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Frugal Accomplishments for the Beginning of June

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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  • Rhonda A. June 16, 2018

    Thank you for all the great ideas! They all sound really good, especially replacing the vanilla in some baked goods with the orange flavouring. Now I'm thinking I should try making some orange extract for myself.

  • You soak vanilla beans, orange or lemon zests, or peppermint leaves in vodka. I've read 5-6 weeks, I've read 6 months, and I've read a year. This is my first time making them, so I will leave them for a long time and I hope it works well! I found instructions here: http://www.justputzing.com/2013/12/diy-flavored-extracts.html

  • MountainLife June 14, 2018

    I make vanilla extract with vanilla beans split in a large container with (cheap) brandy. That container becomes my main infusion source, and I pour the result after a few months into smaller containers to use for cooking and gifts. I always put a new vanilla bean in the smaller container to continue strengthening the extract, and because it looks special when you use the smaller bottles as gifts. The trick, of course, is finding reasonably priced vanilla beans. I am convinced that the brandy (usually Christian Brothers) makes a much richer extract then the flavorless vodka.

  • Kara June 14, 2018

    I have 2 bottles of homemade vanilla on the go, and have had for years. I use one while the other ‘ages’. Once the one I’m using is about 2/3 empty, I refill it with vodka, put it in the back of the cupboard, and bring the other bottle forward

  • Cate June 15, 2018

    I also use Mrs. Wages pickle mix and have for years. It is a fairly simple process and you don't have to worry about measuring out lime.

  • If you scroll down this page, you can see the link I gave to earlier for you on how to do it, but I'll put it here for you as well: http://www.justputzing.com/2013/12/diy-flavored-extracts.html

  • Kristin Fish June 11, 2018

    I love your posts. Do you buy your vanilla beans online? I've been able to avoid buying more beans (I made a TON of extract 2 years ago) since the prices have gotten so high.

  • Marcia R. June 11, 2018

    You haven't seen anything yet!! I am down to my last bottle of vanilla, which was just over $50 a pint when I last bought it, and it is now about $68 a pint if I remember correctly--I looked it up a couple weeks ago, thinking ahead. I use a lot of it as I make a double batch of Brandy's granola weekly and I bake most things at home from scratch also. I even bought a bottle of Mexican vanilla last time to try--but I had to admit I prefer the taste of the Madagascar variety. Don't spill a DROP--it's too expensive!! That is REALLY a lot and I've spoiled two families already by using it. Such a difference in flavor.

  • Rhonda A. June 12, 2018

    I do love the real vanilla extract as well, but I'm not willing to spend that kind of money on it. So last time I bought vanilla extract, I went with the imitation instead. Sad to do it, but I just cannot justify that kind of cost!

  • Marcia R. June 12, 2018

    I'm not sure either--which was why I was looking it up in advance of needing it. I thought the price increase was due to a crop failure and thought it would go down again by now. We are retired and don't spend a lot on little luxuries, so up until now, I have bought it. I do have my limits also.

  • Marcia, I started using imitation vanilla for the granola and keeping the real vanilla for baked goods. It's a LOT of vanilla in the granola recipe and that is just too expensive now. Jut a few years ago I could buy a 16-ounce bottle at Sam's Club for $6.82. Now they sell an 8-ounce bottle for $20.98. That means it's 6 times more money! Sam's sells 32 ounces of imitation vanilla for $4.97.

  • Becky June 13, 2018

    If you have friends or family traveling to Mexico, ask them to bring you some vanilla. We love the Molina brand, but you do have to be careful as they have the real (natural) and the imitation as well. Buy the real one. It can be purchased in the regular grocery stores down there for very, very inexpensively--I think the last time we got it, it was less than $3 for a large bottle (about a pint). Little ones were around $1. Of course, you have to buy it in pesos, but it's worth the mind-power to do that. There are other brands, but they don't taste as good, in my opinion. Whenever we go down for a mission trip, or family travels on vacation, we just have whoever goes down get several bottles, and then often give them (or receive them) as Christmas gifts to each other.

    So many people around here travel to Mexico. I don't know if that is the case in other parts of the country or not, but around here, it's pretty easy to find someone to get us vanilla, and we get several, so we don't need to get more for a few years.

  • Janet June 14, 2018

    I remember back when real food was not so expensive. Real Chocolate, Real Vanilla , Real Butter. It is so sad most kids now don't even know what things are supposed to taste like.

    I eat such a plain diet anymore it does not matter to me . Apples and Oats for Breakfast , Apples and Tuna at lunch or Chicken, Chicken and veggie or fruit at dinner. Sometimes I eat Oats again or Soup for lunch or dinner.
    These are the few things that don't seem to bother my stomach and even the fruit I often have to skip . Like the last two nights we had pineapple and I had one tiny cube. I love pineapple but it was not loving me yesterday and the day before. If I have stomach issues I will eat plain chicken and plain whole grain toast. Nothing on either. Very boring diet.
    Very very cheap too!

  • mable June 12, 2018

    I use amaretto in place of vanilla. It is cheaper and I like the flavor it imparts.

  • I bought them years ago online and had never used them. I just saw the price online now--WOW!!! Insane! I've been looking around and this is the lowest price I have found so far on Amazon for Madagascar beans: https://amzn.to/2JBFxS1

  • Jennifer June 14, 2018

    Hi Brandy, after you are done soaking your beans for extract put them in a jar of sugar and let that sit for a few weeks for vanilla sugar. It's a way of getting a little extra vanilla flavour out of some very expensive beans.

  • Shell June 14, 2018

    I think you can get them on ebay as well.

  • Athanasia June 13, 2018

    For those who are OK with using the imitation extracts I was at our Kroger affiliate store today in town and I saw that the McCormick imitation extracts were being clearanced out.

  • Darcy June 13, 2018

    I usually buy imitation vanilla extract at the dollar store.

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