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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Sunflower The Prudent Homemaker

My husband gave our two older boys' haircuts.

We gladly accepted a gift of a package of turkey bacon and a package of beef from our neighbor. She said she hadn't liked the turkey bacon (we don't mind it at all!) and had bought too many packages of the beef and didn't think she could eat them all. Later in the week, she brought me 4 very ripe bananas.

I picked red noodle beans, a few tomatoes, two Armenian cucumbers, and I cut Swiss chard, garlic chives, and basil from the garden.

Eagle Scout Cookies The Prudent Homemaker

My son had his Eagle Scout Court of Honor this week. I made cookies and cupcakes for refreshments. (I was able to cut out a shortening-based cookie instead of a butter-based cookie and had better luck. I still had to use a lot of flour not just while rolling, but also a floured stockinged rolling pin (even though I am using a marble one and cutting out on granite counters, which are cold), and flour the spatula between each cookie before lifting it off the counter to ensure it didn't stick and collapse while lifting it to move it to the cookie sheet. It was 113ºF (45ºC) the day I made the cookies. I also turned the air conditioner down a few more degrees while baking to try to keep the dough from completely melting/sticking.) My parents contributed some money to help me purchase some things I didn't have and needed to finish these, which was a great blessing.

Campfire Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

The water company sent me a bill; my water bills are highest in summer. Our water bill will be $100 less for August's water over July's water, thanks to the rain we had, my turning off the sprinklers and drip irrigation when we had rain, and the water I collected in buckets from the rains and used in the garden. 

It was humid this week again, so I was able to collect water from the air conditioning drip as well as from the shower to use to water pots in the garden.

My eldest applied for two scholarships. She also was able to download a free book for a class.


What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Jamie @ Medium Sized Family September 04, 2017

    The cupcakes are adorable! You did such a nice job with them. Good neighbors are a blessing.

    Here are the ways we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-91/

  • Belinda Richardson September 04, 2017

    The cupcakes are are so cute!

  • Libby September 04, 2017

    Beautiful decorating on the cookies and the cupcakes made me laugh! Sometimes I've used confectioners sugar instead of flour when rolling out sugar cookies...but I've never tried to make cookies in a house hotter than 75!

    Hope Winter gets the scholarships!

    • I traveled for business three days this week which means I ate on the company’s dime. I arrived home late on Thursday night but remembered to pull some frozen soup out of the freezer to thaw. I brought the soup for lunch in the office on Friday.
    • Made swag goal x 3
    • Did a food save by cutting off the nasty bits of a free zucchini and cooked up the remainder.
    • Hung laundry out
    • Switched from my preferred gas station to one that is less convenient, but 20 cents less per gallon. Gas has increased almost 40 cents a gallon between Monday and Friday.
    • Roasted a chicken and then put the carcass in slow cooker to make overnight stock
    • Made bruschetta, stuffed tomatoes, lemon squares and zucchini bread
    • Updated monthly net worth spreadsheet
    • Joined Amtrack frequent traveler program then booked a ticket for next weekend, earning me an instant reward bonus. I’m going to meet a friend in Boston. It would be about $30 less to drive, but with summer/fall traffic between NYC and Boston the drive would be stressful and exhausting.
    • We attended an annual pig roast. It was raining and fewer people showed up then had RSVP’d. We gladly accepted “doggie bags” of roast pig, cornbread, and corn on the cob.
    • It was 43 degrees here in CT on Saturday morning – brrr! We took out the window A/C units.

  • LivelyFL September 04, 2017

    Wow this has got me thinking!

  • Sakura September 04, 2017

    I have a couple of Adult kids that live on their own so we went in on case lot items together to save a little.

  • Laurie in central NC September 04, 2017

    You did a beautiful job on the cookies, which sounded like a real labor of love. The campfire cupcakes are fantastic! Being my regular chives ended up dying during the drought, I've been using my garlic chives, which I don't often think of. They're quite tasty. I was able to purchase a couple of chive plants at the farmer's market this weekend for $1 a plant, and got them planted yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's comments, and happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/09/september-blooms-frugal-accomplishments.html

  • JC September 04, 2017

    I have better luck using powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out my cookies with. I roll everything out on a silicone Silpat I put in the freezer ahead of time. Can always put back in freezer for a few minutes to lift cookies off of easier. Very cute!

  • Jen G September 04, 2017

    The baked goods look great and congrats to your son on his Eagle!

    Living Frugal in Seattle this week:
    -besides our weekend camping trip and a large grocery shopping run, we rode our bikes for transportation.
    -we kept our camping trip frugal by bringing along all needed food and cooking meals over a campfire or on our camping stove. All of our activities - hiking, tidepooling and playing on the beach - were free. The campsite was beautiful...on the ridge of a bluff overlooking the water and onto Canada. I kept thinking that a hotel room with this view would cost a fortune!
    -my husband and I also celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary last week. Instead of going out to dinner, I met him at a park after work and we had a picnic and watched the sun set over the water and then rode our bikes home together.
    -I put together some back to school outfits for my boys with the clothes they have instead of being tempted to buy new ones. I did buy new laces for their shoes, a cheap way to give them more life.
    -We borrowed some books and DVDs from the library for the last few days before school begins.
    -Besides a salmon meal (salmon gifted to us from a friend), I made meatless dinners this week. Trying to get our grocery bill down!

  • Janet September 04, 2017

    I just love the trains for travel and I use them whenever I can. They are way better than flights and often even work out better than driving (less stress is a big deal these days to me as well)

    Last week I saved about $80 on grocery store purchases. This week I am taking back some crackers that did not work out for my family and using that credit towards groceries, trying to figure out how many potatoes to buy for our family and where to store them they are $2.77 per bag this week ( I think it is a 10 lb bag going to check that too)

    Shared a lunch on date day total cost $5.00 brought home some muffins from a get together at a friends will use those this week.
    We have been eating scraps for three weeks and really cleaning up the fridge and freezers. I have had less work lately with clients so I'm working on sales and deep cleaning my house.

    Found a sale on laundry soap and juice bought enough for the next six months.

    Found a sale on razors at my grocery store matched with coupons got four free razors.

    I too switched gas stations to save money on gas. My favorite station kept raising prices and I found another one that has not yet.

    Going to library book sale tomorrow. (almost have Christmas done I buy books and experiences.)

    I did all of the usual gave hair cuts saved water, saved electric, plastic bags, saved paper bags and try to cut down on trash to save on that expense as well. Trash removal is another expense I have been watching closely.

    Working on putting together boxes for Harvey victims I will send mine more towards the holidays. I will send two very large boxes, one from me and my hubby and one from my son and daughter in law.

    Bless everyone this week and let us be thankful.

  • mdoe September 04, 2017

    We had an evening recently with some car break ins...probably more like kids getting lucky with unlocked cars. While my car is now in the garage, I decided to add a motion detector light to the back of the house rather than running the old yard light (mercury vapor). The old one is very expensive to run and I'm verifying it through my electric bill. We now have smart meters making it easy to track daily online and figure what is sucking power. I plan on adding another motion light in the front of the house so I don't have to run the front lights all night.

    My electric bill before the divorce was budgeted at $175 a month. When he left, I called the power company and explained the situation. They dropped the budget plan to allow me to cut my bill. August 2016 my bill was $242 (actual reading). This August? $72 and that was the only bill over $70 so far. :) The ex had some health issues and always wanted the air conditioner kept quite cold. I think I've managed to only run it a total of two days, turning it on sporadically to knock the humidity out of the air.

    I also noticed that my chimney seemed to be leaking a bit. The options were to apply mastic to patch it or knock the chimney down, patch the hole and shingle over it. I chatted with the neighbors across the road who were roofing their home and the guy took to the roof and inspected the chimney for me. We decided the chimney is actually solid so he simply reseal with mastic and added a cover to the top so nothing gets in there (water or raccoons!). The chimney is no longer used because the furnace vents through the wall.

    Minimal cost for both repairs...materials only and no labor!

  • Athanasia September 06, 2017

    mdoe, what a nice neighbor you have! I am glad it was a simple repair and not too costly.

  • Sarah September 04, 2017

    Brandy- those cupcakes are adorable!! We've had a crazy week with back to school in full swing 1 kiddo goes to the public elementary school in town and the other has to go 20 minutes away for preschool because our local preschool closed :( I'm sure we'll figure out a smooth schedule, but right now it's been nutso! Anyhoo- joining in with my frugal accomplishments and August State of the Frugal Union here: https://frugalfive.com/2017/09/04/september-1st-state-of-the-frugal-union-and-frugal-friday/

  • Sandra September 04, 2017

    Congratulations on your Eagle Scout. We know that it is a remarkable accomplishment of which he and his family can be very proud.

    The hand decorated cookies are just wonderful and if you had to pay for custom cookies like that they would run at least $1.25 to $1.50 a piece. I know it was a lot of work, but they turned out beautifully and I know everyone appreciated your special effort. I loved the campfire cupcakes, too. You truly have the heart and soul of an artist. It shows in everything you do.

  • Darcy September 04, 2017

    The cookies and cupcakes are beautiful and impressive! Congratulations to your son on his achievement and to your daughter on the scholarships!

    This week I had a 5-day weekend so I save money on gas going to and from work.

    I gave my husband a haircut.

    I bought a case of 28-ounce crushed tomatoes from Aldi. I used 5 of the cans for a large batch of spaghetti sauce with just a little Italian sausage and ground beef. We will have a couple of spaghetti dinners and then put the leftover sauce in the freezer.

    My husband and I went to a movie using a gift card we received in April for our anniversary.

    I made yogurt in my slow cooker. I also made chicken stock and rye bread.

    I have been saving change in a jar for awhile and took it to the local Coin star machine. I got over 25 dollars that I used as a gift card for Amazon. I used it toward a couple of gifts for my granddaughter's birthday and vitamins.

    I harvested probably the last of the green beans and a handful of cherry tomatoes. We have several green beefsteak tomatoes on the plant that we are looking forward to harvesting.

    I made two throw pillow covers from fabric in my stash that I bought at the thrift store. I always look for good quality fabric whenever I go to the thrift store or garage sales.

    My husband and I painted two small book shelves with leftover paint that we had. This will give me added pantry space.

    Brandy-I have been keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator just like you do. What a convenience to always have cold water. No more digging in the ice cube trays for ice every time I want some cold water to drink!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 04, 2017

    Thanks Darcy.

    To be clear, my daughter doesn't know if she'll GET the scholarships. She just APPLIED to two of them. She is looking for scholarships that she qualifies for and applying to those that will work for her.

  • Mitzie September 04, 2017

    I would like to make a suggestion for a future post, Brandi. The process and resources that Winter is using and finding could be helpful to others. Other readers of your blog might have some resources that might be new to you as well. I wish Winter the best!

    And we'll done to your son as well!

    I imagine e some of the mending you do is replacing buttons on your shirts when they pop off with the price you have in your childern ☺

  • Mitzie September 04, 2017

    Sigh...trying again.
    *well* done to your son
    *pride* you have in your children

  • Myra September 04, 2017

    Yes please!!! I have a son that recently graduated from a Christian school that is basically a home school co op and we are having a horrible time finding resources for money. He doesn't qualify for grants and I absolutely do no want him taking out any student loans and getting in debt!!!! He wants to take as many on line classes as possible, but out of state tuition is ridiculous for the bigger on line universities. I would so much appreciate a post on this! Thank you!

  • Darcy September 04, 2017

    Hopefully she will get at least one of those scholarships!

  • momsav September 04, 2017

    My kids are past college. But, an old friend during that time told me to have my daughter apply to any and all scholarship monies. She applied for one that was for women with Chinese background. (Or some such;she obviously didn't fit the profile) She was upfront about everything and still got the money. They told her that she was the only one to apply and they wanted the money to go to someone who could use it. So, don't skip applying even if you don't match perfectly.

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