

  • Darcy June 04, 2018

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    Beautiful flowers, Brandy!

    I have recently lost some weight and was in need of some pants for work. I used a Kohl’s gift card and birthday money along with a coupon for $10 off $25 dollars for two new pair. I bought a pair of gray pants and a pair of black ones. This will take me through most days at work and will match with the tops and shirts that I already have.

    My husband made a large pot of spaghetti sauce that fed us for several meals.

    I made our lunches each day to take to work. We usually eat salads and leftovers with some fruit.

    I harvested lettuce and spinach for salads.

    I planted green bean seeds, pepper, tomato, chamomile, and mint plants.

    I cut some peonies to put on our dining room table.

    I washed and reused plastic baggies.

    We washed the inside and outside of our car ourselves.

    We borrowed a power washer and washed the outside of our house and the windows

  • Jenny June 05, 2018

    Congratulations on the weight loss.

  • Darcy June 07, 2018

    Thank you, Jenny!

  • Ellie's friendfrom Canada June 04, 2018

    I saved money by not going shopping. I am enjoying baked potatoes every night until the weather gets too hot. I'm hoping to get to the farmers' market this week so I can buy the fresh Alberta-grown asparagus. Asparagus being grown in Alberta is recent but someone realized the warm sunny days and cool evenings makes delicious asparagus with a sweetness because of the cool nights. It is one of my treats for myself. I had 5 lady-slipper orchid buds yesterday but only 3 blooms today as 2 were eaten. I managed to plant all of my petunias. finally! One handed planting is a challenge! When the wind isn't blowing, the mosquitoes are fierce but when the wind is blowing, the pollen is unbearable. We (the whole city) are all suffering from allergies. I only have 3 fuchsias left to plant. I am hoping that the lady who plants tomatoes will phone me and offer me her leftovers from the plant sale at a bargain price. I think it is a bit windy to plant them this week.

    Tonight I will cook the rhubarb and mix it with cherries from the freezer.

    I have been sitting admiring how lovely the flowerbeds look now they've been weeded (as I mentioned yesterday my single mum gardener did it on credit). Today, I decided to check on the Itoh peonies. Of the 11 planted in the flowerbed that she weeded, there are 18 buds, of which 5 are on one plant –– and it is early yet! this is their third year. Last year I only had 2 blooms. This is the year when they should start to really bloom. You'll remember I bought 22 Itoh peonies on a flat sale for $2 each (usually $70-80 each). This will be the summer when we will reap the benefits! And we will see how long the blooming period will last!

  • Laurie in central NC June 04, 2018

    That is such a cheerful floral display! We'll be harvesting our first cucumber this week, from a plant gifted to us. It's a white cucumber, which we've not grown before, and look forward to trying. Our own cucumbers are just slightly behind. I've harvested lettuce, mulberries, raspberries, peas, asparagus, basil, thyme and oregano. We're doing a bathroom renovation, which includes creating an outdoor shower area, as we only have the one bathroom. We purchased most of what we need at the hardware store today. We needed 4' fence panels for the shower, and they only had 6'. Two panels were damaged, which is all we needed, and they gave them to us for half price. We'll be able to cut the bad places off, and have just what we need. My husband also got a 10% veterans discount for the entire purchase. I've used garlic ear oil in the past, and it does work very well. I'm glad it quickly knocked out whatever challenge you had. I know your life is plenty busy without having to deal with that too. Looking forward to reading everyone's comments.

  • momsav June 04, 2018

    Gorgeous flowers! Our hydrangea tree is blooming as well as the lilac tree. It smells heavenly when we walk outdoors!
    I’m still trying to conserve water every day. I grab leftover water bottles at work to put in the dog bowl or water the potted lemon tree. We have recycle now so the bottles go there. There is no recycle at work, unfortunately.
    We’re eating most meals at home. We’ve had two close deaths in the family so we’ve spent a lot of money on gas and meals on the road. And, that’s okay. We still have a burial as soon as the family decides the date.
    I’m still quilting a baby quilt for my daughter. It’s about half done. They’ve decided on a name so I need to appliqué that on the top as soon as i’m done with the quilting. I still have til Sept., so there’s time. (She says with confidence.)
    I planted some seeds of cabbage, chard and kale. After just a few days they’ve sprouted! The trick, for me, is to choose cold weather crops. I have three tomatoe plants that a friend gave me that are doing okay. I have had to cover them the last few nights as it went from hot to cold.
    All clothes are washed in cold and hung to dry unless it’s raining. Which it has been. Since I have to wear a white shirt to work, I can’t always wait for a dry day. It’s slowly filling up the water barrel, though!
    That’s it for me. I enjoy reading what everyone writes even though i’ve been working too many hours to comment.

  • Ellie's friendfrom Canada June 04, 2018

    I meant to say how lovely all your flowers are. How do you teach the younger children not to touch the deadly poisonous ones like delphiniums and monkshood? I read a horrible true story about a young boy who ran through a patch of wild delphinium on an island off the coast of Newfoundland. He was with friends who ran though the same meadow. Unfortunately, some of the sap got into an open scratch on his leg. He was dead within 3 hours... As much as I like delphiniums and monkshood, I have been replacing it. I always wear long sleeves, long pants and gloves around it. Ann

  • I don't grow monkshood. The flowers in the photo are larkspur, not delphiniums (delphiniums, though a perennial, prefer cooler climates and are a veryshort-lived annual here; I love delphiniums but they are a splurge), which are the same family and are also poisonous (seeds, leaves, and flowers). The children (even the little ones) know that they are poisonous. I tell them which plants are and which are not from a very young age.

    There are a lot of poisonous plants that are commonly grown here in yards, including oleanders. I grew up with oleanders and we knew to never touch them.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada June 05, 2018

    Interesting that delphiniums are an annual in your area. I grew up gardening in flowerbeds where there was delphinium and monkshood. I didn't always wear gloves. It was only after reading the several stories about fatalities of people who just brushed against them that I grew worried. I had no idea that they were poisonous even if not eaten. The three closely related plants, delphinium, monkshood, larkspur, are a concern now for me. I do not have my single mother gardener weed the beds where they are found because she will not wear gloves and always wears only shorts. There are other poisonous plants in my garden such as native fairy bells, and lilies of the valley. I don't worry about them as much as delphinium, monkshood and larkspur. Oleanders do not grow here but I have been in places where they do grow and I did not know you couldn't touch them...

    Glad to hear that you're raising your children to be aware and mindful. I assumed no less but wanted to bring the topic up for others. Ann

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