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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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  • Lorna July 13, 2017

    Hi Elizabeth I am so sorry your endured that and it isn't fair of your friend to judge you in such a way.

    I would simply have said I prefer to live the way I do so that I can spend more quality time with my children and don't find it necessary to buy expensive things that I don't get joy out of.

    Similarly I have some friends who are this way too and when similar comments are directed at me I simply say we have the money to do that, but we choose to put it towards saving for our home with cash so we are not paying massive mortgage repayments.

    At the end of the day if you are happy with your lifestyle that is all that matters after all they are not earning the money in your home or paying your bills you are :) .

  • Riley July 11, 2017

    That is so horrible! My friends chuckle and tease me about my frugality but never ever try to shame me- although my aunt does that sometimes. It's so hurtful. Someday she'll realize you were right but I'm sorry you had to deal with that :(

  • Diane July 11, 2017

    I second that whole-heartedly! My MIL is very similar to your friend. Having her over has become so divisive that we now meet them at a restaurant once a year. I hate paying for dinner to have a miserable evening, but it would be worse to invite such dissension into our home. Good job maintaining dignity and grace while she was visiting!

  • Elizabeth July 12, 2017

    Thanks, Diane. Your idea is great, and is exactly what my mother suggested to me the next day--for our next girls weekend, just meet at in the middle and enjoy a night or two at a hotel. I don't mind spending some money to maintain happy friendships and shield myself from unintended hurts. I suggested the hotel idea to her and a few other girlfriends, and it looks like that's the plan for fall! She's still a good friend and I love her and I don't think she realized that she was "coming off" as critical, but her priorities are different than mine, and over a 2.5 day visit, that really came through.

  • Laurie in AZ July 11, 2017

    I know exactly how you feel. I used to have a lot of people around me like that. Most of them I've eliminated from my life. Just didn't need their negativity and judgment. Some people you can't avoid though. Just know that time will tell. Especially when you have a paid off mortgage!

  • Ann Lee S July 11, 2017

    what will your family remember most about you? that you had pedicures, or that you spent time with them at home, making it a place they love to be? I have a similar friend, but was able to tell her some comments hurt my feelings, so she immediately did a reverse turn ,... thankfully, for I enjoy her otherwise. its all good now. hope it works out for you, sometimes it helps to just come out with it ... ann lee s

  • Elizabeth July 12, 2017

    Thanks, Ann. In the moment, I never know what to say. Thinking about it now, maybe something that is non-accusatory would be good, like "I'm sure you don't mean to, when you ask where I bought things, it makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. You are such a kind person, I'm sure you don't intend to make me feel this way." If that doesn't get the message across to cut it out, I would just have to reassess having her as a houseguest in the future.

  • Lisa July 11, 2017

    I know how you feel. I'm so sorry. You are right, Brandy's blog and webpage and the sweet, REAL comments make me feel like a part of a true community that appreciates what we can truly do. Thank you for opening up and sharing your struggles!

  • Juls Owings July 12, 2017

    we have a few family/friends that way also. I told them that as much as I loved to see them that I have realized my lifestyle makes them uncomfortable so it's okay if we just email, etc instead of visiting. HARD very very HARD but I think it made them also feel they could stop pushing. My one daughter told me that she gets it a lot and she's a single parent and has to work but doesn't spend the money like her peers

  • Elizabeth July 12, 2017

    Yes! It felt like she was trying to push me to be more like her. Everyone thinks their way is the right way. On reflection, I think that was part of it- she feels she is doing me a favor by shedding light on the areas where she sees room for improvement--like, maybe I just haven't noticed that my hall rug could use replacing, and as a friend, it's her job to let me know. We frugalistas sometimes get in trouble for the same thing, when we point out ways that others might consider economizing. We've all done that and had it not go over so well. I just need to take her words with a grain of salt, and keep doing what works for my family! Brandy, thanks again--the other commenters offered such helpful thoughts and helped me work through an upsetting situation. THANK YOU for hosting this forum!

  • Cindy in the South July 12, 2017

    My much older aunt made nasty remarks to me about my frugal posts on my facebook wall. I told her I was broke, and if she wanted to help out, she could. That stopped the nasty remarks and I continue to post helpful hints to

  • Sandra July 10, 2017

    We were invited to friends for 4th of July. I was asked to bring appetizers. I brought pizza bites, raw vegetables and dip, and rustic slices of baguette with an herbal dipping oil. It was all made from the garden, pantry, and refrigerator. We have had out of town company and have enjoyed some touring close to home. One day we did some wine tasting another day we visited an Indian cultural museum. At the museum we were able to use the family rate and saved the cost of one admission. We are eating finally eating zucchini and tomatoes out of the garden. Yesterday I checked the apricots and some of them are ready for canning. It is a big crop this year so I will be putting up many quarts of fruit and pints of jam. We are also picking green beans now. They are slow coming on, but I can get enough for a meal every few days. A few days ago I made a couscous salad with mint, tomatoes, and zucchini from the garden. It was delicious. There was a little left over and I cut up a slice of leftover pizza into little bites and mixed it in. It made enough extra salad for two more servings and turned out to really well. I went to Walmart to look for a couple of sleeveless summer tops (on clearance). I only found one that I liked, but also found a pretty cotton knit nightgown on clearance - it was something I really needed so that was a nice surprise.

  • Mary July 10, 2017

    Hi all
    The last was pretty frugal until I took my daughters dog to training, needs a thundershirt for anxiety $44 later..... I know these help as our older dog has one but I did not pay that much!
    I have been looking for an ASU shirt that I like and does not cost a lot, I finally found one on Friday $36 shirt that woul cost me $3 but would have to pay $8 for shipping to store or home!? So Sat I found if I go to store, Kohls and order it was free shipping to my house! So a $3 shirt woo hoo!
    My husband & daughter are helping with moving in Ohio and will be gone all week so the thundershirts have been helpful with the dogs anxiety.
    I am making things with what I have and staying home a lot. I made waffles yesterday and froze a bunch. Also, still unpacking and going thru things.
    I'm hoping only to have to go out tomorrow and Saturday. Have a good week all.

  • Andrea Q July 10, 2017

    This is the second time today that I have heard about thundershirts! I must research, as our dog has anxiety.

  • Mary July 10, 2017

    oh they are actually good for separation anxiety and fireworks. Our dogs are both wearing them now as they sleep - as my husband and daughter are away. The dogs are very anxious at night and when I leave. I'm glad I only spent about $15 for the first one. I got them both at Petsmart

  • Athanasia July 11, 2017

    Thundershirts have a proven record. They work along the line of swaddling babies to make them feel secure. My daughter in law's parents have one for their dog. It is funny, the dog was fine when they lived in the big city and she was mostly an indoor dog except for quick outside potty trips. Now that they live in the country and have a large backyard to roam in she was frightened of all that open space, birds flying over, etc so my son in law the veterinarian recommended the thundershirt when she goes out. They also switched her to a turkey based dog food which seems to have a calming effect in general. She is a tiny approximately 8 pound Shih Tzu and there is a thundershirt for that size and all the way up to big, big dogs.

  • Melissa V July 10, 2017

    * My hubby went and disassembled a greenhouse (6x8 feet) and dragged that home for me. We just had to buy two 4x4's to put under the short sides - I took the wood pile off of 2 others to use for the long sides. It was FREE on Craigslist :) i am very excited to have an area to grow fall crops in - especially cauliflower and broccoli that I lose every year to the cabbage caterpillars.
    * We took almost every tool and hardware we own from the basement, main house and garage and sorted them - threw away those that were useless and the rest were put into my husband's tool drawers, my son's tool drawers and I got my own tool box now for all my projects. The sheer amount was overwhelming and I am still slowly going thru things and putting them away. We have FIVE staplers - FIVE.....and we can never find one when we need it. Now we each have one. I stopped counting all the tape measure's I found!
    * I picked the first pea pods from the garden as well as a small amount of red raspberries and the wild black ones the birds must have planted for me. I also harvested a small amount of lettuce and then they decided to start bolting so I pulled the plants and gave them to my ducks. The potatoes are all continuing to bloom but are starting to fall over so we should have some fresh potatoes soon (yeah!!). My old grape vine over my poultry run has quite a few grapes just starting to form - I thought I may have over done the pruning on it but it seems to have made it produce more.
    * We again only bought milk and some hamburger buns. Both freezers are stuffed so we really need to eat them down some to make room for upcoming produce.
    * I made myself another 2 head scrarves for work and put elastic in 2 more pairs of pants.
    * I made gluten free muffins and bread for myself.
    * We picked up a 1/2 cup jar of cinnamon and a small bottle of vanilla from Penzy's spices for free.
    * I wanted to purchase some new sedums for the front of the house but I decided I really didn't need to do that since my existing plants are so large - I split them instead.
    * We watched my BIL's Pyrenees again over the 4th of July holiday week. She is quite a diva and has several annoying habits he never bothered to train her for - counter surfing, barking (breed trait I know but it is over the top) and her behavior around smaller dogs (our almost 13 year old beagle) and cats (OMG she is AWFUL about the cats!). I don't know if we can break her of any of those since he doesn't bother to correct her at his house and she is already 8 years old and rather set in her ways. Luckily, our cats aren't dumb and they all go to the safe area we have set up for them while she is here. At least he pays us.
    * My hubby is trading one of his guns for a couple repairs on the boat engine that he didn't think he could do himself. No cost to us except the parts he bought. The truck he traded our up north property for had the heater core bypassed - and we live in Michigan, so a heater is kinda important in the winter - the repair requires the entire dash be dismantled including the steering wheel. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the tools or know how to do that repair and we will have to use some of our $ we had from selling our other vehicle to pay for it.
    * We have kept the air off except for a few days where the temps and humidity combined made it rather miserable.
    * Our entertainment has been watching Diner, Drive-ins and Dives and old movies. Game of Thrones returns in a week :) Hubby negotiated our bill and we got free HBO for long enough to be able to see this season.
    * At the thrift store, I found some striped fabric and a matching solid color to use to redo the cushion on the front porch bench. It was only $3. I also picked up 2 binders to keep all my project ideas as well as the home repairs and paints we have used in one place. The were even in the right blue to match my sewing room's colors hehe - those only cost 50 cents each. I am still looking for silicone muffin "tins" to put eggs in to freeze them for winter time when the poultry don't lay near as much. The eggs do not like to pop out of regular muffin tins and one of the blogs I follow recommended silicone.
    I think that's it - hope everyone has a great week! I am off to sew my cushion covers!

  • Chris M July 10, 2017

    I froze extra eggs in snack bags. They lay flat that way and have worked well, but you do have the expense of the bags. I either use the store brand or get them at the dollar store. I also have several silicone ice cube trays. They work beautifully for freezing small amounts.

  • Melissa V July 11, 2017

    I did the baggies last winter - but they all leaked when they were defrosting in the frig (they weren't actual freezer bags) even though I double bagged them. If I can find a silicone one it will mean a lot less bags to buy - I'll just pop the cubes out and put them all in a big gallon size freezer bag or in one of my Rubbermaid storage containers - it won't be as easy or space saving though as freezing them all flat.

  • Chris M July 11, 2017

    That's too bad your bags leaked. I haven't had that problem, although I do put the bags in a bowl in the refrigerator to defrost.

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