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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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  • Marcia R. August 28, 2017

    I accidentally ordered an 18 # bag of dry food for our cat, who eats 1/4 cup per day of it along with canned food. My husband and I divided it up into Foodsaver bags so it would stay fresh until we can use it all, one bag at a time. I just wasn't thinking straight and didn't realize how much 18#s of cat food is! I ordered on Chewy.com, which is a good deal for anyone who is interested. Delivery within a couple days, and no shipping costs if you meet the minimum order. No lugging home large bags of litter either!

  • Jo August 29, 2017

    I'm glad to see I'm not alone, too! I get some odd looks when people open my freezer and see a huge Hefty 2 gallon bag of dry cat food or dog food in the freezer.
    I'm glad to hear from both of you!

  • Melissa V August 29, 2017

    hehehehe That made me chuckle good :) We buy the biggest bags we can for both the dogs and the cats - we go thru 33 pounds of dog food in 10 days and a 15 pound bag of cat food about the same time. I work so they stay fed but they give so much more back to us that I can't imagine not having them (well okay - except for the freak cat who skulks around here and only comes out once a day for attention)
    This a great way for people to save because the per pound cost is usually cheaper for the larger bags! I am going to pass this hint on to my parents as they only have 2 little dogs and one cat.

  • SJ from Vancouver BC August 29, 2017

    I use gallon sized generic ziplocks from WalMart to store the food in.

    I'm also really enjoying finding others who do this with their pet food!

  • Juls Owings August 28, 2017

    Brandy ...I want to thank you and your family of sharing your wisdom and knowledge with all of us. We have a friend that had a massive heart attack and not only survived but is better than before. He does have a pacemaker and can no longer work around some of the welding machines. He didn't feel he could go on long term disability as the company was wanting because his wife quit working several years ago when they started raising their 3 grandkids, 2 that have special needs. After I shared your website and his wife checked it and then browbeat him(his words) into checking it out, he accepted the disability package and within a month has more money in the bank and more food in the house than he did while working 50 hrs a week at a very good paying job.The grandkids are planting a fall garden and baking from scratch.

    I harvested from our own gardens and then went to the Amish produce auction and got more including 10 inch potted mums for $2. We bought close to $1000 for $340, yeah I priced it out to see if we were actually saving.

    We went on to your bulk and grains page and clicked on the supplier (Now Rainy Day Foods online) you bought your dried cheese from..... good thing is they were having a sale, we had money still left from the auction so spent it . We definitely got more than dried cheese.Still with the sale we saved enough to pay the shipping. Since I ordered instant milk, we won't be making any last minute runs to the store for milk and buying other things along with it.

    I've had 3 cold packers and my pressure canner going for 3 days with more still to can. I had to take the day to let my arm rest as it's not recovered from surgery and I pushed the limits. SO I went to Krogers and picked up toilet paper and paper towels they had buy 5 and save $5 after marking it down to about half price...I had coupons for all of it. I also picked up a chuck roast (buy 1 get 1) and it's roasting right now. I'll put potatoes with it an hour before it's time to eat. Leftovers will be beef and noodles for a couple meals and what I call the blue plate special, sliced meat over mashed potatoes or stuffing/dressing and gravy with some veggie and cole slaw or salad.IF I get enough broth from it I'll add mushrooms and barley for soup for another meal...works with the way I'm canning.

    Prayers and Blessings pour over you and yours.

  • Athanasia August 28, 2017

    Cold packers??

  • Mari in Maryland August 28, 2017

    Check her blog. Just water bath cancers, but you have to look at the picture! She's BUSY! I am impressed!

  • Mari in Maryland August 28, 2017

    Canned, not cancers! Geesh!

  • Athanasia August 29, 2017

    Haha, my eyes actually read it as canners anyway. I will look at the picture....
    OK, that looks a lot like my drive on group canning days, but I never would work alone!! That is impressive.

  • J August 28, 2017

    Juls, I have left a few comments on your blog but I'm not sure if you've seen them. I really appreciated your post about why you are the way you are. We all have our reasons, and I learn so much from everyone here.

  • Juls Owings August 29, 2017

    they weren't showing, Blogger fixed the issue... thanks for letting me know.

  • Stephanie N. August 28, 2017

    -This past week I spent half of my usual grocery budget. I'm working on clearing out what we have built up in the freezer.
    -I claimed almost $20 in iBotta rebates. JoAnne Fabrics gives 10% back on total purchase as does Petsmart.
    -All of the children were away from home this past weekend so I picked up an additional shift at work Saturday evening
    -I made the choice not to purchase some things I wanted because they weren't needs.
    -I put money into savings
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  • Janet August 28, 2017

    We went to California Md last weekend. It was Awesome!!! The bed at the hotel was awful and the hotel gave us a big discount after they came to the room and saw just how awful it was. We ate the breakfast at the hotel and I saved half of mine which I ate this morning. We had lunch on the water and bought just a salad and saved half of that which hubby just ate for his lunch. I bought some fresh produce at a stand and we had that for snacks on the road and last night after dinner. We went to four parks (all of which we have passes for thanks to Senior citizen golden passes and Beautiful America pass.) We took two hikes and lots of photos. I earned $100 last week working for people. I have been doing free sales on craigslist and I'm so dishearted by how difficult it is to gift people good useable items. I will make two boxes for the folks in Houston. My roses are blooming again ! Grandson got three free books from his summer reading program. I got two new to me sweaters from the Salvation army for work days. Got gasoline for .05 a gallon cheaper on the way home . Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone!

  • Marcia August 28, 2017

    School started this week for us. My little guy is in kindergarten.

    Biggest thing: replacing preschool with after care will save $820 a month.

    Smaller: learned that all students at our elementary will get free lunch this year. For two kids that's $990 for the year.

  • Mariana August 28, 2017

    It's been almost 4 months since I shared my frugal accomplishments with all of you here. I am pleased to join in the comments today :)
    Here is a round up from last week:



  • Juls Owings August 29, 2017

    I do the MS office also and shared it with Son, Hubby and friend as I run 2 computers myself

  • Rhonda A. August 28, 2017

    I hope your children all get parts in the play, Brandy. That would be such a wonderful experience for all of them. I'm so envious of your almond tree. What a wonderful addition to your edible garden.

    Our weather is nicely swinging towards fall type temperatures. The mornings are cool, warm with a nice breeze during the day, and cool enough at night that I'm considering switching to my winter PJ's to sleep in. I LOVE fall, so this is perfect weather in my books! Frugal accomplishments for our family this week included:
    *Meals made at home included sloppy Joe's with salad, breaded chicken burgers with salad, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with potato chips, and BBQ chicken breasts with herb roasted potato chunks and corn-on-the-cob.
    *Free produce picked from the gardens at work included a bunch of cherry tomatoes, and 2 cucumbers.
    *On Thursday, my mom picked up the 75lbs of peaches I ordered and I gave her the $39 to pay for them. The next day was my day off, so we spent all day canning them up. We now have 22 quarts of canned peach slices. We collected the peelings and pits in a large stock pot, boiled them down with some water, strained the juice using my jelly bags, then froze the juice to make peach syrup or peach jelly later (we were too tired to do anything more after preparing and canning 75lbs of peaches!). I also put 2 large freezer bags filled with peach pieces that were soft or bits cut from the pit into the freezer to make jam later.
    *After hearing on the news that our gas prices might go up do to the hurricane hitting Texas, I did a dash over to Costco for a fill up. Since I was there, I also stopped for some needed grocery items, including a few stock up items that were on sale.
    *Enjoyed a free appreciation luncheon for the staff at my work this week.
    *One of my co-workers brought a pair of solar eclipse glasses to work on Monday and let everyone have a turn at seeing the eclipse. It was only partial in our area, but still really cool!
    *Tried my hand at making three sisters soup (corn, beans and squash) over an open fire. I brought a can of corn, and a can of white kidney beans from my pantry, and bag of homemade poultry soup stock from the freezer to make the soup. The squash and some baby corn was fresh from the gardens at work. Only added a bit of salt, as the early pioneers did not have well developed gardens yet (no onions or cultivated herbs yet), and most of their food was basic and bland. Turned out amazing, though my homemade stock really helped with the flavour. I let all my co-workers and the volunteers sample it. We often talk about the soup, but many of us had never actually tried it.
    *My husband took me on a small excursion to Campbellford, ON on Saturday for my birthday. We stopped at the bakery for a dozen of the most amazing doughnuts, plus I filled a large plastic shopping bag with "day old" baked goods (they still were very fresh for a day old!). I picked 2 loaves of bread (whole wheat and I think the other is cracked wheat), a dozen hamburger buns, 1/2 dozen 6" sub/sausage rolls, a dozen whole wheat dinner rolls, 1/2 dozen Chelsea buns, 4 cheese biscuits, 1 bagel and 1 flat bread, all for $10! We then stopped at the chocolate factory and bought 10lbs of broken caramel bars ($10/5lb box) and a bag of unwrapped caramel swirls for $2 (put them with baking supplies as I'm thinking of using them to make cookies). Then we swung over to the Empire Cheese Factory and bought some garlic cheese curds, a small bock of mozzarella with jalapeno & red chillie cheese (hubby's pick - no worries that someone else will eat it as it is VERY spicy), and a huge block of 4 year old white cheddar cheese (expensive but my absolute favourite cheese!) for a total around $50. Afterwards, we stopped at the small farmers market where we bought a dozen peaches & cream corn for $6 (sign suggested it might be a fundraiser for the food bank), then looked through an antique store where I picked up the most adorable Christmas gift for my mother....a cement pig sprawled out on it's back with it's curly tail between it's legs, perfect for her garden, back deck or in the house ($35).
    *Frugal fail: Two nights of take out, then going out to dinner for my birthday was more than I like for eating out in one week. Also noticing more food waste than normal. I will soon be home more, starting the second week of September, so I hope to get this under control soon!

    As always, looking forward to all the wonderful ideas shared here every week. Have a lovely week filled with lots of joyful, frugal moments everyone!:D

  • J August 28, 2017

    Happy birthday Rhonda :)

  • Rhonda A. August 29, 2017

    Thank you, J!

  • Cindy in the South August 29, 2017

    I wonder if I could substitute canned pumpkin for the squash, and add a can of beans, and a can of corn plus chicken broth to make the three sisters soup....I have that on hand and your soup sounds delicious! It turns out my personal email and facebook were hacked, so I have been annoyed but that is a modern annoyance. Since I never buy anything on line, nor do I bank on line, the hackers were out of luck with me...lol. I made basic pinto dried beans, carrots, and rice, and a homemade shrimp sauce. I have used this and eaten it by itself, and I have also jazzed it up with fresh tomatoes and onions, salsa, and sour cream with tortillas for variety. I am trying to incorporate more beans in my diet. I already eat peanut butter every day and hummus, so I think the legumes are covered in my diet..lol. I basically just worked and slept this week. I did enjoy at church the talk of a return missionary who recently served in Brazil. I love these glimpses into other places that I will probably never see. Y'all have a beautiful week!

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