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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!

 

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Comments

  • Elizabeth July 10, 2018

    1. Received a surprise tax return from the US Government...apparently even I can make mistakes...thankfully it was in my favor.
    2. Used rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains from my son's pants
    3. Stocked up on Doritos and butter while they were on sale
    4. Found a free math site that I will use to catch my son up on his math skills
    5. Enjoyed a bucketful of banana peppers and cucumbers from my father's garden

  • Marybeth July 10, 2018

    My kids are traveling in Italy with my sister. They are having an amazing time. Thanks to modern technology,
    I can FaceTime with them everyday. They are sending home some beautiful pictures and videos. Everyday they are learning something new, meeting new people and seeing some amazing sights. I am so grateful to my sister that she took them.

    I have picked up a few extra shifts since the kids are gone. I am cooking extra so that I don't have to cook every meal. Thank goodness Hubby and I like leftovers. We did get Olive Garden one night with a GC that I had. I picked it up and we ate it in our yard as it was a beautiful evening. It cost less then a $1.

    The rest of my list is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/07/my-frugal-list-week-of-july-2-2018.html

  • Jennifer O. July 10, 2018

    The $350 20,000 mile service on my “new to me” car was covered by the warranty. Completely free! And they had tea, coffee, and pastries for me while I waited (even better since I had skipped breakfast to get there so early). Glad I chose this car and paid for the warranty.

    Went out to lunch and the waitress steered me to a special, it was perfect, and I got out of lunch with a nice tip for $9. Went back to school shopping and found dresses on mark down and I found a 25% off coupon online. 4 new work dresses and 4 t shirts for $90. Bought 5 more online, on sale, with a coupon and free shipping. Given that one of the dresses was originally $75, I think I did pretty well. Other than new under things and possibly a few new pairs of leggings, I am at less than $200 for a whole new school year wardrobe.

    Attended 2 free movie advance screenings at the base and 1 $4 movie on base. Volunteered at the VFW one night, so they gave me dinner for free. Used a free drink chip another night at the VFW.

    Otherwise, I stayed home. Painted the loft. Ate leftovers. Mended some clothes. Purged the guest room and loft. Reorganized the laundry room and did a purge. Continued collecting eggs and trading them for fresh produce.
    Entertained a friend for dinner with items already in my freezer. She bought pre-packaged desserts given to her by her flight attendant daughter for us to enjoy.

  • Marie July 10, 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) :)

  • Cheryl J July 10, 2018

    Well, I think I had a pretty frugal week:

    Was able to receive additional life insurance at work for free because I do not need their health insurance.

    Took lunches to work all week.

    We were able to purchase patio furniture at half the cost using my husband’s military discount and gift cards earned from credit card points. Our friend welded the back of our glider in place for a couple of beers, so we did not need to purchase a new one. I then scotch guarded all the cushions with a can we’ve had for a few years.

    I’ve been trying to change my shopping habits so that I’m replenishing supplies and creating meals based on what I have in the freezer and pantry.

    The best frugal accomplishment I have is my son’s phone purchase. We had decided that he was going to start paying for his own phone plan and he had started looking at phones and plans. He had dropped his phone recently and it was pretty cracked and distorted, so he went looking to purchase a phone outright and use a prepaid plan. We use Straight Talk and suggested he look at that. After looking at the price of the phones he went to AT&T because we had purchased insurance for the plan he was on. Imagine our surprise when he found out he could get an upgraded phone for $112 based on the insurance! He was able to get a Samsung S8 and was completely satisfied. So now that his contract is ending at the end of the month he will be switching to a cheaper phone plan with a newer model.

  • Kitty B (Calgary) July 10, 2018

    Hello! Started commenting last week and want to keep contributing.

    Coloured my own hair
    Enjoyed some free Corporate dinners/lunches
    Wanted to paint an accent wall in Spare bedroom, combined paint I had on hand to use up what I had; it turned out better than I anticipated!
    Continued to declutter/organize/ downsize; sold $159.50 last week on local FB group; one of my customers approached me to sell her items for a commission and I accepted.
    Laughed at a co-worker as I caught her rolling her eyes at my "make up bag"...I just use a ziploc baggie
    Happy Frugalling to all, I read and enjoy everyone's comments here.

  • Blythe July 10, 2018

    I continue to be inspired by your frugal accomplishments Brandy! Thank you so much for taking the time to share and to encourage others so that we can all benefit .

    This week I...
    - Redeemed the Kroger Free Friday Download for a package of candy that I used as a nice treat for me and my husband after the kids were in bed (so I didn't have to share :))
    - Purchased 12 packages of gluten free chicken nuggets on markdown for $1.79 each (normally $5.99 each!)
    - Took advantage of the free lunch program for kids at our local library several times last week.
    - Spent A LOT of time at the local library - using their free air conditioner when the temps went up to 115 degrees here (yuck!).
    - Found a book at the library that I was contemplating buying as a reference book, so it was nice to give it a test drive first.
    - Spent 4th of July at a local park flying kites and playing soccer with kids and enjoying free concert music.

    And that's all I can think of for now!

  • Tabbie July 10, 2018

    1. Turned in my ibotta cash for an Amazon gift card to purchase our oldest dogs joint supplements. It is the least expensive place to purchase it from and we get free shipping. I was able to get 2 months supply for only 60 cents OOP!! That is a real win for us.
    2. I continue to submit purchases into ibotta and am getting a great amount back each shopping trip on items I am already planning on purchasing. I am sometimes even lucky enough to be able to stack store coupons with ibotta rebates for even more savings. Some of my best savings this week were a package of turkey kielbasa for 50 cents a package, 3 yogurts for 15 cents a piece, a free drinkable yogurt, 1.50 for a 5 pack of fudge pops, 1.50 for waffles.
    3. Gave my vehicle a good detailed cleaning at home instead of going to the car wash. We took it to the beach over the weekend and had brought the dogs so it was covered with dog hair and sand. I just used the vacuum from home and cleaned it really well instead of paying for the machines at the car wash.

  • Rhonda July 10, 2018

    My word how you get a garden to grow there is a true miracle......my son and family live in Henderson Nevada I was there through the 4th til this past Sunday .....god bless you who choose to live there oh my word that heat.....I’m from Ohio and was so blessed to be home.....95 degreesxat 5 am is nuts

  • Jenny July 10, 2018

    Hi, all! Another long-time reader here. This is literally the only blog I come to week after week no matter how busy I am :) I think this is maybe my 3rd time commenting, but I do love to read everyone else's comments!

    My husband started installing the backslash in our kitchen with free-from-scraps gorgeous slate tile. It's the leftover bits and pieces from a remodeling job he's doing so he's turning trash into our treasure.

    Spent $100 on materials for my husband to make a set of sliding shower doors. He reused glass from old, broken patio doors (also from a previous remodel job saved from the trash). We had been shopping for some but found the prices really high and out of our budget at $500+ so he found a way to make a beautiful set for a fraction of that price.

    We accepted free produce and eggs from my husband's parents who live next door.

    I made a meal plan using my “backwards meal planning method” where I check what needs used up in fridge and pantry and then check the small and big freezers before finally checking the sale ads -- I use anything jotted down on this list to put together a meal plan for the week.

    We had several no-drive days -- trying to batch errands and fun stuff since we live 20 miles from the nearest “shopping” town. My husband only went to the job site 3 days last week so his driving was less also.

    I switched 2 of my business subscription expenses to annual billing to get a reduced rate over the monthly billing option.

    DD and I have been reading a lot of library books in the coolness out of the heat, and I've been using up old puzzle books I found while clearing clutter.

    I'm ready for another frugal week around here!

  • Lisa Doucette July 10, 2018

    It's been a cool spring here in Nova Scotia. So things have ripened slowly. Thank goodness hubby made me a greenhouse! We've been harvesting cucumbers and selling the excess. Our strawberries are ripening. We harvested around 20 quarts! In a small 5'x12' raised bed! We've eaten more than we can handle so tonight I made 6 500ml jars of freezer jam. I drehydrated chamoline and thyme for this winter. We harvested the garlic scapes and gave lots away but froze and salted some. Our son caught mackerel for supper one day. I actually borrowed books from the library instead of buying them. We've been eating and eating and eating Swiss chard from the beds.
    I think that's it for this week. Follow me on Facebook
    Spring Peeper Farm

  • Pat July 10, 2018

    The heat and humidity have both been very high so I have been in the gardens early in the morning and late in the evening. With all the rain we had most of my plant are taller than our 48" fence. Vertical gardening for the win. We are harvesting zucchini, yellow squash and green beans right now.
    I have continued to do errands while out for other commitments, do full loads of laundry and dishes, and cook from scratch for most meals.
    I really do enjoy this blog and all the comments. Have a good week everyone

  • Leigh Ann July 10, 2018

    Another great frugal week!
    I bought mark-downs and loss-leaders at the nearby grocery stores.
    I sold a few items on a local facebook group.
    We checked out books and movies from the library.
    Made a homemade treat for our beloved children's librarian, who has taken another job elsewhere. We will miss her, but wish her the best.
    I took advantage of a deal at HEB (grocery store) for a free $10 HEB giftcard when you buy $50 in giftcards to Home Depot. I did this 6 times. We will use the Home Depot giftcards eventually, and I spent two of the $10 HEB giftcards on stamps, leaving $40 for gas or groceries.
    I moved some items around in the freezer to help me be more organized. I found some chicken I'd forgotten about.
    My brother invited us to dinner. I suggested a restaurant where kids eat free that day, so at least it was only $15 instead of much more.
    I took out some old toys I'd put away, and the kids are really enjoying them.
    Shopped at Goodwill after 3:00 pm to get the teacher discount.
    Printed the Half Price Books summer reading log for my kids to complete; they will each get a $5 "shopping spree."
    Saved the free magazines I get in the mail to sell to Half Price Books. It's only a few dollars a month, but every little bit helps!
    I closed the blinds on the west-facing side of the house in the afternoon heat.
    We picked up a neighbor's mail while they were on vacation.
    Used up most leftovers to avoid food waste.

  • Lilli July 12, 2018

    I have tons of great magazines I receive each month. Can you provide me with details or s link.

  • Leigh Ann July 13, 2018

    Lilli, we have a used bookstore called Half Price Books, and they buy used books, magazines, DVDs, etc. I probably get a lot of the same free ones you do, many of which I don't read. However, I took in one month's worth of magazines yesterday and got $4 cash. Not huge, but every little bit helps!

  • Lilli July 13, 2018

    Thanks, we have one in the city but after googling their location it isn't worth the gas or travel time in that traffic. On the other hand it is close to a restaurant we eat at when I'm the city, so I will have to check out their book deals. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jenny July 11, 2018

    Brandy, I just love your blog! I have been reading for years. You have a great way of conveying your plans and frugality in a way anyone can understand and work into their own life. You should write a book!!
    This week I made my daughters birthday cake from scratch. I used the Ibotta app to redeem for a 20 dollar pay pal pay out. I just buy what I usually would and then if it comes up in the app I scan my receipt. viola! after a few weeks I usually have 20 bucks to cash out.
    I have started gardening this year and have two tomato plants that are going nuts. I can't wait to harvest. I am watching them every day! We also have bunching onions, carrots, peppers and cucumber. Its been a joy and i am going to expand next year.
    My family and I played lots of board games together for entertainment.
    July is always the Leanest month for us financially but we have committed to not spending unless it was necessary and we are ending this pay period with an extra 100 dollars to save!

  • Kara July 11, 2018

    We burned a batch of beans and I put bowls of vinegar out to absorb some of the smell. That vinegar was then used the next day with water to mop our floors. I love getting 2 uses out of something!

    We bought a small evaporative cooler. It's dry here and hot (105) and this little cooler helps maintain the coolness in the house and decreases the running time of A/C. We use it in our bedroom at night too, since we turn the AC off when we go to bed (still 85+ outside at 11pm).

    Visiting kids left, and I cooked a pot of rice and beans. It will make for some cheap and easy meals.

    Bought a swimsuit at Costco. I have a 'nice' suit that I wear when I'm with other people. We have a pool at home and I wear the cheap suit when I'm alone. It prolongs the life of the expensive suit. Cheap suits are a bit skimpy since I'm 6 feet tall. But when I'm on my own, it doesn't matter.

    Found out there is a video streaming service that some libraries subscribe to. It's free with your library card. Mine does, so I signed up. It's called Kanopy.com. It's an eclectic mix of offerings, but there's a few things I'll enjoy. It offers some of the Great Courses.

    AARP bulletin said that they offer a Safe Drivers course and some insurances provide discounts to participants. My husband called our insurance to see if they give the discount. They do, but only for drivers over 55. He's not there yet, so we'll do that when the time comes.

  • PJGT July 11, 2018

    I am so looking forward to greenhouse photos. I taugh a couple classes in a greenhouse one year and loved it! I would like to have one here in the cold north.

    My husband went off to Ace hardware to buy a rake and came back to let me know that they were giving away the remainder of their plants. I went and brought home some plants to fill out the planters. I also was able to find some herbs for my herb planter. I brought home chives and two kinds of basil. I also doubled up on the trip to return an item we didn't need.

    We are very careful when going to work to have the person traveling the furthest take the vehicle with the best gas mileage. For summer entertainment, we have been choosing free things to do. We went to Shakespeare on the Lawn with a picnic dinner and saw Macbeth, we have taken our kayaks out, gone hiking and biking, and played games as a family. We have two events we are paying for this summer. One is a fundraiser for the pregnancy center and the other is a music event that we attend every year that I was able to save up for. I paid for the tickets quite a while ago.

    Otherwise, I have found some change, been ruthless about clearing out stuff that once was useful but is no longer, have been wearing some old scruffy outfits while sorting and gardening so as to keep my nicer pieces nice for the summer, making sure there isn't any food waste, dehydrating leftover veggies, packing everyone lunches, having dinner planned and ready when the hungry family returns, washing out bags, and I bought a refillable oil spritzer when the last spray can was empty. I am staying out of the stores and sending the family in for what few things we need as much as possible.

    We are really working at being healthy and continue to downsize. We are all looking better /healthier (including the dogs who swim alongside the kayaks in their life vests and love it!)

    Happy frugal-ing y'all.

  • L July 13, 2018

    Thanks for the wonderful inspiration and the motivation to move forward. Here is how the week went -
    -Enjoyed a social party with neighbors and everyone brought an appetizer-it was a wonderful evening and my home baked goodies were fun to share.
    -Used the library to get the next book for a book club I am in with friends.
    -Hemmed a pair of jeans for a friend. Repaired a straight line rip in my husbands shorts, he was so appreciative that I fixed them.
    -Hosted friends for a visit and they spent the evening. They treated us out to a breakfast. We really enjoyed the kindness and how special it was with them.
    -Don't have an ice-maker, which is fine with me, have been making ice cubes and keeping them in a plastic bag in the freezer. It works great.
    -Saved an office visit for my husband ($185-225) to the Doctor, needed to get his blood pressure checked. I am so glad I called the billing department, I learned to keep asking questions.
    -Cleaned some drawers and cupboards in the kitchen-it feels so good to have them fresh, clean, and organized.
    -Keep turning off lights. I tell myself everytime I turn off a light I save a nickel.
    -Had a few pictures made using a mobile app and sent to my mom. She enjoys the mail. Rather send pictures/letter than crazy expensive card.
    -Picked some pine boughs and put in a vase-brought the outside inside.
    -Got some stains out of a pair of shorts that I can now wear.
    -Drinking water and making coffee at home.
    -Reorganized my basement pantry and put the older items in the front so I use them first.
    Have a great week.

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