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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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  • Gardenpat October 30, 2018

    There is a wholesale produce market about 10 minutes from our house that has a Cash and Carry section that is open to the public. Many of their things are the same price as the regular grocery but they have some “reduced” areas where they sell produce that is coming up to it’s sell-by date if it is prepackaged like the chopped onions, shredded carrots or if it is boxed produce, it may be some that won’t “hold” well when they close for the long weekend and needs to be worked up- canned,frozen, dried- right away! I am willing to rearrange my schedule to process those fruits and veggies to take advantage of the great prices as a way to add to my food storage!!!

  • Mary Anne October 30, 2018

    Please...tell us more about the dry soup mixes. Recipes, directions, or where to find. I'm fascinated by your approach to reducing your fabric stash.

  • Gardenpat October 30, 2018

    Here are some links to dry mixes that I’ve made:

    The only thing I do differently is that I don’t have expensive freeze dried meats so I don’t put that into the jars! I just add precooked ground beef frommyfreezer or chicken, pork or beef chunks that I canned at the time I’m putting the rest into my crockpot !

  • Margaret @ ApproachingFood October 30, 2018

    Gardenpat, did you know it's possible to dehydrate ground beef? There's a post on it at Southernplate.com. An interesting way to make shelf-stable meat!

  • Lorna October 30, 2018

    Gardenpat you are a testimony to what hard work can do to pay bills and save at the same time, well done we are so happy for you :).


  • Gardenpat October 30, 2018

    Lorna- you’ve been inspirational on how you’ve worked on your goal to use your frugal savings to become a down payment on a home! It’s thrilling to see how that has come to fruition now! So excited to hear that you are in contract on your dream property! Out of small and simple things, great things are accomplished!!

  • Jeannie October 30, 2018

    I like your cozies. They are a good idea for hot bowls of soup.

  • Carol October 31, 2018

    Gardenpat, I know you are trying to reduce your fabric stash, but you are really selling those soup cozies for a steal! As a sewer/quilter myself, they are sold in my area (SE Michigan area) for a minimum of $6 each! No wonder people are grabbing them up like crazy! You might want to up your price a bit or maybe sell them individually for maybe $4.50/$5.00 each at the lowest.

  • Gardenpat October 31, 2018

    I know, Carol, the prices here are higher for the Cozies but I REALLY have crazy huge fabric stash way beyond what fits on my shelves here are a few photos of a small part ( maybe 20%) of my fabric stash:

    So, in the spirit of decluttering before I become a hoarder, I would rather see something useful. Made from it and it’s actually brought in some money but maybe been a way for someone to get something for themselves or for a gift that they may not have been able to buy at the higher Prices! So it’s a Win-Win and hopefully customers feel like they got a great deal!!

  • Elizabeth M. October 29, 2018

    Popcorn is a favorite snack for me during the fall and winter. I don’t have many bowls, though. I decided to use a large coffee can, but when I took off the paper label, it turned out not to be a metal can, except on the bottom. The rest is cardboard, with some kind of silver coating. I don’t think it will survive too many washes. It has also made me re-think how far forward I will buy coffee. The best before date is three months away, which is one large can. I would have liked to have bought another can for storage.

    Canada has a rotating post office strike at the moment. So far, the union has been saying which post offices will be closed a few days in advance. I had two money-related tasks that needed documents to be sent out. I sent one by ExpressPost on days I knew the particular post office wouldn’t be affected. I could track the envelope and know it was delivered in good time. It did cost $13.50 to do that. The other document, I took personally to the next town over, which cost about the same in gas. I have two checks coming in by mail this month, though I can survive a delay.

    Carrots and potatoes were on sale locally this week. I bought 5 lb of carrots and 15 lb of potatoes. The carrots will last me the winter, since I use them mostly for starting soups and julienned in stir-fries. I keep them in one of the fridge’s compartments and they are good for many months. Potatoes are available on sale through most of the winter, so there is less need to stock up for long periods. I am gradually buying winter squash as I see them to store, and am looking for turnips.

    I started doing a monthly grocery shop three months ago, since a local store began offering at least 10% off one day a month. I supplement this with purchases of sale items at this and other stores when the prices are very good, if I have the funds. I am really happy with how this is working. I was worried that I would underestimate how much food I needed and run short at the end of the month. Not so! My monthly spend has also been very good, and I have lots of variety.

  • Rhonda A. October 30, 2018

    Sounds like your doing an excellent job at stocking up for winter, Elizabeth. I like the way you are shopping once a month, then buying sale items as you have the funds. Such a great way to stay on budget, yet still take advantage of those stock up deals! Soon we will start to see baking and other various holiday supplies on sale. I hope your funds continue to allow you to stock up on those deals too!

  • ellie's friend October 30, 2018


    You're doing a great job. By only going once a month to shop, I save a lot of money on transportation. And time, too! In searching for bargains, people sometimes drive all over, not remembering that gas costs so money saved from one pocket takes more out of another!

  • Susan October 30, 2018

    How do you keep your carrots fresh so long in the crisper drawer? Do you wrap them in paper towels or something?

  • Tina S. October 30, 2018

    I'm not Elizabeth, but this is what I do. After washing the carrots, I put them in a ziptop bag while they are still slightly damp. Then I store them in the crisper drawer. I have had them last for up to four or five months this way. Sometimes they will sprout a little from the top or have small areas of discoloration, but I just cut this off and give them a good rinse before using them. (I use organic carrots so I don't peel them before use).

  • Elizabeth M. October 31, 2018

    I do pretty much the same as Tina. I get carrots either from friends with large gardens or from commercial farms right as they are harvested in the fall. (There are great prices in the grocery stores then.) They are very fresh, and generally fairly large. I store them in a plastic bag, so they don't dry out, but they would be dry when they went in the bag. Here in northern Canada, they are considered a cold storage vegetable. Most gardeners I know store them in a plastic box in a cold basement.

    In the summer, I use younger carrots and smaller varieties right away.

  • Shelley October 29, 2018

    So fun for your daughter! I'm sure she will have a wonderful time. Our electric bill was $78 for the month which is very low for our over 3000 square foot home. I was out of town and didn't spend much money...

  • Laurie in central NC October 29, 2018

    If I ever can grow one rose that look like yours, I'll consider it a monumental success. Part of it may be the clay soil and humidity here, but the other difference must be your loving care of them. They're always so beautiful! We've eaten our sweet potatoes several times the past week, which needs to happen on a regular basis, as we had a great sweet potato year. Winter squash too, though I've yet to start using them. I had an unusual return today, of an item that didn't fit what it was intended for. I received a credit, and was told I didn't need to return it, to just donate it or whatever I liked. I thought that was impressive, and not the type of customer service one sees much anymore. It was only a $10 & change item, but still. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/10/a-festival-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • AndreaG October 29, 2018

    The last few weeks seem to have gone by in a blur! I have been doing the usual frugal activities such as hanging laundry outside to dry when the weather cooperates and only doing full loads of laundry and running the dishwasher when full. We have eaten all meals at home and my husband has taken his lunch to work everyday. He also came home with a large bag of frozen, diced parsnips from work. Apparently, they were sent from the supplier by mistake and the management told the staff to throw them out! They are new and frozen so I can't imagine why they would instruct the staff to waste food like that. We will definitely make good use of them throughout the fall and winter.

  • Rhonda A. October 30, 2018

    My work can be very wasteful with food as well. I've brought home lots of things that were "expired or expiring soon" that they were going to throw out becasue they can't sell it (like soda and potato chips which are still fine past the "best before" date), or fresh produce grown in the village gardens that no one was using and was being left there to rot. So incredibly wasteful! I'm glad your husband was able to bring that food home where it won't go to waste!

  • Marybeth October 30, 2018

    My jobs throws food out all the time. The amount of waste is crazy. Sometimes they let me take it, other times they do not. Glad you are enjoying the free food.

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