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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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  • Colleen August 14, 2018

    I participated in an insurance survey, which earned me a $15 Amazon reward. I cut my younger son's hair. We shopped at home from our school/office supply stash (filled with items bought on clearance or reused items from previous school years). This is the third year that we have used the stash instead of having to go to the store for school supplies, and aside from loose-leaf paper and binders, our stash should last us for the next few years. Huge savings!

    We visited family out of town this past weekend, and there is an Amish store in their town. We always shop there when we have the opportunity because they offer bulk foods and salvage grocery/household goods at incredible prices. I stocked up on coffee for $1.99/lb, toothbrushes 5 for $1, hot sauce for $1/bottle, and granola and snack bars for $0.99/package of 8. I don't usually buy snack bars, but our boys do sports after school and the bars are a great snack between school and practice, and at that price it made sense to stock up. I also found a hair accessory for $0.99 that I had been eyeballing at a local store for $5.99. I'm glad I waited!

    We found a great replacement car for my son, who totaled his car in a wreck a few weeks ago (not his fault). The insurance settlement is almost the same as the cost of the 'new to us' car, but the new car has half the mileage of the old car and is in much better shape. So we are looking at the wreck as a blessing, in a way, because we were able to upgrade the vehicle with very little out of pocket cost, and the car should last my son all the way through college and even beyond. The best part is that we bought from a friend of mine from my community choir who happened to post his 'for sale' on the same day we decided to start looking. The car is in like-new condition, but was priced well below similar cars available in our market. It was definitely God's timing, a blessing to us and to my friend.

  • Liz August 14, 2018

    Hello,

    I am not sure where my comment went so I will try again! I am so sorry if it posts twice!
    I love the cucumber!!
    We had a frugal week, here are the highlights:
    - I did an extra job to cover for a friend who was on vacation. I will put this money aside for a trip for my husband and my 20th anniversary this year.
    - My son worked a landscaping job to help pay for some more expensive back to school clothes that I didn't want to pay for.
    - I was able to get several great deals at King Soopers (Kroger) here with coupons. I got free toothpaste, free Suave shampoo and conditioners, $.49 bags of meatballs, free Finish dish tabs, and free women's pads. The Suave was a money maker with coupons so I was able to get some lunch meat with the overage for my kids' lunches. This is there "Mega Event" I think it should last another week.
    - I stood in line to get some "hail assistance" money that was granted by a local foundation. We have had so much damage this year so it was nice to get a little to pay back the emergency fund. I stood in line for 6 hours with my 7 year old. She was a trooper.
    - I continued to get freebies like magazines and samples. I have them listed on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/08/13/8-freebies-today-8-13-18/
    - I did a Shutterfly deal from an Ibotta code that they had emailed me for $25.00 to spend. I still had to pay the shipping but I ordered some cute coasters and a magnet of my children for their grandparents. I will put this in my Christmas stash.
    - We ate meals at home to include beans and rice, whole chicken, meatballs for $.49, and a chicken soup.

    I hope everyone has a great week,
    Liz

  • Jeannie August 20, 2018

    Wow! A 7-year-old who stood in line for 6 hours! She deserves an award. I couldn't do it.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  • Gardenpat August 15, 2018

    Nice cucumber! I was given 2 bushels of yellow squash and 1 bushel of broccoli from my produce market on Saturday! I am grating up the broccoli for broccoli slaw since I have as much as I need in my freezer as broccoli flowerets already! I am grating someof the yellow squash to use like zucchini in bread, muffins, cake, cookies, etc! I will also slice some to dehydrate into chips and thicker slice some for soups/stews.
    I gave a friend my Meijer’s preferred customer coupon for free eggs since my chickens are keeping us in eggs ( usually have about 20 dozen in the basement fridge!). Sent one of my daughters ( a schoolteacher with 3 teenagers) home with 4 dozen of our eggs so she can bulk cook Breakfast Burritos for her family as an easy healthier morning alternative!
    I was given several baguettes and made Ranch Chicken stuffed baguettes using shredded chicken that I made and had in my freezer with homemade Ranch dressing mix . Was able to make about 10 long baguettes. Wrapped some in foil and sent 2 home with a friend whose wife is away for a couple weeks! https://pin.it/l6sijd2qcfc56p
    I made a baby quilt using scraps and some yardage a friend gave me for the backing and binding. Into the gift cupboard it goes! https://pin.it/cvbyotdschbakf
    I made a scrappy little bag that used up 80 of my 2” squares. https://pin.it/qprctczxh3pz5d And, no, that’s not a store- that photo shows a bit of my fabric stash on their shelves.
    I’ve been using up things in my freezer to rotate the oldest things and make room for new things!
    I just emptied washed and put back into totes the last of my 80 quarts of grape juice that I canned in 2001! I have already put several of those jars back into service canning diced tomatoes!
    A friend was interested in a book we love called Grow a Little Fruit Tree which teaches how to grow more fruit trees in a smaller space. She found a large quilt top at a yard sale that she decided to send me as a gift, so I gifted her an extra copy of the book! We were both delighted!!! Definitely a happy barter!!
    All in all, it’s been a great week!

  • Susan August 16, 2018

    Love your baby quilt and tote. You are so talented.

  • Gardenpat August 16, 2018

    Thanks, Susan! It really was just using two simple block patterns!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada August 17, 2018

    The book sounds great. It is also a neat idea to espalier fruit trees against walls or fences to maximize space. I've often dreamt of having espaliered trees.

  • Marisa Stone August 15, 2018

    Brandy,
    I have to thank you for showing that sometimes growing food is keeping at it and not giving up. I tried to grow tomatoes a couple of years ago and it just did not work. This year I started the tomatoes from seeds in the house(I live in the PNW) and they are coming in. We went on a vacation this year to Southern California so I decided to only grown one type of plant. I am also experimenting with starting a couple late summer plants. We will see how this goes!

    And I too, just love the dollar store. I buy pre-threaded tooth floss for my husband, they are $4.69 at my local Safeway for the same count of 60. I also buy almost all birthday cards(2/$1) and helium filled balloons. I found 13.9 ounces of Himalayan salt that would be $4.39 for 3.5 ounces, at my local Kroger store(QFC Here). I bought 30 of them=).

    My frugal accomplishments:
    -Planning meals for the week with my husband and sticking to our shopping list.
    -Used our electric car, instead of the mom-mobile to save $$$ on gas.
    -Saving jam jars, and pasta jars to re purpose for storing dry goods.
    -Making Oat milk(.33 cents)instead of buying almond milk($4.29) for a half gallon
    -Re-purposing the pulp from the oat milk into protein pancakes.
    -Taking a ferry to a small island for a day of fun out of school, inexpensive, entertainment. The ferry is by donation and parking was only $3. for the day. We make a huge lunch and snacks too.
    -My cousin was selling a barely been used stand up Kitchen-aide mixer with every imaginable attachment. I was out of town, so when it was delivered to my mother's house she paid for it. I accepted this gift with grace. I have wanted one for about 20 years but could not justify the cost.

  • Tejas August 16, 2018

    I am amazed how so many here remember their weekly frugal methods. If I don't start the list on Day 1, I cannot possibly remember it all. That said, I will just add a few things here. I switched to all-natural deoderant 4 yrs. ago and find it lasts incredibly long, compared to regular kinds. One tube lasted me 24 months! My current tube of a different brand is at 12 months with still a lot left. I am in hot, humid, south central Texas, so having good deoderant is a must! Yes, it does take a month in the beginning for the body to readjust to natural methods of controlling armpit sweat, but after that, my pits have stayed under control and much healthier without dubious chemicals. So much cheaper in the long run. As far as replacing dishes, pots, and pans, thrift stores are the way to go. I began 5 yrs. ago thrift purchasing all the classic Revere Ware. The stuff is timeless and lasts forever. Just don't wash it in a dishwasher. I have 5 large stockpots in varying sizes. Small, medium, large, xl, and bigger than I have ever seen skillets. Steam pans, double boilers, you name it. All have their correct lids. Bought for 3 of my kids, as well. As seniors move to assisted living, much of their good kitchen ware is donated to charity thrift stores. I have never paid more than $5 for the largest of the covered skillets. Stick with stainless steel. I still use my 42 yr. old Farberware, and some of my mom's Revere Ware, too. As far as dishes, I buy mix and match thrift store white dishes. Just stay with a standard size, coloring, and pattern to coordinate. For winter we have mix and match burgandy and olive green plates. Yesterday I found organic strawberries at the 99c Store and bought 10 lbs. to make into jam tomorrow. I use Melissa K. Norris's recipe for Low Sugar, No Pectin Strawberry Jam. Excited to can tomorrow!

  • Susan August 17, 2018

    I stopped using deodorant about a year ago. I shower daily and I haven't had any problem with odor. I use dial anit-bacterial soap and so far so good:)

  • Sheena August 18, 2018

    Hi

    What brands of natural deodorant have you tried? I looked on Amazon and Salt of the Earth has good reviews.

  • Elizabeth August 16, 2018

    1. Received a $2 Catalina at Kroger for buying $10 worth of Kroger brand items...will definitely do this deal again!
    2. Used my husband's leftover per diem money from a business trip to add to my daughter's college fund
    3. Reusing books we bought years ago to inspire my son's love of reading
    4. Using Rocket languages for free, thanks to our library membership
    5. Found a $2 shirt for my daughter and a $3 study guide that covers all of the Chronicles of Narnia books (very excited about that find!)

  • Susan August 16, 2018

    Since my DS gets heat rash from cloth diapers in the heat, we are using disposables. I stocked up at Target with a gift card. I bought stools off of FB Marketplace and recovered them. I cut up a fruit salad for a work luncheon instead of buying expensive and tasteless precut fruit. Scheduled a breakfast meeting instead of a catered lunch, which easily saved $100. My DH bought me a beautiful flower bouquet from Kroger for $5 instead of $40 from the flower shop- we are moving so I didn’t put much time into planting a cutting garden this summer and I adore fresh flowers. I also splurged on coffee out a few times and for my employees but we all needed a pick me up and I supported the local coffee shop. Exhausted from being up with a teething baby has otherwise kept me out of the stores. Continuing to use up extra pantry items before we move- made another hodgepodge fruit crisp and baked cranberry orange muffins from an old can of cranberry sauce. We own several businesses and are switching around insurance to commercial policies, which will save us thousands of dollars a year. It pays to make phone calls to different companies and compare pricing!

  • Heidi Louise August 17, 2018

    I love reading about the produce everyone else grows! I have an unpredictable cherry tree, rhubarb in spring, and herbs in pots and yard, and admire your work from afar.
    At an out of town church charity shop, (visiting those in other towns is always so much more exciting), I found three napkins for a quarter each. They are a fringed woven check with an embroidered/appliqued orange Swedish horse, a design I like, probably originally expensive, and perhaps even unused. However, they are thicker and larger than I would use for a square napkin, and they would get worn more quickly with washing. Then I realized I can fold under the top and bottom edges a few inches and make them into placemats, which I will do on an upcoming car trip.
    I found a laminated map of the eastern United States marked a quarter at a yard sale. I glued it with Elmer's to the top of the old desk I use, cutting it into wide strips to make a sort of collage since it wasn't the right shape, and filling in a few gaps with decorative tape. It cheers me up, and now it doesn't matter if I forget to use a beverage coaster.
    Husband has been mixing bread in the bread machine and baking it in the oven when the weather is cool. Lots of library books in and out. Just over three months to the next Inspector Gamache/Louise Penny. Combining shopping (more like sight-seeing) trips with out-of-town appointments this week. I lost two pounds in a month and am crediting it to eating frozen green grapes when I am hungry.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada August 17, 2018

    I have sequestered myself in my bedroom for about 10 days. I have an air cleaning machine in the bedroom which filters out much of the smoke from the B.C. forest fires but due to allergies cannot go outside in it. One day, there was no smoke so sat outside and unpacked a box from my storage locker. The next day, since it was a blue sky, we thought of going to the mountains, drove 5 minutes to the west, then turned away because we could not see the mountains at all. We headed south and east and in a province where there was smoke everywhere ended up at a bird blind on a prairie slough/lake where we had a nice breeze through the blind and shade. I got a nice photo of a baby barn swallow (probably fledged only a day or so previously). Then we went to a weir to watch pelicans. Ironically, we missed the worst of the smoke in the city but the next day it was beyond horrible. It is bad again today and I am going to spend the day labelling family photos for a cousin. I bought a small bag of chips to replenish my sodium while outside (it was extremely hot). That has been my only expense for about 12 days. I see that Shoppers' Drug has my favourite pasta (because it is egg-free) on sale for 4 packages for $5 so I will try to get there while it's on sale and buy as many packages as possible to see me through the winter.

  • Margie from Toronto August 17, 2018

    It must be terrible with the smoke surrounding you for days on end. It's pretty bad in Northern Ontario as well and people have been getting the same warnings to stay indoors. It must be awful - especially if you have breathing issues. I wish I could send you some of the rain we've been getting here in Toronto - had 3 major downpours today - kept having to run to close windows - and all the underpasses and parts of the subway have flooded again!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada August 18, 2018

    Hi Margie,

    Thanks for your wishes of rain. I think we'll get some tomorrow. Every day, I look out my window and see the most beautiful red, ripened apple crabs which are ready to be picked. They are plentiful and a gorgeous red. My window washer will help pick them with his ladder. The squirrels have been devastating my pear crop by taking big bites to see if they are ripe (they are not!) and I hope to beat them to my apple crabs. I have seen all the flooding damage in TO and hope you are all right. The smoke almost makes me wish for snow. (Not really) Ann

  • Rhonda A. August 19, 2018

    I think we need to stop complaining. There are people losing their homes to those forest fires and farmers are despirate for those rains to water their crops so we can eat.

  • Lillianna pickles August 19, 2018

    Rhonda, I am so happy for all the rain we receive on almost a daily basis. It keeps the house from getting as hot and I rarely need to turn my A.C. on. I find the beauty in my lush green grass. It's tall and is growing like crazy. But, I can't cut it when it is wet and therefore it is saving me the gas, and aches and pains I have from cutting it. I am getting so much better at finding the bright side of things. Hope all is going well this season for you.

  • Tammy August 18, 2018

    I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with so much smoke. I hope it clears up soon in your area.

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