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Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week in October

October Christmas Gifts Vintage The Prudent Homemaker

I cut and dried basil from the garden.

We picked pears from the garden.

My husband gave my two elder boys and himself a haircut.

I gave two daughters a haircut.

I found one of my daughter's college texts used on Amazon for $30 less than buying it from the university bookstore. 

I received a survey in the mail from Neilsen Ratings. I almost threw the envelope away. I opened it, and there was $2 cash inside! The survey took me less than 2 minutes to fill out and they said they will pay $5 cash for surveys received by the second of November.

My twelve-year-old old son attended a free teen lock-in/escape room challenge at the public library.

October Garage Sale Christmas Gifts 1 The Prudent Homemaker

My mom and I went to the community garage sales. We both found Christmas gifts for people (my mom even found a beautiful hat for me that she is going to give me for Christmas!) I found the above items that I will give as Christmas gifts to my family: small globe, $1; framed picture, $1; Lego ideas book, $0.50; a vintage necklace, $1; a wool-blend skirt ($1); a book ($0.25); Lego Friends Advent calendar ($0.50 for the whole thing; the pieces are already put together and I will divide them up as stocking stuffers in the younger girls' stockings); a vintage brooch ($1); a brand-new coloring book ($2) and colored pencils ($1). (Also pictured are the brand-new hat ($2) and the board book ($0.75) that I bought last week at garage sales as Christmas gifts for my youngest).

I found a few more things for my eldest daughter to put aside for her future college apartment, including drawer dividers ($1), a Cuisinart immersion blender ($2), and a free aloe plant.

I picked up some other great items as well: books for $0.25 each, a free package of streamers, a brand-new first aid kit ($4), drawer dividers ($4), a blue quart canning jar ($0.10), a vase ($0.25), a shirt for my oldest ($1), a set of three blue canning jars with glass lids and rubber rings ($3), a picture of a whimsical, vintage-looking racecar I hung above the baby's crib ($1), a new (probably only used once) Sequence game to replace our worn-out one ($1), a small jar with a flower frog lid ($1) and a Christmas wreath ($2).

I bought a few gifts for other people at the sales, including some books ($0.25 and $0.50 each), two brand-new picture frames ($1 each), and a like new baby toy ($0.25). The picture frames and some of the books are for the refugee family that I visit each week. I used a free print code from Walgreen's (thanks to a reader who emailed me about the offer) to print a free 8 x 10 to go in one of the frames for this family. (I took pictures of them a couple of weeks ago.) The other frame has 6 openings for smaller pictures that I will print at Sam's Club for them. I printed some coupons for Command hooks from the company's website so that I can pick up something for them to hang them with that won't leave holes in the walls, as they live in an apartment.

I planted some seeds in my garden. 

What did you do to save money last week?

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  • Sarah October 16, 2017

    Wow Brandy! What great finds! We had a crazy week last week with 2 major expenditures :( but still managed to eek out some money saving as well. https://frugalfive.com/2017/10/15/frugal-5-friday-101317/

  • Juls Owings October 16, 2017

    The dishwasher shouldn't be on the same breaker as the stove. Sure is rough for you this past week and I am sorry for that. Seems like Murphy might have moved in with you.

  • Sarah October 17, 2017

    Thanks Juls! Murphy seems to have found a comfortable place to stay :P but we're keeping our chins up. The previous owner of our house did some "interesting" things around here and wired and installed the dishwasher himself, so it's not suprising that the dishwasher is on the same breaker as the oven as annoying as it might be.

  • Juls Owings October 18, 2017

    Sorry that Murphy lived in our 300 yr old house that the people that bought it gutted it to fix it right. LOL

  • I'm impressed by the free Aloe plant. How helpful that will be to have around! I started a $5 savings challenge and so far I've done pretty well. I use it for emergencies, vacation, or next year's Christmas money.

    Here are the other ways I've saved this past week:

  • Sandra October 16, 2017

    How does your $5.00 challenge work?

  • I save every $5 bill I get. It's kind of hard to remember but I really save have saved already this way! Dollar bills would be great too!

  • Stephanie N. October 17, 2017

    My mother did that with $1 bills when we were young. She would never spend a $1 bill. She joked that her goal was to be the sole owner of all the $1 bills in the U.S. lol. After a few years of doing it she had saved enough to put a new deck on her house and paid for it in $1's. It is one of my fondest memories of her.

  • lisa October 18, 2017

    i love that!

  • Juls Owings October 16, 2017

    My mother in law did this when the kids all left home since she didn't need it for lunch money for them. 10 yrs later...she paid cash for the down payment of their new home. She did 5 dollar bills at first and then added 5 of one dollar bills also. I started doing it last year.It's what I used to restock the pantry with. Over $2000. Thing is you have to use CASH and not debit...but my son got around it by always getting $5 back with his debit and putting it in his money jar.

  • Vickie@Vickie's Kitchen and Garden October 16, 2017

    What great savings -kind of effortless too. I love how both of you used your cash.

  • Becky October 16, 2017

    You found so many great items at your garage sales, for excellent prices!! We went to a rummage sale because I have a list I am looking for, but found very little at a price I wanted to pay. If I had been able to return later in the day, the prices were set to go way down, but I did not have the ability to do that so.....

    I know the refugee family will appreciate the picture as much as anything you could bring them. Great idea!

    This past week was super busy with extra appointments for the children and 2 days where there was no public school. That translates into 2 extra days of paid work for me. It also ended up turning into 2 overnighters for the kids I help care for. My niece wanted to stay over on Wednesday night and then, once my nephew heard she was staying over, he wanted to stay over on Thursday night. (In fact, he pointed out that he would be free all weekend, and could just stay 3 nights, but we compromised on 1 night) We had a good time. I like to plan one fun thing or outing for the kids when we spend an entire day--part of my job is to get them out, learn new skills, exercise, or do some community involvement with them. It's very open-ended, which makes it nice. So, for my niece, I took her and my daughter swimming at the YMCA, using our pass. They had a blast, and everyone got a little exercise. I tried to take my nephew apple picking at a farm, but both times we tried, the heavens opened up with a deluge of rain, and we couldn't. So, instead, we went to a pond and fed ducks and went to the rummage sale. That was fun, too, and we got a break in the weather long enough to accomplish it. He also built Legos for a long time. My husband recently ordered 2 Lego building books like the one you bought, Brandy, off of a used book site for a very reasonable price for him to use.

    On Saturday, we cleaned in the shop for many hours. This is one of those huge jobs that hang over a person's head...but we got a lot done, which felt good. When we moved out of our 3400 sq. ft. house on 8 acres with outbuildings, into this 1100 sq. ft. house on a lot in town, there were many, many bins left over full of items that would not fit in. Before we moved we got rid of an enormous amount, but there were things we did not know if we should keep or not because we did not know where we were moving to. We have lived here for a year, and have spent several times going through bins, but there were still a lot left. My husband has spent several additional days lately working out there and put shelves up along the sides, and put camping gear, tools, etc. on them. I had household bins left to sort through and that's what I did on Saturday. We found pictures and hung up quite a few and are donating the rest. We put book on the shelves in the garage, but have no more room. So, I need to sort books and donate more. We filled the back of the van with items we can live without, and Rob will haul it away today. The project is coming along. Hopefully, he can set his tools up soon, and begin to build things, as he wishes to do.

    I did the Costco run I had planned, and stayed within the budget I had set for myself. I got every thing I needed and wanted, including a birthday present. I cooked several items, including a gluten-free double chocolate loaf cake for the family birthday party we were having. I also did refried beans for the same party. One of the things I love about having home-cooked birthday parties is that I feel like I can get the birthday girl (in this case my sister) a much nicer present because I didn't have to spend money on taking the entire family to a restaurant. We also can visit much more comfortably. We held the party at my other sister's house, after church Sunday, and had extra family members attend, because it was a special day. We also ended up with 4 extra teens from church my sister invited over for lunch for various reasons...they just joined in the party--they are delightful kids. We made taco bar, which is always a great idea for a crowd.

    We also cooked pork chops, cornbread twice, lasagna, and chicken noodle soup throughout the week.

    I put pictures on my blog. That's pretty much what I did for the week: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/saving-money-and-weekly-update-october-15-2017/

  • Athanasia October 17, 2017

    Becky, I liked the way you arranged the loaf cake with the candy bars in the middle. I will keep that in mind for future use.

    Your canning is very comforting to look at, I know that's an odd term, but having my pantry like that just gives a peaceful feeling. But do you not have to worry about earthquakes or tremors at all? Are the smaller jars on the right your canned salmon?

  • Becky October 18, 2017

    Those are indeed the jars of canned tuna from the fish that we purchased on the docks in Newport, Oregon, this summer.

    Although we occasionally do have an earthquake, they are very few and far between (like I can remember 2 that I could actually feel in my lifetime). Both were very mild. During one, a picture fell off the wall and the pots and pans rattled. During the other, we were at a homeschool co-op, and we just had the kids get under the table, but it was over before most of them did so. There were a couple of aftershocks with that one. So, although they always threaten us with earthquakes, I guess they happen so rarely that I tend to forget all about them.

    I am glad you liked the cake. I wanted it to look like a birthday, but the loaf cake has enough sugar in it without a frosting, so I never frost that particular recipe. (But then, I piled the candy high......but, boy did the kids go for those candy bars, and the adults, too.)

  • cathy October 20, 2017

    Our very favorite place to vacation in Oregon is Waldport and Seal Rock, on the coast just south of Newport. Love the Newport docks.

  • Juls Owings October 18, 2017

    Your beautiful pantry reminds me of the one Daddy built for Mother. If we ever buy our own home again (rent because we live where Hubby works not where we want to be) Hubby promised to build me one instead of using metal shelving units.

  • Stacey October 16, 2017

    Brandy, my son is in his last year of a BSN program so college is almost over for us. Just wanted to make sure you know you can rent most textbooks from Amazon for next to nothing. We've spent very little on books for son #2 verses son #1...we didn't know the first time around. :)

  • Mary October 16, 2017

    Yes I second this. It’s great. I do not recommend getting used CDs. My daughter has had problems with CDs arriving scratched.

  • I did see that some college texts are available for rent. Two of her bokos for these two classes are only available through the school (they were printed by the school) and the other I was happy to find used to purchase, but there wasn't a rent option. I definitely plan to look for rent options whenever they are available!

  • Tricia October 16, 2017

    We also use Chegg for textbook rental. They also have books for sale.

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