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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I cut branches from the garden to decorate the house.

Two of the boys’ posters showed up, and one was rolled in brown paper. I saved the brown paper for other projects/wrapping presents.

The Amazon gift card that I ordered from Swagbucks came, and I was able to order one more poster for the boys’ room, and two MP3 songs that the family wanted, plus a little gift for Ezrom (that I am thinking I will wait until Christmas to give to him).

I did do a little shopping for food last week; I bought 14 pounds of frozen sweet peas at .98 a pound. We eat about 1 1/2 pounds at a meal. By buying several pounds at a time, I can save myself several trips to the store.

I dug up and cut off a new euyonomus plant that I started by tip layering months ago. I planted it in a pot that I already had. It will take years to get bigger (it’s just a single branch now), but eventually I will be able to trim it as a ball topiary.

We had a bit of rain on two days. I put out buckets and collected water from where it falls off the roof (it rains so little that houses here do not need rain gutters), collecting over 7 gallons of water during our short amount of rain (one time it rained as long as 15 minutes, which is rare for here). I used that to water potted plants in the garden. The rain brought a bit of cooler weather, which allowed me to turn off the air conditioner for 12 hours one night, saving me about $7. I was also able to have it off for several hours each morning when it cooled in the early hours of the morning–an unusual thing that I don’t usually do until September. When I turned the air conditioner back on, it was humid enough to collect several more gallons each day from the condensation that dripped from it, which I also used to water the plants. I also had the drip line and sprinklers turned off for a day because I watched the weather and was turned it off in anticipation of rain.

My husband and I watched an episode of a tv show that we like for free on Hulu. Ivory watched a few episodes of Little Einsteins for free on Disney Junior.

I took Ezrom to the library to pick up several Lego books that he had requested. He was so delighted with his stack of library books that he kept giggling as he checked them all out.

I shared several Armenian cucumbers and bunches of basil from the garden with friends. I bottled 26 pints of dill pickles using Armenian cucumbers from the garden, and 6 quarts of grape juice.

The cooler weather and humidity of a few days brought on lots of flowers on my beans at the beginning of the week, and on Saturday I harvested a large amount of red noodle beans, which made for plenty at the table one night.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I bought something from Craig’s list for the first time. I was looking and not finding anything, and then, I found it–and it was a fantastic deal!

I found a Thomasville nightstand (these run hundreds of dollars new and on sale) in just the color and size I needed for a table in our library (being a nightstand, it gave me the bonus of storage in three drawers, something I had been wanting, and why I was looking at furniture other than tables). The listing had it at $75; I took it home for $60. I am completely delighted with this find and it is perfect in the room. Buying the piece used saved me a lot of money over buying a new piece of furniture.

What did you do to save money last week?

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25 Comments

  1. It is amazing how just a few greens or plants in a room can make such a difference!We have been blessed with fantastic weather so no air conditioner needed these past few weeks. I have also been able to hang all laundry outside since we have had very little rain. It is making a huge difference in our gas/electric bill which puts a big smile on my face!We were given 3 large zucchini and an eggplant. I was able to get 6 cups grated; 6 cups diced, and roasted one large zucchini for a side dish with 2 dinners. I baked a ton of muffins, made smoothies, and cookies using up things from the freezer.Was given a bag of clothes for my boys, now I just need to figure out what we need to purchase (other than shoes) before school starts. I actually think I may not need to buy any clothes to start the year.I took my son to the library for some of his summer reading prizes. He received coupons for 2 free sundaes, and French fries from McDonalds. Needless to say he was thrilled.Remembered to use the Ibotta and Checkout 51 apps after my grocery shopping trip (I only earned 50 cents but I’ll take it!) I also turned in my Wal-Mart receipt for the Savings Catcher and was pleased to get 1.77 back.Have a wonderful week!

  2. Wow, Becky, I wish you had been my piano teacher.Mine was a rather stern woman, who picked the recital music for you, made you memorize it, and keep your fingernails cut practically to the quick. She did always give us a candy bar or something afterwards, but we were so glad it was over, escape was all we really required.I’m 62 years old and the Barcarolle still goes around and around in my head.

  3. Becky, it’s funny about the peppers…this is the first year that I feel like we have grown really decent plump juicy bell peppers and I thought it was due to the fact that it has been cooler here all summer. It has been consistently in the 70’s with a few 80’s and maybe 1 90. Normally we are 70’s and 80’s all summer with here and there patches of 90’s. Other years our bell peppers are thin shelled and somewhat bitter and only about the size of a tennis ball. These are much larger even. I like to mix the green and yellow for making 4 bean salad (w/ dk red kidney beans and garbanzo) and throwing in vegetable soup. It is a nice color combo.

  4. That is a really smart idea on the re-useable grocery bags. I have been trying to come up with an idea that isn’t expensive. I was using card board boxes (tops open) but if one wasn’t full, I was wasting space. Finally I just got rid of those 2 weeks ago. I do dread “hunting” for items – this might help!

  5. Hulu.com is free. They have a paid option as well called Hulu Plus, and it runs about the same price as Netflix. I don’t have the paid subscription; I just watch the free options. Another place you can watch some things for free is PBS.org. For children, pbskids.org and disneyjunior.com have some free shows.

  6. We’re gearing up to spend some money on home renovations. So far, though, we’ve been very impressed with how affordable everything is – even budgeting for going over-budget, we’re still looking good, and we’re well under what we thought we’d be paying. These home renovations are very needed, larger than we can do on our own, and will increase the value of the house; so it’s money out of the bank that will be recouped later on.Our solar panel inverter died. Thankfully, we were able to get it fixed. The electrician told us that we have a very good inverter that can actually be fixed; the inverters that are on the market these days are pretty much disposable. Just something to keep in mind in case you do decide to go solar in the future – invest in a decent inverter!I was gifted some lemons. I mailed off Christmas presents to friends and family overseas. This was supposed to be a way of saving money, as I thought I’d send both parcels sea mail; but when I compared prices it was not much more to send them air mail. Going from past experience I tend to lose about 50% of parcels when shipped sea mail, so I decided to send the most important one (to my parents) air mail. They’ve recieved it already but are thankfully being nice and not teasing me about it. I sent another one (to a friend) sea mail. Hopefully it turns up. At any rate, it didn’t really work out to be frugal, but now I know the rates aren’t too terribly different, and now the presents are out of the house, so that’s one less thing to worry about come December. Now I also know to just use Amazon in the future, since they have free shipping over $25 and it cost me $50 to send this stuff.Last month, Artscow was having a sale on dog tags – 2 for $1.99. I made up some heart-shaped dog tags, each with a different couple on them – us, my parents, my in-laws, my grandparents, my husband’s grandparents. They came in the mail last week, and I hung them on a branch I found in the garden to create a family tree. When they have the sale again I want to get more made up, going back further. I think spring is in the air . . . I brought in some golden wattle and flowers from the garden for the house.

  7. I agree with you about eating out with 2 year olds. When my daughter was that age we had to go to a family birthday party at an all-you-can-eat place. In the US these are cheap; here, they aren’t cheap (from memory it was about $38 per person – drinks weren’t included either) and the food isn’t good (left out in the bain maries for too long; dried out and tasteless). We thought we’d get a discount for a 2 year old. Nope. We had to pay full price for her too. Talk about painful!

  8. Here, pumpkins are cooked as a vegetable (roast pumpkin, mashed pumpkin, pumpkin soup). People don’t understand the concept of pumpkin pie and I always have to explain it’s a sweet, not a savoury. It’s impossible to find canned pumpkin, so I make my own, but I cheat big-time – butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin here, I like the flavor better, so technically I’m making butternut squash pies instead of pumpkin pies. If you have an excess of squash, it’s well worth trying!

  9. Fill the kettle with tap water. Put in two teaspoons of citric acid and boil the kettle. Tip the water down the sink ( great for cleaning ) and fill the kettle again. Boil the water and empty. Then it’s ready for use.

  10. I’m just waiting for it to get warm enough to get stuck into those NQR ice cream bars! 🙂 We’re on tank water, so our attempts at gardening usually fail big-time because we’re too worried about water. We do, however, grow excellent lettuces.

  11. Mandy, I had a kidney stone three years ago. When I was in the hospital I was thirsty and asked for some water. The nurses told me that drinking lots of water helps prevent them and to only drink 2 – 3 cups of tea / coffee a day maximum Since then I only have two cups of tea a day and drink lots of water. Online research cofirms this. Tea, coffee and soft drink do not count as water.

  12. Yes we cook pumpkin all the time in Australia. Roast pumpkin is divine. I love pumpkin pie and my mum makes it a few times a year ( recipe from her USA friends ). I make lots of pumpkin scones( I think USA people might call them biscuits ) and freeze them when pumpkin is cheap Great for morning teas. I also use pumpkin in vegie soup.

  13. Wendy, has greatly increased his water intake. He used to drink Mt. Dew all day long…eek! Now it’s water or real lemonade. So far so good. I am glad you haven’t had anymore! I had one years ago..I’d rather give birth!

  14. I recall reading that it’s the Vitamin C that prevents the calcification which becomes kidney stone. Some folks, most especially men, have a tendency to this. It’s great that your husband has been so pro-active about curing his problem in a natural way.

  15. Yeah, you Aussies are just weird. A spread that tastes like straight salt is perfectly acceptable on sandwiches, but put a bit of maple syrup on your bacon and suddenly people start to criticize – “Ewwww, how can you eat that, you’re mixing your sweet and savoury!” You should see the weird reactions I get when I have friends over for Thanksgiving dinner. “What? A fruit salad at dinner? But that’s a dessert! You can’t do that!” I’ve actually had one person ask for two plates, one for the sweets and one for the savouries, because she simply could not stand the thought that they might touch each other.

  16. Maydijo, my mother always served either a fruit salad, or a fruited jello salad in separate little dishes at big meals. She thought it was a refreshing accompaniment. When my husband and I were dating and he ate at our house, he always saved that thinking it was dessert. It was obvious that his family didn’t serve that with the meal.

  17. Terri, I read back through your blog aways….I like your vintage pictures and love the opening picture of your porch. Porches and rockers just go together, don’t they?

  18. Garrison Keillor had this quote on this week and it goes along with our discussion of the fair:”The state fair is a ritual carnival marking the end of summer and gardens and apple orchards and the start of school and higher algebra and the imposition of strict rules and what we in the north call the Long Dark Time”.

  19. See, most nights, I’m lucky if I remember to serve the veggies with the main dish. My mom talks about eating meals at her grandma’s, and how, even for every-day dinners, the table was just heavy under an assortment of homemade pickles and relishes and different types of salad (almost all of it grown on her own land). Her theory was that the more colors you had on a table, the healthier the meal was, so her tables were always very colorful.

  20. I have about 6 binders full, but I’ve been cooking for about 58 years now, since I was 13. I made my granddaughter one when she went to college, complete with photos of her cooking with grandma, and “her” repertoire of recipes….starting with Rice Crispie Treats (always our intro to cooking recipe) and on through her Dad’s favorite eclairs with homemade vanilla pudding filling and chocolate icing. She made them for him one year for his birthday. My Mom passed early this year, and my sisters hope to make a recipe book from her recipes to give to all the grandkids and great grands at Christmas (if not this year, then next.) I haven’t asked the sister in charge lately how it’s coming. She has also dried the funeral flowers and saved the ribbons in hopes of incorporating them into the book cover in some way.

  21. Marcia, these family cookbooks are wonderful. My MIL put one together of their family recipes a few years before she died. One of my favorite memories is of my father teaching me to make peanut butter cookies one winter day when he kept me home from school because of a hacking cough. I use the same simple recipe to this day.

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