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Frugal Accomplishments For The Fifth Week of June

Pavlova The Prudent Homemaker

Pavlova with peaches and blackberries from the garden (that I froze) and the strawberries I bought on sale and froze earlier this year. Recipe here.

I picked more apples from our tree and canned applesauce, using resuable canning lids. (I shared a few photos on Instagram).

I harvested Swiss chard, basil, garlic chives, chocolate mint, two colanders of tomatoes, three red noodle beans,  a single red pepper and a single green pepper, and a single zucchini from the garden.

I cut seedless Red Flame grapes and Thompson's Seedless green grapes from our grape vines.

I harvested Early Elberta peaches from our trees.

June Arrangment 3 The Prudent Homemaker

I keep looking for places to sow more seeds in the garden so as to harvest more from the space that we have. I really want more cucumbers, and I realize that in order to have the amount we're wanting, I need to plant even more seeds. I want to eat more fresh vegetables from the garden. I also want more flowers to harvest from the garden to make bouquets; right now it's so hot that most of the flowers have stopped blooming and those that do bloom burn to a crisp by noon. So, this past week, after evaluating my garden space, I sowed seeds for more zinnias (which like the heat and sun, even here!), Armenian cucumbers, parsley, basil, spaghetti squash, cosmos (a test; though these should be easy to grow I've never had them germinate in the past), Bells of Ireland (which seem to like a little shade in our climate and are growing 1/3 the height they should be but are not burning), miniature white pumpkins, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash. (I purchased a seed packet from Burpee for the Bells of Ireland, zinnias, and cosmos for $3.97 at Walmart; it's a nice combination for summer flowers in the same color range that should make for nice bouquets in purple, white, green and lavender. I shared a photo of the packet on Instagram.)

I collected warm-up water in the shower in a bucket each day and used it to water plants in the garden.

I took my eldest to the thrift store. (This is kind of tricky now that she and I are the same size and her style has become quite similar to mine! It kind of feels like a race to find things first in the racks!) She was needing a couple of new shirts. What she really wants is Peter-Pan collared shirts. She decided the least-expensive way to do that would be to start at the thrift store, so we went there. Using some fabric I had on hand, she drafted collars for an existing t-shirt. We then bought her two more t-shirts at the thrift store (for $2 each) and she drafted collars for both of those as well. One was a long-sleeved t-shirt, so she shortened the sleeves.

We also found her a beautiful cardigan for $3 (that I actually picked for myself, but it was too tight in the lower arms--but it fit Winter perfectly) and a dressy black dress ($6) while we were there.

I picked up three t-shirts for myself while there. I'm not really a t-shirt person, but I do need something in my new size to wear while working in the garden. These will work well in fall when I can wear them with jeans. One of them was a t-shirt for my alma mater, which was fun to find, as I haven't had a university t-shirt for 20 years! At $2, it was a much better buy than purchasing it new from the university bookstore!

Winter and I also collaborated on ideas for her to make some things for her secret sister for camp. Each of the young women was assigned a secret sister at camp. I put together a Pinterest board for her with ideas that she could make and things that she could print for this particular young woman. (The other girl likes chrysanthemums and bunnies and her favorite colors are maroon and plum). There was a spending limit assigned to each girl (no more than $10) but rather than buying anything, we used what we had on hand. We got really lucky on one thing as well; there were several questions about favorite candies, and one of them was one that my daughter also likes and had already bought for herself to take to camp (wintergreen Life Savers). My daughter just used some of the package that she had already bought (they are each individually wrapped) and gave some to the other girl. The other candies she listed were all chocolate, and as it's expected to be 105º at camp, chocolate would not be practical to bring anyway. Winter and her friends said their favorite things to receive were the notes from the secret sister, and one of her friends said she has kept all the notes from her secret sisters over the years. Their other friends agreed. 

Winter had met this particular girl last week when the girls were all together on a kayaking trip (the other girl, Victoria, is from another congregation). She found out that Victoria had just recently visited London.

With this knowledge, Winter made the following items for her with things we had on hand:

Secret Sister Gifts The Prudent Homemaker


A bookmark with a hand-drawn and painted chrysanthemum (using watercolor pencils)

A notecard (that she'll write a note in, of course) with a hand-painted chrysanthemum

A maroon felt chrysanthemum pin (using this tutorial)

A necklace using a Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) charm that I already had and a camera charm

A tiny change purse from the London fabric I had leftover from making this apron, a zipper from my grandmother, and lined with fabric from a red sheet (that my mom gave me some time ago). Winter chose to pick the part that said "Victoria" right in the center, since the girl is named Victoria.

Wintergreen Life Savers in a paper bag that she cut down and cut with a fancy edger punch


My husband decided to cut his office phone at work. All of his agents use their cell phones and so does he, so there really isn't a need for an office phone. This saves us $50 a month in business expenses.

It got down to 77º in the mornings. Since I keep my air conditioners at 79º, I was able to open the house up from 5 to 7 each morning and turn off the air conditioning and air out the house.

I listened to free music on Pandora while I was sewing.

I listened to classical music on You Tube while I was cleaning the kitchen and canning.

I printed online coupons for some things I will buy in July.



What did you do to save money this past week?



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  • Mrs. Picky Pincher July 03, 2017

    I loooove the creative gifts you guys did for Winter's secret sister! I'm sure she loved them. :)

    This week we spent a lot of money on necessary repairs/maintenance, so I've been trying to find new ways to save.

    1. We whipped out our unused espresso machine and started using it again. It's just nice to feel that small luxury every morning. :) I might make a homemade caramel syrup so we can make caramel macchiatos!

    2. I bought 3 giant sheets for $10 at the thrift store. I cut these into squares and turned them into beeswax clings to replace Ziploc bags and Saran Wrap.

    3. This week I plan to declutter our home. Hopefully I can sell some of the items, but if not, it'll go to Goodwill.

    4. I bought a $4 photo album at the thrift store and will use it to organize photos given to me by my dad. They were in these giant frames that I have no use or room for, so the album will save a lot of space.

    5. I baked eclairs, macarons, and Rice Krispy treats for us to snack on.

  • Stephanie July 03, 2017

    I love the gifts! They turned out so well!

    This week my husband took some vacation days for the holiday and we are trying to do some things around town that don't cost a lot. We live in PA and took the kids to a beach at a local state park for free. We also went to a fireworks display in a local township last night for free last night and that was fun. And my oldest two children are participating in a program called Tennis For Kids that is offered in our Area. (York) For 26 years our area has been running this program where children ages 7-16 can participate in free tennis lessons on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings in the summer at many of our local parks and schools. It's fabulous. We also have a local theater that plays free screenings of older movies a few days a week at 10 am in the summer. This week they are playing The Wizard of Oz, so we may go see that.

    I also bought corn while it was on sale for 10 ears for $2, which is a good price for our area, cooked it, and cut some off the cob to freeze for soups or to serve later in the year. The rest we just ate with dinner. :)

  • Athanasia July 10, 2017

    How fun to go to the old movies in the theater. We have an old theater here that does that too on Friday and Saturday nights. They alternate appealing to families and the college students, so there can be a lot or horror movies, foreign movies, indie films, alternating with movies like Willy Wonka, Watership Down, Milo and Otis. A couple times they had a silent movie with a piano accompanist. The family movies are free ones as they are sponsored by local businesses.

  • Anne-Marie July 03, 2017

    I'm a long time reader and lurker, but Brandy's comment in another post about how many readers she had vs posters got to me. I guess I never feel up to par with all of you pro savers so I just learn, but never post. I got to thinking about the the past week and here is my list.
    *Last week was my birthday and I had to get my licensed renewed in person so rather than using a lot of gas to get to the closest DMV and paying for parking, I learned that you can renew your licenses at AAA if you have a membership. In Massachusetts, we have to go every other time in in person to renew and last time I renewed online. This AAA is 5 mins from my house and I had less than a 5 minute turn around time rather than 20 plus minute drive and who knows how long of a wait time.
    *Used a coupon on my Dunkin Donuts app for a free birthday coffee
    *My friends had a Bday BBQ for me and I took home leftover strawberries and some Bday cake. In the past, I would say no to taking things home and finally I had the lightbulb moment to take things home
    *Unplugged things after I used them (Toaster, microwave, fan, and paper shredder)
    *Not completely frugal, but I have an AC turned on in my bedroom. I have the door cracked so the cold air stays in the room and doesn't drain out into the house. It's very refreshing when I go to sleep at night
    *A few weeks ago, I was in a car accident (I'm okay) with damage to my car. I feared the car was totaled, but it is able to be fixed and I will be picking it up today. Frugal because- I feared I would need to be buying a new car. Also frugal because my car insurance is paying for the fix.
    *I got a save the date for a friend's wedding next September with the hotel information. A few of us friends started talking about splitting a room (would be between 50-100 per person). Then one friend asked the bride the time of the wedding. We all realized that it gets over early enough that we don't need to stay over and can come home that night. The location is about an hour from me.
    *I reran my budget and decided I should cut out my daily newspaper deliveries. This will save me about $200 for 10 weeks I think. It will be weird to not have daily delivery, but I realize I don't read them as much as I used to. I am just going to get the Sunday papers. As I was typing this, I realized another way I can save going forward. Our town does a Friday paper and it is $1. I often pick it up every Friday. I also go to a friend's house every Friday for a "family dinner." Often my friend's Dad has the paper laying around on the table when we are there. I am sure he wouldn't mind if I take 5 minutes to read the paper. This will save me $4 over the month.
    *I hit a good sale on cases of Diet Coke so I stocked up. Soda is my vice
    *I put some curtains in the washing machine and it occurred to me that I could just hang them back up on the curtain rods to dry rather than putting them in the dryer.

    *I'm returning soda cans for $.
    *I'm going to see if I can get the free weekend items from my Star Market app. Usually they are gone by now, but I wasn't going to make a special trip just for them
    *I'll be using a 15% coupon at Barnes and Noble to buy a book. I always buy a few of my favorite author's new novels and she has a new one out. I have just been waiting on a coupon to be emailed.

    This week:
    *A friend and her family are coming to Boston for vacation from Florida. I have been invited on all of the sightseeing adventures. While I love Boston and playing tourist, all of their activities are not in my budget. It's their vacation, not mine. I have bowed out of the sightseeing, but I will still be seeing the family for a few meals out as well as a BBQ at the friend who is hosting them. I do feel semi bad about this, but I just can't spend all the $. (I know I can get library discounts, but it's still $$). The former me would have just gone along and spend the money, but I am learning to say no.

  • These are great frugal accomplishments, Anne-Marie! I'm glad that you posted!

  • Laurie in AZ July 03, 2017

    I'm glad you posted, Anne-Marie. I like how you listed "aha" moments.

  • Marybeth July 03, 2017

    Great job!

  • Wyoming Gal July 03, 2017

    We took a 3 day road trip to the Nez Perce Trail in western Montana and eastern Idaho. We camped in a national forest near the Lolo Pass. We used our Golden Age pass to reserve our half price camp site. It was so hot one day in Idaho! We were glad to be at a high elevation to sleep. We ate our meals either at the campsite or picnicking along the way. Gosh, dinner at the nearby lodge was expensive! More than we spent for camping and food for 3 days!

    We sold our teardrop trailer about one hour after posting photos on a Facebook site. :( It needed to have the axel replaced and the manufacturer is out of business. We and our local R.V. place couldn't find a replacement axel. Someone more mechanical could probably figure out a replacement. We used the proceeds to pay down our mortgage. I plan to pay it off this month :D

    At work I had a free lunch, took home 3 servings of veggie lasagna and tossed salad, and received 2 free tickets to an Extreme Bulls rodeo event.

    Happy 4th everyone!

  • Laurie in AZ July 03, 2017

    That is awesome about paying off your mortgage!

  • Marivene July 05, 2017

    Congrats on paying off the mortgage. We have never regretted paying off ours.

  • Marivene July 03, 2017

    I spent the last week in Washington with our middle daughter. She is expecting, & her husband was sent to Texas by his work for the week. She is having some complications with this pregnancy, & is not supposed to lift Little Stuff. While I was there, Little Stuff & I made banana bread twice, & breadsticks twice. Most of them went into the freezer for Little Stuff to have for breakfast or lunch. I primed the back of two bifold closet doors. They are separating the doors, to function independently, & altho one never sees that back of the bifold door, when they both open out, that is a different matter. After they were primed, Little Stuff helped me paint one of them, & I did the other one. We put up a new blind in the room that will be for the baby, & helped sort out the tubs holding the clothes Little Stuff wore, to take out all the boy or gender neutral things, & put them in the baby's closet. We picked strawberries from a small patch under one of my daughter's trees, & we bottle blueberries from her freezer that were picked last year, to make room for the coming crop.

    I drove back home on Friday, & after I arrived home, I picked what was left of the apricots. The birds had shredded most of them, but I saved a few. Between the late frost & several windstorms, there weren't that many to start with. Picked 2 cups of ripe blackberries & a couple of cups of red raspberries, rinsed them & threw them in the freezer. Picked a bowl of red currants, stemmed them & threw them in the freezer. I have been picking red currants & pie cherries since.

    Our youngest daughter gave me a large tree net for my birthday a while back, & we had put it over the pie cherry tree. That thing is fabulous. I had picked a few cherries before I went, and really, I expected the rest to have rotted while I was gone, given that temps were in the high 90's all week. The cherries were fine! Very ripe, but fine. I picked as many as I could process on Saturday, & the measure thus far after pitting is 50 cups. That is more than twice the yield from last year. There are still more on the tree, too. I pitted the first ones on Saturday into a 2:1 sugar syrup, & let them sit over the weekend. Those ones are now in the dehydrator & I have refilled the jars with those I picked today. I love this net! There is NO bore damage, & it keeps the tree cooler, like a shade cloth, so I just untie the piece of clothesline that holds it around the trunk, lift up the net, step inside the tree shade, & drop the net behind me. It does have to be tied, otherwise it blows in the wind.

    When I drove back, I brought a large pot of chives & one of lavender for our oldest daughter, from our middle daughter. I was spending the gas money anyway, so we got a bit more value from it. Middle daughter als sent me home with a light fixture they had replaced with a fan, since I liked it & it will replace one of mine.

  • Marivene July 03, 2017

    That should say NO bird damage - auto correct.

  • Nancy July 03, 2017

    I shared on the blog I was going to try and make your
    Mini Pavol. So I did today first time. They turned out so pretty for a 4th dessert. Thank you❤
    My merange went abit flat after slowly adding sugar but turned out anyway.

  • Kimberly Mozdzen July 03, 2017

    Wow the week went fast!!! I have some news to share. My sister sent a pair of crocs, and my daughter is wearing them a little bit. She'll put them on to go in and out of the car, and depending on where we are going, we may be able to get her to wear them a bit more. Its a start. Hours after I posted last week about the house being vacant, an application was submitted. I went over it with a fine tooth comb. I couldnt dig up any dirt on the people. We accepted it. They signed the lease and paid the rent & security the next day. We didnt lose any rental income, and the mortgage payments are still ahead. I will take what is in savings and put it ahead even more. The flea market, ebay, and amazon was good to us this week. I went to Sams this morning and bought a 7lb pack of ground beef and some other supplies. I also bought a box of members mark donut shop k cups.....they are pretty good. Not bad compared to the maxwell house grounds I've been making do with. I portioned the ground beef into 8 packages so that should last us awhile. I only got 3 meals out of the #10 can of sauce, so I think its cheaper to use the 99¢ jars from sav a lot. This morning we went to the outlet at the foodservice trucking company, and I got 6lbs of fresh mozzerella pearls for $3. It wasnt as good of a deal as the 30lb mozerella curd that I had gotten in April, but it was better than paying at least $2 a lb for cheese anywhere else. I just cant believe how the price of food has gone up! I hope everyone else has as great of a week as we have!

  • Elizabeth July 09, 2017

    So glad about the shoes!!! That's wonderful!!!

  • Debby in Kansas July 03, 2017

    I love the gifts that Winter is giving her secret sister! They seem ideal. I'm sure she'll be just tickled!!

    We're still adjusting to my husband's new job and lower pay so it's been challenging and scary to figure out how to make things work.
    I'm soooo grateful that he found a job so quickly though.

    We had a cheap date on Saturday. The zoo in Wichita (less than an hour away) was sponsoring a blood drive. So, we went & donated. The Red Cross fed us pizza and Girl Scout cookies, we got free admission into the zoo, snacks & water, & a free tshirt each. It was a bit warm so we spent more time on the tram than normal, but it was a lovely day. We did buy some drinks (with our refillable zoo cups from another trip!) so the total cost for the day was $2.17. We might have to make that a yearly date!!

  • Libby July 03, 2017

    • Opened windows at night and used fans rather than A/C. Closed up the house during the day and pulled curtains to keep out the sun. When the inside of the house hit 78 degrees with 80% humidity, I cracked and turned on the A/C.
    • Made daily swag goal x 3.
    • Colored my hair at home
    • This past week was the official office moving day. I accepted gifts of: XL wastepaper basket – will use this in the basement, a 2’ x 4’ table on wheels – I’ll use this as a crafting table, a cork bulletin board, and a heavy-duty metal footstool.
    • Made a new batch of “stinky shoe” spray from – tea tree oil & vodka. This really works to kill the bacteria in our shoes and boots. Before I found this, I would gag when my son took off his boots.
    • Spoke with the pharmacist about the new $100 co-pay for my prescription. She said it is because a generic just became available. She switched my script to the generic and my copay dropped to $6.50. So far the generic seems to perform the same as the branded version.
    • I was too tired & hot to cook one night so had cantaloupe and prosciutto for dinner with a separate green salad.
    • After a very expensive May, I came in under budget for June!
    • Found blueberries on sale for $1.48 per pint so I bought six more pints and froze four.
    • Updated my monthly net worth spreadsheet.
    • Ordered a new winter coat on clearance and went through Swagbucks.
    • Didn’t buy an ice cream machine even though I really want one! I’m saving my Swagbucks $25 Amazon cards until I have enough to buy one for free.

  • Cheryl July 03, 2017

    - Started using 2 apps on my phone for saving money, Price Book and Savings Wallet, to track prices and spending
    - Received money back using Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Walmart Savings Catcher
    - Borrowed book from library
    - Reread the Tightwad Gazette books
    - My husband changed the oil in both our cars
    - Bought a 10 pound bag of chicken quarters for .59 a pound. Usually I would throw the whole bag in the freezer, but I repackaged them into family serving sizes.
    - My husband made solar screens for our west facing windows. It makes these rooms a lot cooler

  • Cathi July 04, 2017

    Hi Cheryl, how did your husband make the screens? What did he use to block the sun? I would love to cut some of the sun for our west facing windows.

  • Cheryl July 05, 2017

    Cathi, he bought a roll of solar screen (it has a purple label) and spline from Home Depot, it's in the screen replacement section. He could have replaced the screen on the lower part of the window but he decided to make screens that covered the whole window. So he also bought the frame pieces and connectors to make the large ones. He then attached the frames to the outside of the window frame with heavy duty velcro. You can really tell the difference quite quickly. You can purchase ready made ones to fit your window, but they were expensive. He says each screen costs around $40-$50 to make. Thank you for asking.

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