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This Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I picked up a small succulent at Sam’s Club and divided it into 5 plants. Using pots I already had that were not being used, I replanted it into several pots and arranged the pots by my front door. Eventually they will spread and fill the pot, and fortunately, they prefer it when you only water them every few days, so if I forget a day, they won’t die.

I bought 2 dwarf periwinkle plants and divided both of them into 2 plants so that I could put them in 4 pots. The periwinkle spreads like mint, rooting where it touches, so it should fill the bottom of the pots.

Harvested a fistful of green beans, a few small tomatoes, and basil this week.

Planted Swiss chard seeds that were free to me (from a reader who attended my garden tour last year).

Dug up and divided paperwhite (narcissus ziva) bulbs. I will replant them in new places in the garden next week.

I hand pollinated a butternut squash flower and a cucumber flower. Those were the only female flowers I saw all week. My cucumbers are covered in hundreds of flowers–male flowers.

I made Greek yogurt and used the leftover whey to make crepes.

Printed out 2 Buy 2 Get 1 free canning lid coupons on Smartsource.com.

I signed up for a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Watched 5 free shows on Hulu.

I used coupons to get some candy for free. I put it aside to use in Christmas stockings.

I worked on birthday gifts for my daughter using items I had on hand.

I cooked a turkey and we used it for meat this week. I also froze some to use another time. In between that, we had plenty of meatless meals, including bean burritos.

What have you done to save money this week?

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25 Comments

  1. I can’t have a clothes line either due to HOA rules. What I did, though, was buy a retractable clothesline from Walmart for about $9 and installed in in my garage. It starts just outside my access door to the garage and hooks on across the garage (which is two garage doors plus about four feet wide). I can easily hang a load of laundry (not towels) on it. I have thought about getting a second line and having two of them :)Allison

  2. Love all the inspiration :)* found a good quality shirt at the thrift for my daughter for $2* did a freezer cooking day as this month will be busy!* stock up on some good deals on groceries* talked with my husband about expanding the garden area for next year (yippee!)* used a $3 birthday coupon for my sons birthday to snag him a christmas gift* stocked up on bagels at the bread outlet* harvested several tomatoes from the garden* took my son the skate park for free exercise and entertainment!* got my son a free ice cream using his birthday coupon

  3. I love this posting! I plan on joining in. I moved into a new home this week so I need to focus on completing that task but I have lots of frugal ideas I want to implement for my home.First thing is to make some new drapes/curtains for the bedrooms. Any ideas for materials????Also, I want to plant a container garden for fall. I had one for spring that was an experiment and did pretty well.

  4. Made Brandy’s AMAZING black bean burgers which are, I kid you not, better than beef. Used some red pepper flakes from a long ago pizza delivery that we have kept in the fridge. Took the beef that we would have used for hamburgers and made it into several quarts of spagetti sauce, which will see us through many dinners over the next couple of months. Finally, took the leftover blackbeans I cooked for Brandy’s AMAZING black bean burgers, mixed them with some pinto beans and taco tvp for flavor, and made bean burritos for the next week.Oh, and had leftover black bean burgers. They hold up very, very well.I’m interested in making dorm sized clotheswashing soap. How do you package it and get it to your student? As always, I love these posts and have utmost respect and admiration for everyone here.Eleanor.

  5. I have seen some people make the dry powder homemade detergent and just place it in small ziploc baggies. If your student is out of state, you could mail them that way. Hope this helps!!

  6. Sheets make inexpensive curtains. BCOutlet dot com has some tab top navy stripe drapes for only 2.99 a panel in their clearance section. I bought these with grommets for a bedroom redo I recently did. Looks like the grommet ones are sold out now.

  7. Wow, great inspiration to us all:) Here’s what I accomplished so far this week. -harvested pumpkins and put 6 2cup bags in the freezer-picked beans and dug out potatoes for a meal yesterday-picked 2 big watermelon. Sent one to my mother in Alberta and cut the other one up. I used some in my yogurt smoothie this morning and the taste was fabulous-dug out all the onions and have them drying at the moment-made 2 gallons of goat yogurt…one for our family and another to sell to my inlaws-Picked up another female puggle that we found on craigslists for $25.00 We hope to sell a few extra puggles. (hopefully)

  8. Do you have a link to that recipe for the GF muffins? I’ve been looking for good baking recipes, since I am recently converted.

  9. I would also like your gluten free muffin recipe please. Gluten free can be so expensive and it has really put us in a bind in our grocery budget. We just recently discovered our daughters gluten allergy. I haven’t been baking because it’s just too expensive for the gluten free ingredients!

  10. Your vacation home sounds wonderful! What a treat for your whole family! I am sure it saved your lots of money on vacations. I know some people think vacations are a waste, however if you can afford them I think they are wonderful! How nice to have 4 weeks a year to use it!!

  11. Hi. I agree with last week’s commenter who suggested you try growing things that are known to work well in hot, dry climates, like okra and southern peas.Also, a hint after reading about the time spent weeding: An hour spent mulching will save you hours of weeding.Garden on! Love your blog.

  12. Hi Linnea Your watermelon was DELICOUS.We are also eating our new potatoes every day but our onion crop is not that hot.I admire you Brandy and told all my daughters to follow your blog for some inspiration. Jane

  13. My husband, our oldest daughter & our oldest granddaughter all are celiacs, & must eat gluten-fee. It has completely changed how I bake. I use a few GF mixes, like yellow cake, for special occasions, but they are too expensive for every day. A few weeks ago, I posted a gluten free brownie recipe here from allrecipes.com, with a few modifications from the comments section. If GF is a problem with the cost, & those ingredients are expensive, then I suggest that you buy white or brown rice flour, & sorghum flour. Those two flours are the ones I use the most. When I am converting a recipe to GF, I usually add an extra egg (we use medium eggs & the liquid volume is off if I don’t), and I always add one of the following to keep the texture from being gritty: a couple of bananas, 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or squash, 1/2 grated zucchini or carrots, 1/4 cup applesauce or 2 heaping teaspoons of apple butter. The bananas & the apple butter work the very best. Cornbread is easily modified, since you are only replacing the wheat flour, not the cornmeal, & I would add either applesauce or apple butter there. I don’t use the xanthan gum or the guar gum, because my husband reacts to them. I also substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream called for in many recipes. If the recipe calls for a lot of oil, like zucchini bread, replace half of it with applesauce. As you practice, you will get better at baking GF. While you are learning, Bisquick has a GF version, with a pancake recipe. Add 1/2 cup pumpkin to the directions & it is a keeper! – Marivene

  14. If you sew, I highly recommend buying fabric from Fabric.com. They are always having some kind of sale and there are always coupon codes for additional savings. Brandy has the link on her sidebar. I just moved a year ago and still have 2 windows left to cover but I made mostly roman shades with fabric I ordered online. Also, think outside the box: I bought a king size duvet from west elm and there was enough fabric to make 4 curtain panels from it. Each panel ended up being less than $18. Good luck.

  15. We have been saving canisters from things like cocoa and hot cocoa, and other things. That is how I am sending it with my daughter (she leaves tomorrow) I think the ziploc bags are a great idea for sending it in the mail. Have you looked into shipping costs? It might be cheaper to send money for your student to buy detergent from a campus store than to actually send it. Of course if you have allergies to detergents this might not matter.Penelopep.s. We had lentil tacos again for dinner tonight. I found the suggestion for this on the Brandy’s website. I still have to try to the BBBs.

  16. Joy, eating gluten free doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve found that instead of buying special ingredients, I look for recipes that simply omit the flour. I’ve made chocolate cake, brownies, muffins, and cookies that are not only flourless, but delicious. Buying special flours just isn’t in my budget so I had to find a way around that. Flourless Peanut Butter Banana MuffinsMakes 121 C peanut butter2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)1 t baking powder1 t vanilla extract3 eggs1/2 t kosher salt1/4 C honey1 t cinnamon1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tin with paper liners (don’t try to make these without the liners!).In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.Scoop the batter into the muffin liners and fill 3/4 full.Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Muffins should be firm and golden brown.Cool for 15 minutes in the pan. The muffins will deflate some.Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.Enjoy!

  17. A lot depends on the quality you want. Target has pre-made panels starting around $12 each. Sometimes, you can find flat sheets on clearance or at a thrift store for much less than that. Walmart has poly blend flat sheets for cheap; when I lived in apartments, that’s what I used to cover the sliding glass doors.

  18. Brandy, are you doing anything differently during these last several weeks? Also, what do you do for adult clothes for you and your hubby? Over years of buying nothing new I’m finding I’m in need of some things. Would love to hear your input on this. You are blessing so many.

  19. I’m not sure what you mean about doing anything differently.As far as clothing for my husband:My parents have bought 4 shirts for my husband on two separate Christmases, a couple of years apart, over the last few years.I was able to buy him a couple of shirts with my Amazon credit once.He bought two pairs of shorts for himself this year, and he finally bought a new pair of flip flops. He also bought a pair of pants this year.For myself: I have alternated between maternity clothing and regular clothing 3 times in the last 6 years, so that makes things go further.It’s warm here most of the year, so I turned my long-sleeved shirts into short-sleeved shirts before my last pregnancy.I was able to pick up a few things at the thrift store twice in the last 6 years. I used one skirt that I purchased to make a pattern for more skirts, and I have made myself more skirts from fabric that I had (and a little that I purchased) from that pattern. I also copied a thrift store shirt to make myself another shirt from fabric that I already had.About 7 years ago, I found some shoes I really liked. WHen they went on clearance, I purchased many pairs of loafers, dress shoes, and sandals. I put them aside, and as the other pairs of shoes wore out, I have been able to take out another identical pair out and wear those. I am getting to the end of those now, but it has been a great blessing to me to have shoes/sandals.Yes, I am needing some new clothes. I will probably make myself another skirt for the colder months from fabric that I have.

  20. Brandy, I just wondered if there was anything you were doing differently as times get even tighter. Looking for more ideas as things have gotten very tough here lately. Thanks for all your ideas and encouragement.

  21. I am constantly looking for new ways to save money. I continue to find them, too. I have been posting about the things I’ve been doing, and some are new ones for us. My list of things that I don’t buy that I recently wrote shows some changes as well that have really helped us to save more money. We’re now looking at a 90% cut in income (since January) and we continue to find ways to cut.In general, we don’t buy stuff. If you look at my lists each week, you’ll notice that I’m saving money by repurposing things that I already have, or looking for free opportunities, rather than talking about shopping opportunities. I don’t do a lot of shopping. That’s key. I also look for ways to save on our utilities. I stay home a lot, which saves gas.

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