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This Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I picked a few zinnias from the garden for our table this week. (My seeds are from Wildseed Farms).

I made a bottle of homemade hair detangler with the leftovers from a free sample of conditioner.

I made laundry detergent this week.

I made yogurt and granola this week.

I watched several shows for free on Hulu this week.

I used the water from cooking Swiss chard to pour on my potted plants.

I harvested Swiss chard, cucumbers, pears, grapes (about half a bunch that decided to double crop!) , some green beans, the last of the tomatoes (before I ripped out the plants) and basil this week.

I planted Swiss chard and more zinnias this week.

I used coupons to get free candy, free ibuprofen, free face wash, and free canning lids. I am saving the candy for Christmas stockings.

I printed free coloring pages from the Dover sampler for the children.

I accepted a free mattress.

I mended a dress.

It was cool enough at night to turn off the a/c at night if I opened the windows, so I did. It was 94º during the day still, though.

I cooked a ham for our meat this week. We used the ham in several meals. We also had some bologna from the pound I bought for .20 and froze. The rest of our meals were meatless.

I started making a Christmas gift for one daughter and I also embroidered the fabric for one pillow for our living room. I also worked on a dress using material that was part of my grandmother’s stash (so, free fabric).

My husband found a way to watch football online for free on espn3 (espn.go.com). He was able to see the BYU/UofU game live.

What have you done this week to save money?

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25 Comments

  1. I followed your no more than $2 @lb for meat and was able to purchase 4 lbs of ground beef, chicken thighs, breasts and drumsticks, 2 value packs of pork chops, 2 pork shoulders and 2 roasts from Vons. I even was able to purchase 2 pairs of shorts and a pencil skirt at Target for $5.38 each. Oh, and a cleaning caddy for $1.98!We did our stock up shopping at Big Lots and stayed within budget. Overall, it was a great money saving weekend!

  2. First of all, thanks for posting about your husband watching free games on espn.com. I am going to check that out and see if some of the games my husband watches are available. I would love to cut down our satellite package, but due to espn, my husband has not been willing to do it. We also had a busy week.-My mother in law cut our boys hair, so no visit to the salon for us!- My mother in law also sent me home with 3 jars of sweet homemade pickles, a large can of maxwell house coffee they had found on sale, as well as several sweet onions and almost a full 5 lb bag of potatoes! I just bought a 10 lb bag the week before, but I am going to plan on using them all! I was so thankful to get the extras!- I bought a family pack of chicken legs on sale for 99 cent a pound. The store had Johnsonville Bratwurst burgers on sale for $5.99(2 lb box), and I had a $2 coupon that I used, so only paid $4 for them, and they are normally $9 box. Making homemade baked beans and we are having them tonight!- I made some homemade granola bars and hair detangler this week- Froze some grated ginger for an upcoming recipe so that I don’t have to buy any, and also froze the rest of a tube of lemongrass paste that my husband bought for a thai recipe he cooked over the weekend. That is all I can think of right now, I enjoy reading everyone’s comments each week.

  3. I canned 7 jars of salsa and froze 6 quarts of tomato sauce for the winter. I hope to do the same amount next weekend. Roasted and froze pumpkin and butternut squash from our garden for later use. Packed a lunch for work every day last week. Carpooled with a coworker. Used vinegar to clean my house. We broke down and finally got direct TV. In exchange we are getting rid of our cell phones and eliminating our entertainment budget (50 a month normally used for a night out at the movies with snacks). Between the cell phones and theenterrainment budget we will actually be saving $100 a month after getting satellite.

  4. I love birthday freebies. There are a lot of different places that will give you freebies around the time of your birthday. My birthday is later this month but some of the emails have already started rolling in. So because yesterday was a long day at work I used one of the coupons for a cheap meal as I ran between jobs.When my sister has her first child 2 years ago, she saved and gave me a lot of the glass baby food jars. I have been turning them into various containers for various gifts, however this week I used some to hold my office supplies that had been all in one container, like the push pins and paper clips.

  5. -I finished knitting another dish cloth, that’s all I know how to knit. -Purchased some homemade hanging dishcloths and scrubbies from a lady at the farmers market to use as gifts for my inlaws this christmas-Booked my free hotel nights for my next trip to Vegas-Processing Asian Pears. We have 3 trees that are crazy full this year. I’m dehydrating some, making freezer asian pear jam, asian pear cake, and I’m looking for more recipes that might be freezer friendly. These pears come on quick. I think I’ll have to have them picked by the end of the week.-Checked my neighbors concord grapes, I’m so anxious for the first frost so they are ready to pick!-Canned 14 1/2 pint jars of pickled jalepeno peppers from the garden. When the Habeneros are ready I might try this with a couple of them.-Canned 15 more Pint and a half jars of salsa. I’m hoping to get at least 10 more jars before the tomatoes are done, but we are on the down hill side of the season.-Picked a quart of green beans-Picked 2 cups of strawberries-Made some Pesto Icecubes, I’m getting down to the last of the basil in the garden. -Picked 3 more zucchini’s, they are winding down also. -Processed the seeds of a giant mammoth sunflower. This was really fun to do.-Dried some chivesMy fall plantings are doing ok, the pea plants aren’t’ very large yet. My lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, turnips and kohlrabi are coming up nicely.

  6. I just finished making a batch of laundry detergent. I noticed my recipe uses baking soda and yours doesn’t. I’m finally grasping the idea that there is no final perfect formula – for soap or pickle spices or flour in bread. The beauty of “homemade” is that we can be flexible with what we currently have on hand. Thank you for sharing your days with us. It inspires and helps me very much.

  7. Well, I spent some money this past week, so some could argue that it wasn’t “FRUGAL”, but it will be….I found a used refrigerator that my parents’ neighbor was selling – it is practically brand new, works great. We needed one for the garage for overflow refrigerator preserves/pickles, for beer (when you make lager, you need to maintain temp CONSTANTLY), and for extra frozens. For $25, I couldn’t resist!And it is still newish, so it won’t be a huge energy vampire.I spent roughly $100 at Walgreens – that being said, a lot of it was on the free Suave shampoo/condition, a bunch of hair dyes by John Frieda, special shampoo for my husband, some makeup for me, and LOTS of toilet paper. Our stockpile is so full, I might even stop couponing for 6 months. Seriously. And i love my coupons. I canned 2 quarts and one pint of hot peppers, 2 quarts of dill pickles, I made bread when we ran out instead of buying it from the store, and we cooked at home in anticipation of date night Friday night (Brewers’ game) and out on Sunday with Family as well (Monroe WI had their Annual Cheese Days). I also couponed on Saturday – I got 8 lunch meats by Oscar Mayer and 2 lunchables for $10 after doubled coupon, and I got $10 back. I froze the lunchmeats, and the kids had a fun treat with the Lunchables today since my 5 year old was home with a tummy issue (he was a bit, um…backed up). I was given at least 5 pounds of tomatoes by my best friend – those will become some sort of canned tomato, probably just jarred whole tomatoes or diced, one of the two. I spent $17 on produce from one of the farm stands in town – it will yield enough for at least 10 meals, if not more. Beets, roma tomatoes, onions (i’ll tie them up in pantyhose for the winter.)I borrowed a BUNCH of books from the library – two especial favorites this week were “An Everlasting Meal” and “The Feast Nearby”. Both lovely, and worth searching out. 🙂

  8. Love these lists!-Put new elastic in a pair of one of the boys’ pants.-Ate veggies from the garden: chard, kale, grape and cherry tomatoes, rosemary, basil, butternut squash, a few handfuls of green beans, bell and banana peppers-Packed lunches for a couple of appointments.-Packed one day FULL of errands and appts, even for dh. Everyone had to be here, there, and yonder. It was wild- but it worked and saved gas.-Re-tilled 5 more areas in the garden and planted fast-growing things for fall. (radishes, greens, green onions, and lettuce)-Accepted some hand-me-downs.-Bought $100 worth of meat for the month. (Markdowns and sales.)-Cleaned the outside of our house ourselves. (Didn’t rent a pressure washer, buy one, or pay someone.) Used the bottles that connect to your water hose (usually bug spray is in them) and put bleach in the bottle. Works wonders! (And the bleach is NOT over powering this way.)-Extended the life of flip flops with those hard plastic bread ties.-Made several gallons of chicken (bone) broth.-Made 3 different kinds of granola.-2 of the teens needed some work done on some electronics. With their own money they found a local repairman, and saved 25% and shipping.-Fixed a pair of shoes with super glue. (U all know how I

  9. If you do the habaneros, get a gas mask! Mine were so strong, I literally fumed my husband out of the house!! When I did my peppers this weekend, I opened all the windows and shooed everyone outside….

  10. Brandy-I LOVE your site and have been reading it for well over a year. I remember you and your family in my nightly Rosary many times week. I am sorry that things have been so hard for you guys.You have learned from your hardships and encourage so many of us in many different ways. Now that is what I call STEWARDSHIP : ) I don’t have a frugal story but rather a frugal question. Sometimes, my husband likes to get a broasted chicken at the grocery store (on sale on Mondays) and I would like to make stock/broth but everytime I try, it ends up tasting like chicken flavored water (and a very mild flavor at that). I have added veggies, spices and used a crock pot so that I can cook it a long time. What am I doing wrong? How long should you cook the bones/chicken parts? I would appreciate any help you or others could give me.Again, you have been such an inspiration to me and have helped my family more than they will ever know! Jennifer

  11. I never thought to use those plastic bottles attached to the garden hose to wash the house! Ours is in desperate need of a washing but a power washer isn’t in our budget this year. I’m going to try this! thanks!

  12. My mom gave me a sample size mascara.I used a coupon and got a free box of oatmeal.My husband brought leftovers twice to work for his lunch. He normally does not eat leftovers for lunch.Gave two small gifts that I made from my stock pile of food.Brought two treats to work from my stock pile of food.One of the grocery stores near my house is having a promotion this month where they feature one item each day at a very low price. I was able to buy several needed items to add to my stock pile and several items to donate to a food shelf.Have a good week Brandy :)Jill

  13. Jennifer, I usually put in enough water to cover the bones & the skin, then simmer it on the back of the stove for 4-6 hours. I drain off the broth, & reduce it by at least half by simmering longer. Then I refrigerate it overnight in a small metal bowl. In the morning I remove the congealed fat on top. If the broth is not at least partially gelled, I reduce it a little further on the stove. I generally do not get more than a pint of broth from a chicken carcass. I either freeze the broth, or if I am already pressure canning something else that day, I will bottle it. Hope this helps. – Marivene

  14. Frugal things done: my husband is replacing all of our windows in our home. We found out that by him doing the work we are saving us about $250 per window. We have 8 windows so that is a savings of about $2,000. We have decided that the more work we can do ourselves the more money we can save. We have been blessed with the cash to complete this task and other home repairs. I have also started to knit and sew my Christmas gifts. We may have family visit so getting the gifts done early will be great.Thanks for sharing your frugal ideas. Tammy from OR

  15. sorry about the caps maybe you can change them to lower case. My daughter said it is like I am yelling sorry. The things I do notknow funny

  16. Marivene and Andrea- Thank you so much for your helpful hints. I think that I have (a)been starting out with too much water for the chicken carcass that I have and (b) not cooking it long enough. Again, thanks for the tips! Blessings, Jennifer

  17. I’m late to comment because I’m on vacation, but I did share some of my strides for frugality on my blog… thanks for the encouragement to work at it! :)http://babychaser.com/2012/09/strides-for-frugal-living.html

  18. Brandy, Dont know if you have ever done this but we have quesadillas with just refried beans and cheese (maybe some cooked peppers or onions) and make lasagna w/o meat as well. My hubby makes the dough and just leaves it in sheets so it cooks relatively fast. We have also been making falalfel with his pita bread. Going meatless or limiting meat has been an interesting journey but we’re that we can do it. There’s nothing wrong with eating more beans, but why limit ourselves to “just more beans”? Thanks for all your encouragement and to the wonderful ones who list their inspirations as well!~Heather~

  19. Heather, If you look at my 4 1/2 months of menus, you’ll see lots of meatless meals. Most of them don’t include beans! I like to rotate with some that have beans and some that don’t, and then some meat in there when we can.We love quesadillas. I don’t usually make them with beans on the side, but that would be good.

  20. Envy you! A wood stove was my preference, but since I’m the tote and haul person (and stacking and splitting, eh) I felt it might be a bit beyond my abilities in the long run. My stove was originally for corn, but I was able to sell a couple of things to have them convert it to burn pellets as well. Pellets seem to be plentiful here in Michigan. Corn on the other hand is pricey right now.I’d still like a Vermont Bun Baker in the kitchen though!!

  21. sorry I wasn’t very clear. Our quesadillas are made (on the inside) with refried beans and some shredded cheese. i know people who use up left over meat or veggie odd and ends to make them, but we ususally dont have enough of those to make quesadillas for all of our family. I was typing in a hurry!~Heather~

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