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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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  • Amy S October 30, 2018

    Congrats on your new beautiful baby! Hope you are healing and doing well :)

  • Cindy in the South October 30, 2018


  • Roberta in So. Cal. October 30, 2018

    Congratulations on the new wee one. Blessings to your whole family.

  • Jeannie October 30, 2018

    Oh, how wonderful!!!! I have been watching the calendar knowing the time was getting close. I can't wait to hear all of the details! Don't bother replying right now. Take time to rest.

  • Mary in southern AZ October 29, 2018

    Hi to all -

    Our college age daughter was home for a few days so I made her lasagna and cookies to take back. That saves us some so she does not order food .... she has a crockpot and cookbooks, that has not gone well for her....

    I combined errands two days when I went out. We ate home cooked meals and leftovers except for Friday night’s football game.

    I have been communicating with my siblings and friends by text instead of by mail (which I use to always do).

    Made a big Sams club trip for coffee, Brown sugar, meat toilet paper, nuts, candy, coffee creamer & laundry detergent. Most will last awhile.

    Our garden continues to look good, hoping we can start eating from there soon.

    That’s all I can remember.

    I’m looking forward to reading all posts. Have a good week all!

  • Mari in South Carolina (no longer Maryland) October 29, 2018

    How are you funding the college age daughter's spending? I am presuming she does not have a meal plan. If you are giving her money whenever she "needs" it, I suggest changing to a set amount per month and letting her budget and spend as ahe wishes. During the years she lived on campus with a meal plan, my daughter got $125/month from me and whatever she earned on her own. When she started living off campus with a car and no meal plan, that increased to $375/month to cover spending, gas and food (again, plus whatever she earned herself). The meal plan cost was close to that increase. It is amazing how creative they get when they buy their own food. Might go out to dinner one night, eat from the doggie bag on night 2, and eat ramen the next 2 nights. Let her learn, especially if she has a microwave. Point out what is less expensive each month (potatoes in November, which can be made in the microwave, topped with cheese, etc.) Give it a try and maybe a couple cheap, easy recipes each month that she can make, such as dumping some frozen mixed veggies, tomatoes, canned beans, and maybe a bit of beef into the crockpot to cook up soup or chili.. Good luck! I know my daughter loved the independence of not explaining where her money was going, knowing she would get a certain amount a month, and taking responsibility, even when she did not necessarily want it.

  • Mary in Southern AZ October 29, 2018

    She does get so much for rent & food - her apt situation is not the greatest for cooking. She earns some money from her job and starts a paid internship this week so that will help. She does get $100 extra + her rent $. So I think after this week will be better. She just has to save some of it.

  • I October 30, 2018

    Brandy-so nice to hear your daughter was invited away with her friend-what a wonderful opportunity for her and I am sure she will enjoy it.

    My 19 year old daughter is also away at university in the most expensive city in Canada-Vancouver. We give her $500 per month for groceries and other necessities and she pays part of the tuition and apartment rent from her summer earnings and we then top that up and pay some too. She does not have a full kitchen but she can cook quite a bit. Luckily her tuition costs include a transit pass and an extended healthcare plan-she is also covered under free basic healthcare in our home province of Alberta and our extended healthcare as a dependent. Received a sizable cheque in the mail for taking our daughter off our car insurance for the 8 months she is away at university since she has no car to drive there.

    As for me, I was fortunate to be away touring Europe for 2.5 weeks as frugally as possible-this was a budgeted trip. I managed to get airfare from Calgary-London return for $364 US which is a steal. I really enjoyed the unseasonably warm temps in Europe. I travelled to Dubrovnik, Budapest, Prague, Kotor and Venice. I stayed in modest hotels, used public transit and although eating out sometimes I also made many trips to the local grocery store. In Venice I was amazed that I had to weigh my bun before reaching the till-where I live each bin of buns is usually priced at so much per bun. Since I left Venice last Tuesday they have had a vaporetto strike, a general strike and yesterday they were flooding so I am very thankful I visited last week.

    I used a contactless US credit card( without exchange fees) for most expenses including the London tube. Frugal win-paid less than $25 for 3 days of travel in London and then received a $10 credit from the credit card company for tapping my card 3 times in the month-this brought my price down to less than $5 per day including trips to and from the airport which I thought was a bargain. I also think they overcharged me for one trip by $2 so I figured out on line how to request a credit and we will see what happens.

    Frugal fail-I broke a tooth in London on my first day so paid about $122 US to have it repaired. I can however submit my receipt to my Blue Cross plan and I believe they will reimburse most of it.

    Although still jet lagged, I started a new PT job assisting the teacher in our local Grade 1 class-lots of fun and will provide me with some more fun money. My husband also works PT at this school as the lunchtime playground supervisor-he calls it his paid exercise program! We are at a less expensive stage of our lives now, without small children, mortgage paid etc so our day to day living costs are not too high. I enjoy living frugally day to day so I am able to travel. DH prefers not to travel too much-I don't have the expense of a cell phone when I travel but I do take a small computer and Skype from that to stay in touch. Money for university expenses was saved up over the years. Even though both in our 60's and collecting pensions we enjoy working PT and having some money for extras.

    I hope everyone has a frugal week.

  • Cara October 30, 2018

    What, please, is a "contactless" credit card? I am intrigued.

    Your trip sounds lovely. We were in Prague & Budapest & Vienna in April and it was really warm. I bought a cotton dress at a flea market & wore it a lot of the trip. Europe is so wonderful in the way the countries seem to prioritize quality of life, and beauty over profit.

  • I October 31, 2018

    Thanks. A credit card that you just tap and does not require a PIN or a chip. At times I needed to sign a receipt but not always. This Visa card is called Venture One and issued by Capital One in the USA. Although we live in Canada my DH is also American so he has some US credit cards/accounts. There are also other contactless cards in the US and Canada-they have a certain wave symbol on them-4 curved lines. If you look it up online you will see what I mean. I believe Europe has them too. I was able to use this in London instead of an Oyster card.

  • Libby October 30, 2018

    Sounds like an AMAZING trip! Kudos to you.

    Did you buy an Oyster card for the London transportation part of the trip? How did you get RT to London airport for so little $$? Would love to know your travel secrets :)

  • I October 31, 2018

    Thanks. I did not buy an Oyster card because I learned from reading online that I could just use my contactless credit card with the wave symbol-this particular card also had no foreign transaction currency conversion fees. Some cards charge you about 3% each time they convert currency so I wanted to avoid that.
    I also found out that the Transport for London website has a single journey planner that showed me I could take the tube from Zone 2 where I was staying to Zone 6 Heathrow Airport for just 1.5 pounds if I travelled outside of rush hour which fit my schedule anyway as I needed to go midday. This 45 minute trip equated to about $1.99 US and the rest of the day I walked to explore the area around my hotel.
    Coming in from Gatwick Airport I learned that if I travelled off peak or not in rush hour and avoided Zone 1 in central London my train fare would be 8.30 pounds. It did require a train, change to another train and then 2 stops on the underground but even the more expensive express trains that go through central London require one change and are often not too much faster-but many tourists don't realize that. On this day too I walked in the area.
    On my middle, full day I rode the underground several times around central London in Zone 1 and 2-the max fare per day for that off peak is 6.8 pounds per day so consolidated my museum trips etc into that day.

    Somehow my credit card bill came in just under $25 for the 3 days and then got the credit for $10 US for tapping 3 times in Oct. I almost felt like I got a coupon to use on my London travel. Of course if I hadn't researched the most economical routes ahead of time I would have been duped into paying much more for the express trains or taxis or going through London zone 1 when I was staying in Zone 2. I know the day I left to Heathrow there were severe delays on the line I needed due to a pedestrian incident on the track. In order to have a back up plan I asked at my hotel desk and the taxi fare would have been 50 pounds vs 1.50 pounds on the tube-huge difference. So I allowed a little extra time and went for it on the tube. I travelled with only carry on luggage to make public transport easier and it also saved me a lot on checked bag fees. I would rather wash some clothes in the shower while I am showering and hang them to dry than take too much. Out of curiosity I did poke my head in a laundry near my hotel and it was 6.5 pounds to wash a load-that blew me away. In any case that was my first day and I had no dirty clothing yet.

    Since our credit card company is also offering the $10 bonus for 3 taps in Nov and Dec too and each has to be at least $1 US I told my husband each month we should just go to the gas station and put $1.40 Can( to allow for the exchange rate) 3 times in succession and we will be making money-a $10 US credit for spending $3 US on gas two moths in a row means they will pay for $14 of my gas!!

  • Rhonda A. October 30, 2018

    This past summer I mentored a young lady (she was 20 yrs old) that I worked with. She was eating out all the time and spending every penny of her paycheck plus has credit card debt. She was reluctant with the idea of cooking, until I challenged her to try making some of her favourite restaurant meals at home. It really clicked for her that she could learn to make those favourite meals and have them anytime she wanted to. Cooking because a lot more fun.

    It's hard when you are in school to find time to cook a nice meal. There is always such high demands with school projects and studying, on top of trying to earn money and keeping up with chores and everyday demands of life. There is only so much time and energy each day. Your daughter may be on her own now, but it will take some practice to learn how to balance it all. I'm sure she is doing the best she can. I'm glad you were able to help her out by sending her home with a pre-made, healthy, homemade meal.

  • Juls Owings October 30, 2018

    Mary in southern AZ October 29, 2018
    I spent 5 yrs cooking in a motel room with no kitchen. I used an electric skillet more than a crock pot. I could even do a small chuck roast with carrots,potatoes and onions in it and then turn it into stew by adding gravy for another meal or hash without the gravy to add an egg. My son used an electric skillet when on base in barracks, even though he uses a crock pot and instant pot now days (he is single) IF you can find a decent one she might do better with it.

  • Marybeth October 29, 2018

    We finally got our driveway finished. We payed cash for it so they gave us 5% off. It came out great. We sold the car my youngest was driving. It was a 1999 Maxima and just started needing lots of repairs. It wasn't worth the money to fix it and Hubby doesn't have the time to do it himself. We disclosed everything that was wrong with it to the buyer. Hubby is looking for a new to us car for her to drive. We don't mind old cars. She wants something good on gas. My sister let us use her extra car so that we don't have to share cars. We are in no rush to buy something. My full list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/10/my-frugal-list-week-of-october-22-2018.html

  • Margie from Toronto October 29, 2018

    .I worked at a polling station for our Municipal Election for which I will be paid
    .I worked some extra hours at my church job as things have gotten busier
    .Discovered that my hairdresser is away for a couple of weeks so I'll be stretching the time in between appointments for another two weeks - so inadvertently frugal!
    .Invited two friends for lunch and cooked ingredients already on hand so no extra cost
    .Kept grocery purchases to a minimum and continued to use up food already in the freezer & panry
    .Found buttermilk on sale so I've been making different variations on a buttermilk loaf to take to class & church
    .Continued to combine errands in order to save on transit fares
    .Waited to do laundry until I had full loads and dried everything on a rack except for sheets & towels
    .Got two free tickets to a Christmas concert - it is being filmed and they need an audience
    .Enjoyed more Netflix & Youtube programming so I am thinking about the options for lowering my regular cable bills, especially now that the Baseball season is over

  • Gardenpat October 29, 2018

    This has been an incredible week!
    I was able to buy 45 pounds of diced tomatoes, 7 pounds of shredded carrots, 5 pounds of chopped onions and 11 baskets of raspberries for $12!!
    I made and canned 16 pints of Rotel- http://canninggranny.blogspot.com/2012/07/canning-homemade-ro-tel.html?m=1 using some of the tomatoes and onions and peppers I had frozen!
    I canned 7 quarts of diced tomatoes, dehydrated all the shredded carrots and put into a half gallon mason jar that I vacuum sealed.
    I packaged the rest of the onions into ziploc bags with the equivalent of 1 medium onion in each bag for convenience and froze those!
    I decided not to make more raspberry jam or freeze the raspberries but rather to sprinkle them with a little sugar and put into a big bowl in the fridge for a nice dessert!

    Branching into Soup Cozies as a way to use up some of my excess fabric stash has proved lucrative even though my purpose was just decluttering! In the week since I started marketing them, I’ve sold 19 sets!! So a lot of my evenings are spent making more Cozies and yet my stash doesn’t seem to be diminishing!! Here are a couple of photos: https://pin.it/hcuhergexlldx6
    https://pin.it/vaku2ed64yetvi I sell them for $7.50/set which would never cover materials and time adequately, but I’m happily clearing my sewing room so that I can better use what I have, so the money is just a perk to save half/pay down Hospital bill with the other half (after it has been tithed on)! Between these and our Scrappy Bags and our flannel Softies, I am hopeful that my fabric stash will become more manageable!! Lol!

    Fresh Thyme had a 4 day sale on BLSL chicken breast for 99 cents a pound with a limit of 4 packages! While I was busy sewing up Soup Cozies, hubby and son went and each bought 4 packages, so I got 32+ pounds at that price so I am happy!!

    The weather here in Ohio has taken a cold and wet turn lately so I’ve been making more soups and stews in the crockpot and Instant Pot. We tried one of the dry soup mixes that I made and packaged into mason jars during the summer. Beef and barley soup that I just added water and a little ground beef to. The odd shaped potato chunks that I dehydrated rehydrated in the crockpot so they were neither mushy or hard! They tasted like fresh so I am looking forward to trying more of the dehydrated dinners I made!

    So many things to be grateful for this time of the Year!! I really grateful for all the tips and ideas and encouragement that you and your commenters give so freely! I have learned so much from all of you!!

  • ellie's friend from canada October 29, 2018

    The cozies are a great idea. They remind me of a quilted casserole carrier a friend used to make!

  • Gardenpat October 30, 2018

    They are so nice for getting a bowl with hot food out of the microwave without burning your fingers!

  • Pam October 29, 2018

    Where did you buy the fruits and veggies for $12? Really impressive!

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