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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I spent a lot of time last week digging in the dirt. Most of my time was spent planting bulbs.

I planted spinach, beet, mache, lettuce and larkspur seeds in the garden.

I picked four small cucumbers from the cucumber plants in the front yard before I pulled them out. I cut Swiss chard and basil from the garden. I also harvested one zucchini and a few apples.

I hand-pollinated a few zucchini in the front yard. It isn’t until October that it’s cool enough for the squash and tomatoes to flower again. I’m liking that this year I’ve already harvested four zucchini from one plant, which is more than the three I had from five plants last year. I may be planting seeds for them in the garden in the beginning of July from now on for a fall crop. I have several plants and if they can all perform before our first frost, then we should finally get a good crop.

I transplanted foxglove seedlings from one area of the garden to two other places. Foxglove takes two years to flower from seed and is not a plant you usually see in the desert. It likes shade, which makes it perfect for the back of the border. (My children know that it’s poisonous and to not touch it–and to not walk through my beds to where it grows).

Our neighbors gave us two homemade pizzas and some homemade bread.

I made corn chowder, pancakes, taco soup, blueberry muffins, lemon poppyseed muffins, white bean dip, and tacos this week. (My husband cooked the taco shells).

I had a date at home with my husband.

What did you do to save money last week?

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25 Comments

  1. Poke a hole in the bottom (without puncturing the filter inside) and take the foil lid off the top. Then slowly (and carefully!) pour hot water over the k-cup which should be over your cup you’ll be drinking out of. You need to guesstimate when to stop. Just taste. 🙂

  2. I had a yard sale and got rid of a bunch of things I had picked up from the curb, cleaned or fixed, and plopped in my garage. I made $200 of pure profit! We bought a second hand dress blues top for my husband instead of buying a brand new one when his stopped fitting. We ate all our meals at home, most of which consisted of leftovers and stuff from the back of our cupboard (chicken with taco seasoning, anyone?). I bought pasta in bulk and picked three peppers, a cucumber, and a boatload of tomatoes from our garden. I darned my very first sock! I found a secondhand Cozy Coupe toy car we’re going to give my son for Christmas that cost us $5.

  3. Just bought a new house. It is on a lake and the “season” is over so we got a great deal. The house has also been sitting empty for over a year so the deal got even better. Structurally it is fine, but an unlived in house comes with it’s own set of problems. For 2 weeks I have done nothing but paint, repair, caulk, mend and clean. We are still about 2 weeks from moving in. I found some oops paint (several gallons) that were the same type of paint and were similar colors. Mixed them all together for a light mocha color so now all the bedrooms have the same wall color for about 15 bucks. Have also found great deals on furnishings from a local online trading site. Bedside tables for $15, dressers for $40. etc. They did require a LOT of elbow grease and sanding but I already had stain so no real cost there. Also when you are working non- stop on a project there is very little time to spend money on anything.

  4. That is fantastic! My children’s public school had a basket for a small love offering. The money collected was used for the kids who could not afford books. It was a win/win situation because no one but the librarian had any idea who needed help and no kid felt left out.

  5. Just had to say 100 days of real food is my favorite “food” website. I make several of her recipes myself. I have a 19 year old son and a 3 yr old daughter ( 🙂 ) and when my son was in school the last 5 years I refused the school pictures and had his pics done at the Walmart photo center. WAY better pictures.

  6. Hello everyone! My mother was married one week ago and I was her Matron of Honor. She gave my daughter her “throw away” bouquet. We enjoyed both of them in a vase all week, then when the flowers started to wilt I put some of the petals in a decorative jar in in the living room to enjoy, I used 4 cups of petals to make Rose Jelly, and dehydrated the rest. I will give a jar of the jelly to my mom as a gift. I also saved all the seeds from the flowers to start inside in the spring. Pulled all the carrots, which were mostly done. I still have broccoli and cauliflower growing, I planted them in spring (not realizing this was wrong) so I am hoping the colder temps will make them grow the actual vegetable and not just keep growing taller lol. If not, lesson learned and will plant at the proper time next year. My husband already prepped most of the garden for next year. I have green beans growing and starting to grow actual beans, fennel seed is blooming and so is my dill. I continue to dehydrate fennel seed, dill leaves, sage, and parsley. I made conditioner rinse, banana muffins, granola, bread, and homemade gelatin. I could not find real, actual gelatin around here so I ordered it off of Amazon, with free shipping. I spent WAY to much at the grocery store this past week, so we agreed to no shopping and to eat from the pantry/freezer as long as possible. I know buying organic/all natural is a lot more expensive but my grocery spending is to much. I plan on working my budget again this week to reorganize and reallocate funds. We had to turn the heat on this past week, temps were in the 40’s during the day. My husband covered all the windows with thick, heavy duty plastic on the outside of the house and used spray foam on certain areas to fill in gaps. I have an indoor kit for some windows I need to do this week.My husband fixed the passenger side front brake yesterday.Ate at home every meal, no eating out 🙂 Used up leftovers and froze some leftovers so they would not spoil.received 2 free magazines, 2 free shampoo samples in the mail.I found a neat Christmas gift for my hubby on Amazon and combined it with my gelatin purchase for free shipping. I only paid $1.50 for it, can’t say what it is, he reads this posting sometimes lolI pulled a muscle in my back Sunday morning. This is a chronic problem, despite working on strengthening my core and back. GRRRR…. anyways I did not go to the Doctor but have been treating it at home. I am already paying off a very expensive medical bill (got cheated by my old health insurance company) and just could not stand the thought of adding to it. Got a free pink pen from work in honor of breast cancer awareness.My mom gave me a skirt to wear to work she no longer likes.That is all I can think of right now. Thank you everyone for the encouraging posts! Have a great week!

  7. Robert – I hope that your family gives you the help that you need, and deserve. My parents live with us. While it can be trying to have, basically, two families in one home, I am glad that my parents can afford their insurances and expenses without worrying about other simple costs of living.

  8. My parents pay grandkids to do things like haul wood(I actually won’t let her pay my kids because they need to do things like that out of kindness and love, but my brother’s have more kids with less income) This lets my parents help teach the kids about labor and money.My oldest started refereeing at age 9, we had to pay for a certification class($80) and the clothes($60), she paid us back with half of each check until everything was paid off, we put that money in an envelope for each years recertification and as clothes get outgrown. This way if we ever can’t pay she has the money to cover it. Our middle child is almost nine and looking forward to doing this as well. Several different sports will allow kids to work in this capacity, the pay starts at $10 for a 40 min game and goes up from there. There are usually rules that kids can only work games for kids younger than themselves.

  9. I still have most of my Scholastic books I bought back in grade school (the 60’s!). They were about .25 to .45 a book, at most. I still re-read some of my favorites…The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kasirer, Escape from Warsaw by Ian Seraillier, to name a few.We do the Scholastic book flyers at our school but not the fair. As we are a church based school we actually buy most of our books from other sources. Scholastic has nice website for use by teachers and librarians but parents could use it also. You can browse genre, reading level, interest level, theme etc to get ideas or find appropriate reading materials. My mother taught 3rd grade for 34 years. She received hundreds of free books for classroom use over the years due to the Scholastic book orders.

  10. Funny, my kids school pictures are way better quality than Walmart. They are airbrushed and everything. I have always just bought the sheet of 4 5×6 pics for $16. This year I am thinking of skipping the purchase. Every child gets a class picture regardless of whether they buy a package or not. And really the class photo is all my son cares about looking at.

  11. I feel like we had a good week, exhausting but good, my fridge is full, and my freezer mostly full, that feels good, I still have holes in my food, but I am working on filling those. Most of my grocery spending was stocking up on stuff during a promotion. I’m starting to sew for Christmas, mostly putting fabrics together with a pattern so I know what I have and what I need, wanting to use up what I have, only buying things to actually finish something.

  12. Love all the great ideas here. Last week I:* made homemade pizza* was gifted a large box of goldfish* packed lunches* made some muffins* sold a few items on ebay* picked up 40# of chicken from zaycon which was packaged and is in our freezer 🙂

  13. 29 F this am but no snow yet. It did snow north of us though. The sun is shining and it looks really nice outside.Daughter and her family (husband, 3 dogs and 3 cats) are all moved in next door. I counted 27 different friends and relatives who helped with the move and cleaning out the old house 30 miles away to here on Fri and Sat. His mother took care of food and beverages there, I did it here. I had my bargain soda, water, cider and coffee. I made 2 9×13 pans mac and cheese with 2 of the .77 lbs of pasta and a 2lb block of extra sharp cheddar I bought for 6.00. We put out a basket of apples from the trees. I made rice krispy treats with found in the back of the cupboard marshmallows and the sale 1.89 cereal. Others brought various items too. The weather was cold and windy, but the rain held off. Grocery shopped, not too much. Did get the cheese above mentioned and 2 gal of milk at 2.50 each. Sugar was on sale for 2.29 a bag. . I had 3 .40 off coupons, doubled each, so bought 3 bags. Pomegranates were 2/5.00 so bought 2. Bought a pack of egg roll wrappers to make egg rolls. Bought a pack of fall themed cupcake papers 50%off in the clearance aisle (making room for Christmas already). Bought .75 of dry mustard to refill my Colmans mustard tin. Harvested…nothing, from outside. But the herbs I brought in seem to be doing OK in the addition, so picked parsley and rosemary for roast potatoes. Am still drying apple rings with my excess apples. This was a bumper year as our golden delicious is an every other year tree and it super produced, and have I apples from the other 2 trees too. Cooked all from scratch. The mac and cheeses, krispy treats, buns, 2 loaves of white bread, one loaf of rye, apple crisp, lemon glazed lemon cookies, stewed tomatoes using my gradually ripening tomatoes and peppers and onions. Froze 2 quarts. Made roasted potatoes, lentil brown rice loaf and baked squash for dinner at daughter’s house on Sun. I have to say I miss my double oven and 6 burner stove and warming oven. Oh well.

  14. I went on you tube and lots of people show you how to do things on your sewing machine. I put in the kind and model number and was even able to fix mine.Robert I will pray that God leads and gives you divine inspiration on ways to save and make money.BlessingsPatti

  15. I forgot to post last week, which is okay since I was not very frugal. It was midterms, so I had papers due and papers to grade these past few weeks. I got stressed, so I did not make the best food choices, but I am back on track. My husband is out of town at a conference, and he took the car, so I was left without transportation. I priced rental cars and the cheapest I found was $30 a day, so it made more sense to take a cab. I have a friend who is a taxi driver, so he is only charging me $20 a day to pick me up and drop me off. It is still a lot of money, but cheaper than what I could have spent. I went out of town Thursday morning for a conference. I received a few travel grants, so my airfare, conference registration fee, and hotel stay were covered. I calculated my expenses, and I only spent $80 out of pocket, which was not bad. The conference provided breakfast and dinner for one day. I signed up for the hotel’s reward plan, so I got free juice for breakfast for two days. I also got free internet. I also took the toiletries. I usually never take toiletries from hotels because I have sensitive skin, so I have to use special soaps. But after reading this blog and rethinking some things, I realized I could use the soap for hand soap for guests. That will save on buying hand soap. I ate lunch at the mall that was connected to the hotel, so I did not have to take transportation to get to restaurants. And when I went out with some of the people at the conference, we walked. I also caught the shuttle to the hotel and paid $11 instead of $30 for a cab. On my return home, a friend picked me up from the airport.At home, I picked habaneros and great news, we finally got a good amount of green bell peppers! I had picked a green pepper here and there. They were not doing well because of our bug problem, but I have been handling that. Anyway, I picked 8 peppers. I also picked 21 shiitakes. We finally got a great flush, but unfortunately, they were ready to be picked while we were out of town, so they are bigger than they are supposed to be, but we are going to use them to make burger patties. I received a free magazine in the mail, used homemade bug spray, and killed bugs by hand. I think that was it.

  16. The week was really hit and miss. We ate out twice — both planned and for special occasions, but expensive. We just turned on the heat today…but avoided it for about 2 weeks till it got too cold. Limited grocery spending and used sales. Used thrifted fabric to make several scarves for Christmas gifts. Got free boxes to use for packing from our local McDonalds. Hung half my loads indoors to dry. Used all leftovers and prepped for several meals at one time to save time and electricity. Am also working on recycling more and cutting down on waste in general — my garbage bags are 3/4 of the way full each week, instead 1 1/2 bags-ish each week.

  17. Teresa, so great you are learning to make cider! It is a fun thing to do as a group, too. We did it about three weeks ago at my mother’s oldestbrothers farm with lots of relatives. Everyone brings apples..a variety gives a better tasting cider, then takes home jugs and jugs of cider. What type apple trees do you have?

  18. A couple more things. Watched two shows on hulu, read through two cookbooks from public library…might buy one of them if see on Amazon used. Cleaned out the junk drawer…which is ridiculous to think that after only less than a month I already have a junk drawer needing cleaning. But it was just a catch all for things not sure where to finally end up.Enjoyed a cold and cozy night outside Sun evening around the fire pit. The fire was warm, the moon was full and the sky had cleared off. We made pudgie pies, savory ones and dessert ones. The away children came home to help with the move and stayed the weekend. A few fireworks were even set off. Pretty much a free evening using things on hand, except for three cheap loaves of that airy white bread to make the pies (works better than homemade).

  19. I managed to cook at home most of the time. I made chicken noodle soup for one lunch from leftover rotisserie chicken and stock that I made from the bones. We ate all our breakfasts at home. I made some cinnamon rolls and muffins and froze the extras for other times. I made pulled pork in the crock pot yesterday which kept my husband from eating out. My son and I went to McDonalds with his volleyball team. I kept the order to a minimum and made him share his fries with me. Sunday my daughter’s youth group went to Cici’s pizza buffet. I took her and used a buy one get one coupon for the meal for the two of us. We went out with friends on Saturday, I brought cookies that I made at home and we have been using the leftovers for snacks in lunches all week. We did have to turn the heat on. My daughter created a Halloween costume from items we found at a resale store. The have section of new Halloween items but the prices are half of what I see at other stores so we bought her wings there and she found a green dress that looked like a Tinkerbell dress. The girls in her 8th grade class are all going to be Disney Princesses for the Trunk or Treat night. It’s a K-8 school so Eighth graders still dress up and go and it’s a big deal. I was so happy we found something less expensive and with a longer skirt than we could find at a regular store. She could even wear the dress again if we find a nice sweater to go over it.

  20. Kittypodz, I have no idea what shape your Cozy Coupe toy car is in, but there are some SUPER cute ideas for painting them on Pinterest. If my kids were still little, I would totally have to paint mine. I am saving mine for future grandkids (it is under my house and out of the way at present) and I will have to paint it!

  21. At our house, we have chores that are just necessary to do as being part of a family unit… so no extra reward for those, but my daughter (age 6) earns “jewels” in a jar ($1 bag of clear floral rocks from Dollar Tree and a vase I already had). She can earn jewels by seeing a need or problem and solving it on her own. Example: Dad comes home from work with his lunch box, but has to go outside and put out the garbage cans for pick-up day. Daughter took the initiative to empty Dad’s lunch dishes into the sick, putting the cooler ice packs into the freezer, wiping out the lunchbox. She did this on her own, without be told and earn five jewels in the jar. Once the jar is full, she gets to decide how to spend the money (books, event or outing, toy, clothes)… usually around $10 to $15 — it usually takes a month or month and half for her to earn the jewels. The jewels have to be my decision, she cannot ask to receive them. It works for us and ties to a spirit of initiative and problem solving for the future.

  22. Robert, I hope you and your husband have discussed your future plans with your children. Are they near by? You probably should have a family meeting about this so some pre-planning can be done. Multigenerational households are very common in our families, my husband and mine. But please look into it ahead of time. Everyone needs time to adjust.

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