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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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  • Lillianna pickles September 04, 2018

    Well, I continue to find myself in trying circumstances. I have been attacked by a massive staph infection. It has settled into my muscles and joints and is as nasty as I have ever experienced. I am blessed to have the knowledge that I instantly recognized what this nasty blister was. The size of a pencil eraser ! The health implications can be horrible with this so I had no option but going to the emergency room. The doctor and I discussed my health issues and she gave me prescriptions for the strongest antibiotics available. I immediately started googling my options to get them filled while waiting to check out. I love my kindle ! In addition to Good RX, there are another 9 or 10 prescription discount companies available. I checked each one because there can still be a huge difference at one store for the same drug using different discount cards. One of my prescriptions was free at a grocery store that gives out a few select free prescription drugs. I was able to pay 6.30 for the second at the local CVS. I will have to apply to the hospital for aide. The third prescription was for antibiotic ointment and I had Neosporin at home. These programs are all free and many allow you to have the coupon texted to your phone. I hope this will help someone else. I am so far in the hole I am nearly to China. I might as well duh on through and enjoy a vacation there. Once again, we have everything we need and are just fine. I am so happy to know there is always a window I can find to open when all my doors seem closed. Seeing Octavious on Instagram made my day. I am waiting for the rabbit to save me.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 04, 2018

    I'm sorry you're going through so much, Lillianna. I hope you feel better soon. I'm always in awe of your resourcefulness and can-do attitude. Hang in there!

  • Laura September 07, 2018

    My children were prone to MRSA when they were younger. The prescription antibiotic is stronger than Neosporin and works well. They also told us to purchase Hibiclens (OTC) and wash the area with that. It works wonders. Hope you kick this soon.

  • Sue September 04, 2018

    He's adorable!
    August was the first month I have ever actually tracked my food cost. For the 2 of us it was $313. More than I thought I spent . I definitely need to work on that. With the amount of food I have in the freezer and storage I could actually skip grocery shopping for a couple weeks. I just can't seem to pass up a really good bargain. Any suggestions on how to just letting them go from time to time?

  • Andrea Q September 04, 2018

    Don't go to the store :)

  • Juls Owings September 06, 2018

    Sue September 04, 2018
    quit looking at ads, don't go to the store, take CASH only for what is on your list. I have even did Click list for Kroger's, son does it for another store. Have someone else pick up your groceries.
    Another piece of advice is one I just got from my Amish neighbor. Know what you use...and ONLY have that. If you aren't doing a pantry storage for 12-18 months then you don't need as much. My son does 30 days, my youngest daughter does 90 days.

  • Patti September 05, 2018

    Change your thought process. This one was really hard for me but once I “got” it, I saved a lot more. Spending money is not saving money. Just because it’s a good deal doesn’t mean you need it. In most cases, minus seasonal items, most items go on their best sale every six weeks at the grocery store. As long as you have enough for six weeks, again in most cases, you’re fine. Lastly, think of it this way - what do you need more $5 or that extra large tub of peanut butter? Most of the time, the $5 wins.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 05, 2018

    Factor in the cost of gas to and from the store and the proportionate cost of car insurance and car costs (if that is too complicated use the taxi fare to the store as an estimate). If one has a car, one thinks of going to the store as a free trip (when it really isn't) but if one doesn't have a car then one factors in the cost of going to the store. So you will save money if you reduce the number of times you go to the store. You will save time, too. I find I can easily go 2 weeks without a trip to the store. If I've planned carefully enough, then I can go a month without shopping. Depending on where you live, I don't think $313 for two people for the month is too much.

  • Karen September 05, 2018

    I have a similar grocery shopping problem. I'm trying something new this month - I made a two-week menu using mostly ingredients we already had in the house. I wrote down exactly what we needed to round out those meals, including fruits and veggies for lunches, etc., and made a list (with specific quantities). I bought just what was on the list. I did have to make a quick additional stop at the store because I forgot to buy lemon juice for canning apples, but other than that I don't need to get anything but milk for two weeks, and I buy that at a local dairy so I won't be tempted by a full-on grocery store!

  • Rhonda A. September 06, 2018

    Pick 1 week each month that you skip going to the grocery store and use only what you have in your pantry/freezer for meals. You can do this as a set schedule (3rd week of the month you skip), or pick 1 week when you see there are fewer items on sale that you'd want to stock up on.

    Alternatively, if there are times in the year when life always gets a bit crazy for you and/or your family, you could take a few weeks break from grocery shopping during that time. For example, I work a seasonal job in the summer. During the summer, I have less time and energy to dedicate towards grocery shopping. So I often skip grocery shopping several times during the summer months, or shop every other week, instead of shopping my typical weekly trips. I then use the money saved from skipping groceries towards buying bulk produce that I can or freeze for winter use.

  • Deb September 04, 2018

    Hello Brandy and all. This is my first actual frugal post although I have posted replies and comments in the past. I am hoping this helps me to be more accountable. This week I hosted Sunday dinner for my son, daughter in law, and 4 grandchildren that live nearby. The littles like this a lot because we use the good china and tablecloth and napkins and it's "fancy". I made roast chicken (marked down, from the freezer) mashed potatoes (on sale two weeks ago $1 per 5 lb bag, candied carrots (2lbs for 88 cents) and homemade pumpkin pie (only two more pies worth of pumpkin in the freezer from last Halloween). I realized how much I depend on buying wisely and on sale. I did all of my usual things....washed ziploc bags, used rags instead of paper towels, made use of all leftovers (I live alone so little bits of things on a plate are just fine), line dried all laundry and continue to use items out of my pantry and freezer. The large upright freezer is almost empty and I should be able to defrost and clean it next weekend. Then it will be ready for fall and holiday sales. It is still hot here, 90's in the day time and 70's at night. Because of the humidity I must run the AC but am looking forward to using it less in the near future. I hope everyone has a good week.

  • Lynne September 04, 2018

    Gorgeous photo. I used to love listening to my son’s conversations with himself and the little noises he made when he was building with LEGO and pushing trucks around.

    I have finally assembled my raised garden bed someone gave me and moved all the soil in. I have planted basil, silver beet and kale and are raising some tomato seedlings ( although growing tomatoes in Sydney’s humidity is a bit problematic).
    I found an as new doona cover and shoes for work in the op shop this morning - $3 each.

  • Tanja Brattinga September 05, 2018

    Hello everyone, still warm weather in the Netherlands, 25/27 celcius that is. But in two days it's going to drop to 16 celcius. So goodbey summer!
    I have a very busy weekend ahaed, Thursday is a funeral in an other part of the country, it's an ant, she was 94 years old, so everybody is at peace with her dying. She has had a good live and her childeren, grandchilderen and great-grandchilderen are doing well in live! I think that is all you really need/want to achieve in live.
    Frydag and Saturday I work in the townhouse at a culture thing (wich is outside but gasts and other volunteers need to eat and drink to.) I ofcourse also do this voluntarily. (our nearby city is cultural capitol of Europe, so al lot of cultural stuff is going on in our neighborhood. And on Sunday I work in the sportscanteen of our village.
    Then al is normal again, I decided to no longer vulonteer in the sportscanteen next year. I'm having trouble with an busitis in my hip for almost a year now, so time to slow down a bit.
    But I can still be frugal.....this is what I did last week.
    Accepted carrots from a man at the gardencomplex.
    Dried basil in the oven for the first time, and it worked out well.
    Son mended his own jeans.
    Hemmed curtains for my sister wich she bought at a thriftstore.
    Mended a blouse.
    Picked lots and lots of apples in the garden of somebody of our village, gave some to my sister and a neighbor.
    So I made apple sauce, apple pie, froze some, and now making apple pie again and probbably some more apple sauce today.
    Collected seeds from lettuce and little gem, for next year.
    Keep up the frugal work everyone!

    Greetings from the netherlands.

  • Margie from Toronto September 05, 2018

    It sounds as though you have done a lot of volunteering so I would say it was someone else's turn, especially if your hip is bothering you. Do what you enjoy but if it becomes an obligation maybe think twice. :-)
    I often wish I had learned to sew - you were able to do so much this week - congratulations!

  • We are harvesting now in the garden just about everyday, from blackberries to green beans. It's still hot here too but hopefully we cool down tomorrow they said. I'm going to look at your recipes for the vinaigrette (that sounds so good). Although my fall lettuce didn't come up by the way my mustard greens are doing great in spite of the heat. Here are my frugal accomplishments http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/09/my-frugal-ways-for-past-two-weeks-9218.html

  • AndreaG September 05, 2018

    We had a quiet week here as we got ready to go back to school this week. It is has been hot and humid again since the weekend so the air conditioning has been working away. Not frugal but it makes life more liveable and I’m grateful for it. Hopefully today is the last day tha we will need it. We made all meals at home and I packed my husband’s lunch every day. My mom sent home leftovers and two cans of soup that she bought on sale when we had dinner with her on Sunday night. We are blessed by these kindnesses on her part. Hope the week is going well for all.

  • Darcy September 05, 2018

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I made fabric softener with vinegar and hair conditioner.

    I made Brandy’s granola and zucchini bread for our lunches and snacks.

    I made Tuscan Bean soup for lunches and we are still eating lots of tomato sandwiches.

    I dried mint and basil.

    I made a curtain from a flat sheet I had bought from a thrift store a couple of years ago.

    My husband and I are working on refinishing our dining room table. My parents bought it when I was 15 and gave it to us 20 years ago. It is going to look great! We had to buy a couple of things from Menard’s but will be receiving an 11% rebate on our purchases.

    I mended a pillowcase for my grandson.

    I used a coupon at Kohl’s for $10 off $25 for a gift for my daughter’s birthday.

    Have a great week!

  • Sandy September 05, 2018

    Just a question. Are you planning any shopping for September?

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 05, 2018

    I am not sure if I am going to continue to do the shopping posts right now. Life is so busy and I am trying to just keep things going. I'm not sure how useful they were to everyone; I would love some feedback to see if they were helpful to people at all. I am trying to figure out how to do some projects here and I would rather share those if I can find a way to complete them.

  • Elizabeth M. September 06, 2018

    I enjoy the shopping posts, and I enjoyed the monthly to do lists, but I think you should do whatever posts you prefer. They are all interesting to a wide variety of the people who are reading your blog. As a single person, the projects aren't necessarily things I am going to do, but they definitely inspire me to get going on projects of my own and I enjoy reading about them.

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