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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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  • Kara October 30, 2018

    I'm sorry, that does sound like a hard week. You have done so well to focus on the positives!

  • Mary in Southern AZ October 30, 2018

    I’m sorry to hear that it’s been a difficult month. That’s the right attitude though, focusing on positive things.

  • Mari at the Jersey Shore October 30, 2018

    Amy S., Sending healing thoughts your way. Hopefully November will be a better month for you & your family. Thank you for posting the link to the witch's broom - one of my friends will love to make these.

  • Jeannie October 30, 2018

    I am sorry this has been such a hard month. Thank you for your sacrifices so your son can serve in the military and keep us safe. His hard work is appreciated by many.


  • Amy S October 31, 2018

    Thank you for all the sweet and supportive comments :) They made me smile

  • Douai October 30, 2018

    Our stove broke. We originally paid about $2,000 for this stove 3 years ago. Last Juneish something broke and thankfully we had the extended warranty on it. We waited 2 1/2 months to get it fixed. The extended warranty expired 2 weeks ago. Husband learned we would be paying at least $400 for repairs so I said let’s buy a new one. We bought cheaper option and spent $450, including delivery. I miss the days where you can fix things yourself and don’t have to wait months on nd for replacement parts.

    Only went out to eat once and Starbucks once. Spent less than $15 for both which is amazing for us. Since our family is still getting over the flu, my fresh produce is spoiling. Saving the best we can be freezings what can be frozen. Our daughter made cookies the day the first of us got sick and those were just sitting around drying out. I put all in freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Salvages some lemons too. Managed to stretch our meals into 2 extra since tummies are still not back to normal. Chicken noodle soup for 2 dinners plus today’s lunch.

    Bought curriculum for next year, saving a lot on odds and ends. I only bought the basics and plan on using the library and our personal library for supplementing for history and science. Been using some books for 10 years in our homeschooling.

    I have come to recognize that I have issues with money. I stress about money and then go spend money, as if to tell myself everything is okay. I’ve been disciplining myself to not spend. It’s hard but honestly, we don’t have the extra money to spend. That’s why I am proud of only spending $15 on take out and coffee. It’s such a small amount compared to our normal spending.

    My husband jobs contract is up in February. Trying to save in case of negotiations failing through but something always goes wrong. Last negotiations meant 5 or 6 weeks no pay. We made it but by the skin of our teeth. We had savings then too. We have nothing currently.

    Be blessed ladies. Thank you for sharing your frugal ways. My daughter has told me I’m the most frugal person she knows but yet I continue to learn each week from you ladies.

  • Rhonda A. October 30, 2018

    Douai, I already posted this link for someone else. However, I think is might be very helpful to your situation, so here is is again: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/less-consumerism/. The post is about how to challenge your addiction to consumerism. Perhaps some of this info might resonate and be helpful to you. Recognizing the problem is a huge and hard step, so congrats to you on enbracing this epiphany!

  • Douai October 31, 2018

    Thank you for the link! I will read it as soon as I’m done reading here at Brandy’s for the day! I appreciate you taking the time to link to it!

  • Juls Owings October 30, 2018

    Douai October 30, 2018
    I read this from Simple Abundance A Daybook of comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach October 28. Financial Serenity instead o financial sercurity.Serenity is not based on our economic condition but on our belieft that we have a state of abundance...

    As Brandy says Making life beautiful for less. I look every day to find beauty in the day that is free.

  • Douai October 31, 2018

    Juls, thank you for the suggestion. I will look it up very soon! Thanks again!

  • Tammy October 31, 2018

    I like that Juls "Financial Serenity" and "finding beauty in the day that is free." My prayer has been that I find myself content with what I have. I'm so much happier when I count my blessings rather than what I am lacking. But sometimes I need reminded.
    The beauty that I enjoyed today was I saw a buck this morning as I was driving and The trees are absolutely beautiful this time of year, all sorts of gold, red, and orange colors. Love it!

  • Lorna October 30, 2018

    Brandy your photo of the roses is divine and I am glad you were able to find some plants at discount prices. What a wonderful experience for your daughter to go on holiday wih friends :) .

    We have had a big week here and are really tired but excited.

    Here is what we did to save money and accomplished this week -

    House purchase savings and finances -
    -Good news is the current owners of the property we purchased have agreed to spray the fence lines and outdoor structures for termites and the outside ans stumps that were found and agreed also to spray the inside and outside for pests, fix a leaking pipe under the home and replace a broken window saving us between $3500 - $5500 if we had to do it ourselves.
    - Saved another $20 on our roadside assistance membership by changing our 3rd party over to the same firm the cost was the same as the previous 3rd party insurer we used to go with.

    Groceries -
    - Did a small top up of dried baking goods using an discount e-voucher and taking advantage of specials saved another $44.94 off usual prices.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Blanched and froze broad beans picked from the gardens making 14 more double meals for the freezer.

    Home organisation -
    - We have now packed half the house into labelled boxes and this week concentrated on packing our medical supplies and food storage leaving out what we will use until we move.
    - I damp dusted everything and DH vacuumed the rooms as finished packing each room.

    In the gardens -
    - Weeded our sweet potato bed and put weeds in the bin.
    - Chopped up half of our dried broad bean plants ready to trench compost tomorrow to save room in the bin.

    Hope everyone has had an equally good week :) .


  • Becky October 30, 2018

    When do you hope to make the move? I'm very excited for you. It's a lot of work, especially since you have quite a bit of storage, but so exciting!

  • Lorna October 30, 2018

    Hi Becky and thank you for your encouragement :) and our settlement date is the 10th of December and we are getting quotes for furniture removalists from today onward to move us to our new home which will at this stage be the 12th of December. We will take a few loads out ourselves on the 10th and 11th in our 2 cars and trailer being our personal papers, essential household items to get us started, gardening equipment, tools, fuels, cut firewood, manures and lucerne hay.

    So much simpler to get a furniture removalist in to do the removalist work and just plonk things in the home in which room we would like them rather than us doing it as we have so much stuff, heavy items and food storage.

    Looking at my above comment one sentence made no sense at all which shows that I am tired :p . It should have read that the current owners are paying for the window replacement, termite eradication of fences and outbuildings because the house had not been sprayed previously and are going to pay for the pest spraying inside and outside the house and termite spraying both inside and outside of the home too. The house fortunately had no termites in it but we wanted it done to stop that occuring since the termites were near the home in the fences.


  • Stephanie October 30, 2018

    How fun for your daughter, I hope she's having a wonderful trip!

    This past week, I cleaned out my daughter's room. Frugal because we're freeing up space getting rid of things she doesn't need or use, and because she can make much better use of the things she does have (and I'm avoiding costly medical bills by tripping over all the toys the were carpeting her floor, yikes). It took me almost six hours of work to get it clean, but I still managed to make dinner that night, so I felt pretty good about myself. I've been doing yoga videos via YouTube, reading books on my Kindle, I watched a free documentary offered by our local community college, and my mom gave me her Kohl's cash, which I turned into two lovely dresses. :)

    My son's Halloween costume cost two dollars (made out of posterboard from the Dollar Store), and my daughter won a free prize pack when her Nature Cat costume (which I made) won the costume contest for her age group. :D I cooked spaghetti sauce, then turned those leftovers into baked spaghetti, and made a huge pot of black bean soup. We ate off of these meals all week long. Not a bad week. :)

    Have a great week, everyone!

  • Ms. Flathat is becoming Wyoming Gal October 30, 2018

    Our seasonal National Park Service jobs are finished for this year and we are in the process of moving across country back to Wyoming. It was fun but I'm looking forward to being home. The last few weeks we have been using up all the freezer and refrigerator food. I gave some food to my daughter when we last visited her. I baked congo bars to use up the coconut and chocolate chips. I took the few frozen items leftover to work for coworkers. And I packed up snack and lunch food for the trip across country.

    We had lots of travels during our time on the east coast - 13 states, 32 national park sites - on our jaunts during days off from work plus visits to family and friends in PA, OH, NC and VA. We even made it to New York City, staying in less expensive Somerset, N.J. and taking the train into the city each day. The Candlewood Suites we stayed in had little kitchens and refrigerators so we ate breakfast and lunch on our own(packed for eating in the city), eating dinner out only twice.

    I thought we had packed minimal things - but really I brought twice as many clothes as I needed and more cooking and baking equipment than necessary. Also we only used our camping stuff for about 6 nights - much less than we expected due to the excessive rain on the east coast this year. So when it came time to pack our two cars, it was a chore to squeeze everything in, but we just squeaked by. We did leave behind a fan we bought for $8 when the air conditioning broke during a heat wave. Fortunately our landlady got the air conditioning fixed in one day, so the fan was needed only briefly.

    All in all, my first six months of "retirement" were pretty financially successful since I saved all our IRA "draw", i.e. the income we asked for from retirement savings, since we paid for everything with our seasonal job earnings.

  • Diana in Indiana October 30, 2018

    - A single church lady asked if she could join our family for Thanksgiving in November. We said yes of course. Then she offered to provide the turkey if I would cook it. We would have said yes even if she didn't bring a thing.
    -I bought a booster seat that straps to a dining room chair. It has a tray too. I found this on a Facebook sale site for when my granddaughter visits.
    - I encouraged my family to start Amazon Christmas wish lists so I can start buying a little at a time or find other ways to make or buy similar items. Both sons and my husband also have birthdays in December so this hits all at once.
    -My husband is a pastor and October is pastor appreciation month. We were gifted 2 restaurant cards, 2 pies, and a jar of BBQ sauce along with many thank you cards.
    - My husband made a bedside table for me out of scrap wood and it turned out beautiful! He is quite a craftsman.
    - I "shopped my own house" for accessories to make pretty arrangements on our bookshelves in the living room. What a difference without spending anything.
    - We drove to town (30 miles each way) to visit my Grandmother in the hospital and my Mother in Law at the nursing home (she has dementia). I was able to run errands while we were in town to save an extra trip. We also used one of the gift cards for dinner/date.

  • Becky October 30, 2018

    I'm so excited for your daughter. She should have a great time.

    Last week was quite wild around here, a little more than normal even, but we made it through and managed to stay frugal through it all.

    A friend found out she had to move very quickly. I was able to help a couple of times. The day of the move itself, I make a lot of taco fillings, packed that, soda and cookies up in a cooler, and saved us a trip to the pizza parlor or fast food joint.

    I finished up the fall canning, using the rest of the ripe tomatoes in pizza/pasta sauce and the green ones in Salsa Verde. Now, I'm taking a break from it for a while to do other projects, then will likely can some beef broth from some bones I discovered in the freezer, Pictures are here: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/10/29/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-october-28-2018/. I'm happy to have full cupboards and freezers, but am pretty tired, so welcome the break.

    I have tackled several small areas in the house--removing clutter and dirt. (So much dirt! It is SO dusty and dirty and the more I clean, the more I find!). I hope to continue that project all week, every time I have a spare 1/2 hour or so. It will likely take more than a week, but little by little....

    I finally made it to JoAnn's during a pattern sale and got a few patterns. I specifically chose one that would work better for my daughter, in case she decides to go to another dance and wants me to sew another dress. One reason I had to alter so very, very much on the last dress was because I did not have her size and patterns were not on a good sale and I refused to pay the price for one. Now, I have a good option for another time, if the occasion arises. JoAnn's is in another part of the city where I rarely find myself, so I don't get there often. That is probably another big money-saver, but there are times when I wish it was a little more handy to my location.

    My aunt gave us several freezable ice packs she did not need. We use them constantly, as we are transporting food in coolers at least once a week, usually way more often.

    I filled the yard debris bin last night. That is a goal I have, as there is so much pruning and trimming to do around here and they will take it weekly, included in my garbage service. I have not dared to look at the place I trimmed yet today, as it got pretty dark before I was done:). I'm sure it's fine, and here in Oregon, it will grow back quickly.

    I got my daughter started on a small sewing project I came across that she had started long ago. I'm so glad she's showing an interest again, and I will help her again soon. We have many craft and sewing project materials, many still in bins from when we moved a couple of years ago that I would love to see completed or used. It has been difficult to find the time OR the materials, but things are getting more and more settled and accessible as my husband continues to clean and sort the bins in the shop. It's no fun to sew or craft when you spend most of the small time you have carved out looking for the thing you KNOW you have somewhere, but simply cannot find. Since then, we have chosen to purchase only the things that we absolutely need for a certain project, though, knowing it was only a matter of time until it all was available again, because we certainly don't need more!

    I used the rest of the pears from my sister. I cooked several acorn squash and a very small Sweetmeat squash from the garden. We used cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, a cucumber and peppers from the garden. Although there are a few scraggly bushes out there, most are gone and what's there is very, very ugly. It has turned very rainy, which is normal, but there has been no frost, yet. I hope to get a few more veggies before the bushes rot completely in the rain, or freeze. I started tying up the blackberries, and need to finish them and move on to the raspberries.

  • Jo October 30, 2018

    Amy S., I am sort of in your situation right now, so I really feel for you. You'll be in my prayers!
    Some frugal good things:
    I took a survey offered by a food co-op of which I'm a member, and received a $2 coupon as a thank you. Not amazing, but a nice surprise.
    I stopped myself from re-joining a book-buying club. The books are lovely and I can get great classics, but it's expensive.
    I've got almost $25 worth of Swagbucks saved up to get another gift card. This is one way I Christmas shop, using SB gift cards, usually to Amazon, but sometime to Paypal.
    I mended the waist elastic in a pair of new-ish underwear.
    I've made more progress in my numerous painting projects around the house. One thing I'm painting is a 50 cent frame I bought at a yard sale years ago, not realizing it was an odd size. It's a good wooden frame, though, and I finally found a use for it. I'm using an indoor-outdoor acrylic paint that I already had used on a door.
    We are keeping the air conditioning and the heat off right now. It's that golden few weeks in Florida in which we need neither.

  • ms.p October 30, 2018

    Thank you for all encouragement last week. There was many times last week I went and read them. I didn't get much done last week I was in a fog. This week I am better. I have a list and keeping myself busy. No so frugal week. Had to get filling that need to be filled, both my daughter had a birthday and our youngest had to order her graduation stuff. But we did eat all meals at home and stayed home all weekend (no one in our house was feeling good). I froze my gym membership until April. Clean out pantry. This week is clean out freezer.

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