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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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  • Maxine September 18, 2018

    Anytime you can get the product cheap, and buy a case, it's a case lot sale for you! I do this with evaporated milk (I use it in tea) during the fall baking sales and Del Monte corn and green beans anytime I find them for .49 can (often at Target, and our Target has a very limited grocery section). Someone else commented that the best sales for canned goods are in the fall. I have found this to be true.

    That said, case sales are very common where I live (northern Idaho), although I don't recall seeing them at Fred Meyer (Kroger affiliate). I just watch for good prices and buy big when I find them.

  • Roberta in So. Cal. September 20, 2018

    Thanks, Brandy and Maxine, for the info. I don't think we have official case-lot sales here, but we do have a Grocery Outlet store not too far away, and I have been known to buy a case-worth of canned tomatoes and salsa there. :)

  • Bethany September 22, 2018

    Maxine- is there an Aldis in your area? I buy any canned vegetables that don't come from the garden there, along with cream soups, for .49 a can year round. Their canned fruits are also very reasonable. They carry only their own brands, don't take coupons, you have to take your own bags, and a quarter for the cart (you get that back when you return the cart), but their prices on canned goods, flour, oil, nuts, and pasta are consistently the cheapest I've found.

  • Maxine September 23, 2018

    Nope, no Aldi in Idaho! I'm not saying I wouldn't like their veggies if I tried them, but I have gotten particular in my old age and, at this point, only like Del Monte. They taste the most like home-canned of any brand. I am not very brand-loyal to anything else, except Best Foods/Hellmann's mayo. I have even quit insisting on Heinz ketchup, LOL.

  • Cindy in the South September 18, 2018

    Prayers and virtual hugs for you.

  • Tammy September 18, 2018

    I'm so excited! My husband has found a job! He has been on sick leave for so long and now only a week without pay. He found a job that pays much less but he can be off his feet. I'm just happy he will have a job. I hope he likes it. I'm just happy he tried so hard. He is a hard worker. Anyway he just called me after the interview and is going to training today.

    I think it great that you help stage your husbands houses. You can really decorate. So I am absolutely certain that it makes a difference in sales.

    Wishing you the best in everything.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 19, 2018

    Great news about your husband! I hope job comes with some benefits but still! that's great! Ann

  • Tammy September 21, 2018

    Ann, Thank-you. For some reason he didn't get a phone call back. It was one of those labor places that interview you and then try and place you somewhere. We are still waiting. But he is applying to other places too. I think we will be ok this month. It is next month I'm worried about and taxes will be due in December on our little farmhouse. I thought that when he wanted him to do training that he had a job. oh well.

  • ellie's friend from Canada September 22, 2018

    Don't despair. There might be a reason for a delay in a phone call to you. Might work out yet.
    In the meantime, good to keep looking.

  • Athanasia September 21, 2018

    Tammy, congratulations to your husband on getting the job. I bet he is thankful for such a supportive wife.

  • Heidi Louise September 18, 2018

    We were gone for several days on the marathon drive to visit my father, (a round trip to both sets of parents is 2000 miles). Turned down or off what appliances we could while away from home. We packed snacks, including sale purchases, and filled water bottles along the way. Our motels had very good included breakfasts to bring down the price. I appreciate that motels now let guests decide whether or not to replace the sheets and towels each day. I wouldn't do so at home and don't require it on the road, either. Let the motels be frugal as well as save resources!
    Dad is looking through all his assets and making sure they are all in the best shape for when he is gone, certainly a form of frugality to avoid costs to us some day. I went with him to the lawyer's and found it quietly funny that the lawyer kept saying: "If you pass" such-and-such will happen. Nice to think of Dad living forever.
    While at Dad's, I happened on an article about how to "stage" one's home for sale. It suggested having all wall colors visible from the front entrance the same color, preferably neutral, for better "flow"; taking down screens and stacking them neatly in the basement, thus letting in more light but showing they are included (too much work!); having at last one electronic system that connects to a phone, like thermostat or locks, to show the house is modernized even if old. One suggestion I might be able to do some day is having signs with words in a few of the rooms, like a framed "Family" or "Love," etc., to give viewers a focal point. A friend changed all her light bulbs to LEDs when they were showing their house, and it really brightened things up.
    Best wishes to you, Brandy, and to readers who are facing physical challenges! Letting family and friends help is so important in crisis times.

  • Ava September 22, 2018

    Hello Heidi - we too had a marathon drive this week, and I thought the same thing you did re: hotels/motels being conservative about washing linens. Sure, it saves them money, but it's resourceful and responsible, and if they're going to pass those savings on to me, all the better. And yes, we surely appreciated the surprisingly good breakfasts that were included.

    I didn't always put effort into packing snacks for the road, but after following this site for a while, I started doing so and it's made such a difference - both economically and in terms of making the drive more relaxing and pleasant.

  • Heidi Louise September 22, 2018

    Ava: And perhaps the motels do pass along the savings, or at least, don't have to increase their prices as quickly.
    Travel food has its own quirks: I love having beef jerky to eat in the car, yet never buy it for at home.
    If we have to stop to use the restrooms at a convenience gas station without buying gas, we will probably buy one snack item, and I just pay without thinking about the price. Rest areas are great frugal institutions!

  • Becky @ Becky's Place September 18, 2018

    Just wanted to send you be-well-wishes, Brandy.

    Regarding orchids... I'm on my second one and hope not to kill the poor thing. It has bloomed and now has no stalks as I'd cut them when they shriveled and died back. One of the large leaves has died, too. But the others look okay so far. I just keep giving it a couple of ice cubes now and again and have my fingers crossed.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 18, 2018

    Why ice cubes on orchids?

  • Becky @ Becky's Place September 19, 2018

    It is what the directions on the card that came with it said to do.:) I assume that it's because they like very little water and the cubes melt slowly so the exposed roots can absorb it more easily, too.

  • Amanda September 18, 2018

    All the best with your surgery brandy.

  • Michelle September 18, 2018

    Prayers for a quick recovery!

  • Sam Myers September 18, 2018

    I hope the surgery is fully successful and that you have a complete recovery. All the best to you from Boston.

  • Nikki September 18, 2018

    I’m so sorry Brandi. I know how hard it is to have cancer with tiny children, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in the Spring. I’m also having surgery next week. I hope your surgery goes well and you won’t need too much intervention otherwise. I’ll be thinking of you and sending good thoughts. If you ever want to connect with a mama who knows what it’s like to go through cancer at a young age, with young children, I’d be happy to talk. Feel free to email me any time. My best to you.

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