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This Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I really enjoy reading about all of the free food that everyone is canning each week! I look forward to reading your comments on this post each week.

I harvested grape leaves from the garden to make stuffed grape leaves.

I picked basil, sage, rosemary and parsley from the garden to use in cooking this week.

I harvested a few small tomatoes. They ripen smaller when the heat sets in.

I harvested 2 Armenian cucumbers.

It rained this week! It even lasted for a while. My children were amazed that it lasted for several hours. I turned off the sprinklers for a couple of days.

The storm brought a new coolness that I have not seen before in August. Usually August is our hottest month with my biggest water and electric expenses. Normally, we’ll see 116º days and 104º nights at this time of year. Instead it cooled down to 75º! I turned off the a/c for 3 nights this week! We had a warm winter this year, which made me thinking we would have a hotter summer. Instead, we’ve seen a more mild summer. I’m wondering if I’ll need to adjust my fall planting schedule up a month, or at least a couple of weeks.

I made homemade hair detangler with a free sample of conditioner.

I made a batch of laundry detergent.

My husband cut his own hair. I trimmed up the back for him.

I took a free 3-day online Photoshop class from creativeLIVE. I also took another class from them today on Light Painting.

I watched new episodes of 4 shows for free on Hulu.

Most of our meals were meatless this week.

My son took some basil over as a gift to our Italian neighbors. He returned with a pizza they had made!

My husband fixed my washing machine. I have a front laoder, and about twice a year it stops working. The first time we called for service. We watched the serviceman. He opened up the front of the washer on the front and opened the drain. Little items clog up the machine and keep it from draining (so it’s really the washer that eats socks!) I need to be more proactive about this and have my husband check it when the machine starts to take longer than usual to spin. This time it was totally stopped again. Within 10 minutes, he had opened it up, unclogged it, and it was working again!

A friend of mine goes garage sale shopping for me in Washington state. She is still there, but my mom met up with her on vacation, and brought back a bag of children’s clothing for me! I have several things for the boys, a jumper for one daughter and a sweater for another, plus a new little prop for pictures that I have had on my list for several years!

What have you done to save money this week?

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25 Comments

  1. Christine, the CreativeLIVE classes are ALWAYS free if you watch them live. If you like the course, you can purchase it afterwards so that you can watch it again. There is a discounted price for purchasing the course ahead of time of while it is being aired. There is a free rewatch once each day after the class is aired for those who are in another time zone/ aren’t able to watch the class live.Click on the link to CreativeLIVE in the post and see what upcoming classes they have scheduled. You enroll in the class (or you can just watch it live without enrolling). If you enroll they remind you ahead of time about the class in an email. They also email you about upcoming classes, and email you the rewatch times of classes for which you enroll.Even the purchase price of their classes is a great bargain.I am going to take a couple more upcoming classes; another Photoshop class that is coming in September and a class on posing people in photographs.

  2. My week was a little “weak”, it seemed, but not too bad considering we didn’t spend much:* Only put 10 gallons of gas in my car since I didn’t have a ton of driving to do this week.* Dug through the remains of the uniform swap at the kids’ school to find the last couple of items for the kids – found one of the two (and discovered that my daughter’s actual clothes size is 10 Slim Tall – since we rarely actually buy her clothes that was a bit of a surprise)* Bought new tennis shoes on clearance sale for my kiddos. My son’s fit so well, I went back and got a second pair in a size up.* Baked 2 more loaves of zucchini bread and froze them.* Blanched and froze beans and carrots* Dried 8 bananas (sliced)* Tried 2 new recipes to use up the produce from our CSA that won’t freeze well (they were yummy too!)* Used the warranty on my son’s glasses to have the frames replaced after he collided with another child on roller skates and had the frames break.* Used a gift card to have an unexpected date out with my husband that didn’t require childcare (they kids were at a roller skating camp at our church).* Signed my chlidren up for very inexpensive piano lessons through their school ($5/lesson, including books). And the teacher offered to find some for me too – I played for years but it’s been a long time and she offered to find some that would get me back into shape! * Had our *FREE* piano tuned – my cousin was getting rid of her piano and said if we could haul it we could have it! Hence the furniture we got rid of – needed to make room for the piano! * Mended 6 items of clothing.That’s all I can think of now! Thanks a ton for this Brandy! I love reading everyone’s lists!Lea

  3. * Made a Potato and Onion bin for my kitchen out of two stacking racks I found in our garage.* Took our cans and bottles to the recycling center and got almost $40 for them.* Went to Kohl’s and spent $12.68 on a purse I have been eying and three headbands. I saved over $45.00. * Made my son’s lunches all week for his preschool. It is frugal, but I do NOT want him eating the cafeteria food.* I have started exercising at home instead of purchasing a gym membership. So far, so good!* Made homemade banana bread with ripened bananas. My family really enjoys it and it is a cheap dessert.* Did less laundry and washed it during off-peak hours.

  4. Totally spaced that we also received a $400 gift toward my husband’s seminary tuition this week – completely unexpected. We found out when we went to pay his tuition bill! That definitely counts as frugal.And I can’t believe I totally forgot about it!Lea

  5. I was wondering if there were any frugal accomplishments last week – it seemed more like frugal routines: cooking and baking from scratch, using hm laundry detergent, hanging laundry to dry (well, no dryer…) for example.But I did blanch and freeze green beans. I saved the blanching water and the water I cooked vegetables and potatoes in and used it for soups, sauces and doughs. That was because we have an issue with our water (we have our own well) and my husband has hauled water from his work place, so I just couldn’t throw the ‘good’ water away.I dried a batch of chamomille too.

  6. Thanks for the tomato tip Lisa!I’d like to have some red tomatoes 🙂 It’s getting cold here too and I am afraid this summer is going to end too soon for my tomatoes!

  7. I found out that you’ve got very creative gift ideas, but I’d like to share a tip that was widely used at WWII time here when it was really tough here (so I’ve heard/read, I’m not that old lol!)When a sheet wears out in the middle, cut it lengthwise in the middle, put the ‘strong’ edges in the middle, sew together and sew nice edges to the ‘weak’ edges too.

  8. You made me laugh, Miriam, with your “Well no dryer” comment. That was a hard thing for me at first when I moved to France. I know dryers are a rare thing in Europe. I am grateful to have one now! I hope you get your well working properly soon. Are you without a working well right now?

  9. The well is fine, the pump is working, the water has no germs – because of the uranium it contains. We use the tap water for washing (it has no radon, doesn’t mix with air)We knew about this problem when we moved in 4 yrs ago. We know several people who have lived in this tiny cottage before us, and they haven’t had any health problems. Anyhow my husband has an auto-immune disease, and there is a concern according to his doctor that the uranium may affect the disease to activate, even though the uranium levels are considered moderate. So we are being extra careful with the water we consume right now.I think uranium in well water is quite a common problem here because of the granite Finland is on.Where and when you were in France and for how long?

  10. Happy Monday, Brandy!Last week I received more free tomatoes from a friend and canned more sauce, bringing me to 41 pints of free organic tomato sauce so far. 🙂 I also cut my sons’ and husband’s hair, made bread, and repaired a rip in a pair of pajama bottoms. My girlfriend trimmed my hair for free. My husband fixed a drawer pull by using what we had around the house, and he vacuumed the vents in the bathroom to operate more efficiently. Last weekend we hosted a potluck for almost 50 people, and as we provided the main meat course, I pulled my last turkey out of the freezer from Thanksgiving purchases last year and roasted it, shredded it, and served it with rolls for sandwiches. We will get another four meals and tons of stock from it as well. We visited the library and checked out several magazines we enjoy instead of buying them. Oh, and in the last week, we have signed our son up for college (locally) and are paying his way through on our tight budget, forbidding him to get student loans. That is frugal from the standpoint of no interest, no fees, and teaching him debt is to be avoided at all costs. 🙂 Have a lovely week, and good luck on accomplishing your goals! Off to grab a cup of coffee and write my own goal list for the week. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement, as always. Blessings,Shani

  11. Last week I was able to:pick all our plums (family activity) ate some, froze 2 quarts, 3 pints of jam w/o pectin and lower sugar. Have a lot more to doI was shocked that my children ate through 4.5 lbs of bread in one day last week! so I decided I would make lots of dough on one day and baked some, froze some baked and froze just dough so I wouldn’t have to make bread so frequently, or clean up so frequently. I only baked 2 days last week.I checked out the one hundred dollars a month blog. I decided to try out a reclaimed food situation. The one store I checked had legal concerns, but was willing to let me go through what they pulled from the shelves for compost. I just randomly took from the top and had a lot of produce for compost, and I ended up with some other veggies in good condition for eating. Even if I only do this for compost I find it valuable. I have yet to make a consistent plan for doing this. I found cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, a couple bananas a couple ears of corn, and some lettuce.I shortened the sleeves of my son’s dress shirt, because the shirt fit him in every way but sleeve length. While finishing the sleeves I noticed a black mark on the back of the shirt. I tried every cleaner/stain remover including my dry cleaning fluid and nothing would get it out. I panicked that I would lose the shirt after so much effort to fix it, then I tried bar soap and friction. It came right out. I was laughing about it in the end.As our tomatoes ripen, if I can’t use them soon enough, I toss them into a bag in the freezer.I’m freezing other produce if I can’t use it fast enough. These will be our veggies for the winter.Bought some seed packets at 50% off to save for next year. Still need to plant some of them for fall crop.Re-organized and marked the tooth brushes and flossers. May not seem like much, but it is more likely the children will floss properly which prevents cavities, which costs me less money over the long run. We have the last of our cleanings scheduled for today. I generally try to do them all at once so I only have to drive once, and our dentist is generous enough to do that, but this time, our schedule did not allow for that. I keep looking at the other comments to find more ways to be frugal that I can incorporate into our life. Thanks to everyone that contributes.Penelope

  12. LOL – thanks, Linden. I got a chuckle out of this as my husband thought I was absolutely nuts. We had just moved house four days prior to getting the first phone call to come pick up tomatoes. We’ve been in the house a month yesterday and had two additional calls. I simply look at it as God’s lessons and blessings. 🙂

  13. Took three surveys and was rewarded with three free servings of ice cream at a local restaurant.Ate tons of leftovers.Found a dime in the gas station parking lot :)My husband was out of town for about 24 hours so his car stayed park at house for two days, saving on gas as well as wear and tear on the car.Grouped errands together to save on gas.Spent time filing my coupons.Bought several items at the grocery store that matched the lowest prices I’ve seen in the last couple of years.Got a stain out of a white pair of pants that I thought I would never be able to get out.Jill

  14. Brandy, I love to use worn out sheets and leftover top sheets to make “toothbrush rag rugs”. They are so much quicker than sewn rag rugs. Check out the tutorials at ragrugcafe.com. I have made three to replace old bathmats when the rubber backing starts to crumble out. I dried basil in the microwave and stored it for use in soups this winter.I made homemade hot pepper sauce.Harvested and cooked the last of our green beans.I planed our fall garden.I gave my teenaged son a home haircut.I repaired my wool dryer balls, which I use in place of fabric softener. (I know I should line dry.)I home schooled my two daughters, one of whom went to a private school last year.I checked books out from the library.I started knitting some Christmas presents. (thanks for all the posts about handmade gifts.)

  15. Hey everyone, I’m just asking for general advice on how to eat more frugally. My husband and I are both college students and in late December/early January, we will be adding a little one to the mix. I want to buy items in bulk and make from scratch but we live in a small apartment that barely has enough room in the kitchen for the appliances much less food storage. Also, time is a huge issue, we both work and are full-time students. I really want to make this work and would love advice on how to do this for two people with limited time and limited space. Also, I’ve never really made anything from scratch before which has me nervous to try. I want to do this to save money but also to eat healthier, I am tired of eating processed food where half of the ingredients on the label I have no idea what they are. Thanks in advance for any advice.

  16. Have you checked out my website yet? This blog is just a little tiny addition to my website. There are 4 1/2 months of menus there, recipes, suggestions for places to buy in bulk, etc. Click on any of the links here to it, or type in thepurdenthomemaker.com

  17. I have been able to get up to 25% off our hospital bills just by asking for a discount and telling them I have cash. Sweet mercy, we have been inundated with hospital bills this year. While we are delighted about our new baby( less delighted about my husband’s broken foot)we emptied our savings account paying for all the extra medical costs. Medical bills can be so overwhelming.

  18. I harvested tomatoes from our garden. We found out via Money Saving Mom that Amazon has a buy back program and we are sending back 170 dollars worth of textbooks and dvds we don’t want or need anymore. I cut our grocery budget this week to challenge myself. I cut it from 120 down to 75 dollars. We did our grocery shopping on the way home from visiting so we saved a trip. As an added AWESOME bonus, both of our children were asleep so they stayed in the car with my husband and I got to shop ALONE. Amazing. My son made a cardboard box condo for his “guys”. We played with home made finger paint. I made baby food and froze it. I made “clean out the fridge” slaw. Annd blech, I am forcing myself to use up all the shower gel my sister keeps giving me. I prefer soap.

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