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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Fall Roses The Prudent Homemaker 

We had a rare bit of rain, so I turned off the drip irrigation and sprinklers for a couple of days.

I planted seeds in the garden for snow peas and green onions.

I harvested Swiss chard from the garden.

I purchased a few artichoke plants and herb plants on sale at the local nursery. I also purchased manure for the lawn (when you buy more than 10 bags at a time, you save $0.30 a bag, making them $1.99 for a 2 cubic foot bag). We took the trailer my husband built with us to pick up the manure and also a cubic yard of topsoil, lining our trailer with a tarp my husband got for free via Craigs' list. Picking it up ourselves saves a delivery charge. 

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

My eldest daughter was invited to go along with a friend on her family vacation out of state, so she enjoyed a trip to go camping on the beach and then they either were going to go to Knott's Berry Farm or Disneyland (I'll find out which one when she returns; they hadn't decided before they left).  Each of the family's daughters was able to invite a friend; they have only two girls left at home now, which means at least four girls got to have fun together.

What did you do to save money this past week?




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  • Mari at the Jersey Shore October 31, 2018

    Thank you; we definitely will, me more than DH as he's really not into Bocelli type music, he's more Bruce Springsteen! We compromise and attend different genre music concerts. We also saw Andrea B. perform live in Florence, Italy in 1998 where we were celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary. I love Andrea B. :)

  • Leigh Ann October 29, 2018

    It was another great, frugal week! Hope you ladies are well.
    My son had his first Cub Scout campout the weekend before last (Lion Cub, kindergarten). My parents stayed with two children so I could camp with my son and the baby. It rained the first night, but the next night was perfect. It was... an adventure! The kids had a blast, so it was worth it.
    I've been selling a lot of items on facebook marketplace and my facebook groups. Most are small sales, but they really add up.
    Used a birthday gift bought after Christmas clearance last year for a party that my kids attended. They enjoyed the bounce house, cake, and snacks.
    I've found some good deals at our .99 store. My freezer is full. We save so much money by eating what we have and what is inexpensive. No pinterest-worthy meals here, but we have plenty and it's mostly nutritious.
    Our Kroger gives kids a free piece of fruit, so each of mine got a banana, which they saved for the next day.
    We went to a couple of trunk-or-treats, one at school and one at church. I will "recycle" some of this candy for kids who come to our house on Halloween; it's way more than my kids need.
    We wore Halloween costumes bought at garage sales or handed down for a free meal at Chickfila. Yum, no cooking or dishes!
    We enjoyed books from the library, which I renewed online.
    Our weather has been nice, so we haven't run the air conditioner in quite a while. It got up to 90 today, but it's still not too bad.
    I bought gas at the cheaper station near work.
    I signed up to participate in a focus group that pays $175. That will be earmarked for Christmas.
    Our neighbor saved me her coupons, which is very kind.
    Frugal fail: On the aforementioned camping trip, I somehow arrived without tent poles. My fault. It was already dark, so I ended up driving to the nearest Walmart and buying a new tent. Some kind people helped me get it set up in the dark, before the rain started. At least it was affordable and allowed us to continue with our plans. I kept most bedding in the van the first night, during the rain, so that we'd be warm and dry enough the second night after the cool front came in. Mosquitoes weren't as bad the second night once the temperature dropped.
    I used a cookie sheet on top of a pan in the oven instead of aluminum foil.
    Have a great frugal week!

  • Rhonda A. October 30, 2018

    Why, oh why have I never thought to put a cookie sheet on top of a pan instead of using aluminum foil!?! So much easier for peaking in and see how it is cooking, too. Thank you for that great tip, Leigh Ann!

  • Mary in Southern AZ October 30, 2018

    Oh yes thank you! I will start doing this.

  • Andrea Q October 30, 2018

    Thank you so much for the cookie sheet idea Leigh Ann! We're on a mission to drastically reduce the waste (including recyclables) we produce and eventually be zero waste. This is a great way to avoid using aluminum foil and save some money.

  • PJGT October 30, 2018

    I agree! It is my goal to make everything I but last longer for frugal and environmental reasons. Besides, if things ever go become difficult to buy, I will have practiced not needing too much!

  • Flora Kelley October 30, 2018

    I never thought about using a cookie sheet either. Just think of all the foil I'll save now. Thanks for mentioning this. This is why I enjoy Brandy's ideas and all the readers comments. I just bought foil yesterday, so it should last a long time.

  • Jeannie October 30, 2018

    A cookie sheet instead of aluminum foil...duh! I thought washing the aluminum foil off and using it again was impressive. NOT!

  • PJGT October 29, 2018

    We went on trips and took other children along. Such fun for all! Glad your daughter could go.

    We are really being diligent about not using electric heat and using the woodstove. So cozy and free.

    Still downsizing and pulling into the home stretch. Definitely a lrdd food eaten!

    Frugal accomplishments include staying home, finding some inexpensive Christmas presents at the thrift store and online. Chose free shipping online. Found some change for my change jar. Took another bag of undergrown clothing to donate. Made lunches for the week and took them to work. This way I eat healthier. Made and used more fire starters from saved dryer lint and paper tubes (so wet here!). Gathered kindling and cleared more brush a the same time.

    Happy frugal-ing friends.

  • Tina S. October 29, 2018

    How fun for Winter. I was able to invite a friend on a vacation with my family when I was in high school, and I still have good memories of that time.

    Last week, at long last, the interior doors I ordered nearly six months ago were finally installed. It was supposed to be a six-week project, but there were numerous delays due to problems in the company's office. We are still missing some trim, but that is supposed to be ready this week, with installation this Saturday. We shall see. In any case, I have already communicated to the office that I would like to negotiate a discount due to the delay, and the fact that I had to take time off from work for the initial install date that was cancelled by them at the very last minute. Anyway, the doors have been installed, and they are beautiful. So I am very thankful for that!

    Frugal accomplishments from last week:
    - This may not necessarily be frugal, but it's keeping me organized. I started a bullet journal to keep track of my schedule, my shopping list, and things that need to be done. I also included a spot to write down my frugal accomplishments. It's been great so far, and I'm enjoying writing things down on a daily basis.
    - There are some trees growing in a parking strip near my work that have ivy growing up their trunks. This will eventually kill the tree if the ivy isn't removed. I tried to locate the owner of the parking strip, but was unsuccessful. So I decided to trim the ivy myself, because I don't want those beautiful trees to die. I just keep my boots and garden clippers in my car, so when I have time I can stop by and trim some more ivy. I've still got several trees to do, but it already looks better.
    - My mom shared some pork roast, meatballs and a few other things with me. I shared some lettuce, kohlrabi and squash from my CSA share with her.
    - I was the last week of our CSA. We can go back and pick fall greens as long as they survive in the fall/winter weather. I picked a large bag full, and froze enough kale and collards for four future meals.
    - I made a huge batch of green soup (using chard, leeks, turnips and kohlrabi) and froze it for my lunches. I also made a large batch of dal (Indian lentils) and a meat curry, and froze part of this for future meals.
    - Most meals were from things I already had on hand or had in the freezer. I put off my grocery shopping as long as possible, and we still had good things to eat.
    - I cleaned off one end of our kitchen counter, and moved and rearranged things so that corner would be more functional. The clutter is gone, and that's making me happy.
    - I finished sewing one top for work, and am now making a t-shirt, using fabric I already had.
    - And I did all the things I normally do: walked to work, took my lunch, made and bottled water kefir, cooked from home, watched DVDs and streamed shows on Amazon Prime, and made meals from scratch.

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  • Becky October 30, 2018

    Ivy is terrible. One place I lived years ago had trees that were dying from the ivy climbing up them and choking them out. Much to my dismay, this place I live in now, in town, is covered with ivy. I feel like I've been chopping and cutting the entire 2 years we've lived here. It's on the fences, and I have permission from one neighbor to spray, as he hates it too. I have not spoken to the other neighbors, so have been just clipping in those areas. Since this house was built in 1948, any one, at any time, could have planted a small sprig and it would look like this now:). I can see evidence in the neighbor's trees that some one has rescued those trees from the ivy at some time--there are huge dead vines way up in the tree--so GO, Tina! The ivy wars continue!

  • Tina S. October 30, 2018

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words, Becky. :) English ivy is considered an noxious weed in our area (Washington state), and it's just everywhere. We have lots of ivy growing on the trees in our condo complex too. I have trimmed what I can - many of the trees are out of reach (on a steep hillside or in a ravine) - and we would need a professional arborist to take care of these areas. I have notified our condo board and spoken to our management representative about it. Hopefully they will take action so we won't eventually lose the trees.
    And yes, like you, I'm going to keep doing what I can!

  • Liz October 29, 2018


    This week for frugality I did the following:
    - We are moving so we are eating out of the pantry and fridge. I am trying to use up stuff so we don’t have to pay to move it!
    - I have spent a lot of time organizing, cleaning and getting rid of clutter. This will help us be able to find the stuff we have and not buy more.
    - We had a fun time at a fall trunk or treats at the church. My son used an old costume. We got free dinner for all of us and too much candy.
    - I sent away for lots of freebies which are on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/10/29/9-freebies-today-10-29-18/
    - We painted my daughter’s room with “oops” paint from Lowe’s.
    - We got free boxes and totes from friends.
    - That’s about it for now!

  • Kara October 29, 2018

    Gathering things for yard sale. Asking grown kids about items they have left at home. I’m happy to store things they want, but do NOT want to store unwanted stuff. None are in a place to take their own stuff yet.
    Cooking my weekly pot of rice and beans. I told a lady at church about this habit and she thought it was such a good idea. They are retirees on a limited budget. Also eating up the bits that get put in the freezer for ‘sometime’.
    Bought Green &Blacks chocolate at grocery outlet for 99 cents a bar. This is an ethically produced brand that is normally quite expensive.
    Have been doing alterations on some clothes. Squeezing a bit more wear out of some pieces. I’m wearing a patched and darned pair of jeans today. Removed a 2 year old stain from a polo shirt our son left in his closet. My husband will now wear it. Husband wore clear through his tennis shoes (he will not throw them away until he can see his toes through the soles). He is now wearing a left-behind pair of our son’s tennis shoes.
    My daughter at college worn her trusty black band dress from high school to a gala at college. She used to think she needed a new dress for every occasion (she LOVES clothes and has a fantastic sense of style). I am so happy that she has become wiser about the cost of clothes.

  • Gardenpat October 30, 2018

    Funny you should mention getting lots of wear out of clothes! That’s hubby and me! Most of our clothes are thrift store finds of good quality pieces that we’ve bought for really cheap prices! When we were meeting with our company’s financial advisor because hubby is planning retirement in May next year, she had us figure out an annual all-inclusive budget to see how much we needed to have ready in income. She tried to insist that $500/year for each of us for a clothing allowance was minimal! We laughed and explained that even to split $500/year between the 2 of us for an annual clothing budget was way too high!!! Lol!! Perhaps that’s why we will be able to get by comfortably after retirement even though while raising 11 kids we didn’t put into retirement account until midway through his career! Our wants are just not that extravagant!

  • Anne October 30, 2018

    You really raised 11 kids? I'd like to hear more about that.

  • Gardenpat October 31, 2018

    11 kids over 19 years, no multiples. 7 girls, 4 boys. Oldest is now 46, youngest 27. 34 going on 35 grandchildren. All responsible adults. Only the youngest has not married yet. 2 daughters have donated a kidney each to unrelated people- 1 to a friend of our daughter 11 years ago and the other to my brother-in-law 5 years ago! Now, my sister and brother-in-law don’t tease us about the huge number of kids we have! We’ve reminded them that our blood type can donate a kidney to anyone and our kids have never smoked, had any kind of alcohol or done any drugs so theirs are “premium” kidneys! Lol!!
    Never dull, used to cooking for a crowd! Used to making do and squeezing every penny!! Lots of “opportunities” to get creative!

  • Marybeth October 31, 2018

    You are very blessed.

  • Kara October 30, 2018

    We are a bit out from retirement but already talk about it. Clothes won't be a big line item for us either, though I am 6 feet tall and often have to order tall clothes from pricier companies. But they last a long time. I fill in with thrift store finds. My husband is slightly smaller than our son, so he takes son's hand-me-downs. My two girls are exactly the same size and they pass clothes back and forth when they are together. I buy all my husband's dress shirts at thrift stores, all look like new and some great brands. He buys 2 pairs of pants for work and rotates them every day. They 2 pairs last at least 2 years each. He's a teacher.

  • Amy S October 29, 2018

    Honestly? This month has been difficult financially and emotionally. I had a surgery that is being difficult to recover from and has had some complications, unexpected medical bills, my youngest son was attacked while overseas (he is ok but coordinating care has been difficult), one brother is getting divorced, found out nephew was suicidal and is now in a psych ward (a blessing).

    So let's focus on the positive - which is why I love this blog so much. Just reading about Brandy's accomplishments and the rest of everyone's week accomplishments is so calming and wonderful.

    *Made what meals I could at home - they were cheap and easy but everyone had enough to eat even though I was under the weather. Quesadillas are very versatile and easy to make. Also taco soup can feed a crowd for a day or two. When my husband is home he handles mealtimes. My kids are very helpful as well.

    *Was able to use Kroger Clicklist for groceries. Could order online and the first 3 orders are free. I've used two so far. Didn't even have to get out of the car. Seemed to save money on that option. Also my husband was able to go shopping for me one week and he spent such a little amount but got everything we needed. Downside was it took him 2 hours so then we decided to use Click list to save him some time.

    *My friend brought me just picked Golden Delicious apples from her tree. They were so yummy!

    *Repurposed gift bags that were given to us. Made a Witch's Broom (https://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/diy-witchs-broom-paper-bag-party-favors/ ) to give a gift to a friend. Used supplies and treats we had already. I didn't have a stick so I took a third paper sack and colored the top brown and then rolled it up thin.

    Haven't gone anywhere but the library and to pick up groceries while recovering. So that's saved money as well I guess :)

    We are very blessed and I am counting my blessings daily. Another good thing is that my oldest son who has been gone for 6 months for basic and AIT training is coming home tonight. I've missed him so much and am looking forward to my first hug.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Thank you for this wonderful community :)

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