Poppy png
Header Typography

April Flowers The Prudent Homemaker Blog

Follow Me on Instagram


The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller

Frugal Accomplishments for the First Week in July

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!


Last modified on


  • http://Http://thejewishlady.com July 08, 2018

    I also love reading the comments. They are educational and inspiring! Everyone is here to encourage each other, which is so nice. So many frugal sites are negative - not this one.

    I continue to shop sales, use coupons, and keep a full stockpile. This week, I got free mouthwash, free toothbrushes, $0.75 dish soap, $0.29 nail polish, and free dog food worth $23.00. All of my transactions can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-7-7-18/

  • Ava July 09, 2018


    Because I "met" you here, I began following and appreciating your blog as well. In fact, I would have missed the dog food coupon if not for you - $23 savings on a quality product! Thank you!

    And by the way, your post about the family trip to Cape Cod really rang true...on all levels. ;)

  • Marybeth July 10, 2018

    Thanks for the dog food coupon. They let me use my sister's card too since she is away with my kids. That is some expensive dog food. I would never pay that normally. It is a great size bag for when we are traveling though.

  • Susan July 08, 2018

    I love the speed of deliveries from many companies on the internet. This week I ordered (from two different companies) a part for my sewing machine and blades for my Cricut machine. Both arrived within two days. Makes life much easier!

  • Marie July 09, 2018

    Hi Susan, our library offers Cricut "stuff" for check-out, as well as other crafting items. Not sure if yours does, but just wanted to put that out there. (and YES...I do love speedy delivery too) :)

  • Jess July 09, 2018

    * Made jelly from apple peels that I froze after holiday pie making.
    * Bought strawberries at $.99/lb to make popsicles and jam with.
    * Let the kids watch some shows on Amazon, hubby and I had an at home date night and watched a movie.
    * Accepted a bag of free broccoli, I couldn't use it right away so I blanched it and froze it for later.
    * Picked up free candy at the grocery store. This will be tucked into a nephew's birthday gift.
    * Had an expensive Dr visit for my son but arranged for physical therapy to be done much closer to home and at a clinic that comes highly recommended.
    * Packed snacks and drinks for the time we were on the road to the appt.
    * hubby figured the cheapest route to the children's hospital, we avoided the tolls and saw some really pretty countryside
    * Hubby took leftovers to work for lunches. Ended up doing a lunch swap with a friend one day. This made me laugh!
    * Hubby worked extra hours Mon and Tue to take time off to go to son's appt. We didn't lose any pay for the time he was off!!
    * Checked out books, dvds and magazines from the library. We continue to participate in the summer programs. Several kids went to fun activities this past week, oldest daughter is volunteering there. The youngest 3 kids have enjoyed winning prizes. I'm doing so much more reading rhis summer because of the adult program!
    * Spent $0 on fireworks
    * Whipped heavy cream for half the price of the stuff in the can and got to hear from several women how "fancy" it was to have REAL whipped cream on pie.
    * Rearranged some furniture to change up the house without spending any money

  • Karen July 09, 2018

    Trading lunches - that's funny! That's not something you often hear men doing:)

  • mable July 09, 2018

    Years ago my husband worked with a guy who loved to bake but hated to cook or bring lunches to work. After seeing my husband's lunches, which were usually leftovers, he offered me a deal of a loaf of regular bread and a loaf of sweet bread (that really was like a cake in taste and texture!) every week if I would send my husband to work with two lunches, one for him. We did this until my husband left that job, so for about 18 months. I actually found it fun to think of things I could cook that would yield enough leftovers for the two of them. Plus, back then I didn't bake bread so it was a win for me, too.

  • Cate July 16, 2018

    I also make jelly out of the apple peelings - no use wasting them!

  • ellie's friend from Canada July 09, 2018

    It was really heart warming to read the comments last week. Your blog goes way beyond ways of finding frugality. I think many other readers appreciated that there is a camaraderie and spiritual dimension to it too.

    I saved $27 by buying groceries on the Buy One Get One free. I have been busy writing a talk I'm supposed to give. It is amazing how much historical research one can do on-line. I hope to be finished tonight so I can call my insurance broker and negotiate the renewal of the policy.

  • Holly July 09, 2018

    During the seven years I lived in a teeny-tiny studio of 180 square feet within earshot of the Pacific Ocean on the stormiest of nights, my oven was a toaster oven. It was very short, so I couldn't bake regular bread in it, and it was very small, so no whole chickens either. However, I only borrowed my landlady's oven once, when I was making sheets of baklava for a friend's wedding reception. I wanted to bake during our recent prolonged heat wave. But in a house with only one small window air conditioner, still sitting in the hall closet, I did not want to turn on the regular oven. So I went looking for a toaster oven. I first ordered the cheapest that was supposedly available for pickup later the same day at our nearest Walmart. But they miscalculated and said it wouldn't be available for several days. So I cancelled the order and ordered the one on clearance in white, for less than $14, or almost $5 less than the black one and had it delivered Saturday. When the weather heats up again, the toaster oven will be moved to the sun room and the heat will stay out of the house. It isn't very tall, but given the configuration of mom's kitchen cabinets, that's a feature, not a bug. I will be able to bake 9" pies in it and even small loaves of bread. For just a two -person household, it will be very useful.

    I try to postpone our trips to Dollar General to the days when they have a 20% off coupon and stack their electronic product coupons on top of that. This week, we saved about 33% on groceries and personal care items by being patient.

    I wish I had thought of selling off the vacuum parts when my mother's Rainbow died after fifty years of service, needing only the cord shortened a bit once during all those years. We gave it to the local used vacuum dealer and repair man. We figured he would be able to get a new motor or fix the burned out one so the vacuum wouldn't need to go to the dump.

    We started feeding the birds again on the deck. It is a joy to see them enjoy the suet cakes and seeds so much. But one blue jay decided to check out and even taste my green onions and Swiss chard plants growing in deck boxes. Fortunately, he hasn't appeared to make nibbling the greenery a habit. I will be filling the hummingbird feeder with homemade sugar syrup tomorrow because mom has spied a hummingbird or two, probably drawn to the deck by the petunias.

    I have started to read excerpts from Catharine Parr Traills' The Female Emigrant's Guide aloud to my mom. I first read her the description of July in Upper Canada as we were sitting in a county park high above a lake while eating our dinner from Taco Bell. The edition I bought, which includes a great deal of background material for modern readers, is a good introduction to fireside cookery and many of the skills women needed to master to make a success of their new lives in Upper Canada. But Mrs. Traills' original guidebook is available for free on books.google.com. I love that website for access to pre-1923 books on cooking and needlework.

    That's all for now. I look forward to reading the other readers' comments.

  • Rhonda A. July 09, 2018

    The Bush Doughnut recipe in Catherine Parr Traills book, as well as many other recipes she provides, is what we use in our Pioneer Village. I highly recommend the doughnut recipe (it is sooo good!). However, it does make a lot, so if there is only 2 of you, best to save it for when you are feeding a large crowd (extremely frugal and definitely a crowd pleaser)! Catherine Parr Traill settled in Lakefield, which is just north of Peterborough, where I live. Her books are our bible as the info provided actually pertains to our area.

  • Cindy in the South July 09, 2018

    This is awesome! I love cookbooks prior to the 1940's because they are usually frugal! Thank you!

  • Lorna July 09, 2018

    Hi Brandy and I so agree with when I talk frugal living and lifestyle with other friends and acquaintances they also are under the impression they should help us and many think and said we are poor :). Being "good stewards" of what we have and living within and preferably under our means to allow for savings is one of the most important things. I fail and still struggle to understand the pity and poor comments personally as by living frugally we are able to do far more with whatever money we have as a community here than many others.

    What a blessing to have all of those fresh vegetables from a friend for taking care of her gardens and home and picking so much produce from your own gardens too Brandy.

    Our savings added up to $1294.73 last week.

    Here is how we feathered our nest and saved this week.

    House organisation -
    - Deep cleaned, vacuumed and washed the car and pulled out all the equipment from 3/4's of it and swept it. Still the other 1/4 to go through and organise.

    Financial -
    - Banked more money into our home deposit bank account bringing us to 26.38% of the way there.
    - Listed 23 handmade items and dried herbs picked from the gardens on eBay using a free listing promotion saving $37.95.

    Grocery purchases -
    - On 50% off plus another 5% off using our roadside assist club discount we purchased 24 tins of harvest long life tins of meat and vegetables, 13 tins of spam in various flavours and 1.5 kg of strawberries on special for making jam and received 5 free reusable bags saving $82.80 on usual prices.

    Other purchases -
    - At Rivers we purchased for DH 1 pair of ugg boots, 1 pair of leather ankle boots, 3 long sleeved cotton shirts, 2 l/s white cotton dress shirts and 1 l/s t-shirt for me saving $201.06 or 61% off usual prices.
    - On eBay I purchased 8 pairs total (4 pairs ea) of leather and canvas high ankle work boots for $25.98 a pair delivered saving $912.16 on usual prices. Here in our country town we pay $140 a pair :O.
    - Purchased 6 led light bulbs on 50% off special saving $27 on usual prices. This will allow us to use our solar lanterns less and when we are only briefly going into rooms.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked and dried from the gardens we separated 46 g of French lavender, 28 g of English lavender and 21 g of marigold or calendula flowers saving $15.50.
    - Picked 1.215 kg of cherry tomatoes, 1.214 kg of beetroot and 500 g of carrots saving $21.83 on usual prices.

    All in all a good week of savings.


  • Jenna July 09, 2018

    I thought I had enough for a down payment on a home. Then I went looking at what homes cost around the country. A junk home in a lot of areas is about $150K I will never be able to afford a house . I am 60 years old and hubby is 70 . I just don't have the years left to save. I always wanted a place to call home. Looks like I won't get one in my lifetime.
    When I was born my Mom died and I went from relative to relative until I was 12 then I went to live with a friend and her folks but she was older than I was so when she was married I was 18 so I didn't feel right living at her folks anymore so I moved out and moved in with an older sister then I got married at 19 not a smart move. He was in the air force never a place to call home a life out of a suit case and never a dollar in my pocket. Then I go divorced and lived out of an old car. Now I am remarried but hubby got sick and I live with my son as health cost meant we could not afford our place that we were renting. So never a place to call home. Sick of suit cases.
    Would love a home of my own. Don't know how anyone ever gets one the cost are outrageous!

  • Cindy Brick July 09, 2018

    Jenna, don't give up! Junk homes in cosmopolitan areas may be that price -- but you can often get a condo for much cheaper. And small towns definitely have homes way better-priced than that. You may have to look a while...but you CAN find something.
    Even in Colorado, where I live, you could get a nice place for less than the price you're quoting...definitely a condo, at the very least. Some of the small mountains towns, or those out on the plains, also have much more reasonably-priced housing.

    No one ever said finding an affordable house will be easy. We looked at least 100 homes (visited probably 10) before we got this one. We're in the process of cleaning out our home, and will be moving into a 30-foot fifth wheel trailer for a while. Can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it.

  • Holly July 09, 2018

    Consider the small towns and cities in Michigan, outside of Holland, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Marquette, and the more expensive suburbs of Detroit. You will have plenty of choices, including some on an acre or more.

  • Lorna July 09, 2018

    Jenna I will say something to you here which is never ever give up hope on having your own home and I will be praying for you and your husband :).

    Just some ideas for you is that have you thought of buying land and a cheaper removal home to go on it, apartments, shipping container homes. These are all things to investigate as there are cheaper alternatives to buying ready built homes out there it just takes some planning and investigation to get there. With a removal home most of them are in fairly good condition and then you just do it up gradually with your own touch of colour and decor. Paint and second hand furniture done up look wonderful along with a few colourful cushions thrown into the mix that you can sew yourself with fabrics picked up also from secondhand shops.

    I will say this to you is that we lost our last home to my family taking legal action against me in a sneaky manouvre and we are quite literally as you are starting again (don't keep in contact with my family needless to say). I have a husband who is in ill health due to injuries sustained in the military so our medical expenses are a big cost in our family too. We are also not a young couple but middle aged.

    It takes discipline and a lot of sacrifices to save enough for a home but if you are willing to take the step you will get there. We live in Australia so our home costs here for a ready built home in the country are anywhere from $220 000 - $350 000 but we can build a lot cheaper than buying a ready built home. We will be borrowing a little more than half of what we need to build our home from the banks.

    I hope this gives you some more ideas to look into.

  • I'm sorry things are so difficult, Jenna. I know that where I live, in Toronto, Canada, there is a program called Options for Homes. It helps people who normally may not be able to afford a home, purchase their first home by arranging for a second mortgage. I don't remember all the details but it is a legit and highly thought of program. Usually the home is a condo, at least in Toronto. Are you able to research to see if there are similar programs in the U.S.? And I agree with Cindy, condos are a great option!

  • Heidi Louise July 09, 2018

    Without knowing any of your circumstances: Do you have a local Habitat for Humanity chapter?
    You and your family have to provide "sweat equity," yet that should be adapted your physical capabilities. Houses are particularly directed to people with limited finances, who at the same time will be able to make mortgage payments into the future. If you investigate this, be sure to speak to someone locally to get a clear explanation of what is available and required. It isn't a handout; it is an opportunity for you to have a home that you have worked for and paid for, and an opportunity for others to share through volunteering.

Leave your comment

Guest November 17, 2018

 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List