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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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  • Betsy September 28, 2018

    Spray your pans with spray oil like Pam then use butter or olive oil in your cooking and the meats will not stick so bad. Learn this from my hubby who makes me the best fish

  • Laura September 23, 2018

    Brandy, how did your surgery go?
    I also borrowed ebooks from the library.
    Went to the local beauty school for a cut and color. Even leaving a generous tip it was less then half the cost of what a salon would have been.
    Paid a bill online.
    Bought honey crisp and gala apples for 99 cents a pound. Here it is rare to see any apples for 99 cents a pound, let alone honey crisp so I was pretty happy about that. Also found good deals on mushrooms (69 cents for 8 ounces) and pork chops ($1.79 a pound).
    Watered a relative’s garden and picked up their mail while they were out of town, and got to pick and take home some bell peppers and basil for my time.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 23, 2018

    My surgery is this week.

  • Laura September 23, 2018

    I will be praying all goes well.
    Forgot one frugal thing - went to a meeting at my child’s school and got to take home novelty pencils and several free children’s books

  • Marcia R. September 24, 2018

    Honeycrisp are $2.79 a lb here and we grow lots of apples in this area!! I simply don't buy them. The bagged apples are usually cheaper than by the pound, although sometimes they are kid-sized apples. My husband doesn't care if they are small, although I try not to get the very small ones! 99 cents a lb is a good sale price here but the Honeycrisp are never included.

  • Rhonda A. September 26, 2018

    Funny, I like the smaller apples because I get more apples/servings per pound with them. If I get 3lbs of large apples, I may only get 7 apples, but if I get the small apples, 3lbs may last for 2-3 weeks!

  • Elizabeth M. September 23, 2018

    I took bottles and milk cartons to the bottle depot for deposit refunds, and used the cash to help buy a few groceries.

    I bought this food at a grocery store when I was at the next town over at a meeting. I picked up a card for my membership in the store's frequent shopper program. I usually only buy occasional things on special there, but also plan to buy some things for the house this fall, when I visit a larger store in the city, so the card may be worth having.

    When I went to the meeting, I returned the iPad that belongs to the college whose board I sit on, and had my new laptop set up so I could use that instead. I can claim a monthly stipend on my expenses for the use of the personal computer. I am finding it much easier to move back and forth through different materials, especially during a meeting.

    A partial refund on sales tax went astray during the summer, when it was sent to an bank account that was closed. I have followed up with the Canada Revenue Agency, which has had the check back for some time, though they didn't post it on my account. It is on hold for some reason, and they will be "looking at it" in October, but told me not to expect it until November or December. The office is usually very efficient, but they are short-staffed and may be slowing things down to make a point. It is not a huge amount of money, fortunately.

    I was very sad about the tornadoes in the Ottawa area. One of the worst hit areas was a village my parents lived a couple of miles away from for 35 years. My dad and my sister got to know many people there, and it is a place I connect with "home", though I don't have anyone there anymore.

  • Rhonda A. September 24, 2018

    My brother lives in Ottawa. I had my mom call and check on him, but he was OK (though he lost hydro). Later he sent me a picture by text of a road with a very large hydro pole snapped in half lying across it. It was 2 minutes from where he lives and he had just drove through there about 10 minutes before the picture was taken. Really lucky!

  • Margie from Toronto September 24, 2018

    My niece and her family live in Ottawa - they lost power and it won't be back for a few more days. Since she is 7 months pregnant and has a 4 year old they decided to pack up and drive down to mom and dad in Kingston for a few days. It must have been very frightening for those who had to live through it!

  • Ellie's friendfrom Canada September 24, 2018

    Good news your brother is ok. Terrible devastation.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 25, 2018

    They are now saying there 6 separate tornadoes that touched down. Incredible. Lucky not more injuries...

  • Rhonda A. September 26, 2018

    One of those Tornados was confirmed to have hit the neighbourhood a block or two north of where my brother lives...very close call! He finally got his power back on at 12am Tuesday morning (the unexpected Tornados hit late Friday afternoon, as many were heading home from work). He said it's just a mess everywhere there. Again, so very lucky!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 30, 2018

    A friend just returned from Ottawa where he was visiting. He and his family drove the route of one of the tornadoes (Dunrobin) twenty minutes before that tornado touched down. Lucky! Ann

  • Kara September 23, 2018

    I made homemade kombucha. For the second ferment, I added homemade lemonade (made with free lemons) and organic blackberries (picked at a local farm for free-a friend owns it).

    I ate cheese and crackers and fruit purchased at grocery store when I visited the beach.

    I opened all windows in the house each morning and closed up before the heat.

    I used rain checks to get 2lb blocks of cheese for $4 less than the current marked price.

    I returned a dress that didn’t fit and received a refund.

    I had enough grocery store points (mostly from using 3x points and other special offers, since I don’t use that grocery store much) to get a Starbucks gift card, which I’ll give to a niece or nephew for Christmas.

    Hamish looks so sweet.
    Happy frugal week!

  • Heidi Louise September 23, 2018

    I need to look for some new authors at my library and looked for the "What I've Been Reading" post you did, with the many comments. It sure doesn't feel like that was last January; how time flies!

    I am watching pre-Halloween sales for some treats for at home. For trick-or-treaters, we give out pencils and stickers I buy on clearance the year before, (checking the stickers to make sure they didn't go dry in storage).

    My Japanese Toad Lily just started blooming. I bought it for the name several years ago, and it has proved to be a dependable fall perennial.

    Hamish looks like quite pleased with himself! The photo also reminded me of what I've read about how to sit properly, so I adjusted my spine from the bottom up to match him.

  • Bethany September 24, 2018

    Heidi- If you like mysteries, I highly recommend Tony Hillerman; The Hangmans Daughter series by Oliver Potzsch, and the "Prey" series by John Sanford. Hillermans books are set in the SW, and he incorporates a lot of Navejo traditions in them ( without sounding like an anthropology lecture). Hangmans Daughter is set in Bavaria in the middle ages, and the info is period correct. Also, some fun and interesting reading is Steve Berry- he takes a real life "history mystery" and creates a modern day solution for it complete with lots of action, a host of bad guys, and twists and turns you never see coming.

  • Heidi Louise September 24, 2018

    Thank you! I will add those to my list. I just enjoyed the Baby Ganesh Agency books by Vaseem Khan, lively and good characters. Set in present-day Mumbai, a retired police detective opens his own agency, with his baby elephant as assistant. They are a good classic mystery in structure, in a context and culture I know little about.

  • Debby in Kansas, USA September 25, 2018

    Heidi, someone here also recommended The Darling Dahlia series, which I am really enjoying.
    I also really love Tony Hillerman's books. There's also a great series set in England around the 1940's with a Tween named Flavia, who fancies herself quite the detective.....gahhhhh, the name & author isn't coming to mind.....I'll post back in a second.

  • Debby in Kansas, USA September 25, 2018

    Okay, better prepared now!
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (1st book in Flavia de Luce series)

    The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander Mc Call Smith is another good series, but better known so you might have already read them. It never hurts to suggest because it might appeal to someone else....like the Darling Dahlia series that I didn't know existed a month ago!! Now, I'm a fan!

  • Heidi Louise September 25, 2018

    Thanks, Debby! I have followed the Dahlias almost from their beginning.
    I've read two stand-alones by Alexander McCall Smith, and I feel better about the world every time I read a new No. 1 Ladies. He has some other series I haven't read.
    Chet and Bernie mysteries by Spencer Quinn are set in the modern time, not the cozy-world of the others mentioned here. They are fascinating and charming because Chet the dog narrates them about his PI owner, Bernie.

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