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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Octavius Playing in the Mud The Prudent Homemaker

At the case-lot sale, I purchased two cases of canned tuna fish, a case of green beans, and a case of corn. The next time I stock up on corn and green beans will be during the Thanksgiving sales. 

I also bought a package of mini-marshmallows on sale at the same store. I checked my receipt as I was leaving and noticed that they had rung up as the regular price. I had the store refund me the overcharge.

We celebrated my daughter's birthday with homemade brownies from scratch and ice cream purchased on sale for $3.99 a gallon. 

I used the solar oven to cook a batch of beans one day and to roast a chicken another day. I used the chicken broth and leftover bits of chicken with the beans to make a soup. Cooking the chicken in the solar oven with a lid on it (you can get the same effect in the oven) with the breast-side down have juicy meat that was falling off the bones and the chicken made its own broth, saving me time and energy making broth another day.

My son attended his third week of a free ACT prep class.

I gave two sons a haircut.

One of my orchids rebloomed. I moved it from my bathroom (where I keep my unblooming orchids) near my desk to enjoy it.

I used items we had on hand to stage a home for sale that I was photographing for my husband.

The house was near Smart and Final. I'm rarely in that part of town, so we went there afterward and I purchased 4 gallons of rice vinegar ($8.88 a gallon when you purchase 4 or more gallons) and 2 large bottles of molasses.

What did you do to save money this past week?


A little note: I found out that I do have skin cancer. I'll be having surgery next week.

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  • Susan M. September 17, 2018

    I went thrift shop shopping for needed clothes, dried some apples, and saved $72 because of keeping good records! Details on how on my blog.


  • Marybeth September 17, 2018

    Oh no. I am so sorry you are going thru this. Both of my parents had skin cancer years ago and are fine now. You are in my prayers, as always. Please try to get some extra rest. I know it is easier said then done but your body needs to heal.

    Can I ask what you payed for a case of tuna and how many cans and how big the cans are? I am almost out of tuna and have been looking for it for a while but haven't seen any. I bought a bushel of corn for $21 at a farm out east. I made 20 bags of corn for the freezer. We have had it twice already and I still have 16 ears left. I also made 10 small jars of corn cob jelly, 5 plain and 5 spiced. I have enough stock to make another batch. I have been using all the garden veggies. I made salsa, relish, pickles, pickled peppers, and more sauce. We will be eating very well this winter.

    My husband and youngest daughter went to a Jets football game for free. A vendor invited Hubby and a guest. It was a suite with food and drinks. They only had to pay for travel and parking. They had a great time. My daughter had never been to a game before. Because they were in a suite, 2 cheerleaders came and took pictures with everyone.

    The rest of my week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/09/my-frugal-list-week-of-september-10-2018.html

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 17, 2018

    It is $28 for 48 cans. The cans are 5 ounces each, so they are $0.583 a can.

  • Marybeth September 17, 2018

    That is an amazing price.

  • Cindy S. September 19, 2018

    I hope your eye feels better soon! You still did amazingly well on frugal things.

  • Marybeth September 20, 2018

    Thank you. It is doing much better.

  • Genevieve September 17, 2018

    Brandy, my dad has had all three kinds of skin cancer. He is fair skinned, and spent a lifetime in the sun as a lifeguard, career Naval Officer, and recreational boater. He has never had a recurrence after having a patch surgically removed. He also gets checked every six months to make sure any spots are detected early. As a former lifeguard and sun lover, myself, I started getting checked annually when I turned 40, just to be on the safe side. I hope your surgery goes well, you recover quickly, and you also never have a recurrence. It’s scary, but it is also very treatable when caught and monitored. Thinking of you while you undergo your treatment.

  • Jeannie September 17, 2018

    I am so sorry the diagnosis was positive. I will stop and pray for you right now.


  • Angela in Kentucky September 17, 2018

    Prayers that the skin cancer will be gotten totally and without issues. I had a friend that had melanoma on her arm and had surgery. Has been two years now and so far no problems or recurrence. God bless you in all you do for those of us on the blog and your own beautiful family. Godspeed.

  • Kimberly September 17, 2018

    I'm so glad you got the spots checked out and will pray that the doctors can remove all of it.

    I darned a hand knit dishcloth that someone in my family ran through the garbage disposal, creating a hole. I knit two baby hats to add to my gift stash (teaching myself new skills in the process) and finished knitting a teen/adult hat for a holiday gift. We had a memorial to attend some distance from our home, so afterward we did an errand that we'd been putting off until we could combine trips. I continue to borrow print books and ebooks from the library. I made homemade pizza for a nice family meal.

  • barbara September 17, 2018

    Brandy, prayers for your full recovery.

  • Maxine September 17, 2018

    Brandy, I'm sorry to learn you have skin cancer. What a bummer! Hoping for (and expecting) a full recovery for you. I also hope that school has gotten easier for you.

    This was the second week in a row that I didn't buy anything for the new house! I did all of the usual frugal stuff. Just to explain, one of the things I do consistently is not spending money for things that were meant to be thrown away. In other words, I don't buy paper towels (I use rags) or many other disposables. When I do have a disposable, I recycle it...unless I'm able to reuse it first.

    That said, it was a pretty typical week of use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. No food waste again this week!

    I divided my peonies to make more plants and was given some more perennials, including Autumn Joy sedum and short, dark purple irises.

    We finished painting trim on the garden shed yesterday, mostly using leftover paint from building thiis house. We filled the seams in the floor with Fix-All (so old that it had a price of $1.19 on the box!) and I plan to lay a piece of leftover sheet vinyl over it in the next few days. We planted a free hydrangea underneath the shed window, and it looks fab. I had planned to buy a window box and now I don't have to.

    My credit union is giving members $1 for every day they use their debit card this month. I made $5 on it this week, and $3 the week before. I spent very little this week, except for groceries, and only drove a few miles.

    I paid my bills online and saved postage.

    I bought a whole chicken for .99 lb., which is my go-to price. I have learned to split them myself when I buy one and the meatcutter isn't available to do it for me. I will cook half the bird tomorrow and freeze the other half for later. This is how this small family of 2-3 handles those monster chickens that are now being sold as "fryers."

  • Maxine September 17, 2018

    Forgot to mention--Penney's sent me a two-month bill with a $25 penalty for not having paid the month before. I never got the previous bill, possibly because mail was supposed to be forwarded from our previous address. I called to complain and asked them to remove the $25 charge...which they did. It always pays to ask to have charges of this type waived. If you're a good customer, they will do it.

  • Marcia R. September 17, 2018

    I'd be interested in how you split them. We are two people and even a 5# bird is too much--and we don't especially like leftover chicken frozen after cooking.

  • Maxine September 18, 2018

    Marcia, it's not hard. Place the bird on the cutting board breast side up. Using kitchen scissors, slice lengthwise through the breastbone as far as you can. Turn it over and slice lengthwise through the backbones. Assuming your scissors are as dull as mine, you probably didn't get all the way with your scissors. Now take a cleaver or French knife and finish the job, one side at a time. Bingo! A perfect split chicken! I usually eat one and freeze the other half. When I thaw the frozen half, if I want pieces rather than half a chicken, I just take off the wing and leg/thigh and finish cutting it up.

    The easiest way, however, is to ask the meatcutter to split it for you. They do this with their saw and it only takes a minute. I have never been refused, nor have I ever been charged for this service...even when the chickens were on sale dirt-cheap. I have found that meatcutters generally like to do extra services for people (especially women, LOL) who act like they know what they are doing. I would have done this last week, but I shopped after the meat department had closed.

    When I am on this topic, I don't like round steak. Top sirloin tastes better and is much more tender. ("Petite" sirloin, as it is usually called where I live, is bottom sirloin and tastes good, but is not as tender). When top sirloin is on special for $4 lb., I buy and freeze it. Since I like to use it for chicken fried (country fried) steaks, I ask the meatcutter to run it through the tenderizer twice. It is very tender and doesn't fall apart like cube steak bought in packages...it is always a better cut of meat and usually cheaper, too. You can do this with round steak, but--as I said--I don't care for round steak. (Top round is more tender than "London broil," which is bottom round), Thanks to my dad (1909-1986) for all of this info. I think most people in his age group knew this stuff.

  • Mo September 18, 2018

    Maxine - wanted to thank you for this tip of splitting the bird in half! I have stopped buying whole chickens and instead paying a little more for pieces on markdown to have access to bones for broth but without having endless chicken that needs to be used up. I will give this a try!

  • Becky September 19, 2018

    If whole chickens are lots cheaper, you can always buy several, cut them up into pieces, such as legs, thighs, etc. and make broth from the backs and wings. I have even cut the breast off the bone before, not being super careful to get it all, and made broth from those bones. I have cut up several chickens before, right away from returning from the store, when they were super cheap, and re-packaged the pieces into meal-sized bags and then froze them. You can also roast a whole chicken, then when you are serving it cut the breast meat off the bones, and maybe even the thighs, letting the family chew the meat off of whichever things like drumsticks you want, (I don't choose to make broth from those, but some people do) and make broth from the remaining bones, backs, and neck that is often in the bag, etc.

    After saying all that, around here chicken has been the same price per pound for whole ones, thighs and drumsticks and quarters, and sometimes even split breasts with bones. Recently, I got the bone-in breast, cut off most of the meat and canned it, and made broth from the bones, and canned it. I believe it was around 79c/lb, although my memory is choosing to let go of that exact number today:). It might have been lower. This week at Safeway, I can get 2 packages for 88c/lb of things or legs or quarters. I think it's whole chickens, too. That's a good price, so I will buy the 2 I am allowed. If you could find a good price on chicken in any form, you could make a lot of broth and freeze it if you are not into canning. Just ideas:)

  • Marcia R. September 19, 2018

    Thank you--I will try this next time the giant roasters are on sale, keeping in mind that having the butcher do it is the easiest of all!
    I do buy "top round" but I usually cut it myself into small chunks and cook it with beef broth and lots of sliced onions then serve it over mashed potatoes or noodles, making gravy from the beef broth--the onions sort of melt right into it. I'll have to try it with sirloin, although the round does get quite tender. I buy beef on sale too, and then at least it's a cheaper meal but still tasty. No $15 a pound steaks in my freezer 99% of the time!

  • Marcia R. September 21, 2018

    I did buy a chicken cheap yesterday and they did cut it in half for me! Just under 6# was the smallest I found, so each half will probably make two meals for us--if not 2 dinners, at least 1 dinner and 1 lunch.

    And as I was looking at the hams on sale, a couple people were talking about them while they looked--an elderly man and a woman about 30ish. They were talking about bones in them, and I volunteered that the shank had the larger bone, while the butt generally has a smaller bone and more meat, for only ten cents a pound more. Neither of them seemed to know that information. Then I finished with my really frugal line---and when you're down to the bone, you can make beans with that! (Or soup.) My little bit for education this week!

  • Hilogene in Az September 17, 2018

    Love the photo! Your children sure are photogenic.

    Good luck with the skin cancer surgery, been through it twice, and other than a bit of a very small scar, and wearing bandages for a few days, all went well. Living in a sunny climate has its costs...

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