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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I spent the first part of the week organizing things to run as smoothly as possible for the end of the week, as I had surgery on Thursday to remove cancer from my head. It was growing in my hair next to my part, a place where I don't usually put sunscreen. I'll have stitches for the next three weeks and I imagine I'll have a swollen face for at least this week. One way I'll save this week is by not wearing any makeup, because it's a bit impossible right now! 

To save money this past week, I did the following:

I baked a carrot cake in a 9 x 13 pan. I didn't have cream cheese on hand to make icing, so I lightly dusted it with powdered sugar instead.

Red Noodle Beans The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut red noodle beans, Armenian cucumbers, rosemary, Genovese basil, chives, and green onions from the garden. I picked some teeny-tiny cherry tomatoes from the garden as well to use in a pasta salad. They are so tiny that I put a slice of olive in with them so you can see how little they are; they are the size of blueberries! The heat we have here in summer makes them stop flowering, or if they do flower (these are in afternoon shade and just started flowering recently) they are still super tiny because of the heat.

Sun Gold Tomatoes The Prudent Homemaker

The Armenian cucumbers do well in our heat, growing huge. I still don't get a lot of them when it's really hot, so I am happy to have them grow to great lengths, as they don't get bitter like other cucumbers and can grow as long as my arm. This means I have a lot of cucumbers to eat but not always enough to make pickles (as sometimes just one or two are ripe). This week we ate them sliced thin in vinegar, cut into sticks and dipped in ranch dip made with Greek yogurt, put in green salads, and chopped in pasta salad.

I went to the library and checked out a large number of books with my three youngest daughters and my 2-year-old son.

I opened the windows and doors in the early mornings to cool down the house for a couple of hours each morning.

I used my solar oven to cook three meals. One of the things I cooked was a large batch of pinto beans. I made bean burritos one day with them. I made a huge pan of bean enchiladas with them another day, which we ate over three days. My corn tortillas were a little old (so they would break rather than roll), so I made the enchiladas lasagna-style, layering the tortillas flat instead and layering the filling between with three layers of tortillas. I also find this is a great way to make enchiladas when you don't have enough tortillas, as it uses just 18 corn tortillas in a 10 x 13 pan. You'll need more filling, but if you're using beans for all or part of it, it is still quite frugal.

When I cooked baked potatoes, I cooked enough to have leftovers for the next day. I usually cook 10 pounds for our family, but recently we have upped it to 15 pounds at a time, saving gas for the oven (and not heating up the house) and giving us more leftovers. Leftover baked potatoes cook really quickly as cubed potatoes on the stovetop with onions for breakfast, a great side dish to a fried egg or two. It also means use you can use less oil (I only use a couple of tablespoons for a 5-quart pan full of potatoes) which means less money and fewer calories.

My son went to a thrift store with his uncle. He found a pair of cowboy boots there that he liked. One boot was priced at $35 and the other at $15. He tok them up to the register and asked how much. They told him $5, so he bought himself a pair of boots.

My mom went to a couple of community garage sales and picked up a few items for me, including a polo shirt for my eldest son ($2) and ten brand-new wide mouth quart-sized canning jars for $0.40 each.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  • Ellie's friend from Canada October 01, 2018

    My suggestion is to let her have ice cream! I have been through similar situations.

  • Tabitha October 01, 2018

    When my grandmother lost her appetite, one of the very few things she would eat was instant pudding. She would devour a box a day. It was not by any means the healthiest choice, but the Dr said as long as she is eating something, it would hurt. We purchased the sugar free or reduced sugar kind and she would eat a box over a day or two along with a few other things. It's not much, but it was something.

  • Angela in Kentucky October 01, 2018

    Holly, I am a registered nurse and have seen this often in the elderly or those that have been very ill for an extended period. Try milkshakes with full fat ice cream and whole milk, Carnation Instant Breakfast is great especially with whole milk, any of the Boost or Ensure drinks or puddings if she can tolerate them (some don't like them at all), adding protein powder to chocolate pudding or tapioca. Several have made very good suggestions on here also. Small meals on small plates and containers. Really anything that she likes. If all she wants is cottage cheese then go for it. Don't worry too much at this point about balanced meals. Also, get a good multi-vitamin for her to take daily. Any liquids you can get in her will be good. She needs to stay hydrated above all things. Good luck. It is very difficult when you are the only caregiver that is for sure.

  • Marcia R. October 02, 2018

    Another thing you can do is add powdered milk to the liquid milk you use for milkshakes or puddings. My sister had to do this for one of her grandkids who was underweight. It worked very well. They call it "double milk." and it adds calories and protein.

  • Andrea Q October 01, 2018

    Ask her what she wants! When my grandfather was doing poorly, I asked him what he wanted and told him I would drive all over town to find it if necessary. He asked for Orange Crush soda. It wasn't much, but it was calories.

  • Jennifer O. October 02, 2018

    Probably not a popular reply, but when my grandfather had surgery for pancreatic cancer and refused to eat afterwards, I bribed him with Guinness (his favorite). If he ate half his meal, he could have a beer. If he ate his whole meal he could have ice cream (another favorite) later.

  • Holly October 03, 2018

    Mom is almost a teetotaler but I'll admit I thought about trying O'Douls or a sweet wine to see if it would help.

  • Tracey October 02, 2018

    Hi, I agree with Kathy L. regarding cannabis...it was a godsend to my good friend's mother as she was being treated for breast cancer. She was not expected to survive a very aggressive form of cancer but is in total remission today. If not cannibus, you might want to look into CBD oil it is also effective in stimulating appetite and is made from hemp. No prescription needed for CBD oil and it's available at some grocery stores (in our state) and also available through Amazon and Swanson Vitamins. It truly relieves pain and stimulates appetite and, to repeat Kathy L., it does NOT make you high as they remove that ingredient during processing. Sending good thoughts and prayers to you and your mom.

  • Lana Long October 02, 2018

    Im in direct care with either adults with severe disabilities or are currently in hospice, and usually if your doctor will write s prescription for either a certain amount of boost or drinks that are considered a nutrition supplement it should be covered by medicare or Medicaid, they will ofteb write for 3-4/ day depending on the need and you can often get it delivered from a pharmacy, which would relieve you of that one extra thing off of yiur never ending list, make sure you do enough self care, burn out can happen so quickly, many hugs and prayers, God bless

  • Athanasia October 03, 2018

    Holly, have you been in touch with your county's organization for the aged? My younger son is a geriatric social worker and does a lot of work with getting the elderly lined up with agencies that can assist them, cover supplies for them that are over the counter or not a benefit of Medicare, find home health aids, durable medical equipment, helping get the house accessible. Those kinds of things. Here it is a county entity...you might be different in Michigan.

  • Holly October 05, 2018

    I don't know the reasoning behind the boundaries of the Area Agencies for the Aged in Michigan. Counties are only part of the determination. I do know what agency's territory we live in. Walmart has been my go-to source for reasonably-priced medical equipment and supplies. Now that I am a senior too, I need to contact the agency to see what they offer in the way of chore service and, down the road, a bit of respite care.

  • Diana October 01, 2018

    Prayers for a full and speedy recovery.

  • http://thejewishlady.com October 01, 2018

    I am so glad to hear you're on the mend. Surgery is always scary and recovery can be just as hard. Spotting cancer in the scalp must've been difficult. Catching it quickly saves lives. Everyone needs to be checked annually to stay safe. Cancer is no joke!

    The past month has been both busy and expensive, due to 4 Jewish holidays in such a short period. (Always a crazy time of year.) I stay frugal by shopping the sales weekly, using coupons/rebates when possible, and maintaining a large stockpile. Some recent deals include $0.88/lb apples, $0.99/lb turkey breast, cases of water for $0.99 each, free candy, free toothbrushes, free shampoo, and $0.94 laundry pods. All of my deals here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-9-8-18/

  • Andrea from Canada October 01, 2018

    Brandy you’re amazing!
    Had surgery? Good news: I’ll save money on makeup. Cake without icing? Good news: I can sprinkle icing sugar. And the list goes on...
    Thank you for being you and all that you do. You always inspire me, not only to save money, but to be better.

  • Thank you. I never even realized I was doing this until you pointed it out. I hadn't thought of it that way. (I did consider that just sugar is a lot fewer calories than icing, though!)

  • Reader October 06, 2018

    Here where we live in Europe we never use icing. I've had it only on the goods baked by missionaries!

  • Gardenpat October 01, 2018

    This has been a terrific week! Facebook had made changes to the way they process things on business pages and we found that not only could people not order more than one thing per order, but they changed their payment system from PayPal to Stripe and it was taking almost 2 weeks to be deposited into our bank! It also didn’t give the option for local pickup without shipping charge and would hold the money taken in. So our customer would pay, pickup and we wouldn’t get the money!

    So we still have the page up so we can do Facebook publishing of new items for sale, but we do the actual sales on our website: HandmadeinOldeTowne.com and that has worked out really well!
    We decided While praying over our fields (garden and fruit trees and bushes), flocks (our chickens and koi) and our business to be specific about them and this week has been phenomenal in response to those prayers!! All unsolicited “windfalls”? Nope- blessings!!
    1. A friend called and asked if she could give us 2 extra “Pink Lemonade” blueberry bushes. She bought too many and didn’t feel like returning them to the store (although she delivered them to our house)! Fields
    2. Flocks- Dave was in Lowe’s for something else and noticed that the fish food he uses was clearanced by over 50% in the big bags so he was able to buy a supply that will last a year! The exp codes will still be good even then!

    3. Flocks- a sweet couple that we met from a craigslist ad for koi that we bought from them this summer called us yesterday out of the blue! They live 88miles away but wondered if we would like (free) a stock tank full of koi because they are downsizing. We went out and he and my hubs emptied the 113 koi and brought them home! We gave 3 to our blueberry bush friend and she’s thrilled. We will overwinter the rest and come Spring, sell some (which our koi friends said was fine with them with us keeping the sales money!) that many fish at the sizes they are,even selling at bargain prices represent over $2000 !!!

    4.Business- a friend came over for some free bread and bagels we were distributing and reminded us of last year’s Softies” that we sold- 2 ply flannel Kleenex substitutes and said we should start actively marketing those again because we are going in to cold season. We took his advise and within 5 minutes of posting them online, we had 3 orders!

    So we feel that the Lord has blessed us beyond measure!
    We ate all of our meals from our pantry. I got 3 ten pound bags of potatoes for $1/bag so we will eat some and shred and dehydrate a lot because we were just running low in our dehydrated hash browns!
    Took dinner to 2 families just using food from our pantry/freezer. So grateful to be able to share!
    Enjoyed quiet time in the evening with a fire in the fire pit and we let chickens out to free range! Best date night ever as we talked about goals and challenges! Priceless time but didn’t spend a dime for it!!
    What a wonderful life filled with opportunities for us to learn and share!

  • S. CO Mary October 01, 2018

    Pat - you made me smile! Many years ago a friend and I were discussing prayer. We were both corporate types then and we laughed as we both did very directed prayer "Now God, I know you are busy so here's exactly what you need to do - sort of a flow chart." Not like your praying over specific areas (field, flock, business) where you lift those areas of your life up but like "I'm in charge and here's the list". Once I learned the difference my life opened up immensely and His plan was much better than mine. Just my thoughts!

  • Gardenpat October 01, 2018

    S.CO Mary- Usually we pray that we will recognize opportunities that are put in our path that will help us if we are willing to put in some effort!

  • S. CO Mary October 02, 2018

    That't it! Recognizing the opportunities is so important! And then putting in the effort of course.

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