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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I picked Genovese basil, Thai basil, and tomatoes from the garden.

We also harvested Thompson’s seedless green grapes and Dorsett Golden Apples.

I picked an aloe leaf from my aloe plant to put on the sunburn I got while I was out watering some things in the garden by hand.

We watched the space station move across the sky on Sunday night.

We enjoyed watching the bats flying over our garden eating bugs at twilight. They circle our garden, flying around and around, like a couple of biplanes doing fancy tricks.

I said yes to some free mirabelle plums from someone’s tree. I had been asked about them just over a year ago (after they were done last year). This year she remembered that we would like them, and she called me to ask me if I wanted them. There were a lot of them!

I returned the empty pots to the nursery for store credit, which I used towards plants for the garden.
I used another $20 off coupon at the nursery for the front yard plants, and a $10 off one as well.

I found places to fit several more edibles into our front garden. I will be planting more plants in those places.

I bought two oregano plants and planted them in between the lemon trees in the front garden.

I also bought a lime tree (on sale) and put it into a pot that I already had. It will sit on top of a valve box in the front yard, turning a non-growing space into a growing space. I saved the elastic tag from the tree to give to a daughter for making a bead bracelet.

I planted euyonomous cuttings into my front garden that I cut for table decorations several months ago and rooted in water.

When the car wouldn’t start, we took it back to Walmart, to have them check the battery that we purchased there (we had to replace the battery in February right after we bought it). The battery was under warranty, so they replaced it for free. (The extreme heat here often kills batteries early). I needed to get a few things at Walmart, so we all went. Even though it’s very close by, every little bit of gas savings adds up.

Some of the things I picked up at Walmart were canning lids (buy 2 boxes get 1 box free, so I was able to get 2 boxes of lids for free) and some pectin (I used a $1 off coupon).

I took the flowers that were still good in the sympathy arrangements that I had and put them in a jar for a new arrangement that lasted us all week.

My husband took the children swimming at his sister’s house.

I planted seeds in the front garden. They are coming up already: Genovese basil, vincas, parsley, and zinnias.

What did you do to save money last week?

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25 Comments

  1. I forgot we also returned our used printer ink cartridges to Staples. We get $2 store credit for each one, which helps keep me in ink for printing out images for my card making.

  2. doing any kind of frugal action is good, everyone starts somewhere, and after a while it just becomes your normal life. If you feel discouraged, there is lots in the R/S manuals about provident living from a church perspective.Jenny in Wales

  3. Kellie – You’re welcome! I’ve haven’t noticed a difference using only half, unless I do a whole load of my son’s underarmor, basketball shorts, etc, and then I throw 2 halves in. Cottons and mixed loads are always fine with 1/2.Emilie – Thanks for that idea! I’ll look into it for the other 2 cards I have left. I might be able to get something I would use!

  4. Our big savings was that we were able to fix our woodstove instead of get a new one. (It’s winter here in Australia.) My DH put the message out through a local Facebook group that it was not burning as it should; someone came to look at it and told us we needed to replace a part of the flue, and get a new plate for the top. As luck would have it we have an extra flue (when we moved into the house there was a wood-burning cookstove in the kitchen, which would never work for me, so we replaced it but ketp the flue) so that was free; and we can get the new plate from the manufacturer for about $50. A new woodstove would’ve cost us about $3000 so that’s a great savings.Our winter garden is coming along nicely. We have lettuce to harvest, and a couple of peas, although since those are my favourite they never tend to make it past the front door. My in-laws gave me a pumpkin, which I’ll puree – I find that one pumpkin is enough for a year’s worth of pie, cookies, bread, and so on. I alway struggle with winter here. In the Northern Hemisphere where I grew up, winter was festive – you had Christmas, New Year’s, snow, etc. Here there are no holidays to look forward to; there’s no snow, which is good because it’s too warm for snow, but it means three months of grey skies with nothing to break it up. So I’ve come up with some free (or nearly free) fun things to do with the kids. For instance this week we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July with homemade apple pie; next week we’ll be celebrating Bastille Day. I think I’ll make your crepes, but I’m not sure what else to serve, so suggest away! I’ve also got things planned like an indoor picnic, a movie night at home, etc. Hopefully having something fun to look forward to each week will make the season pass quickly.My son is deaf, and we use various apps to help with his speech therapy. One app that is highly recommended by every speech therapist costs $60 (you pay per sound). We bought some BOGOF iTune cards which cuts the price in half. I’ve ordered away for some good freebies lately. One on-line shop had a $10 off code which could be used on a handful of items that were $10 with free shipping, so I ordered some of those, which I’ll squirrel away for the kids’ Christmas. A printing company was offering 5 free posters, custom-designed (I got to design them), for the price of shipping ($1 delivered) so I designed some posters for my kids. I’ve also sent away for a new, free scarf for myself with another promotion.

  5. I don’t know if “I didn’t buy” counts as frugal; but this time of year all of the stores have their big toy sales. In years past I’d buy some things and put them away for Christmas because, 50% off, what a bargain! But this year I’m being more careful. My kids are still quite young, but we have so many toys that aren’t played with; and when I looked at the toy sale catalogues there was this commentary in my head of, “We have that. We have something very similar. They wouldn’t play with that.” Plus I’ve been making things and getting freebies and hiding them away; so they already have quite a few presents. So, while it isn’t necessarily frugal, I’m still proud of myself for resisting a bargain.

  6. I like on your blog how you list the things that you are doing ongoing. What a great reminder to keep going! Sometimes I stop doing something I had been doing…bad habits creep back in sometimes

  7. You put together a lovely bedroom! I homeschooled my children who are 4 years apart. I used unit studies for a while for history, art, and music and some science. That way I didn’t have to do double the field trips, documentaries, and some projects. The older one just got higher level books to read and was expected to do a more advanced level of art project and the younger one the same project but simplified. Math and reading were separate of course and as they got older we couldn’t do as many unit studies. And making sure they know if they are stuck on something while you are working with the other one, they should work on a different problem until you can help or on a different subject or at least work on reading, etc. Otherwise it can be constant interruptions or not getting anything done. Have fun!

  8. My Grandmother gave me my Kitchen Aid mixer for a wedding present. Good as new 16 years later and a blessing for saving by making pizza crust and cookies etc.

  9. This wk I:-used the water from our dehumidier to water our potted plants. Its in our basement and its a way to reclaim that water. -I went to target to get raspberries and carrots for 1.50 using mobile coupons. While I was there… They were giving samples of SPF and the girl told me to take as much as I wanted. I took 8. 2 for each of us. -Went to local grocery store to get eggs for 78 cents, lmt 3. But I went twice. -washed baggies and shower liner fro my daughters bathroom. -found out that the Coast Guard Academy is offering free 2 day passes for local beaches and parks so I will be using that to entertain my friend who is coming to visit me from SC. Adriana.

  10. I swam and played water polo for years and years and for swimers ear we did half peroxide and half rubbing alcohol mixture just a few drops at night for a few days and it always cleared it up no problem. It might be worth looking into online.

  11. Attempted a Pinterest recipe and no one liked it… but I was able to save the broth and puree it with some milk and it made a lovely cream soup that I did like. I would have never tried saving the meal if I had not been reading this blog and learning from all of you. I thought… I can do this… improvise… and it worked! Amazing! Took my daughter on a one-day fun trip to Six Flags. Tickets were won by me at a fundraiser auction and I got two tickets for $25.00. Normally, each ticket is $54.99 – wow! It was a 3 hour drive (used Kroger points to get my gas 10 cents off a gallon) and packed water and snacks. Stayed within my planned budget… we had a great day full of memories and I felt great about it because I did not overspend. We drove back the same day (made for a long day), but saved on overnight lodging and meal expenses. I had her put on pajamas for the ride home – she thought that was a hoot!I did all my meal planning with freezer items in mind first. I saved quite a bit by not buying additional food for the two weeks. I am working on getting into a monthly meal planning. Resisted many urges to eat out… I would think… hey, I’d rather have a sandwich at home anyway… and it was true.Took my daughter swimming at our company pool… my hubby works for a great company that has a employee park with a resort-like pool complex. We go as much as possible. It is free and we live less than a mile from the park. I now pack snacks and water so we are not tempted to eat at the “Beach House” which does not make the pool trip free if we indulge. Explained this to my 6-year old daughter… wrote out the numbers… if we spend $5.00 each trip to the pool — here is how much we’d have by the end of summer. Combined trips in the van for errands, washed all dishes by hand, saved lots of bottle lids/unique stuff for our “robot stockpile”. We are going to have a playdate with friends to make recycled robots this summer. I accepted an unopened container of steel cut oats from a friend – need to determine how to make them. I have not attempted gardening yet – but I am so inspired that I am setting a goal and I am going to grow something, even if it’s only one thing. I really want lettuce first.Hubby heard about affordable major league ballpark tickets for Chicago White Sox (third deck) for $5.00 a piece. He also got an $8.00 parking pass for the same game. Makes for a fun, yet affordable outing for our family. Nice to see him getting into the frugal spirit.My two friends and I are going to purchase some vanilla beans and vodka and make homemade vanilla. Not only for ourselves, but to give as gifts at holiday time. Excited to be ahead of the game on December gift-giving season. We will save money by ordering together and in bulk.That’s all I can think of now….

  12. Hi Amy! I just thought I’d share how I make my steel cut oats (which I LOVE by the way). I usually make 6 servings at a time. It’s just me and my DH here and I’m the only one who eats them so it lasts me about a week. I make them in the evening. I add 6 cups of water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. I then add 1 1/2 cups of steel cut oats to the water and stir. (The measurements are 1/4 cup steel cut oats to 1 cup of water per serving) Bring the oats back to a boil and cover with a tight fitting lid. I then turn off the heat and go to bed. 🙂 In the morning I have delicious steel cut oats ready for breakfast. I store them in the fridge for breakfast during the week and this way I just heat and add milk and fruit for a quick and yummy breakfast!Susan

  13. What a busy week! We had a lot of fun though and saved quite a bit. :)We went to a Canada Day church service in the park that had a lovely breakfast afterward. When we were helping clean up I was asked if I wanted the leftovers. We are so grateful for a HUGE tray of breakfast sausages, about eight cups of scrambled eggs, a large tray of sliced fruit and a large tray of watermelon. The children are loving it! We had other stops to make before going home so I was able to store the food in the seniors center fridge until we left. One of the ladies had brought a bunch of flowers and asked if I also wanted to take those home. I wrapped them up in wet paper towel and a plastic bag and took them with us to visit my husbands grandmother in a nearby towns senior care home. I put them in water for her and she was so happy to have something to brighten her room! I also made mayonaise (sp?) It was so hot here that I didn’t want to cook so we had sandwiches, leftover veggies that my mom had given us with some of her homemade veggie dip, and leftover potato salad from mom as well. But I didn’t have any mayo. I had forgotten to buy it and normally would have run to the store but I remembered that it is quite easy to make. Even though I haven’t made it in years and my family thought it was weird. Then they tried it and loved it 🙂 I will never buy mayo again :)Jennifer

  14. We got rid of our ancient second fridge a few months ago and our utility bill went down at least $40 a month. I am saving that in a fund for a new fridge for inside because that one is 15 years old and guzzling energy too.We knew a man many years ago who working in research for GE and he replaced their fridge every 5 years because of energy costs. He said the replacement more than paid for itself.

  15. what is your recipe for mayo? I find it really expensive and we do not use a lot at a time. I would love to make small batches when I need it.

  16. We love the cinnamon granola. When I make it, I only use the honey and molasses as sweeteners and leave the brown sugar out. It is plenty sweet enough for us this way.

  17. Hi Emily, I found it really easy and inexpensive to make but I live in Canada so everything is more money. A Good sale on Mayo is $4.50 for about a quart and a half. Here it is… 2 egg yolks, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp mustard or powdered mustard, 1/8 tsp sugar, pinch of cayenne pepper, 4-5 tsp lemon juice or white vinagar (I used vinagar) and 1- 1 1/2 cups oil, 4 tsp hot water. add the 1st five ingredients to your blender and blend till combined. While it is running add alternately hot water, vinagar, and then a oil in a very thin stream. If you have a cover for your blender that you can still pour through add that now. If not you will have to stop and restart the blender with each addition. (or use an electric beater) Keep this up till all the water, vinagar and oil in used. The more oil used the thicker it will get, and it gets as thick as the bought stuff! I added a little more salt to mine and a touch more vinagar but you can play with the flavor a little til you like the taste. If you want a spice mayo add more cayenne, add more mustard and some honey and you have a sweet mustard mayo. Very easy, and it keeps in the fridge for a week.Jennifer

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