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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

 
I printed some Thanksgiving coloring pages from free Dover Sampler pages that I had saved over the years. I also printed a 3-dimensional project for the children to complete on Jamestown. This was from a book that I purchased form Scholastic Teacher Express when their e-books were $1 each, and they had a $10 off code (a few years back) so the books were all free. I can print the projects whenever I need them.

I picked three Meyer lemons, thyme, parsley, basil, sage, rosemary, marjoram, and arugula from the garden.

I cut red zinnias, asparagus berries, lemon branches, and Thai basil flowers for flower arrangements for Thanksgiving.

My husband fixed the light switch with graphite that we already had.

I made rosemary olive oil bread, pumpkin pie, lemon meringue pie, two pecan pies, mashed potatoes, balsamic orange vinaigrette, and stuffing.

A friend gave me a boneless ham that her husband smoked. I sliced it on my slicer for sandwiches. We had ham sandwiches on rosemary olive oil bread for several days. We had turkey and Thanksgiving leftovers as well.

We were given 10 pounds of potatoes from someone else.

I used a free shipping code to order the children’s science gifts (my grandmother gave me money and asked me to order them).

I used a 30% off coupon from Amazon to purchase a schoolbook. I used my credit to order two other books for school and a book from my grandmother to Ivory for Christmas to make sure I met the free shipping minimum.

I combined a 10% off sale with a 30% off coupon code, along with 17% cash back from Ebates to order a pair of black heels for myself. Shipping was free.

I kept a coupon that came in the mail this week for Harbor Freight. My husband needed a tool and decided to see if they had it on sale on Saturday (he checked out their online ad). They had it on a huge sale, so he drove over there. I remembered the coupon and gave it to him. They took off the coupon amount (25%) on top of the sale price. There was a second coupon in the ad for a free tape measure with any purchase. He used it for a tape measure for Ezrom. We will make that one of his Christmas gifts.

I used codes to order 25 free4 x 6 photo prints from Walgreens and one for a free 8 x 10. For the 8 x 10, I ordered a picture that I downloaded for free from The Graphics Fairy of the Eiffel Tower. I made some changes to it in Photoshop first. I will put it in a frame that I already have and give it to Elsa for Christmas.

I used a $10 off $10 coupon to purchase a pair of slippers and some headbands for Elsa. I will most likely change the headbands in some way. This is the kind I like for the base.

My husband and I watched some television shows for free on Hulu.

I used thread and a wing needle to hemstitch inexpensive napkins (that I already had) for Thanksgiving.

My husband cut his hair and both boys’ hair.

My husband took Cyrus for an eye exam, and I ordered glasses online for him through Zenni Optical. I went through Ebates first to get cash back. I ordered two pairs so that we would have a backup for him. Shipping was the same price for two pairs as it was for one pair. The two pairs were $24.95, total, shipped to me.

What did you do to save money last week?

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25 Comments

  1. Too bad, but I would have taken the whole thing then and put in large stock pot and cooked down for broth. That way you after 4-5 hours of simmering your product should be safe. I could never have thrown it away. I don’t know,maybe it was 85°by you but our house was 63° inside and snowing outside.Also, we never stuff the turkeys. A card table in a cold garage is always a good quick overflow storage.

  2. We don’t stuff but four hours at room temperature is the maximum for protein. There are some bacteria you can’t kill by boiling or freezing. I had no idea it had been that long. We ate later than we were supposed to because our teen guest was still doing her hair,next time I’ll tell her everything is 45 minutes earlier than it is. At least it was small, only 12 pounds.

  3. Since I am retired and widowed my costs are pretty low. As a frugal lifestyle is how we have lived, I continue on that path. With that in mind, I know I don’t have to do as much as when we were raising our family. I did an experiment this week. I took the dried corn off of stalk decorations a friend was going to pitch out. I removed the dried corn. I tried popping it -a no go. I made decorations out of most of the cobs by raising the protective leaves up. The corn now looks like the ones we pay 5.00 for. I will use them to make gifts for Christmas. A big bow will do nicely. I planted a few seeds to see what happens. Then I ground 2 cups worth to make corn bread. We’ll see how that experiment goes. All free. She also gave me her pumpkins. I added mine to the mix and came up with enough puree to make 18 loaves of bread. I will give her some of the spoils. I decorated the house today with items I bought after Christmas last year. (It was the first Christmas on my own in a new house and state.) I ate left overs from Thanksgiving that my daughter cooked. So free, as well. I have purchased the items needed to make laundry soap and dishwasher soap this week. I bleached rags that I use for clean ups. I love the slips you made for your daughters. It has inspired me to begin sewing again. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for telling us about using a downloaded image for the free 8 x 10! I have often seen the free codes, but do not do much with photos. Last week we got a free turkey at Target after cartwheel coupons and gift cards. I worked Thanksgiving, so I made time and a half and the hospital served a free meal. I got a free paint sample from Lowe’s hardware with a coupon from a magazine. I also got seven free small appliances from Khol’s after rebate, coupon codes, and Khol’s cash. The deal was online but the site was sold out so I went to the store where they matched all the online deals. This was Wednesday morning so I did not fight black Friday crowds!

  5. I love that saying Brandy! I’ve been sewing since middle school (earlier playing at making doll clothes etc) which is a long time ago and I STILL make mistakes (and use my seam ripper!) and I still learn stuff too. I always tell people that if you can follow a recipe then you can sew; it’s all about following directions! You can get good sewing machines 2nd hand and even free on Freecycle and the like. Reader’s Digest has a good starter book for sewing and I’ve seen it in thrift stores etc quite often.

  6. Sadly it wasn’t a very frugal week for us. We had to take one of our cats to the vets. He was really dehydrated due to an abscessed tooth. He’s doing much better now and we’re lucky to have a vet who’s willing to do the almost as good and cheaper alternative treatments. It was pretty scary but I think we’re on the road to recovery. Happily we did have the necessary supplies to make a kitty quiet room so at least we weren’t out of pocket for that. The rest of the week was better; eating at home, leftovers for lunch, combining errands with other trips etc. I finished my second frugal pj shirt. I’m now happy with the pattern changes although I will probably still do some tweaking, I can’t seem to stop. The left overs from the shirt (it was a thrift store sheet!) will go to making some rice hand warmers for the field trip to Quebec in February and a draft stopper for the front door. The wind has been wicked already this winter!Black Friday really came to Canada this year, at least to my area (we’re close to the border) but I only did one BF shop and that was for a planned purchase. Every year I make pj’s for my girls for Christmas and this year I got 50-65% off. It saved enough that I bought myself material for another shirt! Hard to resist those kinds of savings. I also made another purchase that I hope is going to save me some money – it’s a product called Sugru ( http://sugru.com ) and it’s pretty cool. I already have a list of things to fix when it comes including my seam ripper (the handle broke) and a pair of pretty expensive shoes. Also my car (adding a cheap mirror to replace the $250 one that got broken and I can’t afford to fix), my daughters boots (Sugru is waterproof), my winter boots, and possibly another pair of shoes that have cracked across the ball of the foot. I will post here about my results. I pulled a couple of winter items out of the mend pile. It made my daughter very happy to see a favorite sweater on the couch this morning. While I had the serger all threaded I made up some more kitchen wipe cloths with some left over fabric. I also made some squares from Christmas fabric I bought a long time ago to do furoshiki this year for presents. I have some present bags I made a couple of years ago but I thought it was time to use fabric I had (bought on an after Christmas sale) and so something different. That’s it for this week.

  7. You know I hadn’t thought about that. Ill definitely look into it. (I was saying $5.00 per movie, which I think is outrageous, but always seemed to be how much we spent no matter how we purchased, once we factored in late fees, gas, etc)

  8. I always get excited to read what you and the commenters have done this week to be frugal! =)This week: *Made all our meals at home, except on Thanksgiving trip we ate out once. *Ate our Thanksgiving turkey (we ate early) and wrapped up leftovers. I made turkey noodle soup and turkey divan. There are a couple more pieces in the freezer.*My aunt sent us home with tons (!!!) of stuffing, white meat turkey, gravy, rolls, an uncooked sweet potato pie and sodas. *Received a $50 subway card for our anniversary.*Redeemed points on Expo for $5 amazon gift card.*We are moving and friends have supplied us with lots of pre-assembled boxes, saving us time and money on packaging tape for the bottoms of boxes.*My daughter received from gifts from Grandma. *I went to Rite Aid to buy a gift for our baby sitter (teenage girl). They had some 75% clearance in their beauty section and I had $4 in +UP rewards. I got her lots of nail supplies. I found a great pair of hair scissors at 50% off so they cost me $10. I cut my hair anyways, but my scissors are pretty bad and I’m getting a ton of split ends. These scissors should help with that. *Cut my hair today. :)*Redeemed two free product coupons at the store for Mac N Cheese (yikes, it made barely 2 servings!) & a Pepperidge Farms product.*$10/$10 coupon for JCP that I haven’t used yet. *

  9. Oh I forgot to add that because I eat dinner on Thanksgiving with family, I don’t cook a bird that day and therefor don’t get the leftovers, which I personally think is the best part of the holiday. So I cooked one on Monday (I’m single…my friends think this is weird and hilarious…I don’t care) and ate it that night. Then the same night I picked that bird clean and put some in the fridge and most in the freezer in baggies. I didn’t want to eat turkey dinner for a solid week. I just didn’t have room to freeze two. But then on Tuesday, I made stock with the bones and some veggies. That night I used that broth to make the most amazing turkey black bean soup, a total favorite. It’s the perfect way to eat turkey but not eat a solid week of turkey dinners.KK @ http://www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

  10. I tell everyone that if you can drive in a straight line, you can sew in a straight line. Very similar skill sets in my opinion. Grab a scrap of fabric (don’t buy one…I’m sure you have a fabric something in a giveaway pile somewhere…we all have an old torn shirt or pillowcase in a pile) and just give it a whirl. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it can be to even just do some very basic sewing.KK @ http://www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

  11. Hi Brandi 🙂 Thanks to you I am becoming a lot more frugal. Tried your bread and cooking/baking from scratch. Last night I had my first sewing class (I can see the seam riper becoming my best friend ;)!). I loved it and found it really relaxing. I decided to do the class cause I always have to pay for alterations. Better in my pocket than there’s. Thanks for all the tip

  12. Over the past few weeks I bought 2 turkeys. Our store sale was $17 off any turkey over 16lbs. I paid under 50 cents/lb for one and under 60 cents/lb for the other. I could only get one per trip, but I am glad to have these. I continue to go to the regular grocery only every 2 weeks, which is really helping with the budget and my meal planning. I did stop at our local Amish grocery outlet over the weekend. I never know what I will find there, and this was a small trip. But I did get some fun toothpaste as socking stuffers for the kids, and I found a boneless Virginia ham for 95 cents/lb. It was almost 6 lbs. I don’t have a meat slicer, but I did the best I could and packaged it for the freezer. We traveled 3 hours for Thanksgiving day and stayed the night with family, which was fun for the kids. I brought rolls, pie, and muffins for breakfast. I came home with the leftovers of these plus some turkey and summer sausage. Because we were traveling, I didn’t do any Black Friday shopping. I always end up buying extra things because they are so cheap, but that is still spending money.The one Black Friday deal I did want went on sale online on Tuesday, so I bought it then. I was hoping to get a large electric pancake griddle because they always go on sale this time of year. Kohls had them for a good price with a rebate. On Tuesday, I ordered 2 griddles and a waffle maker. I had 15% off, earned $15 Kohls cash, and got free shipping. After the rebate, they will be free. We had pancakes for breakfast yesterday :)My sisters and I decided not to buy for the nieces and nephews this Christmas. We stopped buying for each other years ago. Instead we are giving family gifts. I wanted to give some of our homemade maple syrup, but I wasn’t sure what else to put with it. Now one sister will get a griddle and the other a waffle maker. I will mix up the dry ingredients for pancakes and waffles as well. Now I want to think of something fun to add for their kids (they each have one and we are expecting our 4th). I will see if I have time to sew aprons.My husband hunted and hunted, but did not get a deer this year. However, a friend who already filled his freezer offered to try for one for us. He ended up getting us 2 deer over the weekend! We butchered them ourselves, saving $130. We did buy a meat grinder earlier this year for $50, but it will last us for a long time. We put several roasts and lots of ground meat in the freezer. Our friend only asked that we pay for his hunting tags, totaling $14 where he hunts. We defrosted and organized our freezer before we got the deer to make room. I am embarrassed at some of the good things we found, including a few packs of steaks and some roast from the 1/4 cow we bought last year and 14 whole chickens left from the 25 we butchered this summer. But now that I know what we have I can use it well. I will not have to buy meat for a long time!This also saved a lot of money because I thought we would need to buy another freezer for the venison. By cleaning and organizing, we made everything fit. We will probably be shopping for a bigger, upright freezer, but now we can take our time to find a good deal for us. I used a free code to make a photo calendar and get 10 free Christmas cards from Shutterfly. The calendar will be a gift for my husband to take to work. Shipping was still a bit, but it will be a nice gift.I continue to have successes and failures, but we keep trying. We are feeling very blessed right now!

  13. The pancake griddle/ waffle maker plus maple syrup is SUCH a great gift idea!I’m so glad you got a deer to fill your freezer. I grew up in PA. So far, my family is empty handed this year.

  14. Celia, do you have a pressure canner? If so, you could have cut up the turkey & bottled it in its own broth. It has to be pressured for 75 minutes, at 15 pounds pressure where I lived, but that depends on your elevation. I found it amazing this year that some of the TV show hosts, like Rachel Ray, were advising people to let the turkey rest for an hour – “it will still be warm, & SOOO juicy”. I let mine rest for 15-20 minutes, then carve, but I would never “rest” the bird for an hour. I think safety has to take priority.

  15. No we have not tried pressure canning yet. I agree that safety has to take priority. At least we know for Christmas. We’ll carve a platter and shove the ham in the fridge right away to deal with it after the kids are in bed.

  16. Glad you found something that works, Marivene. Everyone tells me to use coconut oil products on my kids, but two of them react badly with eczema flares. We’re being very careful with the baby until he’s old enough for allergy testing; he seems sensitive to a lot of things.

  17. One of my friends uses emu oil on her child with eczema, but my daughter had better luck with olive oil when the grandchildren were babies. Just a little on your hand, then onto their skin worked wonders.

  18. So, here’s my second try at posting this. Google ate my reply the first time and refused to sign me in. It was a little frustrating, but hopefully, I can remember my frugal accomplishments and get most of them down again. In reality, it probably encourages me to see the list as much as anybody else and keeps me motivated.I cleaned out, organized and defrosted one of our upright freezers today. I have been anticipating a call from the meat company letting us know that our 1/2 beef we ordered from my sister’s friend is ready. Well, that call came yesterday, so I needed to get going on making space. I have been working on using things from the freezers for a couple of months now, but am still worried that I won’t have enough room. The poundage is way more than it has been before. I guess this was one huge beef. Much of the pruduce from the garden, etc. is still in there, since it’s only December. Well, I find out tomorrow. I was able to find more things to cook up and better organize what I left in there. This freezer is mostly broccoli, blueberries and assorted odds and ends of veggies and fruit. One daughter made a pie from a mixture of berries and other fruit from in there. We made a cobbler for a sick friend, as well. One daughter agreed to eat up the last bit of ice cream in a container. Imagine that! Such a willing helper.I cooked chili with the leftover turkey and froze the rest.I found out that the all-natural, pasture-raised turkey my husband bartered an old turkey feeder for sells for $65. The lady sells many of them for that price. It was a good turkey. I boiled all the bones and make broth, which I froze BEFORE I knew it was a “golden” turkey. I am double glad I did, now. My mother-in-law offered to buy a ham from Costco for Thanksgiving. She will pay my husband back, as soon as she remembers. If she never remembers, at least she got what she wanted for the special day. She is getting older and we are glad she can be happy, even in small things. My mother wants to give us $20 as well, towards the meal. I’m sure she will remember soon, as well. So, not as frugal as sometimes, but when I think of all the times I forgot things when I was a child…….I finished sewing a dress that my daughter will wear in a play she is in. I’m hoping she likes it enough to wear it as a dress later. It is pretty, so here’s hoping. I worked on an old quiting project. I’d love to get some of those unfinished projects done. New Year’s must be kicking in early.I cooked french bread pizza, turkey chili, and we ate leftovers from the Thanksgiving meal all weekend.My husband brought the older girls home directly from play practice last evening and they ate food from home, instead taking them out, as was mentioned by him earlier.I have a few sewing projects for Christmas I will work on in the next couple of days. I did get a lot done today on one of them.

  19. No special frugal accomplishments. Just thankful as usual that I have the ability to have gardens and grow food and can etc so that the cupboards are always full. We had 28 total for dinner on Thursday. 7 of them were college students my children invited, my mother invited 2 from her senior apartment building and we had a last minute addition of a church family of 4 that was supposed to travel out of town, but she is 8+ months pregnant and her Dr. wanted her to stay closer to home. So we had 2 toddlers among all the adults which was fun. They got lots of attention, we pulled the old high chair and booster seat out. My daughter hosted at the big house. 3 of the students stayed on for the whole weekend, the others drove on to Minneapolis to meet up with others.We cooked the 2 turkeys and one ham, all the usual sides. The only things we had to buy last week was milk and I bought 4 gallons at 2/5.00 with the extra company, and sweet potatoes as I do not grow them. Sweet potatoes were.39/lb so I bought about 35 pounds. Bought pack of celery for 1.29 for the stuffing. All else came from storage or freezer. Made turkey broth from the bones. Made turkey wild rice soup. Made the layers for a German chocolate cake, made the coconut pecan frosting, made a cheesecake for upcoming birthday and wrapped all up tight and put them out in extra fridge to keep for this week. Made applesauce coffee cake, cranberry muffins for breakfasts Fri and Sat. Made 2 apple crisps. I added some left over cranberry sauce to one of them.Did sewing, a little bit of decorating. Made a Sams Club list. We needed to stock up on nuts and we need more yeast. I heard that there is a pecan shortage. They were 8.99 for a six ounce pack at the grocer. Watched HULU, read a book on the history of farming in Wisconsin (it was interesting because I kept seeing family names I knew, places I recognized), got the Advent candle ready, read 2 mysteries.

  20. I love reading about everyone’s frugality. And wish I could be better at it. College for my daughter next year would be less stressful of a thought (she is strongly leaning toward expensive private, and we unfortunately really like those options for her, too, for several reasons. But in no way have that kind of $$ saved). But, I had my moments.We had our own family of 4 only for Thanksgiving. I made the full meal. Then plopped the carcass w/attached meat(thighs were intact) into the slow cooker overnight and made the best stock I’ve ever made. So. Good. Spent 90 minutes the next day picking all the meat out of the bone mess. At least 4 cups.Two meals worth. Made a beautiful healthy turkey veggie rice soup and another day a turkey curry. Made my own cranberry sauce (so easy and yummy!). Used the leftovers in Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins. So yummy! Hosted book club last night and did not buy any food for it. Scrounged around and had three offerings: a cheese plate of the leftover cheeses we’d had as appetizers earlier in the day on Thanksgiving (I’d bought three kind, not expensive at Trader Joe’s) along with crackers; raw veggies with a light sour cream dip; and I made sweet potato chocolate chip muffins with the leftover sweet potato mash I’d made for Thanksgiving. They are delicious! Love how I could use leftover cranberry sauce and sweet potato mash, stuff that would probably get tossed after sitting a few weeks, and that the end results were scrumptious.Am now searching for christmas gift deals, but still am slow on planning what for who. And my time is really tight and I don’t make things well (not enough practice), except food. It’ll all work out and I’ll probably spend more than I want to. Hopefully that will motivate me to plan earlier next year.We’ve eaten all meals at home(or took lunch from home) this week. We accepted a box of clementines left over after an event and there were no other takers. We used gift cards to see the new Hunger Games movie. That’s all I can remember. Fried brain. Time for bed.

  21. Heather,Try to look around your home for items that could become gifts. This year we are downsizing again, so I am gifting a bunch of nice picture frames with photos in. I am also gifting a food processor as I had two, Some Tree ornaments , a tree skirt ( I had two) A rolling pin (I had four) I am adding some new towels to this one gift. I am also gifting a tear drop swag that I had used for the door reworked to delight a friend. I was amazed at how many gifts I had after spending only $10 on items to revamp or to go with something I already had.

  22. I actually think I’m going to do a little of that– shopping around the house. More likely the closets where things that have never been used hide. Little by little I’ll get it figured out. After all, i still have a few weeks?

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