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Grapes in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I collected eggs from my friend's chickens and picked cucumbers, a few green beans, and tomatoes from her garden.

I canned a batch of dill pickles from the cucumbers.

July Harvest The Prudent Homemaker 

I harvested grapes, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and figs from my garden.

In the garden, I sowed seeds for red noodle beans, red zinnias, white zinnias, Genovese basil, Thai basil, Dark Siam basil, carrots, Chinese lanterns (hoping that this time they grow!), and parsley. It's much later than I normally sow seeds in the garden for these things, but many of my seeds did not come up earlier, or came up only to be eaten by bugs, so I am trying again. 

While weeding, I found a few carrots that had grown in one spot from seed dropping from carrots in my garden. I carefully dug them and replanted them where they could grow larger.

Grapes in Basket 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I took cuttings from two sweet potato vines to root in water to make new plants. These are a decorative vine; they do not make sweet potatoes. I took short cuttings from the tips of the plants (about 4-5 inches long) and took off the bottom leaves. Where the leaves were, the plants began to root in water after 4 days. Later in the week, I took additional cuttings from the other type of sweet potato vine to root as well. I plan to transplant these to pots in my white garden. These are an annual that does better in  more mild and humid climates than here (I saw them growing quite large and beautiful in the sun in Missouri a couple of years ago) but here they need a bit of protection from the sun to keep the leaves from burning to a crisp.

We had a very humid week. This is "monsoon season" here, but I think it would be more appropriately named, "cloudy season" as there is not much rain. We got a tiny bit of rain on Monday night, but it was enough that I was able to leave the drip irrigation and sprinklers off on Tuesday. The clouds bring lots of humidity, and they brought the temperature down below 100° for several days. I took advantage of the cloudy, cooler (only 96°F/35°C and humid!) days and worked in the garden doing lots of weeding. I put an ice cream bucket under the drip from the air conditioning; when it is humid like it has been this past week, I can collect several gallons of water from it each day, which I used to water pots on my patio along with water I collected in a bucket while waiting for the shower to warm.

I purchased some dahlia tubers online on 50% off clearance with free shipping.

I purchased some children's clothes online that were on sale and clearance that were not much more than local thrift-store prices.

I gave my two older sons a haircut. My husband and I cut his hair.

I went to purchase chicken on sale earlier this week and the store was out of it, so I got a raincheck.

Tomato Salad The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

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July Garden Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

It was really wonderful to hear from so many readers this past week in the comments! So many of you have been reading for years and I didn't know who you were. I loved reading your frugal accomplishments and was very, very touched to hear how much my site has helped so many of you over many years. I hope that you will consider commenting again in the future. I learned several things this past week in your comments. The most surprising idea I learned in the comments was one I had definitely never thought to do before: it was a reader's idea to sell four pieces of her vacuum cleaner on ebay since the motor on her vacuum had died. She said she sold two pieces within 48 hours! 

One of the most meaningful commenters from a first-time commenter was the following comment: "I have been reading here for a year and love the gentle joys found here! I love the fact that everyone is so supportive of each other in the pursuit of making do with little. In real life, if I talk about my frugality, the response is pity and offers to help! What I want to be met with congratulations for hard work and ingenuity is met, instead, with sympathy. Here, I love that we can celebrate each others' efforts. . . "

I love the excitement that comes from learning a new frugal living skill, saving money on something I need and/or want, finding a great deal or a new low-priced recipe, and making what I have work. I agree that when we share that excitement, people often respond with pity. I enjoy reading everyone's comments here, celebrating with you and learning from all of you. Having more people comment certainly makes frugal living feel less lonely, and I came away from reading your comments feeling more encouraged and having learned new ideas to save money.

Here are my own frugal accomplishments for this past week:

 

I hemmed two pairs of pants for a friend of ours who is leaving soon to serve a mission.

I checked out an e-book from the library.

The children watched several shows on our free trial of Amazon Prime.

I tried a couple of new recipes. No one loved them and I won't make them again, but we went ahead and ate the dishes anyway.

I took advantage of a Fourth of July sale to purchase some replacement plates to replace some of our broken plates. The company has started making the same pattern in melamine. I bought a few of the salad plates (which is what we use for the children) in porcelain and a few in melamine. The melamine ones can't go in the microwave, but they may be a solution for most of the time to keep so many from being broken. I got 20% off the plates on sale, plus free shipping--and my items arrived in a day and a half!

I harvested New Zealand spinach, chives, and green onions from my garden.

My second son and I will be taking care of a friend's chickens and gardens while they are out of town. We'll get to collect eggs and pick tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans while they are gone (and anything else that is ripe). This is the friend who has the cooled greenhouse who shared produce with us last week. Several of you asked if she would share photos of her greenhouse. She agreed to let me share, so I will take some photos of it to share in a post! The photo above is taken in her greenhouse.

Before she left, she gave us two plastic grocery bags of tomatoes and two of cucumbers. 

We then picked more tomatoes, cucumbers, and some lettuce from her garden after she left (lettuce in July--the wonder of a cooled greenhouse!) and collected two dozen eggs.

What did you do to save money last week? Please share in the comments!  Keep encouraging one another in your celebrations of frugal living; I love the support you give to one another!

 

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June Cucumbers The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains affiliate and referral links.

 

Ten years ago, I sat at my computer and started creating this website. My plan was to create menus and recipes for those who were living, like us, from their food storage and garden. At the time, we had been living on our food storage for over a year. I had a newborn baby, my fifth child, and my eldest was eight years old. 

At the time, I didn't want a blog. I wanted something easily searchable, with static pages (static blog pages weren't a thing then, at least not on the blogs I read).

I wanted to encourage those who were struggling to put food on the table.

Over time, I shared fewer recipes and more of our day to day efforts to save money. The recession has been a long one and the recovery hasn't felt like a recovery to many.

I have so many things I want to share with you! My family's needs have to come first, so many plans and ideas have sat, unfinished, on the backside of my website, waiting for the chance I have to share them with you. I truly hope that this year I can find a way to share them with you, along with the projects that I hope to make and share. Be sure to check in often throughout the month; I will be sharing as many posts with you as possible!

Now for this past week's efforts to save money:

I said yes to the offer of cucumbers and green beans from a friend's garden abundance. She brought over a few tomatoes from her garden as well. She grows inside of a cooled greenhouse that is cooled with a swamp cooler, so she has the humidity and cooler temperatures that my garden lacks. Her entire garden is watered (and cooled) with grey water and the swamp cooler is powered by solar and wind power (as is the rest of their house).

I mended a hole in two pairs of shorts (one for my son and one for my husband). I turned three pairs of the girls' jeans into jean shorts.

I hemmed two pairs of pants for my husband. It was my first time cuffing pants. I was a bit nervous about it, but I watched a video on YouTube a couple of times with instructions and then I cuffed both pairs. 

We harvested tomatoes, blackberries, and chives from the garden.

I transplanted a few zinnia plants and a basil plant which had all self-seeded in the grass into the garden.

I transplanted a tomato plant which had self-seeded at the edge of the garden into another spot in the garden where it will have room to grow.

My girls watched a movie on YouTube. 

I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. We'll use it for the month (and then I'll cancel) to watch some things we haven't seen before. It's too hot to play outside during the day (107°F/42°C is the average high, with the lows at 79°F/26°C around 5 a.m. ) so the children watch more tv during the summer. I found several things, including several Amazon original series, for them to watch.

My husband and I had a date night at home playing Rummikub and Sequence.

I accepted two used Cuisinart ice cream freezer bowls. Now I can have several bowls cold and ready in the freezer at a time!

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Chili's. My husband and I will use it on our anniversary next week for a lunch date.

I saved warm-up water from the shower and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

 

What did you do save money this past week? If you've never shared before but you read each week, I'd especially love it if you shared one thing you did this past week to save money, no matter how routine it is!

 

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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June Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

My son and I repaired a leak in the garden.

I signed up for a free online mini-class.

I used a $15 off coupon at Joann fabrics on top of purchasing items on sale.

I collected shower-warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

We picked blackberries and apricots from the garden. I cut green onions from the garden.

I mended a hole in a pillowcase and a hole in a pair of shorts.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

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Frugal Accomplishments

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Earth Angel Roses The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden.

I cut rosemary and Swiss chard from the garden.

We picked blackberries, apricots, lemons, and figs from the garden.

I had my son spray for bugs. Spraying the outside of the house rather than having a bug service saves us hundreds of dollars every year.

We watched children's shows on PBS.org and YouTube.

We had friends visit from out of town that we had not seen for many years. Before they came, I checked to see if their children had any food allergies. One of her children is allergic to beans, and I was planning to make bean burritos. I planned a different meal instead (Baked potato bar and salad), using ingredients that I had on hand.

I returned 1-gallon and 5-gallon plastic pots to the nursery, where they will be reused. I received a credit of $1.08, which I used towards my purchase of some flowers for the garden. Several of the plants I purchased were on sale.

I sowed seeds in the garden for two kinds of basil.

June Floral Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I gave a daughter and a son each a haircut.

My husband has been needing some new clothes for several years. We found him a wallet (for $7) at Walmart that he liked. The next morning, when I was entering the receipt into Quicken, I noticed that I had been double charged for the wallet. I went back to the store, hoping to get the money back, but having no proof of being double charged, I wasn't sure if they would give me the money back or not. Customer service used the information on the receipt to look up the transaction on the register on their security camera footage to see that I was, indeed, telling the truth, and I got my $7 plus tax put back on my card (I found out this is their standard policy for being double charged; I don't know how many days of footage they have on hand, so I was glad I went the next day, just in case). We found him some dress pants at Sam's Club. The manufacturer's price on the pants was $75 a pair; we paid just under $20 a pair for them (Sam's Club's price).

I took advantage of the Father's Day sales to purchase two shirts for my eldest son at Target, on sale for $5 each (a polo shirt and a t-shirt) which will be some of his birthday gifts for his birthday next month.

We had lots of fun taking short rides in my dad's "pre-owned," new-to-him, 1925 Model T!  I plan to take some proper photos in the future, but the first ride is documented over on my Instagram account.

Ezrom Eagle Scout The Prudent Homemaker

We celebrated my son's Eagle Scout ceremony rather simply, decorating with flags of two sizes that I already had (some of which had been purchased for my oldest son's Eagle Scout ceremony last year) and some large flags that were borrowed. We also used the patriotic ribbon medallions that I made years ago with ribbon that I received from my mother-in-law. Our dessert was simply ice cream, which we purchased on sale.

I've had several readers ask about his project. I hope to share his project as well as my eldest son's project in an upcoming post or two.

June Moon The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

 

 

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June Harvest 1 The Prudent Homemaker 

I harvested Mission figs, Royal apricots, Meyer lemons, peppermint, green onions, New Zealand spinach, Swiss chard, hibiscus flowers, and blackberries from the garden.

I worked in the garden, weeding and sowing seeds for sunflowers, Armenian cucumbers, Genovese basil, and vincas. 

I collected green onion seeds from my green onion flowers and planted a new row of green onions in the garden. We are using these more and more often as they can be harvested year-round. I am wanting to grow enough green onions in the garden to make it easy to harvest them several times a week every week of the year.

I made a batch each of orange extract and vanilla extract.

Blackberries June 2018 The Prudent Homemaker

I finished sewing a table runner that I had started last year and set aside in my sewing room.

Ezrom Eagle Scout Invitation The Prudent Homemaker

I took pictures of my second son for his Eagle Scout Court of Honor invitations. My husband designed an invitation on the computer and we ordered the invitations as photo prints, which were much less than printing them as invitations would have been ($0.17 each).

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

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