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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Hamish 4 months The Prudent Homemaker

Hamish sat up a couple of weeks ago at 4 1/2 months old. Now he wants to sit up all the time.


I sewed 5 toddler bibs that I cut out from an old fitted sheet of my mom's.

I turned a pair of my son's pants with a torn knee into shorts.

I turned a pair of my daughter's jeans with a torn knee into shorts, and I turned a pair of boot cut jeans into shorts. Since I buy the girls' jeans for $0.50 to $2 a pair at garage sales, I'm not out a lot to start when they quickly wear out the knees in their jeans. Shorts are more practical here for most of the year, so they wear the shorts until the fabric wears out.

I opened the windows in the early mornings when it was below 79 to air out the house and keep from running the air conditioner for a couple of hours each morning. We need air conditioning here during the day through October, so it was nice to be able to open the windows just for a short while before we reached triple digits this past week.

Some of my agapanthus plants died over the summer (they burnt in the heat, a common problem here for many plants). The local nursery was having a sale on them, so I purchased some new ones while they were on sale. 

My husband gave our eldest son a haircut.

My husband and his brother fixed our back door, which has not been closing properly for some time.

I read several e-books from the library. I paid $62.32 a year in taxes for the library this year, and I have gotten more than my money's worth (One likes to think of the library as being "free," but it isn't really free.) The library recently purchased several e-books that I requested, so I've been able to read books that I really wanted without having to purchase them.

I enjoyed two magazines that I have a free subscription to, thanks to Recyclebank.

I cut red noodle beans and Armenian cucumbers from the garden. We used the beans in a dinner of fried rice (along with eggs, onions, and carrots) and the cucumbers with white bean dip (along with purchased carrots, cut into sticks) for a lunch. I also cut chives from the garden.

I cooked a large batch of pinto beans in the solar oven, which I used to make bean burritos.

I saved some old raisins that were becoming rather dry by using them to make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The recipe calls for soaking and slightly cooking the raisins with water to make them plumper, so even if your raisins are super old, they will still work well in this recipe.

I made a bottle of anti-static spray using store-brand witch hazel and water in a $1 travel spray bottle. A reader suggested this in the comments a couple of months ago and my eldest said it works great. She used about 60% witch hazel to 40% water (the original comment said 50/50, I believe).

I repurposed a beautiful blue and white gravy boat that a reader sent to me to hold flashcards that we are using every day.


What did you do to save money this past week?








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  • Susan M. September 23, 2018

    I found some dress pants for me at a thrift store, and my teen daughter bought them for me so they were free for me! She had a gift certificate she had received for volunteering, so they were free for her as well! We also found her a winter scarf at the same store.

    Tried a new clothing store, and my hubby found dress pants for work for just $10.

    I waited for a sale, and it saved me $44.19 when I ordered some new tops for me from a new to me company. I recently lost weight, which is why there is a lot of clothing purchases needed for me!

    I checked a DVD out from the library, instead of purchasing it. Free for me, and I don’t have to add to things that have to be stored.

    More in my blog at: http://tnquiltbug.blogspot.com/2018/09/frugal-friday-week-of-september-16-22.html

  • Athanasia September 24, 2018

    Susan, congratulations on your weight loss.

  • Joan October 01, 2018

    Congratulations on your weight loss.

  • Jamie | Medium Sized Family September 23, 2018

    Sitting up at 4 1/2 months? You have a go getter!! :) Love the tip about the anti static spray. And it's really true that the library isn't as "free" as we think it is (although the taxes don't give us much choice on that spending).

    I'm now expecting baby #6, and spent most of the past couple of months sleeping. :) But I finally wrote up another post about how we saved money last week! https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-130/

  • Leigh Ann September 23, 2018

    It was a great week!
    I enjoyed free snacks at an informational session I attended with my students.
    I found several things at Goodwill: boxes of unopened diapers, plus several clothing items to keep for my kids or resell. I found a $7 first communion dress for my daughter, half price. She likes it, so this $3.50 dress and veil will be wonderful.
    Our Randall's (Safeway affiliate) has canned beans, veggies, and tomato products for .25/can with the in-ad coupon. It says limit 12, but the cashiers never seem to mind my multiple transactions. I may have overbought, but these cans say they're good until 2021.
    My dad fixed a part on my van, saving us a lot of money, hopefully.
    I cut open the toothpaste tube to get the last bit out.
    Bought mark downs and loss leaders.
    I am using some dried-up baby wipes in place of paper towels, which I don't use often but am currently out of.
    I am using up some small hotel soaps and shampoo.
    I picked up some marked down peanut butter for a friend. I had quite a bit already, but bought her 20 jars.
    I sold another baby formula coupon that came in the mail on eBay. I made $5 and save a lot by nursing.
    I bought gas at a cheaper gas station.
    I treated a stain with baking sofa, hydrogen peroxide, and blue Dawn.
    I downloaded the Wendy's app, which gets me a free half salad with any purchase (.50 frosties) each day until 10/7.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 23, 2018

    Another week full of accomplishments for you, on top of all of your usual chores and plans! I never fail to be impressed by you, Brandy!

    As for me, I find that as I'm just entering my last month of pregnancy, I don't have a lot of energy. Working full-time seems to take all my energy during the weekdays, and on the weekends I try to catch up on errands/housework and baby prep. But, I still managed to find some time to do a few things!
    - I wrote thank you notes using note cards leftover from my wedding thank you notes from years ago, and stamps that I had traded for previously.
    - Did the usual of packing all my lunches and snacks. Besides saving money, this also saves me energy: I have no desire to leave my workplace during my lunch hour and expend precious energy! Would much rather eat my packed lunch and sit with my feet elevated.
    - Froze some bananas that were getting overripe, for ‘nice’ cream and for smoothies.
    - Prepped some bags of smoothie ingredients for the freezer, so that I can just toss them into the blender with some yoghurt and milk and have a green smoothie ready for dinners after work. This is my favourite smoothie base: http://approachingfood.com/foodie-trends-hemp-seed-antioxidant-smoothie-bowl/
    - Bought ice cream on sale and made more ice cream sandwiches.
    - Made a batch of homemade yoghurt.
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 gc to Indigo books. I like to buys books as Christmas gifts for the children of two of my closest friends to encourage literacy etc., so this will buy almost two books for the oldest two kids. I already have a gift (traded for) set aside for the mother/family of those kids, so I’m almost done with Christmas gifts for that family. Then only one more family (friend/family and two kids) and I’m done with gifts for my friends!
    - I'm craving mostly fresh fruits and veggies plus yoghurt (and ice cream) at the moment, but I do have some potatoes that I want to use up, so I’m hoping to have enough energy this coming week to make some potato croquettes! (http://approachingfood.com/tasty-tapas-veggie-croquetas/) I’ll add in whatever leftover veggies I have in the fridge, and freeze any remainders for easy future side dishes.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Margie from Toronto September 24, 2018

    I've checked out your recipe and will definitely use that over the winter - I'm trying to keep costs down and use up all leftovers and even though I eat a much lower carb diet than I used to sometimes you just need some mashed potatoes in your life!
    Aren't you glad that our weather has finally cooled down - this must have been a very tough Summer for you with being pregnant and still working full-time. The subway station temperatures were brutal some days. Hope you aren't going to work right to the end (unless you feel up to it). I know that I've worked with a couple of super women who finished up their last day at the office, drove themselves to the hospital and delivered their babies within hours of arrival - but Holy Cow! Rest up as much as you can now and take advantage of our generous pregnancy leave - you have earned it.

  • Cindy in the South September 24, 2018

    I did that with my third child....lol. I worked all day and I was soooo hot. I started having labor pains about 6 p.m., told my then husband to stay with the two kids we already had and to call my mom. I then drove myself to the hospital. I was wearing a summer maternity dress. When I came out of the hospital with the new baby, the next day, it was freezing and windy!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 24, 2018

    I know a lower-carb diet is healthier for some people, but I do love my carbs, especially potatoes! I agree -- sometimes you just need some mashed potatoes in your life!

    Am super-glad the weather has cooled down. I no longer arrive at home after work out of breath, sweating, and red-faced. I plan to work up until about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks before I'm due. My work is actually pretty active, so I didn't want to work up until my due date for fear of starting labour early, plus I'm just exhausted these days. Assuming baby arrives on time, I should have had almost two weeks to sleep and rest as much as possible. Am looking forward to it!

  • Jeannie September 27, 2018

    Margaret, I labeled a frozen jar "yoghurt" and was told by my son Dustin I had misspelled the word. I told him it was a Canadian spelling. He would not be convinced. I just showed him your post, pointed out your spelling and he said, "Are you showing this to me to prove you are right and I am wrong? The word is not pronounced 'yaag....hurt', it is not yoe-gert." He is not very apologetic.

    Margaret, I will go with your spelling, just to win the argument.


  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 28, 2018

    Jeannie, you always make me laugh! You should consider a career as a humour writer, a la Erma Bombeck. I actually had to look up the different spellings of yoghurt to see why my spelling was considered unusual. Apparently it's more British, which makes sense, given that Canada often uses British spellings of words (ex. grey, neighbourhood, etc.) I did not even realize that yogurt was a possible spelling; live and learn! :)

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 30, 2018

    In Canada, I've seen "yoghurt" (less frequently now) but also yogourt and yogurt.
    In parts of Britain, it is pronounced yaghurt (so yes yaaghurt) and they will think it odd
    if you say yogurt (with a Yo). In Canada, I've only heard "yoe". (a hard "o"). So Jeannie,
    I think you are right each way. And Margaret@ApproachingFood, just as correct for the spelling "yoghurt".
    I just wish I had some.

  • Tammy September 23, 2018

    What a beautiful picture of Hamish! He has a sweet smile.

    Made all meals at home. Took grandkids to library and park for free entertainment. Packed a picnic for all of us. Every time we go to town for any reason we pack some food and pour water in a mason jar to drink. Eating what we have except for a few items from the grocery store. My Mom gave us 4 lbs of hamburger. Running all errands on the same trip if possible to save on gas. Using internet to look up recipes, typing what I have on hand to make something we can eat. Turning off lights when not in room. Opening windows when cool. Cooking more beans and lentils than usual. Using a bit of meat to flavor meals. Eggs are cheap here so we are eating more eggs. Paying only minimum on everything hoping to get us through until my husband has a job or unemployment funds come in. Working when I can get hours.

  • Ellie's friend from Canada September 30, 2018


    I'm keeping you in my heart, thoughts and prayers! Ann

  • Terry September 23, 2018

    Spent this past week at my brothers lake house. Before we left I canned pickles and tomatoes. I hauled all the extra veggies to the mission. Fishing was poor, but we enjoyed a relaxing week anyway. I packed food from home. We only bought a pound of burger and a loaf of bread while we were gone. What fish we caught hubby will smoke.
    Brother has cable so we watched a lot of fixer upper programs giving us some good ideas for projects at home.
    When we got home I picked veggies from the garden. Used some peaches off our tree and some rhubarb from the garden to make a delicious upside down cake. I've cooked all the ripe tomatoes along with other garden veggies to make a batch of v8.
    Tomorrow I will take extra squash to the mission again. I'll run all my errands in one trip. Ill stop at the thrift store to check their Monday specials since I have to go right past.
    Fall is here and the garden is slowing. My freezers are full as well as almost all my jars. We have apples and lots of squash to store for winter. Now comes the months that we eat mostly out of our pantry

  • Marybeth September 23, 2018

    Hamish is so gorgeous. That picture just made my night. Thank you for sharing your family with us. I miss having little ones around. My baby is a senior in high school. I hope you are doing well Brandy and are getting more sleep. Sending you lots of prayers. I wish I could do more.

    I love, love, love my library. I know that I pay tax money for it but I would have to pay for it even if I didn't use the library. Libraries today are not the "be quiet" kind of library I remember when I was a kid. If you haven't been to your local library recently, go check it out. You might be surprised at all they have to offer.

    School is going full speed ahead. Open school was this week as was several nights of float build. There was a football game and Senior breakfast. They really don't ease you back into it.

    My garden is still going strong. I made another batch of sauce with my tomatoes. I canned 4 quarts, made pasta with meat sauce and
    a pizza with it. We have been eating as much of the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and pole beans as possible. Everything else is been canned or frozen.

    We had car troubles with 2 of our cars this week. Hubby's car stalled. AAA had it towed for free to our mechanic. It cost us $60 to have fixed and nothing for the tow. You get a free tow every year. YD's car was dead when she came out of school. Hubby jumped it and it has been fine since.

    Hubby and I went on a date to a free home show. It is held at a local college. We even got some freebies from it.

    This seemed to be a week of accepting leftovers. My son brought some home from work. Hubby also brought some home from work. YD brought home 1/2 a pizza from float build and a bunch of food from the senior breakfast. We are happy to eat it and not see it go in the garbage. The rest of my frugal week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/09/my-frugal-list-week-of-september-17-2018.html

  • Maxine September 23, 2018

    What a sweetie!

    Also, hope your surgery went well. I hope you let your crew wait on you for the rest of the day.

    This was my week--
    We celebrated my daughter's birthday with lunch at Red Lobster. (Frugal fail: forgot to take the coupon from the newspaper). Homemade cake at home. Her gift was a large Mickey Mouse Christmas inflatable that we will have in the front yard from Thanksgiving to New Year's. I bought this on clearance last year for $30. A friend also did her nails with purple glitter gel polish that turns pink if her hands get cold. My daughter is 42 and developmentally disabled.

    Another week of cooking and eating at home. We went to our vacation home for the weekend and I managed to cook all of our meals with food that was already there.

    At the lake, I stained the fascia boards on the deck and the risers of the front steps with mis-tint Cabot deck stain that I bought at Lowe's for $9 (regularly $45, and a great color).

    I used my debit card for small purchases 4 days this past week. My credit union will pay me $1 per day that I use the debit card in September.

    I was able to stack a $5 Ace Bucks coupon with $5 in Ace Rewards to get a couple of duplicate keys made for next-to-nothing. I returned an item to Lowe's for a $7.35 refund. I bought a couple of curtain rods at Big Lots--their curtain rods cost way less than at other stores. The biggest one was $19 and comparable to rods costing $40-$60 at other stores. (60 bucks for a curtain rod???!).

    I watched a You Tube and used double-sided tape to put down leftover vinyl flooring in the shed. I put up a rack and hung up all of the tools. I moved an old plastic shelf unit to the shed and used it for all of the miscellaneous junk.

    Most weeks, I mention that I "did all of the usual frugal stuff," and last week, I mentioned that I don't buy stuff for the purpose of throwing it away (disposables). I don't wash Zip-Locs if they are messy, but I use very, very few bags that I actually have to buy. I freeze most of my meat in bread bags or produce bags and line my waste baskets with plastic grocery sacks. I am an ace recycler, but I always try to reuse first.

    Hope everyone here had a great week!

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 23, 2018

    My surgery is near the end of this week.

  • Maxine September 23, 2018

    Thanks for letting us know. Remember to let them wait on you for at least a day!:)

  • S. CO Mary September 24, 2018

    We've used oops paint for so many projects. I agree with you about Big Lots - I compare my local BG and WalMart to see how they compare. For curtain rods BG is much cheaper. Mary

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