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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Yellow Roses The Prudent Homemaker

It cooled down this week to 85°F/30°C. I gladly turned off the air conditioner and opened up the house for as many hours as I could each day, only running it for a few hours each afternoon. By Saturday, it was 77°F and cool enough to turn off the air conditioner for the entire day. We will still need it a few afternoons next week, but we're now coming to the time when the weather becomes nice enough to have the windows open all day.

I harvested rosemary, garlic chives, Armenian cucumbers, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard, a large zucchini (my first of the year) and red noodle beans from the garden.

My husband and I cut my husband's hair.

I signed up for a free account for two of my children to practice math skills at xtramath.org. Doing math on the computer seems to be more fun for them than flashcards, so I am hoping this will help them want to give even more time on mastering multiplication tables. 

My eldest boys had some free fencing fun at a church activity.

Octavius had some fun with his grandparents watching the airplanes take off at the airport.

I purchased Target's store-brand diapers when they had a spend $100 get a $20 gift card deal. While there, I checked out the clearance and was able to get several uniform polo shirts for two of my girls for $2.10 each! I like that they have some solid-colored shirts without sayings that are a bit more dressy than a t-shirt. 

With all the busyness in my life right now, I have been reevaluating how I use every minute of my time so that I am better able to accomplish what needs to be done. One thing that I am doing is working to become better organized. Drawers and other things become unorganized after a couple of months and then it takes longer to find things in those spaces, wasting precious time and causing frustration. To that end, I reorganized three drawers in the kitchen this week. I needed a new silverware organizer, as the one that we got when we were married 18 years ago is wearing out and doesn't properly fit the large forks that I purchased a few years ago when we needed more silverware (which were getting jammed and bent in the drawer because of not fitting). I purchased a few new organizers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, using a bunch of 20% off coupons. As they take expired coupons, I took several with me. The drawer functions so much better now. Since I was reorganizing that drawer, I decided to do two others as well, just moving things around that I already had.

I had a couple of children help me reorganize the bottom shelf and below the bottom shelf in a kitchen closet for another time saver and frustration eliminator.

I had been thinking of replacing my diaper bag with a small tote bag. A close-by reader offered me some spray starch, to which I said yes. She then offered me a leather tote bag, to which I also said yes. When I looked at it, it turned out to be the perfect thing that I was wanting to replace a bag of mine that is 23 years old.

I canned 20 quarts of giardiniera.

Now that temperatures have dropped, I can start planting cool-season seeds in the garden. I planted seeds for parsley, lettuce, and beets.


What did you do to save money last week?




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  • Mandy October 08, 2018

    Darcy I LOVE Culver's! I also grow Echinacea flowers and dry the leaves for herbal tea. I agree, it's much more satisfying than buying tea from the store.

  • Darcy October 13, 2018

    Hi Mandy. We signed up for their emails and they sent a coupon. We love Culvers too!

  • Athanasia October 14, 2018

    Culver's restaurant helps raise money for FFA groups (Future Farmers of America). Signing up for emails gets you coupons and free birthday ice cream. I always think of it as local and forget it's all over the country now.

  • Laurie in central NC October 08, 2018

    I have quite a collection of forks, which occasionally get jammed and bent here too. Also, a bathroom closet that could really use some organization. It's an odd little closet, with this being a handmade house, and I've not quite figured out how best to corral things in there, but you may have inspired me to work on it this week. Cabbage and lettuce seedlings were planted, as well as a goji berry I started from a a cutting. Some okra, a couple of cucumbers and a tromboncino squash were harvested, along with herbs. How nice to be gifted some things that you needed. I look forward to reading what everyone has been up to. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/10/beautiful-music-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • Gardenpat October 08, 2018

    I heard about a 3 day airline sale this week and since this airline had just added direct flights to Houston where our daughter and family live, I thought I would check. Typically it’s about $350 each round trip if I get a good price. We haven’t gone down there in about 3 years. So, I was thrilled to see that I could book a round trip flight for the 2 of us for a total of $330! But as I went to pay for the flight online, they asked if I wanted to get a Rapid rewards Visa card from the airline and use that to pay for my flight. If I did, they would credit $250 to my first bill which would make my flight cost only $80 round-trip for the two of us- $40 a piece!!! I did and so that was my best frugal happening for the week!

    Last Sunday some friends we made when we bought koi from them on Craigslist during the summer invited us back to their home so they could give us 113 free koi since they are getting older and wanted to drain one of their ponds! We were happy to take them - Dave had just found his favorite fish food in large bags on clearance at Lowe’s the week before and bought way more than our 20 fish would have gone through in several months, so we had enough food ready! We gave 3 to a friend with a pond at her new house and she gave us 2 extra blueberry bushes she bought on sale as well as 3 new grapevines! Our friends with the fish told us to sell whichever fish we didn’t want to keep so we will overwinter them and sell off many in the Spring! In our city, there is only 1 fish store and at their prices, the fish we came home with would represent well over $2500!! The only other places to buy koi are 2 hours away so I think we won’t have trouble marketing them in the Spring!

    We sold 3 dozen eggs to one of Dave’s co-workers.

    My little Scrappy Bag business which was just a way to declutter and pare down my enormous fabric scrap collection has now had 40 bags made from it, 32 sold and 4 more orders that I’ve got going ! Every time we think, “We’ll, that was nice to get a little $$ as we clear and organize the sewing room and now we are caught up in orders and it’s probably over”, new orders come in and we are humbled and grateful for this blessing! A friend suggested it was time to re-market our “Softies”- a flannel alternative to Kleenex that are reusable and within a couple of hours of posting, we had sold 6 bundles!

    I found already chopped bags of onions- 5 pounds for $1 and bought the four bags they had. I spread them out in batches on my dehydrator trays and will add to our stock of dried chopped onions that I use constantly in cooking! All with very little effort!

    It’s been a pretty terrific week here! I hope everyone else is having a great week as well! It’s surprising how little things can really add up to major savings!

  • FrugalStrong October 08, 2018

    Thank you for choosing Southwest. My husband is one of their Captains. ☺ I hope you have a wonderful experience flying them!

  • Deb October 08, 2018

    Please tell you husband for me how much I love Southwest. I am disabled and need wheelchair help when boarding. I have had several Captains push my chair down the ramp and they have always been cheerful, friendly and professional. It's not their job but they just pitch in and help. What a great working environment and what a pleasure for their passengers to know they are valued!

  • Gardenpat October 08, 2018

    Southwest has always been our airline of choice! Free check in bags, friendly staff and employees! We have never been disappointed when we fly with them! Tell your husband thanks from this family of 13 (now 53 counting spouses and grandkids!)

  • FrugalStrong October 09, 2018

    Deb & Gardenpat,

    Thank you for the kind words. I just read them to him and he smiled and said to tell you he's humbled by your kind words. Whenever we're traveling nonrev (standby "nonrevenue" - we get to fly for free but it's standby), he always offers to help the gate agent with wheelchairs, and I know he does the same thing when he's working. Oh, and GardenPat, he said you made a good decision to go with a Rapid Rewards card because it is rated one of the best travel cards and you're able to earn free flights fairly quickly. So here's hoping you can see your wonderfully large family even more often!

  • Karen w October 08, 2018

    Do you have a like for your bags and softies?

  • Gardenpat October 09, 2018

    Yes, Karen. Our site is HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

  • Amber October 10, 2018

    I just placed an order for several packs of softies :) I want to put them in everyone's stocking for Christmas. I have adult kids and teens and it is so difficult to figure out what to give them, but my husband always has a handkerchief in his suit pocket at church and I always have one in my bag, and these look even better because they are soft. Thank you.

  • Gardenpat October 10, 2018

    Thanks, Amber! They are packaged and due to arrive to you on Saturday!

  • Tammy October 08, 2018

    It is supposed to rain most of the week. We have enjoyed turning off the air conditioner and opening windows sometimes. I expect a reduction in electricity usage Yeah! Lower bills make me happy! Being careful to turn off lights and have full loads of laundry and dishes. Utilized the library for movies, books and faxing info to possible job prospects.
    Made pickles and cucumber kimchi. Made all meals at home but one when we celebrated my husband's passing his CDL. Eating out was a treat that we haven't been doing in a long time. Husband should get full time hours this week. I've been getting hours in too. Together we should make it.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada October 08, 2018

    Hi Tammy - what is a CDL? commercial driver's licence? Ann

  • Tammy October 08, 2018

    Yes, He is going to drive a city bus.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada October 09, 2018

    Hi Tammy,

    Congratulations for the CDL for your husband! Driving a city bus is a great job and hopefully the city has a good pension plan and benefits! I see you made cucumber kimchi. Have you tried growing the Armenian cucumbers that Brandy grows? I'm going to try it next year. Ann

  • Stephanie October 08, 2018

    I completely hear you on the drawer organization. I kind of did that to the whole house this summer, tearing everything apart and reorganizing it all in order to make things run more smoothly and make it all easier to take care of (including the silverware drawer!). It's something that needs to be redone every so often, but it's so worth it in the time that it saves in the long run.

    This week, I added a large bag of baking cocoa to my pantry, along with a fantastically priced 5 lb bag of frozen green beans from Costco, and five boxes of the good kind of macaroni and cheese from the grocery store clearance aisle for 99 cents each. I did buy a premade pizza from Aldi (I was in a decent amount of pain that day and didn't want to cook a full dinner), but that saved us from spending more money at a restaurant or sending my husband out to find something, so I was okay with that. I cooked quite a bit out of my pantry this week.

    My spine doctor recommended yoga, so I did some yoga videos from Youtube. I read a bunch of books from my Kindle and some library books as well, and my daughter read her first book, which also came from the library. I did knit a little bit of her Christmas present, but not as much as I would've liked, since I've been so tired (and the only time I can work on her present is at night after she goes to bed!). We've managed to keep the heat off so far, although it's been quite cool in the house some mornings. We'll see how long that holds out, as we're supposed to have some very cool temps later on this week.

    Have a great week, everyone! :)

  • FrugalStrong October 08, 2018

    I also do free yoga videos off YouTube. One of my favorite channels is "Yoga with Adrienne." She's got a fun delivery, offers modifications, and has a lot of good beginner options. I also like "Five Parks Yoga."

  • Suzan October 08, 2018

    I live in the south east corner of Queensland, Australia. Our weather is warming up and storms are rumbling around some afternoons. Like you I celebrate not needing air-conditioning. We have been able to make do with fans so far. I would love this weather to continue rather than face our brutal, humid summers. To. save money I have stuck to a meal plan. My washing is generally line dried. The drier is used rarely. I am encouraging meals at home. I am working on Christmas plans. I am trying to do a little spring cleaning. There is an amazing amount of stuff in the house.

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