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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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  • Ms. Sandie September 17, 2018

    God Bless you with quick healing.

  • Nancy September 17, 2018

    Brandy..I'm sorry you have the skin cancer. Will be praying for you. You still had a great frugal week.
    I found chicken thighs .88 bought several for winter.
    Found large eye of round roast $1.99. Will freeze for soups..stews for winter.
    Apples .99 so got a few and enjoyed sliced for snacks
    Free from store 2 boxes of granola bars
    Tomato plant still giving us fresh plum tomatoes
    My husband found two dusty old mirrors free. We cleaned and polished and placed in our home.

  • AndreaG September 17, 2018

    You will be in my prayers this upcoming week, Brandy. I hope you can get some rest after the surgery. We've had a quiet time as of late and I'm really enjoying it. We only go out when necessary and try to do all errands when we are out. We ate all meals at home and my husband took a packed lunch to work each day. We had my DS's birthday party yesterday with homemade cupcakes and squares. As usual, my mom sent home leftovers from Sunday dinner.

    Hope everyone has a frugal week!

  • Tabitha September 17, 2018

    So sorry to hear of your diagnosis Brandy. Praying that the process for removal goes smoothly and you are able to recover quickly.

    Each week I try so hard to make wise choices but feel that I am falling short on the frugal front. I split a pound of ground turkey between two dinners. I made a batch of tortilla soup and spaghetti with it. I always pack my meal full of veggies as that is my first choice to eat, I just know that I lack on protein, so I try and eat one meal of protein a day. So, I threw in the half pound of turkey in each of the meals.
    We had some bad weather this weekend and my boss told me if I didn't want to work Saturday, I didn't have to. I braved the roads and made it into work. Saturday's are only half days but 4 hours of work is better than nothing. That added to the 8 extra hours I worked last week will be nice on my next paycheck.
    I am meeting a family tomorrow to start babysitting for 1 to 2 nights a month when they want to go out to dinner. Every little bit adds up.
    I submitted grocery purchases on my ibotta and receipt hog apps.

  • Rhonda A. September 18, 2018

    Tabitha, what is it that makes you feel you are falling short on? Perhaps we could offer some suggestions if we had a better idea of what you are stuggling with.

  • Tabbie September 18, 2018

    I guess I just feel as though I could be doing more than I am. For example, I know many people's grocery budgets are much lower than ours and I know that each area is different. We only really have one grocery store and we do shop sales and such, I just think we could do better. My husband eats the same thing every week, so it's pretty much we buy it whether it's on Sale or not. We have gotten better at only eating out 1 to 2 times a month instead of 1 time a week. Again, I see some people don't eat out at all. Each week I read through all the comments and have followed Brandys blog for several years. I glean as much as I can and am doing what I am able to do. Thanks for your help.

  • Jennifer O. September 19, 2018

    It depends on your season and your budget. I do many things that are not considered terribly frugal by many people's standards (eating out, having a housekeeper), but I am more frugal today than I was months ago and I am within my budget and my husband's expectations.

    We are all in different seasons and financial means. As long as you and your husband are within your means and in alignment of expectations you're doing great.

  • Tabitha September 19, 2018

    Thanks Jennifer O. for the encouragement. You are correct that everyone is at different places in their life. We are all just trying to do the best we can with what we have. I do not have a housekeeper as we live in an rv currently and cleaning less than 300 square feet is pretty simple

  • R September 20, 2018

    I loved that comment.

  • Rhonda A. September 19, 2018

    Tabbie, your husband is making things really easy for you to save money, if he eats the same thing every week. When those items go on sale, buy several extra to create a nice pantry/freezer stock. Obviously, for some items this won't work, like certain fresh produce or perishables, but you may be able to buy a 2 week supply when on sale, if it will keep. A pantry stock will save you big time on your grocery bill, without being too difficult. At first, you won't see your grocery bill going down much at all. In fact it may take a few months! But once the stock builds up, you will find you don't need to buy as much each week, because you already have a good supply on hand. Space may be a factor for you. In my honest opinion, where there is a will, there is a way. Even if I lived in a small apartment, I would find a way to store extra food. It's that important to me.

    As for eating out, it is something we battle all the time at our house. My hubby LOVES eating out (he's a cook, ironically). If you've been able to decrease your eating out to 1-2 times a month, that is an amazing accomplishment in my books!:D

  • Tabitha September 19, 2018

    Yes, we do purchase some of the items in bulk...rice, chicken etc. The fresh items, as you said, eggs, produce etc we must purchase each week. I think we are doing ok. Just wish we were able to do more I guess. We live in an rv and move around for his job so we are unable to grow our produce as others do but as you said, even in small spaces, you can find room to store bulk purchases that are less expensive such as rice. It helps that we are on the same page when it comes to our finances and our goals. Thank you so much for your encouragement and ideas.

  • Rhonda A. September 21, 2018

    Some of those people who have gardens cannot afford to travel around and see different parts of the country, like you and your husband have by living in an RV. In fact, many might be envious of your life. I think you are doing amazing with what you have access to in a very limited living space! Being frugal really is a slow learning process that is different for everyone. So don't be so hard on yourself. You are already many steps ahead of the mass majority in our society. Remember, if you ever have a question or are in need of advice, this community is a wealth of knowledge to tap into...so don't be afraid to ask!!!

  • Juls Owings September 19, 2018

    Tabitha September 17, 2018
    If your Hubby is eats the same thing weekly (Daddy always ate bologna sandwich, chips and cookies 45 yrs for his lunch) then when it's on sale stock for the month freezing the meat and bread and cookies if possible. Quit beating yourself up, this isn't about who is better than who.

  • Marie September 17, 2018

    I am sorry to hear about your skin cancer. I had it on my nose twice--nine months apart--but nothing since then (10+ years). You will heal up nicely, I'm sure!! (But if you are having the Mohs procedure and your doctor asks if you want to see it before he bandages it, JUST SAY NO!!
    I just wanted to say, thank you for such a lovely blog. Your home is like Ethan Allen on a Dollar Tree budget, and that's really impressive. Most frugal-minded blogs don't have the same elegance.
    Also, I don't know how you manage as you do, but if you ever decide to take a several-month blog hiatus, I am guessing that I am not the only reader who would happily wait. Congratulations on that new baby and Happy Monday :)

  • Laurie in AZ September 17, 2018

    Sorry to hear about the skin cancer, Brandy. Saying a prayer that all goes well with the surgery!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate dinner in 6 times, including salmon, baked potatoes and zucchini; tostadas (twice); red chicken enchiladas and corn on the cob; grilled pork chops with baked potatoes and sautéed yellow squash; steak, baked potatoes and zucchini. Only ate out on our Trivia League night.
    • Worked 4.25 contract hours.
    • Got a couple of Ibotta rebates.
    • We have a small commuter car for Hubby that gets better gas mileage than his truck. He hadn’t been driving it because the AC wasn’t blowing cold enough (a necessity here in Phoenix.) He finally had the time to repair it and is now driving it to work most days.
    • Continue to eat up what we have in the freezer and in storage. Just about the only things I am buying are dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables and any really good deals on the clearance racks.
    • Dad was back in the hospital this week. (Still going to be ok, praise God.) But that meant a few more days at the hospital for me, waiting around for doctors to tell us results of tests, etc. Brought all my food from home instead of buying food in the cafeteria. Also read library books while I was there.
    • Hubby washed our car instead of taking it to the car wash.
    • Hubby went dove hunting and got a few. We will have these as appetizers one night.
    • Lots of fruit on sale this week. Got grapes, strawberries, peaches and blueberries, all for rock bottom prices and a bag of apples and some bananas from the clearance bin. Also got laundry detergent, cereal and apple juice for 99c/ item. Got my Friday Freebie too, which was a protein bar.
    • Paid enough extra on the mortgage to take a payment off of the end.
    • The cereal had a deal for sending in for a free book. I sent in for 3 and will give those to my Grandson for Christmas.
    • Hubby brought his lunch to work 3 out of 5 days. One of the days he didn’t, he received a free lunch at work. On the day he purchased, he got a very cheap take out meal. Since my Dad was in the hospital, I didn’t take him out to lunch this week like I normally do. Not how I want it, but it was a savings.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  • Karen September 17, 2018

    I'm so sorry to hear it was cancerous - I will be praying for complete removal and a speedy recovery!

    My daughter needed a metronome for band so I downloaded a free app for her Kindle Fire. I also used digital credit (from delaying Prime deliveries) to get a Bible memorization app that was recommended for school for 99 cents.

    I have kept up my meal planning and have been cooking easy meals from home. We've dramatically cut back our eating out this month, including last night when I got home tired from a weekend trip and threw together a quick pasta dish instead of running out for burgers.

    I got three free lunches at work last week. Today I was supposed to go out with a friend but she had to cancel, which left me without food for lunch. I was able to run an errand for work that took me within a couple of miles of my house so I swung by and picked up some leftovers to eat back at the office.

    My daughter started with a new piano teacher. Her former teacher retired unexpectedly. The new teacher was willing to let her continue using her old books so I didn't have to buy a new set.

  • Mo September 18, 2018

    A metronome app! Genius! This will help my little one who is in beginner piano lessons. Thank you!

  • Karen September 19, 2018

    For Kindle, I got her the Metronome Beats app. She loves it!

  • Tina S. September 17, 2018

    That picture of your son is lovely. So sorry to hear about the skin cancer. Good luck with the surgery next week. Will be sending positive thoughts your way.

    I had a good week last week, with a couple of frugal fails. I was home sick one day, and I decided to sew a shirt. It was a pattern I had used very recently, so I was familiar with how it's put together (it is a dressy t-shirt with a built in scarf). Well, I have learned not to sew when I am sick. I screwed up the shirt, and it was not fixable. Luckily, I had enough fabric left to make another one (and luckily the fabric was not expensive to begin with).

    The other frugal fail had to do with our new stove we had installed a few months ago. The layout of the burners is opposite to what it was on the old stove (the large front burner used to be on the left, now it's on the right). This has led to us (mainly me) turning on the wrong burner, because we were used to the old layout. This weekend, my husband made the same mistake and almost burned out my favorite pan. I managed to salvage it, thankfully. Hopefully we won't keep making this mistake.

    Frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - I bought 11 lbs of tomatoes at the farmers market for $28. They gave me a bulk discount (this is a good price for organic tomatoes here). I canned 7 half pints of very spicy salsa, and froze five quarts of tomato chunks for later.
    - A few weeks ago, I made nightshade free hot sauce for my brother in law's birthday (I keep forgetting to list this here). He has celiac disease and can't eat nightshades either. I used this recipe http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2017/05/nightshade-free-hot-sauce-recipe-paleo.html, and added 1 tbsp of Szechwan peppercorns to make it hotter. It turned out great and my brother in law was very appreciative.
    - One night I had an earache, and I remembered reading on here about how you can use garlic ear oil for this. It was late at night, so I looked online for a recipe, and made my own. I was very impressed that it worked so well - my earache was gone the next day. :)
    - I picked greens as part of my CSA vegetable share, and blanched and froze them for later.
    - I chopped more poblano and jalapeno peppers for the freezer.
    - I mixed up solution for our hummingbird feeder. I do this every week but forget to list it.
    - I made a big batch of curried tomato soup for my lunches, and froze it in individual servings.

    Looking forward to reading everyone's comments this week.

  • Sabrina September 17, 2018

    I am praying for you!

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