A New Family Photo and Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

A New Family Photo and Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

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We took a new family picture, using the remote for my camera. After explicit instructions from my husband to not make silly faces, the boys of course did make faces in most of the pictures.

The picture I kept ended up being a conglomerate of 3 photos, something I’ve never done before. I’m pretty happy with the result.

My husband gave both boys a haircut before we took photos.

I turned a pair of jeans with holes in the knee into shorts for Libby. I turned a pair of my old jeans with a torn knee into shorts for myself.

I made 6 mop pads from an old towel.

I harvested seedless green grapes, apples, plums, peaches, and red noodle beans from the garden.

I cut and froze some plums and I turned some of them into 7 pints of plum sauce. The recipe will be up on the website soon.

I collected seeds from Swiss chard and lettuce from the garden.

The children caught a tiny lizard on the back patio last week. It was the smallest one that we’ve ever seen. I’m grateful for the lizards who eat the bugs in our garden.

I finally earned enough Swagbucks to request a $25 gift card to Amazon. I know some of you are able to redeem this every month (and those of you who use Swagbucks to pay for your groceries are amazing!) but that’s about all I’ve earned in a year before, since I don’t use it a lot.

I sent my oldest off to camp with the other young women from church. Camp was $140, and she earned all of the money herself by painting lampposts. I sent her with things that we already had (sleeping bag, etc.) so it didn’t cost me anything for her to go. (The girls were highly encouraged to earn their own way for camp by their leaders.)

My husband changed the filters for our air-conditioning intakes. This will make the air conditioners (our house has two) not need to work as hard. It’s one of those inexpensive expenses that saves money by doing it.

I finished making two potholders for myself. I started this project a year and a half ago and it got put on hold because other projects took priority. Finishing it up took less than an hour.

 

I finished embroidering a bee and made a lavender sachet with it.

What did you do last week to save money?

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. From near our country house I picked wild strawberries with blooms and leaves to dry for tea.

  2. Paula

    Dee Duval, Congratulations on choosing an affordable lifestyle. Your living situation sounds a lot like ours. Older home on small acreage, no cable, no sewer, just barely inside the city limits. It’s a good life. When we bought this house, my husband was determined to buy what we could pay for in 15 years and not owe on when he retired. It turned out to be such a wise decision when he became ill and had to retire a few years early. We had just paid off the mortgage, and that really helped our situation so much. I doubt you will regret your choice at all. I’ve never lived in a brand new house in my life. A fancy new house would be nice, but only if you could genuinely afford it with room to spare. Many people have set their sights too high and lost everything when hard times came unexpectedly. A house you can hold on to despite layoffs, unemployment, illness, whatever life throws at you, is a blessing.

  3. Athanasia

    Dee , congratulations on your country property. Make sure (since it sounds like you have a septic system) that you get your well water tested. Your county health department should do it, or let you know who does.

  4. Andrea

    As usual, I love the pictures. The children are so sweet! It’s funny to hear the background that goes into getting these great photos of them. Kind of like watching them sleep…you’d never know what kind of mischief they’d been in all day (or care) because they look so angelic when they’re sleeping!My frugal accomplishments for this past week are few, but packed a punch! We went out of town for a few days, but we didn’t go far so we were able to drive. The accommodations were comfortable and we actually had a full working kitchen so I cooked just about every meal. It is funny to me how enjoyable it was to cook in a different kitchen! We only ate out two times and just for lunch. Prior to the trip I was able to get some great deals on food to bring along. Found grapes for .66/pound, cherries for .99/pound, and chicken breast for $1.59/#. Hold onto your chairs ladies while I share the amazing deal I got on flour…I got two 50 pound bags of flour for $5 each! I had already purchased some flour last month when I found a pretty good deal on it, but I couldn’t pass this up. Now I have 120 pounds of flour in my freezer! Time to start baking! I was also able to purchase more butter at $1.50/pound. I was only able to buy 4 at a time, but I went to this store on two different occasions so bought 8 total. This will put us at about a six month supply. I think the flour should also last about six months, but if I see this deal again I will likely buy it whether we need it or not. Also got 4 flats of eggs (2.5 dozen each flat) at 2 for $5, essentially $1/doz. Not as good a price as I got a month or so ago, but better than I’ve seen in a while. I’m not sure why the cost of eggs is going up, but I guess everything is going up so why not eggs, too?!Continue cooking from scratch (even on vacation!), baking bread, making snacks such as granola, yogurt, and graham crackers.The garden is looking like it’s on its last legs now. We’re still getting tomatoes, but the plants are really looking straggly. I think we’ll just pull all of them, even the green ones and let them ripen on the window sill and replant in the fall. I’m not sure what is going on with the beans. We planted black beans, but haven’t seen any pods, just flowers. Still using shower water for the grapefruit tree, strawberry plants and tomatoes.I think that’s about everything from this past week. It’s good to be home, but feeling rested and ready for another week of frugal accomplishments! God Bless!

  5. Dawn

    Good luck on your debt free goal! I look forward to your updates.

  6. Becky

    I worked in the garden quite a bit. I weeded. I harvested lettuce, snow peas and shelling peas. I froze 19 pints of peas. That took a long time. The snow peas were stir-fried with garlic for company last night, and given away. I may freeze just a few, but they get more mushy than we enjoy, so we won’t eat very many of them that way. I picked and froze some raspberries. We ate some, too. Our crop is poor this year, but there will be more to pick in a few days.Our electric bill dropped from over $500 in the winter, to around $250 this month. There are some factors, such as we use less electricity in the summer, along with the fact that we tried really hard. We are delighted.I went to Bob’s Red Mill and bought gluten free flour from the bulk bins. It is less expensive that way than in the packages. It only was more frugal because I was in that area for one of the childrens’ appointments because we live a distance from there.For entertainment, we went to a lake near Mt. Hood. We took the fuel efficient car and food and drinks from home. It was fun on a hot day and as a bonus, we caught 7 trout. We’ve eaten 2 and froze 5 for later.I worked on a quilt I started over 10 years ago some more this week. It feels good to be working on an unfinished project. I took my youngest daughter to JoAnn’s and we got a clearance piece of fabric for her to make a knit maxi skirt. I also got enough fabric to make her a slip as we do not seem to be able to find any to buy to fit her that I want to pay the price for. I probably need to work harder at finding one for a reasonable price, but for now, this is a good option with bargain fabric. Other than that, I plan to continue working on projects I have from the large supply of fabric I already have.I cooked a roast in the crock pot. It stretched for several meals, ending with soup yesterday. We cooked a turkey breast. My husband boiled those bones and we will have soup from that soon, too.

  7. dee duvall

    Dear Athanaia, Thanks for the tip. We had that done but they said to have it done occasionally . And it tastes good so no bottled water yea.

  8. Good job on not wasting food.If I am really not wanting to make something out of the bananas I will put them in the freezer with the peel on them. just run them under water or set them on the counter to thaw.Blessings,Patti

  9. amanda emerson

    Beautiful photograph and embroidery! Thanks for being so inspiring. Does anyone know if you can purchase a remote for your camera to take pictures? I have a Nikon 3100. I’m ashamed to admit I have never learned how to use the timer on it but you have inspired me! It is going on my to do list for this week. Here are a few of my frugal accomplishments from last week: http://www.lifeasmrsemerson.blogspot.com/2014/07/frugal-things-i-did-last-week.html. Any advice for catching up on weeds in the garden? We took an unplanned trip out of town for 5 days and the weeds are definitely winning!

  10. Amanda, I use the remote; it’s easier than the timer and you don’t have to run back and forth between pictures. You can take a ton of pictures in a row with the remote, which is what I did. Amazon has one and they are about $12.50.As far as the weeds–you just have to go out there and start tackling it!

  11. kbeeps

    I love the bulk section at Bob’s Red Mill! I was just there a few weeks ago and stocked up on a bunch of stuff. I had to laugh, though, when I got home and realized I’d forgotten to buy the all-purpose flour. I’m probably the only person in town who can go to Bob’s Red Mill and forget to buy flour, LOL!

  12. countrynana

    We are blessed with a bountiful garden this year. We canned 31 quarts of green beans and 21 pints of pinto beans last week and I made twelve loaves of zucchini bread, put some in the freezer, gave some away and used some for dessert!

  13. Heidi Wright

    Andrea, awesome score on the grapes, cherries (wow! That’s cheap) but esp the flour!!!! Oh my goodness!!! Once a year a store here puts small bags on sale for 5 lbs/$1 which is insanely cheap here (and allows me to buy organic locally grown and milled flour for the latter part of the year due to this score in the first half of the year), and I always feel like high fiving myself when I buy umpteen bags at my cheap price, but whoa!!!! That is AWESOME! I hope you gave yourself a serious high five 🙂 🙂 Kudos, Heidi in Ontario, Canada

  14. Athanasia

    Libby WW, I make lots of pie crusts. Some simple rules and hints will give you perfect crusts every time. I use a pastry sheet that has circles so I can roll out to just right size. Have your pie dough chilled in discs as cold as possible. Roll between layers of waxed paper to keep from adding any extra flour. Roll as little and as quickly as you can, always from the center out, turning as you roll. Don’t uses back and forth rolling motion. Flaky dough is due to the bits of shortening being separated by the flour. When adding the water you blend only as much as needed, then compress into disc with your hands. I’m glad you found a recipe that worked for you but if you want to do two crust pies you’d probably need to get the hang of rolling.

  15. Andrea

    Thank you for the high five! I must admit I was doing the happy dance when I saw this offer. I don’t live close to this particular store so I like to go if I am in need of several things in their ad. This time, however, I might have made an exception if only to get the flour. Thankfully there were other desks and I didn’t need to make a special trip for it side I had plans to be in the area. This store has been a great bleeding for our family over the past the or so years since I learned about it. They wear shirts with scripture embroidered on them and they play Christian music while you’re shopping. I really enjoy it and wish everyone could shop in a pave like this. Thanks again! I’m on the opposite end from you…down in AZ! Greetings from the south! 🙂

  16. In the past 2 weeks i have been given (or gleaned), 50 lbs of apricots, 30 lbs apples, 30ish pounds of peaches and 25 pounds of plums. I have been canning peaches, applesauce and making jam. I have more peaches and lots of free pears coming this week! I love this time of year. My garden is also producing lots of green beans and zucchini. Tomatoes are starting to trickle in. Also saved about $200 by shopping only once for the month of june.

  17. Jenifer Helton

    Our week got started out great, went to not so great, but then ended out well. I budgeted $70 for the grocery stock (I really needed to stock up!), and spent $69. I checked out 3 books and one dvd from the library, and was able to take alot of notes of one farm book that I had been planning to buy. We found a custom window that someone had ordered and apparently ended up not taking at Lowes. It originally was about a $500 window, and we got it on clearance for $90. So far we have gotten 7 windows for about $300 for our new house. I got a new propane tank yesterday from Kroger, and then my neighbor asked me if I would mind smoking a few boston butts for her. Of course I said yes, and when she brought them over to me, she also brought us a gift card for $10. That made the cost of my propane tank only $7!! The down side is my sweetie took me out to dinner Friday night, and Saturday night. While they were lovely gestures, we ended up spending over $100, and what we had really was not as good as what I could have easily made for a fraction of the cost at home. He even commented on that. This is the third or forth time within the last few months where we have gone out to dinner at fairly nice restaraunts, and the service or food was less than desired. I think moving forward I will arrange to have some in home “dates”. Brandy, after reading and reading, I am finally signing up for a Sam’s membership. We have Benefit hub through my employer, and by getting a membership, we recieve 3% cash back on our purchases, and get a $25 gift card for signing up. Have a blessed week everyone! Happy Monday!!

  18. Andrea

    Oops, I guess I ought to be more careful with the auto-correct! It should read “deals”, not “desks”, “a great blessing”, not “bleeding” (yikes!), and a “place” like this, not “pave”. So sorry! Almost ready for a new list of Frugal Accomplishments, yay! Will be more careful to watch for typos! God Bless!

  19. Heidi Wright

    Andrea, now, I’m curious…what store?? I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I met my Canadian husband 16 yrs ago this fall at ASU in Tempe, AZ while we were working on graduate degrees. I was born and raised in Peoria, Arizona — on the northwest side of Phoenix. My parents still live in the house I where I was raised. I haven’t lived in AZ since 2000, and have lived several places since (mainly in the U.S.) but I will always consider AZ home. I still miss it tons!!!!! God Bless, Heidi

  20. Andrea

    Oh my goodness, what a small world! The store I’m referring to is in Mesa, but I’m in Gilbert so it can be 20-30 minutes to get there (which is why I only go if I’m going to be up there for other reasons). The store is called American Discount Foods. It is a bare bones place with a lot of scratch and dent items, but I have had great luck there. I’ve never had anything that was poor quality or had to return anything (yes, they actually have a return policy, too!). I hope your enjoying Ontario as it must be quite different from AZ. We took a short jaunt to Sedona and, while it was a bit cooler there compared to Phoenix, it was still hot. 🙁

  21. Heidi Wright

    Andrea, it’s funny what a small world it is sometimes 🙂 My husband and I spent many hrs hiking in Sedona, and actually stayed there for our honeymoon when we married in 2002. I lived in what was Mesa at the time for a short bit (less than a yr) while in grad school. I used to frequent many places on that side of town, mainly hiking locales 🙂 and obviously, from living there until my early 20’s, know people that love in Gilbert. And yes, our yard here in Guelph, Ontario is quite different than my parent’s in AZ! (Although some of their best friends across the street from them have a killer garden that grows literally everything.) We have beautiful trees and it is so “lush” to me that I love it! Heidi

  22. Andrea

    Wow! How funny! We were here at the same time! I’ve been here since ’91, a transplant from Chicago. I’ve always been in the East Valley, though. I did live in Tempe and Mesa for a long time before my husband and I bought this house almost 11 years ago. We might have passed each other on one of these trails and didn’t even know it as we love to hike, too! I understand about still considering AZ home, though. Even though I’ve lived in AZ longer than I was in Chicago, I still consider Chicago home, too. Maybe it’s because all our family is still in the respective locations. No one has followed us out here so we still go back East to see our families. My husband is from CT and I have extended family in Upstate NY. If we ever get a chance to make it to Ontario, I’ll have to look you up! 😀

  23. rahel

    Just discovered your blog. This post was very interesting and inspiring. For sure I will read on- with a tiny bit of envy :-)Have a great day.Rahel

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