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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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Comments

  • Caroline September 18, 2018

    Hoping you will get well quick! I'll be thinking of you and sending lots of prayers your way.

  • Carol September 18, 2018

    Brandy,
    I always read your blog and have read through your past posts, so much that I feel as if I know you. I am praying for you for healing, strength and peace.

  • Shelley September 18, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Praying all goes well with surgery. Sounds like you had an amazingly busy week!
    As far as my family. My husband was visiting his father and was gone for 5 nights...which means super cheap dinners at my house.
    Also was able to score 5 ALL laundry soup for $5...the bottles we're 33 loads so that should last my family almost 3 months. Also got 3 boxes of cereal for $0.99
    Also got 2 jammies and shorts and leggings for my kids for $20 shipped which is a great deal. Finally my daughter went to a sleepover and I was able to buy the gift for half off. Overall I spent my money for the week but feel like I got a lot of deals.

  • Cathy harrell September 18, 2018

    Good health prayers for all. I put prickly pear fruits in a blender after I washed them. Then through a sieve. I had about three fourths gallon of juice to do something with later. First time doing it the easier way. At first I was depressed because I didn't have my propane stove anymore so I googled and found Carolyn J. niethammer's way of fixing them. I ordered her The Prickly Pear Cookbook used from Abebooks.

  • Liz September 18, 2018

    Hello Frugal Friends,

    Brandy, I am very sorry for your diagnosis and will be praying for a quick, full recovery.

    Here are our frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - I took my son, who just turned 13, out for a birthday lunch at Red Robin. I had a gift card so most of it was covered. He also got a free ice cream sunday and they sang Happy Birthday to him.
    - I have been cleaning, decluttering and getting rid of stuff. This helps save money by me knowing where things are and not buying more items.
    - I have been using what produce I can from the garden. I made several loaves of zuchinni bread. I am also using swiss chard, lettuce and herbs as much as I can.
    - I am trying to propegate my basil plant before the winter comes and it is dead.
    - I have cooked a lot at home including hamburgers, chicken, burritos, tacos, and lots of rice.
    - I sent away for a lot of freebies which are on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/09/17/10-freebies-today-9-17-18/
    - I am using chicken eggs from my backyard chickens.
    - I was able to get a free tree from arborday.org and a partnership with our city. I saw the poster in the library and logged on and got one! I am so excited because we need to replace a dead tree. It will be here in October.
    That's all I can think of!
    I wish everyone a healthy, frugal week.
    Liz

  • Pamela September 18, 2018

    Oh Brandy so sorry to hear that. I will be praying for you!

  • ms.p September 18, 2018

    Local grocery store had tuna is 59 cents and whole chicken 69 cent a lb. Still eating out of the freezer. Need to take inventory in freezer in the next or two. My hours at work went from 40 to 28 hrs. Looks like in the next week or two I won't be working. Its a mix blessing but at peace with it.

  • Nancy in Eastern Washington September 18, 2018

    Brandy - I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you deal with the skin cancer. Good luck on the surgery, and hopefully you will get enough rest to allow your body to heal.

    I made my DH's favorite end of the summer dish. His Italian grandmother called it "meatball special." It is made with small meatballs, zucchini, potatoes, peas and onions and cooked in tomato paste and/or sauce with Italian seasoning. I also added carrots, green beans and a little broccoli, as that what is in the garden right now. It is basically an end of the garden meatball stew. His grandmother passed away in 1987, so I have been making it for him since then. I am glad to keep this family recipe alive.

    Last weekend was a huge one for produce from the garden. We picked, cooked and stripped over 60 ears of corn. I put them in small bags of 1 cup each, then fill a gallon freezer bag with the small bags. That way, I just pull out what I need. I also made pesto from our basil and garlic. My mother has a walnut tree, and I was able to use walnut that we cracked last year in the pesto, rather than buying pine nuts. Turned out great. I froze them in 1/2 cup dollops on a silicon mat, then packaged them when they were frozen. They kind of look like hockey pucks, so I call them pesto pucks. I got 24 of them.

    I made 3 jars of dill pickles and 4 jars of refrigerator pickles. This all with cucumbers, garlic, dill, onions and hot peppers from our garden. I froze broccoli. I cooked it and again put it in 1 cup increments in small bags, then put these in larger freezer bags. There are only two of us who live at home. We provide for my sons, sisters and my mother when they visit.

    I made baked potatoes and potato corn chowder. I am having the chowder for lunches this week, while DH is having the "meatball special" mentioned above.

    We had BLTs for dinner several times. We enjoy them now, as in the winter, we don't have tomatoes worth eating.

    We have been picking zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots from the garden. Basil and oregano are drying. Next will be parsley. I will be picking and freezing cilantro to use in winter.

    It seems that most of my work this week, other than going to my actual job, involved the garden. I stayed caught up with laundry and dishes, and kept the kitchen clean - but the rest of the house could use a good clean. I guess that is what is done after the first hard frost, and we lose the garden.

  • Jo September 18, 2018

    Brandy, I am so sorry to hear that it was cancer. I well remember the shock I felt when I got the call that the flaky place on my face was actually cancer. At that time, my husband was going through radiation for prostate cancer. Once my shock wore off, I told people that I was jealous of him getting all the attention with his cancer, so I grew my own. It seemed to lighten the atmosphere a lot, since people really felt bad about us both needing treatment for cancer. I had the Moh's procedure then plastic surgery the same day. I agree, don't look at it before the plastic surgeon does his work! However, it's been about 3 years, and now I have to really raise my eyebrows high for people to be able to see the small fine white scars stretched on my nose, right between my eyes. The surgeon did a great job. I pray yours goes very well.
    We took (free) delivery on a replacement dishwasher this week, and my husband is bravely tackling the installation to avoid a $150.00 fee. A few years back, he could have done this easily, but his physical health has taken a downward turn, and a couple of recent severe hypoglycemic episodes have left him having trouble focusing his thoughts. He can do it, but it's slow. We opted for a less-exciting dishwasher this time, but maybe this will bring less things to break down. We've had poor luck on nicer dishwashers.
    I used dried beans and my pressure cooker to make "baked" beans this weekend. It was 96 deg. both days this weekend, far too warm to use the oven, and the crockpot already had a job to do, making bone broth. Yesterday morning it was still 78 deg. before sunup -- I'm so ready for autumn. We are keeping the air conditioning at 79 to save on our electric usage.
    The autoimmune medication that my doctor wants me to start using (and keep using indefinitely) is very expensive. For the first two doses (I would take six a year) my co-pay after insurance would be $806 -- and this takes into account that my deductible is already met. This medication is paid through my medical, not my pharmacy plan. I contacted the manufacturer's assistance line, and they've accepted me to get assistance. They will cover the cost of my co-pay except for $5, for up to $20,000. After that, there are some other assistance programs I might be eligible for. Let's hope so! I have fought off taking any of this kind of medication for 10 years, but I'm at the point that I have to do something, so right now, this is my best case scenario.
    I have enough Swagbucks to buy another gift card. I'm trying to decide where I want to use this money -- it will probably go to Christmas gifts. I love getting nice gifts for FREE.
    Best of luck Brandy!

  • Penny S. September 20, 2018

    Jo, I am also in need of a replacement dishwasher, but I can't seem to decide on what brand to purchase. I don't need one that has lots of bells and whistles, but I do want one that cleans the dishes, is quiet and economical. If I may ask, what brand did you select and why that particular one. Thanks, Penny S.

  • Jennifer O. September 21, 2018

    I'm not Jo, but I bought a Bosch and it is amazing. Standing in front of it your have to look to see if it is running and as long as you do a regular cleaning of the sprayer arms everything comes out spotless.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 22, 2018

    Penny, Hi, I also have a Bosch. I bought it because it is really quiet and because it uses a lot less water. Dishes are really clean. The only thing I hear (which is normal) is that there is a thud after a couple of minutes when it has started. It lasts for a second. Otherwise you do not even hear it at all (since my house is open concept I wanted one that was really really quiet and it is). I'm not sure whether all models have the thud but in my model it is normal. I love this dishwasher. One reason it is quieter than other models is it does not have a built in garburator like other makes. Instead, there is an easily removed little cylinder trap that you take out infrequently and wash under the tap. My only regret is that I didn't get a model where there is a cutlery tray at the top. Mine has the baskets at the bottom. I agree with Jennifer O. that my Bosch is amazing. Very reliable. I think it probably is

  • ellie's friend from Canada September 22, 2018

    that should have said "I think it is probably 10 years old but has not had any problems -- touch wood".

  • Heidi September 18, 2018

    Beautiful photo, as always!
    I'm so sorry it was a positive diagnosis, Brandy. My husband's mother and father have both had many "patches" removed and nothing has ever spread. I'm sure that this will be the case for you as well but I'm praying for you anyway. I hope everything goes very smoothly and your anxiety is limited.
    This was *not* a frugal week.
    The water softener died and it cost us $165 for someone to come to the house just to pronounce it dead. My dh had been working on it, but it eventually went beyond his ability to fix and/or diagnose. That's because the company that makes and sells this model have proprietary designs and you have to use tools specifically made for them. Which we don't have, of course. A new unit will cost over $2k. It would appear that our hard water is wrecking our dishwasher so I'm trying to wash most things by hand but sometimes I'm just lazy and chuck the dishes in there and pretend it's all okay. Argh!!
    My Kindle died. While I was reading a book on it and it was charging. It just...stopped. My techie kids have tried every little trick, to no avail. It's dead. To top it off my 8 year old Samsung phone started shutting down, just because, as well.
    My 25 Year old Cuisinart food processor broke.
    The dogs pulled a piece of the wood which separates the front walk from the front garden bed off in such a manner that I'm not even sure how to repair it.
    The exhaust system on my van started rattling in a very menacing way.
    One of commuter cars that the kids use to get back and forth to their college classes died pretty spectacularly on the road while my daughter was driving it. The tow was $100. Even with AAA since they don't service many of the roads in our area. The repair will either be A. Impossible or B. Ridiculously expensive. Waiting on that. Yay.
    We went to the law office that handles our wills, etc. and had a meeting to update them. I'm positive this will cost over $500.
    I redid my budget. I hadn't even looked at it all summer because...summer! And it turned out that I was $650 over budget EVERY MONTH. Yup. EVERY MONTH. Which explains my credit card bill. So. A reckoning is at hand. I'm working out the new budget now and scheduling a family meeting for this Saturday so we can go over all of the changes that nobody is going to like. LOL! Well, all I can say is...it was a fun summer!!
    I'm staying positive. My husband is employed and our health is good. I've had to do a major financial turn around before and I can do it again; I'm not afraid of tightening the belt nor am I afraid of saying, no, no and no. I'm only a little afraid that I might do it again next summer. ;)
    Have a great week everyone.

  • Elizabeth M. September 18, 2018

    What a time you've had. Don't forget that many of the things that are broken don't need to be replaced. I don't have a dishwasher, a Kindle, a cell-phone or a Cuisinart, and don't miss them. I have used my laptop as Kindle, but don't even do that anymore.

    Good luck with your new budget. I am sure you and your family will sort out your priorities and get on track.

  • Jennifer O. September 20, 2018

    Heidi,
    Hang in there. I was you a few months back. It does get better.

    I gave up on the kindle and just read on a free kindle app on my smartphone or Ipad. It works just as well.
    When my food processor broke (and my blender and my mandoline - told you I was you) we replaced them all with a Ninja system my husband found on QVC. We were able to pay for it in 4 installments. If you can hold out a month or so, the Christmas specials will start and you can probably get a better deal.

    I, too, will need to replace my water softener soon. Keep us updated on your selection please.

    Start now planning some frugal summer activities. If you make a list now, you may do better choosing cheaper fun options later.

  • Juls Owings September 19, 2018

    Heidi September 18, 2018
    I thought for a minute you was our Daughter3 because it sounded just like what she has went through in the past 10 days only her 4 kids are in jr/high school. Prayers sweetie. It won't happen again next summer if you set the budget and hold to it
    Blessed Be

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 19, 2018

    What a list of things that went wrong for you. You might look into what digital books your public library has available.
    Our public library has no charge for a card. I just found time to watch 3 new movies on their streaming service (Kanopy).
    There are also a lot of books available online so as long as you have a library card and a computer or tablet you can access books, if your library has that available and you don't need a kindle.

    You could phone your cell phone provider and tell them yours broke or is wearing out and ask what could they offer you as far as service plans including a new cell phone? Negotiate. Tell them you've had some unexpected expenses and cannot afford a lot. I ended up getting an iPhone 7 for no purchase cost (due to several mistakes they made which took ages to sort out) and a minimal increase in my monthly rate. Law office should be a priority. but ask if you could pay over 2 months. Make sure you have valid wills, enduring powers of attorney and living wills, etc. etc. Also get cheap term life insurance policies on each spouse, if you don't already have it. Re dishwasher: run it after a few times with a cup of vinegar in it (but not with detergent). That will help with deposits from hard water. I don't have a softener and our water is very hard. There are also tablets that you can but to clean our dishwasher. Good luck!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. September 18, 2018

    I'm praying that your surgery goes smoothly and that your recovery is swift.

    Our Frugal Efforts:

    * Ate out only one time. Meals at home included burrito bowls, Tuscan White Bean Pasta, Southwest Chicken Skillet, the last of the black bean burgers from the freezer, and leftovers--of course. We enjoyed more Jello w/ whipped cream for dessert.

    * Harvested kale; red, green, and purple bell peppers; basil; yellow summer squash.

    * Did not go grocery shopping. I thought I might have to run into the store before payday for some milk and fruit, but we were able to get by with what we had.

    * Made peanut butter. (I'm not sure how frugal this is, as I'm pretty sure I could find cheap peanut butter for less per pound than I could find peanuts, but by making it myself I can control the ingredients.)

    * Crocheted some new dishwashing cloths.

    * Made sun tea.

    * The weather has been nicer, so we've been able to get by with only minimal AC usage.

    * Fed the chickens kitchen scraps and collected eggs.

    * Composted what the hens couldn't eat.

    * Watched DVDs from the library.

    * Made three loaves of bread.

    * Tossed celery tops and leftover rice in the freezer to use in future stocks and soups.

    * Hubs rode his bike to work one day and worked from home one day.

    * Made yogurt.

    * One of the scouts in our troop works at a local deli and brought us some mac & cheese, potato salad, and artichoke hearts.

    * Paid bills online.

    * Continued to save rinse and warm-up water.

    * Enjoyed watching the hummingbirds and butterflies flitting around our backyard.

    So here are a couple of questions: What is a case lot sale? How does one find out about them? (I assume it is a sale of cases of canned goods, but I've never seen anything like that advertised here. As there are only three of us, I'm not sure I even need to buy an entire case of anything--although we do go through a lot of tomatoes.)

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 18, 2018

    The only store here that has case-lot sales in Smith's. They have them twice a year. They are in Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, and I think in Idaho. Utah has more stores that have case-lot sales. Our Smith's is a Kroger affiliate, but I have never heard of other Kroger affiliates having these (yours would be Ralph's, but I don't think they have case-lot sales). Smith's had them before Kroger bought them out and they continue to have them still. The ads are an extra page that comes with the regular grocery ad for that store. Our grocery ads come in the mail here on Tuesdays (sales here run Wednesdays through Tuesdays).

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