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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Pickles Relish and Jam The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested peaches, figs, grapes, garlic chives, Swiss chard, green onions, grapes, tomatoes, and an Armenian cucumber from the garden.

I canned fig jam, sweet pickle relish, and giardiniera.

I read 4 books (Hamish Macbeth!) that I borrowed from my mom. I then went to the library's website and borrowed and read 4 more Hamish Macbeth books in e-book form.

My parents filled a blow-up pool for the children to enjoy at their house for a few days. When they were done, they pumped it out with a pump and a hose into my garden beds. I moved the hose around to different areas, grateful to have over 1000 gallons of water at no charge to me, and happy that it was able to serve two different purposes.

I collected 3 to 5 gallons of water each day from the run-off humidity from the air conditioner and used it to water my potted plants in the garden. I keep a one-gallon ice cream bucket under the pipes where the water drips on the side of the house and check it periodically throughout the day, and when it's full, I transfer it to a three-gallon bucket and dump that out when it is full. 

I gladly accepted some succulents from my dad that had been slightly burned in the sun. I moved them to a shady spot and if they recover, I'll plant them in a shady place in my garden.

I went to the grocery store and picked up several items using rainchecks from last month, buying boneless pork roast for $0.89 a pound (usually the lowest sales price is $1.79 a pound) and ice cream for $3.99 a gallon. I also used digital coupons to pick up 5 pounds of sour cream for $0.89 a pound. In addition, I purchased more pork roast that was on sale last week for $1.19 a pound. 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Comments

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood August 06, 2018

    I'm impressed with how much you canned and harvested this week! And I'm glad you were able to pick up some pork roast. If I remember correctly from a previous post, your family really enjoys that particular cut.

    I did some canning too this week (strawberry jam)! Also:
    - I made a super-quick and easy side dish using pantry ingredients and garden veggies: Pesto & Garden Veggie Couscous Salad with BBQ Protein (http://approachingfood.com/pesto-garden-veggie-couscous-salad/) ! I almost always have homemade pesto in the freezer (although in this instance I used some store-bought pesto) and usually have couscous in my pantry (purchased from a local bulk store), so this is a flavourful, frugal, and easy side dish for evenings when I don’t have much energy to cook. I used a cob of corn that my mother gave me, and some bbq’d tofu leftover from another dish. But any leftover protein is fine, whether chicken or tofu.
    - Using my local trading app, I traded 3 wooden containers that I had gotten free from my workplace (they were going to be recycled), for a BNIB crib sheet in the colour of the nursery.
    - My husband helped me add ads to my blog, so hopefully that will eventually be a small source of income. I’m still working on modifying it so as not to be annoying to my readers, and am working on curating the ad content, but doing this all on my own with my husband’s occasional help is certainly better than paying someone! I also installed a free plug-in to do automatic backups to my site.
    - I redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 giftcard to Starbucks.
    - We borrowed a ladder from my parents in order to finish painting the nursery. My mum was able to bring it over to us when she came to visit on the weekend.
    - I took my mother to Costco (I get a free membership through my work), and they were handing out free goat’s milk soap samples, essentially hotel-sized bars. We each got one and will send them to my MIL in our next care package.
    - My husband redeemed loyalty points to get $100 worth of free groceries this week. I’m very thankful that he knows how to, and chooses to, leverage the points system in our favour. And we always bring our own bags, of course.
    - I gave my sister some granola bars that I no longer was able to stomach and gave my mom a shirt that no longer fit me but that is perfect for when she goes hiking or travelling. I love that whenever my family gets together, we all have little things collected to give to each other.
    - I picked thyme, oregano, and rosemary from my balcony garden, dried it, and added it to my pantry. I also hand-pollinated my zucchini blossoms.
    - I bought ice cream on sale, and also chocolate chip cookies on sale, and made my own ice cream sandwiches to keep in the freezer for snacks.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Kim in Florida August 07, 2018

    What credit card do you use to redeem for food gift certificates? Discover used to have nice cards available, but lately they are lacking.

  • Rhonda A. August 07, 2018

    Kim, one of our food chains in Canada offers PC Optimum points when we sign up for their loyalty program and shop at certain stores within their chain. Each week we get points offers through the program for certain items, that are based on products we frequently buy. The points accumulated can then be used towards free groceries or other products sold in their stores (10,000pts = $10). Our grocery stores rarely offer us free products to try, like American chains do. We are thankful to have this instead!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood August 07, 2018

    Hi Kim! I'm in Canada, and usually shop at No Frills as they generally have the lowest prices in the city where I live (Toronto). I'm going to explain the program in a bit of detail, just in case it helps any other Canadian reading this. My husband has a Mastercard that gives him 3x the PC Optimuum points for every dollar spent. You have to make a certain income (nothing terribly outrageous) to qualify for the credit card, but there's no fee associated with it.The PC Optimuum rewards program is a new combination loyalty program where you can collect points both from food store chains, as Rhonda mentioned, and also at Shoppers Drug Mart (a Canadian pharmacy chain). Both No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart offer deals occasionally as well, such as when Shoppers does a buy $50 worth, get 20x/points. My husband puts all possibly purchases on his credit card (which we pay off each month obviously), and we actually purchase a lot of health and household goods from the pharmacy chain (technically it's a pharmacy chain, but it sells most things), so between buying items when there's an extra points back deal, combined with paying with his 3x points back card, he gets a lot of points. Which we then redeem for free groceries!

    It's pretty hard to be an extreme couponer in Canada (you can't stack coupons, and there aren't a ton of coupons at any rate), so leveraging this loyalty program is the best way to lower our grocery prices (which I believe are generally higher than US prices)! I'm really thankful that my husband does such a good job with this program, because I eat a LOT of fresh produce, and I only have a small balcony to grow food on.

    I don't qualify for the same credit card he does, but I have a no-fee one that gives me AirMiles, which I then redeem for groceries when there is a use 95 air miles, get 50 airmiles back promo. Again, any bit helps with the grocery bill!

  • Marybeth August 07, 2018

    I do the same thing with my family. My parents and 3 sisters live out of state so I have a bag for each of them. When I see someone I pass everything along. Why throw away stuff that someone else can use.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood August 07, 2018

    Isn't it nice, Marybeth? It feels good both to receive (it's a mini Christmas!) and also to know that items that I can't use are going to be useful to others in my family. Family is awesome!

  • Marybeth August 08, 2018

    It sure is. We pass books, magazines, and coupons regularly. We exchange clothes, pocketbooks pet items and food all the time. If I can get something free that we won't use, someone in my family usually will. It helps that I have 4 siblings.

  • Marcia August 09, 2018

    My daughter lives 2 miles away and my granddaughter lives about 30 miles. I have a chair in a corner where I pile stuff for both of them for the next time I see them. They always look there first, and then in the kitchen to see if I baked anything!

  • Laurie in central NC August 06, 2018

    It sounds like you found some great deals. Last week, I harvested cucumbers. tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, green & lima beans, okra and various herbs. I found red thyme plants marked down to .25 ea., and bought four. Today, I harvested concord grapes, made juice, then canned it. I made yogurt this morning and zucchini bread this evening (with tromboncino squash). Laundry was done with homemade soap, and hung on the line. Plants were watered with warm up water. We've gotten some lovely rain the past week, so no need to water the gardens. I look forward to reading what everyone has been up to. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/08/mushroom-weather-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family August 06, 2018

    Parents are such a blessing! Mine have helped us out in so many ways that I could never repay them. But I hope to pay it forward to my own kids one day.

    That book series must be pretty great! I'll have to check it out.

    Here are the ways we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-127/

  • Becky August 06, 2018

    My biggest savings this week was buying fabric.
    I sew for a living and Halloween is my busy time. I have 5 orders already this year and two of them are needing white fleece. I went to get the fleece and remembered I used the last of it last year.
    I started looking for fleece and fur (another story) on sale and found fleece for 50% off. That made the price $4.99 a yard.
    I was going to buy 30 yards of it and that was quite a hit to the budget. So I kept looking and found a sale at JoAnn Fabrics for 3 yards pieces for $6.95 I think...it might have been a few pennies more. So I ordered 30 yards that way and saved a lot of cash.
    I also got free shipping.
    The rest of the week was the usual things.
    I love the Hamish series...and I often binge read. I've been doing it for the last week myself.

  • Tabbie August 08, 2018

    Do you mind me asking how you sell your items? Do you have an online store or a website? The reason I ask is that I have sold a few of my hand sewn items in the past and have tossed around the idea of selling my things to the public but not sure which avenue I wish to go down. There are many options I know, art and craft fairs, websites, Etsy. Etc. If you don't mind me asking. Thanks so much.

  • Rhonda A. August 06, 2018

    Sounds like you had a really good week, Brandy! I love that your children were able to enjoy splashing in a pool, then the water was repurosed for your garden. Those canned goods must feel great to have added to your pantry. It was nice you were able to enjoy some borrowed books from your mom and the library. But best of all, I'm glad you were able to stock up on some meat and other items at such a great price!

    We've been back in the midst of a heat wave this past week, but I think some slightly cooler weather may have arrived this afternoon. There was a much needed thunderstorm that came with the cooler temps, too. Looking forward to some more reasonable temperatures this coming week! Our frugal accomplishments included the following:
    *Meals made at home included tacos (choice between beef and black bean), sauteed chicken breast with choice of making a hot chicken sandwich or just the meat with side of white rice, and mixed veggies to go with either choice, bacon sandwiches with salad, French beef dip sandwiches, breaded fish with homemade tartar sauce, peas and choice of potato wedges or sweet potato fries, and BBQ grilled chicken breasts with baked potatoes (made on the BBQ) and carrots.
    *Used leftover black bean taco filling to make burritos for my "meatless lunches" this week. When I finished the taco filling up, I took a container of hummus.
    *Made fried rice for DD and I for lunch on my day off. There was enough leftovers for DD to have it the next day for lunch as well. Such a cheap, easy and healthy meal to make! Here is the link for the recipe I use, if anyone is interested https://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/best-fried-rice/ Note: you can basically add any veggie you have on hand, like sprouted mung beans, onions, fresh/frozen/canned veggies of choice etc., as well as leftover meat such as chicken or pork.
    *My mom and I had an appointment to go to after I was done work one day. Hubby asked if we would be picking up dinner on our way home. My mom, however, finally listened to my complaints about eating restaurant food so much and cooked a bunch of bacon ahead of time (before I got home from work) so we could have bacon sandwiches for dinner! Hubby was disappointed he didn't get his beloved take out food, but he ate his dinner and survived yet another day without starving.
    *Free things I received from work this week: Popcorn (DD now asks every day where the popcorn is, though sometimes there isn't any up for grabs. I told this to my manager one day and she went out of her way to save the last bag of popcorn for me to take home!), baked treats made in village (some of which I made) and a freezie on a very hot day!
    *Took a jar of my homemade turkey stock to work and made a nice soup over the open fire pit with whatever ripe veggies I could find in our gardens (crooked neck squash, green beans, 3 potatoes, a handful of peas and a few leaves of sage for flavour). One staff member was especially appreciative of the soup as he was in need of getting groceries, and didn't have anything to bring for lunch that day. Glad I could help him out! It turned out to be an excellent demo as well, as a group of museum students were having a tour of our village and the head gardener from Upper Canada Village also happened to be visiting, too.
    *Cut my own bangs to extend time between haircuts. I grow out my hair for summer anyways, as I need to put it up in a bun for work.
    *The young co-worker that I've been mentoring was so proud of herself this week. She found 3 apps she downloaded onto her phone that will help her save money. Later in the week, she was so excited to tell me she completed 1 of the challenges I gave her. Her and her boyfriend enjoyed a picnic lunch together at the park one day as a frugal date! She is currently working on the second challenge of trying a new recipe for an Asian soup she enjoys getting at a restaurant.
    *I pulled a sympathy card from our card stash for my husband to give to his employers, after their mother passed away. She was a really lovely lady and will be sadly missed around the restaurant.
    *At work, I needed some soapy water to wash some dishes, so I put some dish soap in a pan and used the hose to fill it up. The hard pressure of the hose created a massive amount of bubbles. There was a special needs child visiting with a camp group. He ran over and started playing with my bubbles. It made him so happy! I loved how such a simple thing could bring someone so much joy.

    Looking forward to enjoying all the comments again this week. Hope you are all doing well!

  • Athanasia August 09, 2018

    Rhonda, I was looking at the website for your Lang Pioneer museum. Are you in any of the photos??

  • Rhonda A. August 10, 2018

    I had to look, but no, not one photo of me on there. I'm really good at interpreting the history, but I'm not as cute looking like my younger colleagues. They take better pictures than I.

  • Athanasia August 10, 2018

    :)

  • Laurie in AZ August 06, 2018

    I love the picture of your canning. There is something that is just so comforting in looking at them, isn't there? I take pictures of my completed canning too!

    My accomplishments this week:

    • Used free tea and toiletries, washed ziplocks and used ½ dryer sheets and ran only full loads in the washer and dishwasher during off peak times.
    • Worked 10.5 hours contract work.
    • Ate in 5 times this week. Had soup made from freezer container that I had been putting leftover odds and end in. I added a home canned jar of tomato sauce, 3 beef bouillon cubes, Italian seasoning and garlic. It was delicious, and I got 2 more lunches out of it as well. Also had bratwurst with boiled potatoes and sauerkraut; Hubby had the same for dinner the next night and I ate a different single serving sized leftover from the freezer; and steak, baked potato and asparagus (both steak and asparagus were bought on sale earlier and frozen). One night we ate out at our Trivia League night, but our team won a $30 gift certificate and I won the tie breaker to determine who got to take the certificate. I got the certificate plus $5 (we each put in $1 for that question.) That will pay for next week’s Trivia night. One night, our teammates put on a mystery party. It had a Hawaiian theme, so I brought pineapple coleslaw (I already had all the ingredients for this except for the cabbage.) We didn’t have to spend too much on our costumes either, as we had most of the items. Sunday was Hubby’s birthday. He chose to have pulled pork (which I made from a pork butt I had in the freezer that I had bought on sale,) jalapeno coleslaw and potato salad. My DD, SIL and grandson joined us. She brought his “birthday cake” which is French Silk Pie.
    • Saved all carrot ends and peelings, celery ends and onion ends in a ziplock bag in the freezer to use when I make chicken stock the next time. I had used up all of my previous collection when I made turkey stock a couple of weeks ago.
    • Got plums and nectarines for 77c/lb, cherries for 97c/lb, 2 sour cream and 3 cottage cheese for 89c each, a free Kind bar, a free box of pasta and cheese, and 5 jars of Classico spaghetti sauce for 99c each. I bought these on Tuesday and then they were still on sale on Wednesday and I found that Ibotta had a 50c rebate per jar up to 5, so I bought 5 more jars. I like Classico and also like that after I use the spaghetti sauce I can save the jar for canning.
    • Hubby and I both took our lunches to work.
    • Got some free bubbles and whistles last week while on vacation. I will use those as stocking stuffers.
    • We live in Arizona and all our previous houses had built in pools. We decided when we were house hunting for this house that Hubby is too busy to take care of a pool, so we had gotten a kiddie pool on clearance a couple of weeks ago for my 2 ½ year old grandson when he comes over. When the kids came over for Hubby’s birthday, they also brought their kiddie pool. The 4 adults and my grandson sat out in the kiddie pools. While it looked a little silly, it was surprisingly refreshing and my grandson loved it. We then dumped the water on the grass and won’t have to run the sprinklers for a few days.

  • Marivene August 06, 2018

    We also use Classico jars for canning!

  • Lisa from Maine August 07, 2018

    I don't can but I use them for Jar gifts at Christmas

  • Laurie in AZ August 07, 2018

    That's a great idea!

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