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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

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Winter went on a hike on Saturday. We sent her with a water camel and snacks that we already had. She came home telling me that there was a song in the car that she really liked that all of the girls were singing to, but she didn’t know the name of it.

After she told me about that, she and I were talking about the library’s summer reading program. I looked it up on their website. They didn’t have anything up about the reading program yet, but I did see something about their free music downloads. I knew they were doing that but I had never checked it out before. I clicked over to glance at the songs they were offering and noticed a song I though the children would like.

A little while later Winter went to visit with my parents and came home with the words to the song that she had been singing in the car printed out. She asked me if she could buy that song on Amazon.

It was the same song I had just seen on the library’s website.

I told Winter she could have it for free! I explained how and she logged in with her card and downloaded it, and I transferred it to her MP3 player so that she can listen to it.

Our library allows 3 free downloads a week. The next time there is a song that the children want, I will be look on the library’s website first.

The boys went camping this weekend. They took refillable water bottles.

I used a button from my button jar to replace one that had fallen off Elsa’s dress.

I turned two pairs of thrift store jeans for Winter into capris.

I price matched 4 pounds of strawberries at .99 a pound (sale is at Albertson’s though Tuesday here) at Walmart, since Walmart is closer to my house and I went there looking for new nylons.

They had exactly two pairs of thigh-highs (one was white and one was black lace), neither of which was the neutral color I wanted. They had a lot of tights (?) and very few pairs of nylons. After much looking I found a pair in my size. I wasn’t thrilled with the quality compared to what I have bought in the past, so I decided to order online. JC Penny carries a line of hosiery that contains lycra. I have used these for years, and they have held up better for me than any other brand that I have used. The brand is Sheer Caress. They have two lines of Sheer Caress; one has lycra and the other does not. The lycra ones are stronger and last longer. I noticed that they had a 3-pack for $18 (the lyrca ones are $8.75 a pair in the store). I went through Ebates first to find a coupon code. They had one for $10 off $50. Also, Ebates was giving double cash back last week, so by going through their site to place my order, I will 6% back in a rebate check. I ordered 9 pairs to use the $10 off code. Those should last me several years.

I also went through Ebates to order face powder and mascara from Lancome (thanks to a reader tip in this post, I will be looking into Clinique’s powder in three years when this one runs out, as it is lower priced and has several fair shades). Ebates had a code that included 4 free makeup products with my order (and Lancome had a free bonus product as well), which means I also will receive a blush, a sample tube of mascara, 2 skin products, and a full-sized lipstick. I got free shipping on my order and will get 10% back from Ebates.

I modified one of the dresses that I purchased from the thrift store earlier this month.

I read two of the books that I picked up from the thrift store. They were fantastic. This one
was new to me and this one was one I had read from the library; I’m happy that we have a copy now.

We picked peaches and apricots from the garden. I also picked snow peas, chives, green onions, and lettuce.

I cut roses and dusty miller from the garden for an arrangement.

I made my mom a Mother’s Day gift using material I had on hand. I made her this pillow using a free image. I transferred the image with Citra Solv. I wrapped it with tissue paper, printed off a free tag on cardstock, tied it with twine, and cut lavender from the garden to top it. My mom loves rabbits and loved her gift.

I collected green onion seeds from the garden. I planted some of them on the front yard. I also planted bean, butternut squash, cucumber seeds in the garden.

What did you do last week to save money?

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25 Comments

  1. You inspired me! I keep card too and was able to enter enough for 2 rewards! I had a bunch it would not accept as well but I was pleasantly surprised! Thank you for reminding me of this program 🙂

  2. To be honest I’m shocked that you would purchase Lancome products as they are not cheap or thrifty at all. The face powder can be justified as it is high quality and will last you several years but mascara should be replaced every 3 months! Additionally, Covergirl and Maybelline have mascara just as nice for a fraction of the cost. Personally, high end makeup (besides foundation) seems like a waste to me and could easily be avoided as a way of saving money. Is there a reason you chose the mascara (besides for free shipping)? I hope I am not coming off as critical or condemning – it is not my intention.

  3. I know mascara is supposed to be replaced every 3 months. I don’t wear makeup every day (usually 2- 3 days a week), so mine usually lasts 6 months. I know these are expensive products; the powder at $35 will last me 3 years, so the cost per year is actually half I paid for Pixi (I switched when Lancome discontinued the powder earlier). (I am interested in checking out a reader’s suggestion for Clinique as it is even less and they have several light shades). Most powders are way too orange and dark for my skin as I am very fair. I do use this mascara as I have found it to be fabulous. I tried getting some Cover Girl mascara with coupons (for .51 each; I bought 2) and it was very strongly chemically scented so that I could not wear it. I have sensitive skin and cannot use a lot of lotions, deodorants, soaps, and makeup products, so I am careful with my choices to make sure they don’t irritate my skin. I look for fragrance-free products, or else use products that have an almost imperceptible scent.I have thin, short lashes, and this mascara has worked really well for me. For years before that I liked L’Oreal mascara the best (much more than Cover Girl or Maybelline), but I got a free sample of Definicils from Lancome once and was amazed at how well it worked for me. I usually order mascara once every 12-18 months (I make sure to hit the free shipping amount and use the double cash back discount from Ebates when I order) and make sure it’s a time when I get free samples: I got a full-size lipstick, a blush, two face creams, and a sample mascara with this order for free, so price-wise, I don’t feel it’s too bad. Their “sample”-sized face creams are big; I can use them every day for a month before they are empty.I would have waited to order the mascara if it weren’t for the free shipping minimum, but I would have ordered it later. This way I can wait to order anything for a year (I have another mascara still).

  4. Becky, I know! I don’t think I have ever made the Saulsbury steak before. I’d kind of forgotten about it. And I made the relish tray the way she always did…just carrot and celery sticks, scallions, and radishes.

  5. I understand exactly where Brandy is coming from with the makeup. I used to use L’Oreal mascara, but never have to buy any anymore because I time my purchase of my Youth Dew, which I have worn for over forty years, at the Estee Lauder counter to coincide with gift with purchase. I get enough mascara for free to do me, as I no longer wear it every day, being retired. A lot of my face creams and other makeup are also free.Both Lauder and Lancome have certain mascaras that are better than any drug store brand I have ever tried. That Defensils at Lancome is amazing. I’ve never actually bought any, but I had several for free, as I used to shop Lancome some when I was still working. I especially do not like Maybelline mascara, although their new lipsticks aren’t bad at all. Once I discovered high end powder, there was no going back, because there absolutely is a difference.I don’t know about Brandy, but I can be wearing clothes I’ve worn a million times before, but if my hair is right and I have quality makeup and perfume on, I feel ready to face anybody.Everyone has their own list of things they are willing/not willing to compromise on. For instance, I never wear cheap perfume, but if I only have cheap bubble bath, it doesn’t bother me. I would never cut my own hair, but I’ve never paid anyone to do my nails in my life. These things are uniquely personal.

  6. I think you explained it well. It really is amazing mascara; there is a reason Definicils gets featured in magazines all the time as being the best mascara for over a decade.I think what makes each of use feel beautiful is just as you said, Paula–uniquely personal. We each have different needs and tastes. Lots of women love shoes and purses. I only have a few pairs of shoes and a few purses (I have two every day purses that I got for free in a clothing exchange; I have one $5 vintage garage sale purse and one black velvet purse I’ve had for almost 20 years). I no longer wear perfume as my husband is sensitive to fragrances, and my husband cuts my hair. I don’t do my nails, and I use bar soap, not shower gel. I don’t use shaving cream–just soap.So while I do buy a more expensive mascara, there are plenty of things I’m not buying.

  7. First, that pillow is just lovely. Second, I don’t work for the Dickies company but I must say that Dickies are the bomb! They are the best pants to my family that is on the market. My husband wears them everyday for work and has his entire working career (except when he was in upper management for a few years). He has pairs he has worn for over twenty years! The only place that gets worn is the back pocket wear he keeps his wallet. I patched them with his bowling patches about ten years ago. He still wears them and they still look good. They never need ironing. Don’t be ashamed of the Dickies brand because I saw them in a high-end teen store at a mall for over twice the price. He has owned several pairs of Dockers and Dickies has outlasted them by many years. When I was young, I worked in a high-end store that sold Dickies. Yesterday, I was in Wal-Mart and saw some really neat stylish Dickies’ shorts in the men’s department. They look like they cost more than they do (at Wal-Mart anyway).

  8. “there are plenty of things I’m not buying.”Yes, this exactly! I don’t wear make-up more than a couple of times a year, so I can’t imagine spending money on the nicer brands. However, I do own several $50 purses and quite a few cheap ones, LOL. Most I have had for five years or more (some are 20 years old!). Everyone should be able to choose things that make them feel happy and beautiful.I’m glad your income has improved enough for you to be able to splurge on new make up, Brandy. Enjoy it!

  9. I have seen violet jelly and it is beautiful! I haven’t made it though, for a few reasons. We have mostly miniature white violets and I would have to pick thousands of them to make the jelly. We might eat two or three jars of jelly (all flavors) per year, so I don’t find it cost effective to make it myself.There are a lot of labels underneath the Sony umbrella and millions of songs, but it always seems like the ones my kids want are not on Freegal 🙂

  10. Me too, Andrea! It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to purchase much of anything. It is nice to be able to get some new things and new to me things (thrift store dresses). Most of my clothes are 10 years old. They’re needing to be replaced at this point.

  11. One thing that helped me when I was a single parent, working full time and going to school was my Crockpot! I would do the prep the night before and throw dinner in before I left in the morning. Dinner was done when I got home so we could eat and I wouldn’t have to cook. I have made roasts, whole chicken, various chicken parts, soups, casseroles, etc. all in the crockpot. It was a huge help!

  12. As for mascara, I used to use Lancôme’s Definicils mascara for years; I think it’s the best! I tried drugstore mascaras but they weren’t too great. I did however find a pretty good mascara that is right between the two. It’s called Mally’s Volumizing Mascara at QVC. It runs around $14 or so and they usually sell it in a 2 pack. You’ll get the best deals when she’s on tv vs. just buying it on the website. I was shocked at how well it worked. It’s not as great as the Lancôme Definicils but it’s pretty darn good and a LOT better than the drugstore mascaras. For the price, it’s worth it. I switched last summer. Interestingly enough, my best friend, who has used Lancôme products for 30 years (I used Estee Lauder) switched over to Mally’s mascara, unbeknownst to me. I was telling her about it one day and she said she uses it too. Give it a try. At $14, it’s a lot cheaper than the $26 for the Definicils.

  13. I have read you can thicken Yogurt by adding unflavored gelatin to it. Might google that for the correct amount as I am not sure. Hope this helps!

  14. Thank you for the recommendation about the nylons. They are among the items I most hate to buy because it seems like you wear them once and they get a rip in them. Unfortunately, there are some times when you just have to wear nylons–dress up occasions, job interviews, etc.

  15. I wear them to church every week. I know some people like to go without them, but I am more comfortable with them 🙂 The ones with lycra last so much longer for me. I haven’t seen other brands that have it, and I see a definite difference in how long them last and how much less they snag over those that don’t have it.

  16. I have been reading vintage magazines since I was in my late 20s. I have a collection of ’20s, 30s, 40s and early 50s homemaking magazines that I used for inspiration in those days in the 1980s when there was no internet groups or sources available, not to mention the dearth of books beyond Heloise’s. This is relevant to you because I remember reading of a hint from a woman who also dealt with the once a month pay and those two 5th week months each year. She found it was worthwhile to plan out a simple menu that she used specifically on those two weeks and she purchased a few extra items as they went on sale in the months leading up to that 5th week. She kept hers in a special box on her pantry marked 5TH WEEK. Perhaps you could do the same?I hope this old hint proves to be helpful for you during that next 5th week month (I think it’s November?).

  17. When I worked full time and wore makeup every single day I always bought Estee Lauder lipstick. Way back in the 80’s the tubes were like $30 each. However, a tube of that lipstick lasted me nearly a full year. It didn’t fade or come off when I sipped my water nor did I need to replace it midway through morning or afternoon, only after I’d eaten lunch. I was very very broke back then but it was one ‘splurge’ I felt was well worthwhile and in the end it proved to be a huge savings. Previously I’d bought a new $5 tube once a month! I too am very sensitive to aromas, so a highly unpleasant perfume or chemical smell in a cosmetic (or lotion or detergent) is very offputting to me, too and often the higher end cosmetic lines do not have those heavy sorts of scents.

  18. I use nylons a lot too and would be interested to see how well the Geroge brand holds up. I found a brand I really like that hold up much better than everything else I have tried, but now that I moved I’ve found it hard to locate in stores. The brand is On The Go and their Lycra Ultra Sheer pantyhose are amazing. I previously found them at Walmart, but my new Walmart doesn’t seem to carry them.

  19. Ellie, I didn’t end up buying the George brand, because they didn’t contain any lycra. I bought the Sheer Caress brand from JC Penny–the ones with lycra. Thanks for sharing about another brand that contains lycra.

  20. They are faup-wrap dresses, so I am putting snaps on them to fix the problem of them being too low. Also, the shoulders are covered but the under-arm area is too big of a scoop (that new style where armpits show; it drives me nuts) and I am going to add a piece all around the cap sleeve to hopefully cover that. Do you remember that jumper my roommate gave me and I bought yellow fabric to make it longer on the bottom? I’m going to do the same thing around the sleeve area.

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