Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Ivory as Alice The Prudent Homemaker

I saved seeds from an Armenian cucumber to plant next year. I also saved seeds from zinnia flowers, before tearing out the spent zinnias.

I picked Armenian cucumbers from the garden. I cut thyme and Swiss chard from the garden.

I planted seeds for spinach and lettuce.

Using fabric and ribbons I had on hand, I sewed gifts for the children for Christmas.

I downloaded a free dress pattern that I found online via Pinterest.

I downloaded a free embroidery pattern for a Christmas present from one of the vintage embroidery patterns I had pinned on my Embroidery board. I’ll use it to embroider a present I am planning to make.

I canned 8 half-pints of sweet pickle relish using a large cucumber from the garden.

After some major mistakes with our order, the wholesale company we were ordering some chests from admitted they did not have our merchandise and that the items were discontinued, except for one, which they had–and then didn’t ship. After many phone calls from my mom (who is ordering them through her business for us), the company offered us a similar chest at half the wholesale cost! We were able to purchase 2 chests for the price of 1 (wholesale!) that are just as beautiful as the ones we wanted.

We went to a service auction that was a fundraiser for our oldest three for next summer’s camp. For $25, I won 3 beginning guitar lessons, which one of our children will enjoy (and we have a garage sale guitar for him to use). For $10 we won a lawyer’s help to get a driving ticket written down, which we can reserve for some time in the future when needed. Plus, the money goes towards our children’s camp! Over half the money all of the youth will need for next summer was raised in this fundraiser, so our children will not need to earn as much next year for their camp.

Alice and Mini Alice The Prudent Homemaker

One of the two dresses Winter made for herself last month from some inherited fabric in my stash. She made the pinafores from an old sheet and she made a crinoline for herself and for Ivory for their costumes (I made Ivory’s dress several years ago). The black ribbon comes from the wrapping on a bridal shower gift I received.

I’ll have a post up with her dresses sometime soon.

 

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

 

 

 

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67 Comments

  1. Love those dresses! They have a very Alice in Wonderland feel, which is emphasized by the large flower being held by Ivory. Very sweet!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    – boiled white beans and froze them to have ready for soups etc.
    – made vegetable stock from frozen scraps
    – donated a bagful of clothes
    – cat-sat for cash. The home where the cat lives is walking distance from my work, so I went there on my lunch hour and played with the cat. Definitely makes the work day more fun!
    – cat-sat for another client. I guess my cat-sitting is what is often called a “side hustle”.
    – got a bonus at work, and applied it straight to the mortgage! (By far my favourite thing to do with any unexpected income.)
    – use reward card points to buy a slice of pizza for dinner
    – bought a $5 cheese pizza for lunch/dinner when I was sick with a cold/flu. Cheapest take-out meal I can buy, and I can easily supplement it with veggies from home to made it healthier.
    – a friend came back from Greece and brought me some olive oil and a jar of walnuts in honey. Added to the pantry!
    – Made another batch of yoghurt, yum!
    – made a batch of bean dip from Brandy’s recipe, which will be my lunch tomorrow, along with some crackers and veggies.
    – made a batch of rice boiled in tomato bouillion. Didn’t have white rice in the house, so used some of the wild rice that the DH keeps buying and forgetting he bought and buying again. Added in some taco seasoning for additional flavour. This will form the basis for several meals.

    And I think that’s it! Looking forward to hearing about everyone else’s achievements!

  2. Good for you, Winter that you can sew that good already! My daughter has to sew an evening dress for school, then her friend has to wear it, and they have a fashionshow at school. She does flowers and design as practic course.
    Here are my frugal accomplishments for this week.
    * picked leek and chard from my garden, took out the dahlia’s as frost is coming this week.
    * My husband build a high bed for our daughter from wood that would otherwise be used as firewood for the woodburner. He used her “old” bed and attetced that on to the poals. He also used planks from the firewood to make it al more stabil. It turned out beautiful. We ordered a little cabinet from I.kea and used een old curtainrod for hanging clothes.
    * I made soup from my cougettes and pumkins from the garden.
    *I made myself an other sweater for the winter, using the same pattern as the other week.
    * I made two pillowcases for my sister from an old flannel shirt. Leaving the zipper in witch looks funny/nice.
    * I knitted socks for a little girl in our straat.
    * we gave away a little pink closet from my daughters room. To an other familie living across the street.
    * I ordered a zipper online , to fix an coverall for my husbands mate, who is an farmer.
    * made muffins from 2 bananas that where turning brown.
    It was a good week with lots of things done.
    Greeting Tanja

  3. Hello Everyone!

    This week my family and I saved money by:
    * hiking on our own property as a family outing
    * hanging all clothes indoors to dry (its too cold out now to line dry. I’m in Northern Ontario, Canada)
    * my Hubby has stripped an old dresser handed down from my Gram. He will restain and revarnish (with varnish we already had) for our baby due December.
    * Hubby made a craft table for my daughter using a piece of sanded plywood and table legs salvaged from an old table.
    * We’re setting up baby’s room using the same crib, mobile and sheets we’ve had for all our previous children.
    * We’re using cloth diapers again for the new baby. The same clth diapers bought for my first 7 years ago by my Gram and me.
    * We stuck to the grocery budget and I stocked up on apples for winter (45 cents a pound!!). I still feel like “the crazy lady” when I wheel a cart full of one item up to the cash but I know it will feed my family and keep $ available for important things like clothes.
    * For the past 5 weeks I’ve been volunteering with a group of other of other parents for a pilot program called Trottibus. We gather our kids at one location and a pair of parents (different each day) walk the group of kids to school. These kids are JK – grade 4 and would be too young otherwise to walk to school on their own (a twenty minute walk crossing several busy streets). While this project didn’t save me $ directly, it did save gas money for the school board and taught me that My kids can walk that far. And they like it! And it’s good for them! They had more energy and did better in school on days they walked. So I plan to walk them more often this spring and summer. It’s gotten too cold now (snow is on the way!) so the project is over until next spring.

    Brandy: the Alice costumes are amazing. Your children are so precious! And Winter is so talented. God bless you!

    – Andrea

  4. Wonderful pictures of your girls 🙂
    Last week:
    took all meals to work with me and drank water out of my travel mug.
    found some coupons hanging from the shelves at the grocery store on products I regularly use (for several items)
    borrowed books from the library
    mostly stayed home, saving on gas and wear and tear on our car.
    I continue to borrow my mother’s car when she isn’t using it to get to and from work and pick up my daughter from school. I only drive her car when my husband is at work with ours.
    My daughter has been playing with the wings from her Halloween costume all week (she was a butterfly).
    Have a good week!

  5. Cute girls and costumes!

    I’ve been running on my treadmill at home both to save time and the money to go to YMCA. My husband’s company has been bought and he can no longer carry over as much vacation to the next year, but we can sell it back to them. We are going to put that towards the mortgage. I also love to put any extra money towards the mortgage! My husband is taking a bunch of old scrap metal to the recycler today and we get a bit of money for that (and the junk is gone!) I talked to a nice man (an arborist) who plans to bring me lots of wood chips to become mulch for our garden. I’ve been covering our bushes and fruit trees in it. I told him I actually did want the green kind because it breaks down faster. I have been digging up bushes around our property and putting them in other locations. I told my husband I really wanted an Elm tree or two and was going to order one. He showed me how we have some in our field that normally get mowed down every year. We will try transplanting those and see how it goes.We actually went to see Hacksaw Ridge on a non $5 movie day. (Shocking. We hardly ever go even on the $5 day.) It was really good and we had a babysitter that day whereas the $5 day I wasn’t sure we would. My son got the tickets for us and save $3 for us at least. Whenever I go to a movie I marvel that people spend that much money often. (We put water and popcorn in my purse and we shared a chocolate bar.)

  6. I love the matching Alice dresses! So cute.

    My husband went to the doctor with the results of his mri for his back injury and he had an out-patient procedure Tuesday. They gave him a steroid nerve-blocker injected into his spine. We found out that this is a pretty common procedure and some people have had several of them. It should take care of his pain for awhile anyway and get him back to work. He goes back to the doctor on Wednesday.

    We received some insurance money from my husband’s injury and we do have some savings so we have been able to keep up with all our bills and we were also able to do some grocery shopping. Having a stocked-up pantry has been a blessing that I do not take for granted especially when finances are tight. When our minds have been concerned with medical issues, the last thing we want to be worrying about is what we are going to eat. It may not be what we want to eat but it fills our tummies 🙂

    We cooked all of our meals at home except for lunch on Saturday. We watched our grandsons and our daughter and son-in-law provided lunch for us. I made homemade yogurt, banana muffins, chicken rice soup from the bones of a whole chicken we roasted, spaghetti, and chicken pot pie. We found whole chickens for 69 cents per pound and bought several. We have been making lots of popcorn for snacks, too.

    A co-worker gave me some of the last of her tomatoes from her garden, along with a couple of peppers, Swiss chard, and two yellow squash.

  7. You must be so proud of Winter. What a lovely and talented girl she is! I’m still amazed by her pioneer costume a few months back!

  8. I love the dresses and the young ladies are beautiful.
    -we decided on what we were doing for our Christmas gag gifts and a friend told us about a store that had some of the things we were looking for. Saved over $40 and have half the items I need to make the presents.Worse is I order it from Amazon since I have searched a lot of the stores around here and I already priced that out so I don’t get sticker shock and I made a list of it so I can compare when I am shopping. I will be in a different area next week so can check there also.
    -the vet that was taking care of the cattle in the barn our landlord’s son have hit our burn barrel while back up so the sons got together and replaced the barrel.Savings for us of $20 when it was going to need replaced next month anyways. Just glad she didn’t damage her truck.
    – my doctor changed my meds to generic so we are saving $30 a month on that.The other doctor allowed me to take half of the med he ordered so I can make it last longer so that’s another $15.

    The rest is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2016/11/making-frugal-choices.html

  9. Hi Andrea,
    I recently purchased several baskets full of apples at .49/lb for my winter supply. I made apple sauce/butter yesterday that was really good with homemade yogurt and some coconut granola that I scored from aldi for .49 also! So delicious. …so little $.

  10. Those costumes are so cute! It’s great that they can wear something that they will get so much use out of later and looked so cute for Halloween.

    We did a lot of cooking this past week, both for us and for a little party we had with Grandma and a couple of aunties. I had the 2 girls I homeschool make potato cheddar soup and a veggie tray. I also made turkey-rice soup for yesterday’s family dinner.

    We took a trip up the Columbia River Gorge with part of the kids/cousins, taking our lunch along and focusing on those activities that had no admission cost.

    The rest is on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com

  11. It was a good week overall even though there were some uncomfortable bumps along the way. So thankful that everything worked out smoothly. Made all meals at home. The weather is turning so we’ve needed some heat. The extra rooms are closed off and so far the gas fireplace heats the remaining space well without turning on the furnace. I’ve started crafting for Christmas. Had some supplies that have been tucked away for years. I used some of them to craft two beautiful fall wreathes that will be appropriate through Christmas. Took one to my mother in law and one to my daughter for just because gifts. I have sewing projects laid out to start. Mowed the lawn one last time to pick up the leaves and put them in the chicken coop. Used freezer and pantry items to make refried beans and a big pot of stew. One of hubbies favorite meals is baked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar. The acorns were so big this year we need nothing else. I baked cinnamon bread. Our hens aren’t laying much but enough that we can have hash browns and eggs most mornings and still have eggs for baking and noodles. Hubby has been laid off since march but we continue to manage frugally without using savings. Our God is so good!

  12. What a wonderful Halloween costume idea! Winter did an excellent job with her sewing. I love that she used recycled fabric fro the pinafore, too.

    We had another good week in many ways on the frugal front. My frugal accomplishments for this week are:
    *Walked 5 times around the neighbourhood for free exercise.
    *Meals made at home include homemade cream of broccoli & cheese soup with homemade bread, pasta with optional sausage and choice of sauce (including leftover meat sauce), hot chicken sandwiches with corn and choice of potato wedges or sweet potato fries (made our own sirachia mayo dip with sirachia powder, garlic powder and mayo), chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, flavoured rice and carrots, and roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans.
    *My MIL offered us free tickets to Bingo one night, so my husband and I had an unexpected cheap date night. Didn’t win, but boy was I close this time. Oh well, loved spending time with my hubby anyways!
    *Went to an auction and bought 2 boxes of canning jars for $2.50 total. Washed them all up and reorganized the shelves to accomodate them all. There was a healthy mix of quart, wide mouthed pint and regular mouth pint jars, plus some new canning lids. Looking forward to putting them to good use!
    *My mother made a batch of fruitcake for Christmas that made so much she had to use our large stock pot to mix it all. It made 2 large bundt cakes, which we cut into quaters and pakaged up 7 pieces with the foodsaver before freezing (left one piece out for “taste testing”). There is so much we somewhat joked we will be eating it for several years to come!
    *I took part in a basket weaving workshop and learned a new craft. I’ve wanted to try this for a while now. Glad I could take part for only $10!
    *Great grocery finds this week included 2 bags of fresh cranberries for $0.99/bag, a Costco sized package of BLSL chicken breast for $21 (made the entire package into chicken souvlaki, froze 3 family sized servings plus made one meal this week), 3 bunches of broccoli @ $1/bunch, 2 different kinds of pears for $1/lb, and 6 boxes of Lipton cup-of-soup for $1/box of 4 packets (quick lunch item and for emergengy food item).

    Hope everyone else has a wonderful week, with lots of frugal adventures to report!

  13. *I dried some Lovage to try in place of celery.
    * I saved seeds from a heritage cucumber, chives, heritage tomatoes and marigolds.
    *Hubby’s scan came back good – most of the lymph-nodes are reduced by half to 3/4’s with some having gone down completely. The tumor on the spleen has gone down but not as significantly as the lymph nodes. He does have fluid buildup around his heart and have and echo scheduled for this next week to make sure it isn’t affecting the heart. He completed his 4th round of chemo Thurs and has 2 more to go. He should be done by Christmas but then we will have another scan to make sure the cancer is gone completely.
    * I requested all of the research books I wanted to read from the library instead of buying them.
    * I picked up cat litter and 3 cans of cat food from the “pet pantry”
    * Stayed home which saves money (hubby is very bored though) He wanted to go see “Dr. Strange” on Friday but I convinced him to wait – he can’t be in the theater when it is full of kids!
    * Hubby traded our pontoon boat for a motorcycle. In MI you can’t get a cycle license unless you are with a licensed driver for so many hours (like your first level of getting a driver’s license) and our son is rebuilding a cycle and will need someone to ride with — hubby has the license already. I do NOT like riding so he will be doing this by himself! Hopefully by next spring he will be feeling well enough to ride.
    * I put the last of the leaves “away” in the garden and compost pile which will help build the soil for next garden season. What few are left won’t hurt the grass any and can be left. I also mucked out the chicken coop and put it on the area where I grow potatoes. I will turn it into the soil next Spring.
    Now I’m off to read everyone else’s inspiration!

  14. Oh, your girls are just precious! I love matching outfits. Very sweet. I had a similar experience with a furniture company and discontinued items. After a 6 month wait, we never received anything.

    I’m staying frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons/rebates when I can. Recently, I found free Speed Stick deodorant, free Maybelline makeup, and free Colgate. I also found pears on sale for $0.99/LB, apples for $0.87/LB, and the turkey sales are just starting ($0.69/LB for frozen). All of my transactions with pics here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-102916/

  15. This week I completed 3 baby quilts for a baby shower this week for 3 moms! Used scraps from my fabric stash, leftover flat sheet remnants (the rest of the flat sheets had been already used as backings for bed size quilts!) and pieced together remnants of cotton batting (again leftover from making bed size quilts)! So no out of pocket cost! I have friends who just run into Target and pick up something small as a shower gift but find that they’ve spent $15- $20! So, I’m grateful to gave the resources to do this and actually, I’m usually asked by the moms if that could be my gift.
    I’ve now cut out a 4th baby quilt to send to a friend’s daughter in Hawaii who just had her first baby (6 weeks early) after years of trying! Baby is out of NICU now and they are both home so I plan to send this one out yet this week.
    My very first success with a fall garden! Picking more green beans, peas, onions, Swiss chard and beets. Never eaten beets before so we could use some suggestions! Seed packets had been 2 cents each so we figured- why not? Lol!
    I made 18 bacon, egg and cheese McMuffins with buy 1, get 2 free packages of whole wheat Englsh muffins. Everything else was from my food storage!
    Our meals were all from food in our pantry and freezer! I have 2 nice pork tenderloin roasts in my two crockpots- 1 has salsa verde and spices withe the pork, the other has Apple chunks, onions, red bell peppers, cilantro and spices. These will make several meals for us and the pork was only 97 cents/pound!

    I had rewards coupons of $8 OYNO so I bought a boneless ham for Thanksgiving and with sale, coupons, etc, my cost went from $23 for this 9 pound boneless ham down to $5!!!! Very pleased! Hopefully, I can do as well with our turkey!!! Wait a minute!!! I still have 2 big turkeys in my freezer!!! I think I’ll use them!!! WhooHoo!!!

    Donated another big trash bag of clothes to Goodwill that no longer fit. I used bonus cash and coupons online at Kohls to buy a new white dress shirt for a kind man who we give a ride to Church who has had a hard journey in life and decided to turn his life around. This was something he was wanting to save up for and we are thrilled that we can surprise him with it this week!
    And the best of all- our 26 year old son (who has Aspergers) just passed his driver’s test this week after 4 years of practicing and bought a car with some of the money he’s been saving! He has had a solid full time job as a computer programmer for over 2-1/2 years and this represents the next major milestone towards his complete independence!!! He is going around grinning and so grateful and so are we! Now, we won’t need to ride with him in the car to and from work any more! That will save time and money! But, best of all, we see him blossoming!,

    All in all, a week to be incredibly grateful for!!!

  16. Hello Brandy,
    This is not the first time im commenting in here. But it has been a long time since i last did. I just feel that when i comment here it makes it more intentional to be more frugal. the past few months i have lost that motivation to save. And everyday i wake up feeling well today is that day when i will start being more frugal and something happens where i fall off the bandwagon..
    We had some plumbers come over to install a whole house waterfiltration system this past weekend. We had to leave the tap running for 5 mins. i was able to fill as many large containers with all that muddy water which can later on go to the lawn we recently installed. In the long run we wont have to buy any more brita filters.
    All meals were cooked at home- make chicken burgers which i froze and can use as needed to compliment whatever we eat for dinner. Made buttern chicken and lamb curry for all the 4 meals we had. Will eat it today for dinner too. Dried 2 loads of laundry outside-(we have seen a drastic reduction in our electricity bill which has been coming around $26). Bought a weeks worth of fruits and veggies from farmers market for $25.

  17. ~ I mended a hole in my son’s jeans before it grew big enough to need patched.
    ~ I switched to a 2 in 1 moisturizing shampoo/conditioner in order to take faster showers and use less water.
    ~ I received a free sample tube of Arm and Hammer toothpaste through the mail. http://www.trytrulyradiant.com/
    ~ I signed up to receive a free sample pack of Kotex pads. https://www.ubykotex.com/get-a-sample
    ~ My husband bought two pairs of like-new Levi jeans from Salvation Army for $3 each.
    ~ Mornings are cool enough now to warrant a fire in the wood stove, so I have started doing the day’s cooking and baking right after breakfast, using the wood stove rather than the propane stove.
    ~ We were given 5 dozen eggs by some friends who have chickens and an abundance of eggs.
    ~ We ate out of the pantry and freezer this week, buying nothing but milk.
    ~ We were given fifteen tealight candles. (We have occasional “low power consumption” evenings, where we use predominately candle light. It is a fun and beautiful way to use less power.)

  18. After five no-spend days in a row, I’m going to buy one postage stamp today.

    I’ve been offered a few extra regular hours of work each week at one of my part-time jobs. It is a trial for 3 months until we see if expanded hours are busy. The timing was perfect because my other part-time job finishes at the end of the month.

    I haven’t needed any groceries. I am using what’s in the fridge and pantry for all my meals, and popcorn and homemade oatmeal cookies for snack.

  19. Winter and Ivory look so sweet in their gorgeous homemade dresses. Did Ivory’s hair naturally darken? I remember when she was younger, her hair was a dark blonde color.

  20. She did a great job with those dresses!

    I’m been trying out new rebate apps for my phone and got enough Shopkick kicks to get $10 in Target gift cards. I used Groupon and Ebates to get a massage at a 60% discount,and did some couponing at CVS to get free razors and cheap toilet paper.

  21. Lovely costumes on the girls!

    -Last Sunday was a wonderfully warm day so we used up a little leftover money in the budget to take my boys (age 4 & 6) to the zoo. We went to one that is nearby and was a 1/4 of the price of another nearby zoo. Although it was much smaller it had a great variety of animals and the boys thought it was really neat. I brought our snacks and drinks. The bonus was there was a really nice playground just outside the entrance for them to enjoy as well.
    -Trick or treat was a lot of fun. My boys both have peanut allergies so the candy they get to keep is limited. Thankfully they don’t mind and just enjoy going out with their cousins who share some of their non-peanut candy in trade. Later in the week we used some of the Hershey bars to make s’mores in our fire pit.
    -I was gifted two table clothes I can use at Christmas time.
    -I got a free bottle of coconut water at the grocery store.
    -I am so happy that Michaels has been offering 50% off coupons. I used one to get a Christmas gift for my niece.
    -We priced out getting our gutters cleaned and it was going to be around $200 to $300 dollars. I was found a large tube you can hook onto your leaf blower for $25 at the warehouse club. Works great and now I can put the money toward a plumbing repair we need done before winter. So grateful for these savings and help stretching our dollars!

    Have a great week.

  22. Great dresses! They look beautiful. winter is very talented.

    A sad day in our homestead today. We lost both of our buff orpington chickens to a predator (I suspect an owl). My buffs refused to go into the coop at night and it seemed like something plucked them off the 6 foot fence they choose to roost on. One is dead based on the feathers left at the scene (no body) and the other is missing. However, their litter mate, a barred rock and my favorite, is unscathed.

    We are spending election day planting bulbs. My sons will go with me to the polls as school is closed. This week, i plan to recover the pillows in our living room. I’m also decluttering my daughter’s clothes. I am in the throes of Christmas planning, you can read about it here: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2016/11/enjoy-the-holidays-without-losing-your-mind/.

    My Christmas cactus (which is now a november cactus), is in full bloom right now. i bought them three years ago at Aldi for a dollar each and dragged them across the country from Texas. i basically set them outside in May and ignore them until the first frost. I do love looking at them.

    Hope everyone has a good week!

  23. Congrats to your son on his perseverance towards accomplishing yet another hard step towards independence! I know how hard that journey can be for people on the Autism Spectrum. It gives me hope for my daughter when I hear about these kinds of accomplishments. Thanks you so much for sharing!!!

  24. Frugal
    Used leftovers for twice. Did do anything for Halloween night. (usually its making homemade pizza for 12 people and buy candy for about 300 treaters). Didnt go out eat for the weekend.
    Lot of frugal fail but getting better.

  25. Frugal
    Used leftovers for twice. Did do anything for Halloween night. (usually its making homemade pizza for 12 people and buy candy for about 300 treaters). Didnt go out eat for the weekend.
    Lot of frugal fail but getting better.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing your son’s success. I have a wonderful ten year old grandson with Asberger’s who is so bright and capable but I worry about his future. It makes my heart happy to know that, with continued effort, he will be able to accomplish all the things his brothers and sister can.

  27. I do not have a lot of storage space in my new place, which is a one-bedroom apartment for 3 people. But I did buy a large package of chicken breasts on clearance $1.79/lb) and slow-cooked them, then shredded them. I can then add a jar of frozen pesto and a pound of pasta and have a super-easy, super-cheap worknight dinner.

    I also boiled my kitchen towels in Oxyclean to refresh them. I use them for some dirty jobs, like drying my cast-iron skillet, so they were really starting to smell.

  28. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    Brandy your girls are so beautiful and growing up so quickly. Such a beautiful dress and pinafore that Winter made for herself, she is very talented 🙂 .

    Our frugal accomplishments are –

    Financial – Banked another $871.77 into our saving for our home with cash without borrowing from the banks at all account.

    In the kitchen –

    – Made all meals and bread from scratch using stored or fresh frozen vegetables picked from the gardens.
    – Made a quadruple batch of granola from your wonderful recipe, thank you Brandy 🙂 .
    – Made 3 jars or 1.3kg of strawberry jam from strawberries picked from our garden & other stored pantry ingredients.

    In the garden –
    – Picked strawberries, turnips and peas.
    – Planted a 2.5mt row of rockmelon sees in the garden with seeds saved from a rockmelon gifted to us.
    – Planted a 2.5mt row of cucumber seeds for succession planting.
    – Drying out silver beet plants to collect seeds.

    Water Preservation –
    – Hand watered all new seeds planted in the gardens with rainwater from our tanks.
    – Watered household lawns with saved grey water from our showers and washing machine.

    Power savings –
    – Only ran one light in the lounge room at night and used hand cranked torches to see in other rooms in the home at night instead of turning on more lights. We live in a tiny cottage.
    – Looked up power saving tips on our electricity website and realised our fridge was running to cool and turned it up to 4oC to save on power costs.
    – Been cooking in the oven in cheaper electricity times and doing most tasks during daylight hours to save turning on lights as night.

  29. You have beautiful children, Brandy. It seems as though Winter is picking up her mother’s talents! Thanks for the references to the patterns.

  30. Sounds like the cooler weather has everyone busy as a bee!
    * Except for a dinner at church last night, all meals were at home. We had pulled pork sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, chili spaghetti, scrambled egg burritos, vegetable soup and biscuits, & southwestern chicken.
    * Sent in for a n 11% Menard’s rebate. $4.65.
    * No heat or A/C All week.
    * Our dishwasher wasn’t cleaning so good so hubby watched t you tube video on how to clean the filter. Since it was a MESS, we’re hoping that will solve the problem.
    * We’re getting light rain now so our water barrels are getting a little water, too. And there will be no need to water for the week.
    * Plus all the regular stuff like catching water and using less of everything.

  31. I love the dress Winter made!

    My frugal accomplishments:

    Free in the mail – a box of samples with 2 single serve bags of granola and a large dust cloth.

    We paid our real estate taxes early to get the max discount. Our insurance and taxes are paid for the year. I started putting aside $50 every other week to save towards my half of next years taxes and insurance.

    I ordered an Amazon e-gift card for my son’s birthday. I was able to pay for part of it with Discover points.

    We put in a large bed in front of the fence we finished in the front yard. We planted 7 blueberry bushes, parsley and dill for us Also a large area of milkweed and mexican petunias for the bees and butterflies. A blue plumbago and a 12-pack of petunias for color. We ordered another rain barrel to the front corner of the house in the bed area. I added in vincas that had self-seeded in the backyard and moved them to the new bed. We used gardening budget and paid cash. I had a $5 gift card I put towards the plants. We did all the work by hand so we didn’t have to pay to rent a rototiller. It was hard labor but good exercise 🙂 Feeling very blessed we were able to do this project to add gardening space for edibles but also that it looks so beautiful.

    Have a great week everyone!

  32. I almost forgot! Some months ago, a poster here mentioned that Dollar General had canned Libby’s vegetables on a good sale in November. It’s right now! They’re 3/$1.

  33. What darling pictures! How sweet of Winter to include Ivory in her Halloween plans. She sounds like an awesome big sister.

    We had a decent week in terms of frugality.

    * Made three types of salad dressing. I’m trying to get more veggies in, and having a choice of dressing for salads helps.

    * Made bread, yogurt, trail mix, and taco seasoning.

    * Made more caramel corn and some roasted red pepper hummus to take to a Halloween party. (Was Halloween just last week??? It seems like ages ago . . . .)

    * Son put together his own costume to be a kid from Camp Halfblood. We did order him a T-shirt online, but he will continue to wear it to school, etc., so it will get more than one day’s use.

    * We bought four small lantana plants for our front yard. The smaller plants were cheaper, but they’ll grow! Lantana are also quite drought tolerant (we had them in Phoenix, and they did just fine), so we’re hoping our water usage will go down some.

    * Used rinse water to water the transplants in front.

    * Hubs trimmed some of our established shrubs, etc., and used the chipped up trimmings for mulch in the front.

    * Paid bills online.

    * Enjoyed seasonal books and DVDs from our own collection.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  34. My Frugal week –

    Garden is finally planted – Tomatoes, peppers and strawberries for now.
    Catching water and using to water 2 fruit trees.
    Hanging clothes in our AZ room to dry. (We are still at 90 during the day!)
    Staying home most days – means less spending!
    I donated paints we did not need to our local library.
    Cooked all meals at home except Friday night.
    I was able to buy 3 soaps we love for .10 each when normally it is at least $2 each.

    That is all I can think of for now.

    Have a good week all –

  35. Hi Gabrielle and I think that you know them as cantaloupes there, international names are so confusing as we all call the same thing something different in each country :p .

  36. Lorna–just want to send a note of encouragement your way. Each week I look forward to your comments, as well as those of others. Your seasons are reversed from ours, but a reminder that another summer will come even in the cold of winter. Also, I enjoy the way you are able to live frugally now to save for the future. Right now I have the freedom of not working but a job is available that I am very qualified for is available.

    Thanks also to Brandy for the “thankful” series. It is good for us all to reflect on what is important in our lives. Regardless of income, we all have so much to be thankful for. Our Yukon gold potatoes did not do well this year, but we have an abundance of blue potatoes.

    To all members of this group, realize that their are many who admire your efforts to improve your families’ lives!

  37. Cooked every meal we made with the exception of pizza between games for an unexpected basketball tournament this weekend.

    Baked 8 loaves of homemade bread, turned one loaf into freezer sunflower butter and jam sandwiches(the youngest is not allowed to take peanut butter to school in case a child has an allergy).

    Baked monster cookies bars and cut up for kids snacks.

  38. Thank you Alaska Gram for your words of encouragement, it is greatly appreciated 🙂 . Sometimes it is a long road to saving for a home, but no doubt we will look back on these times with amusement and the way I look at it is that even when we do purchase our own home we will not change what we are doing now anyway and still save as we really enjoy the frugal lifestyle.

    We are learning new things all the time from all of the wonderful posters here and implementing them gradually into our home. It does save so much money when you can make things using produce from your own gardens instead of buying them.

    Our electricity prices here are going up every time we get a bill, but I believe that ours are nothing like some of the prices you all pay over there. I really don’t know how a lot of families manage with such high power costs.

  39. WooHoo! Congrats on your son’s achievement. I am trying to finish off a quilted table runner. I am having difficulties with the binding. Can you giveme any hints? Thanks and blessings!

  40. I know exactly what you mean about “looking like a crazy lady” when you buy lots of a single item.
    Jenny now in England

  41. Lorna–Our electrical prices are rising fast. Our power company says there are alternatives such as solar, but we have to have lights on except 10AM-3 PM. We are fairly frugal, but as my husband’s vision lessons because of cataracts, he turns on more lights. We live on his part-time professional job and pensions, but feel we are comfortable. We have been blessed so far with warmer than usual temps. We are seeing temporary shortages of certain food items because we are the end of the system in Fairbanks. I’m thankful to know how to cook and avoid convenience foods. We only eat out when it is work-related.

  42. Last week I used what we had on hand odds and ends to make lunches and breakfasts, not always the tastiest but feel grateful for what we have. I tried calling to see about getting a med bill lowered but it was denied (never hurts though I hate doing it) but I did call Pampers to make a comment about their newborn diapers and they said they would send us a $10 coupon. With all the hormones from having a baby I have little baby hairs popping up everywhere and while I would love to get a good haircut it just isn’t a financial priority so I used some bobby pins to pull them back when my hair is up so I look less goofy. My 4yr old gets the Thomas the train mag, their learning sheets are spectacular, I pulled them all out in the issues we had and put them in a folder to make copies of as we do preschool work from time to time and then recycled the well loved issues to help declutter. I cleaned out my husbands closet and have a better idea of what he needs, also the babe’s stuff and was surprised I have enough in the approaching sizes so I don’t need to look for anything really as we approach winter. A friend gave me her leftover Desitin. From pinterest I printed a pattern for Tortoro plush to make for Xmas for my niece. The biggest thing to save money I did was potty train my two year old!! He was ready, in fact it was mostly his idea so we will be saving on diapers and I will wait to use our cloth stash until #3 has big enough thighs for them. Saving money and time!! Yay! I hope y’all all have a great week!

  43. With the exception of a table runner ($3) and a tea towel and ceramic gourd ($.99/p) from local thrift shops, I decorated for both Halloween and Autumn/Thanksgiving using what I had on hand, and am very pleased with the results. My sister-in-law came for a weekend visit and we had a great time Christmas shopping at local thrift stores. We were both able to find books and games in excellent condition. We set them aside for our grandchildren – I think we spent less than $40 between the two of us, and had so much fun in the process.

    I used Shutterfly “freebie” offers to create several Christmas gifts for family and friends. I know the shipping is not free, but it’s minimal and I was able to check quite a few items off my gift list.

    I cooked meals using what we had in the freezer, refrigerator, and pantry, and my husband and I enjoyed “football dates” – we choose a game or two and eat picnic-style while cheering (or booing).

  44. We had a busy week with a family visit and a visit to family(one involved us having guests, the other involved us traveling). We also purchased groceries and paid bills. No big project work just now, just trying to cope with the usual. I did manage to finish edging the one new flower bed with landscape blocks and planted a 9pack of flowering kale and 6 snapdragons. I hope to buy more plants tomorrow while I’m out.http://bluehousejournal.blogspot.com/2016/11/frugal-friday-my-best-efforts.html

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