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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

This is the view from my front door. (There is a pendant light right above this table). The table was free from my mom this week; I have wanted a small round table in this spot since we moved in (my husband would prefer a side table, but I am thrilled!) The sunflowers are from my garden. The vase was a gift that came with an arrangement that my brother sent to me years ago.

I cut flowers from the garden for two small arrangements in the house; one was delphinium, roses, and larkspur; the second was sunflowers. I never did plant the two types of sunflower seeds that I bought this year; my garden has been overrun with sunflowers that self-seeded from last year’s sunflowers. The ones I cut were the smallest heads.

My parents are retiring, so they are closing their picture framing/home décor business. My mom invited me to come over to pick out some things that I would like to have. I was able to bring home many things for free, including several framed pictures (we will keep some of the pictures and some we will change out), some small picture frames (one of which will be a wedding gift for an upcoming wedding that I am attending), some wool shawls, some lamps, and the table you see above. I actually had another place in mind for this table, and it didn’t work quite right. It was only after trying out the table in a few spots that I remembered that years ago I had wanted a small round table in my entryway, right under our light (I will have to photograph it from the other direction another time so that you can see how it goes right under our light).  It’s a few inches shorter than I would have picked for the table there, but the price was perfect (free!) and the color is just right, too.

When I imagined a table in this spot years ago, I imagined it with flowers on the table. My mom had a piece of glass on the table, too, which makes it perfect for a vase. I am so delighted with this table and the flowers there. I plan on making sure that I have even more flowers planted in the garden so that I can keep some flowers on this table all of the time.

On Monday, I planted more Armenian cucumbers and red noodle beans using seeds I already had.  I also planted more Genovese basil (from the seeds that I had bought in bulk earlier this year).

I picked more red noodle beans. Their weren’t enough for dinner, so I mixed in a can of green beans to make enough for our family. I seasoned them with some bacon grease that I had saved. (I don’t cook bacon very often; it’s a treat when I find it under $2 a pound and freeze it to use on occasion). I save the grease in the fridge to flavor other things; bacon grease can be safely saved 6 months or more in the fridge).

I picked Genovese basil, green onions, Early Girl and Yellow Pear tomatoes, Mission figs, blackberries, Royal apricots, Green Gage plums, and Dorsett Golden apples.

Elsa is rising the bicycle that I got for her at a free swap a month or so ago. One of the training wheel attachments was missing a piece and my dad fixed it for her last week. This is a little tiny bicycle (like the size of a tricycle). She is wearing the clown costume that I originally made for Winter. The wig used to belong to my mother-in-law; she gave it to us years ago.

I put a bucket in the shower to catch water while I waited for it to warm up, and I used it to water my potted plants and to clean. I taught my oldest to do the same thing. If you don’t have a bucket for each bathroom, consider asking for buckets at your grocery store bakery (they’re often free or around .50; you may need to wash them first), or use a plastic container that had food in it (a large bucket of ice cream has a handle).

I added water to a lotion bottle to get the rest of the lotion out from the bottom of the bottle. I shook it up and was able to get the rest out.

We used Liberty’s tiny fish that she caught last week to do a dissecting experiment. I looked up how to dissect a fish online, and we learned about it with her fish.

I was asked to teach a photography class at the last minute at someone’s house. Before I left, I was asked if I wanted to pick some apricots from the tree that had just ripened there. I took home apricots to my family.

I used a $10 off $10 coupon and a 20% coupon, combined with a 60% off sale, to get two shirts for Wren for no money out of pocket.

I watched a show for free on Hulu.

I made press cookies using my grandmother’s vintage cookie press.

I made caprese salad a couple of times last week. I also made barbecue chicken pizza, lots of sandwiches, pasta salad, bean and rice burritos, pancakes, potato salad, spaghetti, and smoothies.

I did not buy any food again last week.

What did you do to save money last week?

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25 Comments

  1. Becky, If you have everbearing strawberry plants, you can renew the bed now, using the suckers of the current year, & still get a small fall crop of berries.

  2. Curious as to how you use/handle/process herbs when you harvest them. I prefer using mine fresh but have dried and frozen them in the past. It’s just that my plants grow more than we use (fresh). Just thought you might have fresh insights or ideas I can use. Thanks!~TJ

  3. I use basil fresh in the summer. However, for drying, I just cut a bunch. I rinse them under water and then I usually lay them out on a cooling rack (so there is air flow underneath) on top of a cookie sheet. I live in a super dry, hot climate, so if I don’t rinse them right away, it will be too late 🙂 They will be mostly dry by evening. If they are near the fan they will almost certainly be dry by evening.I usually let them wait a day or so just to make certain they are completely dry, and then I crumble the leaves and put them in a jar.Some people like to cut them up and freeze them in either water, butter, or olive oil in ice cub trays. Then, when they want fresh herbs for cooking, they just add a few ice cubes of herbs. I’ve never done them that way, however.I have been using them fresh right now, however.

  4. My daughter used Plague Defense Toothsuds from Heritage Essential Oils dot com. She brushed twice a day with it for 8-10 weeks I believe. It is $9.50 a jar plus shipping.

  5. Last week one of my frugal accomplishments was when we went to a outside summer concert. The concert was a 80’s mix and was wonderful! We were supporting our community and enjoying free entertainment!

  6. would you like a Canadian stamp, I have non used Canadian forever stamps..or if you want I can wait till I get some mail and take those off..let me knowcelina DOT Jamie AT Verizon DOT net

  7. I had the same thing happen 3 yrs ago, I had a seatbelt break on my Honda, thankfully it was before child 3 was born so we had space to not use that one until I could get it in to fix, but for me it was a huge argument to get them to try and warranty it, they finally did and I never heard any more about it(they kept telling me they may have to send me a bill if the warranty rejected it.)

  8. So sorry to hear about your Mother-in-law, she sounds like a woman who will be greatly missed by a lot of people. Funny, I empty my room AC for watering but I never thought about a bucket in the shower. I find it funny that it wouldn’t have occurred to me. I did the usual frugal things this week including home baking, home cooking and natural cleaners but my biggest frugal accomplishment was re-fashioning some underwear so I’d actually use them! All the details are on my blog here http://thecraftyvixensden.blogspot.ca/2013/06/refashioning-underwear.html but to give a quick rundown; I bought some underwear a while ago but they were a bit too small. I couldn’t return them so they just sat. Eventually my brain figured out to add some elastic lace, I did and now I have a bunch of new knickers AND a pattern to fix so next time I won’t have to bother buying! I did have to buy the elastic lace but spending a bit let me use a whole bunch of stuff I had already bought instead of them all just sitting there wasting my money and taking up space. Plus sewing keeps me from snacking so this was a win-win.

  9. I made many loaves of bread.Found diapers on sale BOGO and stocked up.My mom who is currently living with me took advantage of a comprehensive health checkup that’s included with insurance I can get her through my employer. She paid about $60 for everything including a mammogram, endoscopy, bone density check, and various blood work tests. Line dried the laundry as usual.Cooked many meals at home.

  10. Have fallen behind reading the posts. What with this being busy season now for the garden, not a lot of free time after work etc. Spring cold and wet…just getting the warmer temps now…makes the just about 3 month growing season seem even shorter.Had a good harvest of asparagus. We eat most of it, I only freeze the trimmed stems for making cream of asparagus soup later. Rhubarb great too. Jam done, made a number of crisps, pies, tarts and put 14 quarts of slices in the freezer to last through to next spring. Peas are all eaten or in freezer. We used pea shoots in stir fry.Everything comes as once it seems. Well radishes done, still have a quart or so for eating. Spinach is good. Have been chopping and steaming and freezing in blocks. Then later I can add to soups or rice. Thaw out as many cubes as I want. None of us really likes fresh spinach but it is popular in many of our dishes.Lettuces doing great. I am one who will buy lettuce year round as I grew up eating a salad every night at dinner (sometimes green, sometimes cabbage) and I just continue the practice. So it is nice to have an abundance now. Daughters and I went to a U-Pick strawberry farm yesterday and got 40 lbs of berries. Good thing we did as huge thunderstorms today and then tomorrow is to be hot…81+. We did most into jam last night, some for eating. None of us like frozen strawberries. Oh, we have harvested kohrabi, chard and kale. Also dill weed. Am drying the dill weed. The other herbs are doing good too, especially the basil and cilantro.We have 18 tomato plants, had, actually as my husband said something got one of them. I like to plant Early Girl and Wisconsin 55 and Mountain Fresh. Tomatoes are my biggest and most important crop.We also have 6 pepper plants, varied varieties, slicing cucumbers ( I buy my pickling cucumbers), zucchini, beets, green beans and wax beans, I don’t plant potatoes or onions as in fall can get bags from nearby farm stands for cheap. I also don’t grow sweet corn for the same reason. Have done lots of mending and patching. Helped oldest daughter make a table runner …they are trying to sell their house and she wanted to fancy up the table a bit.Watched shows on HULU and off the internet. Borrowed many library books. Just heard of a British police show that sounds funny so put the DVDs on reserve at the library. Someone slid into the back of my husband’s car on rain wet road and we heard from their insurance that they will cover reapairs at 100%. Husband changed oil in cars, changed tires a couple months ago. We have 2 sets tires each for our cars. He likes heavy duty winter tires for snow season, then puts on a more generic tire for the warm months. He does not believe in the “myth” of the all-season tire. LOL.Baked and cooked all from scratch. We did go out for dinner to the Olive Garden for our 30th wedding anniversary. I love their salad. We each brought half our dinner home plus some breadsticks for our youngest…she had them for dinner the next night because I wanted to make tuna salad sandwiches for the rest of us and she doesn’t like any fish.

  11. Linden, what do you do with all your cabbage? Do you make kraut? We do but I don’t grow my own cabbage as I can get from the farm down the road. I also make pickled red cabbage. I have a root cellar so store the cabbage there, though I put a couple in the freezer for making cabbage rolls (when you thaw the head out the leaves are nice and malleable for rolling).

  12. Thanks I just got my order and started using it…feelings a world of difference already….hope it will help my bleeding gums as I too want to avoid the huge expense of the dental bill…

  13. I always bring home my napkin too from places like “The Olive Garden” I never really get it dirty sitting at the table but it is made of a strong paper towel like substance and boy can it clean! I place it in a container under my kitchen sink when I get home and then I scrub like crazy with it when I have a big spill.

  14. So do we! Never tried the scrubby part. The Olive Garden is new to our town so we will be going there again as my mother wants to try it out. If we go anywhere that has plastic silverware we save that also. It works great for packing lunches and better than worrying someone will toss out one of my pieces of flatware.

  15. Hello, If I would of waited a bit longer I could of been comment 100 !You’re a very smart and genuine encouragement to so many. May you continue to be blessed and prosper in all you set your hand to.So sorry about your Mother in law’s death. I love having your Blog available to those who visit my blog. Thanks!Blessings, Roxy

  16. Very cool that you were able to fix what you already had.I like to make underwear from old t-shirts. They are very simple to make and it is basically free. I do sometimes buy elastic but I have also many times been able to reuse elastic from old underwear so then the only expense is thread (which I have on hand).

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