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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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  • Andrea Q September 04, 2018

    Ground chicken is excellent in white chili! White beans, chicken stock, onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin...yum! Also good in enchiladas or egg rolls.

  • Leigh Ann September 04, 2018

    Cute little fella! Glad you're getting nicer weather.
    I bought a cub scout shirt in great condition of a local buy-sell-trade group for my son. I don't see many at second hand stores, and this was cheaper than ebay. I'm still looking for shin guards for him for soccer.
    Accepted a big load of kids items that my sister gave me to sell. I clean, photograph, list, and coordinate pickup and payment of the items, then keep half. Luckily, she has realistic expectations about how quickly kids things depreciate.
    Mostly ate at home, except for a couple of fast food meals with family members.
    Shopped clearance at the .99 store, lol! They have a .25 section with expired items. I bought Lunchables, jars of pickles and sliced jalepenos not too far past their date, but I am sure they will still be fine. I also bought some snack foods (which I now freeze before bringing into the house), since our .99 stores are apparently how Pepperidge Farm liquidates their short-dated goldfish, cookies, etc. I wouldn't pay full price for these items, but .99 for the bigger bags of goldfish, Milano cookies, etc. is fine. "Snack" food is such a treat for my kids.
    Bought mark downs and loss leaders at the store.
    Used my teacher discount at Goodwill to save 30%. Every little bit helps. A few items I resold to cover the costs of clothing I kept for the kids. It's amazing what some people will pay for name brands!
    Wrote a note on paper I already had instead of sending a sympathy card to a friend's family.
    Checked for the cheapest gas before I left home.
    I refilled our foaming soap pump with some hotel bodywash from a trip.
    I took the kids to a free painting class at a craft store, as well as to a park we don't visit often.
    Have a good, frugal week!

  • Amy S September 04, 2018

    The instagram video and this picture are completely adorable!!! I miss my kids being this young sometimes :)

    I did all the normal frugal things - but there is one that I am completely happy about! My daughter wanted to run to the store to buy 3 X 5 cards that were ringed together - like a binder. I pulled out my stash of rings, my hole puncher and my extra page reinforcers to strengthen the holes. Voila' - just what she needed. Saving me gas, time, money and filled a creative need in myself.

    Thank you to everyone for the wonderful ideas. And thank you Brandy for providing a very sweet place to read, be inspired and be thankful for what I already have in my life :)

  • Roberta in So. Cal. September 04, 2018

    What a darling picture!

    I haven't posted in ages, but I need to get back on the bandwagon. I haven't written things down, but over the past several months--in addition to our normal daily frugalities--our family has managed to do the following.

    * Hubs completed his EdD. While this might not be technically frugal, it does mean that the financial "hemorrhaging" has finally ended. It was quite the marathon experience.

    * Hubs decided to not attend the graduation ceremony (several states away and additional charges just to attend), and instead for about the same amount, perhaps even less, we went on a long-overdue, much-needed family vacation. Again, not technically "frugal" but we did have the cash on hand, and we all needed to celebrate his accomplishment, my 4 years cancer-free mark, and son's graduation from 8th grade.

    * Gratefully and humbly accepted a friend's offer to pay for Hub's regalia, which Hubs needs to wear several times over the course of the school year as a faculty member. (Those robes and funky hats are crazy expensive in my opinion.)

    * It seems as if a slew of home and car repairs waited until Hubs finished the final draft of his dissertation. Over the past few months, Hubs has had to replace the gas line in our dryer, replace the lid switch in our washer, fix the hot water valve in one shower, replace both shower heads, recharge the "freon" in both of our vehicles, replace a car battery, repair our chipper, and trim a large macadamia tree in our backyard. Comparison shopping online and doing the labor himself saved us quite a bit.

    * Borrowed an extra tall ladder from a friend who is a painter to trim the tree. Chipped up the trimmings to use as mulch.

    * A local community college has a cosmetology program, and about every two months the students come to a local community center to practice their skills by giving free haircuts and manicures. Over the summer both Hubs and Son got haircuts this way. (I'm just not brave enough to try cutting their hair . . . . :p)

    * Son participated in the library's summer reading program and received a free book and a free T-shirt.

    * Hubs sold a few items on Ebay, the proceeds of which were applied to his educational debt. We're continuing to try to sell things this way. (Unfortunately, most of the things I've listed--mainly books--just don't sell. At least we're using the free listings each month, so we're not out anything.)

    * Son needed new shoes (again! life with a teenage boy), so we went through EBates to get a little bit back.

    * Turned in some recycling.

    * Son chose to not attend the 8th grade honor society end-of-the year trip to Disneyland.

    * Son chose to not purchase a high school yearbook. (He said most kids he has talked with just wait and only buy one their senior year.)

    Have a great week, everyone!

  • Jennifer O. September 05, 2018

    I think we're int he same season. My husband skipped graduation also. He will never have to wear the robes again, so he couldn't see the point. We'll go away for a long weekend next month and my wine club is planning a special celebration for him next week so the occasion will not go unnoticed.

  • Heidi Louise September 05, 2018

    Roberta - Congratulations to your husband and your family!
    Academic robes and hats are crazy expensive, and you are very fortunate to have someone underwrite his. If you look closely at an academic procession, the faculty sort of cobble them together from whatever leftovers they have. The colors and sizes of the hood, velvet, stripes, sleeves, etc., are symbolic, yet I've never known anyone to go through and actually check to see if what the person is wearing matches his or her degrees. Used ones are occasionally available, even black choir gowns or items leftover at a college bookstore or theatre. If someone had one to copy a pattern from, the hoods are pretty much straight sewing, even using blanket binding tape for stripes.

  • Athanasia September 06, 2018

    Roberta, congratulations to your husband on achieving his doctoral degree.

  • Sarah September 04, 2018

    This week we...

    *Saw our exhibits at the fair. We spent $8 to enter them. We earned $16 in premiums and my daughter won the raffle which was a $20 gift card to a local bookstore.

    *We chose Thursday for our family to go to the fair, which winds up being the least expensive. It's my family's favorite event of the year. I bought Dad and daughter ride wristbands (which include fair entry) for $22/each. The babies are free. I got in "free" by donating 2 cans of food for the food pantry. For $45 we all got in plus my husband and daughter got to ride the rides until 11pm! Perks of homeschooling. ;)

    *Checked out some ebooks on Overdrive. Checked out school books for this month from the library. Renewed other items online, saving me a second trip, saving gas and time.

    *Sold a bracelet on eBay. I had won it several years ago and never really wore it. I made about $20. I also spent free moments Saturday and Sunday listing other items, some of them which have bids and quite a few watchers.

    *Sold outgrown diapers and a cast iron dutch oven collecting dust for a total of $35 on FB marketplace.

    *Redeemed $2 Amazon gift cards from InstaGC (like swagbucks).

    *We had our homeschool group over for a meeting last Monday. I provided some snacks and others did too. People left us with leftover coffee, creamer, grilled cheese sandwiches, and precut carrots and tomatoes. The creamer has lasted me the week. I will drink the iced coffee today. The grilled cheese fed us for 2 lunches and one dinner (paired with homemade tomato soup from the garden). I added the carrots to a pasta dish. The tomatoes were just added to my beans and meat mixture for taco night on Thursday.

    *I have several freebies in my grocery account which I'll pick up today. A snack mix, Jimmy Dean breakfast scramble, and a yogurt pouch. The kids will be happy with those! We will also peek back into the bakers to see if they have left out any goodies for the kids.

    *Exercised using the cool evenings we have this week. Nothing like a walk/jog and fresh air.

    *Use my free bible app to study scripture.

    *Bought groceries online which wound up being less expensive than our local grocery store. Bonus - delivered to my front door! I will earn a bit back from ebates too.

    *Booked an AirBnB for our family Christmas visit in December. Earned $25 back through my bank's rewards program.

  • ms. p September 04, 2018

    This week we were giving tomatoes from a co worker and my hubby got bear from a coworker. I never had bear before. It was a good. My hubby and I were able to go camping for free and we took all food from home. Eating out of freezer. We have some expense coming up next year. Time to cut back and save.

  • Ann September 04, 2018

    Such a sweet little boy! Your children have the bluest eyes!
    Been mending jeans for my son, working up pears from neighbor that doesn't want them, fixing them for grand daughter for her little ones as we do not care for them other than just cooked fresh or raw fresh. They love fruit of any kind and she is always glad anytime I give her stuff like that, adding very little sugar. I can't possibly work up all of them but hate to see them go to waste, SIL called me yesterday and wanted to know if I wanted some apples, Yes, so she is bringing apples from a friend the first of next week and we are making apple sauce, she said she has never made apple sauce, I couldn't believe it!!
    Always check your page when I sit down at computer your column is like a breath of fresh air for me and so many good money saving tips, Have always tried to be frugal.

  • Kitty B (Calgary) September 04, 2018

    A few accomplishments aside from all the "usual stuff"

    Worked 8 hours at my occasional office job
    made SB goal x 4
    Checked out a stack of library books to look for Christmas DIY projects
    Made 3 greeting cards
    Cleaned out pantry
    Donated 2 boxes of books to a new teacher

    Thank you to Brandy and all who contribute!

  • Gardenpat September 04, 2018

    I guess I’ll stop complaining about our oppressive heat here recently- low 90’s and overnights still in 70’s! But, I’m still ready for fall to arrive and am grateful to have some room a/cs that we turn on when we are going to be in a room for a while!

    I bought a little over 40 pounds of ground beef on sale ($1.59/pound) and BLSL chicken breast ($1.49/ pound)over Labor Day weekend. Have cooked up 20 pounds of the ground beef so far and frozen in 1 pound ziplocs. I cooked and shredded 10 pounds of chicken and cut up into chunks and froze another 5 pounds!
    My friends at the produce market sent me home with a free 20 pound box of zucchini so I shredded that up and will use it in muffins, bread,etc!
    Chickens gave us another 3-1/2 dozen eggs this week! I am so grateful for our basement fridge for sale overflow that needs refrigerating!!
    I had about $450 extra in our account when I zero-ed out the excess on the day our new pay came in, so as usual, half went into savings and half to our debt snowball! It’s exciting to see savings building up and debt going down so quickly!
    I’m still making more of the “Scrappy Bags” I started last week and of the original 13 I made, 7 have already sold since we put them up Saturday on our Facebook site- HandmadeinOldeTowne. Here’s a photo: https://pin.it/vu2uvjfuc3avrq
    Two of our teenage grandsons moved two piles of extra dirt from our yard projects and helped spread them into low lying areas of our side yard. Then we dug down a bit and started using some of the remaining Freecycle bricks I got to expand the brick walkway I’ve been working on this spring/summer to in front of the rain barrels! I think there will be enough bricks to do it! https://pin.it/unjb6dia4vvm5w
    Made dinner for a sick friend on Sunday so, since the recipe made too much for one person, I packaged up the other half to take to a recently divorced friend who works full time and isn’t used to cooking for one! We surprised her with it and stayed and visited!
    Rotating (eating) our way through the freezers to make room for the new things!
    We got another wedding tray order for our business as well as 2 more State outlines (new ones that Dave needed to graph out and make templates for-WV and Tennessee) we also have an order to build a fireplace mantle that will be freestanding, so Dave is putting dimensions/sketches to paper! He loves doing that sort of design and create work!!
    So our little business is gearing up again after we took a summer break to concentrate on family things!
    We have been blessed with relatively good health and certainly are grateful for the abundance of opportunities we’ve been given to provide for our needs as well as many of our wants! Life is good!

  • Jenifer September 04, 2018

    What a sweet face!
    1. Inspired by Lillianna, I found 12 Coke caps and treated myself to a free magazine subscription.
    2.Kept myself occupied during a "slow" day by moving a bunch of large rocks, even using a hand cart. We need a swale added to the back yard for drainage issues, and these would be in the excavators path.
    3. We were invited to a cookout, took skewered vegetables to be grilled. Bought or picked from the garden.
    4. Visited a family member who had hip replacement done recently and set up a little tea party with tea and homemade cookies for entertainment.
    5. Told the Mister he could have one or the other (treat) when he accompanied me grocery shopping. I usually leave him at home to avoid these treats making their way into the cart.
    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  • Susan M. September 04, 2018

    I was able to get “free” batteries after store rewards, also “free” photo sitting fees after joining for a two year membership for family pictures that we were going to have taken anyway. Joining the membership saved us $20 on what we would have paid for sitting fees. I also was able to find sunglasses and a pretty sun hat for my teenage daughter on clearance for $5.50 total for both items. And finished my frugal week with making yummy apple crisp!


  • Kim-Pacific Northwest September 04, 2018

    What a great photo of that cutie!

    I found yarn for .70 a skein at Michaels so I purchased 3 skeins- 2 white and 1 bright pink to make a little girl winter scarf- the colors were very limited.
    A co-worker gifted me a tin of green tea which I will really enjoy this winter.
    I purchased some bags of mulch for $2 a bag and mulched my flower garden, strawberry bed and base of apple tree. I also cleaned up my flower garden so now everything is ready for one final late fall clean up before winter. The mulch will keep weeds down and feed the soil as it breaks down over winter.
    My husband and I have re-arranged our work schedules so we can provide after school care for our grandson saving his parents the costs of child care.
    I cleaned and re-arranged my living room and found I have no need for a chair and a tv so I will be having a garage sale in a couple weeks (if it isn't raining). If I make any money from the sale, I will use it towards my Christmas budget.

    Lastly, I wanted to tell everyone in this blog community that these little every day things we all do really does help out in the long run. Our daughter just told us that she is having some health issues that requires a special type of MRI test that will cost $1500 and her insurance will not cover it. Luckily, because of our frugal ways, we can help her cover the cost.
    It is truly a blessing to be able to help your adult children when they really need it!!

  • Lillianna pickles September 04, 2018

    I strongly recommend calling around and asking for a cash price. I paid 200.00 for one. My last one for my car wreck is being billed at 16 thousand. Amazing difference.

  • Sarahelisabeth September 04, 2018

    You had a really successful week. We have had a hot summer but I can't imagine the heat you have going on and on! England is really comfortable now.

    Anyway, last week, I signed up to a new shopping app which my son recommended (Shopmium) and got some free nutella and frozen fish. I was also able to sell some books that we no longer need.
    Most of the washing was line dried.
    Our apple harvest hasn't been great but I was able to freeze some apple sauce and apple crumbles.
    I made a food inventory to make sure that those things hiding at the back of the cupboard get used.
    We had picnics when I took the children out but were able to use store coupons to pay most of a family meal out.

    Hope you have a good week.

  • PJGT September 04, 2018

    We have been using the AC. Not frugal, but essential with the humidity. We are so blessed.

    Our week has been rather normal. Little spending, found some coins, no food waste, watched a couple shows for free, washed out bags, and did what was needed.

    We used our new, free-to-us, electric trimmer chainsaw. Now the yard is so much brighter and more open. I also was blessed with the opportunity to bring things to a friend's yardsale. I only made 83$; however it was good to get rid of so much unwanted stuff! Well needed gas money.

    School is here and another year starts. As I've always been in school...I seem to order my time accordingly.

    Happy frugal-ing friends

  • Margie from Toronto September 04, 2018

    What a handsome boy! Your children really are very photogenic!

    .I made HM yogurt last week for the first time in ages - so much easier now that my yogurt maker is more accessible.

    .I did an inventory of all proteins on hand, fresh, my small freezer compartment and the pantry - and found that I have 196 servings available - I was shocked! And this is before I even take into account meals from soups, salads, egg dishes, risottos, pasta or a loaded baked potato. Needless to say - I am buying no meat or seafood this month at all! I need to make room for a turkey breast and at least 1 small ham as Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October.

    .Our transit system instituted a new program which started last week - now we can hop off and on - and even return home all with just paying one fare - as long as we board for the last time within a 2 hour window. I have been grouping errands and planning my routes carefully and on most days out I've managed to only pay one fare rather than the two or three I may have had to use prior to this change!

    Accordingly, I have cut my food budget in half for this month and will concentrate on just milk, eggs, cheese, fruit & veg. I have also cut my transit budget by 1/3. We'll see how I do.

  • Erika @ The Make Do Homemaker September 04, 2018

    It's so neat that your son gets to take a free ACT class! Those definitely help come testing time!

    It's been insane around here, this my lack of posting. I'll link to the two posts that encompass the last three weeks. It's been a roller coaster of a year so far.



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