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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Hamish 4 months The Prudent Homemaker

Hamish sat up a couple of weeks ago at 4 1/2 months old. Now he wants to sit up all the time.


I sewed 5 toddler bibs that I cut out from an old fitted sheet of my mom's.

I turned a pair of my son's pants with a torn knee into shorts.

I turned a pair of my daughter's jeans with a torn knee into shorts, and I turned a pair of boot cut jeans into shorts. Since I buy the girls' jeans for $0.50 to $2 a pair at garage sales, I'm not out a lot to start when they quickly wear out the knees in their jeans. Shorts are more practical here for most of the year, so they wear the shorts until the fabric wears out.

I opened the windows in the early mornings when it was below 79 to air out the house and keep from running the air conditioner for a couple of hours each morning. We need air conditioning here during the day through October, so it was nice to be able to open the windows just for a short while before we reached triple digits this past week.

Some of my agapanthus plants died over the summer (they burnt in the heat, a common problem here for many plants). The local nursery was having a sale on them, so I purchased some new ones while they were on sale. 

My husband gave our eldest son a haircut.

My husband and his brother fixed our back door, which has not been closing properly for some time.

I read several e-books from the library. I paid $62.32 a year in taxes for the library this year, and I have gotten more than my money's worth (One likes to think of the library as being "free," but it isn't really free.) The library recently purchased several e-books that I requested, so I've been able to read books that I really wanted without having to purchase them.

I enjoyed two magazines that I have a free subscription to, thanks to Recyclebank.

I cut red noodle beans and Armenian cucumbers from the garden. We used the beans in a dinner of fried rice (along with eggs, onions, and carrots) and the cucumbers with white bean dip (along with purchased carrots, cut into sticks) for a lunch. I also cut chives from the garden.

I cooked a large batch of pinto beans in the solar oven, which I used to make bean burritos.

I saved some old raisins that were becoming rather dry by using them to make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The recipe calls for soaking and slightly cooking the raisins with water to make them plumper, so even if your raisins are super old, they will still work well in this recipe.

I made a bottle of anti-static spray using store-brand witch hazel and water in a $1 travel spray bottle. A reader suggested this in the comments a couple of months ago and my eldest said it works great. She used about 60% witch hazel to 40% water (the original comment said 50/50, I believe).

I repurposed a beautiful blue and white gravy boat that a reader sent to me to hold flashcards that we are using every day.


What did you do to save money this past week?








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  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 24, 2018


    I actually own a meat slicer; I have had one for years. There's a link to the one I have on the right-hand column of the blog. I wrote a post about how we cut meat for our sandwiches in 2013. It's so nice to have cut meat at home that is so much less per pound (often 1/10th of the price per pound as meat at the deli counter).

  • Rhonda A. September 25, 2018

    That was one of the best and most frugal thing your blog has taught me, Brandy! It was like a lightbulb switch was flipped when I read that. It never occured to me I could buy hams and slice them myself for super cheap luncheon meat. You also mentioned doing this with turkey, but this was the first time for me trying this. Should have done it sooner! The sandwich meat is so delicious this way!!! So, thank you again for teaching me this idea.

    I wanted to mention that a knife could be used, as I didn't have a meat slicer when I first started reading your blog. It was a great investment piece I bought later, and I love having it. But for those struggling to make ends meet, buying a meat slicer might not be in the budget at the moment. For those people, please know it is still possible to do this without one.

  • Patricia from Canada September 25, 2018

    Rhonda, right now Food Basics is selling Primo brand pasta sauce for 88¢ a can as well as 900g bags of Primo brand pasta. When they go on sale for such a price as this, I stock up! Although I make my pasta/spaghetti sauce from scratch using home-canned tomatoes, I find that adding a can or two of the canned sauce gives an extra flavour boost - sometimes my home-canned tomatoes can be acidic-tasting instead of being on the sweet side.

    I also tried purchasing a stuffed turkey breast so there wouldn't be lots of leftovers at Thanksgiving, and found the flavour to have a "processed" taste to it as well. So I began purchasing 3-4 not-frozen, young turkey's on sale and then butchering them (usually from Farmboy, if you have a store near you). When they're on sale, an entire bird is the same price as buying just the breast meat! Then I make my own stuffed turkey breast for Thanksgiving. There is no comparison in flavour to homemade versus store-bought. With the remainder of the turkey - the legs, thighs, wings, I'll roast them as separate meals, in place of chicken, throughout the year. And this way, we don't have a ton of leftovers at Thanksgiving. Of course, the carcass gets turned into turkey broth for soup.

  • Rhonda A. September 27, 2018

    We don't have a Food Basics in our city (everything else but that). We have a Farmboy but it mainly has discounted shortdated meats as well as other products.

    I did see pasta sauce on sale at Fresco for $0.99/can so I will be stocking up this week! I don't have a problem with leftovers as I freeze them. It's my mom being difficult. We bough her beloved Butterball this time (full sized turkeys) so hopefully we will be happy with them.

  • Margie from Toronto September 24, 2018

    Rhonda - a friend here in Toronto is an expert on the Jacquard Loom. We went to see her once at the Science Museum where the giant loom was encased in a glass "room" and she sat there doing the weaving with the punch cards going through. We got to walk around and see it from all angles. I then understood why it is often referred to as an early computer as the punch cards looked exactly like the ones we had to use in very early computers. They had samples (both old and new) of all the patterns that the loom could produce. She also used to work at our Pioneer Village as a weaver at one point. She is actually a school teacher but still weaves and teaches that as well - another friend did a course with her last year using a small table loom and produced a beautiful plaid scarf.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 25, 2018

    I gave away a book today on Salish weaving which is really easy to do. I regretted parting with the book but doubt I'll ever have time to do any. There was great happiness here because i thought that I had lost a beautiful handwoven cape made by the Heritage weavers group that I had bought in wealthier days and given to my mother. I found it today and am so happy! My mother loved it and I loved her expression of pleasure and sparkling eyes when I gave it to her.

    I regretted not having the money to go hear Renée Fleming singing live but just got a notice that I can livestream it tomorrow night. Yay!!! That is smart on the part of the philharmonic since there are few tickets left!

    I am baking some of the squash (delicata) that my friend bought for me at the farmers' market. Lovely treat on a cool evening.

  • Rhonda A. September 26, 2018

    Then it is very possible that I have met your friend. Our team has been to the Science Centre on more than 1 occasion to learn from their set up. Ours is very similar to theirs. We currently have members of the team that have joined since the last time we went to the Science Centre, who are asking to go. So that road trip may be in the works in the next little while. We also have Hans Baer (one of the volunteers at the Science Centre and a retired Engineer) coming to do a talk on October 3rd about how he was able to figure out how to make a punch card using the pattern of an existing historic textile. Can't wait to learn more about this...it's fascinating stuff!

    Our loom is set up differently that the Science Centre. We do carpeting, not the coverlets like they do. We have a stair case viewing area around our loom, so you can watch the mechanism working, at eye level, as the weavers demo on it. Much easier to see than walking around the glassed in "room" that their loom is encased in while trying to look up at the Jacquard head. There is also a camera and video feed to a T.V. screen available, for those with accessibility issues.

    Just to give you an idea of how special these Jaquard looms are...there are only 7 that we know of in existance in all of North America (that's Canada & the U.S.A.). Of those seven, our museum has 2 of those heads (1 is restored and works, the other is all original parts and used for display only), the Science Centre has 1 and the other 4 are in different parts of the States (I know 1 is in New York State, but don't recall off hand where the other ones are). We're really lucky to have them at our museum!

  • S. CO Mary September 30, 2018

    Hello Rhonda! A couple of comments. First of all it sounds like your daughter has found a nice group of girls to socialize with. That is so important as you've said she had really been wanting friends. Your instruction about how to make $20.00 go further than just taking school lunches is spot on. I really think that they should bring back home-ec and shop here in the U.S. I live in a more rural area and our local high school still has FFA (Future Farmer's of America) and 4H is still really big here. I had great resources at home for both home-ec and shop as my mother was an excellent seamstress, cook, homemaker, my maternal grandmother always included her grands in canning when we visited during the summer and my father was a carpenter who taught Construction skills at a Jr. College and carpentry apprenticeship. But for so many those skills are lost.

    There was a show many years ago that I watched on BBC America about a diverse group of people who were put on an island off the coast of Scotland and had to come together to make it work - using their skills, learning from others, create a 'government' for making community decisions, etc. I LOVED it. It also had the before and after info.

    About the turkeys... As there are just two of us I have been buying the butterball turkey breasts when they are 2.5 lbs. for $6.99 US. That is so much cheaper than the deli meats. What I didn't care for was the chemical taste when it was sliced turkey, gravy, etc. It was interesting that when I sliced it up (using a very old electric knife that does an amazing job) it was better! I don't know if it was the addition of mayo, fresh veggies (usually cucumber, tomato, lettuce and green chile strips) or that it was a smaller amount but it has become my go to. I stock up on them when they are at that price (normally $12.99 US!). I am also going to try your french dip recipe. It is my all time favorite sandwich and there is one local place that I like but it would be great to have them at home.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • Lisa from Maine September 24, 2018

    Sending many prayers your way Brandy. Hope everything goes well. Hamish is just adorable. He seems to be growing up too fast. I have not been commenting much lately but this is what's happening at my house:
    Continuing to organize/declutter/fall clean.
    kids off school since Friday thru Columbus Day for potato harvest break. Being optimistic about fall cleaning the 3 bedrooms of the older kids with their help (?) in addition to my kitchen.
    cut husband's hair
    continue to eat down the last of my chest freezer so I can defrost & clean it--hopefully this week.
    Did a bulk purchase of sliced canned peaches ($.99/can), tuna fish ($.63/can), peanut butter, honey, nutella-type product (family treat!), spaghetti sauce ($.99/jar), blue bonnet stick margerine ($.88/box compared to $1.60 locally) and bacon ($2.99).
    read everyone's blogs that were linked to their comments last week. Wonderful reads! Also started watching some you tube videos on once a month shopping & cooking. Mostly interested in implementing a 1X/month shopping (from my current weekly shop) but taking hints on bulk cooking to freezer prep some meals to make my life easier--especially useful for when my beef delivery arrives.
    getting back on track with meal planning, budgeting, shopping etc. Got a bit off track this summer.
    Starting to plan for Christmas. Not sure of my budget yet so brainstorming inexpensive gift options taking into consideration what the kids interests are. Also listing various stocking stuffer options. I keep all info in a small notebook which resides in my purse so no one peeks. First thought is a mending/sewing basket for my oldest. I would like to acquire a lot of the items to include from my local thrift store (buttons etc).
    Have a good week everyone and thanks for sharing. I glean many wonderful ideas!!

  • Juls Owings September 24, 2018

    Gardenpat September 23, 2018

    this is how my Amish neighbor told me also
    Blessed Be
    Juls (central OH now we moved)

  • Juls Owings September 24, 2018

    Brandy prayers for you and yours as you go through this time with your health.
    I have read this blog daily, even reading older posts over and over for anything that might help us lower the expenses or change how we live to save money.
    I have looked up of where the library is along with thrift shops here.
    My shopping for stocking up is here along with update of 209 and old house .

  • Marcia R. September 24, 2018

    Hamish is very cute and sitting up so soon. Mine never were as interested in sitting as in crawling! I especially enjoyed the video of Octavius on your Instagram--especially the beep....beep....beep when backing up his truck! So adorable.

  • Mary Ellen September 24, 2018

    That little cutie is going to keep you on your toes! At this rate he'll be walking soon!

    Prayers for you surgery this week.

  • What a great use of a old sheet- I love reusing things. Hamish is so cute!
    I've been harvesting still in the garden-this past weekend we picked a bushel full of mustard greens. That really isn't a lot after you can them but we will love the 7 quarts that I've made so far, when the snow flies this winter. You can see the rest of my frugal accomplishments here: http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/09/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-92318.html

  • Karen September 24, 2018

    Life has been so ridiculously hectic that I can't even remember what I did in general last week, let alone my frugal accomplishments! But...I do have one thing. My husband won a $25 Red Robin gift card at work, so we went out Friday night. It didn't quite cover the cost of our meal, and I forgot to give the server our number for the rewards program. Flagged down a different server and she was able to put it in for us, and discovered that I had a coupon on my account that I didn't know about, so the whole meal (including tip) was covered by the gift card. Yay for free dinner!

    Brandy, I will be praying for you this week.

  • Kitty B(Calgary) September 24, 2018

    A few frugal accomplishments this week:

    Worked 10 hours at my occasional office job;
    Made swag goal x 7 days
    Listed and sold items on local FB buy/sell earning $104.25 this week;
    Purchased 2 tops from local FB buy sell for $11.
    Rec'd 2 items from Amazon that I had previously cashed my swagbucks in for, the 2 items will be Christmas gifts for family;
    Used $20 in grocery store points towards food this week;
    Changed out of my good clothes/jeans to keep my clothes looking new longer.
    Added blankets to beds, wearing layers to keep warm in our unseasonably cold temperatures.
    Planned my outdoor/garage activities on the warmest days; cars need to go back into the garage to avoid window scraping and too much fuel on warming up.

  • Liz September 24, 2018

    Hello Frugal Friends,

    What a cute baby!

    Here are my frugal accomplishments:
    - I received zucchini from a friend and made 3 loaves of zucchini bread with it. My mother in law has been wanting some so, I gave them to her.
    - I had bananas that were turning brown so I made a double batch of muffins with them. The kids always need quick breakfasts to go out the door on school days.
    - I bought some Snickers Bars at Walgreens for .25 cents each with a coupon and sale.
    - A friend also gave me several plant cuttings that I can propagate. We put them in water and are trying to get them started.
    - I have also been working on propagating a basil plant. I have 3 parts of it sitting in water. It has grown roots so I am going to transplant it into dirt next.
    - We went to a friend's birthday party on Saturday and the husband shared a recipe that works in the bread machine at high altitude. I am so excited that it worked! He had worked on this recipe for a while. I am so excited to have a functional high altitude white bread recipe! The recipes that I had tried in the past all sink at our 6,000 feet altitude.
    - We saved the money to replace our broken screen back door. I miss having the breeze through the house. They are coming tomorrow.
    - I had a stove handle replaced under our utilities service program. So, this was "free" but we do pay monthly extra.
    - I have been letting my chickens graze in the yard and giving more scraps to save on chicken food.
    - I signed up for more freebies which are on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/09/24/11-freebies-today-9-24-18/
    - That's all I can think of for now.
    Have a blessed week!!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 25, 2018

    Liz, Would you please share your high altitude white bread recipe? Ann

  • Luba @ Healthy with Luba September 24, 2018


    I'll be praying for a successful surgery for you and for a quick and complete recovery.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:
    * I creatively baked three different foods in the oven at the same time to save time, money, and electricity.
    * I thoughtfully combined several errands at once to save time and money.
    * I used what food I had on hand to make food for a weekly potluck.
    * I diligently unplugged the computer each evening and when it was not in use to save on electricity.
    * Each morning, my husband lovingly took his homemade lunches (made by me) to work with him.
    * I've been purchasing and cooking whole chickens to save money. They taste so good baked in the oven in stoneware (covered).
    * For a pamper party I hosted for some ladies, I made a salad with vegetables we had on hand; I purchased ingredients for apple
    "cookies" for under $3.
    * Today I met with some amazing business owners and bloggers who want to collaborate in business. This is super exciting!

  • PJGT September 24, 2018

    Continuing to not spend much as my most frugal accomplishment. I'd rather choose to be frugal now than be forced to not spend anything ever again. Even though it was through no fault of mine, it has been a harrowing experience financially. Happily, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. A lifetime of thrift has paid handsomely.

    A coworker brought in tomatoes and I am gladly eating them for lunch instead of buying lettuce. Was able to use up some pasta and parm cheese for dinner. I thought the pasta tasted "old" but my son did not mention anything. I ate it anyway. Food wise, we have been sticking to the continued diet and are avoiding waste!

    I needed presents for 2 elderly relatives and my niece which I found in my stash and cupboard. Win! In cleaning out the garage, I discovered an older, handwoven basket. Using a found evergreen colored can of spray paint, I painted it green to use as a basket for a Christmas present. Found a couple more Christmas presents at the thrift store. Yeah! I need to have some of them early if I wish to avoid shipping costs. I also have a red basket set aside to be part of a gift. Baking basket? Tea basket?

    Found some change, met a friend on the spur of the moment and she treated for my only icecream cone of the summer, found a book I've wanted to read in my garage and set it aside, took another batch of unwanted items to the thrift shop ( I did give a single mom coworker a long handled never used outdoor popcorn popper for her sons), found a penny, dehydrated some on sale hotdogs for the dogs, cut wood and kindling, used the wood stove instead of turning on the heater, and gathered seeds from the bag of lupin seadheads I was given to plant this fall for spring.

    I resisted the urge to dry the towels in the dryer (easier and quicker) even though it took 2 days to get them dry on the line.

    Finally, we have used engineering and sailing skills to solve a problem. Our cabin is small and I have a ladder to get to my sleeping loft. Works well, but the ladder is in the way. Using what we had on hand and less than 5.00 in hardware, we now have a pully system that raises the ladder out of the way and ties off on a cleat on the wall. It works well!! So happy.

    Happy frugal-ing

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