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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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  • Becky October 31, 2018

    Not sure about anywhere else, but we get a discount if we pay in full--or rather we don't get charged extra--not sure which, but the bottom line is that it's cheaper to pay before Nov. 15 here. When we had a mortgage through a bank, they collected it with the payment each month and then they paid. If they hadn't collected enough, we had to give them more. If they had collected too much, we got some back. Usually, they were very close and no one had to pay anyone any extra money:). Now, it's our responsibility to save each month for that, so we do, but it went up quite a bit, so we were very happy we could pay it anyway.

  • Angela in Kentucky October 30, 2018

    Lillianna, hoping and praying that things will get better for you . You have such a positive attitude despite your difficulties . Sugar cookie certainly has a wonderful mother . Remember that the Lord is watching over you and will provide in His own time. Please take comfort in knowing that everyone on here is praying and thinking about you and your struggles .

  • Rhonda A. October 31, 2018

    I'm glad your trip to see your son was a bit of sunshine and joy to feed your sole. Trips are notorious for sucking the energy right out of you, regardless of how enjoyable they are. Nothing that a little rest and routine can't remedy, though. I'm sorry that your daughter is having more medical issues. I hope she is feeling better soon. At least the pantry is full and the bills are paid (except the tax man, but nobody likes paying him!). Keep up the grateful attitude...your doing amazing with what you have to work with! We're all pulling for you, Lillianna!!!

  • Riley October 31, 2018

    I made it to the date I had to for a paid maternity leave- phew! Now that I’m there, I stopped laying on the couch at every moment I could :p
    - used cloth diapers as usual
    - made sure my insurance is covering a breast pump and looked online about how to keep up supply (something I’ve struggled with previously)
    - stocked up our freezer
    - went through the bins of clothes from my son. He was born in April but luckily there are enough long sleeve outfits for this little guy! The only thing I have bought for the winter is a snow suit on ThredUp.

  • Heidi Louise October 31, 2018

    Riley, as the baby waited to be born until you were ready, I hope the baby is cooperative in other ways as well! Like sleeping and not having colic and stuff like that!

  • Jenny October 31, 2018

    It was a fairly frugal week around here.
    -Comparison shopped for tires for our college-age daughter's car and shipped free to local store. Will pick up and have the local tire shop put them on when she's home for Thanksgiving break.
    -Ate all meals at home except for one lunch my mom bought and had dinner one night at church. We took a pasta salad I made from scratch with stuff on hand.
    -Made our budget for November and plan to track our spending daily to try to stay on track.
    -My husband received an unexpected construction project offer which will pay more than we planned on for the next 6 weeks or so which is a blessing.
    -Combined trips with my mom so we only went to town twice last week.
    -Made a meal plan based on what we have on hand and filled in at ALDI with what was needed so came in under budget for grocery and household spending for last week.
    -Budgeted $40 for Halloween as we plan to participate in the trunk or treat with our church. The candy was $30 (from ALDI) so that left us $10. We decided to create our own decorations from stuff on hand and save the other $10. Our theme is "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" so we made a starry sky out of a black tablecloth and cut out stars from yellow paper napkins. Our 13yo daughter cut out a moon and painted it. We pinned all of those to the tablecloth and will tie it to the back of the car as the back door pops up. We have 3 pumpkins that we will take and made a Great Pumpkin out of an orange plastic tablecloth and newspapers. It's supposed to rain this evening here so we may be rained out anyway!

  • Douai October 31, 2018

    My Aunt called last night with news that my Uncle has Pancreatic Cancer that has spread to his liver. Please keep them in your prayers. He is a Vet that gets his healthcare through the VA so they don’t have to worry about the financial aspect. I’m sure the emotional drain will more than make up for it though. Thank you ladies.

  • Marybeth October 31, 2018

    Sending your uncle and you lots of prayers.

  • Diana E. October 31, 2018

    Sending prayers for all of you!

  • S. CO Mary October 31, 2018

    Haven't posted in a while so this covers a few weeks. Have been keeping up with the regular frugal things. Had to take the two little boy dogs to the vet and those were unanticipated expenses. One of them really needs a dental/cleaning and the price about put us in cardiac shock. Will have to pull money out for that but luckily we also have pet insurance. This particular dog has a lot of medical issues so we've kept insurance on him as he goes to specialists. Yeah, I know - pet's are expensive but we really do love ours so much and they are actually like therapy at times.

    Stopped at Dollar Tree for a few things and found Hudson flour (from KS) - a 4lb bag for a dollar! I bought one bag and am going to go back for more. I don't do much baking but I do like to keep about 20lbs on hand. After a lot of comparison shopping I bought some freeze dried veggies from Amazon - leeks, two types of potatoes, a soup mix, celery. I also bought reduced sodium Better than Bouillon in roasted garlic and veggie. I really like this brand and use them a lot to add flavor. I had to stop at Big Lots and found a huge cart full of Lundberg Wild Rice mix for $1.67 a two cup bag. I really like to add this to soups and use as a side. I bought three bags and when I got home I made one bag up in my Instant Pot. I froze three one cup servings, had some as a side with a pork loin that I cooked in the Instant Pot after I made the rice and then made a wild rice soup using up two small pieces of tenderized steak I'd cooked earlier in the week (and boy - they were tough when first cooked!), some almost ready to toss baby carrots and celery. I'd made beef broth out of bones I'd frozen and veggie scraps - did not turn out very flavorful so when I made the soup I added some re-hydrated mushrooms from a big jar I bought a year or so ago. The broth from them re-hydration made the soup very flavorful. I LOVE soup and love to make it but SO isn't fond of soup on a regular basis (now, tacos - that is a different story - I could make tacos 5 nights week and all would be well). I freeze one serving portions for me to have as tacos aren't high on my list. I used to buy high end soups to eat but realized 1. the sodium levels were through the roof and 2. soup is so easy and frugal to make!

    Had to return a lot of stuff to Home Depot. We had a couple of large projects at home and we also had to do some work on the rental house we had to get ready to sell. We used a Home Depot cc and paid it off. The cc was compromised so had to get a new one and wouldn't you know it - they couldn't return to the cc but would give us store credit. I was hesitating and then realized I could do a big stock up of cleaning products as well as getting some fall weed 'n feed. HD has good prices on large sizes of cleaning products that I like to use (Simple Green for example). We're set for at least six months. It will also be handy to have the store credit when we start traveling in our new to us fifth wheel - always seem to need 'something' and HD generally has it or it can be ordered.

    We bought a new to us humongous pick up (Ford 350 super duty diesel) to pull the fifth wheel. So that meant we had two pickups - the Ford 150 my SO bought after my FIL passed and no car. SO shocked me by proposing that we sell the F150 and get a small used much more economical car for regular use. We live 15 miles from the nearest town and doctors and our vet are 25 miles away - one way. Even combining errands still makes for an expensive trip with big trucks. I am pleased about this as while I am okay driving the pickups it seemed like a huge expense (tags, insurance, etc as well as fuel).

    Sold a jacket I'd never worn for $15.00 - paid $17.00 for it so felt like I hadn't really lost too much. I rarely buy new clothing but had really wanted a white jean jacket. Bought this one from Old Navy online sale and when it got it here it was way too big and returning it was a hassle.

    We have to give pills to two of our three dogs. Neither is a good pill taker and the vet recommended pill pockets. They are quite expensive so when I looked through the discount meat area I found Hebrew National all beef, 99% fat free hotdogs for $1.00 a pack. I cut them up in pill pocket size, froze individually on a cookie sheet and put them in snack size zip locks. Works like a charm for the critters - they think they are getting a big treat and I am not dreading the daily pill hassle.

    We had snow last night for the first time. We didn't use heat or AC for almost the entire month of October and we only needed it on for a short time this morning. Sweaters, sweat pants, warm socks and lap robes are enough right now.

    Okay - this is just a funny on me. I follow a couple of frugal blogs from women who are in the UK. Last weekend I saw on one of them about changing the clocks back. So, not thinking last Saturday night I changed the clocks in the house. Spent the entire day that way - until the next morning when I couldn't figure out why my phone was saying it was an hour later. We hadn't gone to town on Sunday as I was feeling under the weather and we don't have cable so watch shows on Amazon Prime or Roku and I had actually been reading in bed for much of the day. Guess that is what happens to the 'truly' retired when you don't have to keep to a work schedule and don't have appointments. I did not realize that the US and the UK might be on a different daylight savings time calendar. LOL

  • Margie from Toronto October 31, 2018

    We used to all be on the same time but a number of years ago the US switched - forget why - Canada stayed with the UK for a couple of years but it got to be too confusing so we switched to the same week as the US - think it's this coming Saturday - Nov. 3rd

  • Ellie's friend November 01, 2018

    I myself almost changed my clocks because my English penpal wrote about changing hers. Fortunately
    I realized in the nick of time.

  • Juls Owings November 01, 2018

    [Thank you all for reminding me to change the clocks back this weekend, it's also when we flip the switch on the septic tank to use the other side of the leach bed and clean the septic filter and test all the smoke/carbon detectors and change those batteries. Lovely Day for Hubby.

  • Lulutoo November 01, 2018

    Thanks for the idea about the hot dogs. Will try that with my cats!

  • Betsy October 31, 2018

    I made green salsa today with tomatillos I grew and froze this summer, cilantro that's still growing, frozen jalapeños from previous crops and everything else I had on hand . Saved us about $5 since hubbyl likes the fresh store brand. I made a regular size mason jar and two small jam jars of it so it will last us a bit.
    Made Greek yogurt from milk I was able to get for $2.44 a gallon so a steal verses the price of Greek yogurt plus it's actually fun to make. Brought red, yellow, and orange bell peppers for ..99 cents each. , cut them up, put in freezer bags and ready to use. Hubby purchased a case of 60 gala apples for $5.00 since we spend $5.00 just on a couple. Will save some to eat with peanut butter which we also make but want to make apple bread, fritters and maybe pie though they are not Granny Smith, oh and apple sauce. Today we did an average of our electric bill and with our tactics we averaged $84 a month for a 2 story, 2400 square foot house,. It is a new build so they are more energy efficient now plus we do a lot to keep this bill low.

  • Margie from Toronto November 01, 2018

    Tanja - thank you for the "day in Amsterdam" info. I am a city girl but I do understand your aversion to crowds - it can be rather overwhelming when you aren't used to it! I love museums and galleries but even I can only take so much at a time! I have a yearly membership to the Art Gallery of Ontario and even there I can't do it all at once - and European museums & galleries have even more to see! I think tourists of all sorts sometimes try to do too much at once. I also have a problem with all the photos being taken - people used to go in, study a painting or an object and really appreciate it - now I find, they run in, snap a photo and leave! Why not just buy the book that most gift shops have! It astounds me and I can't understand why they even bother visiting!
    I get a yearly mammogram (or more likely I go every 18 to 24 months) and as long as your doctor refers you it's all part of our health service as well - and I am very appreciative of that!

  • Ellie's friend November 01, 2018

    Well, that was some Hallowe'en. I decided to sit outside at the patio table in my frontyard.
    I think I was worried about kids unexpectedly meeting wildlife. I don't usually get many kids
    as, in the words of one 8 year old I overheard, "the economic payback doesn't warrant it", it being the long walk
    up my driveway. Well, I was sitting there when I heard a noise about ten feet away. There stood a mighty
    stag deer. He was trapped unless he turned back. But no, he climbed (not jumped) over a pile of bricks and then
    jumped over the fence to go into my neighbors' yard. I warned the few kids who did come up. Finally, I saw hm running
    down the city sidewalk.

    About frugalness, I realize how much cheaper buying hallowe'en candy is the month before the actual day. I went to
    a discount store to do my monthly shopping yesterday. I was really disappointed. I had read its flyer carefully.
    I didn't think its normal prices were all that great. Today I am off to an appointment which happens to be near a store that had hallowe'en candy. It will all be on sale today and I can pick up (I hope) a couple of peanut free boxes which are only made in a peanut free facility at Hallowe'en. An essential item for the pantry.

  • Rhonda A. November 01, 2018

    We live in a subdivision that is just outside the city limits. Because of this, we usually only get kids who live in our area. Our houses have extra large lots, and we live on a relatively steep hill. Lets just say, I know from experience you work for your candy around here. My mother buys full sized chocolate bars at Costco (she watches for them on sale) to give out, since we don't have a lot of kids in our neighbourhood. She finds it amusing when the kids turn to each other and exclaim "she just gave us a FULL SIZED chocolate bar!". I guess there is a better "economic pay-off" at our house. But we'll try an keep it a secret as much as possible, because we get the leftover candy!

  • Ellie's friend November 01, 2018

    I meant to say that in talking with my bank, I discovered that I had a recovery type of insurance that will pay me $50 per day that I was in the hospital last February with the broken arm. I wasn't in long but it will be nice to have the small sum.

  • Margie from Toronto November 01, 2018

    That's good news!

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