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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Pickles Relish and Jam The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested peaches, figs, grapes, garlic chives, Swiss chard, green onions, grapes, tomatoes, and an Armenian cucumber from the garden.

I canned fig jam, sweet pickle relish, and giardiniera.

I read 4 books (Hamish Macbeth!) that I borrowed from my mom. I then went to the library's website and borrowed and read 4 more Hamish Macbeth books in e-book form.

My parents filled a blow-up pool for the children to enjoy at their house for a few days. When they were done, they pumped it out with a pump and a hose into my garden beds. I moved the hose around to different areas, grateful to have over 1000 gallons of water at no charge to me, and happy that it was able to serve two different purposes.

I collected 3 to 5 gallons of water each day from the run-off humidity from the air conditioner and used it to water my potted plants in the garden. I keep a one-gallon ice cream bucket under the pipes where the water drips on the side of the house and check it periodically throughout the day, and when it's full, I transfer it to a three-gallon bucket and dump that out when it is full. 

I gladly accepted some succulents from my dad that had been slightly burned in the sun. I moved them to a shady spot and if they recover, I'll plant them in a shady place in my garden.

I went to the grocery store and picked up several items using rainchecks from last month, buying boneless pork roast for $0.89 a pound (usually the lowest sales price is $1.79 a pound) and ice cream for $3.99 a gallon. I also used digital coupons to pick up 5 pounds of sour cream for $0.89 a pound. In addition, I purchased more pork roast that was on sale last week for $1.19 a pound. 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Comments

  • Michelle August 08, 2018

    Your jars look so pretty with the canned foods! I love the sound of the "pop" of a jar sealing after you take it out of canner. We were gifted a large bag of peaches from my husbands coworker. We enjoyed eating several then sliced some to freeze and made peach freezer jam.

  • Jennifer O. August 08, 2018

    It has been a rough couple of weeks/ month for us on the frugal end. An ER visit (thought I was having a stroke - was fine, just a blood pressure spike), an emergency visit 1000 miles away to see my grandfather before he passed, another 1000 mile trip for the funeral, dog/animal sitters for each trip, a mold issue in the kitchen and living room, a pantry moth explosion, a broken hose bib, a back to school needs, 3 milestone birthdays, 2 new nieces, the loss of a dog, the inevitable lunches out during pre-planning time, etc. It has been a month to endure.

    As an issue of self-care in this time (My husband is away and dealing with everything was just too overwhelming) I did a decidedly unfrugal thing and ordered some pre-made meals to assist in the first couple of weeks of back to school. It has helped have been quite tasty and are helping me relearn portion control, so I may continue to order then until my husband returns next month.

    We're back on track now. The roof is finally being finished today (this has been ongoing for nearly three months due to insurance, roofer backlogs, and weather). My new medication is working. My classes are small and so far well-behaved. The mold issue seems to have been resolved. The moth traps are mitigating the pantry moths until I can tackle a full clean out (it looks like they came from a big bag of cat food, but spread!).

  • Jennifer, I think that your health makes the meals a wise choice--not unfrugal at all, as you need to take care of yourself.

    I have found that fly paper works well to capture pantry moths. I don't know what mine came in, but they ate through plastic bags at my house and destroyed tons of food. I have since been keeping things in glass jars.

  • Jennifer O. August 09, 2018

    Everything is in glass jars or mylar sealed inside buckets - except crackers, pasta and rice which, of course, I had just restocked!
    The meals are definitely a self-care issue. I rejiggled some other self-care/ luxury budget items to make room for the meals for now.

  • Jerri August 08, 2018

    Our garden has been very productive, more zucchini and cucumbers and yellow squash than my family can consume. We are gladly sharing with neighbors.

  • ellie's friend from Canada August 11, 2018

    Jerri,

    grated zucchini freezes well!

  • Terry August 08, 2018

    We are very blessed. Our pantry and freezers are full. We have fairly good health and mostly enough money to cover our bills even though hubby has been out of work for over two years. Our garden is producing well. What we can't eat I have been sharing with family friends and the mission. I'm spending a lot of time counting my blessings

  • Ellie's friend August 08, 2018

    i mentioned to a friend that i paid to have 6 boxes moved by my window washer so they no longer blocked my basement hallway (put there by two "friends" who came to take a lovely solid wood table that I was lending to their son). They decided it was too heavy for them to lift so did not stash the boxes out of the way. I mentioned that it wasn't good to leave the boxes like that but they just left anyway. When I mentioned it to my friend, she was incensed that I'd had to spend my last money of the month getting the boxes moved. She says starting in September she will donate one day each week to help me. So good and so kind.

    Brandy, I loved reading about your veggies, fruit and canning activities.

    Hoping to make some money, I entered 10 different photos into 2 different contests. For one, the second prizes are a gift certificate for $750 for the train. I could go to Montreal for that amount and it would really be fun.
    I am, however, hoping to win some cash, although the chances are remote but "fingers crossed".

    Although my cherry crop failed due to lack of pollination, I have a bumper crop of apple crabs so a friend will pick and I will make lots of apple sauce for the freezer.

  • Margie from Toronto August 08, 2018

    Good luck with the contest! I participate in a survey group called "Asking Canadians" and I chose to put my points earned towards my VIA preference account so I can save up for train trips. I also get entered into monthly draws for cash - but so far no luck. :-)
    So glad to hear that your friend is able to offer some very sensible hands on help - very practical! It is unfortunate that you had to pay to have the boxes moved but at least you didn't try to do it yourself and possibly re-injure your arm. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your Montreal trip.

  • ellie's friend from Canada August 11, 2018

    Margie from Toronto,

    "Asking Canadians" sounds interesting. Where will you go on Via Rail? I read some reviews on tripadvisor and there were
    some disgruntled users.

    I went to the cast clinic and they think I may need surgery. Have to have a ct scan and since it's "non-urgent" I have to wait till end of Jan. (at least that's of 2019).

    I am annoyed because the stupid squirrels keep sampling and discarding the unripe pears. Last year, a deer ate all pears within reach. It's an accomplishment to grow pears here but aggravating to be beaten to the punch. As soon as the smoke lets up, I'll pick the pears. They only ripen off of the tree anyway.

    Did you notice that Air Canada has really good seat sales on (I think it ends today).

  • Tammy August 09, 2018

    Good luck with the photo contest!

  • ellie's friend from Canada August 11, 2018

    thanks so much

  • Colleen August 08, 2018

    I shop Aldi frequently, and this week I purchased boneless, skinless chicken breasts that had been marked down for quick sale, bringing the price well under $2 per lb which is my "buy it" threshold for meat. We don't often buy this type of chicken due to the cost, so it was nice to get some. I brought it home and cooked it all in the instant pot, then made soup with some and have 8 cups of diced, cooked chicken to freeze for future meals. I also have nice broth from the pot to use in a future soup.

    My face lotion was getting low, but I turned it upside down after it quit pumping and was able to get another week and a half's worth of lotion out of the bottle before having to buy a new one. I did the same with conditioner (turned the bottle upside down, then used samples and hotel conditioner before replacing) and laundry soap. I added water to some Bath and Body Works foaming soaps that someone gave me as a gift (it's my favorite scent and only available at the holidays), to stretch it a bit so I can enjoy it longer.

    We also are in the middle of a big organizing/cleaning/purging at our home, and I was able to move clothing from my older son to my younger son. Also, my older son wears the same size shirt as my husband now, and I was able to add a few things to my husband's closet that my son had received as gifts but never worn because they really weren't his style. And I now have a car full of items to donate to a fundraiser. Normally, I would try to sell those items, but we are in a good place financially, and I feel it's both frugal and honorable to pass those items along to 1) an organization that needs the funds and 2) people who can get great deals on buying the items that they need.

    The big purge is one step of many toward selling our home and downsizing in the spring so that we can be mortgage-free and have much lower expenses in time for our oldest child to go to college in fall 2019.

    We always choose to NOT buy back-to-school clothes for our boys, since we go back mid-August when it's still hot. They wear their summer clothes, and we shop later in the year when it actually gets cool. My older son has stopped growing, so he needs less clothing, and my younger son will wear a lot of what my older son outgrew, so we are seeing more savings as each year progresses. I will buy clothes for them when I have a coupon or see a good deal at a thrift store or our outlet store. Also, my older son has a job and purchased a new backpack that he wanted (not needed) and he passed his old backpack to my younger son who wanted (not needed) a different backpack. Perfect.

  • Kim August 08, 2018

    We've been VERY blessed that my husband has had some overtime over the last few months. We've used the extra money to take care of some much need maintenance and repairs in the house and yard. The previous owners over planted the back yard and we've been able to hire someone to remove some of it. We also have a tree company scheduled for September to remove a Mexican fan palm. It's just become so tall that we've had to hire someone to trim it a couple of times a year for the past 4 years. Our HOA is very strict about palms and our dry climate. In the long run the removal of these plants means less maintenance, less water and a cleaner look in the yard. My husband is no longer able to do this sort of work due to back issues. We also did some much needed updated painting to several rooms. I do like the look of all rooms having the same color on the walls. It seems cleaner and well organized, in my opinion. I've also been using an app called Mercari to sell unwanted clothing, household decor and a variety of other items. I really like this app and find that things sell very quickly. My son was able to sell a gaming system and games that he wasn't using for $155.00 in less than 24 hours. I like the ease of the site and the shipping procedure is awesome. I've been collecting water from our attic to water potted plants, turned the thermostat up and have been pantry cooking.

  • Tejas August 08, 2018

    I love reading all the ways each person is using her unique talents and abilities to make the most of her finances. We are still eating leftovers from our family birthday dinner for our oldest daughter. Her oldest son helped me with cooking. He is very high-functioning autism, mood disorder, ADHD, and several other disorders, and I am thrilled he loves to cook. At almost 16, he will be taking a cooking class at school this year, and I also discovered a monthly cooking class through our local community education offerings that he can start this fall. My most frugal activity this week was taking advantage of a sale on my favorite brand of undergarments. They were all 25% off, plus used a $10 coupon, plus received an additional $10 in-store credit for future use. As I have worn this high-quality brand for 15 yrs., and do not anticipate needing a change in sizes, I expect to need zero additional undergarments for at least 5 years! Tomorrow I will put food in the crockpot before my weekly day trip to a nearby city. This weekend is tax-free weekend in Texas. I will buy school supplies and clothing for my grandson. School starts Aug. 20 here.

  • Pantrydiva August 08, 2018

    I retired about six weeks ago and am amazed at how busy I am and wondered how I ever worked! My garden is doing well and I have sauerkraut fermenting in the basement. My tomatoes are starting to come on and I am slow roasting the cherry tomatoes with garlic, thyme, and olive oil and will put them in the freezer to use later. I made a half pint of pickle relish (it's all the ingredients that were ripe) and will start bottling small batches of tomatoes as they come one. I did get a rebate from a prescription that I had to pay full price for because the insurance coverage wasn't in the pharmacist's system. Found a great skirt at a thrift store, wore it, and got many compliments. I'll harvest another batch of Swiss chard to blanch and freeze. I too have recently pressure canned black and pinto beans as my supply had already been used.

    Since I am no longer worker, I find that I waste less food and concentrate on using what we have. I think it will take another month or two to figure out our financial situation, but I feel very blessed to be able to spend more time working on my art and upcoming exhibitions.

    Looking forward to reading more comments. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

  • Nancy in Eastern Washington August 08, 2018

    I haven't posted in a few weeks. Our garden is really taking off. We are picking broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cherry and grape tomatoes and green beans. The lettuce is done for now, but a third planting is growing. We are also done with our snow peas, but have some in the freezer. I thinned the carrots, so the remaining ones would get bigger. The pinto beans are getting a lot of pods on them. We will harvest those when they are completely dry, then shell them. The garlic is all harvested and cleaned and put in the cold room in the basement. Picking herbs as we need them - oregano, thyme, basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, rosemary and lovage.

    We are also drying thyme, cilantro and basil. When those are done, we will pick the oregano, and dry it.

    I made home made mixed vegetables and froze them. Separately blanched, carrots (from the thinnings), green beans and broccoli, pulled corn out of the freezer that I had left over from last year (still a few weeks to fresh corn here) and added some store-bought frozen peas (just a 1 pound bag). Ended up with 8 quart freezer bags of mixed vegetables. In addition to just eating, I use these in soup and a casserole that I make, where I add vegetables in order to make it a one-dish meal.

    Made herb bread. I basically follow Brandy's rosemary olive oil bread recipe, and add basil, parsley, oregano and thyme in addition to the rosemary. I add an extra bit of yeast, olive oil and sugar, in case the weight of the extra veggies weighs it down. This is great for BLT sandwiches.

    Was able to get cereal for 99¢ a box. Don't usually buy cereal, but for that price I will. Was also able to get Classico spaghetti sauce for 99¢ a jar. I like the jars, as they have measuring cup lines on them. Very useful. I also use them for my salad in jar to take to work for my lunch.

    I am going to my mother's house for the second time in 3 weeks. She lives about 150 miles away, on her own and is 95. She needs help right now, and I am glad I have the time, energy and resources to help her. She doesn't need financial help, just physical help.

    I know there was a bunch of other stuff, but it is so ingrained, that I don't think about it when I do it.

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  • Mary August 08, 2018

    Hi to all! I love following and learning from all.
    This past week’s frugal things same as usual
    - staying in most days
    - did errands all in one day
    - making most meals from scratch and eating up leftovers
    - checking books from library and returning them on time
    - walking our dogs
    - continue working on swagbucks, using ibotta, Checkout 51 and Receipt Hog
    - washing baggies and reusing.
    It’s back to school week in southern Az. College starts next week for my daughter. Not much changes since she has been living there and working.
    I hope all has a frugal week!

  • Heidi Louise August 08, 2018

    Billie: Good for you! My family benefits greatly from a drug assistance program and I hope you find more ways to take care of your health expenses at lower costs.

  • Elizabeth August 09, 2018

    1. I have been having awesome luck at finding new books to read at the library, which of course makes me feel very happy and content for zero dollars
    2. Took the kids out to McDonald's with forgotten Christmas gift cards
    3. Still scavenging around the house for unique meals to put together because my husband is traveling and the ones left behind are not picky:)
    4. I am currently in a no spend week which is helping my monthly budget to stay in check
    5. I earned a movie ticket and a free sandwich by simply giving blood, which makes me feel good on many different levels

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