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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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  • Megan Zambito June 05, 2018

    I love your flowers. Right now I have hydrangeas blooming but nothing else. I’ve brought some inside to enjoy.

    My husband and I went on vacation. Over all it was fairly cheap because majority of our activities were free but food was so expensive. I was not anticipating spending as much as we did. Now that we’re back we’re going to eat what we can from the pantry/freezer.

    My garden is starting off very slow this year. I ripped out my peas and planted some more cucumbers. I’ve picked a few raspberries and green beans but everything else is weeks away from being ready. The birds got some of my blueberries before I could. I have 1 plant that is loaded with unripe ones so I’m keeping an eye on it.

    Our ac unit stopped working last night. I slept with the windows open. The cooler morning weather is a blessing until it gets fixed. Last year we had a similar problem so I’m hoping it is an easy fix.

    I checked out books and a dvd from the library.

    I will have to go to the grocery but I’m waiting for the ads to come out before I go. I keep buying small purchases and waiting another week to make a huge run. So far it has worked and we haven’t starved!

  • Florrie June 05, 2018

    Thank you, Brandy, for sharing about Rummykub game. We haven't played it since our children grew up. We now have it spread out on a card table, ready to play at any time. Great game to maintain brain cells, as it consists of strategy to constantly regroup the tiles to win. I put a little black dot on the black numbered tiles, since we couldn't distinguish black from dark blue. We refreshed our memories on rules via You Tube.

    i am excited to share a new to me idea of a neat sewing project our niece shared recently. It is a microwaveable pot holder. We went to JoAnns and purchased 100 percent cotton products: flannel fabric and thread (not polyester) with coupon from website. Microwaveable batting was bought on sale. With one yard of each, we are able to make 9 pot holders. This unique and very useful holder consists of darts sewn on 4 sides to ctrate a nestle for a bowl. Hold on to 2 opposite corner as handles, and voila, no more burnt fingers or spills!. We even eat from the hot bowl while still nestled, to keep table from staining from the heat. Just toss in washer when soiled. You Tube has great tutorials on this. A multi sized set makes a great wedding, hostess, going away to college, or any occasion gift for just a couple of dollars or less if you use flannel or cotton remnants. An experienced sewer can whip one up in mere minutes.

    I can't thank busy Brandy enough for this space to share and learn from each other! Happy frugal June, everyone!

  • Florrie June 05, 2018

    Oops. Spell check "create" and "corners" Thank you!

  • Laurie in AZ June 05, 2018

    Love the flowers, Brandy!

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Since Hubby was in Switzerland all week, I ate up all of the leftovers that I had been freezing in single size servings. This helped with my goal of eating up what we have instead of spending more money on groceries. Did get some good deals on produce though. Got 10 ears of corn for $1, peaches for 77c/lb, grapes for 77c/lb., honeydew melon 3#/$1, and strawberries for 75c/lb.
    • Practiced learning Italian from a set of cd’s I had bought 15 years ago, but never used. We are saving to go to Italy in the Fall, so I would like to learn some basics of the language. Have also been watching some free travelogues on Amazon Prime and Netflix to give me the incentive to save.
    • Worked 10 ½ contract hours.
    • Kept the air conditioning as warm as I could stand and used ceiling fans.
    • Went to Trivia League twice this week and didn’t spend anything either time, just drank club soda, which they do not charge for. Also won $27.

    Have a wonderful, frugal week everyone!

  • Margie from Toronto June 05, 2018

    I just love your flower arrangement - such a variety - and what beautiful flowers!

    My one non-frugal activity was meeting two friends for a couple of glasses of wine this week, however I hadn't seen them in about 6 months and we'd agreed ahead of time that we weren't eating so it was a lovely evening.

    Besides that I ate all meals at home using up all produce on hand and still working my way through the freezer. I made a list of exactly what I needed in produce & dairy, stuck to it and paid for it with Loyalty Points. Got as many errands out of the way as possible before my monthly transit pass expired and then stayed at home for two days (Friday & Saturday) doing chores & paperwork and not spending funds on travel. I don't have as much in my calendar for June so I won't purchase a pass this time. I have money left on two Presto Cards that I use (I keep one on hand for visitors) so I just added a few dollars to each which should get me through at least the first half of the month.
    Washed full loads of laundry and dried all but towels on my laundry rack.
    Washed zip-lic bags to reuse and wrapped a birthday gift with supplies already on hand.
    Worked another few hours at the church job that I have and completed more online surveys.
    June will be a tight month financially so I have plans to do a lot of walking and read a lot (library plus books I have on hand) and instead of having lunch out a lot I will ask friends if we can stick to coffee (helps my diet as well) so I can have a small treat but stay within budget.

  • Margie, I hope you see this in time! Here is a link to sign up to test out a boardgame this week in Toronto (near Broadview station). In exchange for a hour of playing the game and then 1/2 hr filling out a survey, you'll get a giftcard to Amazon or the LCBO. Something to stretch the budget! https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/help-us-playtest-our-new-boardgame-get-a-25-amazon-gift-card-tickets-46540981328 I'm working otherwise I'd sign up, but two of my colleagues already signed up. Sounds fun!

  • Margie from Toronto June 06, 2018

    Thanks for the link Margaret - it would have been fun as I love board games. Unfortunately the only time listed is tomorrow night at 6pm and as I'm working at a polling station from 8am to 10pm I won't be able to make it. I'm trying to keep my eyes open for things like this so thank you for the heads up.

  • You're welcome! You could also try signing up with different research/focus group outfits. Metroline Research operates out of Toronto, and you can sign up online. I'm usually not available as I work during most time slots, but whenever I do go, it's extremely well-paid (min. $75/hr, max $200/session). It's hard to qualify, but worth it when you do!

  • Margie from Toronto June 09, 2018

    Thank you for this info - I have signed up - might as well give it a try!

  • Rhonda A. June 06, 2018

    Margie, would your friends meet for a nice picnic lunch somewhere? You can make an inexpensive lunch at home and bring it to a park to enjoy some lovely weather. Might be a nice frugal way to enjoy time together with friends that you can't easily do in the winter months!

  • Margie from Toronto June 06, 2018

    We actually did do this a couple of times last summer and it was fun so definitely on the list for this year as well. :-)

  • Roberta in So. Cal. June 05, 2018

    Just a few quick questions for all of you gardeners:

    Hubs just harvested a 5.5 pound turnip (yes, it's huge!). Is it still edible? Can I cook, puree, and then freeze it (and then add the puree to soups)? Any other ideas?

    He also harvested several smaller turnips (and I've found some recipes to try, since I've never cooked turnips before), but I don't know where to begin with the monster. :p

  • Lea June 05, 2018

    Hi Roberta,

    WOW! The turnip sounds like quite the vegetable! The outside may be tough at that size, so you may want to peel it but it should be edible.

    We love roasted turnips at our house - slice or cut into "fries" and toss with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt to taste and roast for about 30 minutes at about 400F. Delicious! If we don't have enough for a whole side, we toss with similarly cut carrots, potatoes, onion, kohlrabi and/or sweet potatoes or yams and then roast. Also delicious! You can also add other seasoning, if you wish.

    Hope that's helpful,

  • Roberta in So. Cal. June 06, 2018

    Thanks, Lea! I like the idea of turning "the monster" into fries.

  • Athanasia June 05, 2018

    We have had a busy last two weeks. We did all the usual of using up leftovers, either for another meal or in our lunches the next day, composted, recycled, used coupons, hung laundry to dry. We did use our air conditioner for the Memorial Day weekend as we had very hot and humid for here temperatures. We ran 88-91F with about high humidity as we had on and off rain showers. Then we went back to normal in the 60's. We have a lot of sun, a lot of rain. The gardens really exploded with the high heat so I guess that was one advantage. Otherwise we are still a bit behind here due to our 2 April snow storms of 30+ inches.

    From the garden we have had lettuces, radishes, carrot thinnings, rhubarb and asparagus. Peas will be coming along soon. My oldest daughter told me that the strawberries will probably be about 1-2 weeks behind, so we may be picking very end of June. We have sold much rhubarb and asparagus at the farm stand.

    Youngest daughter has moved back home after her semester teaching away. She returned with a pet rabbit. The family she was living with had one and they gave her one as a going away present. It is mature and well trained as to litter box etc. She is gathering materials so she and her dad can build an outdoor hutch and run. She received many presents from her school children and their families...jams, and household items like 2 pretty embroidered hand towels and a carved wooden bowl, some books. They would like her to return next year for the whole year. She was filling in for a teacher who had married. She did like it there and she was closer to her middle sister and they were able to get together weekly.

    We did not shop last week at all. Did most of the shopping in preparation for last weekend. Then we had the double birthday party on Monday for my husband Levi and his brother Paul. Paul will live with us now through Labor Day weekend. We put all his favorite horse decorations back up in the guest bedroom and his horse sheets and blankets. We had about 35 people, including their sister Annie who had been estranged from the family but now lives in the town just north of us. She has been attending most family gatherings now. Also her son Conner and daughter Emily had driven up to spend the weekend with her so they attended also. The cousins are getting acquainted after basically being strangers for 20+ years. When it was raining or just too hot we all stayed inside in the cool air or in the garage with fans on.

    It was also the anniversary for oldest son and his wife. They had a lunch and cake at their house after church Sunday. They have an above ground pool and the water felt nice in the heat. The ladies and little children all swam while the men were grilling. The men swam after lunch while we cleaned up. Andy and Joy will take a little trip once her school (public) is out for summer. Then this last weekend was our anniversary, the 2nd anniversary for husband's sister Susie and her husband Bernie. It was also the 1st birthday of their son Henry. We'll take a little trip mid month up north for our celebration.

    We did much cooking and some baking. My husband loves to grill, and does year round, even in the snow. But when the weather is great he would grill every night. He finds it relaxing and fulfilling, especially when cooking up the vegetables we have grown and the fish he has caught. (over the last 2 weeks...) I baked corn bread, white bread x 2 so 4 loaves, banana cranberry nut bread, rhubarb struesel muffins, rhubarb custard pie, peach-raspberry kuchen using fruit we had frozen. For our anniversary I remake our wedding cake every year. I didn't make the original but I have the recipe and I make it cut down to a smaller size of course. It is a white cake with lemon curd filling and lemon frosting. It is decorated with blueberries and candied lemon peel. Other things I made were cold (American) potato salad, coleslaw, tuna macaroni salad, 4 bean salad using last years canned wax and green beans. Stewed 6 chickens (old layers) and put some of the meat in the freezer, some used for chicken salad sandwich filling and the rest into two 9x13 pans of chicken stuffing (casserole) that were used at husband's and brother's birthday party. Their request. It's a family favorite of theirs. For their dessert they chose strawberry shortcake so I made biscuits and angel food cake as folks like both. Strawberries were on sale 2 boxes for 5.00 so I sliced those and added to some frozen berries I pureed and we had plenty and topped with vanilla ice cream. We had number candles so for 52 I put the 5 into one serving and the 2 into the other and they squeezed together for their picture.

    We've made a little playground area for the children at the side of the house off the patio. It's between our house and daughter's house. Olivia and Eliana moved the Little Tykes jungle gym out there and and the playhouse and the little picnic table. The wading pool will go there too. They set a nice ring of lawn chairs around too so we can sit out there for Dora or Henry or Anna Joy to play outside. I had luck at a rummage sale finding the ride on toy I wanted. I found both a scooter and a rocking horse, both of molded plastic, both 5.00 each. Scrubbed every inch of them first. With baby swing in the tree we are set for summer fun. We do still have in the garage rafters one of those old covered turtle sandboxes that we have not got down yet. We'll see about that as not sure where to put it.

  • Athanasia June 06, 2018

    To continue. The men were talking at dinner last night and they are going to look into making a non grass surface for this play area. They don't want to have to move and mow around the "playground" so they want to remove the grass and either put down chips or some sort of other surface. I guess there is pea gravel or you can get rubber tiles. They can figure it out and make it work. It will be permanent...no one is moving and there will just be more and more children as time goes on.

    I just started a book that was recommended, barely into it...SOURDOUGH by Robin Sloan. It sounds like a mix of baking bread and fantasy. Not quite sure. It was written by the author of MR PENUMBRA'S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE which I have not read. Our school is out so I am off work in June though I still go in, but on my schedule. I would like to get a number of books read. Olivia is taking care of Dora and 2 month old twins Daniel and Miriam during the day. So I just have brother in law Paul here and I have a number of little projects he can help me with. He does not read but he enjoys audio books so I checked him out several from the public library.

  • Lilli June 05, 2018

    Friends , please help. I am buying diapers for my son's college roommate. His lady friend is expecting in December. ( and yes, I am shaking my head but at this point , that's irrelevant. We will be helping the baby. This young man's family has been extremely generous to my son over the years) I will be using 100.00 of Swagbucks to buy 5 cases of Luvs at Amazon. My youngest would have been 9 this year so it has been a while since I bought diapers. I have one case already of Luvs size 1 ( 252 count) . I don't remember mine being in size 1's for more than a month. Size 2 was maybe 1 month too. Size 3 , maybe two months. I am pretty sure by around 6 to 7 months they were in size 4 and stayed there for a long time. I need to know what sizes to make these next 5 boxes. They all contain about 200 diapers each. The situation is not good for this young lady and I do not expect that it will improve for her. I appreciate any advice you might have.

  • Diane June 06, 2018

    Lilli, I took custody of my grandson last year when he was 3 months old. He is an average sized baby. He wasn't in size 1 or 2 very long. He been in size 3 for about 8 months now and I expect him to stay in size 3 for a few more months. He is on WIC which really helped with formula which is very expensive these days. I buy all his clothes at garage sales or thrift shops. My daughter got WIC and food stamps while she was pregnant so this young lady should check into that. Good nutrition is imperative for a pregnant lady. You're a good person to help her out.

  • Patti June 09, 2018


    The above link really helped guide me when purchasing diapers. The amounts were close to right and if you overbuy, she can EASILY sell them in mom’s groups on Facebook. My son was on the average to big size for reference.

  • PJGT June 05, 2018

    Still sticking to the low spend plan! I admire your no spend week, Brandy.

    In the past 4 days we've had record breaking heat, followed by chilly weather with rain and now it's down right cold. Trying to avoid heading too much for too long as we finally have the electric bill back down to more normal amount.

    Found a few more cents on the ground recently, picked up 4 boxes of cereal for 57 cents each (a rare purchase), did my nails, exercised more and ate less, skipped doing some laundry till I had full loads, and planted some Regusa Rosa plants given to me. I accepted 2 shirts, 2 Bananas and a litre of Seltzer from my sister.

    The best frugal news of the week is that I had a flat tire at work and was able to borrow a car to get one of the second set of tires that the Jeep came with. I called AAA and it was changed out for free. Having AAA has been such a blessing for us. It is especially useful for my daughter and I to keep safe.

    I travel back across country soon and would need an expensive one way ticket (driving back to school with my son at the end of the summer). We have some things to get back home now that we have a place, so I rented a SUV...for half the cost! The cost, including gas, will only be a little over the cost of a plane ticket. What a great find!

    It's still a struggle, but we are staying the course. So blessed!

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