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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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  • That is one awesome looking cucumber/melon! I wish those would grow here (I'd need a greenhouse). They are such a neat plant to grow! Sorry about the zucchini not growing, but I'll send positive energy your way to hope this latest batch grows for you!

    My life is hectic right now. The daughter is starting junior high this week, so we have open houses to go to, back to school stuff to get on top of special things for my son's ABA class on top of normal expenses. I am praying the husband's paycheck is good tomorrow as the mortgage comes out of that paycheck, we will still need enough money to live on the next two weeks and after having car problems and my husband getting gas we are tapped out. Definitely having anxiety at the moment.

    I have been busy around here, though with cleaning, organizing and the like. My adventures this week can be found here...


  • Mable August 15, 2018

    Erika, I know you live in Anchorage, but I have grown these outside in Fairbanks. Against the south facing side of the house and for the first few weeks, I have stakes in the pot that I use to hold up a clear 33 gallon garbage sack that I invert over the sticks so the plants are protected form the June winds. It is raining like crazy here, and has for the last few days and all last week, but I harvested two large ones today. Since Anchorage weather is milder, and you have a longer growing season by about two weeks, you may want to give them a try.

  • Annaliese August 13, 2018

    Wow! That cucumber is giant!! I hope your zucchini works this time. I don't have luck with any squash or zucchinis in my garden- they bugs always come a callin'. Here is my frugal list for the week:
    -Won a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com from a work drawing-put in the Christmas envelope.
    -Cleaned out DH and my clothes and took to local second hand store. Using for tax write off. DS room is next!
    -Took some food to the local food bank that was either free or cheap from using coupons at the store on double coupon up to $2 days.
    -When I dropped stuff off at the OCIM-our local food bank, there was free fresh produce for the taking. I took 2 yellow squash, 1 zucchini, 2 green peppers, 2 red pepper and 4 large beets. Later I roasted the beets with carrots and herbs from the garden and added the squash and zucchini to the free stir-fry kit I got last week from grocery store.
    -Made more roasted tomato and basil soup base. added it to already frozen stock.
    -Made a batch of homemade fresh salsa using crop from garden, gifted green chili, and stock from the pantry.
    -Made a batch of pancakes using leftover sweet potatoes and cooked apples from previous dinner. I also had some cooking pears that I had bought cheap so I cooked them up, mashed them and made another batch of pancakes. Thank goodness for pumpkin spice-DS loves them!!
    -Cooked a batch of green beans from the garden in InstaPot with ham I got on sale and onions. Stocked it in freezer for future meals.
    -Went to Target to buy underwear for the boys and there promo- buy 3 pkgs and get a free $5 gift certificate. I put the certificate in the Christmas envelope.
    -DS was at day camp all week and they offered free snacks at pick up for everybody-including the parents.
    -Used the points I accumulated from the boxes of cereal I donated at the beginning off the week on Kellogg Family Rewards page and ordered 10 free books for Christmas gifts. I also redeemed points on same sight to get 2 free lip gloss to put up for gifts.
    -DH was gifted a "used but nothing wrong with it" phone from his best friend as a bday gift. DH's phone was handed down to me. Good deal for both of us=we both got BETTER phones and no money was exchanged.
    -Still working everyday racking up points on all internet sites to get rebates, free items and free gift certificates.
    -DH found a man in town to replace the rubber along Herbie's windows for a very good price. Save DH so much money- he can now haggle for a good price on the tires and engine repair.
    Hope everyone has a blessed week!!

  • Margie from Toronto August 13, 2018

    I'd never heard of Armenian cucumbers until you mentioned them Brandy - are they similar to other cucumbers on the inside?
    It is still hot & humid here with crazy thunderstorms that have caused a lot of flooded basements here in the city. I live on the 4th floor of a small apt. building so didn't have any issues although I've had to do a quick run around on more than one occasion to get all the windows closed in time!
    Last week wasn't a very frugal week as my iron died (can't complain as I've had it for at least 20 years) but then I got tempted by a sale and also bought a mini food processor 3.5 cups - but I hope to make much more use out of this one than the big one that someone gave me as a gift. And both items were on at 40% off plus I got another 15% Senior discount as I hit the right day at the dept. store so really I got both for the price of one. I also had to get my hair done - cut & coloured - I had already stretched it to about 3 weeks beyond when it should have been done and with hopefully some job interviews coming up it really needed to be done. I managed to keep a couple of social outings to just coffee rather than a meal but it was also a busy week socially so cost a few extra dollars.
    I did manage to find and freeze more peppers that were on at a good price and stocked up on more pantry items that I found at sale prices as well so shopping was not a total loss.
    I did stay home for a couple of days so no spending, picked up more books at the library, cooked meals at home and picked up some extra hours at my little part-time job so I did manage a few frugal things.
    I also managed to get more items out of the apt. - books to the Social Club exchange table and a lot of shredding out to the recycling. I just feel as though I should have accomplished more but the humidity just drains me so I do what I can.
    Looking forward to reading all the comments - love to hear what everyone has been up to.

  • They are. The skins are thinner and are often ribbed. They don't have spines. They can vary a lot; some are dark and some are light skinned (super pale green). They can get really large (24 inches long) and they don't get bitter. The large ones will be hollow in the middle but they still taste wonderful and by letting them get bigger you can have more to eat. They are open-pollinated so you can replant your seeds from your large ones.

  • I hope you finally get the zucchini to grow. I've been out in the garden harvesting and I'm just starting to can a lot. I also bartered with a friend for a new book I wanted. Here are the rest of my frugal accomplishments:

  • Anon August 13, 2018

    Hello everybody. I have a really stupid question, but please keep in mind that I'm 70 and I struggle with some (a lot) of the new technology. I keep reading about all of you getting your library books on Kindle and that saves a trip to the library. I so want to do that. However, I've gone to my library site and can't figure out how to do it. I have a Kindle, but it doesn't have anything special on it that I can tell. Do I need to go to some store and get an app downloaded so I can receive library books? Do I need an upgraded Kindle? Thanks for all your help and I'm going to sign myself Anon, to save on the embarrassment.

  • Marie August 15, 2018

    Hello Anon. You need to sign into your libraries website. Once you find a book you like, scroll down until you find a digital copy of that book (it will say for "Kindle") and see if it's available to download. (sometimes you have to wait til it's available. I can't remember the finer points beyond that, but I do know that your librarian will be plenty knowledgeable and helpful enough to assist you. I would suggest taking your Kindle to the library with you if you get stuck.

  • Rhonda A. August 15, 2018

    I wouldn't know how to do it either and I'm relatively tech savvy. My suggestion is to go to your library with your Kindle and ask if someone there could help you get your Kindle set up, then show you how to use this service. No need to be embarrassed. I'm sure you are not the only one who doesn't know how to do this. I would hope the library staff would be kind enough to help you get everything set up for this service.

  • Terry August 15, 2018

    Go to your local library online. It will tell you to download an app. Ours is called overdrive. Just follow the instructions. If you still have trouble take your Kindle to the library. They can help you set it up. Happy reading

  • Tina S. August 15, 2018

    Hi Anon, I think it's going to depend on how your library has things set up. With ours, you have to check out an e-book (it takes a bunch of steps), then you are directed to log in to the Amazon website to check out the library book. Our library's staff is very helpful, and if you take your Kindle with you when you stop by, they will show you how to do it step by step on your device. Can you call or visit your library? It's going to be much easier if they explain it to you.

    If you have a basic Kindle, I don't think you will need any special apps or an upgraded device. It's just the process of checking the book out that can be confusing. Good luck!

  • Megan August 15, 2018

    First off, please don’t feel embarrassed!!! I’m 34, fairly good online and it took me years to figure out how to do it (and only because I was prompted by posts here). :) I would really recommend checking with your librarian. Our online book system is through a completely different website than the one used for requesting physical books! Then there was the process of setting up that account and connecting it to my “local” library account. Very different from what some of the other readers are saying for their libraries. Best of luck!

  • Lea August 15, 2018

    Hi Anon,
    I'm 43 and I recently took my Tablet in to the library and asked that very question! I felt really silly but the librarian was very kind, gave me a half-sheet of paper with simple step-by-step instructions and sat me in a nearby chair while I followed them. It was easy and now I get both digital and audio books easily from the library without worrying about late fees!


  • Ellie' friend from Canada August 19, 2018

    Here, we are able to download books from the library on a computer (desktop, or laptop and I presume a tablet would work as well). I cannot answer your question about a Kindle but I eon't have a Kindle and download books onto my computer.

  • Jeannie August 13, 2018

    Brandy, I appreciate how you share that you repeatedly plant seeds (zucchini) without success yet you don't give up but keep trying. It is an encouragement to me as a gardener because so many things I try fail also.

    All my money saving efforts this week have been spent working in the kitchen harvesting food from the garden. All 15 of my melons ripened within 3 days!!! They were different varieties and different sizes, yet they still somehow managed this amazing feat. I think they conspired together late at night in the dark while I was not watching. Every time someone walks in the kitchen searching for food, I shove a melon in their face.

    Since I don't have much news, I will share how my son Reese saved money. We received the “dreaded 4:00 a.m. phone call” from him this week. No, he was not drunk and needing to be bailed out of jail, his truck would not start while trying to leave for work. (No child can understand the terror their mother feels when the phone rings in the middle of the night and they hear, “I need your help.”) His truck would not start. His father walked him through varies steps and they realized the battery was dead. We brainstormed solutions and he (I am so proud) chose the cheapest way!!! He walked one mile with the dead battery in his backpack to the nearest store and traded it in for a new one. Then he walked back and installed it in his truck himself. He did lose one day’s work but he used the extra time to look for a newer, and hopefully cheaper apartment. He did not have any friends to call because he has only lived in this town for a few months and is not sure he will stay. His optimism was amazing as he dealt with this problem. He said the following to me:
    “I am glad it is not snowing.”
    “I am glad I have a credit card with good credit and can use it for emergencies.”
    “I am glad I have saved money so this won’t be a big problem.”
    “I am glad I chose to pay an extra $5 a month for internet on my phone so I can find the nearest auto parts store.”
    “I am glad I have not missed any other days at work.”
    He said all of that before the sun came up.

    Since I have been busy in the garden, Reese offered to write a money saving post for me. He shared how he built a dehydrator using cheap parts and junk. He did not take his dehydrator with him when he left home because he was traveling light. Living alone, he often has fruit go bad so he likes to dehydrate the leftovers to take for his lunch.


    PS: If anyone chooses to comment, realize it will be a while before Reese can respond. He has to wait until he is where he can get free internet access since his saves the time on his phone for emergencies.

  • Susan August 15, 2018

    What a clever son you have.

  • Jeannie August 15, 2018

    Thank you, Susan. I will tell him what you said and I am sure he will glow with pride.

  • mmckms August 15, 2018

    I know the "momma terror" of the phone call and dreaded words. I am so glad it wasn't something devastating...and I love your sons adoption of your lifestyle. My son is leaving for college for the first time in 2 weeks, it will be interesting to see where he "lands" in his lifestyle choice. He is however quite frugal with us, I love upbeat great son stories to show there is lots of hope for this next generation. It sounds like he has a great head on his shoulders...good job Mom and Dad!

  • Jeannie August 16, 2018

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. I do need them. All three are struggling with finding good jobs and they are not alone. It seems all of their friends are struggling also. The news keeps announcing how great the economy is, but we don't see it.

    Your son will be successful in life because it appears he has already learned a thrifty lifestyle. It sounds like you have done a great job also! Congratulations on raising a frugal son. We, tightwads, have to encourage each other because the spendthrifts certainly don't understand us. (I consider being called a tightwad a compliment.)


  • Melonie K. August 13, 2018

    We were gifted some items by amazing friends, and had some fun events to attend as well. I've started a volunteer position that is challenging but should give back to this great community we currently live in - I'm super excited about it!


    As always, I so enjoy these posts and the comments. In fact, last week I spent my time reading and enjoying, and forgot to comment and post my own list. Oops! Here it is, if anyone wants to travel "back in time". ;) http://meloniek.com/2018/08/frugal-accomplishments-week-ending-5-aug-2018/

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