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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Octavius Summer The Prudent Homemaker

I turned a pair of jeans into jean shorts and mended two dresses. 

I harvested Armenian cucumbers, red noodle beans, and cherry tomatoes from the garden.

I took seeds from one of my Armenian cucumbers and planted them in the garden.

I made Ranch, Italian, and Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette dressings to go on our salads. This time of year I have to buy lettuce as it won't grow in our heat, but including homegrown tomatoes and cucumbers on top is great!

I purchased some items using coupon codes at two different websites (30% off on one site and 20% off on the other), going through Ebates first to earn cash back. I had free shipping with both of these codes as well, saving me time going to the store as well as gas to get there and back.

I used a free shipping code to order two math books for homeschooling, one of which was on sale for 28% off.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

The early morning temperatures cooled down to 72 for a short while, enabling me to turn off the air conditioner and open the windows between 5 and 7 a.m. It's still over 100 here during the day, but the nights were 85 last week and I am grateful for some fresh air in the early mornings to open up the house. I always feel like a fresh burst of oxygen is helpful to get going in the morning (plus it makes the house smell nice!)

My 15-year-old son attended the free first workshop of a three-week ACT workshop taught by an ACT tutor.

I read three e-books from the library.

I redeemed 2200 points on Swagbucks for a $25 Lowe's gift card on the thirty-first. You can only get one $25 gift card a month for the discounted rate of 2200 points, so I redeemed for another one on the first of September for $25. 

My husband and I used a buy one get one free coupon to have a date out for $9.

What did you do to save money last week?




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  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 07, 2018

    Joanne, I just asked. Apparently, they went to purchase wheat in bulk from a farm that is now no longer in business. They do the rest of the bulk purchases at Costco in Leeds and at Makro.
    I know Costco here sells beans in bulk (at least pintos; they could have more options).

  • Joanne in Birmingham UK September 07, 2018

    Thanks Brandy, coincidentally there is a Costco not far from where my son plays American Football so I will investigate their prices whilst he is at practice one day. Makro is trade only (used to have a Makro trade card when we had a candle shop but that was years ago and we don’t have this any more). Thanks again.

  • Lea September 06, 2018

    If you have an inexpensive source for nuts they are a good source of protein, fat and calories. My mother has to be very careful what she eats due to some medication complications and this is the only thing she could eat to gain weight after losing quite a large amount for her due to medical reasons.

    We like hummus at our house - usually with veggies or pita. They have kept our two athletes from losing weight while exercising many hours a week.

    My brother-in-law was also told to use nuts to gain weight during competitive spending - he is very tall and wiry with a rather thin build but was losing weight at an alarming rate. He did quite well with the nuts and pea plant protein powder, which my husband also takes. The pea plant protein powder was less expensive than the whey protein powder in our area of the US and has helped both my husband and my brother-in-law tremendously. My husband has had very serious medical issues this year and needs to gain back a lot of weight - slow and steady and the protein powder has been a blessing!

    Your future Christmas gifts sound lovely!

    Best withes!

  • Joanne in Birmingham UK September 07, 2018

    Thank you Lea, my son suggested hummus this afternoon, great minds think alike!! We’ve found a good priced chocolate flavour pea protein powder which he’s enjoying in a smoothie with frozen banana, peanut butter, oat yoghurt and oat milk, it does taste rather good! I’m going to investigate the nut suggestion and draw up some price comparisons. I am so pleased with the Christmas gifts, feel very frugally accomplished!!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 04, 2018

    That picture of your son is adorable!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - I made Very Cherry Crumble Bars (http://approachingfood.com/very-cherry-crumble-bars/) (Sooooo yummy!) using cherries that I had purchased on sale, pitted using my mother’s cherry pitter, and then frozen. I also used butter and flour purchased on sale and frozen. So frugal, delicious and quite easy to make.
    - Using the BUNZ trading app, I traded some wooden boxes that I got free from my workplace, along with two teas gifted to me, for a large BNIB floating wooden shelf. It was much larger than I expected, about the size of a small mantle. I plan to give it to some family friends, possibly for Christmas.
    - I also traded a frame that I no longer wanted for several pounds of freshly picked, locally grown, green concord grapes. I love grapes, but because they’re often high in pesticide residue, I’ve been avoiding them while pregnant. So I’m super-happy to have Toronto-grown organic grapes, and without impacting my grocery budget! I ate some fresh and canned the rest to make grape juice.
    - I also traded a bottle of wine that I got in a previous trade, for $14.40 worth of stamps. As I had previously traded a homemade loaf of white bread for the bottle of wine, it paid off cost-wise. I plan to use the stamps to address thank you notes for my upcoming baby shower.
    - My workplace bought everyone a pizza lunch one day, so I turned the lunch that I had packed, a cheese sandwich, into grilled cheese for dinner. My husband ate dinner out that day, so it worked out perfectly.
    - Someone at my workplace brought in extra corn that she had, so I took two. Perfect veggie side for dinner one night for the DH and I!
    - I made a batch of Greek Yoghurt, as opposed to the regular yoghurt that I usually make. I set aside the whey to use in smoothies, breads, etc.
    - I baked two loaves of white bread (I used a cup of the whey to replace a cup of water), as well as a dozen veggie sausage rolls for lunches, snacks, etc. for the week. I used my new meat/cheese/bread slicer to slice the first loaf of bread! Was fun, but I’m going to try again with day old bread and see if it slices better.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone, as always!

  • Kim in Florida September 04, 2018

    I wish that trading app worked around here. In my area there are tons of takers but you dont find too many givers..........cant be giving everything away!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 04, 2018

    Yeah, it's pretty specific to certain locations in Canada at this point. But if you have items you want to get rid of, you could try kijiji or fb marketplace. I've never sold on fb, but I've heard it works. And those little dribs and drabs of dollars add up!

  • Jeannie September 04, 2018

    My biggest money saver this week, was knowledge I acquired. I discovered how to tell when to pick a watermelon at peak ripeness!!!!! This is a skill which has eluded me forever; oh, the watermelons I have tossed over the years. It may not seem like much to others, but this is big for me. I am giddy with happiness and have shared my secret on this week's blog post. To celebrate, I will give away free seeds to anyone who wants some.



  • Erika September 04, 2018

    I love the monster melon! It certainly earned the name!

  • Jeannie September 08, 2018

    Alas, it is gone. Eaten and enjoyed by all. Sigh. Only the seeds remain to be dispersed.

  • Jennifer O. September 04, 2018

    Brandy – Have you considered growing lettuce under a grow lamp in your house? That would isolate you from the heat.

    As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband graduated with his Doctorate as a Nurse Practitioner and this week he received a very generous job offer…and he was admitted to the PhD. Program (which comes with an additional stipend)! It has been a long couple of years between deployments and graduate school! The income boost will help with the litany of broken things and deferred maintenance going on at our house - 2nd floor AC(dead), foundation repair,(EEK!!) new washing machine (broken), new microwave (dying quickly), new couch (shredded), random mold, sheetrock repair…. It will be a few months before we clear the backlog, but it’s looking up.

    Keeping to my other good habits and developing a few new ones. Started wearing my pj’s for a second night – as long as there were no hot flashes. Bumped the AC up 1 degree. Used reusable cloth sandwich bags, mason jars and plastic containers to store and carry leftovers. Turned the shampoo bottle over to get a few more days out of it. Topped off the soap bottle with a little water to extend it. Combined errands. Free movie at the base. Free Zumba classes on base. In the waiting is good column, I managed coupons and sales on my contact lenses, cat litter, cat food and some shoes that weren’t available last month when I almost purchased them.

    Began a serious clean out of the pantry after a pantry moth and mold issue. We threw out a lot of things, which isn’t frugal, but I was happy to have had the back supply when our income was so much lower and we needed it.

    We were blessed to have a local homeless man come around asking for work. We paid him well for the couple of hours of work and sent him on his way with a hot meal and some groceries. He says will be back next week for more work. He seemed to know what to do to fix the foundation so once the rain slows down he will help my husband fix it. YAY!!

  • Megan B September 05, 2018

    Congrats on your husband’s job offer! I love your outlook that hiring the homeless person to do some work was a blessing for YOU as well as him!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 05, 2018

    I don't have anywhere in the house where I can grow food, and especially safely. My two-year-old dug up a pot on the patio yesterday and threw the dirt about 10 feet in every direction . . . . I don't do well growing seedlings indoors, either; they don't sprout, or if they do, they mold.

  • Athanasia September 06, 2018

    Jennifer, congratulations to your husband on all his accomplishments.

  • Hilogene in Az September 04, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Thanks so much for the photo of Octavius. What a handsome boy and a great photo for your collection.

    We, my husband really, fixed our dryer by getting the exhaust vent that goes to the roof cleaned out. Yeah! Huge savings since a dryer repair guy would have charged us to tell us we needed a venter cleaned out... I also made homemade bread, sliced and frozen for weekday lunches. And from a frozen Costco chicken carcass (we ate the chicken last month), I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup which is now frozen into five meal portions in the freezer.

    I have also been working diligently to clean out the frozen foods in the freezer in preparation for fall. Fridge is mostly empty and the small chest freezer is halfway there. With only the two of us in the household, it goes slowly :)

  • Cindy in the South September 04, 2018

    Such a cute kid! We are supposed to get just a couple of inches of rain from the hurricane, so that is not too bad. I am grateful it is not more. I dislike flooded roads. I had my tire light come on on the way home from church (it is 30 miles away). It was checked out and the tires seem to be ok. I made coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans for the holiday. I will be able to eat that food all week. i had leftover tomatoes, and I made a crustless tomato pie. It was sorta runny, so I added eggs to it, and baked it for breakfast. I love September and October because my electric bills are at their lowest this time of year. Y'all have a blessed week!

  • Andrea Q September 04, 2018

    Our tire lights come on when there's a drastic change in temperature and we've come to expect it as a sign of fall!

  • Jo September 04, 2018

    What a sweet picture! That boy could be a child model. The photographer was pretty good, too, of course.:)
    My husband repaired the cable from our antenna to our TV -- it had been snapped by the lawnmower, argh. He spent less than four dollars on the parts, and saved us the $80 call-out fee, too.
    I did some more painting projects this weekend. The primer and one of the colors are from a previous project, keeping my costs down.
    I keep my shoes such a long time. I started to wear a pair of flats the other day, and found the soles were simply crumbling off. I think I've had these shoes almost 20 years, so I'm not too upset about them falling apart.
    I'm making soup today with my homemade bone broth. I used mixed bones and crock pot them for over 24 hours. I always get a good, rich broth.
    I'm keeping my eyes open for Christmas gift ideas. I love finding neat gifts on good sales ahead of time, and not having to rush around at the last minute trying to get gifts at whatever price I can find them.
    I trimmed my bangs again.
    We are still seeing high humidity and mid-nineties, and now a tropical storm is headed for the Gulf coast, so I am really, really ready to see cooler weather.

  • Laurie in central NC September 04, 2018

    I'm so ready to have open windows again. Even if it gets down to 72 at night here, it's so humid it feels swampy. Next week is looking promising on that front. I used a $10 off $50 for animal food at Tractor Supply, and continue to harvest from the garden. The overachiever of the week is pawpaws. I made a lovely parfait using several of them. We made homemade ice cream yesterday, using our (toasted) hazelnuts. I'm looking forward to having more tonight :o). https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/09/early-september-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • Marcia R. September 04, 2018

    Our week was spent battling flies in the house. This is something I find disgusting, personally. There are always flies which crawl into the space between the windows and the storm windows and hatch in there. We usually keep on top of them but when we were away for a few days, DD did not do so. They are pretty easy however, since they are slow, sluggish flies. Suddenly about 4 days ago, we were invaded by some fruit fly like pests--they were not fruit flies and I spent a lot of time trying to decide what they were. I paid $10 for some spray I thought would work and it didn't take care of them. So I dug out some fly papers that we have used before near the cat litter boxes in the basement---they did the job! These flies or gnats or whatever they were got in our faces, and attempted to get into our food etc. We were on the warpath!! I didn't make granola or bread when I needed to because I couldn't bear the thought of flies in it. Finally, using some fruit fly traps and well as the fly papers, we managed to get rid of 99% of them anyhow. Still seeing the odd one here and there but attacking every time is working! So yesterday it was clean enough to make bread and granola!
    Very hot here this week also---extremely high humidity with 90+ temperatures. We had a sudden thunderstorm last night which cooled it off about 10 degrees in only a few minutes. Quite a few trees and wires down, but none in our neighborhood. Lucked out again!
    I made a large bowl of four bean salad which we have eaten two nights already. It is cold and refreshing with something grilled for dinner. Tonight will be some small strip steaks I got on sale and mashed potatoes, and beets that I roasted two days ago. Easy dinners are so appreciated on hot days!
    My sister has two new great-grands born Sept. 1st. This is her third set of twin great-grands--all 6 are fraternal boys! They arrived via C-Section because of being in awkward positions but were 5#12oz and 5 #13 oz at 4 weeks early. Very healthy and already home from the hospital! No problems at all, except needing the c-section. I'm losing track of how many grands and great-grands she has but it's at or near 30 all together. I am not competing--I have one grandchild and no great grands to date.
    While we grew no garden at all this year, I have been in the right place at the right time for two weeks now--both time got some marked down meats at the supermarket at wonderful prices! This week a couple packages of pork cube steaks and I only took one package of ground chicken, even though it was about 50% off, because I'm not sure what I will use it for. I am stocking up the freezer with discounted meat, which is certainly going to help with prices!
    I started to replace a zipper in a jacket for my niece's boyfriend--a big job, as the zipper was put in before the jacket was sewn together. I want to finish that project and get the burden off my mind!! Also have another zipper to replace for her but it is in a size 4 children's jacket, which should be a lot easier. I have a number of sewing projects I haven't gotten around to lately--might as well do so while it's too hot to be outdoors!
    Love the photo of Octavius--your children are certainly photogenic!! He and Hamish look quite a lot alike, don't they?

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