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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Snake Melon The Prudent Homemaker

Armenian cucumber in the garden; you can see why these are also called "Snake melons." I have never had one grow like this before, but it sure looks interesting! 

I read eight more Hamish Macbeth books in e-book form from the library. I love that the e-books mean I don't even have to drive to the library and spend money on gas!

I sowed seeds for zucchini. I haven't had one plant grow yet this year, despite multiple plantings, but hopefully, I will have some success this time and be able to have a harvest in a couple of months. Our first frost is usually in December, so I have enough time for the plants to get large and then start flowering when it cools below 90 in mid-October.

I collected poppy seeds and larkspur seeds from the garden to plant next year.

I gave one son and two daughters a haircut.

My husband and I had a date night at home after the children were in bed with root beer floats (the ice cream previously purchased on sale for $3.99 a gallon and root beer for $0.69 a 2-liter bottle) while we played three games of Sequence.

I  picked an Armenian cucumber from the garden.

I went to the dollar store to purchase some needed items, including bobby pins and hair elastics. I noted that the store now carries name brands; the exact same size package of bobby pins is $3.99 at Walmart.

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Signerjack August 15, 2018

    went to the pictures to see it. Fabulous. My husband loved it too and he hadn't expected to.

  • Cate August 15, 2018

    Mable - where are you in Alaska? I am in Kasilof on the Kenai peninsula.

  • Lynn from NC Outer Banks August 16, 2018

    Mable, thank you for mentioning this movie. My husband and I watched it last night and we both enjoyed it. We would never have known about it had you not written about it. We've got Netflix but are not always good at finding desired movies.

    I'm thinking maybe we should try Armenian cucumbers. We've not had good luck here in NC with conventional cukes. But if the Armenian ones can grow in AK and Las Vegas, maybe they'd grow here on the Outer Banks as well! Have a good weekend.

  • Julie Walker August 13, 2018

    I saved money by buying 10 packs of Knorr rice for $10 and getting a free rotisserie chicken at Winn-Dixie. Of course they charged me wrong on another item and I will tell them next time. They seem to do that a lot. I've learned to always check my receipt. I saved scrap wood to make a raised garden bed. I also got donated cardboard to place on bottom to prevent weeds. I've been buying all my flowers at Lowe's on their markdown rack. I bought a used Food Saver and will try to save meat longer in the freezer. I try to eat lunch before I run errands so I'm not tempted to go through a drive-thru. I never eat out without a coupon anyway. Mostly I save money by staying home.

  • Coleen August 13, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Did I miss your post on August buying?

  • Ava August 13, 2018

    When you announced the name of your youngest, I actually thought of the Hamish MacBeth mysteries - it's been quite a while since I read them, but I remember liking them very much. If you enjoy "cozy" mysteries, you might like the Patricia Wentworth mysteries that feature Miss Silver, a retired governess-turned-private-enquiry-agent. They are dated now, but that's part of what I enjoy - they are period pieces with delightful characters and wonderful settings. Mentioning them makes me want to re-read some, immediately.

    Our refrigerator gave out, requiring an expensive repair that was still better than having to replace the entire unit. Because the repair required turning the entire machine off for 48 hours, I lost everything in the freezer as well. I cooked as much as possible to avoid waste, but it was still very discouraging.

    We spent one night out of town for business purposes and were able to use points for a completely free night at very pleasant, clean, comfortable hotel. Breakfast was included and it was a very nice one with plenty of variety and good-quality options.

    I continue to collect warm-up water from showers, and water from rinsing produce, using it to water the herb garden and potted plants. I harvested and used basil, oregano, dill, and several types of mint in various dishes, and cut lavender and geraniums to enjoy in bouquets around the house, augmenting them with mint and lemon balm, which makes for pretty and fragrant arrangements.

  • Janet August 14, 2018

    You might check your home owner insurance for reimbursement on the loss food in the freezer. It is not often but sometimes it is covered.

    We use the points all the time for an extra hotel visit if we go early enough and stay one night we can have two days away from home bring our own food use the hot tub and free breakfast and enjoy a mini vacation. We always visit areas with parks and we have free state and national park passes (Senior passes bought along time ago) We have had some great mini vacations. We like to hike to waterfalls which is a really awesome thing for us to do exercise take our lunch every falls is different and it is free and stay as long as you like take all the photos you wish and just sit and enjoy nature.

  • Ava August 15, 2018

    You know, it never even occurred to me to check w/ our insurance, but it's a great idea and I'll do it. Thank you! We're with USAA and they've been pretty good to us over the years, so there's a chance they'll work with us on this - and even if they don't it certainly can't hurt to ask.

    Yes - we love to do just what you described, including senior passes to parks and museums. Such a nice way to have a mini-getaway - inexpensive and refreshing to the spirit.

  • Lillian pickles August 13, 2018

    For some reason or the other, I find myself particularly grumpy. I think between the horrific medical issues in my daughter s life and my own physical pain, it just seems to weigh heavy on me. I reached out to a couple of people this week who had some serious issues. Although I didn't spend any money it was time consuming. I hope these people are a little less burdened. College girl came home to attend a baby shower. I was able to provide her with lovely wrappings for her presents that had been rescued recently from a trash pile. I don't see how anyone can toss Hallmark gift bags away. Oh my, I have definitely transformed into my great grandmother. She was a tightwad. My father claims she never let you use but two squares of tissue and they were single ply. College boy has called and said his flight to his boot camp leaves in the morning. He says he is officially in the Army. After 6 false starts, I thought I was prepared but atlas I am not. I will miss him. He is the good one ! I found a huge source of Coke caps today. I casually glanced at a post from them and was delighted to see that Coke has a new promotion. For 15 coke cap codes you can receive a 1 day pass to the Atlanta Coca Cola World. Sugar cookies young man friend is a huge fan of Coke memorabilia. I am hoping that the dates will coincide with his upcoming birthday and we can use this as part of a gift for him. Lunch and an afternoon out would be inexpensive for me. So when you read this, please imagine me with my trusty magnifying glass entering all 45 of those tiny ridiculously tiny codes at their website. One little character at a time. Frugalness is my middle name. It is easy to be frugal when there just is no extra money to spend at this very moment . Oh the things I will do to bring a smile to their lives. Now, off to gather a huge amount of caps as the construction workers have left for the day and they will be everywhere ! I decided to try a new supplement. It doesn't seem to have relieved the issue I was hoping for but my nerve pain seems to have disappeared completely. Amazing. I spent last week looking at all the links you fellow posters have left behind. I have enjoyed reading so many of your stories. Your honesty makes me feel so much less alone in this world. Be blessed everyone.

  • Susan August 15, 2018

    What is the site that you use to enter in promo code for Coke products. My son has saved hundreds of tops. Also what supplement relieved nerve pain. It might help my husband's back pain caused by nerve damage. Thanks, Susan

  • Lillianna pickles August 15, 2018

    Susan, the new site is USCocaCola.com. The new supplement I tried is the over the counter Sam E in the US and not the prescription variety sold outside the US. I have horrible neck, back and leg pain even after 4 surgeries. All this residual nerve pain and my daily migraines have disappeared , I have only been taking it a week. Interesting and I don't seem to have any side effects.

  • Jeannie August 16, 2018

    Lillianna, please add updates about whether Sam E is successful or not. I am interested in it since it might be good for my husband.


  • Jenifer August 18, 2018

    I have been taking Sam-E for years (mostly for my slight depression issues). Honestly, wouldn’t want to live without it. I usually wait until Costco has a sale (about every quarter) to stock up, as they have it the cheapest that way. It took about 2 months to really feel it’s affects, and if I don’t take it for a week, I feel how much my body misses it.

  • Marybeth August 15, 2018

    I give all of my coke codes to my Dad. He enjoys entering them and getting us gifts. I always seem to find them when I go for walks. People are such slobs. He also uses a magnifying glass to read the codes. Brandy has said there is always something more that you can do to save money and you prove that is true. We love the book Blumpoe the Grumpoe. It is a children's book. It always made me smile. Good luck to your son. God bless him and your whole family.

  • Laurie in AZ August 13, 2018

    Love the picture of the cucumber!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • DD brought me some more toiletries from her travels to stock up my supply. She is more particular about the brands she uses so she gives them to me. I’ll take them!
    • Ate dinner in 6 times. Had single serving containers of leftovers from the freezer one night; hot dogs and baked beans; a frozen pizza with salad; tostadas; pulled pork with coleslaw; and steak with baked potato and zucchini. The night we ate out was our Trivia league night and we used a gift certificate we won a previous week so it only cost us the tip.
    • When we had the pulled pork last week, I was able to freeze 2 meal size containers of leftovers plus send 2 meal size containers home with my DD.
    • Brought our lunches to work every day. Hubby took the rest of the pulled pork that I didn’t freeze a couple of days.
    • Worked 10 hours contract work.
    • Forgot to mention this last week. My husband’s birthday was Saturday. He loves monkeys, so I took a birthday card that I had received for free from a charity I support that had a picture of a kitten and puppy on it and found a couple of monkey faces on the internet, printed them and glued them to the faces of the kitten and puppy. He thought it was really funny and it saved me the money it would have cost to buy a card.
    • Got a few Ibotta rebates.
    • Found a new daily devotional to use next year at Goodwill. It was senior discount day, so it only cost me $2.24.
    • My grandson’s is outgrowing the toys in his toy box at my house, so I have picked up a few items at the dollar store to replenish. Plus my friend gave me her toy ukulele that she used for her costume at last week’s mystery party.
    • We are throwing a mystery party with some other friends in a couple of weeks. All my husband needed was a hat for his costume, which I found at the dollar store for $1. I got what I needed for my costume at Goodwill for a total of $16.59. And one of the items is a skirt that I will wear again. Also found décor for it for a total of $8.46. While I was at Goodwill I also found a basket for one of my bathrooms that I have needed. It only cost me $2.99.
    • Continue to use up items from the freezer by being creative.
    • Had to skip going out to lunch with Dad this week due to other commitments, so saved the money I would normally spend on that.
    • Got cherries on sale again for 97c/lb. Pitted and froze about a gallons worth. Also got a meal replacement shake as a Friday Freebie.
    • Needed to buy some triple antibiotic ointment and found it at the dollar store instead of paying full price at the grocery store.
    • Checked out books from the library.
    • Bought a 25# bag of pinto beans at Winco. Canned 24 pints. We love these for quick meals!

    Have a great week everyone!

  • Liz August 13, 2018

    Hello Everyone,

    That is a cool cucumber!

    We had a good, frugal, week. Here are some highlights:
    - I worked an extra job to cover for a friend that was out of town. I will add this money to a get away for my husband and my 20th anniversary.
    - My son did more yard work for someone to earn for school clothes that are more expensive than what I want to buy.
    - We watched a free movie at church and I helped prepare popcorn and nachos to sell to raise money for our women's ministry.
    - I am sorting through my daughter's outgrown clothes. I will give some of these to friends who also have little girls.
    - I have been picking from the garden what I can despite the hail damage.
    - I waited for 6 hours in line for a grant organization who was giving financial help for people who lost items to hail damage. I was towards the end of the group who made it and recieved some assistance. It was well worth it and very generous of the organization.
    - I sent for some free samples which are on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/08/13/8-freebies-today-8-13-18/
    - I was able to get several great deals at the King Soopers (Kroger) Mega Event. I was able to get free women's pads, free Finish dishwashing tabs, $.49 bags of meatballs, free suave shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo and conditioners are money makers so I used the overage to get some lunch meat for my children's packed lunches for school. There is also a great deal on toilet cleaner that makes it a money maker but I haven't found any in stock. I post these on my Instagram feed, which you can find on my website, if anyone is on Instagram!
    - We are back to packing daily lunches, prepping quick breakfasts, laying out clothes the night before and all of those great time/ money/ sanity saving back to school hacks!
    - I also ordered a free magnet and coaster set from Shutterfly. There was a free $25.00 code on Ibotta. This will make a great gift for the holidays. I am trying to start planning for holiday gifts by using free codes, coupon deals, and free stuff I find online. This helps stretch the money at Christmas time.

    Blessings to all this week,

  • Nancy in Eastern Washington August 13, 2018

    Not a supremely frugal week this last week, as I had to drive to my mother's house 150 miles away again, in order to assist her with getting a medical procedure done. As I said before, she is 95, and lives alone. I am happy I am able to help.

    Made 4 more loaves of herb bread.

    Picked cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, onions, and broccoli from the garden. Picked cilantro, basil, rosemary, oregano and parsley from the garden.

    Brought lunch to work each day except one.

    Had popcorn for snacks, as well as cucumbers and tomatoes.

    Slept in our basement bedroom on hot nights. (We don't have air conditioning). It got up to 107 degrees last week. That is really hot in Eastern Washington. Might have broken records.

    Tried to stay out of the smoke - we are surrounded by fires - so staying out of the smoke is healthy.

    My DH joined a gym that is part of the "Silver Sneakers" program. His medicare supplement pays the fees. He just has to be sure to go at least 8 times a month.

    Only did full loads of laundry and dishes. Wear clothes, other than socks and underwear, more than once - only wash them when they are dirty.

    Got my hair cut with a coupon. Only have to cut it about twice a year.

    Neighbor gave me 2 dozen eggs from her chickens.

    I know there must be more, but that is all I can think of for now. Hope everyone has a great week!

  • Marybeth August 13, 2018

    I am away with Hubby, my son and my youngest daughter. We are using my sister's timeshare since she rarely uses it. If you don't use the weeks you lose them so we are happy to use them. We are cooking most meals in the unit. There are lots of free activities and amenities so we are using all of them. Trying to keep costs as low as possible but still have a great time. My sister is watching our dog and a friend is watching my house and garden. I brought lots of garden produce to use while away. Also brought food from home that I had previously cooked and froze to have easy dinners. It is a vacation after all. We did go food shopping but I signed up for the stores card to get all of the discounts. Just spending quality time with each other. The rest of my week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/08/my-frugal-list-week-of-august-6-2018.html

  • Marie August 13, 2018

    I was happy--and mad--that I finally made some phone calls. A newer garbage hauler charges about 27.00 less per bill (quarterly) so I called my current hauler to cancel. They were willing to lower my bill to even less than the newer company. (we still went with the new "little guy" though). Next I called our phone company/internet provider and told them I was considering Spectrum (formerly Time Warner). They couldn't quite match the Spectrum price, but did reduce my phone bill by 20.00 monthly. I am still considering switching to Spectrum because they provide a new modem for free (and we need one) but want to get more feedback from people in my area. Either way, I am thrilled that my bills were lowered--but mad at myself for not looking into this sooner!
    Happy Monday :)

  • Maxine August 14, 2018

    Marie, I have DSL through the telephone company at our vacation home, which is all that is available. I was able to get broadband from Spectrum at my new home. I can tell you there is no comparison--broadband wins hands down! Even if it costs a little more. We stream TV at both houses. With DSL, the TV is always stopping to catch up; broadband is much faster and there are no breaks at all.

    I can tell you that Spectrum is a pain to deal with. You cannot call your local office because they do not have incoming phone lines. When you phone, you go to a call center, which often does not know what is happening in your local community. If you go in person to the local Spectrum office, you'll need to take a number and wait to be seen. However, once you are past that (and with new construction, it took me 4 visits) broadband is the way to go, especially for streaming and gaming.

    A caveat: Spectrum will try very hard to sell you a bundle with telephone and/or cable TV. We ONLY wanted internet and have found it is much cheaper to pay a lot for the service we want than to buy things we don't want or need to get a package deal.

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