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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Siam Basil in pot with bench The Prudent Homemaker 

This post contains affiliate links.

On the try, try, again line I planted seeds in the garden yet again for sunflowers and zinnias. Only one of the seeds came up from all of the zucchini seeds I planted two weeks ago. This next week, I hope to plant again and I also plan to dust the areas where I planted the seeds with diatomaceous earth, which will hopefully keep the bugs from eating the seedlings as they come up (as well as kill the bugs, which will hopefully lead to a more productive garden!)

The Siam basil (pictured in the photo above) that I cut for last week's arrangements for my table rooted in the vases. I planted the rooted cuttings in pots in the garden. This basil was advertised as having red leaves, which it clearly does not, but it tastes just fine. I am still hoping to grow some next year with red leaves just for the fun of variety in color on our plates.

I cut Genovese basil for the table this week, this time expressly to let it root. By topping my basil plants, they will branch out and give me a larger harvest. I will plant the cuttings that grow in the garden. I took off any leaves that would be below the water line, rinsed them, and left them to dry to use in cooking.

I harvested green onions and Swiss chard from the garden.

My 2-year-old watched shows on YouTube. This is something we do every week but that I don't mention often. There are plenty of shows to watch this way without paying for cable tv or even for a subscription service such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. Our favorites children's shows are Peppa Pig, Little Einsteins, Backyardigans, and Rolie Polie Olie.

My husband gave himself a haircut.

I continued to collect water from the air conditioner run off and used it to water the garden. I also used shower warm-up water in the garden.

I read four more Hamish Macbeth e-books from the library.

I used several coupons at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to purchase two sets of new sheets and two new pillows for my bed. I have a California King-sized bed, and most places don't sell sheets in that size; they are one of the few places that do. I usually only have one set of sheets at a time, but we decided to purchase a second set this time as we were able to do so. The store will take expired coupons, and you can use one coupon per item. Using coupons saved me $60 on my purchases.

My two middle-school children tried out the school lunches a couple of times last week, as we qualify for free lunch. My son decided he would rather take a lunch, and my daughter will take a lunch some days, depending on the menu. Of particular concern to me is the high-calorie content of the lunches, usually hitting 1500 calories for one meal. I won't be purchasing special items for packed lunches, so our food costs won't go up from packing lunches. I did end up deciding on these divided boxes which are small enough to fit in their lunch bags.

 

Dear readers, there were some less than kind comments last week towards one another. Some I did not post, and some that were borderline I let go through, but feelings were hurt. As you share your frugal accomplishments, please remember that others reading here come from all different places in the world, with different religious, political, and personal beliefs, and that everyone deserves respect and kindness. As a reminder, I won't be publishing anonymous comments.

I share a lot of things, but I don't share everything, and no one is obligated to share all aspects of their life with others. Our reasons to send three of our children to school are personal, and I don't know if we will send them next year or if this is just what we need for this season of our lives. I still have six children at home and my days are quite full.

I would like to thank all of you who offered some wonderful ideas for dealing with school expenses and lunches. 

I am deeply touched by those who said they were praying for me as I make some big changes in my life. The transition has been difficult for me and the change in my schedule is difficult. I have thought especially about all of the comments that came from teachers this last week; I have thought how hard it must be to teach all day, and come home to correct papers (classes here are between 36-42 students per class and 6 classes a day), make dinner, and also help your own children with their homework each night. I am touched that you make time to read here.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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Comments

  • Susan M. August 27, 2018

    I found a free class on Prayer, entirely online and was very blessed by what I learned. I will be implementing some of the suggestions in my personal prayer time. The class is free through August, so if anyone else is interested in taking it there is still time. I gain nothing by others signing up—just want to share something that has blessed me. The link is on my blog.
    I am also feeling like I need to clean out my freezer a bit, and use up some of the things that are living in there for a while now. So with that in mind, I went searching for frozen fruit to see what I could come up with for a smoothie. The results were delicious and my daughter, hubby, and I had it for breakfast one day.
    I also used up some older brown rice and turned it into a breakfast rice pudding for another breakfast. Brown rice, soy milk, chopped dates, cinnamon, cloves, Granny Smith apple, and a sprinkle of chopped almonds.

    The details on the free Prayer class and the smoothie are on my blog here:
    https://tnquiltbug.blogspot.com/2018/08/frugal-friday-week-of-august-19-25-2018.html

  • Fiona Chain August 29, 2018

    Thanks for the idea of using brown rice to make a breakfast rice pudding, wonderful❤️

  • Heidi August 27, 2018

    All of my children started their college classes today and since they all still live here with us we spent some time going over our plans for lunches to take and dinners for reheating since two of them come in well after the dinner hour. They do not purchase the meal plan and don't buy "out food", thereby saving themselves and us quite a lot of money. We tried to get a shared commuting schedule together for two of them but the class schedules are so different that it wouldn't work and we are not on a public transportation line. This will mean a big increase in our gas budget and I'll need to cut back in some other areas to make that work. None of them has a job at the moment since they are all full time students.
    My garden is still producing and I harvested beets and greens, parsley, zucchini and Swiss chard and some carrots today. I have three very nice sized Jack O Lantern pumpkins growing in my pumpkin patch and this will save me around $30! We carve pumpkins in the fall and believe it or not they cost around $10 and up here.
    We're back on our bread making schedule after having been off it during the hot summer months. I'll make a low sugar granola for breakfasts as well as zucchini bread and cookies from the garden bounty. My hens are not laying right now so our eggs are like gold.
    I'm not going to the store anytime soon so I'm going to have to be very creative this week!
    Also, we got three different quotes for replacing our deck - $25k!! It is huge but still! Sooooo...my husband and kids and I began tearing it apart and replacing the boards with trex this past weekend. We can buy the boards a few at a time and I'm having fun redesigning the railing system. Should only take a few years. Lol! We also used up some old weed whack er twine I found hiding in the garage and fixed our dead mower as well.
    Have a lovely week.

  • Athanasia August 28, 2018

    Heidi, funny but often true..."only a few years"!

  • Heidi August 28, 2018

    Athanasia, there is just no way to sugarcoat how long these things take when you're doing it yourself, is there?! :)

  • Juls Owings August 29, 2018

    no sugar coating for sure when you do it yourself. We are doing our own deck and I am flipping between black pipe for railing or hog feed panels with "rustic" boards

  • Athanasia August 30, 2018

    Juls, I looked at some of the pictures of your new house on your blog. Very nice, very spacious. You could have some big family gatherings there.

  • Heidi August 30, 2018

    LOL! That's excellent Juls! We had pallet railings for a year! We're going for the cable railings but it could just as easily turn into the very chic No Railings. ;)

  • Shelley August 27, 2018

    I do hope things are going well for you this week. I am always amazed at how mean people can be online comments! Surely if we met in person, people would not say those things!
    As for frugal things this week...not many but I was able to stay on my weekly budget and host a birthday party for my 9 year old son for 17 adults and children for $127 with a goodie bag included. Also 4 extra children stayed the night and I was able to feed them with no extra cost to the budget. My new goal is not to spend any money 2 days a week...Fail only 1...

  • Tina S. August 28, 2018

    Shelley, yes, I agree that sometimes people are not so nice in online comments. But, sometimes, they are like that in person too. :o I work at the front desk in a small medical office, and you would be surprised at the mean and unpleasant things people have said to me. It doesn't happen very often, thankfully, and I try not to take it personally (I just figure they are having a bad day or something). But I always wonder what they are trying to accomplish by being mean to the person who makes their appointments and gives them access to their doctor.

  • Laurie Hines August 27, 2018

    I started fall garden crops from seed this time instead of buying the plants. I'm not sure about this procedure but at least giving it a try. You are right to be concerned about the caloric content of school lunches. Mom a retired teacher and was around school lunches for many years. I usually took my lunch.

  • Laurie in central NC August 27, 2018

    We use diatomaceous earth here as well, most recently in the planting garlic that arrived, as we believe we've been having challenges with mites in others we bought, and are hoping this takes care of that possibility. Rooting your basil is a great idea, one I don't think of. Between harvesting, cooking and preserving food, the garden is keeping me quite busy. I'll keep this comment short, but look forward to reading all the others. https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2018/08/natural-dyeing-fall-soap-frugal.html

  • MelissaAnn August 27, 2018

    I've been a reader for awhile but never commented. This is a wonderful blog & I have learned so much from Brandy and the readers who contribute! My frugal win for this week is that I needed new clothing for a recent job promotion & was able to purchase from a consignment shop brand new shoes, a sweater (with tags) & 4 tops for $53. I can mix and match these items with things I already own & look professional at my job.

  • Athanasia August 28, 2018

    Melissa Ann, congratulations on your job promotion!

  • Janet August 27, 2018

    Brandy ,

    I certainly hope that I never have any comment that causes hurt feelings. If I did I apologize and it was not my intent. I always try to help others out in anyway that I can.

  • Janet August 28, 2018

    I couldn't remember my comment last week , turns out I didn't have time to comment last week. I will pray for you and your family as you go through this difficult time . I will also pray for your commenters on your blog.

  • Terry August 27, 2018

    Picked loads of fresh veggies from the garden. Cooked as much as I could and we ate well. I shared vegetables with several relatives and took huge bags to the mission and the senior living center. Picked over 200# of peaches from our tree. About 100# are refrigerated. The rest have been shared and a lot are ripening in the utility room waiting for my canner.
    Caught up on my mending. Even found a use for a leftover onion sack.
    Enjoying cooler weather this week. I see a lot of new blooms on my veggies.
    School has started here. I think everyone was ready. Kids and parents as well

  • Marybeth August 27, 2018

    200 pounds from one tree. That is wonderful.

  • mable August 27, 2018

    I swoon with envy at your peaches! Once I was in Georgia at peach time and I believe it ruined me forever because now when I get a peach here in Fairbanks, Alaska, it doesn't even smell like that Georgia peach!

  • Margie from Toronto August 27, 2018

    .Stayed home 3 days out of 7 so no spending those days
    .Caught up with laundry - washed 5 loads and only used the dryer for one load of towels
    .Used proteins from the freezer for meals - using up a few things that have been in there for long enough
    .Made HM yogurt - found milk at a good price (along with a half pint of cream) and unearthed my yogurt maker so put it to good use
    .Started two bottles of HM Vanilla Essence - had some vodka & rum on hand & used some Loyalty points for Vanilla Beans
    .Spent 4 hours working on email lists for part-time job
    .Socialized twice and while 1 outing was for lunch I kept the other to just coffee
    .Even though I have cable & Netflix I love YouTube. I find great British dramas and all the documentaries I could ever want!
    .Read 3 more books from the library including "The Weight of Ink" - 500 pages but the time flew bye - highly recommend it if you have the time.
    .Donated more books to the Church's book sale stash (for next year's sale)
    Glad to hear that things seem to be going well with the children. School meals are not the norm here so I've always been fascinated reading the menus when I've been in the States - some places even publish them each week in local papers. I'm sure they do their best with the funds they have but have to say that they didn't always seem to be the healthiest options - and your children are so used to your healthy meals that are heavy on fruits & veg that it must be a real change for them. But they will still be getting your wonderful meals at least twice a day so I'm sure it will all balance out - plus if they've had that many calories at lunch perhaps they'll settle for smaller meals in the evening. :-) Good luck with it all.

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