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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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  • Reader September 18, 2018

    Its great you can work with your husband to contribute into your income, using your talents! May be great change in routine too!

  • Laurie in central NC September 18, 2018

    You will remain in my prayers for the best possible outcome. You seem to be getting more than your share of bumps in the road lately. We made it through Florence with about 11" in rain. We were very lucky, only losing power for around 3 hours. The last heavy rain yesterday sent many fish in our very full pond out the emergency overflow, so my husband and I caught at least 200 of them by hand and put them back in the pond. It was quite the adventure. There was much flooding yesterday in the roads surrounding us. We expect much of our garden will rot, but will know more as the days go by. I've been enjoying a free series on Prime, called Pioneer Quest. Wishing everyone a good week. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/09/hurricane-florence-frugal.html

  • Linda September 18, 2018

    You will be in my prayers as you face surgery! You are being proactive. This has tho be scary...but success rates are very good!

  • Andy Dieds September 18, 2018

    Brandy I have been following your blog for a number of years and I really admire you. So sorry to hear about your cancer.

  • Roxie September 18, 2018

    So sorry to read that you have skin cancer. My father had skin cancer and he made a full recovery. I will pray that you make a full recovery too. May God bless you and keep you safe.

  • Elizabeth September 18, 2018

    1. Received our Book-It Reading Program coupons in the mail...my son is looking forward to pizza:)
    2. Got a great deal on cereal at Kroger and we will also receive five new books thru a Kellogg's reading program thanks to the purchase
    3. Used Kroger e-coupons to lower my grocery bill by $10
    4. Took snacks and lunches to the park and on errands this week
    5. Loaded up on library books to get us thru the week

  • Wendy September 18, 2018

    Hi Brandy, My thoughts and prayers are with you too for a successful operation. My Dad has just had a lump removed a few weeks ago and he is now fine. Warmest regards, Wendy (NZ)

  • Jennifer O. September 18, 2018

    Sorry to hear about the skin cancer. My husband has had several spots removed over the years (10 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan will do that to your skin), but never a recurrence in an area removed.

    Lots of spending here this week. Mostly done with saved money, but some is deliberately on credit to help build it.

    New 2nd floor AC installed. It should be more efficient and actually keep the second floor cool. Now to bug bomb for the bugs that came to live there while the windows were open (screened but still) and then scrub every surface on the second floor with bleach and wash everything (high humidity = mold)... in my NEW Speed Queen washing machine. Donated the old washer (turns out it was a $20 part but a LOT of labor) and a (working) dryer (I had 2 dryers) to the battered women’s shelter. Washed every piece of clothing, toweling, and bedding in the house in the new machine. Generated a substantial Salvation Army pile in the process. Made my last trip to the laundromat hopefully for a while with the big comforters. The laundromat is expensive!!

    Florence was the impetus for my husband finally buying the whole house generator we’ve been eyeing for a while. It is dual fuel so now we’re looking into having a propane tank buried and a concrete path/ pad built for it to make it easier for me to handle if he’s not here.

    Attended free Zumba classes and a movie on base. I have started showering at the base after my workout to save on my water bill. Looked into cutting my TV bill, but the channels I watch most are on the most expensive tier. I am going to look into a firestick. Reviewed my gas and electric bills to see if there are cheaper plans or options. Signed up for a free kindle unlimited account. I may cancel at the end of the free period if I’m not reading enough, but right now I am.

    Picked up BBQ one night and they had a pint of chicken salad as a special. Split the BBQ into 2 meals and the chicken salad into 3 more lunches. Wasn’t terribly hungry one night so just ate some snacky odds and ends from the fridge. Took my breakfast and lunch to work each day. Been doing better on both the eating out and throwing away food fronts, but I still have room to improve. Very limited groceries, but I did get BOGO donuts to take into work. Sometimes my staff just needs donuts!

  • Cindi September 18, 2018

    I'm praying for your quick and complete recovery, Brandy.

  • Myra September 18, 2018

    Prayers for you! My husband and I just went through this very procedure during the summer on his face, right above his eyebrow. We were terrified, but his dermatologist was wonderful and got it on the first go! He has been given a clean bill of health and doesn't have to go back for six months. We are so thankful it was caught early enough. He has a small scar, but I told him I would rather see that scar everyday for the rest of his life than to lose him to something as treatable as skin cancer. Please let me encourage all of your readers to keep a check on any suspicious mark or spot. The spot that we actually were concerned about turned out to be nothing, this skin cancer was simply a small red spot on his face that had been there for years.
    Frugal accomplishments, which I have not written about in some time, are all about our new house that we purchased in August. The house itself was an excellent deal. I was given a beautiful china cabinet, one that I priced for about 1200 dollars online. They just wanted it gone. My husband found decor at thrift stores and garage sales for practically nothing. I bought a canvas for my living room for less than 20 dollars. Our table was 120 from an auction. My lamps in the living room, which have crystal bases, cost me 22.00 at an auction. The paint for the entire house was 50.00. It may seem like we have been spending a lot, but we have saved a ton of money by shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, and the auction in order to purchase needed items. We got our first light bill. This house is almost a thousand more square feet than our other house, so I was really, really worried that the light bill would be astronomical. It wasn't. It was actually cheaper than our other house! To try and make it even lower this month, we turned down the water heaters. The previous owners had them set at 135 degrees and the water was scalding. We have two water heaters, so that pulls a lot of electricity in order to keep it that hot. We turned them down to 115 and we will see what it does to the light bill.

    Have a blessed week!

  • Jennifer O. September 18, 2018

    Have you wrapped a water heater blanket around the water heater yet? It can help.

  • Tabitha September 19, 2018

    We are about to close on our first home and my hubby and I agreed we would purchase our bed frame and mattress new and the rest of our furniture used, garage sale and thrifts. We want a kind size bed for our room and used they are priced the same as brand new. We have been living and traveling in a fifth wheel for 4 years for his job so we have very little furniture. Seems silly to pay so much for furniture and as long as we can find something weblike that is good quality, I have no problem with it being second hand.
    A note on your water heater settings, our inspector had commented that the previous owners also had it set about 10 degrees too high and suggested turning it down. Saves on electricity and scorched bottoms in the shower.

  • Tina S. September 20, 2018

    When we got our new water heater several years ago, I insisted it be turned to 140 degrees (we have no children so there is no safety issue). I agree this is not frugal in the traditional sense, but I want my tap water to be HOT. We live in a condo that is very damp (we are in the rainy Pacific NW, and the bedroom/office walls are part subterranean). We have had mildew issues, so I have to wash our clothes on warm and towels on hot or the occasional sanitize cycle. If I don't do this, they end up mildewing and smelling awful and I have to throw them away, which is decidedly not frugal.

    Our tap water from the reservoir is also very cold in the winter. From Nov-March, if I do laundry and run the dishwasher during the day and we both take showers at night, the last person's shower (mine) isn't very hot. The cold tap water has to mix with the water from the hot water heater, and you need more hot water in the winter to bring it up to the right temperature.

  • April September 18, 2018

    Not a frugal week for us. My Yukon (that we were already trying to replace) gave out. We made the trip to my mil's to pick up her husbands truck that he wanted to go to the teen so I would have something to drive until we could reach our down payment goal. We had to replace the wipers($25), and ball joint($100), then the transmission messed up. $60 to tow it home and there will be another charge to tow it to repair shop. (The boy will pay us back, it's just frustrating to have $ going out). I'm now in hubby's boss's truck.

    I missed 2 days of work which means smaller paycheck

    Used some found gift cards for our date night Starbucks

    Hubby's boss sent over 50 fresh eggs, yum.

    Hubby is taking some stuff to the dump and neighbor is paying half to add a couple items

    Neighbor borrowed our lawnmower and filled up one of our gas cans for letting him use it

  • Natalie September 18, 2018

    Best wishes for your surgery x

  • Kim September 18, 2018

    After reading your post Brandy, I prayed for you and for a successful surgery and complete healing. My mom had skin cancer on her face in different areas about 20 years ago and had it removed and it has never came back. Thank you for introducing me to library e-books on my cell phone. I have been enjoying them. I also started reading the Darling Dahlias series after someone posted about it here, but had to take it out of the library as a hard copy. It was not available in e-books. Love all the time period details, recipes and hints too! It's such a fun series. To save money this past week I have been trying to be more creative in the kitchen and use things we have so I don't have to go out and spend money on groceries. I am also trying to do the same with cleaning products.

  • Belinda September 18, 2018


    I am so sorry about your diagnosis. Please know that I will be keeping you in good thoughts and prayers for strength and comfort.

  • Tejas September 18, 2018

    Brandy, I am joing in praying for an easy, non-complicated skin cancer surgery, complete healing, and a bit of rest and calm. I had never heard of a case lot sale before. What kind of store sells them? Is the sale advertised somehow? It sounds great, but I don't know where to find such a sale. Thank you.

  • Jassy in WA September 20, 2018

    Our local grocery store has a case lot sale every fall. An order form is included with the weekly flyer. You fill it out and when the stuff comes in they call us and we go pick it up. They have canned veg., spaghetti sauce, tuna, canned fruit, dry pasta, soup and several other things. Very convenient for us as the bigger supermarket is 53 miles away to the east and west we have to go 70 miles, both ways over mountain passes.

  • Nina September 18, 2018

    Best wishes for a complete recovery, Brandy. So many of us here have dealt with skin cancer and I'm sorry you have to go through this.

    As you are a fan of history, George Washington was diagnosed with skin cancer and it was seen as an affliction of farmers and those who spent a lot of time outside. His physician burned it off. With what, I'm not sure, but it makes me thankful to live in this day of Moh's surgery, sterile technique and anesthetic.

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