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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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  • Gardenpat September 23, 2018

    Hamishis growingsoquivkly and so adorable! What a great feeling it is to do some quick mending/hemming projects! I usually am reluctant to do them and when I finally do, I am shocked that I had put it off so long! Great feeling of accomplishment!

    We having been living on our food storage the last couple weeks in order to use up and rotate some of our freezers and other food storage!,

    When I started making my Scrappy Bags ( https://pin.it/feddcmppzizen2) as a way to use up some of my overflowing fabric stash, I had no idea that within two weeks, I would have made 36 of them and sold 28 of those already! That has given us an unexpected income of over $350 to put towards paying off hubs’ ablation surgery this year! We redid our website HandmadeinOldeTowne.com to make it more user friendly. So glad hubs and our son J are right here to help with tech issues!!!

    I started up a blog because some friends had asked for a copy of the 20 Steps approach to Food Storage- The Ants Approach. I realized it would be cheaper to just send her all of steps/notebook online rather than to print it out and ship it to her. So anyone’s interested, the blog is : theantorthegrasshopper.blogspot.com

    Did the usual things- packaged up leftovers to take for work lunches and labeled them, so they will be seen and eaten, made all meals at home!

    I read a post somewhere online about a wat to take cuttings from a blackberry bush and root them to make more blackberry bushes! Can anyone help with instructions??

    All in all, a very good week! Thanks for all the inspiration, Brandi and friends! And I’m confident your surgery will go well! Hubs (my AZ guy who grew up before sunscreen) has had it before and sees his dermatologist every 6 months just to freeze off pre-C spots. Highly treatable and good reminder to wear a hat in the scorching sun as well as long sleeves (light cotton shirt) and plenty of sunscreen! Take care and know that our prayers are with you! (Btw- have your Husband give you a blessing beforehand just to put your mind and heart at ease. Jmo)

    Have a good week!

  • Lorna September 23, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    You did really well Brandy and think of wonderful cost saving measures to get the most out of the children's clothing you purchase at really good prices :). Hamish is gorgeous and such a lovely smile he has.

    I have some exciting news to share is that we are also now in the market to buy a property :), having checked out local prices around town and out of town (much lower than we thought in certain areas), with the deposit we have we can well buy a lower priced established property and do some minor renovations to make it suit us.

    This week we have seen 2 properties one acreage that didn't suit and was quite mountainous with not a lot of usable land and a residential property with a 3 bedroom house on a half an acre just on the outskirts of town. The second has promise so we are strongly considering that one and maybe putting in an offer after a second look next week. We are also waiting on a real estate agent to show us a property out of town on 2.4 acres of land which we are very interested in looking at. We will keep you updated :) .

    Needless to say not a lot got done this week apart from a steep learning curve on how to buy a property, expenses involved, ringing a solicitor for conveyancing/legal costs,comparing what other houses sold for recently in the areas we are interested in, quotes from garage companies and inquiring about the first home buyers grant.

    Our Vicky challenge added up to $172.22 in savings last week :).

    Finances & internet listings -
    - Saved more money into our saving for our house deposit bringing us to 28.57% of the way there (in reality our house deposit for a ready built home in our area could well be closer to 50 - 60% yay ).
    - Listed 10 more items in my eBay store on a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual costs.

    Hair cuts -
    - DH cut my long hair short saving about $60 on the price of having it professionally done.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made a 1.171 kg batch of chocolate walnut brownies (thank you Gardenpat for the recipe you gave the link to earlier) with buttercream icing for $12.28 saving $95.72 over buying it in local shops here. Didn't realise what a horrendous price they charge in the shops for 1 slice of this :o .

    Usual frugal things -
    - Hung washing on the line to dry, saved grey water to water the lawns with, used dish rinsing water to water seedlings and fruit pot plants on the veranda, only turned on our electric hot water system when water needed heating and heated our home with free firewood we cut from a friends farm.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


  • Margie from Toronto September 24, 2018

    Good luck with the house hunting - you have been very determined in saving all that you can and seem to be very realistic as to what is available so I'm sure you will do well when it comes to making a final decision. Keep us posted!

  • Lorna September 24, 2018

    Thank you Margie for your encouragement it is really appreciated :) and we are really excited too .

    We will just plod along and approach things sensibly in purchasing our property. A lot of the sellers have unrealistic prices on their properties which is usual but we have access to a property data base of what they were purchased for so will go in armed with information and we are not afraid to put in a much lower offer. Being a buyers market and the property prices going down we can bide our time until we find something suitable at the right price.

    Upon looking at the property database we notice in some areas the owners are listing their properties for less than they originally paid for them and purchased them in the property boom era. It is sad that they paid so much for them in the first place :( .

    The property market and valuations are relative and buyers will only pay what a property is worth regardless of what price the sellers put on it.

  • Patricia Koernig September 24, 2018

    Lorna: I am so excited for you, as you hunt for a home to purchase. Have followed with interest how you add to your home deposit account for months. Many blessings in the months ahead.
    Patricia/Fl USA

  • Lorna September 24, 2018

    Thank you Patricia for your encouragement :) . Buying a property is certainly one of the biggest decisions any couple can make.

    We are certain we will find something that will suit us at the right price and we just have to bide our time. In the meantime we will just save more until that happens which will lower the amount we have to borrow and subsequent bank interest we will have to pay.

  • Athanasia September 24, 2018

    Congratulations Lorna and husband. That is good news indeed to hear.

  • Lorna September 24, 2018

    Thank you Athanasia for kind thoughts and encouragement :) .

  • Roberta in So. Cal. September 24, 2018

    Congratulations, Lorna! It's been fun to watch your savings percentage steadily grow.

  • Lorna September 24, 2018

    Thanks Roberta for your encouragement and well wishes :) , now all we have to do is find that suitable property at the right price for us.

  • Lynn from NC Outer Banks September 24, 2018

    What WONDERFUL news Lorna! So happy for you and your husband. Your resolve, creativity and discipline have been amazing over these many months (year?) and we have all cheered as your percentage saved has continued to move upwards. Thrilled that your goal is now in sight, with even more of a down payment available. Enjoy your house hunting. I'm sure just the right property will come along. :) :) Lynn

  • Lorna September 25, 2018

    Thank you Lynn for your encouragement and we will enjoy our house hunting :) .

    We have been saving for 4 years for our home deposit so far but moved into rental 5 years ago. The first year most of our savings went into buying machinery to cater for acreage country living such as a ride on lawn mower, chainsaws and a trailer for carting firewood and manures for the gardens.

  • Becky September 24, 2018

    I'm very happy for you. I'm sure you will get the undesirable properties weeded out, but it sure does take time. A mountainous site seems like it would be hard to grow things on!

    Anyway, good luck in finding just what you want for a good price.

  • Lorna September 25, 2018

    Hi Becky and thank you for your encouragement :) and I agree with you that it will take some time to find the right property at the right price for us and we will take our time. Yes mountains are not conducive to growing vegetable gardens on :p .

  • Jenny September 25, 2018

    Woo Hoo on the property front. Very excited for you.

  • Lorna September 25, 2018

    Thank you Jenny we are excited too :) .

  • Cindi September 26, 2018

    What an exciting time for you, Lorna. I, too, have followed along watching your savings grow -- best of luck to you. I can't wait to hear the next chapter in this journey.

  • Lorna September 27, 2018

    Thank you Cindi for you kind thoughts :) . We will keep everyone updated.

  • S. CO Mary September 26, 2018

    Woot woot! Happy frabjous news Lorna. So proud of you and your hubby and all your hard work and focus. Can't wait to hear more!

  • Lorna September 27, 2018

    Thank you Mary for your encouragement :) .

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