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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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  • Belinda Richardson July 12, 2017

    I love your name for your pantry...HallMart....hilarious! :)

  • Heather in L.A. July 12, 2017

    Hi Allyson, I'm from the top of the state near Monroe. It's muggy here also.

  • Lori @ My Vintage Whimsy July 13, 2017

    Hall Mart!! That is hilarious and so fitting. I, too, have that hall closet that I store extra things in like paper products, extra snacks, etc. I might have to make a sign for the door now.

  • Cindi July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary, Brandy.
    This week my husband used our pressure washer to wash our back deck. He also changed the oil in my car, using an oil and filter he bought at a deep discount a couple of months ago.
    I cut flowers for an arrangement in the house.
    I made French bread and burger buns. I made a large batch of stuffed pasta shells – three pans for three meals. We ate one that night and the other two were put in the freezer for future meals. I mixed chard and herbs from our garden with cottage cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese for the filling and topped with homemade pasta sauce. For Independence Day I made a chocolate pie using a crust I made and froze when I made my husband a coconut pie for his birthday two weeks ago, and whipped cream left over from the strawberry shortcake we had last week.
    I made a simple knit dress with a free pattern I downloaded and sale fabric from JoAnn’s. The fabric was $9. I used leftovers from the dress to make another pair of underwear, with elastic from my stash. I also cut off an old dress to make a blouse, then used the bottom half of the dress to make another blouse.
    We cut the last cord of firewood from the national forest – yay! My husband figured the cost at about $25 a cord (permit, gas for truck, gas for chainsaw and wood splitter). It’s about $200 a cord to buy it here. So we spent $75 for our primary source of winter heat.
    My neighbor who is moving gave us some weed killer, an almost full case of printer paper, a couple of live traps, some mats for the garage and two reams of cardstock. My husband made a couple of minor repairs to correct things found in her pre-sale inspection.
    I harvested lettuce, chard, green beans and herbs and some cherry tomatoes from the garden, and planted seeds for cabbage, broccoli and bok choy for a fall crop.
    I cleaned and organized my pantry and the big freezer.
    I made cards for my mother-in-law and father-in-law’s birthdays and redeemed survey points for Amazon gift cards for each of them.
    I made Brandy’s mini pavlova’s with some leftover egg whites. My husband had never had them before and loved them. I froze the leftover pavlovas.

  • Athanasia July 12, 2017

    Cindi, that is interesting. I don't think I have heard of making underwear...I am guessing you made panties? Do you use a pattern or copy off of a pair that you like? I sew my own petticoats (slips) sometimes from a pattern I made years ago, sometimes using a tank type top with a half slip...I buy these when I find suitable 2 items at the thrift store. I wear a petticoat everyday, warmer for winter, very lightweight for summer.

  • Cindi July 12, 2017

    Yes, I made panties. I used these directions:
    Now that I have a pattern that I know fits me, I can make these in no time. I have a heavy cotton white T-shirt that I received free for doing volunteer work that is much too big for me that I cut up for the crotch lining, and I use scraps of knit fabric from various sewing projects, plus elastic that I buy on sale at the thrift store or Jo-ann's. This underwear is so much more comfortable and wears better than any I buy -- and it is quite pretty.

  • Athanasia July 14, 2017

    Yes, it does look easy to do.

  • Deb Smith July 16, 2017

    When I was a little girl my mom made all my underwear. I may see about making some for myself now....ty for the link!

  • Jane July 14, 2017

    Hi Cindy your post was inspiring. If you have the time would you mind posting the link to the pattern of the simple knit dress you made. I'm just getting back into sewing myself and would love something not too challenging to begin with. Best wishes x

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher July 10, 2017

    Great job saving money this week! I haven't heard of solar lights; I'll check them out. We just got a whopping $200 electricity bill, so I'm trying to find new ways to save on anything energy-related.

    This week:

    1. I pre-cooked a ridiculous amount of food for us to eat this week. But that means I don't have to cook after working all day, which is a bonus. :)

    2. I used gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from our garden to make shakshuka for breakfast. Yum!

    3. Mr. Picky Pincher repaired our smoker, so we're able to smoke meat in bulk and store it, which is great for making our meals taste uh-mazing!

    4. I cooked homemade ice cream with leftover cherries and homemade paletas with corn in the freezer. I also baked an angel food cake for the first time; it was good but I could do better.

    5. I plan on hemming some ill-fitting exercise pants this week and turning them into capris.

  • Andrea Q July 10, 2017

    Do you use LED lightbulbs? The price has come down to $2 to $3 per bulb (60 watt equivalent) for bulbs that last around 10,000 hours. The solar lanterns are good to have for power outages, but not feasible for the whole house.

  • Rebecca July 10, 2017

    Oh! I thought I might be the only person who makes shakshuka! It is one of my favorites - easy, tasty and healthy!

  • I think that's the best way if you don't see anything in the ads-just toss them out. No temptation is good!
    Our garden is starting slowly to come in. We have been having problems with the deer though the last couple of nights. Here are my frugal accomplishments for last week:

  • I saw lots in the ads that were great deals--but I have a $200 budget for the month and the only thing I now have left to buy on my list is pasta. That wasn't on sale yet so I am waiting for that.

  • Karen July 10, 2017

    I was pleasantly surprised to actually find pasta on sale at Kroger last week (a Buy 10 deal), and I didn't remember seeing it in the ads when I scanned through them. The macaroni and shells were sold out, but we are stocked up on spaghetti! This post is my reminder to go back and just see if the sale has perhaps been extended.

  • Lone Star State Mama July 12, 2017

    I'm not sure what kind of pasta you are looking for but Sams Club has $1 off their 6 pk of spaghetti. That is 4.58 for 6 - 1 lb bags. I live in West Texas but I'm pretty sure Sams Club offers are good for all stores, yes?


  • About three times a year there is a sale on American Beauty pasta (and in the east, it's on the Ronzoni brand) for $0.49 a pound. I am holding out for that sale; it may not come until September but I am down to angel hair pasta and I am looking for it. I have 2 coupons for $1 off 2 bags (so 4 bags total) as well; with the sale they would be free. If I don't see the sale I will at least pick up some pasta with the coupons (Winco has some American Beauty pasta currently marked $0.88 if I don't find a better price). I look for the 16-ounce bags rather than the 12-ounce bags at that price. Part of the way I keep my budget so low is by only stocking up at the lowest price. I have a $200 budget for July; you can see my shopping list on the previous post. That's not a bad price at Sam's but I will hold out for the $0.49 sale if the stores are still doing it. If the price goes up, then I'll make adjustments to my price points--and we'll also eat more rice, as that is a lower cost per pound.

  • Cara in OH July 10, 2017

    It's been awhile since I have posted. I wanted to sit down right away on Monday morning and get it done!

    *Over Fourth of July, my family attended Family Camp at a church camp in MI. We go every Fourth of July and everything is included in the cost of our trip. I pay for our trip throughout the year, so it's not a huge chunk at one time. We were there 4 days, so I didn't need to buy groceries and we turned off our AC at home while we were gone.
    *After camp, we were home for one day, then left for Southern OH to meet up with some of my family who is here from AZ. We all had lunch together and my aunt/uncle bought our lunch. They brought art activities for all my children to do at the table while we visited. We brought all those home with us.
    *From there, we drove to my husband's mom's house...she is moving to Assisted Living in 2 weeks and her house of 30+ years needed cleaning out. We brought home some of my husbands things (including Legos!) and a few things from my MIL. I said 'no' to many things, so my house doesn't get cluttered and overran with 'stuff' we don't need.
    *paid all bills online
    *accepted a watermelon from my mom
    *ate lunch at my parents house one day ( I am always so grateful when my parents feed my children)
    *harvested basil, gypsy peppers, zucchini and cherry tomatoes from the garden
    *went shopping at a new outlet mall. I found some great deals for everyone in my family (husband and me included). We used cash only from our cash envelope and stayed in budget.
    *continued with our normal: library, turning off lights, turning down AC when we aren't home, recycling, donating items not needed.

    Have a wonderful week, everyone!

  • I've been doing a lot of organizing and purging around here, too. I love how much better the house feels when it has less clutter! I love the idea of using solar lights in the house...that's something I'll have to look into.

    Here are the ways we saved last week:

  • Marie July 10, 2017

    I spent two days going through all our bank accounts and categorizing EVERY purchase (we do most everything with our debit cards) for the last thirteen months and putting it on a spread sheat. I created about 15-20 categories and it was very eye opening to see where money was leaking. (hint: I thought my husband was my soulmate, but apparently walmart is!!) This hasn't saved money yet, but it will as a i finish processing all the data and working with my husband to finally create a budget.

    Also, I found yet another left-at-the-register catalina coupon for FREE Halo ice cream. This is four that I've found so far and my daughter is thrilled.

    Also, I feel so guilty: apparently Aldi is having a price war with another store around here. My BIL informed me that a gallon of milk is a dollar and a dozen eggs are 25 cents... but...I don't buy either of those things (vegan-leaning-vegetarian family).... I sure wish they'd fight over raspberries and red peppers :)

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