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Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week of November

Fall Piano Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested Swiss chard, a few tiny cherry tomatoes, 2 tiny butternut squash, a small bell pepper, a small lemon, a small parsnip, and 2 beets from the garden.

I planted seeds in the garden for lettuce and snow peas.

I combined errands to save gas.

I needed an item of clothing and went to two thrift stores in search of it. The first had nothing, but the second had some options. I tried on 12 of that item (in 2 sizes, in case of shrinkage) and only one garment fit. That one had no price tag. All of the others had a price of $5-$6. At the register, the cashier called the manager for a price, and I was able to buy the item for only $3!

My husband cut my hair.

We were diligent about our electricity usage and were able to use $5 less of electricity over the week before. I had made saving $5 our goal for the week. I have challenged the children to help me save another $5 next week, which should be more difficult (but hopefully doable!)

I found a place to perform a much-need service for $45, which is much less than the $250 we had been quoted elsewhere. I also found a place that will do it for free, so I'll be going for the free option. It's not as detailed as the $45 option, but it will do and keep me in budget.

I collected shower warm-up water and used it to water potted fruit trees in the garden.

I made some homemade leave-in conditioner using a teaspoon of regular conditioner in a squirt bottle with water (just shake to combine).

I was invited to a dinner (a catered event). The next day I was texted to ask if I would like some of the leftovers for my family. I picked them up and we ate them for the next day's lunch.

I figured out two gifts I can make for my eldest son for Christmas using fabric I have on hand.

I also figured out something I can make (using fabric I have on hand) as a wedding gift for my nephew and his bride, who will be married next month.  I looked through all of their registries as well to have a good idea of the style and color preferences of the bride. They will be married a week before Christmas. I will make them two Christmas stockings.


What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Wyoming Gal November 12, 2017

    I was responsible for organizing a lunch for 70 people at work to celebrate veteran's day. I took home some of the leftovers - about 2 lbs. of grilled hamburger, which I crumbled and put into smaller packages in the freezer, about a pound of grilled sausage, which I sliced and froze to use in a bean dish or dishes. some sliced tomatoes, which I put in salads and a package of lettuce. I also took my husband a nice piece of cake. I'll use the leftover apples, cuties and grapes for a potluck on Wednesday this week and take home any leftovers.

    I was given a few gifts by a tribal group because I helped with their visit to the museum. I will give these to my husband for Christmas - a mug and an acrylic blanket - since he likes American Indian objects.

    Instead of paying a cleaner to press several pairs of drapes, my husband patiently ironed them and they look so much better.

    I made microwave caramels for the first time. They are tasty - but I don't know that they are frugal. The butter and brown sugar that I used had been on sale, but the sweetened condensed milk seems a bit pricey to me. I wrapped the pieces in wax paper and froze them for Christmas.

    I made two different soups in the slow cooker - tomato basil and a vegetable/chicken soup to which I added quick barley. I have been eating them with whole wheat biscuits and green salads.

  • Lisa November 13, 2017

    I have the same soups on my menu plan this week! I actually made the tomato soup last night. I found a recipe online for three ingredient tomato soup. I made my own by adding milk to make it a cream of tomato soup. It was super easy and really good. I have chicken and barley on hand and will make that soup tonight after work.

    Come by my blog and see what else I have going on! frugalhappyhome.com

  • Rhonda A. November 13, 2017

    Wyoming Gal, what museum do you work at and what do you do there. I work in a Living History museum called "Lang Pioneer Village Museum" near Peterborough, Ontario, Canada as an interpreter, but I graduated from a college course to work as a museum conservator. I would love to look up info about your museum on line, if you are willing to share. If I'm ever travel in the area, I might be interesting in stopping in to visit!

  • Wyoming Gal November 13, 2017

    Buffalo Bill Center of the West which houses five museums, www.centerofthewest.org. I am part of the management team.

  • Rhonda A. November 14, 2017

    What a beautiful and interesting museum you work at, Wyoming Gal. If I'm ever traveling in your area, I will definitely stop in for a visit! Thanks for sharing this link!!!

  • Piggykr November 12, 2017

    This has been a very busy week for us. First of all we went to school orientation and had an interview for my soon to be first grader. He received several juice boxes and candies. Then at the interview he got a coffee mug. I was unable to attend a children's clothing swap but my friend grabbed a few things for me including a London Fog jacket for my son and a much needed baby snow suit I'll give to a friend of mine.

    I attended another swap with a few friends and we had a fun time. I also scored quite a few things:

    20 balls of yarn! I want to learn to crotchet while I'm in the hospital.
    1 small cooler to use for picnics
    arm floaties for the pool
    2 new packages of sanitary napkins
    a box of tampons
    13 books
    a box of mini oragami paper. My son has expressed an interest in origami lately.
    A big roll of medical tape
    a big bottle of italian organic lemon juice
    4 dish scrubbers
    1 pair of Levi's jeans
    1 coffee tumbler
    a can of sunscreen
    3 new bars of soap
    cuticle conditioner
    1 puzzle
    a huge bag of pens and pencils. With my son going to first grade in March they are much needed.
    3 shirts
    1 hiking hat
    1 bottle of Keihls Lotion
    2 sleeping bags
    1 disposable rain coat
    3 new pokemon stuffed toys that will be put under the tree on Christmas day.

    My friend gave me 7 lbs of whole wheat pasta, 7 lbs of brown rice, a can of garbanzo beans, and 2 lbs of dry beans. They are much needed!

    I've sold some toys and suitcases that I now longer need making a few dollars for an upcoming move. I plan on listing more this week.

    A local mall was having a Pokemon Go event. It happened on the same day as my husbands birthday. We combined hunting for rare pokemon and a birthday lunch. We also completed a task and recieved 2 paper pikachu hats and 2 bottles of juice. My son had plenty of opportunities to have his picture taken with his favorite pokemons.

  • Becky November 12, 2017

    I love your flower arrangement. Ours are not doing well anymore--too wet, rainy and we've had a couple of frosts. So, my husband brought home a tiny pot of chrysanthemums and they are very cheerful on my little table by the couch.

    We did more cleaning in our shop. It's a huge job because we stacked it full of many, many extra bins of items from when we moved in a year ago. Our other house was 3x the size of this one and although we got rid of tons and tons of stuff, we still are sorting and purging. The best part was getting my fabric unearthed and placed on a shelf so that I can find it!! I was able to sew 2 skirts for our Operation Christmas Child boxes. It was so gratifying because I really, really didn't want to buy fabric when I knew I had some that would work and be nice.

    We heated with wood all week.

    I cooked scrambled eggs, Swiss steak w/mashed potatoes and gravy in the crock pot, breaded chicken, 2 kinds of soup, and a few other things. I removed several items from the freezers and canning cupboards and used them. I have meatballs and spaghetti sauce thawed for tomorrow's dinner. I work from 2-6 and it makes an easy-to-grab meal if people get hungry before I arrive home by 6:30. And, I can eat right away when I get home.

    We had a call that the 1/4 beef we ordered last spring is at the butcher's. We need to call and tell them how to cut it, and it will be ready in a couple more weeks. So, I continue emptying the freezer to make room.

    I did more extra cleaning and organizing and a little decoration, to prepare for Thanksgiving. I'm very busy that week with my kids and my niece and nephew, since there's no school. However, my husband doesn't have school, either, except for a training Monday morning, so he will help watch the bunch of them and help get Thanksgiving dinner ready. Everyone is going to bring most of the meal anyway. It should be fun, and mostly done ahead of time, so relaxing.

    We have a tour of the state capitol building planned for Tuesday for home school. Our congressman is going to show us around. It should be fun and educational.

    We did take my niece and nephew to the library, as well. They enjoyed it. There was no school last Friday, so we had my nephew all day. We took him with us when we went to do errands, and stopped off at a pond to feed ducks with some old buns his mama gave us. We used a coupon I had for a buy one-get one for free McDonald's Happy Meal. He seemed starving that day, and we filled him up with as much food as he could eat. He needs all the calories he can get, since he often doesn't have much of an appetite.

    Pictures are on my blog, as usual. It would be so great if we could post pictures in our comments some day, but until them... https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/saving-money-and-weekly-update-november-11-2017/

  • Annie-Blake November 12, 2017

    Love your Christmas stockings wedding gift idea. Have you seen the stockings where one says 'Mr' & the other says 'Mrs'? That would be fitting for the occasion.

    Our week has been great. Accomplishments were:

    -worked out I have not been paid enough over the last 5 years by my employer. This backpay will go into paying down our mortgage;

    -gratefully received dinner for my family at a friends house;

    -attended french playgroup as per usual;

    -looked at french exchange programs for when my children are 14 years old+;

    -lined dried all clothes as per usual and kept electricity costs to a minimum ($75 average per month);

    -booked my daughter into a christmas event at the Alliance Francaise and due to booking early I received a 20% discount;

    -shopped for fruit and vegetables at the farmers market;

    -bought some clothes for myself after a 2 year no buying spree. 3 dresses, shorts, shirt. Now I just need a pair of sandals and i am goid for another long while;

    -booked in to get a haircut after going without for 10 months;

    -Christmas shopping is almost complete and I hope to come in at a grand total of $350 for 25 people. This is higher than previous years;

    -feeling mindful and practising positive affirmations.

  • Lisa November 13, 2017

    Wow! Back pay for 5 years. I am sorry that happened but so glad that you will be putting it to good use. Our next goal (after replenishing our savings from our daughter's wedding) is to be mortgage debt free.

  • Annie-Blake November 13, 2017

    Thank you Lisa. It was startling to realise! Being mortgage free will be a huge blessing.

  • Lilli November 12, 2017

    I have been blessed this week with much needed and unexpected money. College girl and I opened up new bank accounts near her home. Each account comes with a 200.00 bonus in 90 days. This was a surprise to us. I purchased a phone and added my late husband's brother to my phone account. Stage 4 cancer has had him unemployed for awhile. He sent me 120.00 to cover the money I spent. It was so not necessary but he insisted since he is back at work. College daughter gave me a 1000.00 I had spent on her schooling this past year. I had not asked her to repay me and was touched that she is so considerate of my money issues. I applied for my sugar cookie a free state park pass with her disability papers. I found a lovely pair of LLBean bedroom slippers at the thrift store for 3.00 . I bought 10 boxes of pasta for 49 cents a box. I bought 20 boxes of brownie mix for 25 cents a box. I picked up free products w digital coupons at several stores. I have a ton of yogurt to take to my daughter and her roommate's. These freebies are really starting to add up. I continue to enter contests each night. I won a 2018 season pass to Six Flags and a refillable soda bottle from Coca Cola. I will give this to him for his birthday in December. I am honestly shocked to have won three prizes the last four weeks. I would really like to win a vacation to take sugar cookie on. I used a coupon to get my pain meds for 75% off. I was shocked after surgery to find that they cut into my neck ,thru both sides of my throat and into my spine. He took 4 vertebrae out. We havent used our heat yet and hope to hold out a while longer. I did color my hair using half the box. I put a pale blue on it and it is gorgeous. It made the white a silver and the other a dark gray. Now to just grow it out.

  • Lorna November 13, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) . How wonderful Brandy you were able to get the clothing at a cheaper price and could reduce your electricity bill, that is the way to do it by getting all the family involved in cost savings.

    Here is our frugal accomplishments for the week -

    Trading/Swapping -
    - Organised with our former next door neighbour to put 10 bee hives on our property in exchange for receiving 15kg of honey a year for free saving $129 per year on buying it. This is a true blessing as it will keep us in honey without purchasing any and we will have wonderful bees pollinating our vegetables and flowers all year round.

    In the kitchen -
    - Cooked an apple pie and a blueberry pie from tinned fruits in our pantry saving $16.83 over purchasing them in the local shops.
    - Made a quadruple batch of granola saving $21.36 over purchasing the equivalent weight in a commercial brand.
    - Cooked all bread and meals from scratch.

    Groceries -
    - Purchased 14 tins of spam on a 50% off sale to add to our food storage saving $34.30 on usual prices.

    Other purchases -
    - Upon doing other shopping happened across a huge sale in my favourite clothing store and was able to pick up a new vintage style embroidered cotton nightie, 2 new thick and warm zip up sports style winter vests and 2 long sleeved matching thick and warm zip up track suit tops for next winter for a grand total of $25 saving $153 on usual prices. I will put these away for next winter now as I have grown out of my other ones.

    In the garden -
    - Planted another 2 x 2mt rows of carrot seeds in the gardens.
    - Found volunteer sweet potato vines that had grown in the lawn and transplanted them back into the sweet potato vegetable bed.
    - Mulched some of the vegetable gardens with saved shredded leaves and composted grass clippings rather than buying hay.
    - Used saved dish rinsing water and vegetable steaming water to water in newly planted vegetable seeds in the gardens.

    Electricity savings -
    - Worked out we only need to turn on our electric water system twice a week instead of 3 times which will save more electricity costs yet again.
    - Worked on batch cooking and only turning on the oven when we have a full oven of pies, biscuits and other things to cook.

    Have a wonderfully frugal week ahead everyone :) .

  • Rhonda A. November 13, 2017

    What a great trade, Lorna! Use of land in exchange for honey sounds like a really sweet deal! (Pun intended;))

  • Lorna November 13, 2017

    Thanks Rhonda A I was pretty chuffed with myself for asking and our friend accepting to supply us with the honey too :) . It is the usual way here anyway that apiarists pay the owners of the land on which they put their hives in a certain amount of honey per year so probably if I hadn't asked it wouldn't of happened.

    We are buzzing with excitement here (pun intended too) and also our property is buzzing everywhere with beautiful bees :D .

  • Jenny November 13, 2017

    I gave a lot of used clothing that is still in good nick to the Op Shop. Hopefully to help someone else be frugal.
    I continue to use the warming up shower water on the garden. Harvested kale from the garden for my lunch wraps with clearance purchased cheese.
    At the same clearance outlet I purchased 3 packets of oatmeal biscuits for $2.00 and 2 tins of condensed milk for $2.00.
    I also bought a bag of potatoes and eggs from Aldi for $8.00.
    I will harvest garden leeks for potato and leek soup, and will use the eggs with my garden limes for key lime pie to serve at church.
    I'm continuing to brighten the house with flowers from the garden. Life is good.

  • Susan November 13, 2017

    Another beautiful picture Brandy. I just said good bye to my 3 grandchildren ages 5, 3, and 1. They are flying home to New Jersey and I am missing them already. Being frugal most of the time lets me be able to splurge sometimes too. We took them to a fabulous playground on Friday and then out to lunch to a hipster restaurant I knew their parents would love. All other meals were made at home for their 4 day visit here. Last night we celebrated Thanksgiving early with 5 of our 6 children and 5 of our grandchildren plus an unexpected bonus guest. Made an entirely gluten free Thanksgiving dinner! Two of my kids have Celiac disease so this is the norm at our house. Looking forward to getting back to my frugal ways.

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    I bought a ham on sale. From it I made potato soup with ham. Bean and ham soup. We also ate ham sandwiches and ham and eggs. The first day we actually ate ham with sweet potatoes and sour cream green beans.

    I found tons of school supplies from when I used to teach and will be giving some of it to my grandchildren for Christmas.
    Took laundry to our house to wash.
    Packed in the evenings. Worked on our house during the day. Looking forward to no more payments at the apartment.

    Called friends and family to talk. Looked up recipes on the internet.

    Could kick myself, I bought a pizza for the grandchildren when I should have made something at home. Will do better the rest of the month. I could tell my husband was surprised i bought a pizza when I have been talking about being frugal. Kids were happy but I thought of so many things I could have cooked afterwards. They still would have been happy. Especially if I let them cook with me.

    I will have my granddaughter one day this week. I think we will cook homemade noodles and sauce. She loves that.

    Fitting in doctor appointments while I have insurance.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada November 13, 2017

    Hi Tammy,

    Glad to hear things are going well. It sounds as if the house is progressing, too. hope you can fit all those medical appointments i while you have insurance. Have been thinking a lot about you.

  • Tammy November 13, 2017

    Thank-you, I am getting the appointments in and things are looking up. We realize that God just might have other plans for us that may make us happier. It will be nice to be at the farm. We are getting creative with ideas to make money. Our landlord at the apartment said if the house isn't done and we need to stay we can. She has been a great landlord. My husband prayed to get his job, now we are praying that a job that makes him happier will come up or that one of our ideas will work. I spent time talking to my dad today and time with my husband, got to see my niece and great nephews. God is good.

  • Lisa November 13, 2017

    I am always inspired by your beautiful pictures!

    I was able to resist the temptation to buy new items in the stores that I have been anticipating. I continued our No Spend November and only spent around $35 for groceries this week (including our Thanksgiving turkey at $0.59/lb). am trying to use up what we have on hand and only spend $25 each week out of pocket for groceries. We have managed to put $1500 in savings so far this month and have a goal to add another $1000.

    I have our Thanksgiving meal planned and will continue to use as much as possible from what we have on hand. Our cupboards are starting to get bare, but I will stock up in December. I am happy to have the refrigerator and cupboards emptying so that I can clean them!

    I worked on Sunday prep for the work week and have our lunches ready. Saves time and money.

    I am also working on using up other things on hand, like personal care items and makeup.

    I can't wait to everyone's comments.

    Come see my week in review at Frugalhappyhome.com

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