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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker


Thank you, everyone, for your kind and encouraging comments and emails last week. I really enjoyed them!

Here's what we did to save money last week:

My husband cut my hair for me. It took all of 3 minutes--less time than it would have taken me to gather my purse and keys and get in the car to go somewhere to have it cut--and it didn't cost me anything either!

I gave the baby a haircut.

My husband cut his hair.

I harvested basil, green onions, Armenian cucumbers, Swiss chard, a handful of almonds from our new almond tree that I planted in spring (it's tiny still),  a few tomatoes, and pears from our garden.

I canned a batch of relish.

I planted seeds from the Armenian cucumbers I picked to replace a bunch of vines that died this past week. It's still hot enough to pick come November, so I may be able to harvest again around November. I'm hoping it's not too hot for these to germinate; it may be.

Olive branches and pears The Prudent Homemaker

We had a small bit of rain, right during the eclipse! I put out buckets and collected over 5 gallons of water from the roof runoff. I used this to water my potted plants in the garden. 

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used it to water potted plants as well.

The rain brought a return of humidity and cooler temperatures for a few hours, allowing me to turn off the air conditioner for a few hours. Once the air conditioner was back on, I was able to collect more than 10 gallons of water from the air conditioner drip.

I reprogrammed our thermostats to 80ºF (26.6ºC) at night. I had them set at 79º. This will make a slight difference in our electricity usage. We'll be using the air conditioner well into October; it's going to be well over 100º all of September (it was 109º here Saturday and 113º (45ºC) here Sunday).

We enjoyed swimming at my sister-in-law's house. 

I went to the library book sale and spent $4 on several used books for the children (several of which will be used for school). I love building my library inexpensively!

There is a local play audition that is a collaboration between two churches here. Several of my children want to audition. Before auditions, they are hosting two free workshops for children to learn how to audition (which my children attended this past week) as well as one on acting, which my children will attend next month.

My husband and I enjoyed two dates out using gift cards that we were given.

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Athanasia September 01, 2017

    Rhonda, same here!

  • Athanasia August 30, 2017

    Mable, congratulations on your successful composting. There is nothing better.

  • kim September 13, 2017

    I am in Iowa and am trying to grow honey berries in pots. Where are you growing yours? I've read mixed reviews about growing them successfully. I noticed that coffee grounds help a lot to keep soil in pots acidic. Any suggestions?

  • Annie-Blake August 28, 2017

    This week was active and we:

    -made banana bread
    -made lentil, tomato, capsicum, cauliflower and chickpea soup and froze some
    -got some very needed items for my birthday, saving us over $200
    -cut meat consumption down drastically
    -washed our only car
    -went to the beach and took our bicycles
    -used a $50 voucher for the weeks groceries, leaving me $7 out of pocket
    -was gifted a chocolate bar
    -read two books from the library
    -went to playgroup
    -did the usual line drying, not buying things, being as energy & water efficient as we can, going for walks and to the duck pond and park with my children, cooking everything from scratch (except for bread, pasta and yoghurt)
    -did not need to fill up our only car with petrol
    -my daughter was gifted a set of pencils and a colouring book and we also received 2 bottles of water and a handful of sealed candy from a free event we attended
    -still no internet and hoping to have it connected by November 2017. It will increase our outgoing expenditure so I am going to have to look at what areas I can cut down our expenses

  • Gardenpat August 28, 2017

    A friend told me about a sale @Meijers - raspberries - 2 baskets/$1!!! So I bought enough to make 42 jars of jam! I had all the other ingredients and jars already in my pantry!!

    I also pressure canned 10 pints of black beans, 8 pints of kidney beans and 4 pints of white beans to replenish my pantry shelf! I store 100 pounds of each of those as dry beans but I live the convenience of opening a jar to use immediately in a recipe!!
    Sold another outside bench so that brought in more $$! I had assumed that the season for selling our outdoor line of wood furniture would be ending since summer is basically over but I guess I'll just keep that advertised since I just got another request for one! Our orders keep growing for our set of 3 fall pumpkins that we make out of reclaimed wood! On Craigslist today, we picked up almost 500 board foot of cedar fencing for free that we will use in our business! That represents thousands of dollars worth of material!

    With the greens I got for free for our chickens, there were also 3 big bunches of carrots with wilted tops! I cut the tops off for the chickens and peeled and shredded the carrots for us to enjoy in carrot cake!!! There were also 6 big bunches of broccoli that I washed and cut up and blanched in boiling water and then packaged in 3 quart ziploc freezer bags! For free!!

    A friend gave me a bag with handpieced quilt blocks for the 1930's-1940's and so I started sorting through them. I found 30 bow tie blocks so I sewed then together and then quilted it up! The batting and backing were in my stash! It turned out amazing- very vintage- and I put it up for sale on our Facebook site!
    I got 4 more pounds of strawberries @ 88cents/pound so I froze those whole for slushes!

    I made 6 more bacon, egg and cheese McMuffins for breakfast. I packaged up dinner leftovers each night into lunch portions to go!

    We are gettin 21 eggs a week from our chickens and enjoying them thoroughly! I hard boiled a dozen more in my instant pot to keep in the fridge for an say snack! A friend crocheted an egg carrying apron for me as a surprise gift!! It's adorable! Of course I would have to have a lot more chickens to fill the 18 egg pockets at one time!! Lol !!

    I canned 7 quarts of tomatoes from our garden!
    Our side business brought in an extra $300 this week! We found out what my husband's company pension (separate from our 401K will be each month when he retires and that it will continue until both of us have passed away! This means retirement looks much better in 21 months than we thought!
    All in all, a very good week!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada August 30, 2017


    You are so lucky that the pension continues until both of you have passed away as that is unusual these days. What a blessing!

  • tadpole August 28, 2017

    I think that my list of frugal accomplishments should always start with mentioning that I read the comments after Brandy's posts. I always learn something new and I always feel inspired by all your knowledge.
    Thanks everyone!
    This week was pretty uneventful. I canned my peaches for the year, saving the peels and pits in the freezer to make jelly later this winter when life slows down.
    We watched the eclipse at work. I did cobble together a pinhole viewer and it worked pretty well, but not as well as the special googles one of the stock boys brought. We all took turns covering for each other and looking through the googles at the show in the sky.

    Have a great week everyone.

  • Lorna August 28, 2017

    Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    Brandy I am glad you had some much needed rain there which will help with watering your gardens.

    Here is how we have saved this week -

    Purchases -
    - Purchased our grocery gift card at 5% off face value saving $10 off next months grocery shop.
    - Bought stainless steel pegs from money earned from selling saved garden seeds from our gardens on the internet saving $28.82 over purchasing them elsewhere.

    Financial -
    - Saved more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account bringing us up to 21.34% of the way there.

    Garden machinery maintenance savings -
    - After ringing around for the best price we put our ride on lawn mower in for it's service at another dealer saving $39 over the regular place we sent it to.
    - Put in our 2 chainsaws for a service and said no to them sharpening the chains saving us $18 as we are doing it ourselves after finding out the right angle to sharpen them on.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Made 1.85lts of orange juice cordial from oranges found on special saving $3.39 over purchasing the similar amount in the shops.
    - Saved $8.91 in electricity costs by using our solar lanterns to light our home each night and only turning on the electric hot water system once every 3 days. The water in the hot water system stays hot for that period of time :D .

    Have a great week ahead everyone :) .

  • Maxine August 28, 2017

    I'm really enjoying reading everyone's frugal activities. In addition to the usual stuff, here is what I did:
    (1) My old computer kicked the bucket. I ordered a new one online from Best Buy. It was on clearance and reduced from $599 to $479. But I bought one in an opened box, which reduced the price to $421. It arrived the same day the old one breathed its last.

    (2) Picked a handful of blueberries from the bush I planted last year.

    (3) Picked a bucket of pears from one of my two dwarf pear trees (the other tree is a few days behind). As soon as they finish ripening, I plan to can them.

    (4) The W&D at our vacation home (where we are living for the next 6-8 months) were both on their last legs. The dryer sounded like a threshing machine and the washer was stopping mid-cycle. They were about 25 years old and I got them free to begin with. Last week, I bought a set of used KitchenAids for $275. They were asking $300, I thought they were worth about $250, but there is a lot to be said for buying something used that is spotlessly clean and only 3 miles away.

    (5) Been doing a good job of using up leftovers and not throwing away food. Still eating down the freezer and pantry, and spending $40-$50 week on milk, bread, produce, etc., and things we run out of. I have been feeding the compost pile all week.

    (6) Reduced water consumption by 1/3 by re-programming the sprinkler system. This should result in about a 50% savings because it will eliminate the surcharge on the entire bill. Been doing little things to conserve and reuse household water. Also unplugging the computer and other things that use energy even when not in use.

    (7) At Goodwill, I bought a pair of Ellen Tracy black dress pumps, white and gray Keds Mary Janes and red leather flip flops for $19 total--all in like-new condition.

    (8) Saved 15% by reserving in advance a room at LaQuinta on the way to DS's wedding next month in Wyoming..

    (9) I need some hardware items, but decided to wait until I was near a hardware store vs. the instant gratification of driving 40 miles RT to get what I need.

    (10) Saved the best for last--gratefully received 3 pieces of free pie!

  • momsav August 30, 2017


  • Marivene August 28, 2017

    It has been a busy week here putting up the harvest. I picked all the remaining peaches from our mature dwarf tree, because the birds were pecking at them. They are ripe enough to finish ripening in boxes on the dining room floor, under the kitchen counter, where the birds cannot get to them this year the tree yielded over 3 bushel, nearly 3 1/2. We already put up a bushel from our Red Haven trees, & it sounds like a lot, but when we eat what we produce, & I share with our daughters, it is about right.

    Picked the remaining pears & continued to dehydrate them in slices as they ripen, again, in a box on the dining room floor. Picked & brought in the prune plums, again, because the birds would not leave them alone, so they are close enough to finish indoors. Enjoyed the first picking of green beans; I do love fresh green beans!

    The dehydrator is running mixed loads these days with the last of the grapes, pear slices as they ripen, & the occasional banana that is getting over ripe, with tray of elderberries here & there. I have been running it on the patio table to keep the house cool, but we now have a fire burning up one of the canyons, so every morning & evening, the smoke smell is pretty thick outside when the canyon wind comes down. That has cut into the amount of time I can run the dehydrator each day, down from about 14 hours to 8-9 hours, so it takes longer. This week I will dig & prep some of the beets for dehydrating as well, to take the place of the raisins that are almost done. I try to process a full set of 10 trays when I run the dehydrator. I don't always succeed, but when I do, I keep up with the harvest better.

    I have started watching for bandanas again at the thrift stores. We lived in Idaho when Yellowstone had the big fires a few decades back, & a wet bandana over the face helped my children, who all had asthma, breathe far more easily when they were outside. They played cowboys a lot that year!

    Picked up more wide mouth mason jars at Deseret Industries to hold dried pears & raisins. When my oldest daughter comes over for her next medical appointment, she will bring me some of her empty jars as well, & I will trade her for full jars. She has more jars than I do, which is more than just a few, but by trading back & forth, everyone in the family benefits. I can grow fruit here much better than she can, but she can raise meat, which I cannot. The extended family economy works for us.

    I pruned back the forsythia in the front yard after I pulled the garbage can to the curb for the pickup, because the bushes need pruned back again & there was room to fit some pruning in the top,of the garbage can. Our garbage rates went up again a few months back, so I try to plan carefully so we do not need more than one can.

    I picked some of our Maypole crab apples that are 2" across, & cut the flesh from the core, then popped the pieces into freezer bags to wait until later in the fall when I am not so busy. I will juice them & make crab apple jelly to use in our saucy meatballs recipes.

    We looked at our FSA, & realized we were probably not going to use all we set aside this year, so I ordered a second pair of orthotics (I can get 2 pair per year), and scheduled an eye exam for new glasses. I also had a growth on my cheek checked out by derm, since our FSA is a use it or lose it. My husband had a wart frozen off. These are some things that need done, but could have waited a year if need be, so we do them when the funds are there in the FSA.

    I have continued to make and/or buy the presents for the upcoming holiday season, & most of those are at the ready to wrap stage. One of things that I did that was new this year was to make sure I used every 25% off coupon in the Deseret Book flyers. One of our young grandchildren loves the small Latter Day Design figures, but they are $5.99 each. The coupon takes off a buck & a half, which doesn't sound like that much, until I start buying one with every coupon. Several of them together make a very nice present for birthdays or Christmas. The child loves them, her parents love them (they go in their "Sunday box" of religious toys for Sunday play), & it spreads out the cost over multiple months, plus reducing it with the coupon. I have saved & used my pine cone research $3 checks for these, & have a small assortment now.

  • Athanasia August 29, 2017

    Marivene, I googled and landed on the LDS bookstore and saw the figurines. There is quite a variety. The name Helaman sounded familar...that had something to do with a parade a couple years ago that was posted?? That is what I am thinking.

  • Cindy in the South August 29, 2017

    I used to live at Helaman Halls at BYU as a very naive 17 year old freshman.....40 years ago this month...wow...I cannot believe it has been that long ago!!! I am really showing my age....lol

  • Marivene August 29, 2017

    Athanasia, you are remembering the Sons of Helaman entry in the parade, a few years back. The one that loves these is a granddaughter, which I find interesting. The boys could always take it or leave it. The figures are based on the Book of Mormon stories. The designer tells on the website how he designed toys for some major manufacturers, & when he saw kids at church playing with action figures, he thought it was sad that there didn't seem to be any more church- appropriate toys, so he designed some. The smaller sized set are 3.5 inches tall, because they were designed to fit in a child's pocket! They are a bit pricey, but other than the Fisher Price Little People Noah's Ark & Nativity, he's correct- there is not a lot out there for religious toys for kids. Little Stuff combines hers with her FPLP & can tell quite a variety of scripture stories. She uses Ammon from the LDD set with the sheep from the ark & nativity, and a spare shepherd as the robber. Her version is way cuter than what is actually in the pages. When Ammon saves the sheep in her version, they jump up in the air & yell "Yay!"

  • Jenny August 30, 2017

    This is hilarious.

  • Marivene August 30, 2017

    Jenny, when Little Stuff plays with her FP Noah's ark (which cost me a whopping buck fifty at DI), she lines up the animals & they talk to each other before they go in the ark "I want to go! Do you want to go? Me, too! I want to go, too! " It's adorable.

  • Jenny August 30, 2017

    I'm going to have to make these additions for my nephew, so that he can appreciate the full emotional content of these moments. Please congratulate your grand daughter on her awesome story telling skills.

  • Marivene August 30, 2017

    Jenny, she turns 2 next month. She has no idea what storytelling skills are; she just calls it the way she sees it.

  • Mary August 30, 2017

    Love it!

  • Athanasia August 31, 2017

    Marivene, I can remember back to being maybe 5 and visiting my great grandmother Emma (my mother's mother's mother) who dressed all in black. There was no such a thing as a Sunday toy or play time. My sister and I had to sit still and listen to the adults talk, in Swiss German, mind you. And no wiggling.

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