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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week in July

We have had a large number of unexpected expenses this month, with multiple costly repairs needing to be made and items needing to be replaced. Some expenses one just doesn't imagine ever having, but yet, there they are. Continuing to find frugality in as many ways as possible is important to keeping everything running smoothly.

Grapes in urn The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested peaches, figs, grapes, tomatoes, Swiss chard, green onions, and rosemary from our garden.

I planted seeds for what I hope will be a good harvest in a few months. I planted seeds for sunflowers, basil, chives, and green onions.

I said yes to some more tomatoes from my friend's garden when she offered.

We had a fun get-together with the children's friends and some of their cousins. We did the same thing the week before with some of their other cousins. Using a large tarp (that my husband got for free off of Craig's List) we created a giant slip and slide. We have done this for a few years now. It's a fun way to cool off and still play outside when it's 114°F/46°C out, which it was at our house.

It's still quite humid here as the summer storms pass overhead (not falling on us--the clouds just go right on by!) and I collected several water gallons of water from the air conditioning drip each day and used it to water potted plants. I also continued to collect shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants.

I cancelled my free Amazon Prime trial the day before I would be charged.

I watched a free photography class online.

I read two books that I borrowed from my mom.


What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • Elizabeth August 01, 2018

    1. Received two free sandwiches at a local barbecue place as a thank you for donating blood
    2. Accumulated $16 in credit card reward points this past month
    3. We have been eating random meals that require little to no cooking while my husband is away on business, which helps to keep the house cool and uses up odds and ends
    4. Found clearanced blind bags for $.90 each to use for my son's weekly treat/bribe that he gets if he completes his daily homeschool assignments with minimal fuss
    5. Made kool-aid popsicles to keep the kids happy...so cheap

  • Margie from Toronto August 01, 2018

    Sorry about everyone's unexpected expenses - it certainly seems as though the stars are conspiring against us all at the moment. Things were more expensive than anticipated over the past couple of weeks so I am going to have to dip into my small savings account. And I got the expected notification that my rent will be going up as of November 1st. Shouldn't complain as it's only by $17 but it's just that everything seems to go up a few dollars here and a few dollars there so it all adds up.
    I stayed home 3 days out of 7 and so didn't spend money or use my transit pass. I ate out twice but once was just ice-cream and a coffee while having a visit with a friend. I did go to lunch with a few ladies from church after services on Sunday - they have been asking me to join them for ages so I really felt that I should make the effort. We all had some pasta and a coffee so it didn't break the bank and it was a lovely break.
    I used up ground meat and turkey thighs from the freezer - cooked both on a day when the temperature finally dropped to about 77F - coolest it's been in weeks! I also took the opportunity to roast a few different vegetables and baked a couple of sweet potatoes - so had meals sorted for the week all in one go.
    I found peppers at a good price and open froze two ziplock bags each of red & yellow peppers - I'll add more as the price drops. I also found canned fruit & canned beans at a good price so I added to my pantry stockpile as I was getting low on both. Otherwise I only bought milk, butter, fruit & veg at the grocery store and then went to the Bulk Barn for currents, raisins, walnuts & almonds. I've been told to eat more nuts and I like to add dried fruit & nuts to salads (I make up my own mix so no salted items & currents are a lot cheaper than dried cranberries) so I managed to get a good supply for just under $10.
    I continued to use the library and to watch Youtube and Netflix as entertainment - I did go to see "The King & I" on Friday night with my theatre group (last of this year's subscription pkg. so the ticket had been paid for over a year ago) - it was an excellent production. A couple of us decided not to go to dinner beforehand and just met the others at the theatre so that saved me some money. All in all - a so so week.

  • Emily August 01, 2018

    I have fond memories of the giant tarp slip and slide at my summer camp growing up. I'm sure your kids had a blast!

    Our frugal project for the past couple weeks has been digging through the freezer to eat down items from it instead of going out or buying ingredients for other meals. This is doing double frugal duty because it's peak time of the year to freeze the fruit we have grown and picked recently.

  • Tejas August 01, 2018

    Today was our 42nd wedding anniversary. What a blessing that God brought us together at college and has kept us together through 5 kids, thick and thin, health and sickness, never richer, though!, but there has always been just enough. I cooked a simple dinner tonight and bought the ingredients for make-your -own banana splits. Saturday we will celebrate a bit more and use a gift card for dinner out. Tomorrow I have to make a day trip out of town, but will fill two crockpots before I go, so dinner will be ready when I get home. There will be plenty of leftovers for the next day when our chronically-ill adult daughter has her out-of-town appt. and we will be gone all day. More unexpected bills this week, including a brake job for the car at $905. Hoping the expenses let up soon. I so enjoy reading Brandy's weekly post and all the comments. Everyone is so kind and supportive here!

  • Douai August 02, 2018

    I turn 43 in a week. The idea that you have been married almost as long as I have been alive brings a smile to my face. I’ve only been married for 22 years, 23 next month, and boy, what a ride it has been! Congratulations on a long and lovely marriage! Here’s to many more years!

  • Tejas August 02, 2018

    Thank you, Douai, for your sweet words. Faith, commitment, trust, and a sense of humor are what it takes, evidently. There have been, and continue to be, plenty of challenges and struggles along the way, but one thing we have never had to even worry about, even if we don't 100% agree--we have each other's back. We are a unit and will do whatever it takes to help the other, without hesitation.:) And congrats on your marriage, too!

  • Douai August 02, 2018

    I just realized your username. I’m in Texas too, the Panhandle!

  • Tejas August 02, 2018

    We went to the Palo Duro Canyon for our 40th Anniversary and hope to go back for our 45th. I love that part of Texas!

  • Heidi Louise August 01, 2018

    Our front door is chipped and peeling on the front, bottom. Instead of replacing it, (for multi-hundreds of dollars if not more), we are going to repaint it and add a kickplate. Should last at least a few more years.
    Froze some green grapes before they went bad. I have read they are like mini-popsicles; hope so!
    I clip Sunday paper grocery coupons and keep track of how much the papers cost and how much I save. Some years the coupons pay for the papers, some years they don't. Summer is the worst time for coupon clipping, and I often wondered why manufacturers don't offer many during this season, as though they don't think anyone shops now. After reading the many garden comments here, I understand now! But coupons should start becoming more plentiful over the next months, the most from November to January or so.
    Hoping for good yard sales this weekend! Weather has been dry yet wonderfully cool.

  • Pat August 02, 2018

    Unexpected expenses are not fun!
    I have continued to cook all meals at home and using up the leftovers. I open the house early in the day to let in fresh air and some days I am able to leave in open till late morning or early afternoon. I combine my errands with appointment or babysitting duty. We are harvesting cucumbers, green beans and yellow squash. The tomatoes are starting to turn colors--can't wait!

  • Hilogene in Az August 03, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Any hope for an updated photo of your newest child? Octavius seemed to grow so fast :)

    Frugal accomplishments for this month weren’t many, however, one is worth mentioning. Our dryer stopped working...well it worked but started smelling like smoke. My husband googled the parts manual, service manual and various dryer repair sites to see what might be causing the issue...then he took the dryer apart and fixed it. The internet is an amazing source of information. Total cost was $10 for a new exhaust hose (unrelated to the problem but it was time to replace it) and a day of our time.

    Otherwise the last few weeks I have been sloppy about menu planning and when I looked back at July spending, it shows! So I did an inventory of the freezer and planned this upcoming week already.

  • Natalie August 03, 2018

    How do you collect condensation from your air conditioner?

  • Terri C August 04, 2018

    It's been months since I had time to read through the comments here on the weekly posts. I have had my youngest son, his wife and their two boys, ages 4 and 17 months now, here for the past five months while they renovated a portion of the house they were moving to. The plan: one month and rent and help with groceries. The reality: one month rent and help with groceries and 4 months later they finally moved out. Result: one very tired Gramma and Grampa, one overly tired son working full time and renovating the house, higher grocery bills, very high electric bills and the determination to pull out every frugal trick in my old bag of tricks which minimalized the damage of the last three months. Furnishings bit the dust, etc...This was our first week with them moved on. Easier week, slightly more frugal aside from the other family's entire week of laundry being done here. I remade a slipcover from two old slipcovers to make one custom fit cover for a chair, tossed broken furniture that was not repairable, salvaging parts that could be reused and appreciating that our groceries at least will go much further than they have done of late. Ordered replacement pieces for perfectly good storage items that were missing lids, etc. All in all, a great week.

  • Nancy August 05, 2018

    Brandy...I'm sorry you had unexpected expenses but your so sweet to bounce back and find ways to keep things going. I feel I've been there few the years and stand amazed at the needs given when needed.
    I go to your blog for lessons and enjoy using your menus and recipes at times. I will be enjoying your crackers and tomatoes snack as my tomatoes ripen. I enjoy your salads too. Take care.

  • Mary Ellen August 06, 2018

    Thanks for all the advice on bread machines. As I said, the ones I have seen are pretty grimy but will keep my eye out for a nice one.

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