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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

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I cut Swiss chard, white and yellow zinnias, and Thai basil flowers from the garden. I arranged the zinnias and basil in blue canning jars on my table for centerpieces that lasted all week. I also picked the first of the Meyer lemons from one of my lemon trees (just the ones you see in the photo; the others are still ripening and will last longer if left on the tree a bit more).

I made two lemon meringue pies using lemons from my garden and I made a shortening crust, which is less costly than a butter crust.

I planted more seeds in the white garden. I thinned foxglove seedlings and transplanted them to other places in the white garden. I also transplanted parsley seedlings in the white garden to another spot.

I listened to music on Pandora.

I watched a show on Hulu.

I accepted some free pillows and some unmatched bed linens from my mom, who is going through her closets. I chose a large piece of unbleached muslin, a pink sheet that I can repurpose for clothing, and a red pillowcase that I will repurpose for a toddler bib. She also gave me some plain barrettes (much like the ones I used for the wool bows) and some bobby pins that she wasn’t using.

I sewed the button back on a jumper and mended holes in the jumper.

I sewed a button from my button jar onto the pair of shorts that I bought for Cyrus in October at a garage sale. I didn’t notice the missing button; only that the shorts were like new. Adding a button was simple and it didn’t cost me anything.

I sewed a button onto Liberty’s dress to replace the one that broke.

I mended a pillow cover.

I cooked a large pot of kidney beans and made chili on Halloween. We had company for dinner and they brought cornbread.

Elsa had so many choices for dress-up clothes and costumes in her size. At the last minute, she decided to be a knight and wore “chain mail” and a tunic that I had made as a Christmas gift for Cyrus years ago, using Halloween clearance fabric (right now is the time to find specialty fabric like this on clearance at Joann’s). The belt and sword were from other costumes that had been given to us.

On Halloween, the children wore costumes that we already had. I didn’t have to buy anything for this year. I gave out candy that had been given to us. We didn’t carve any pumpkins; I just turned on the lights and called it good.

Wren went as Santa Clause in this garage sale dress that was given to me, and a belt from another costume that we had. We had a hat in our Christmas box but she didn’t want to wear a hat.

I used the water at the bottom of the pan that was left after steaming the chard to water a potted orange tree.

My husband washed the windows.

We taught her to cluck like a chicken. I actually bought this costume at the store for Ezrom when he was her age.

I started working on Christmas gifts using items I had on hand.

What did you do to save money last week?

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25 Comments

  1. I’m mending my husband’s running pants. Getting back into menu planning, been too frivolous with our funds (easy to do when I am sick and can’t cook). Bought a used computer chair for 12 euros that was originally in the hundreds of euros so I’m ecstatic about that. I got Christmas cards for 20 cents each which has been a great deal.

  2. I did a few frugal things this past week, but not as many as sometimes. It seems like I’m strugging to walk the line between “too busy” and “frugal.” So, I just try to remember that it all helps, even if the activity seems small.I worked on my husband’s sleeping shorts. I got the fabric from a rummage sale for $1.50. I finished my daughter’s blouse. It’s a very nice, white blouse. She wanted to wear one for part of her costume, so I made a good one she can wear on a regular basis. Total cost was $5 for fabric and pattern, and the buttons were from a yard sale years ago.We did minimal trick-or-treating. We mostly did the businesses in town, then ate out. Although we normally do not do much of anything, the whole process was very important to our granddaughter who recently moved in with us for a while. She attends public school, so I went and volunteered at her “harvest” party (which was very much a Halloween party). I was glad to be able to be supportive to her.We helped my aunt unpack boxes in her new house. She graciously accepted my offer of bringing lunch for the family members who were helping Saturday. I made tacos/taco salad. I just brought all the ingredients and let people make their own, using the microwave if they wanted it warmer. I was able to use some of the free hamburger we were gifted a couple of months ago. I have enough left from what I browned to make another meal. My husband got a huge 6-pack of romaine from Costco. It was around $3 for all, I’m not sure exactly, but very frugal. He also got a jumbo bag of corn chips for around $3.50, which I took. So, we got a healthy, inexpensive lunch for everyone and my aunt didn’t have to worry about getting pizza or anything.I stopped at a roadside stand and bought apples, cauliflower, and squash for very reasonable prices.I’m trying to get frozen foods removed from the back and corners of my freezers. We are expecting to buy 1/2 beef within the next month or so, and my husband has raised 20 chickens that are about ready to go into the freezer within the next week or so. I have several uprights, but things get lost in the back, so it’s a constant monitoring process. In the fall, things are especially tight because of the meat being added to all the home-frozen items from the garden. This year, for instance, we were able to freeze around 40 quart sized cartons of broccoli. That takes a lot of space. We’ve eaten several already.I served carrots a few times. I still have around 20+ pounds in the fridge from our garden. I made potato dishes a few times with potatoes that were a reasonable price. I want to return to the produce stand and get a 50lb bag for the winter. It was around $13, but there was no room in the car trunk that day. I’m serving home-canned fruit daily, along with the apples we got. I also got some clementines to take to my aunt’s, and there were lots left. Even after serving chili 5 or 6 times during the last 2 weeks, my granddaughter has requested chili again. Amazing! I guess she likes chili. A lot:) We are taking a little break from it, but I’ll do a black bean taco soup this week, which is similar. Hopefully, she likes that. My husband and I will do a budget meeting tonight, and hammer out the little details of a trip we are taking in 2 weeks. My aunt has gifted us with a week at her time-share at the beach. I will take a lot of food. We will eat out a couple of times and we also need to figure out what activities we are doing. Mostly, we want to stay there, swim in the pool, crab off the dock, and generally rest. I will plan meals and take the vast majority of our food. I will buy produce there, most likely.

  3. Athanasia, I have owned one of these for years, but mine does not have the base. This one is in perfect shape, & will be a present for one of my daughters, who has always liked mine. I also have a young woman statue & a seagull statue by Florence Hansen. Back in the day, they were quite pricey, but they were also lovely. I found mine at thrift stores, & we have really enjoyed them.

  4. Rebecca, I still have one vase full of the last zinnias in my kitchen. I weed one out once every day or so and keep putting in fresh water. They have been in almost 2 weeks now. We are predicted 5 in of snow, but the weathermen always err on the side of over caution. So , probably no snow yet. Heard a couple from WI was just found after being stranded a week on Beartooth Pass after leaving Yellowstone. My husband said that was the worst possible road they could have taken…he said people have totally disappeared along there.Husband putting snow tires on Thursday.Kellie, I wonder if I could grow a lemon tree in my sunroom?

  5. I’ve heard that about employees! I would love to work there. LOL Too bad there’s not one within 60 miles of here.I wish I could get the amazing deals it seems everyone gets on turkeys, ham, milk, and eggs!

  6. Anna, ask the Salvation Army (or other meal site) if they could use the stockings. They could fill with some treats and hand out to families or individuals who come in for a meal as gets closer to Christmas.

  7. If you live where the weather freezes, place the cushion in a bag & set it outside to freeze fro 14 days. If not, then find a laundromat with oversized dryers, & put it thru a dryer cycle. Either one will kill lice or bedbugs.For cleaning off dirt/stains, I have had good luck with rubbing in a paste made from Fresh Start or Oxyclean & a little water. Let it sit until it dries, then wash the item, either by hand in the tub or in an oversized washer at the laundromat.

  8. Amy, I have very much enjoyed working at the same school my children attended. It is a nice feeling to know they are there by close and that you know and have a connection to everyone in the school. And on snow days we got to stay home together! Through 6th grade I was in the school my mother taught at…boy I never goofed off because it always got back to her.

  9. @ Andrea…it’s really easy. Shampoo: mix one cup of coconut milk (it adds nutrients to your hair but you could use water also) and Castille soap, about a half a cup, any scent. The citrus scent is my favorite so far. It’s yummy. I triple the recipe and fill a big jar. I order my liquid castille soap off of amazon because I can’t find it in my area. I just get the coconut milk from the store, it’s less than $2 a box. A little goes a loooong way.Conditioner rinse is even easier: 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Your hair will not smell like vinegar after thorough rinsing and drying. I quadruple this recipe and fill a big jar. The vinegar strips impurities and soap out of your hair and makes it easier to brush out the tangles. Warning: your hair will go through an “adjustment period” and feel different, but to me it’s worth it. Commercial products make my hair fall out, not to mention are LOADED with nothing but caustic chemicals! I hope you like it if you try it. I also use the castille soap, vinegar, and coconut milk for other things around the house like cleaning products, baking (the coconut milk), etc. I use the shampoo as a body was also. My eczema/sensitive skin is TONS better. I hardly notice it anymore!

  10. Yes, Operation Christmas Child would be good too, though that is coming up fast. I think the collection of boxes needs to be ready in just a couple weeks to get into the right shipping time frame. We’re dropping ours off the 24th. Plus it would be nice if there was something in the stockings so that they could each be added to a finished shoe box. So if you just donate the stocking there would need to be time for them to be filled.

  11. I used christmas stocking for my wrapping paper last year the kids loved it. You could bakea loaf of banana bread or treats and put in christmas stocking for teachers or family membersI split some of my larger gift cards that I earned last year into 5 dollar amounts and used tiny stockings to give as gifts. Brandi also has some great coupons with mom I do not remember if it is on the web site or blog. Things like cooking with mom and stay up and watch a movie with mom etc. She also has some beautiful book marks that would belovely in stockings. Use what you need this year and save the rest for next year.I am not sure if you know some doctors and hospitals have foundations to pay med billsfor families. They all have different rules but it never hurts to call and ask if they have a program. Have a blessed week,Patti

  12. I have wondered about meyer lemon trees here in Arkansas, we do get cold in the winter and I have a sun room, but there is no heat in it..except a space heater we will use there for freezing temps (our first winter in this house) but even if we kept it up in the main part of the house, we keep our heat set at 59 degrees and the info said they need to be 72 degrees at least, any one have any thoughts on this?

  13. When I make sauteed or caramelized onions for a recipe, I will just go ahead and use all of the onions I have on hand. Then with the extras (I LOVE caramelized onions…it’s a serious love…that’s probably weird to admit), I freeze them flat in those snack size zip top baggies (a box of those are cheap cheap at the Dollar Tree). It’s such a treat when I want that onion flavor on a night when I am not in the mood to stand there cooking them. Easy peasy. (I do the same thing with rice, chicken, etc) Cooked onions freeze great.KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

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