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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Octavius Playing in the Mud The Prudent Homemaker

At the case-lot sale, I purchased two cases of canned tuna fish, a case of green beans, and a case of corn. The next time I stock up on corn and green beans will be during the Thanksgiving sales. 

I also bought a package of mini-marshmallows on sale at the same store. I checked my receipt as I was leaving and noticed that they had rung up as the regular price. I had the store refund me the overcharge.

We celebrated my daughter's birthday with homemade brownies from scratch and ice cream purchased on sale for $3.99 a gallon. 

I used the solar oven to cook a batch of beans one day and to roast a chicken another day. I used the chicken broth and leftover bits of chicken with the beans to make a soup. Cooking the chicken in the solar oven with a lid on it (you can get the same effect in the oven) with the breast-side down have juicy meat that was falling off the bones and the chicken made its own broth, saving me time and energy making broth another day.

My son attended his third week of a free ACT prep class.

I gave two sons a haircut.

One of my orchids rebloomed. I moved it from my bathroom (where I keep my unblooming orchids) near my desk to enjoy it.

I used items we had on hand to stage a home for sale that I was photographing for my husband.

The house was near Smart and Final. I'm rarely in that part of town, so we went there afterward and I purchased 4 gallons of rice vinegar ($8.88 a gallon when you purchase 4 or more gallons) and 2 large bottles of molasses.

What did you do to save money this past week?


A little note: I found out that I do have skin cancer. I'll be having surgery next week.

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  • Lorna September 17, 2018

    Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :).

    Brandy you did so well with the case lot sales and all that you purchased at such low prices, that is certainly the way to do it and stock up when the prices are so low to save a lot in your budget. I am sorry to hear about your skin cancer diagnosis and will pray for your recovery and for it not to reoccur.

    Exciting news is our house deposit is reaching the level where we are now starting to look at properties to buy and will continue to save until we find something suitable. It has been a long road of saving but it will be worth it we have seen one property today which wasn't really suitable but will continue the hunt for something in our goal price bracket :) .

    Our savings added up to $407.35 this week :).

    Finances and listings -
    - Listed 15 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $24.75 over usual listing costs.

    - Earned $12.91 from the sale of 100 g of thyme picked and dried from the gardens.

    Purchases -
    - With money earned from the sale of handmade items and herbs I purchased off eBay 2 parts of the tightwad gazette saving $59.62 on new prices, 2 wrist guards saving $3.90 and 2 knee guards saving $1.42 on usual prices.

    Groceries -
    - Did our last part of our 3 monthly shop and ended up being $172.30 under our grocery budget for the 3 months yay !. Buying only when things are on special is paying off and our pantry stockpile is growing steadily :).
    - I saved a further $19.70 by buying specials over and above the $40 saved using our $240 for $200 Woolworths e-voucher.
    - We topped up above our usual stocks on 12 tins of mango slices, 11 bottles of sarsparilla, 12 pkts of baking chocolate chips, 1 container of cottage cheese, 1 carton of wet cat food and 2 pkts of dry cat food.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 29 bunches of silver beet and 2 kg of broccoli from the gardens saving $112.75 over purchasing them in the shops. We blanched and froze these giving us 23 more double meals of silver beet and 2 more double meals of broccoli. Our silver beet is likely going to bolt with the heat so we try and stock the freezer in the cooler months for summer.
    - Started white onion, carrot, cucumber and capsicum seeds in pots on the veranda and the onions, carrot and cucumber seeds are already sprouting :). We started them in pots as our frosts here are just over and this gives us a head start for the vegetable gardens.

    Have a great week ahead everyone :).


  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 18, 2018

    Lorna, my Swiss chard/silverbeet always bolts in late spring (April), but then I replant at the same time and it grows all summer here in the heat without bolting until the next spring. It is really hot here in summer (46°C) but it doesn't bolt then. If I plant the end of winter/early spring (January here) it will still bolt in April, but the April planted seeds grow throughout the heat. I never freeze it because I have it all year. I know your climate is similar; you may want to try planting some new seeds when you are pulling the bolted plants.

  • Lorna September 18, 2018

    Thank you Brandy, and you are right our climates are very similar :) in temperatures.

    We do plant more seeds after the plants have bolted too and find they will last all year but the silver beet freezer stocks give us enough to make up for the gap while the plants are growing after the initial ones have bolted. We also keep extra frozen stocks for welfare purposes should anyone need it, as in our ward and in all Australian wards we have no storehouse as such, and the members are relied on sometimes to step in. If we see a need we email/text/phone the person concerned to come and pick up free either fresh or frozen vegetables from our home.

    Most years in October we do get fierce storms/mini tornadoes in our area that can devastate our vegetable gardens so the freezer stocks are a good stand in too if that happens. Currently we are in the grips of a devastating drought here and our town water allocation is going to be cut dramatically in November as it is predicted we will not have much rain to fill up our town's dam. The freezer stocks are also for this purpose too should we not be able to have our vegetable gardens or have enough town water allocation to be able to grow or water anything. We are in a transitional period here in a rental and expect we will be buying our own property shortly so the frozen vegetables will be a stand in while we set up our new vegetable gardens in our new home once we settle in.

    Food storage is so multifaceted and we believe, even though we are on a lower income, that we should stock some things not only for us but also for the welfare of a few more people and insulate ourselves against any adverse weather conditions.

    Have a wonderful week :) .

  • Juls Owings September 19, 2018

    Lorna September 17, 2018
    What do you mean 2 parts of Tightwad Gazette? I've read the books for years and have more than one copy.

  • Lorna September 19, 2018

    Hi Juls they have 3 books with all of the tightwad gazette issues condensed into them called Tightwad Gazette, Tightwad gazette II and Tightwad gazette III. Later also they have published a complete Tightwad Gazette which was all of the issues of tightwad gazette condensed with all the information from the tightwad gazette newsletters.

    I hope this helps and being in Australia we have different publications and availability to yourselves there in the States.

  • Terry September 18, 2018

    We've been home from vacation for 10 very busy days. Our garden, unwatched while we were gone went into hyper drive. We picked hundreds of pounds of veggies and fruit the next day. Most of it was shared or hauled to the mission. Even so I have been canning and freezing every day.
    My freezers are now completely full. After processing another batch of pickles today and a canner of tomatoes I have just a few empty jars left.
    My widowed brother brought me his mending. It took me several hours to complete. He graciously allows us to use his lake house. We haven't been there this year. Decided we should go as snow will likely fall there soon. We plan to leave in the morning. My brother will join us for a couple days. I have purchased special steaks and some extra treats so I can fix extra special meals for all of us while we are there.
    Our Goodwill store has a dollar price on one color ticket every Monday. Sometimes I can find some excellent buys. Last week I got a down coat and a velour pullover for 1$ each. Today I got two flannel shirts.
    I have been calling closets and cabinets and delivering my donations each Monday. Between those receipts and the receipts from donating vegetables and fruit to the mission we will have some deductions for our taxes.
    We continue to eat all meals at home. There's no food waste here after scraps are fed to the chickens and the dog.
    Frugal living is so ingrained for us I don't think we can live any other way. It looks like one of our rentals will be sold by the end of October. That will finish our house debt and pay off our car. It will be so nice to have freedom from debt now that we are in our senior years. God is good.
    My prayers for all who are sick or struggling. Our strength is in a loving God.

  • Cherie September 18, 2018

    Sending prayers for healing Brandy

  • Sandra Hughes September 18, 2018

    I am feeling overwhelmed this morning with the amount of debt we have. Not going into a long story, but need to be as frugal as possible. I joined the Don't buy anything club, right before I had to stock up for the hurricane. This is my first time posting, I look forward to learning new ways to spend less. Thankful we were spared from the hurricane and the tornados. Have a thrifty day!

  • Heidi Louise September 18, 2018

    Sandra: Best wishes to you as you make life changes! I am glad you were spared the bad weather, so you can get back to your plans. It might be slow going, yet you can do this.

  • Lorna September 18, 2018

    Sandra we will be praying for your family in this transitional time and remember it will get better.

    Reading other contributors frugal tips and Brandy's found under Live at the top of the page along with Brandy's recipes under Cook at the top of the page will hold you in good stead.

    Keep smiling, don't ever give up and put in place the best money saving strategies that will suit your families situation. One of our tips is to substitute one named brand item for a generic or cheaper brand grocery item at a time and try it to see if you like it. Not all of the generic brands are good but a majority are and do save you a lot of money over time. Another is to carefully go over your budget and work out what is an essential expense and what is not, and cut out some of the unnecessary expenses bit by bit, you would be surprised how much money you can save by doing this.

  • Lulutoo September 22, 2018

    I gave up all brand name stuff for generics EXCEPT I thought I will NEVER give up my Heinz ketchup! ( I love ketchup.). Well, guess what? I gave up Heinz for Safeway's own brand over a year ago and I like it just as well!

  • Rhonda A. September 19, 2018

    Sandra, if you need advice or have any kind of questions, don't be afraid to ask. Every week I am humbled and in awe of the knowledge found and shared in this community!

  • Marybeth September 20, 2018

    We follow Dave Ramsey's plan and got out of debt except for our mortgage. We now have a fully funded emergency fund and are cash flowing our son's college. It can be done with hard work and sacrifice. When we had so much debt, I was having panic attacks and couldn't breathe. It does get better. I promise. Brandy and all of these other wonderful people have helped me in so many ways, from tips to morale support. You can do it Sandra!

  • Janet September 22, 2018


    Save your receipts from the grocery store if you cook something or open something and it is bad , do not hesitate to return it. We don't spend hard earned money on bad food. Also if items go on sale or have a coupon in a few days I will do returns or use the coupons with the receipt we save a lot in this manner as well.
    In addition comb through your home list everything you can for sale craigslist, amazon, ebay where ever you can. Make trades with friends as you can. Offer your services in your area. I have had 9 jobs in the last few days within walking distance of our home. I have earned $260 from these small odd jobs . I have earned another $660 from sales and an additional $70 in gift cards and cash back from things like swagbucks etc.. So watch for what you can do.

  • http://thejewishlady.com September 18, 2018

    Brandy, I am praying for your speedy recovery! I am so sorry you're sick, but if it's any consolation, I know 3 people who have beaten skin cancer. You are strong and you can do it. So many people who care about you, and are sending good wishes your way.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping sales and using coupons/rebates when possible. Recent finds include a 24-pack of water for $0.99, apples for $0.88/LB, Tide pods for $0.94, turkey breast for $0.99/LB, free Halloween candy, free toothbrushes, free shampoo, and much more. All of my transactions with price breakdown here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-9-8-18/

  • Athanasia September 21, 2018

    The Jewish lady, I have never heard of renting dresses before. That was interesting to read. I am guessing they are all high quality dresses.

  • Jenny September 18, 2018

    All the best for the surgery. I hope it all goes well for you.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 18, 2018


    What a shock to you, I'm sure, but prayers that it will be totally removed and gone forever. So good you had it checked out. You have a lot of people praying for you.

    I made chicken soup with some frozen okra, corn, pasta and frozen green beans. A different combination but very good and stretched the chicken for another couple of meals. I am thinking of buying freeze dried food in pails (large cans) of prepared food such as chicken primavera etc for emergency food rations. I also hope to prepare a backpack with supplies to take in case of urgent situations. I am going to try to have extra medicines in it, first aid, spare clothes, a space blanket, etc. I am just starting to assemble it. I want to make several jars of soup for the freezer in case I have surgery. Using a can opener is too hard but I could manage opening a mason jar.

    Again, we are all hoping and praying for a good outcome.

  • Tammy September 18, 2018

    Your soup sounds good too! Good idea to gather things for emergencies. I really need to do the same. I hope your arm gets better.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 18, 2018

    thanks, Tammy!

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