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This Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I cut a few spears of asparagus from my garden. I also cut lettuce from the garden.

I cooked a large pot of beans and froze the cooked beans in bags to have on hand for future meals.

I used my raincheck from Walgreen’s to purchase 9 dozen eggs for .99 a dozen.

My husband bought 80 pounds of potatoes on sale for .20 a pound.

I combined coupons and sales to pick up some shirts for my oldest daughter for $3.50 each. I was also able to pick up a free bottle of conditioner (which I will use to made homemade hair detangler).

My husband and I watched a show on Hulu for free. I put on an episode of Curious George for the children from PBS.org.

I used my referral credit from One Kings Lane to order something for myself.

I received a free copy of a magazine in the mail.

My two oldest children were invited to a birthday party for siblings. They gave gifts from my gift stash and they made the girls’ necklaces using items we had on hand.

What did you do to save money this week?

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25 Comments

  1. As I try to remember my frugal activities from the week, I am reminded of so many things I DON’T do – eat lunch out, go to a movie, go to the mall. I took my lunch to work from leftovers, saw a Redbox movie with my husband for our date, and found a coral colored silk skirt from the thrift store for $5 – just the perfect color for my son’s June wedding. We ate almost all meals at home – except my mother took my entire family out to dinner one night. I ate half and saved the rest for lunch the next day. We had another birthday meal at home – fajitas and an icebox dessert. I made granola, wheat bread and found this great tutorial for making artisan bread – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Ah9ES2yTU It was so easy, had 4 ingredients, and was so good! I also price matched several produce items at Walmart.

  2. It’s complicated for Allison because it involves a disagreement with her husband, but for us and our budget, it is worth it to be vigilant about turning off lights even at 1cent for 4 hours. I like to annualize small savings and think of what I could buy instead.We have a few lamps with single bulbs but our overhead lighting has 3 or 4 bulbs in ceiling fans and 5 bulbs in chandeliers in my office and the dining room. So leaving on the living room and dining room light is 9 bulbs for 4 hours at 9 cents/day or $32.85 for the year. It would save even more if the living room had the ceiling fan on unnecessarily too, plus you have to replace the bulbs more often, so making the bulbs last longer is another small savings. For $32.85 after a year, I could buy 3 bags of 72oz chips at Sams Club at $10.48 a bag. I would rather have 216 oz of chips than leave lights on when they aren’t needed. Also, the savings is greater in our bathrooms where each vanity light has four G5 incandescent bulbs, which also get very hot thus heating up the room even more.But we are on a very tight budget now, so that’s our situation – we have to save where ever we can no matter how small.

  3. I always feel like I don’t do much, but then I start to make this list and suddenly I did more frugal stuff than I thought!– We stacked coupons, sales, and Cartwheel at Target for a big grocery shop. Normally we head to the store every week, but this time we’ll be able to go a lot longer, which keeps us from making little impulse purchases.– We also used two gift cards at Target to knock $15 off of our total. They were hiding at the back of a drawer and we had totally forgotten about them.– My favorite blazer has finally started to fall apart, so I thought it was time to retire it and get a new one. I went to the outlet mall and found one on clearance for $19.99. Bonus: it’s machine-washable.– I cut my husband’s hair.– My husband made chocolate chip cookies from scratch.– I made another batch of sugar scrub. Still going through a ton of it since the weather is still colder than normal here.– Ate all meals at home during the week, but we did go out to a local steakhouse on Saturday night. We got a coupon for $25 off when you spend $50, so one of us essentially got a free entree.

  4. The above comment was written with the tongue firmly planted in cheek, but I jsut reread it and realised it might come across as me being serious! While I’d love to go to Europe (and could claim a great deal of the trip on my taxes) it’s still not exactly a prudent option, as the money that is returned is only equal to the taxes you would have to pay (eg if you claim a trip at $1000 and would normally pay $200 taxes on that $1000 if it was income, you’d at best be able to get $200 back, meaning you’re still $800 out of pocket). So, salary packaging is great and we are happy to use it wherever and whenever we can – but it’s not worth taking on unnecessary expenses *just* to claim back a portion of those expenses on our taxes.

  5. Brandi, your daughter at the piano looking so focused on those keys is a great picture. I know a lot of you homeschool and I was wondering if this would interest you. Are you acquainted with the blog (and also a radio show from St Paul) The Writer’s Almanac? It is narrated by Garrison Keillor from Prairie Home Companion. The radio spot is about 5 minutes long. It always starts with a poem, then a list of 3-4 literary subjects, either authors or famous people in history. He gives anecdotes of their life, a listing of their works. He covers all and sundry…from Poe to Guttenberg to Mary Oliver for example. So you can listen, or read. I listen only occasionally, but I read the blog every day. We had a pretty nice week. Did all the usual frugal things of packing lunches, composting, hanging laundry…you know. Did not shop except to go back and get cabbage and milk. I called all 4 groceries to check on cabbage…I was hoping for .19 a pound as in past, but no more. So stuck with my usual store which was .29/pound and I had a 20% off on green cabbage Saving Star coupon. I called ahead and asked them for at least 15 heads if possible. I bought 2 gallons of milk at 2/6.00. Made 2 loaves of white bread, 1 loaf of Irish soda bread, 2 loaves of orange nut bread, 4 loaves of banana bread ( I have smaller pans for quick breads…a recipe that says it makes one loaf will make 2 of my pans.) Made 2 doz vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Sprinkled with green and topped with some shamrock picks that I have saved for years. We actually ate out a lot which is really rare for us. There was a funeral meal last Saturday, then we ate at my husband’s sister Susi’s home…she lives only about 20 min away. She normally eats with us once a week, but she wanted us to see an art exhibit she had worked on, so we visited that after an early dinner. She had also made copies of some old photos of their parents and framed them and she gave them to us. That was nice…photographs were very rare in their family. Then (husband and I) we ate away from home Fri and Sat as we travelled down to Illinois for the Relief Fair, stopping to pick up a cousin on the way through WI. Janna paid for gas on the way down as we were delivering her to her expectant daughter…her husband could not go ahead of time and would come down later after the baby was born. We all brought food for the trip, we ate at the fair on Friday night and then Saturday Janna and I made brunch for everyone. They farm, naturally, so we were sent home with 4 pounds of homemade sausage. On Sunday back at church there was a potluck to which I took the cupcakes. Seriously though it was fun I am really glad to get back to my own cooking.Picked up two reserves from the public library, watched a Shirley Temple movie, addressed Easter cards. Took those pillowcases I started working on last year along to embroider on the drive. Did more on the way back as husband and I mostly listened to music…on way down Janna and I probably talked non-stop so I didn’t get much done. All in all was not a productive week but was very full.

  6. Patty, are you looking for a self-help type book or just good modest/clean fiction with a positive message? What are you meaning by ” young lady”….17 ,18 years old? I know some people call teens, even tweens, young ladies. Depending on a bit more clearer meaning (to me) I could give you some titles from our library.

  7. What a sweet picture Brandi. I may try to take one of my son in a similar manner (although I am not even close the photographer that you are but I am trying). He loves to play the piano although he does not yet know how (he just turned 4). We had a pretty good week and even started our seeds in our float bed. (I will have to take some pictures of it.) My accomplishments are listed here on my blog: http://www.lifeasmrsemerson.blogspot.com/2014/03/frugal-things-i-did-last-week_18.html I am throwing a bridal shower for my brother’s soon to be bride. I would love any tips, ideas, etc. (I have never thrown a shower before.)

  8. Julie- I made a large postpartum mama cloth to use after my daughter was born and I absolutely love it!!! When my cycles return (I am breastfeeding) I plan on using it all the time. I purchased 1 and made a pattern from it. I used all sorts of scraps: flannel, cotton, or fleece with warm and natural batting inside or Zorb. I found that I really did like the snaps a lot better than the velcro. Feel free to email me if you have anymore questions a.emersontutoring at g mail dot com.

  9. Helped out and went to a wedding last week, so needless to say, I was not very frugal, lol. I also got sick, which did not help. I did some things:Went to a friend’s to study, and she made lunch. It was delicious.Another friend altered a dress I planned to wear to the wedding for free. I wore the jewelry and shoes I wore to my wedding; so glad it matched, and I did not have to make any new purchases.I planned to get a pedicure because I was getting caught up in the moment. Thankfully I refrained; it really was not necessary, lol given I was not the one getting married.It rained a lot, so we did not have to water as much.We got a couple more shiitakes.Husband and I went to a new park that opened in our city. It was nice. We plan to return this week.It got cold again, so we had the fireplace running for a few nights.I listened to Suze Orman for free on iTunes.Used baking soda as deodorant.Used baking soda for toothpaste.We continued to compost.Picked kale from the garden.I bought the netty pot for my sinuses. I got it on sale and with a manufacture coupon.

  10. For the Baby shower first check what you might have on hand but think way outside the box.Go thru items you have for decorating for Easter even for Christmas and see if you can use some of that for decor and for serving. Consider doing just desert and drinks . Check out Martha Stewart online for other ideas. If you want to do an entire meal consider grilling out (it can be cheap) sloppy joes or pasta salad or a buffet of salads. I hope some of these ideas help you to get started. In addditon I asked around at work once when I was having a big gathering and the ladies all came thru with cups and paper products that were just extras in their own homes. Best of Luck I would love to see what you come up with.

  11. For The Baby Shower Question: For decorations try using onesies, sleepers, bonnets, socks, etc that you might have from your own children try hanging them up around the room, with clothespins like they are on a clothing line. As for centerpieces, try using some baby bottles and put flowers them. This way its all baby decorations. You might have all of this on hand. Games using just pen and paper. Help with cost of the entertainment. If you have the need to send home favors and the budget is tight hold a raffle for the favors.

  12. We have bridal showers all the time at church. Are you having it at your home? Candles are always nice for prizes if you are doing games. There are books at the library on how to throw showers if you want lots of ideas. I guess your budget is your guide. Our showers are pretty thrifty as we have a cupboard at church with misc decorations stored and all color table cloths etc. Stringing mini lights is always festive. I like to do games for the shower so I always save the games from all showers I ever go to for future ideas…Present Bingo is always popular and you can have 5 or so small prizes for the 1st 5 people to get bingo. A recipe shower is fun if your bride to be likes to cook…bring a nicely written out card of your favorite recipes and the canned or boxed ingredients needed for it and a kitchen item…for example the recipe for DUMP CAKE could be a 9/13 cake pan and a box yellow cake mix, can of cherry pie filling and can of crushed pineapple. A devotion at the beginning is always appropriate. Do a game with the bride and groom names where you fill in an attribute or wish for the couple….like L—love one another, A-always support each other, U—try to understand the problem , R—read the Bible together, A…appreciate the small things… and J—join in prayer together, O—offer encouragement, H—help one another, N..never go to bed angry! You can have nice little note cards for your guest to write on and then gather them up and punch a hole and tie together with a pretty ribbon.Are you doing food too? Finger food is nice, like relishes, dip, little sandwiches cut in triangles, fruit on a skewer, nothing you need to cut with knife and fork unless everyone is sitting at a table. Have a variety of bar desserts and cut them in small pieces so people can have a couple or 3 if they want. Have fun!

  13. We had the same problem with my husbands laptop even after a good cleaning. He found that if he could get it off the table and let the air flow better around the bottom it wouldn’t heat up as often. You can buy special racks for this on amazon, but we found an upside down muffin tin worked just as well.

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