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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

Despite being sick last week, and spending most of the week in bed, I did manage to do several things to save money.

First, I treated my cold with lots of water and rest, and good dose of Pinterest. (Why yes, I did pin several new things last week!) Meals were very simple and we had fruit salad twice as a main course, including once for dinner.

We accepted a free girls’ bicycle when it was offered to us by someone who had outgrown it.

I planted more seeds in the garden. These are seeds I had leftover from last year.

I cut open a sample tube of facial moisturizer and was able to get enough for another week’s worth from it.

I used a sample of conditioner to make 2 bottles of detangler. I had already used it once, so I had three batches all from one sample.

I made a batch of orange cleaner with orange peels and vinegar.

I received a dozen eggs from a friend who has chickens (this was from the service exchange). She said she can give me a dozen each week this month, which is a wonderful blessing.

I cut green onions from the garden.

I carefully dug seedlings in the garden, thinned and transplanted the thinned ones to other places in the garden.

I started some seeds indoors.

My oldest and my husband went to the National Archery Competition this week, where my daughter took second place in the state in the junior high girls’ division. She came home with her first trophy–a 30″ one!

Two days later they returned to watch the NFAA World Archery Festival, which was free to attend.

What did you do to save money last week?

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26 Comments

  1. I accepted a gift of shades for our windows—am hoping to shave off our A/C bill this summer by using these. Also accepted an empty large pickle jar, 2 pyrex lids that fits some of my bowls, and potholders.For some reason, it seems like we’ve had lots of “small” leftovers—a bowl of red beans and rice, a few bites of chicken, one breakfast sausage. I’ve been putting everything in the freezer and realized as I organized my freezer today that I have several nice lunches, bases for meals, etc. Just another reminder to me that the little things do indeed make a difference.I emptied out a lotion bottle that “appeared” empty—2-3 weeks more in that bottle. Got another week’s worth of facial cleanser this way as well!Purchased sparkling cider as special treats for my kiddos on Valentines and their birthdays….I was excited as I basically purchase enough for Valentines and 3 birthdays for what I would have paid for one bottle!pickle jar, pyrex covers–2

  2. Question: I purchased pasta on sale last year and have stored it unopened in my kitchen pantry. Went to use some the other day and it had bugs in it! Every.single.box. Now I’m afraid to purchase on sale again. The bugs were on the inside so not even sure that storing in a food safe bin is useful? Any advice?

    1. Store your pasta, popcorn, dry beans, etc in large empty metal decorated popcorn tins. Every year at Christmas a relative buys us a couple of the $5 popcorn tins at Walmart and I keep the tins for food storage.

  3. *DH accepted a small bag of mandarin oranges. *We received as a gift a gift box of sausages with will be used in various dishes.*DH brought home a (rather expensive) for me to cook. After roasting it I boiled the bones and used the broth and meat to make dumplings.*I made risotto for my toddler out of left over rice and veggies and turkey broth from the Christmas turkey.*I finished a bottle of fabric softener and haven’t opened the new one. I’ve done several loads of laundry and no one has complained, yet.*My toddler crawled into my bed last week and fell on my bashing my nose in. I was sure it was broken so I took advantage of an employee discount at the hospital and reduced my medical bills, after insurance, by 50%. I was happy as cosmetic procedures aren’t covered. Luckily, my nose isn’t broken even though the doctor was sure it was. He even sent me for a CT scan to confirm it and consulted with the radiologist. *I’ve either walked to work or taken the employer provided bus several times this week.

  4. I usually will take pasta out of the box and put them in glass containers or plastic containers with well fitting seals. Also putting pasta in the freezer for a week will kill any bugs that might be in them.

  5. I think Susan is right about availability varying by location. My Costco sells dried pinto, black beans and lentils. Not sure where you live but you may want to try your local ethnic grocer. I find they have better deals on dried beans, rice etc. than many other grocers .

  6. I know I wrote an entry yesterday but not sure where it went. Hard to write on the kindle, but daughter was letting my brother in law Pauli use her laptop. He has some games he can play on it. Our expenses may go up a bit this month…he does not like the dark so we need to plug in nightlights in all the rooms (he brings them with him). Also driving more for now until husband gets back in town, which should be Friday. Gas went up yesterday to 3.34/gal. Also will do more laundry. Plus had the trip to the airport though my mother chose to fly out of a closer airport rather than have me drive her to Milwaukee. Cost about 100.00 more for the roundtrip but saves me spending hours in the car for drop off and return and who knows what weather would be like.Didn’t shop much as usual. Bought 2 gallons of milk for 5.00. 2lb bag of lentils for 1.59. 2 pound block of co-jack cheese for 6.99. 5 pounds of carrots for 1.98 (finished up my stored carrots from the summer). 3 cucumbers for 1.00. Asian food special because of New Year so 20% off and bought 10 cans each of water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and baby corn. Also 2 packs of egg roll wrappers and 2 bottles of soy sauce (tamari). The concentrated laundry detergent was 4.99 each so I bought 3 and then used a combo of store coupons and mfgr coupons and double coupons to get 9.00 off the 3. Bought 4 dozen farm eggs. I guess this was a bigger grocery week than normal, now that I spell it out.Made 7 half-pints of grape jelly from juice I froze this fall. Also made 7 pints of orange marmalade with the oranges and lemons bought 2 weeks ago. I have enough pectin and juice for another batch of grape jelly. Pauli helped in the kitchen…he contentedly scrubbed oranges for me and counted out jars and rings and lids. Mended all the button holes on a heavy weight flannel shirt I found at the thrift store. It was practically brand new but they were all shredding which is probably why someone discarded it. Will give it to husband for Valentine’s Day.Watched some of the Super Bowl ads on HULU. Watched an episode of ELEMENTARY on the internet with daughter. Had the Olympics on Friday and Saturday while working. Read 2 cookbooks given to me, COOKING WITH YOGURT and COOKING WITH PETA (a vegan cookbook). Got some ideas from both of them. Sorted through boxes of fabric with oldest girl as she wants to start another quilt. When going through some papers found a packet of 20 stamps, Mary Cassat. I think they were .37 ones, have to double check and get the extra postage to use them. Addressed and sent out Valentines with a short letter to away relatives and friends…still using up handmade cards the girls used to make when they were younger, also handmade envelopes. We found an odd charge on our Visa bill a couple weeks ago. I called the Visa and they said they would look into it. They sent us a letter saying they ruled in our favor and we are not responsible. I have been checking the charges on the upcoming statement to see if there are more false charges, maybe that was just an initial testing. We are going to get new cards once husband returns from trip.Well I wish all of you suffering with the winter colds and flu a speedy, uneventful recovery.

  7. Hope you are feeling better, and congratulations to your daughter for her archery trophy. I have been noting my frugal accomplishments in a notebook for a few months and feel it has helped me to stay on track. Plus, given me encouragement to keep trying when I think I didn’t do too well during the week. So here are last week’s frugal accomplishments.Turned the heat down to 68 at night. No one has complained so it must not be bothering anyone. My youngest had an upcoming tennis tournament on a day that was to be very cold. My hubby suggested I get him some long underwear. I checked in son’s drawers and found he had a pair that fit!Received a coupon for a free sparkling water. This must be for a new product because I haven’t found it in any of the stores yet.Made the following freezer meals–2 enchilada bakes, pancakes, and fried rice. These will help when we are crunched for time during the dinner hour or for quick meals. I still have a few more items I want to freeze.Used the laundry soap recipe from your site to make laundry soap and have been very pleased with it.Ate out 1 time this week and cooked all meals from scratch.Started filing our taxes online. Once hubby goes through them we can file them and then I can update middle son’s financial aid application.Some of my seeds have sprouted and look very healthy! I have never started seeds indoors before so I am very excited for spring to arrive.Used $3.50 in coupons.Cleaned out linen closet and realized I have way more sheets than I need. So I will thinking about what to do with them.Bought a Valentine card for hubby at The Dollar Tree for .50.

  8. accepted a loaf od bread from my mother in lawate leftovers with my family…we brought some chicken and a gallon of .99 (clearance) milkdownloaded free books to my kindlelistened to Pandora for freeprice matched to save on gastaking a shower with less lights onnot wearing makeup (time saver more than frugal as I already own the products)ate more meals at home this past weeksaved a couple more $5 billsdid my own taxesentered kelloggs rewards…almost enough for a free movie (date night…as I have another certificate I received free as well)staring a starsavings account at my local grocery store…trying to find out how it all works but I have $1.19 in my account and a can of beans in my cupboard.printed coupons (shared some with family members)purchased a couple candy bars for .33 each…will use for Valentine’s Daypurchased reams of paper in a box of three to save a couple of dollarsmended my son’s hatcombined errands after work on Friday to be tired one day instead of making my Saturday longer.

  9. Hello! I make the pear bread from Allrecipes.com “Pear Bread II” except I omit the pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg and double the amount of vanilla. We like the pear/vanilla flavor. I make a lot of other breads with cinnamon, nutmeg, spices so leaving it out of this recipe makes it a little something different.

  10. Remembered a few other items I cooked. I cooked up a couple squash and made crumb topped apple pie. Made banana mini chocolate chip mini muffins.Also at the thrift store found a polar bear hand puppet still in plastic wrapper and will give to youngest for Valentine’s day. Got a pair of red socks for Pauli.

  11. Bread flour is very expensive here, but Vital Wheat Gluten is not. I add the vital wheat gluten to the all purpose flour to make bread flour. Exact measurements on are on the container. It saves me a lot of money doing it that way.

  12. Weevils. They will go from box to box without showing any outside damage. And freezing wheat products helps stop it. I’ve had them in everything from cereal to flour before.

  13. Went to the commissary and found several items on special deals. Picked up 20 cans of pure pumpkin for 39 cents a can, also got canned beans, chili, and some other items cheaper than the best sale price anywhere else. Finally tried a roll recipe using freshly ground wheat flour. It came out ok, still need some practice though. I am sure there is more, but it was a full week of school which has been rare this winter, this teacher was tired by the end of the week.

  14. I started doing this same thing this past year, and I am using recycled glass jars from when I got free or almost spaghetti sauce in the past, I will still use store bought sauce when I can get it free or really close, We have a smaller family of 5, we go threw a #10 can a month occasional I’ll open two in one month, but on average it is one a month, I just move the frozen far to the fridge or counter

  15. Great job Winter! You must be so proud!This wk:-we have had soup for dinner 3 times for dinner and salad along side our meal. -washed my baggies.-washed clothes on cold. I dont normally cuz in my head, i feel it gets cleaner on warm. So this was huge. – my biggest savings came from calling my cell phone provider. I am now saving $90/ mo! -noticed the meat increased on base. Avg of $1-2. Hence the soups. Made me feel like Brandy. ;)Adriana

  16. I prefer unbleached flour . My son checked Costco and husband checked several Sam’s while travelling and the bread flour is bleached. I will have to stick with my unbleached all purpose and vital wheat gluten. I have done that for years, though harder to find the gluten now. My regular grocer stopped carrying it awhile ago because to quote the stockboy “no one wants gluten anymore”.

  17. I am curious about your too salty ham. If putting in the soup seemed to offset that saltiness you might try boiling the ham (even though it’s cooked already) and draw out more of the ham. My granny used to do that. She taught me to always remove every bit of the thick skin on the outside of a ham and trim away some of the fat which decreases the saltiness when baked.

  18. 100% agreed that a bit of goat cheese really amps up plain old scrambled eggs. I’m so glad to know someone else does the same, lol, others have just looked at me like I had two heads when I mentioned how nice it was.

  19. I just had to stop in and post this wonderful find! I had a clothes drying rack in my cart at Amazon, priced at $21, which seemed the best price. I left it in my cart as I considered other items that I have really wanted or needed, so as to reach the $35 mark for free shipping. While out getting kitty litter today (which offers a rebate so it’ll be free ultimately) at Shopko, I considered checking out the aisle where the hangers and garbage bins were but passed it by as I didn’t think I’d need anything from there. I had a second thought and went back. I am so glad that I did! They had the exact rack as I have in my cart at Amazon for $10 on clearance! I snagged two as I do my family’s laundry once or twice a week and end up with a lot to dry in one day.

  20. Saving money is my hobby, I am a bargain shopper, lol. Last fall we cut out cable TV and our local telephone service. My guy put up an antenna for $60 and we get 12 free over the air stations. We bought an Ooma Telo for $99 and pay $3.70 a month telephone bill for local and long distance calls included. We bought a Roku for $89 and added HuluPlus for $9 a month so the cost dropped from over $150 a month down to about $50 a month for TV, phone and internet. My coworker is paying over $250 a month for a “money saving” bundle from her cable company, yikes. We talked about how we cut back our bill saving over $1200 a year and two friends are making the same money saving changes. The lady with the “bundle” could not believe that she can save over $200 a month. This same lady had a coupon for a low cost haircut at a new salon, and the other lady said to beware of the difference between getting it chopped versus a trim, it may be cheaper but not worth it. I told her I was not game for the coupon as my guy cuts my hair at home. I am very happy with the service, price and results. One already knew that, but the other two were surprised and complimented the way my hair looks. One lady said, let’s skip the coupon deal and just go to my house to get a haircut. In the mean time, I will be starting some seeds in planters inside my home within the next month to plant in my garden. I canned dozens of jars of pickles, tomato sauce and salsa for far less than grocery store prices.

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