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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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Comments

  • Maxine August 13, 2018

    Love that cucumber! Do they taste like regular cukes? And I could do with a rootbeer float right about now, too!

    In addition to the usual frugal stuff, this was my week--
    When I set up garbage service at our new home, I got the smallest (and cheapest) wheelie bin they had. I also got the largest recycling bin (also the cheapest). This week the garbage bin was only a little over half full, and the recycling bin was full and overflowing. Good for the environment and good for my wallet!

    I paid my bills online to save time and stamps.

    I wear wool socks all winter. I sorted the ones I already have and discarded the socks that were beyond redemption. I discovered I have enough socks to see me through the winter without buying more.

    I used a coupon from our Bright Beginnings (like Welcome Wagon) visit to subscribe to the newspaper for 10 weeks for $25. The regular price is $20 month. I haven't taken the paper for a year and I've missed it. (My degree is in print journalism, which makes me part of a dying breed. But it also makes me want to support any newspaper that still publishes 7 days a week).

    This didn't benefit me, but I hope it blessed somebody else. I listed two items on freecycle and they were gone in minutes. The freecycle here isn't very active, but I hope things will get better, and posting items is the best way to start.

    This was the best one. DH picked up an Rx from ShopKo and got two coupons on the register tape: one for $10 off $40 purchase, and another for $10 off $20 purchase. The second coupon could be stacked, and the first one expired the next day. We didn't really need anything right away, but I'd been giving some thought to filling an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. I had already been buying school supplies for cheap for OCC. Using the coupons, I bought a soccer ball for under $6, more school supplies (for pennies), hygiene items (also for pennies) and a pair of jeans for DD. Everything was either on sale or clearance, and I had a hard time coming up with $40.60 in purchases...which I got for $20.60. By the way, does anyone know how to let the air out of a soccer ball? It isn't going to fit in the shoebox until I do! (I also bought an inflater to put the air back in).

    (Note about Operation Christmas Child boxes: I was reading blog comments about this. One woman posted that she was so excited, she went out and spent $140 to fill a box! She stressed buying good quality items, and I agree...but I couldn't spend $140 if I tried! Mine will cost on the low side of $20-$25 and include the soccer ball and pump).

  • Ellie's friend from Canada August 17, 2018

    Maxine, some child is going to love that soccer ball. So clever of you to deflate it and send an inflator. Please let us know how you are going to deflate it. I'm not sure but a vacuum might be an idea.

  • Sheena August 18, 2018

    Hi Maxine

    There are YouTube tutorials on deflating a soccer ball. The one I watched was a teenage boy ( and who would know better).

    Regards

    Sheena

  • Rhonda A. August 18, 2018

    I'm not sure how to deflate a soccer ball, but have you tried sticking just the tip from the pump into the ball without the pump attached? I don't know if it will work but worth a try.

  • Maxine, you can buy deflated soccer balls and pumps to put in Operation Christmas Child boxes. That's how most people do it. Perhaps you could buy one of those and return the one you bought. Here are some that Amazon has: https://amzn.to/2nKsmk6

  • Juls Owings August 13, 2018

    Well I didn't do much frugal wise but what I did was well worth it as I spent over half the week in the hospital with my Crohn's. Got 5% off hospital bill by prepaying estimated balance which I know was on the low side. Hubby ate what was in the frig to keep it from going to waste.We pushed hard enough that the head contractor offered to sue the subcontractor that messed up some things in the house and got the subcontractor to agree to fix them this week. If sub doesn't , head contractor is hiring the repairs done and suing, keeping us out of the mess created. We found a contractor to finish the north and south lofts and is coming in this weekend to do it so it's off my list. His son is coming to help and they just gave a flat charge and discounted what they normally charge when I offered to have food and pop there for their lunches.
    Not much else... I would say I miss my gardens and the bounty but I was glad we only had tomatoes out for hubby to deal with. He gave them away since I am not up to canning for a couple more weeks.
    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2018/08/frugal-while-in-hospital-finishing-up.html

  • I August 13, 2018

    I just picked my vacationing neighbour's garden. I harvested peas, purple beans that turn green when you cook them, and strawberries and raspberries. This will all go nicely with some BBQ steak we are treating ourselves to tonight. DD comes back later in the week from her summer job in another province and we will get organized to move her back to her new apt on the coast for second year of uni-my the summer just flew by. I might be a bit bored come fall so if so I might do a little work here and there.

  • Signerjack August 13, 2018

    What time do your older children go to bed? My daughter is now 35, but at 15 or thereabouts, she often went to bed at the same time as us, about 10 ish. At that point we didn't have evening time onmour own unless she was out atva friend's house .

  • High school starts at 7 a.m. here and they attend a religion class at 6 a.m. (there are 300+ students at that, divided into smaller classes) and leave at 5:20 a.m. to get there, so they are up at 4:45 like I am. They go to bed as soon as possible. They are usually in bed by 8:00 or 8:30 if we are running behind.

  • SignerJack August 14, 2018

    Wow! That's early. I didn't realise your children went to high school. I thought you home schooled them. No wonder they go to bed early

  • They attend the religion class and come home afterwards for school at home, but it's held for all of the high school aged students at 6 a.m., before school starts.

  • Signerjack August 14, 2018

    Thanks. That explains it.

  • Laura August 14, 2018

    My elementary school children also go to bed at a reasonable hour; between 730/8 during the week and a bit later on Fridays and Saturdays. We recently visited with my brother and SIL who have a young (4 yrs old) child. They were complaining about how late he stays up: 3 AM!!! Oh, no.. children need their rest.

  • Cate August 13, 2018

    Brandy - I am soooo excited to finally write of a frugal accomplishment this week and it is a good one. Safeway had Challenge Butter on sale for 2 pounds for $3 (limit 2). I went online and noticed Challenge Butter's website had a coupon for 50 cents per purchase. Safeway doubles manufacturer's coupons up to a dollar. The butter was essentially $1.50 a pound. I printed out two coupons (actually six - I bought my Mom and sister two also under their numbers). I had to pay each one separately but at $1.50 with a coupon that doubled to a dollar, I paid 50 CENTS per pound!! I doubt I will be able to pull anything near that off again but I was surely happy. It taught me a valuable lesson. ALWAYS look online when you need something that is a name brand on sale and check for a coupon. Usually I buy store brand.

  • Heidi Louise August 15, 2018

    Oooh-- Well played!
    I don't quite understand how the U.S. has a cheese surplus, and excess milk, yet butter prices have gone up dramatically. It must be something in how butter is made and stored; just seems counter-intuitive.

  • Rhonda A. August 16, 2018

    There is a butter shortage in Europe. The European market is willing to pay top price for butter from other countries to help meet demands. This means, the butter shortage effects everywhere and prices go up as a result.

  • Kim August 13, 2018

    Hi Brandy and others:
    Your root beer floats sound great.
    I was able to make a loaf of zucchini bread for the freezer. I made a batch of brownies for lunches and I dried a batch of green onions and a green pepper. I dried the veggies outside on the patio on a covered tray- yes it was so hot they dried quickly.
    I was able to catch a sale at Lobby Hobby and purchase new handles for the free dresser I got earlier this summer. I cleaned and sanded the dresser and added a coat of sealer and new handles. It looks really nice and should work great for my daughter's home. The best part is it only cost me $10 for 5 new heavy duty handles. I already had the sealer so $10 for a much needed dresser for my daughter. She is currently storing her clothes in the linen closet so this will be a big improvement for her.
    My grandson has been asking me for fish for Christmas. He wants a few fish in a bowl. I went to Restore and found a small aquarium set new, still in the box marked $40 but I got it for $15. So $15 for the grandson's main Christmas gift plus the cost of a couple fish.

    I had a real scare last Friday while at work. A brush fire started nearby and quickly spread very, very close to the building I work in. We were ready to evacuate but fortunately, several fire trucks and helicopter with a water bucket were able to get it under control after a couple hours. It was crazy to be right in the middle of a wildfire fire fighting operation. I could see it all from the window of my office. I am so thankful to God that nobody was hurt or injured and no buildings were lost. It gives you a very uneasy feeling and made me realize this is exactly why those of us on this blog are always prepping. You just never know. I was quickly able to form an evacuation plan in my head. I knew of 4 children and a disabled person I would evacuate with me and care for until family could pick them up. My building happens to be right next to a daycare so the 4 children I would have picked up from the daycare to make sure they got out safely. The disabled person lives in a house just down the street so I would check on her on the way out with the children. I can honestly say, I had never thought of needing a plan for this type of an emergency. There are only 2 ways out of this area and one was on fire so that only left one way out.....so glad it didn't come to evacuation because that could have gotten ugly really fast.
    Thanks to Brandy and this blog community, I would have had a full pantry ready at my home to feed the extra people I would have evacuated with me. That was a comforting thought.

  • Marybeth August 15, 2018

    Glad you are safe.

  • Jeannie August 16, 2018

    Oh Kim, I am glad the fire was contained. I accidentally started a fire on our property years ago and it was terrifying. A live coal from the fireplace ashes dumped in the compost pile ignited the field. Within minutes it quickly spread across our field and headed toward the subdivision. Everyone who saw the smoke suddenly appeared and circled the fire in my field and together we fought it. I didn't know there were so many people around me neither did I realize how many men carried shovels in their truck beds. I was completely unaware how a fire could move so fast but my country neighbors knew the danger and ran to help. I developed a deep respect for fire and have always been careful since. I never want to hear the fire chief ask me if he could see my fire permit as he was pulling out his ticket book.

    Jeannie@GetMetoTheCountry

  • Mable August 13, 2018

    Armenian cukes are a wonder, performing in your climate as well as mine in interior Alaska. We are eating from garden and freezer, so no money spent on groceries in at least two weeks. I would love to make it another two weeks. Did two mystery shops, earning gas and bottled water plus a small incentive. Made the spicy tomato jam from Food in Jars blog and it turned out wonderfully---although it is very, very hot (which I like. Most foods seem bland to me...) Made enough to give as Christmas gifts. Also canned pickles and relish, for us and for gifts. I love having a garden large enough to feed us, as well as make gifts. We have an abundance of raspberries, but sadly they never make it into jam or the freezer because we eat them all right after picking them; ditto for strawberries. Had a date night, using a gift card someone gave us over two years ago; I cannot remember the last time we went to see a movie at a theater and even had movie popcorn. Finally, we like a lot of what Netflix streaming offers but don't use it enough to justify a full time subscription. Instead, we get it a month at a time, about every four months, and then go through the list of movies I want to see that I have been keeping since last time we had it. And this week the movie version of one of my favorite books came out: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. If you have not heard of it, it takes place during and after WWII and is set in Nazi occupied Guernsey as well as post war London. A group of people form a book club to hide a pork dinner and then keep it going even after they have consumed the forbidden meat. It really is a good film for family, not gory, based on history, and thought provoking.

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