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The Past Week's Frugal Accomplishments

May Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains affiliate links.

I mended seven leaks in the drip irrigation. I had accidentally cut these last year when pruning hedges.

I planted seeds for Armenian cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini, and Thai basil in the garden.

I harvested apricots, lemons, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, green onions, garlic chives, oregano, parsley, and chocolate mint from the garden.

May Roses and Honeysuckle The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy inside.

My husband and I had an at-home date night playing a game of Rummikub. My mom found that she had a duplicate of this game when she went through her closets earlier this year when I had a garage sale, and we kept the game back from the sale.

I redeemed free coupons from the grocery store Monopoly game tickets for five free 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce, three pounds of egg noodles, four free store-brand AAA batteries, two small bags of potato chips, a bag of free hamburger buns, two free containers of aspirin, and an 8-ounce container of sour cream.

I used a coupon for a buy one, get one bottle of shampoo to get a free bottle of shampoo.

My sister-in-law is moving house and downsizing. She offered to let me go through several boxes of children's clothes before she had a garage sale. I found several pairs of jeans for daughters number 2 and 3 (they wear the same size, plus my second daughter is very hard on clothes, which has meant a shortage of clothing for a few years for these two daughters; it seems they are always wearing everything through!) I also found a few other clothing items for other children.

My children helped their aunt with her garage sale on the actual day, and in return, she allowed them each several items to keep from her sale. They brought home several more items of clothing.

My husband arranged to borrow the bike rack that his brother made for the same sister for us to use at our house. There isn't a place for it at her new house and she's not using it right now. My husband was planning to make one for us with his brother; this will work well for us for now without any outlay of money.

My husband cut my hair for me.

My husband painted our front doors.

Katy Apricots The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Monica May 28, 2018

    Brandy, I love the arrangement on the table. You did an awesome job on it. Also, we love to play Rummikub. Another game we have started playing is Nerts. It’s a fast card game and it’s so fun. You might want to check it out. I don’t have any frugal accomplishments to post as we are on a trip ($$) but my children did raise money for the trip selling Amish bread to aunts and other friends. Hopefully I will be back next week with frugal accomplishments (ie. “Recovering from vacation”).

  • Allyson May 28, 2018

    We had a pretty frugal week this past week. We enjoyed our first week of our CSA share, with loads of greens and green onions. I've enjoyed them in eggs and with quiche all week.

    I love reading about your garden! It's so inspiring, and makes me want to challenge myself in our new house to do more vertical planting along walls. I'm also trying to find some ways to integrate more ornamental edibles into my flower gardens, like tricolor sage and some chives. (I love the look of the little purple chive flowers, and they're a pretty addition to a salad too.)

    Here are the rest of our adventures:

  • Laurie in AZ May 28, 2018

    Beautiful pictures. I love the flowers and the apricots look delicious!

    Here are my accomplishments for the last week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocs and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Ate up leftovers from brother-in-law’s memorial service. Also froze some for later. Only ate out once for dinner and once for a lunch date with hubby.
    • Worked 12 contract hours. Took my lunch on the days I went in. Found out the contract work will probably last through the rest of the year.
    • The open enrollment period for my husband’s medical insurance was this month. I changed our coverage and our premium will be $50 less, plus we will now have an HSA that we have not previously had. This will help with taxes as the money will be taken out pre-tax.
    • Got a free Vitamin water from the Friday Freebie.
    • Bought very few groceries as I am trying to eat up what we have in the pantry and freezer. Had a couple of random gift cards that I had used most of, so I used those up finally. I had about $16 left on them, so that helped with the little I did buy.
    • Used up a very ripe banana in a peanut butter and banana smoothie.
    • Took my Dad for our weekly meal out but instead of lunch we had breakfast. Cost of meal was about ½ of what I usually pay.
    • Had 60c/gal. off gas from grocery rewards. Hubby used it when filling up his truck, as it has a bigger gas tank than our car.
    • Hubby needed new shirts for his trip to Switzerland. We went to the VF Factory Outlet and purchased 4 shirts for him and 6 pairs of panties for me and only paid $88 as they had a deal that if I signed up for their loyalty program I would receive 10% off, so in addition to the clothes being priced right, we saved another $10.
    • Because my husband had to travel to Switzerland for work, the flight went on my credit card, as will all of his other expenses, so we will get the points for that. I’m on track to get another companion pass next year.
    • Received 10 greeting cards free from one of the charities I support.
    • Got some Ibotta rebates.
    • Found a toy truck w/ a matchbox car on the clearance rack for $2.49. I will give that to my grandson for his birthday in November.
    • My son came to town and had a few things he didn’t need anymore that he gave to me including a casserole dish, a coffee mug and a brand new deck of cards.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  • Gardenpat May 28, 2018

    This is the week that we are doing a complete reno on the 3rd floor bathroom - we gutted it and have a new jacuzzi tub (90% off regular price after discounts from the place our daughter works! $2500 tub for $200 because it was “bisque” color and they had wanted more of a “sand” color so they refused it!)
    We spent our Friday date night at Home Depot picking out the materials for the reno. We spent about $800. having the stuff delivered would cost $79 and not be possible before next Thursday, we opted to rent their truck ($19) at 6 AM the next morning when they would have all our supplies ready to load in!
    Everything went as planned until we were unloading and noticed that the 5 backer boards for the walls around tub/shower didn't have the grid that we were shown it would have . They were about $13.50 each. We loaded them into our van and returned to store with truck and van. I checked and found out that the manufacturer had stopped selling the gridded board at Home Depot in that thickness and the sales people in flooring (who were actually quite knowledgeable) did not know that.
    I asked if there could be any adjustment because of the change since these were about $4 more expensive per board than the other brand because they were more user friendly. I was polite and friendly and just let them respond. I hoped that maybe we would be given maybe a credit of a dollar or two per board.
    Imagine my surprise when the flooring manager asked how we would feel about a $200 credit!! We were in shock! She went up to Customer Service counter with us and I figured they would not agree. Instead, she changed it to $245 plus tax credit!!! So we got about $267 taken off our bill!!!
    We are in shock!!! But pleased and grateful!!! That pays for 2/3 of the cost for the radiant floor heating and programmable thermostat that we bought for the floor!!
    So proud that my CA daughter that I just visited and mentored on grocery shopping and pantry building/meal prep posted this on Facebook: “Channeling my mother (Pat J. Lewis) today. Ground beef was on a great sale so I bought 15lbs. One became hamburger patties and the other became cooked and seasoned beef in 1lb baggies to pull out when I need to make something.” She also bought 2 flats of strawberries on sale and flash froze those too! Don’t know if I can take credit for her success but I will anyway ! Lol!
    I ordered (2) 40pound boxes of Zaycon boneless skinless chicken breast which will come in October for 99 cents a pound!! This is different from previous sales because you don’t need to be a new customer to get that price plus you can order more than 1 case (in a single order) and get the sale price on your whole order not just on first case!
    The box has 4 ten pound bags in it, making it easy to split with friends if someone doesn’t want the whole 40 pounds! Here is the link and promo code: https://zayconfresh.com/refer/zf182397 and the promo code is: CHICKEN2018. I’ve ordered from them before and this time I ordered 80 pounds! So I spent $79.20 for 80 pounds of beautiful boneless skinless chicken breast! The promotion code goes until June 30, 2018!
    I bought 2 watermelons at Kroger’s for $1.99 and (8) 38 oz bottles of Heinz (we are ketchup snobs!! Lol!) ketchup for $1.88 bottle, but WAIT! I had peeling coupons for $1/2 bringing price down to $1.38 each, but WAIT.... if you bought 2 bottles, you got a free 16 oz Oscar Mayer hot dog package, so I got 4 pounds of OM hot dogs besides!! Let the BBQ begin!!!
    Still getting 4 dozen eggs/ week from our chickens. Still washing out ziploc bags,
    When I looked over our accounts, I saw that in the past 4 weeks, we have added over $1000 to our savings and paid down about $1400 on our debt!
    All in all, a very good week!

  • Athanasia May 30, 2018

    Sounds like a lot of work for this 3rd floor bathroom, but I am sure it will be nice. I have a jacuzzi type tub...it is one of the walk-into ones due to my arthritis but it is very very nice after a sore achey day.

    We did not have those deals at our Kroger affiliate store...watermelons were 3.99, there was no 4.99/24 pack soda as mentioned by another reader, no hot dog catsup deal. Though hot dogs were on sale, almost every brand. I did buy some for the freezer for emergencies. Other wise we prefer the old fashioned kind from the butcher shop. I did get a free bottle of catsup with a coupon but it wasn't Heinz. Hellmans I think. Which was odd as I always buy Hellmans mayonnaise but catsup seems weird.

  • Maxine May 28, 2018

    Brandy, you've been a busy girl (as always) and the picture of your baby is adorable! Here was my week (big spending, but big saving, too)--
    • Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends are big sale weekends for major appliances. I need a refrigerator and washing machine for the new house. I got a killer deal on both (which are Energy Star rated) plus a 5% discount for using our Lowe’s CC = $49.94 extra savings on the fridge and $36.95 on the washer. BTW, I never buy appliances with all the bells and whistles. I did spring for a bottom freezer, though.
    • All 3 of us had dental hygiene appointments. We have dental coverage as an add-on to our Medadvantage plans. We break even with two hygiene appointments per year. If we need additional dental work, we are money ahead. And we each came home with a new toothbrush, dental floss and travel-size toothpaste. The dentist also gave DD a free electric toothbrush.
    • A friend gave me two beautiful wool blankets from New Zealand that belonged to her mother.
    • I saved $5.92 by buying returned items from the Amazon warehouse instead of “new.” (They were just in opened packages).
    • I received a check for $160 for elections board pay, which was $10 more than expected. I had taken an additional training and didn’t realize I would be paid for it.
    • I used a GC received for Mother’s Day to buy a royal purple smoke tree. With the remaining $8, I went to the historical museum plant sale and bought what would have been about $50 in plants. The 4 inch pots were .50 and the 1 gallon size were $1. Love plant sales!
    • We always eat dinner out on Thursdays because we are away from home. All other meals were cooked and eaten at home.
    • Stocked up on Memorial Day loss leaders at the grocery store.

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden May 28, 2018

    I have trimmed the cable line before Brandy! That was a mess and I try to be more careful now. We are now outside more and getting many things done including the garden. Here are my frugal accomplishments. http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/05/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-and-menu.html

  • Last week was rather crazy in more than one way!

    * I cooked food in advance so that we would have food to eat even when I came home later.
    * We made do as much as possible with a fan instead of turning on the A/C.
    * I attended a vendor event for free and used products I already had at home for people to sample.
    * God led me to stop at a gas station that I was driving by to fill up on gasoline to save time and money later.
    * Instead of running to the bank constantly, I set up online payments for my clients.
    * We kept eating the chicken I purchased marked down.
    * We were glad to find out we could use a $5 off $50 coupon for a special order at the store. :)
    * We opened windows for fresh air and for a gentle breeze through the house.
    * To save time and money, I scheduled a few appointments close together in time and location.
    * My husband took all his lunches to work with him.
    * We recycled very durable plastic bottles to freeze water instead of purchasing ice for a day-long activity.

  • Heidi Louise May 28, 2018

    Switched our ceiling fans from winter-setting, (air goes up to disturb warm air at the ceiling), to summer, (air goes down). Fans have a small switch on the side that moves from up to down. This was an easy thing to do, except STRONGLY recommend dusting the fan blades BEFORE making the switch, as they will otherwise clean themselves when spinning the other direction.
    Delightful name for your son! And glad you have that decision made!

  • Rhonda A. May 28, 2018

    Sounds like you had a great week, Brandy. Between the free clothing and the free items from the Monopoly game, that's quite a savings! The apricots look delicious, too.

    This week, our families frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included beef stew with dumplings (mmm, dumplings...my favourite!), BBQ hamburgers & hotdogs with tater tots and corn, hot chicken sandwiches with carrots, cheese & spinach manicotti baked in white sauce and topped with mozzarella & cheddar cheese, BBQ chicken breasts on a bun with choice of toppings and leftover mixed veggies, hard boiled eggs (some made egg salad with their boiled eggs) with KD, and ham steaks with white rice and green beans.
    *Reminded my mom to save the carrot peelings for making broth. I keep a zip-lock bag in the freezer for saving veggie scraps for this purpose.
    *Best grocery deal this week was purchasing a 1.2kg box of breaded popcorn chicken that was on sale for $6.88, but used a $4 coupon to get it for around $3. DD loves to make this for herself, along with onion rings, for lunch on the weekend. I will happily buy convenience foods if it means DD can practice cooking with the oven!
    *Received a bag of free popcorn form work when there was a bunch of unsold leftovers one day. I shared it with DD.
    *When the skies started to look like a thunderstorm was rolling in, I quickly boiled some eggs up as a back up plan for dinner, in case we lost hydro. I knew if we didn't use them for egg salad sandwiches that night, we would use them for a quick breakfast item during the week. However, the boiled eggs were well received, paired with a cheap box of KD. The entire 1/2 dozen were all eaten up.
    *Made extra white rice with dinner one night, in the hopes of using the leftovers to making up a batch of fried rice to use for lunches this week. Last time I tried to do this, DD and her friend ate so much white rice, I didn't have enough to make the fried rice. At least it was cheap!
    *Planted oregano, carrot and watermelon seeds in the garden. Also ran string up the trellis to help support the peas that have sprouted quite nicely. This pretty much filled in the empty spots in the garden for now. Most of the seeds I planted previously are already coming up, which makes me very happy. They are predicting a hot dry summer for our area, so fingers crossed that everything does reasonably well this year!
    *Trained a new employee this week in the Fife cabin (our 1st settler's cabin, circa. 1825). We made 3 sister's soup (corn, beans & squash) one day over the fire pit, which was yummy. The next day, we decided to try our hand at making bannock on a fry pan, over hot coals from the fire pit. This was the 1st time I had made it over an open fire. The bannock was soo gooood, we ended up making a second batch! One of the senior staff is vegan, and was thrilled that she could enjoy some baking from the village (most of the things we make contain milk and eggs). Another seasonal staff member was equally thrilled to sample the bannock, as she is trying to eliminate sugar from her diet and the recipe contained no sugar. It was nice to get such good feedback from a 1st attempt! It is equally nice is knowing if we lost power, I am developing skills of how to make bread from very simple ingredients and learning to cook using very basic cooking methods.
    *Took DD and her friend to the Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto as part of her birthday celebration (her B-day was May 16th). We packed drinks and snacks for the car ride there and back. I used my Attractions Ontario reciprocating card to get me in for free and a discount for DDs friend. Hubby got in for free as DDs support person, but we paid full price for DD. So we paid just under $70 for 3 adults and 1 child (under 13 yrs) to get in to a major Toronto attraction...that is an amazing deal! The girls had a great time, especially the shrimp "touch tanks" where the shrimp nibbled the dead skin on their hands (it tickles). On the way home, we had lunch at Denny's, where the girls ordered chocolate peanut butter milkshakes with their meals (basically they were soft serve ice cream, but oh so tasty). Then we walked over to Chuck E. Cheese in the same plaza for some more fun. We don't have Chuck E Cheese where we live, so this was a huge treat for the girls. I quickly found an on-line coupon to use with my smart phone, which saved us some money. Despite it being very busy (more than 1 birthday party and mostly little kids running around), they still had lots of fun there too. Overall, it was a wonderful day trip!
    *Hubby and I bought a new camera in anticipation of using it for our European trip we are planning. We bought it at Costco, which had it on discount since the camera was actually last years model. The camera also came with a 16GB memory card and a leather carrying case. It is pocket sized and light weight, but has a 40X zoom lens that pops out and the digital viewing screen flips up so we can take selfies (not necessarily a selling point for us, but it will come in handy, since hubby is horrible at taking pictures and this may be the only way I make it into any of the shots). It cost over $400, but a nice investment piece. Hubby said it is my birthday and Christmas present for this year. Thanks, hunny! Now I just have to practice with it before we go!

    That everything I recorded this week. Looking forward to all your inspiring comments. Have a great week, everyone!!!

  • Margie from Toronto May 28, 2018

    So glad to hear that you had such a good time at the Aquarium. I've been twice and really enjoyed it.

    I have done some open fire cooking with the Ontario Historical Society - and while everything came out great I could not get the smell of smoke out of my clothes!

  • Rhonda A. May 29, 2018

    I call it "Ode de Campfire". People didn't bath in the 1800s like we do today. I am convinced the smell of campfire was what they used to mask their offensive body odour! LOL

  • Athanasia May 29, 2018

    Rhonda, what is "a cheap box of KD"?

  • Lea May 29, 2018

    I'm not Rhonda, but I'm curious as to her answer. The only thing I could come up with is Kraft Dinner.

  • Rhonda A. May 29, 2018

    Kraft dinner...I always buy it as a pack of 12 boxes for under $6, making it about $0.50/box.

  • Lea May 30, 2018

    Thanks for replying, Rhonda! Now my curiosity is satisfied - I'm kind of a curiosity killed the cat kind of girl...


  • Rhonda A. May 31, 2018

    All of our commercials here in Canada call it KD, so I thought I was safe in using just the letters. I also struggle with deciphering short hand. That's why I usually make a point of writing the full word. Sorry for the confusion! (see, I'm apologizing like a good Canadian! ;))

  • Mrs. Laura Lane May 28, 2018

    I am in awe of how much you've gotten done with a new baby! Don't forget to rest when you can!
    Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,
    Mrs. Laura Lane

  • Lorna May 28, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia and hope you have all had a good week :). Brandy what a blessing the clothing for the children was as well as your wonderful harvests from the gardens.

    This week was mainly internet grocery shopping using discount e-vouchers and other vouchers we got in the mail and a little gardening.

    Home organisation -
    - Re-organised the store room and put full storage buckets of food in another room on the floor as I had put my back out picking them up of the top shelves. We also went through the storage shelves and rearranged those to put like items with like such as tinned fruits on one shelf and stacked items. This should give us more room for our large grocery order coming on Thursday.

    Financial and free eBay listings -
    - Saved a little more money into our house deposit account but we are still at the same percentage saved. This should increase this week though with our pays.
    - Listed 10 items on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $16.50 on usual listing fees.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 2 x $350 E-Vouchers for $600 for groceries and used both saving $100 in grocery costs.
    - One we used for our 2 monthly grocery shop and turned that into an additional $24 savings by buying a 10kg bag of rice on 50% off special, 2 body washes on special and 8 tins of long life vegetables and meat also on special.
    - The other E-Voucher I used on staples that never come on special to stock up our food storage on cocoa, white sugar, powdered milk, scouring sponges, metal scouring pads, tinned baked beans and tinned corn to a 12 month level. We also stocked up on tinned two fruits and tinned mangoes to bring us up to a 7 month level and butter up to a 4 month level. Still more to go but we are happy with our progress so far.
    - We also took advantage of another $15 off $100 purchase grocery voucher and I turned this into savings of $34.14 by buying 2 x probiotic tablets for DH on 50% off special that he was running low on.
    - Thursday is going to be a huge day of putting away $700 worth of groceries when the delivery driver arrives as we got free delivery included with the vouchers. This will be a test to see what and where we can store and stack things on our food storage shelves in our second small pantry room.

    In the gardens -
    - Harvested 100kg of sweet potatoes organically grown in the gardens saving $975 over purchasing organic varieties in the supermarkets.

    Other frugal things -
    - Saved shower warm up and dish rinsing water to water the newly planted seeds in the gardens, used saved grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the lawns all week, heated our home and boiled our kettle for cuppas on the slow combustion stove with free to us firewood sourced, cut and split by us from a friends property nearby, only turned on the electric hot water system when water needed heating, cleaned with saved flannel rags rather than using paper towels and homemade cleaning products.

    Have a wonderful week ahead everyone :).


  • Athanasia May 30, 2018

    Good luck, Lorna , finding room for all your supplies.

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