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Frugal Accomplishments For The First Week of July

July Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

We harvested red and green seedless grapes, peaches, tomatoes, and apples from the garden.

I cut chocolate mint for a large batch of herbal tea.

I went to the Joann's on the 3rd of July to buy a few items on sale, including some broadcloth in black, white, and navy at 50% off at $2.49 a yard and some ribbon by the spool at 60% off. 

My husband replaced our garbage disposal himself.

We used solar lights at night in our bedroom instead of turning the lights on. I bought a two-pack of these at Sam's Club in May for the same price as one from Amazon. We've had problems with other solar lantern batteries burning in our heat in the direct sun. We put these inside the window and they worked without any problems. They were bright enough to use for reading at night.

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used to water potted plants.

We celebrated the Fourth of July at home. I hosted and food was combined with my mom. We watched fireworks from our yard--they weren't real large, but we were able to see what several people were setting off nearby from our yard and we didn't have to spend any gas to go anywhere.

I redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Lowe's.

I looked over the grocery ads when they came. There were some good deals--but not the pasta sale that I'm hoping to see. I threw the ads out. I also received some catalogs with summer clearance sales. I glanced through them--and then quickly tossed them. There were some things that I liked but that weren't in my budget nor were they priorities or planned purchases. Throwing them out removed the temptation to spend money I need to use for other things.

I organized three drawers. It took a bit of time but was a no-cost way to add some peace to my life.

I organized my garden seeds. I have plenty of vegetable seeds to plant for my fall garden without having to purchase anything.

My husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary at home with a meal for the two of us: caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from the garden.


What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • Eve July 11, 2017

    Mable, it seems that those who leave rhubaqrb alone and say "live or die" have the most prolific rhubarb! We have two rhubarb plants my mom forced me to plant about 20 years ago. They have been run over with our 4 wheeler (kids), trampled over (to get to our wood shed), and cursed and left for dead many, many times. They only get watered by rain, as they are too far from the house to think about.

    I used to have my husband cut them and take them to friends and co-workers who liked to can rhubarb, but then one day I decided I would take advsntage of those hearty plants and can the fruit.

    Now I can most of it as rhubarb pie filling - this tastes great as an ice cream topping, too, or you can just lower the sugar and bake it in cakes. We take the rest -ours almost always produces two crops by autumn - and drop it off at a homeless shelter. We feel good that a perfectly yummy, nutritious fruit doesn't go to waste and have learned to appreciate the no fuss plant.

  • Kandace Steadman July 10, 2017

    I've made a couple of personal changes that have saved money and help me with projects. Rather than taking my lunch hour to run errands, I take my lunch and knitting project and work on it during my break (I am new to knitting and really enjoy it!). I find that I fill my gas tank about half as often and I am also getting some projects made using my lunch time to knit. I just finished my first pair of socks and plan to make a few more pairs as Christmas gifts.

  • Cheryl July 10, 2017

    I received 2 free lunches at work, they were unexpected, so I saved my packed lunch for another day.

    We had a great 4th of July celebration with our family. We cooked up more hamburgers than we could eat, so I served them the next night for dinner with the sides.

    I work at a university, so there is always something going on. After cleaning up there was a lot of fruit left for the volunteers to take home. I was able to take home some watermelon.

    Borrowed movies for my college age son from the library. I am not a huge fan of watching movies so was quite surprised when the librarian told me they had over 3,300 movies!

    I also received 2 coupons from Chick Filet for free products. My son enjoyed those as well!

  • Ava July 10, 2017

    I cut lots of sweet basil, purple basil, lime basil, oregano, parsley, lavender, lemon balm, and three types of mint (apple, chocolate, and spear-) from the garden. I used them as fresh ingredients in cooking and in home-brewed ice tea, dried quite a bit for use later, and also put them in pretty jars around the house to enjoy. They made pretty, fresh-smelling bouquets. The herb garden has been incredibly prolific, and we're enjoying the bounty!

    I took advantage of the warm weather to activate the solar-powered laundry-drying device (the clothesline), and used water from warming up showers and rinsing produce to water the herb garden and various potted plants.

    We "excavated" and reorganized two closets, which as mentioned above took some time and effort but provided a great sense of satisfaction and peace of mind. In the process we rediscovered some artwork from years past, which then inspired us to make some changes around the house - a nice "free" pick-me-up. I had a wonderful time decorating for Independence Day, getting creative with things we already had, and appreciated it when my husband commented, "I hope you leave the Fourth of July decorations out for a bit, they look nice."

    We are expecting out-of-town company in several weeks and I'm continuing the "conversion" of the grown-up-and-moved-out boys' rooms/bathroom into welcoming guest rooms - without spending money redecorating. I've moved furniture around, and have changed out sheets, towel sets, and wall decorations without having to buy anything. Two family quilts (one each from my and my husband's grandmothers) have replaced the teenage boy comforters. I will admit to several thrift store purchases (several nice baskets, plus some children's books and games).

  • Jenny July 11, 2017

    I do love that solar powered clothes drying device. I use one of those outdoors and a heater powered clothes drying device indoors.

  • Ava July 11, 2017


  • Kim July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary Brandy!
    I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a couple years now and continue to incorporate many of your ideas into my life. This week for the first time, I collected seeds from my Lupine flowers. I have also potted up several tree starts. Our neighbors have several large walnut and hazelnut trees and the squirrels sometimes forget where they buried their nuts and up come little tree starts all over my property so now I am potting them up instead of just pulling and composting. When I get enough growing well, I intend to have a plant sale and see how it goes- even if I make a few dollars it will be a few more than I would have otherwise and I enjoy the adventure.
    I am also trying to incorporate more quality vs quantity into our lives whenever possible. My husband requested some short sleeved shirts for work. Normally, I would have bought as many cheaper versions as I could but this time, I found one very good quality linen shirt for $12.00 and purchased just the one. I know it will wash up nice and can be line dried. I plan to take a couple of his long sleeved shirts that he doesn't wear much and turn them into short sleeved and that should get him through the summer. He really likes the new shirt and will enjoy it for several years vs the cheaper versions just being something to wear.
    I discovered a water leak from a faucet on the front of our house. My husband was able to fix it but it had discolored the paint on the house so I re-painted the entire front of our house with 1 gallon of paint that I already had. I am so happy we discovered and fixed the leak before major damage happened.
    Today, we took down several trees on our property. They were getting too large. We will use them for firewood which should provide us enough for a couple years. We plan to purchase a new, more efficient wood stove this fall. We have had our current one for at least 20 years now so the new one should heat much better with less wood and keep us warmer this winter saving more money on our utility bill. We have been saving for this purchase for several years. We are hoping there will be a sale on wood stoves this fall- if not, we live only about 11/2 hours from Portland, Oregon and Oregon does not have sales tax so it may be worth it to drive down there for this purchase- we would save at least 10% just from tax alone.
    Brandy and everyone that participates in this blog community, I thank you for improving our quality of life!

  • C July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!

    I don't have a backyard so I've been trying to cut eating out and cooking instead. My goal is to have my husband and I eat more veggies and less meat for both our body and our wallet's health. Our savings took a hit as my husband got into a minor car accident. The repair shop gave him a free rental car but it is a jeep, which sucks up a ton of gas. We asked for a more eco-friendly car but they said it was all they had. That and a $1000 deductible meant we probably won't be traveling this summer, which we really looked forward to.

    For 4th of July, we went to the beach and saw fireworks. A lot of people were (illegally) setting off fireworks there and they were the kind you usually saw cities and amusement parks use, maybe even bigger. It was a little dangerous but they did put on quite a show.

  • Athanasia July 14, 2017

    C, I am sorry to hear of your husband's car accident. No one needs that kind of inconvenience and expense.

  • Cari July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary, Brandy!

    Last week I:

    Did my research and switched Internet Providers and canceling our cable TV, landline and the purchase of a Roku player. Overall, that will save us between $1,200-$1,250 a year!

    I continue to bake our own bread from scratch, make our coffee at home, make my own pasta, eat all meals at home, borrow from the library and comparison shop for household items.

  • Darcy July 11, 2017

    Cari-We received our first Roku 4 years ago as a gift, got rid of our cable, and haven't looked back since. We love it.

  • Renee July 10, 2017

    I made your pasta salad with penne gluten free pasta that I found 2 lb/$1.50. I used vegetables from my garden and one cucumber that I purchased. And then for dessert we had your Clafoutis (I also made this gluten free using Bob's Red Mill blend that I purchase in a 25 pound bag from Azure.) with cherries that I found today for 99 cents a pound. My husband said it was the best pasta salad he's ever eaten. I couldn't eat either dish because of my dietary restrictions but I had the Italian Dressing over romaine, cucumber, and cubed ham. And everyone loved the dessert! We are completely out of debt except for our mortgage, which hopefully we can knock out in less than a year and that is currently the reason we are driven to live frugally. Your blog is always such an inspiration to me. What an amazing homemaker you are! You really amaze me! Your home is so lovely and your eye for beauty is so inspiring. I was just thinking of you today and the will power you have is really humbling to me! A $200 grocery budget for your family is amazing.

  • Jeannie July 10, 2017

    I have spent the week trying to get a handle on the weeds in the garden. We (husband and I) are making progress.

    *The weather has heated up so getting up at sunrise has become necessary if I want to go outside. I have picked: all types of greens, lettuce (the last for now) onions, squash, pinto beans, strawberries, cucumbers, 4 okra, blueberries, oregano, cilantro and ONE WATERMELON!!!! It was a bit rotten on the bottom but it still counts!

    *I am also trying to get caught up on my sewing after I work outside in the mornings. The mending and ironing are all stacked to the ceiling. I even found sweat pants still waiting to be fixed. I will not mention the dust on my iron and a dead wasp sitting on my machine.

    *The BEST NEWS! We will be going to visit two of my sons this weekend and I will be cooking and making them TV dinners to go in their freezers. They are my tightwad sons who love saving money and eating Mom's home cooked meals. They don't care if I am using the food about to expire in my pantry. I also take them supplies from my pantry since I get food on sale, using coupons and can purchase everything much cheaper. Plus I pay for it which REALLY makes it cheaper for them. Anyway, I asked them what they needed – peanut butter and jelly!!! NO! That tells me what they have been eating since they ran out of the last TV dinners I made. My heart is breaking.

    *Lastly, I shared a post about getting our field mowed and what it costs. Living in the country is not cheap.

  • Darla July 11, 2017 many acres is your pasture? I am just curious, as I pay to have my six acres mowed. Beautiful property by the way

  • Jeannie July 11, 2017

    Darla, I asked my hubby and he said it is about 7 acres of pasture land. We have 12 acres total but some of it is woods or lawn around the house. When we first decided to hire someone, we called around and got different quotes, this was the best. Also, there are not many people who do this in our area so our choices were limited. We originally wanted to find someone who would mow it and take the hay as payment, no one was interested. Our land is too small to bother hauling their equipment here.

  • Juls Owings July 16, 2017

    if you have a place that rents mowers you need to check it out. We had to drive 40 min (we borrowed a trailer at the time and now have one)one way to pick it up but it came in cheaper than us hiring it down when we added up all the have to have the time to do it though.

  • Darcy July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary!

    My husband needed to run into Food 4 Less and we always check the discounted produce section. We found 4 packaged chopped salad kits for 25 cents each. We love salads and that is what we took in our lunches for most of the week. We also ate chicken thighs that we got for 47 cents per pound.

    My husband went fishing with his friend and one of our sons-in-law. He caught several blue gills and a couple of bass. We are looking forward to a fish fry :)

    A co-worker gave me a large bag full of Swiss chard. We harvested basil and lettuce from the garden.

    We watched our two granddaughters on Friday night. They made their own personal pizzas and we had ice cream cones for dessert.

    I only bought milk, cherries, and ice cream at the grocery store this week.

    I made extra money dog-sitting for our son-in-law's parents while they went to Florida for 10 days.

    For the Fourth of July we went to our oldest daughter's house. We brought baked beans to share. We ended up bringing home potato and pasta salad and watermelon.

  • Megan Z. July 10, 2017

    I continue to eat from the garden. I have been getting a lot of tomatoes so every few days have a caprese salad. My two eggplant plants are starting to produce so I shoukd have many eggplants in a few weeks. My blueberries and raspberries are ripening. What I don't eat I have been sticking in the freezer. For the most part I'm trying to stick to the vegetables from the garden and not buy at the store.

    I cut some flowers to make an indoor bouquet. I planted several rounds of sunflowers so I'm hoping can have them into the fall. I love flowers but rarely buy them.

    My husband and I are remodeling our half bath. We are trying to do all that we can to remodel the house for a potential resale. The vanity we chose was on sale, saving us some $.

    We will be on vacation for a week so we have been eating from the fridge and pantry. I hope to continue to "eat it up" when we return.

  • Juls Owings July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary. I wish our tomatoes were ready ...I am waiting for them to get a little bigger to have a couple for fried green tomatoes. We have been checking where the money leaks are and options to fill in gaps of needs that are coming up with me going down on shoulder surgery. My lettuce is almost gone and I plan to let one head bolt to seed itself. Hubby asked if he was going to be mowing lettuce again this year as last year the bolted lettuce was ALL over the yard. I dug several up and gave them to others to replant for themselves. Had a frugal accident (HA HA) last night. Had storms coming in so shut up the house and went to bed...forgot to turn the AC back on. House was still at 74 this morning when I realized it was off.Going to try it again tonight (since it is storming right now) and see if I can get by with it being off. The rest is here

  • lillianna pickle July 10, 2017

    we continue to do the simple things. We plan our meals around the well stocked pantry and freezer. I wash our laundry and hang it out to dry in between rain showers. I continue to let my son drive my car back and forth to work instead of taking him myself. It makes me nervous but is financially necessary. We picked up a pack of hamburger buns for BBQ sandwiches and other than the two free pints of Halo ice cream, that was all we spent. I redeemed a Groupon for 45 days of free Hulu. I also signed up for a free 30 day trial of Netflix. Currently we have a trial of Showtime but when it runs out, I think we will try HBO. Hulu is currently offering a 30 day free trial of HBO so we may try The Game of Thrones. Sugar Cookies medical problems continue to keep us at home. Each evening, I have been spending time clearing off a 3 X 3 ft section of yard. Our house was an abandoned foreclosure and the yard has not been cleaned in 8 years. I bought a nice push mower but most work has to be done by hand. I sit on the ground and cut vines etc with a pair of scissors from the dollar tree. It actually is working pretty well. Perhaps next months budget will afford a few small hand tools. I am proud of my progress. We have doctor appointments this week and hoping that they are where they have free parking. Those fees add up fast and really eat my budget up. my back yard is full of black berry bushes. I am a city girl and dont know much about them. Hoping they will be worth keeping and eating. I have some research to do.

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