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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

June Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

My son and I repaired a leak in the garden.

I signed up for a free online mini-class.

I used a $15 off coupon at Joann fabrics on top of purchasing items on sale.

I collected shower-warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

We picked blackberries and apricots from the garden. I cut green onions from the garden.

I mended a hole in a pillowcase and a hole in a pair of shorts.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • Cindi June 25, 2018

    We had some decent rain and warmer temperatures, so the garden has really taken off. I harvested the last of the peas and snow peas and pulled up the vines, and planted more green beans in their place. I harvested lettuce, chard, and some onions and pulled up the arugula, which was bolting and had turned bitter in the heat, and planted some buttercrunch lettuce in its place. I’ve never grown buttercrunch before, and am hoping for good results. I also transplanted some chard and planted more radishes and more chard. I was able to pick about half a cup of strawberries, which we enjoyed fresh.
    We received an unexpected large medical bill. (I thought insurance covered the tests my doctor ordered and they did not.) I called the hospital and arranged to make payments on the bill.
    The local woman’s club had a big charity sale. We spent $15 and came home with a flannel shirt and a wool jacket for my husband, 2 pairs of (badly needed) winter gloves for me, a bundle of fabric that contained enough to make a dress, skirt, and a couple of blouses for me, a bag full of about 30 assorted zippers, a very nice fabric marker (new!), a brass hose mender (new), a new trash can for our camper, and some decorative woven rattan stars.
    The nursery I have patronized since moving here is closing its doors. I don’t know where I’ll go for plants now, but we attended their clearance sale and I came home with 4 perennials – two agastache and two whirling butterflies for a total of $8. I wish I had gotten to the sale earlier, as they had everything severely marked down, but I’m very happy with these 4 plants.
    I sewed elbow patches on two of my husband’s flannel shirts.

  • Tabbie June 25, 2018

    When it comes to your medical bill, have you looked into filing an appeal with your insurance company? I have had to do that once before and the insurance company actually ended up covering it. It was really a very simple process. I called and spoke to a rep from the insurance and got the steps to do it. They sent me the forms, I filled them out and returned them. It was worth it and certainly worth a try.

  • Cindi June 26, 2018

    This was really my mistake in thinking the tests fell under what is covered for an annual physical. Reading the policy again, I saw that I was wrong -- everything went toward my deductible. Next year I will ask more questions before I automatically agree to whatever the doctor wants.

  • Mary June 25, 2018

    Hi to all.
    We have been going thru things to donate and make room for FIL. Friday took care of donations.
    As we unpacked FIL things, my husband and I said, we have enough toilet paper and paper towels for a long time! Also, plenty of laundry detergent and cleaners.
    On their way west, my husband and he Dad stopped at meat market and bought lots of meat. So freezer is full.
    Before donating, our daughter went thru piles while she was home s few days and took a few things she could use.
    We cooked from scratch all week, washed baggies and husband took lunch every day to work.
    That’s all I can remember.
    Have a frugal week all!

  • Mandy June 25, 2018

    These last few weeks have been filled with major set backs in my house. Our roof was damaged during some storms that came through (I am working with our insurance company to cover this), the diamond fell out of my wedding ring (not covered by the insurance, warranty is expired), we are pretty sure the transmission is going out in the car I drive to work 5 days a week, our mattress suddenly has a huge dip in my husband's side (it's old but really, did it have to happen now?!). So I have been re reading all of the Frugal Accomplishments posts, started following the "deal sites" again to get things at rock bottom prices that we need, and spending less than $25 per week on groceries. I took an inventory of our meat freezer to see what we have (more than I thought so yay!). I have been going into work for as much overtime as I can get and my husband is not only working extra hours but is also looking for ways to earn extra money (he has a landscaping job this week for example).
    I spent $20 at Walmart and got: 2 pairs of leggings for my daughter for school ($2 each), 4 plastic folders, 4 spiral note books, 1 1-inch binder, 2 composition notebooks, 2 bunches of bananas, 4 Larabars, 1 family pk of Hamburger Helper (free with coupon we got in the mail), 1 family size box of beans and rice (again free with coupon), 4 yogurt cups, 1 bottle of shampoo. I also submitted for some Ibotta rebates to earn some cash back. I am saving the rebates I do for Christmas.
    I took all my food and snacks to work with me. I drank water.
    I washed full loads of laundry on cold.
    I exchanged library books
    I watched movies for free using on demand (we pay for Sling tv)
    We turned our ac units off when it wasn't to hot
    my husband and daughter picked some black raspberries that grow wild on our property
    I made a bean/ham/veggie soup using items I already had on hand for my lunches this week
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Jennifer O. June 26, 2018

    I feel for you Mandy. . When it rains it pours, but God is good and with some minor discomfort we make it through. Times like this remind me of how much I have to be thankful for (even though I;ve had to retreat from the 2nd floor for the last 3 weeks...)

  • Jennyr June 30, 2018

    We had to purchase a new mattress for health reasons two years ago and bought a Zinus memory foam from Amazon. We have been very pleased and the price was definitely right! We use it on top of our standard box spring. Our daughter has one as well and loves it as much as we do. We went with the thickest one they sell. It has been a good alternative to pricey mattress replacements.

  • AmyLee June 25, 2018

    My hubby has been saving bottle caps for years. I wash, clean and store them... always thinking... I need to research a craft that I can make with them and make some side money by selling a finished product. I have finished the research and have started production! I signed up for a free class to learn to can pickles (and other items). I get to take home what I can! I was invited by a relative to join their garage sale on the Thursday-Sunday after Independence Day. We have a lot of stuff from our recent purge (making life more simple). Very excited as their home is in a neighborhood that gets way more traffic than mine. I prepped veggies that I purchased on sale for the freezer for future recipes. I made a two-week meal plan that includes, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack using what I have on hand. Only grocery shopped for the essentials that I needed to accomplish that plan. Accepted leftovers from a 60th anniversary party for my in-laws as well a head of broccoli from the host's garden. Used my cheese shredder to shred cheese that I got on sale.

  • Marybeth June 25, 2018

    I was sick most of last week. Hubby and the kids took great care of me. We ate very simple things that the kids can make. Thankful for my stockpile when I am sick. The rest of my list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/06/my-frugal-list-week-of-june-18-2018.html

  • Tabbie June 25, 2018

    We are moving this weekend so last Saturday I got together with a girlfriend for the day to spend sometime together. I treated her to lunch using a gift card to a restaurant that we will not have in the town we are moving to. In return she treated me to a pedicure. It was so nice! On the way to our pedicures, we also grabbed coffees from Starbucks using gift cards. Again, there are no Starbucks in the small town we are moving to, which is fine by me, I can survive on homemade coffee.
    I decided to take advantage of Victoria's secret sales and get fitted for bras. I knew I was wearing the incorrect size, I was so embarrassed when it turned out i was wearing 2 cup sizes too small!! I managed to get 2 beautiful and comfortable bras for less than the price of one. I will need a couple more, but this is a good start.
    Gave the dogs both baths at home this morning, will brush them, trim their nails and clean their ears tomorrow. Neither are a breed that requires their coat to be trimmed, but I figure all this saves me about 35 to 50 per dog considering their size.

  • Laure June 25, 2018

    Inspired by Brandy, I watched a few tutorials about how to alter flared leg pants into straight leg pants. I really struggle with anything other than basic sewing (sewing on buttons is great but anything else is a stretch), but I pulled out the sewing machine, went slowly, and now have pants that will actually be worn. I never would have attempted this if I had not read some time ago on Brandy's wonderful blog of how Brandy had transformed flared jeans. Thank you, Brandy!! I have flared jeans I'd like to do next, but need to research more. It appears I may need a special denim needle or such...
    I made a quick fruit coffee cake with nectarines we bought that -- although still a bit hard -- are overripe inside. This way we didn't waste them. I also substituted plain yogurt and water in the recipe because I was low on milk and wanted to use it for something else.
    I made whole wheat muffins with ingredients on hand instead of buying bread for toast in the morning.
    In an effort not to make the perfect the enemy of the good, I purchased a basil plant for $3.99 at Trader Joe's when I realized we just weren't getting to a nursery this year to buy a cheaper start. We don't have outdoor space for growing, but herbs in pots do really well on a south-facing windowsill for us. We will be eating fresh basil all summer and this will more than pay for itself. Even without fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato salads are a favorite.
    After I used green onions purchased at the grocery store, I stuck them in a cup of water and will allow them to regrow. They typically regrow well 4 or so times for us, significantly cutting our cost.
    We are meeting with contractors for necessary repairs and to add necessary storage (closets that weren't ever built where they were intended to be). When things got challenging, I stayed calm. How is this frugal? We didn't jump into anything and over extend ourselves. I will go through belongings yet again in an effort to give away more and have less that needs space.
    Bought groceries only at rock bottom prices. Where I couldn't get to a store that was offering the rock bottom price, I didn't buy that item at all. There will be other sales.
    Rather than spend $$ on entertainment, several times we simply enjoyed the beautiful weather outdoors.

  • Samantha June 26, 2018

    Laure, I like your comment about not making perfect the enemy of the good. I have to remember that!

  • Jenifer June 26, 2018

    If it means anything, I straight leg and skinny leg flare jeans with a “regular” sewing machine needle and have not had any issues on regular weight denim.

  • For denim, use a heavier needle made for thicker fabric so that it doesn't break when going through multiple layers of denim. A 14 or even a 16 is good; you can get them in multi-packs. If you are buying a different brand than Singer, get one marked for jeans. Also, adjust your stitch length to be longer to compensate for going through the thicker fabric. I set mine to a 3.0 for denim.

  • Laure June 30, 2018

    Thank you Brandy and Jenifer! I appreciate hearing from experienced sewers.

  • Marivene June 25, 2018

    *I mended a pair of pants for my husband.
    *Picked red currants and pie cherries.
    *Continued to fill at least one, and sometime two, tree tubs per day with weeds. Dead-headed the red climbing rose & started on the yellow climbing rose. If I dead-head them, they will bloom again. If I don’t, we will have larger rose hips in the fall. This year, I would rather have the roses. Made sure the garbage can was completely full before pulling it out the curb.
    *Our youngest daughter baked individual egg custards & put them in the fridge for me. I have been dealing with some tummy issues due to some medication I am taking for a while. I have also been using the stewed rhubarb we froze earlier, in strawberry gelatin, because it settles particularly well.
    *Began to wrap some of the Christmas and birthday presents, so they will be all set to go. They can live in one of the guest bedrooms until they are needed.
    *Finished hemming the second runner for my youngest daughter.
    *Used the drying rack instead of the dryer.

  • Athanasia June 28, 2018

    Marivene, how sweet do you make your stewed rhubarb? Since you are adding it to the sweet jello do you leave it unsweetened? It is going to be in the 90's here with about 90% humidity and I want to get a number of cold salads in to the refrigerator today to use for no cooking.

  • Marivene June 29, 2018

    Athanasia, since I plan to use it in gelatin, I do not add any sugar at all. The gelatin has more than enough sugar to sweeten the rhubarb. I put 2 cups of water in a pan with 3 cups rhubarb cut thinly, & cook over low heat until the rhubarb falls apart when I stir, then I freeze it in one cup portions in the Ball freezer cups.

  • Athanasia June 30, 2018

    Thanks Marivene. I made one nice bowl full. Little Dora tested it and liked it so made another bowl to send home with her. We aren't used to heat like this. They say with the heat index the 94 felt like 105 yesterday! It's 6:30 am now and overnight it only cooled to 78F.

  • Marcia R. June 25, 2018

    Finally a less hectic week, with cooler weather besides. We have gotten into the yard and started some of the work that should have been started long before this. I think I mentioned last week that my husband has been diagnosed with dementia. It is taking extra time from my day to supervise and direct him, and also to find all the items he keeps misplacing. So it looks like we might not have a vegetable garden this year, but I did get some new perennials that I had ordered all planted. We got about an inch of rain and could use another inch which is possible in a couple more days. We have been trimming some honeysuckles that have a bunch of bare branches just from not pruning, I think. Nothing looks diseased. We are about halfway done with the row we planted at the edge of our property. There is a lot more trimming to do but we're getting it done as fast as two elderly people can! And we're getting some exercise at the same time. We both got new glasses last week, after waiting two whole weeks for them to come in. I immediately made an appointment for my husband to be tested for his driving abilities. There is an hour long written/verbal portion and then a real driving test in their car. He is convinced he will pass. I am not. I think the written part will do him in, but I'm keeping my mouth shut for now. The charge for the test is $285! I expected something about that price but I have to let him try it. They will let him know at the time of the test. Meals were no problem this week, as cooking when it's cool is not bad. I managed with very little waste and hope to do better this week. Husband has to be reminded to eat leftovers for lunch or else he gets them for dinner! I am trying to be more careful not to cook too much but I have never quite gotten the knack for that. Besides, DD and DGD stop in occasionally and help eat up leftovers, especially desserts! We went to a one year old's birthday party and brought home enough extra salad for two days for us. His mother is the definition of NOT FRUGAL. She gave the party at my sister's house because theirs is being remodeled, and brought every single item from the grocery store in big trays--salad, fruit, veggies, cheese, wrap sandwiches, cupcakes, etc. Paper plates, bowls, utensils, etc. Soda and plastic glasses. Then she gave away all the leftovers and took nothing home with her, despite having a husband who is 6ft 4, and two kids! I used a plastic fork and had to force myself to throw it out, because my first instinct is always to put it in the sink to be washed and reused. She has been working full time up until last week, but really, she could have fed her family for a week or more with what she spent on the party food and left there. I will have to look for a suitable FAST cookbook for her next gift giving occasion. I wouldn't say anything to her--but I'm sure my sisters were as shocked as I was. We are all frugalistas! Aside from that occasion all meals were eaten at home last week. I am encouraged that some yard work is getting done. I have bought local strawberries all week and will pick some more up tomorrow on the way back from the gym. SO delicious. We've eaten them for snacks several nights.

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