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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Thai Basil Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker 

I pulled the Thai basil plants (above) from the grass that had grown on their own. I'll replant them in the garden this week.

I harvested colander of tiny tomatoes, 4 1/2 butternut squash (2 decent-sized ones, 2 tiny ones, and half a tiny one; the other half was bug eaten), green onions, garlic chives, basil, and Swiss chard from the garden.

My eldest daughter applied for four scholarships.

My eldest son took a free ACT prep class.

I mended a sandal.

I added water to my lotion bottle to get out the remaining lotion. It yielded me a week's worth of lotion.

We had a surprisingly humid week. I was able to collect several gallons of water each day from the air conditioner drip, which I used to water potted plants in the garden.  On Thursday night we got a few minutes of rain, during which I went out and moved buckets to catch the rain. It rained a bit on Friday morning as well, so I was able to collect more rainwater in buckets and turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation for the day (it's always nice when it rains on my assigned watering day!)

My husband and I enjoyed a date out using a gift card that we were given.


What did you do to save money last week? Did you try something new?



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  • Laurie in AZ September 11, 2017

    Brandy, the basil looks wonderful!

    We took a 10 day vacation to the Pacific NW which was not frugal, but one of the reasons we are frugal most of the year is so that we can vacation without worrying too much about the cost when we travel. But since we got back on Labor Day, we are back into frugal mode.

    My accomplishments last week:

    * Got some free toiletries and tea from the hotels we stayed at.
    * Used free toiletries, coffee and tea.
    * Got steak on clearance to put in the freezer.
    * Got sour cream and cottage cheese for $1 per container. Stocked up on both.
    * Made Hubby's lunch and breakfasts 2 times. Also, we have a few single serve snack type items (pretzels, nuts, etc.) that we never seem to eat. I have been putting them into my Hubby's lunch bag.
    * Ate free oatmeal and jelly that I had gotten from work.
    * Reused ziplocks and saved some other plastic bags such as the brown sugar bag.
    * Got 3 books from my brother and gave him 2.
    * Got 2 people to sign up for Ibotta and made $10 plus got a few rebates myself.
    * Hung 2 loads of laundry to dry. Only used 1/2 a dryer sheet on the loads that I needed to dry in the dryer.
    * Got a great deal for wine on clearance. Paid $2.24 per bottle for 18 bottles of Pinot Grigio and 6 bottles of Prosecco. I will drink it on the weekends and also give some out as hostess gifts, etc., especially with the holidays coming.
    * Instead of eating out on my Trivia League night, I had tuna fish and crackers with a tomato. Hubby had dinner at his Mom's that night. Just drank club soda with lime at Trivia, which they didn't charge me for.
    * I need to eat up my stockpile, so I was proud that I resisted the urge to purchase more food from the clearance rack.
    * I watch my grandson 2 times a week for free. My daughter asked if I could do 3 times a week through the end of October. She will be paying me $50/week for that. The money will come in handy!
    * Put carrot tops and peelings in my bag I keep in the freezer for when I make stock.
    * Continued to eat food from the freezer. Have been keeping my freezer inventory list up to date so that I use the oldest stuff first.
    * I used the last of some lotion by turning the bottle upside down. It was a pump bottle, but I have an assortment of lids in different sizes that I have saved up so I can replace the pump and turn the bottle upside down.
    * Used fruit and milk leftover from my grandson's lunch and put them in my morning smoothie.
    * Pre-made smoothie bags for the week for my husband and myself. In the morning we just need to dump it in the blender and add some milk.
    * Wasn't able to drive out to my Dad's last week, so I saved on gas money.
    * Paid bills online.
    * Realized that I was only using about 1/2 of the cotton pads to take off my makeup and use toner. Decided to cut them in half. They work fine at that size and now will last twice as long.

    Happy saving everyone!

  • Erika @ The Make Do Homemaker September 11, 2017

    Good work saving the 1/2 of a squash! I'm fighting slugs for the few remaining lettuce seedlings in my garden that are left after the moose destroyed it all and it's been getting so cold at night I definitely need to figure out a garden cover if my seeds for over wintering have any shot of getting well established by snowfall.

    It's super busy around here just trying to keep on top of appointments and things let alone get everything ready for winter, so I'm frazzled to say the least :).

    My list for the week can be found here...


  • Jo September 11, 2017
      I worked four hours overtime.

      We organised a Father's Day dinner at our house instead of buying a present. I cooked the main course from mostly ingredients on hand, my sister-in-law brought dessert, we split the cost for alcohol and I decorated with greenery from our garden. We all had a great time. :)

      I took the bus to attend an appointment in the city, saving parking fees. The fare was reduced as it was not during peak hour.

      The free produce carts in our town are overflowing with citrus fruit at the moment so we have a nice supply.

      Our friend invited us for dinner and gave us some fruit she was not going to eat. Accidental frugality: We forgot the bottle of wine that we wanted to bring...

      My workmate and I carpooled whenever we worked the same shifts. We only recently discovered how close we lived to each other and are enjoying the company while driving.

      My husband and I booked our flight tickets for next year during an early bird special and received an extra 10% off our travel insurance. We did not pay it the same day and by the next day the price had dropped another $100. Nice!

      A garden centre voucher that we had received as a wedding gift was used to purchase needed items to tackle our front yard renovation ourselves. I was a bit sad about not buying pretty plants but there is no use for them just yet.

      We went out for dinner once using a 25% off voucher. All other meals were prepared at home.

      My sister-in-law gave us free oranges and dishwasher tabs.

      Slight frugal fail: Instead of looking through the shed properly, I bought a bike pump. Needless to say, my husband found the old one the next day... Luckily it cost only $8 but I'm still a bit annoyed.
  • sandra September 12, 2017

    Rather than hold on to a duplicate item, perhaps you could return the new one.

  • Jo September 13, 2017

    Thanks for the tip, Sandra! Unfortunately, we had already used the new pump before we found the old one. But I guess it taught me a lesson...

  • Janet September 15, 2017

    We did the same things here with the bike pumps I just sold the new one old one was a better pump sold the new one for $5.00 I have a sale everyday now for something for $5.00 sometimes two or three. We will move likely at the end of the year so clearing out to lighten our load for military.

  • Fiona Chain September 12, 2017

    Hi Brandy,
    To save money this week I,
    Watered the garden from our tanks, they will be getting low soon if we don't have rain
    Made another jar of nut butter
    Stretched a kilo of chicken thighs to two dinners for 4 people using heaps of veggies
    Line dried all the washing
    Made another batch of muesli
    Took lunch to work every day
    Saved the warm up water from the showers to water the potted figs out the front
    Mulched the garden and pots heavily to reduce evaporation
    Cut Asian greens from the veggie pot to go with one dinner
    Used the car as little as possible, it is magpie season at the moment so hubby is dropping me to work and then I walk home (with a huge umbrella) I won't ride my bike again to work until the end of October when the magpies stop swooping. At least i get some exercise by walking
    Had a stocktake of the fridge to make sure anything near its expiry date was used up
    Cleaned the house using homemade cleaners

    And that's all I can think of at the mo,
    Have a lovely day,

  • Mandy September 12, 2017

    My garden is dying but I continue to harvest tomatoes, basil, green onions, parsley, oregano. My carrots are probably ready and I will harvest them today along with a few more turnips. I harvested Mullein from my yard (we don't use chemicals or spray) and made a quick mullein oil for sore muscles, dehydrated several trays for tea in the winter, and soaked mullein and garlic cloves in olive oil for an oil for ear aches. I will be dehydrating more for tea for as long as I can harvest it. My daughter (6 yrs old) and I planted some lettuce and basil in pots for the house and replanted a house plant that grew out of it's small pot. I used supplies I already had on hand.

    My mother has given me several pairs of jeans, pajamas, and a shirt that she can no longer fit into (she lost some weight :) ).

    I GOT A BETTER JOB, and it's work I enjoy and am good at (data entry)!! It's a lot more money, full company paid benefits AND 401K!!! I am SO excited! :D I start on the 25th. My mom also found a part time job that's decent money, only a mile from my house, doing work she enjoys. Good things are finally happening! Whew! lol

    We washed our car at home using mild dish soap in a bucket of water, rags and towels we already had.

    My water bill went down $15!

    I made my daughter's school lunches for this week on Sunday and packaged them up so they are ready to go. I use these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JLPJWQ2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?tag=100dayofreafo-20&ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&linkCode=ll1&linkId=643800c6e05f7fd3d21b3bdf2e389d96 because they are leak proof and seem to be fairly durable. I also got all her outfits ready for the week so I/she/we just grab one and get ready. Less stressful mornings are wonderful. When I work a steady schedule at my new job I will do the same thing for myself.

    I had to break down and go grocery shopping as we were out of almost everything and it was becoming difficult to be creative. I shopped at Aldi, though, and got lots of food for the money I spent. I took my mom to a produce give a way that a local food pantry has every Saturday (it's free for anyone and they give away their community garden produce plus donations of produce that will go bad soon). I got zucchini, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, 2 bell peppers, grapes and 2 limes. This was so helpful and there was so much they were giving away, I'm glad it was given away and not ended up in the landfill.

    I made more solution for my homemade wipes (Clorox wipes alternative wipes - I use vinegar, water, and eo's).

    I have been cleaning out, decluttering, and reorganizing cupboards as I have time in my schedule. My donation pile is growing lol and my home is finally feeling less cluttered. I reorganized a cupboard with shelves to hold all my canning jars. I thought I was low on jars but nope... just needed to put them all in one place. And I found I have LOTS of lids, which I almost bought a couple weeks ago but didn't due to no money. My husband and I also cleaned out the garage and breezeway (attaches house to garage and where we keep our gardening supplies). We recycled and donated what we could but most of the stuff was junk. My hubby has a hoarding problem, but he's trying to get better.

    We made tacos and burritos, meatloaf with boiled new potatoes and veggies, spaghetti, breakfast for dinner. We continue to eat the muffins and pumpkin bread we have in the freezer that we made last week. We've eaten all but one meal at home that we prepared ourselves.

    I have also done the usual things: saving water wherever I can, turning off lights and appliances when not in use, unplugging cords as soon as the device is charged, using saved shower water to flush the toilet or add the soapy water clothes are soaking in (for stains) into the laundry wash water, use homemade cleaning supplies, stayed home when not working.

    I also went to the library and exchanged books and movies. I will be going again today as well.
    Have a great week! I look forward to reading everyone's accomplishments :)

  • Lynn at NC Outer Banks September 12, 2017

    Congratulations Mandy on the new job! Sounds like it's going to be perfect for you. So happy for you and your family.

  • Mandy September 13, 2017

    Thank.you so much Lynn! I think it will be too :D

  • PJGT September 14, 2017

    Yes, congratulations! It is such a great feeling when things finally fall into place, isn't it? Just proves that faith works!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher September 12, 2017

    Ohhh, I never thought to add water to the last little bit of lotion. In the past I've actually cut the lotion bottle open, scooped out all the lotion, and put it into a mason jar. :)

    This week:

    1. I salvaged a tire from a neighbor's bulk pickup pile. I'm in the process of turning it into a heavy-duty tuffet that we can use for meditation.

    2. I made my Halloween costume using only items bought from the thrift store, for a total of $20. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I'll wear this costume for years, so it's all good.

    3. Instead of buying canned beans from the store we bought dried beans and cooked them ourselves. This gives us a lot more flavor in our meals since we cook with more seasoning (and pork fat!).

    4. This morning I exercised for free thanks to YouTube tutorials. Mr. Picky Pincher went on a wallet-friendly run for his morning workout.

    5. I wanted a treat yesterday. Instead of going to the store and buying Oreos, I made King Arthur's espresso cream cookies. They're heavenly and give me a little jolt of caffeine, so it's a win-win. :)

  • Alison Palmer September 12, 2017

    I just happened upon your blog. I love it! I hope regular reading will help me to become more thoughtful in how I use resources.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 13, 2017

    I'm glad you're here!

  • Janet September 12, 2017

    Laurie in AZ

    May I ask how old the grandson is that you watch ?
    Also may I be bold and ask about how old you are?

    We are having a discussion about days and pay and how much one can do at certain ages around here.

  • Laurie in AZ September 17, 2017

    My grandson is 22 months old. I am 55. I have been watching him 2 days a week since he was born. But 3 days a week is more than I want to do on a regular basis, as I also spend a day with my Dad once a week.

  • Jessica Julian September 12, 2017

    Your garden inspires! I just moved to LV with my family and would love to begin a garden. So neat to see all that can be planted here in the desert

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 12, 2017


    October is our big planting time for cool-season vegetables. Star Nursery will have flowers, herbs, fruit trees and vegetables that you can plant when it starts to cool down.

    Most important things: bring in good dirt; don't try to grow in the dirt that is here, and 2: Install drip irrigation on a timer!

    Check out my garden calendar and all that I grow under the garden tab at the top of my page.

  • Annie-Blake September 12, 2017

    Our week was great, albeit busy, and it's getting very hot.

    -dinner provided for us at a friends house last night
    -going to the farmers markets today for fresh and inexpensive fruit and vegetables
    -burgers provided at work for lunch today so I am only taking my breakfast and afternoon snack
    -husband has completed 2 overtime shifts this week
    -pasta dinner was provided for us on the weekend at my cousin's house
    -date night with the husband tomorrow. We are getting dinner then seeing a movie
    -no purchases other than groceries & 1 happy hour cup of tea from the cafe near my work
    -enrolled my children into a French playgroup that commences next month
    -lots of salads and eggs eaten this week
    -looking forward to attending a party this weekend where lunch will be providedj

  • Melanie September 13, 2017

    Brandy, you are a true inspiration with your purposeful approach to life. I really admire your 'attitude of gratitude' and determination to praise God and choose to be happy regardless of your financial circumstances. I have learned a lot from your blog and am very grateful for the time you put into it.

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