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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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  • Lorna May 31, 2018

    Athanasia thank you for your kind thoughts :D .

    We managed to fit everything in with room to spare so we are happy with that. They were out of stock on around $87 worth of goods for which we have an online shopping credit for which I will use at a later date to stock up on more items we need when they come on special.

    Have a great week :).


  • PJGT May 28, 2018

    Beautiful flowers!

    This week I found a few cents for my piggy bank, have eaten out of the freezer and pantry, had a friend's daughter trim my hair, did my own nails, found some spectacular discounts at the sale section at the grocery store, and resisted stopping for snacks when out.

    I've been sticking to my eating plan and am beginning to see results. There is but a month before I leave for home. Quite a bit to do. Nor much time to shop even if I wasn't on a no-spend couple weeks. Except groceries, as needed or super bargains found.

    Happy frugal-ing!

  • Margie from Toronto May 28, 2018

    I got as many errands done as possible last week while I still have use of my monthly transit pass.
    I continued to use up items from the freezer and only bought fruit & vegetables plus milk.
    I did full loads of laundry and then line dried as much as possible.
    I volunteered for 2 days at my church book sale and I also donated books. I resisted buying any new books as I still have a huge number in my "to be read" pile. I brought my water bottle and my lunch on both days.
    I spent Saturday with a friend touring a number of free venues during "Doors Open Toronto".
    I submitted my May hours & receipts for the little job that I have with the church.
    I was accepted to work at a polling station for our upcoming Provincial election day and I will also be paid for the training day.

  • Melonie K. May 28, 2018

    Sounds like you sure got a lot done and helped your sister-in-law at the same time.
    Another fairly quiet frugal week for us - but a new post is up, including a small silver lining for me:

  • Marybeth May 28, 2018

    I worked 6 days straight last week. Used my crock pot and frozen meals to get through the week without take out. Got my large garden planted and lots of herb planters. Was given lots of freebies from neighbors that are moving and downsizing. Used coupons and shopped sales for groceries. My full list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/05/my-frugal-list-week-of-may-21-2018.html

  • Krissy in Sacramento May 28, 2018

    Wonderful pictures as always, Brandy. I especially have been loving the honeysuckle in the flower arrangements-reminds me of smelling and tasting the honeysuckle with my brother in my grandparents' backyard.
    I've not posted here in forever, but I've been reading everyone else's posts. My husband changed to a slightly higher paying job in January, which means that now we're hopefully going to be able to pay for life insurance, and possibly travel a bit next year when he gets some paid vacation time. We met with a financial adviser and I've been rethinking and rededicating myself to being mindful of my frugal accomplishments. These are from the past 2 to 3 weeks.

    -Walked to accomplish several errands, including the drugstore, dropping library books at the collection bin, and the post office. Stopped at two Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood and picked up 4 books, including two 1960's editions of Bobbsey Twins books. Will read them and then share them with my sister-in-law.
    -Read 9 library books and watched a DVD from the library.
    -Redeemed Bing points for a $5 Target gift card, and used it for normal Target shopping.
    -Did a survey for CVS and got $10 ECBs, which we used for toilet paper. Did another one this week and got $5 ECB for later.
    -Found 27 cents in April and 31 cents in May, so far.
    -Bought some #10 cans of diced tomatoes at Smart & Final. They were on sale for 60 cents cheaper than I expected, so bought 4 cans instead of 2.
    -Had a $3 reward at Boudin, plus a free loaf of sourdough on my rewards card, so bought a large loaf of their multigrain bread and two pounds of sourdough for $7.68. Ripped up one loaf of sourdough and set it out to dry, and used it with the diced tomatoes for Brandy's amazing Tuscan Tomato Bread soup. (Also had the same soup for 3 lunches and froze 3 portions for later.)
    -Diced and froze fresh mushrooms that were getting pretty sad looking. Happy that I caught them before they went completely bad.
    -My husband used zip ties to mend an iPhone cord and the disintegrating cutlery basket in our ancient dishwasher (originally a portable unit we got for the circa-1932 house we had rented, then installed in the house we bought/live in now. It's 19 years old, and has been patched together so many ways...)
    -I mended a pair of my husband's cargo shorts and a bra hook.
    -We had to replace a very worn out soft sided cooler. Before throwing it away, I remembered how Brandy's husband mended an item with a piece of nylon strap of some kind, so I ended up cutting and saving a good length of strap, along with a grommet and three plastic parts, and put them away for possible future use.
    -My husband took apart and blew out the compressor to our air conditioning unit with the leaf blower himself, and put a piece of screen fabric on the top so less debris should fall into it from now on.
    -My husband won a door prize at a business event. It was mostly golf-related stuff. We don't golf, but I put aside the golf ball, some golf tees and a cleat cleaner for either my dad or my brother. Put the other items in the Donate box.
    -My husband also attended a breakfast where the centerpieces were fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. He was able to take home a big red bell pepper and a small basil plant. The basil plant is sitting in a sunny windowsill now!
    -My husband glued a broken hairbrush back together for me. It's probably almost 25 years old (!) but pretty much brand new, as it was being stored in a bin of cold weather items, for whatever reason... I'd been using it for probably 9 months, and then I leaned on it in a weird way with my wrist. Luckily it was in a spot that was reglue-able!
    -Bought a few loss leaders at the local grocery store, when we went to self checkout, someone had left a Catalina for a free 1 dozen store brand eggs! Grabbed the coupon and went and got eggs, which were $2.89.
    -My husband picked up my prescriptions at Costco, and didn't buy anything else, even though we wanted to. He did bring the empty Kirkland (Costco house brand) eyeglass cleaner bottles and got two refilled ones. The eyeglass cleaner there is a lifetime supply when you buy the pump bottles.
    -Used 3 scraps of paper to write down the items for this list!
    I'm going to try to be better at keeping track and posting these. Thanks to all who read this and hope it's helpful to someone :)

  • Sheila from Alabama May 30, 2018

    Krissy, all the things you repaired were an inspiration to me, I’m very quick to replace worn out items instead of thinking how to repair them. I was not raised frugally ,so there is a big learning curve lol!! My parents were not rich ,but worked hard and were never in debt ,so a good foundation just not overly thrifty! I love reading all of the comments here. I’m always thinking to myself brilliant idea with so many of the money saving ideas I find here

  • Krissy in Sacramento May 30, 2018

    Thank you for your kind words, Sheila! We too are trying to get better with repairing things. My main impetus for posting this time was actually because I was so proud of my husband's brainstorm on fixing the cutlery basket. I had multiple forks fall through so often that it was making me crazy (-ier)!

  • Athanasia May 30, 2018

    Krissy and others that use Little Free Librarys, you can add books also. I keep a box of books in my car so that when I stop I have some to add for the ones I take. It is not a requirement, but it helps the patron of the box keep it nicely stocked. And thanks to all of you that use and support the library boxes...There is a blog you can follow if you are interested. They show all many and varied styles that folks have come up with over the years.

  • Krissy in Sacramento May 30, 2018

    Thanks for the reminder, Athenasia! I was on foot with just my little drawstring backpack, so I didn't have any books with me to add. But I have a couple dozen that need to find a new home, so will take a couple with me next time I'm out. Incidentally, one of the books I have to get rid of is from the same book series as one of the books I picked up! I'm planning on putting my book at the same FLL as the one I got the other one from...hopefully whoever left it will find my book and we'll have swapped! It's always fun to see that people enjoy the same sorts of things, I'm certain if they like that book, they'll love mine!

  • Leigh Ann May 28, 2018

    Congratulations again on the baby boy. What a blessing!
    It was a good frugal week.
    My mom gave me some underwear she didn't like the fit of. I know most people turn their noses up at secondhand underwear, but a) it's clean, and b) it's from my mom.
    Took the kids to swim at my aunt's house, and she gave them an ice cream bar.
    We ate almost all of our leftovers with very little food waste.
    Found some good deals at the .99 only store: lunch meat, marked down bread, strawberries, and raspberries.
    Sent a thank you note using a notecard I bought at a garage sale in a package of misc. stationery.
    Tried to buy gas at cheaper gas stations.
    Trying to organize to prep for a garage sale.
    I am trying to drink more water and less soda; this will hopefully help me lose a little weight and be healthier at the same time!
    Listened to lots of music using Pandora.
    Realized we have a lot of chalk and bubbles, which will be fun this summer!
    Gratefully accepted some leftovers from a party: grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and some rolls. I will get another night off from cooking, yay!
    My mom babysat so that I got to volunteer at the school's field day. My kids were excited to see me there.
    I got to buy the .99 ice cream sandwiches at Kroger, which we took to the neighborhood pool and shared with other children.

  • Becky May 28, 2018

    We had a busy week because we were finishing up all the work for homeschool, and I corrected and scored for hours. It all needs to be turned in on Wednesday, so that my daughter can graduate. We are going through a diploma program, and they need time to get it all down to make sure she is finished and they can give her the diploma. I will still homeschool my niece next year.

    In the meanwhile, my other niece graduated from her special needs program. So, I attended that and was amazed when she gave a speech for everybody. She did great! I will now start working with her during some weekdays, as she is done with school. My work schedule will be very different for the next 3 weeks until public school is out. Then, it will change again for summer. So, as long as I remember to read my schedule each day, I should be ok. I will be getting a few extra hours in this month. My niece is struggling a little bit with all the changes, and I am, too! When the schedule changes, I have to focus in, or I forget things. I am considering continuing to use my written calendar, which works well for me to see the big picture, but adding in a phone calendar so I have it when I go places so I can check dates more easily. One thing I will do with my niece is take her to the senior center once a week where she has been volunteering while at school, so she can continue to volunteer. She helps with the Meals on Wheels program there. We want to keep a little of her life the same, since so much is changing. It should be interesting.

    I cooked many, many things this week. We had a family birthday party for several family members on Sunday after church. So, my husband BBQ'd steak and chicken, and I made potato salad and pasta salad. Others brought other food. At home, I made refried beans, mixed bean soup, extra cooked beans, and chili. I chose not to shop this weekend, as I had foods from my sorting that I wanted to use up. I'm running low on a few fresh things, but have substituted when I could, and am now getting lettuce from the garden, which will help.

    I also worked in the garden and yard quite a bit, and cleaned for hours, organizing my storage shelves in the garage. I cooked foods that were needing to be used, including lots and lots of dry beans. I still have many more. They were tucked away in every corner of the shelves. There are a couple of things I am low on, and will re-stock them before long.

    I hope to get the rest of the garage cleaned this week. Because we use it for storage, and kind of like an extra living room for the kids, it has become quite cluttered.

    On Monday, Memorial Day, we went on a rock-throwing, fishing trip with 2 of our children and our nephew. I wrote about that here, with lots of pictures: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/memorial-day-rock-throwing-and-fishing-trip-2018/. It was a beautiful day, and we had a great time, with an unexpected bit of adventure thrown in. My nephew caught a fish, and one of my daughters did, too. There were lots of rocks and sticks thrown into the lake, and we had a nice picnic. We dropped our nephew off at his house with both fish and a rock and some large sticks. He was happy! His mom was a good sport:)

    I put my weekly update here: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/thriving-during-my-thrifty-week-may-28-2018/

  • Athanasia May 30, 2018

    Becky, here special needs students can continue in the public schools though age 21. Is that the same by you? Enjoyed reading about your fishing trip. Glad you finally found that lake. Your refried beans making is so much like mine. I use those same 2 cup containers. (I also have them up through 1\2 gallon size. So handy for freezing and storage.) I am looking forward to using the immersion blender on my next batch of beans.

  • Reader May 28, 2018

    Thanks for updates, everybody!
    I have a question - what antiperspirant/deodorant would you suggest for teenager? Is there a way to make something by yourself, at home? Thanks!

  • Tina S. May 29, 2018

    I make my own deodorant using this recipe:
    6 TBSP coconut oil
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup arrowroot powder
    (optional: a few drops of essential oil of choice)
    Mix well and store in small container or jar. Apply a pea sized amount to each armpit. It may sting if applied immediately after shaving.

    This works great for me, and it's very inexpensive to make.

  • Jo May 29, 2018

    What a magnificent name for your little baby boy!

      I picked up free chillies and parsley from our local produce cart.

      It was National Volunteer Week and I was invited to two lovely afternoon teas with free food and drinks.

      Twice, I baked several things at once to fully utilise the oven, then opened it to warm the kitchen.

      We put the winter bedding on our bed to keep us cosy without using the heater.

      I was in hospital for an overnight sleep study and received free breakfast and lunch. My husband drove me there to avoid parking fees.

      Two friends invited me for lunches. Once, I bought lunch out for my friend and myself as we were out all day.

      All other meals were made at home using up leftovers and free ingredients. My husband took lunches to work. We are still reducing our overall food intake.

      We made kale chips for the first time using up leftovers kale. We won't repeat that but ate them all anyway rather than throwing them out. We also used some potato pieces that were too small to make fries and turned them into chips.

      I volunteered once and will be reimbursed.

      We completed our weekly delivery round and found two recycling bottles.

      I bulk-cooked chickpeas in the slow cooker and froze them in portion sizes.

      I froze some leftovers before they spoilt.

      My husband received two free pens at work.

      I boiled extra veggies with dinner one night and used them to make myself some healthy lunches.

      We bought a new car and traded in our old one.

      I scrubbed the kitchen from top to bottom using vinegar, bicarb soda and old rags.

      My husband and I used a free gym trial and showered there.

      We washed three full loads of laundry and dried everything on racks. We ran three full loads of dishes, saved the warm-up water when hand-washing dishes, rinsed out Ziploc bags and used our curtains to keep the house as warm as possible.

    Hope everyone has a lovely week!

  • Jenny May 29, 2018

    Hi there jo,
    What are recycling bottles?

  • Jo May 29, 2018

    Hi Jenny,
    We live in South Australia where we receive 10 cents for every bottle, can and drink carton that is returned to the depot. They then recycle the materials. So we pick them up whenever we find them during our walks as it's easy free money. :)

  • Athanasia May 31, 2018

    Jo, just wondering, but how do you volunteer, yet then get paid for it? Is this a common thing?

  • Jo May 31, 2018

    It's definitely not common and I was surprised to find out about it after I had signed up. They reimburse $6 per shift because they can't provide a meal break.

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