Frugal Accomplishments

Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

 
Valentines Detail The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated Valentine’s Day at home with simple decorations. I printed these arrow valentines and put in red pencils I had bought at back to school time (plus a couple that someone gave us for Christmas, one of which is in the photo above). I sewed together some paper doilies from the dollar store that I purchased when I was there weeks ago and filled them with candy that was given to us in October.

Valentines Table The Prudent Homemaker

 

For breakfast that day I made pancakes. I didn’t have any eggs. I made them without eggs and used powdered milk. We still have not gone grocery shopping this month.

I downloaded a free Kindle edition of 22 Beatrix Potter Illustrated books. I don’t have a Kindle, but I downloaded the Kindle for PC ap to my computer, so that I can download books for free. (I believe that it is no longer free at this time).

I used water from the shower to water potted fruit trees and seedlings in the garden.

I grew my own alfalfa sprouts. I used the water from rinsing them to water the potted trees.These seeds are ones that I purchased over 8 years ago in a large mylar bag. Because I just use a couple spoonfuls each time, they have lasted me a long time.

I made tomato basil soup. I cooked a turkey.

I cut lettuce, Swiss chard, arugula, and tarragon from the garden.

Nursery in February The Prudent Homemaker

 
Vegetable plants at the local nursery last week

I purchased and planted tomato plants in the garden. Four of the plants had two plants per container, so I carefully separated them so that I could plant each plant in the garden. I used a coupon at the nursery to save $20, which was equivalent to getting the bag of bone meal I purchased for free.

I planted more seeds in the garden.

I dug up “new” bushes that had started in the garden from branches being buried for a year (they rooted). I moved the tiny new plants to other spots in my garden. I have been slowly growing new plants this way for the last several years.

I was given a quart of goat’s milk from the service exchange, and Saturday night my husband came home with a dozen and a half eggs from his brother’s chickens for us.

I opened the windows and enjoyed the fresh air. The best air freshener is fresh air itself!

What did you do last week to save money?

*I was released today from my church assignment to teach the youth Sunday School class, so expect this post to go back to Saturday nights (like it was before I had that assignment) starting this Saturday.

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25 Comments

  1. Odd reading about productive gardens when weather says we are getting up to 14″ of snow. Brandy did you see a tall skinny guy with broad brim hat, flannel shirt, suspenders, blue jeans (picture Amish without the beard) on your street? My husband was in Las Vegas for work and he tried to find the house with the white garden in front. He took a picture on cell and it could be but picture’s not too good. Watched Olympics. Played board games with youngest and BIL…he likes Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, HIHO Cherrio. (Pauli is my husband’s twin, but due to some mishap at birth or before his mental age is around 7-8 years. Since parents death he moves from sibling to sibling. He’ll be here 3 months.)We had nice Valentine dinner Fri. night. The 3 of us, my BIL, daughter and SIL. Made salmon loaf with tinned red salmon that was 1/2 price before Christmas, mashed and baked potatoes-made triple what I needed for leftovers. Made some into double baked and froze them and some into onion fried potatoes for Sun am breakfast. Made sweet-sour coleslaw, creamy cucumber salad from 3/1.00 bought last week ( had sliced and salted and they were waiting in fridge.). Had frozen peas and white sauce. For a pretty red touch served spiced crabapples from an aunt. Daughter brought strawberry (homemade cakes, with strawberries she picked and froze last summer) shortcake. Youngest made vanilla cupcakes/vanilla frosting decorated with red and pink sprinkles. Daughter gave us hyacinth bulbs she’d forced; they are blooming now and smell so good. I gave daughter and SIL batch of granola, husband a thrift store flannel shirt I’d mended button holes on, youngest a stuffed animal from same thrift store still in original wrapping. Gave BIL red socks. Youngest and husband gave out coupons for service offered.Went to grocer once, took BIL. Found he likes bologna. He loves sandwiches plus toast for breakfast and snacks. Store special on bologna and summer sausage at BOGO so bought one of each. 2 gal of milk at 2/5.00, celery, oranges for another batch marmalade. Gas station had grand opening coupons for free 1/2 gal ice cream, $1 off gas, free coffee. Cooked all from scratch. Used home frozen or canned or dried items on hand. Still have good stock in root cellar of fresh vegetables and apples. Made above mentioned items, orange jello with shredded carrots and crushed pineapple, applesauce, banana bread, tuna salad and egg salad filling for sandwiches, rice pudding, apple crisp, rutabaga and carrot soup (like potato soup), potato pancakes, French dressing, lemon poppy seed mini muffins and 4 loaves white bread.Reused ziplocs, hung clothes to dry, kept wood stove going in living area, kept heat low in bedrooms. Took lunch to school. Found .10 in dryer. We burn things in the wood stove beside wood. We have nut trees and we save the nut shells. We fill toilet paper tubes with lint from the dryer to make fire starters. My husband has one stove in his workshop that burns sawdust. Took reusable bag to grocer and got .05 off. Won 4 passes to garden show from local radio. Got box of canning jars good shape from freecycle. One was a pretty blue, and considering amount of dirt and dead bugs in it I think it is one of the original blues, not a remake. Received box of tea for vanilla chai from coworker who did not like the flavor. Measured windows in apartment over our old garage. I want new curtains as nephew will move there in spring. Checked linen cupboard for suitably manly and non-floral sheets to use. The fabric casing over waist band elastic wore out on a pair of pajama pants so found coordinating fabric and hand sewed it on. Also cut more pieces for a scrap quilt. Have a finished one that needs quilting. Husband will set up frame…this one for son’s wedding in May.

  2. Library for brand new magazines (check out for 1 week), library for brand new just realeased dvd’s, library for new realease hard backs—is there a theme here??? 90% off Valentine’s at Target even though sign was old and said 70%.

  3. I was thinking that I didn’t do much last week but then I started thinking about it and I did after all! There was the usual of home cooking from the pantry and freezer, living off cash instead of debit cards, but some extras too. I made lemon marmalade from discount lemons and lemon Jello I have had for years. Oh My Yummy! I gave some to my mother in law, who is home from the hospital after a hip surgery. Speaking of that, we decided that we would all take turns staying with her at night and checking on her during the day, taking her meals and cleaning for her ourselves, rather than hire out. Everyone we know thinks we should have hired home care. But we made the right choice. She is much happier and is mending quickly! Not to mention the savings to everyone involved. Why don’t people look after their parents anymore? I made spaghetti with lentils and grated zucchini instead of meat. Everyone loved it and the children are having that for lunch today too. I made banana bread out of old bananas and old milk in the fridge. We had pancakes for supper one night as a ‘treat’ for the kids. I purchased liquid eggs at my wholesale club. They were discounted to $4 a liter (quart) if you bought six and then half off because they were nearing their expiry date. I put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer to bring up slowly. So far so good! Cheap eggs, not as cheap as free but still cheap! We invited my parents for supper on Sunday and had a great meal of discounted roast beef, no one knew! My mom had gone through her closet and brought a laundry basket of clothes over and then I tried them all on, keeping most and then we went through my closet and I gave her clothes that I wasn’t using. Free new clothes.We also when to our local Sears discount store and purchased shirts for the whole family for a dollar or two each plus $9 jeans for my son. I got $250 winter boots for $15 and my husband got $225 work shoes for $40. Most of the prices were cheaper than the thrift store, except the shoes.I convinced my husband to cut down our cable package. I was going for cut out but we are still working on that. He was reluctant even though we don’t use it often at all. But then I gave him an analogy that he understood. I told him that it was like cooking five roast beef suppers with all the fixings and then just throwing them all away, every month. We would be disgusted at that waste but we think nothing of other forms of wastefulness. That’s when he started to see the light. He said that we would start with this and then relook at things in a few months.

  4. Caring for ones parent/parents is all well and good if there are numerous siblings to take turns. I have seen people burn out caring for an ill parent when all the responsibility gets left to one sibling. It happens frequently. It is awesome when a group of siblings care enough to share the load.

  5. It looks like your children had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! One unique thing I did last week was to drop off over 100 oz of breastmilk. (i’m a donor.) As a one income family we have a limited amount of money to donate to various worthy charities but I can donate something very precious-my milk. The need for breast milk is very high and unfortunately the need is always greater than the supply. .The rest of my accomplishments are here on my blog: http://lifeasmrsemerson.blogspot.com/2014/02/frugal-things-i-did-last-week_20.html

  6. Cable is up for cut back. Its been a work in progress for awhile. We only turn it on for a few hrs at night but the hubby has it on ALLLLLLL wkend. Lol. Habit to have it on for white noise. ~Adriana

  7. I thought of something new I tried. Homegrown.org had a recipe for homemade coffee creamer. I tried it and is just fine. Had the ingredients on hand …1cup of powdered milk, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1 tblsp of melted coconut oil. Mix well and store in a jar. Stir before each use. She said cost is .60 for 12 oz. I put in pint mason jar in fridge.

  8. Dear Miss Brandy,Your table setting is lovely. I am sure the children loved the Valentines. My indoor plants are “re-growing” and putting out lots of new leaves. I have put them outside for periods of time since the weather was so warm right now. The nursery personnel told me to give the plants “outdoor” time when I could. My questions to readers is–do I prune the plants at some point? The plants seem to be getting “leggy”. I am going to cut and trim the dead leaves away anyway but not necessarily prune. Most of the plants are herbs.Thank you in advance for any suggestions.Anne

  9. I just wanted to thank you for the donation of breast milk. As a labor and delivery RN at a hospital with a very busy NICU, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  10. I haven’t posted in several months. However, I read this post (and all others) weekly and so appreciate the motivation.I have been doing Swagbucks as much as I can. I am averaging under 100 a day but I was still able to buy a 20 pack of toilet paper, a gallon of dish soap, fabric softener, 16 bars of soap, 2 tubes of toothpaste, a bottle of shampoo, 12 toothbrushes and 600 ziploc bags for under $10 out of pocket. I used to be an avid couponer but things have changed over the past few years and the deals that I find are nothing like they used to be and no longer feels like the best use of my time. So we will see how this Swagbucks/Amazon thing goes.My daughter brought home lice from school last week so that itself ended up being quite expensive. I probably went a little overboard, as in addition to the lice shampoo ‘starter kit’, I spent quite a bit on home remedies that supposedly discourage lice from ever making a home on her head. I washed the blankets and sheets very day for the first three days after treating before deciding it was safe to dry them for the hour instead of both. I suspect a higher gas and water bill regardless but if it keeps them gone, every cent is worth it! I have done much better about taking my lunch to work. I only work 15 hours a week split into 3 days so I kind of got into the mindset that lunch out was no big deal. However, the amount of money we spend on food in December made me sick to my stomach. January and February have been sooo much better in comparison! We were able to pay $650 of debt off in February. God willing, we will finish paying off two credit cards next Friday (about $800 total). In addition, due to careful budgeting and not so much eating out of the house, we were able to pay for the lice fiasco, a redone closet for my daughter (about $75 in supplies and $0 in labor due to a handy hubby) AND the smog check and registration on my husbands van ($145 total). This is all usually stuff that would come out of savings due to money being too tight.I am working 15 hours a week right now. It’s while the kids are at school, but due to volunteering commitments, I am out of the house all mornings during the week. I am finding it to be difficult to deal with and I feel like homemaking is suffering. I will put up with it as long as I can, to hopefully get one more debt paid off, which is a personal loan. We owe about $5000 on it, so just with my wages, it would take 7 months. However, there is a line in the budget for debt repayment, so with what we normally send AND the line in the budget AND my wages, it should only take about four months. I am really praying we stick to it and get it done before the kids get out of school for summer. Hopefully putting it out there motivates me too. Once that loan is gone, it’s student loans which are our biggies and probably years away from repayment. However, every step forward is a step in the right direction, so I will continue to be frugal, find ways to cut, and work as long as I can – at least until summer!Thanks again for this Brandy! It’s more help to so many of us than you could know. I know you have had posts but I often feel very out of place in today’s society. Here, I feel right at home!

  11. I just wanted to stop by to return the blog visit and thank you for the comment and suggestion on mine. what a lovely blog you have! So welcoming and encouraging.

  12. Good job Staci. Debt free feels amazing. Did you read my comment above about how I get 400 SB a day? With bonuses last month I got $200 in Walmart GC. Amazon is even cheaper but caps out at, I believe 6 for the month.

  13. Ladies did you know there are close to 12 million displaced homemakers in America. Which makes me stop and wonder about my own path towards retirement? Have any of you who have been homemakers all of your lives thought of what if something happens to the income of the house? How would you make ends meet? I personally have not worked outside the home in almost 28 years now. I have always had side things to produce a bit of income but it never amounted to much of anything. Mostly cleaning peoples homes, making ordered homebaked goodies, watching children, pet sitting, washing windows or cars , running errands or helping people who are home from surgery at the hospital. I have been given cash or other things in barter for services. However, none of that would keep a roof over our heads and food on the table.

  14. I have been a homemaker for only 10 years but I plan to the rest of my life. The only reasons why I would become a displaced homemaker is because of either divorce or death. If my husband were to die we are financially prepared. We have life insurance and a large saving. Plus I would be entitled to his 401K. I would not have to work again and could continue to raise my children. Divorce is a word we do not believe in. The Bible lays it out clear on divorce and we believe what the Bible says and try to conform our lives to God’s standards. As a homemaker I can take care of my husband much better then if I worked full time. He is my first priority then my children. We both work really hard to have a strong and healthy marriage. My trust is in God. He is in the details of my life and I don’t worry about what could happen.

  15. According to a financial planning seminar I took a few years ago, only 1 in 5 women can expect their husbands to support them financially during retirement. This is due to death, divorce, accident or illness (a long and complicated illness such as cancer can quickly rob one of one’s ability to work, as well as deplete any existing savings) and other causes such as poor investment choices (some friends of my parents were very comfortable, having amassed a fortune of several million dollars, all of which they lost during the GFC and now must live off Social Security) or bad lifestyle choices such as gambling and addiction. It’s also very important to know the probate laws where you live. In some jurisdictions probate can be a lengthy process and any shared assets are frozen until it’s completed. Even if you believe your financial future is secure it’s wise to keep a small savings account in your name only (this goes for your partner too) – just in case. Otherwise you might find you’re reliant on credit cards or personal loans for daily living expenses until the probate process is completed.I also believe it’s important to believe in yourself and trust in your abilities. I have a very close friend who was widowed at a very young age, with several young children. Her husband had life insurance but she soon realised that if she continued to stay at home, the life insurance (which they felt would be more than adequate) would be gone long before she hit her expected life expectancy. She retrained for an occupation which allows her to be home with her children when they are home; and still bring in a decent income. If the worst happens, have faith in yourself that you will somehow find a way to meet it with grace and rise to the challenges it presents.Every family will make the choices which are best for them. In my household, my husband and I are both employed (we work approximately the same number of hours each week, at approximately the same income; and are fortunate enough to have jobs with flexible hours and accomodating bosses, so that one of us is at home whenever the children are home) and share domestic duties. We are both very happy with this arrangement.

  16. If husband won’t call try it yourself. Our satellite is in dh name but they allow me to call and talk over account matters all the time. A couple of years ago I gave my dh a year of football. It meant upgrading our package but by the time we got discounts for long time customer, new package, upgrade equipment, etc. We paid LESS than we’d been paying and got MORE channels, etc. Every time my husband watched football this year he’d say “Thank you for my Christmas present.”

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