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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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  • Brooke July 30, 2018

    Brandy, sorry to hear about the expenses. I hope that your family is able to save wherever possible, which I know you will do your best to make that happen.

    Here is my list:

    Doubled the amount we have in savings
    Caught a lot of sales at the grocery stores
    Did my own pedicure at home
    Continued to use vinegar as a laundry rinse
    Uses free resources for a project I am working on
    Made new batches of hair rinse, body scrubs, and mouth rinse from scratch
    Made infused apple cider vinegar to replace what we used up
    Made body and facial oils with herb infused oils
    Combined errands to save money
    Put together a family friend's gift (a bath and beauty set) with items on hand
    Brought some fruit, snack bars and nuts from home as snacks

  • Amalia@AHousewifeWrites July 30, 2018

    Oh, those unexpected repair bills! They're always a blow to morale. :p

    I've had a wonderfully (unexpected!) thrifty week!

    I forgot about the library's adult summer reading program which ended last week. At the last minute I entered two of the eight possible book reviews but even so, my name was drawn and I won a bag of books, water bottle and headphones. Much later I found an envelope in the bottom with gift certificates to two restaurants and a free t-shirt.

    I was also able to go to a few garage sales (only for the second time this summer) but I got a small suitcase I've been looking for, a brand-new wax melt warmer, flower bed fencing, vintage Christmas ornaments, four early 1900s books for 25 cents each, and a pizza pan.

    The garden is starting to steadily produce cucumbers and okra, and raspberries and tomatoes won't be far behind!

  • Cindi July 30, 2018

    What a fun win!

  • Athanasia August 03, 2018

    Amalia, I enjoyed your post "It's that time of year again...". Especially the line about not washing the floor til you stick to it ( during canning season). Haha.

  • piggykr July 30, 2018

    Brandy, Sorry to hear about your unexpected expenses. That's always the most defeating feeling. I hope you can cover them with a rainy day fund.

    *It's summer vacation and instead of sending my first grader to expensive summer school we've been having it everyday at home 9-12.
    *I was able to repurpose a sports shirt and use handmedown goggles, and towels I have on hand for my son's swimming lessons. I didn't buy anything other than the swim trunks at the beginning of summer.
    *We went to a free museum with a friend and brought water bottles.
    *We went to a children's science museum and got 50% off with a local ID card. $5 for 2 adults and 2 kids. We took our own snacks and water.
    *We played lots of pokemon go for exercise and entertainment. There was also an event we were able to get codes for from a local sponsor. We searched all day for rare pokemon. It was exciting and but most of all cheap.
    *I was gifted a melon, some wood shavings, and a box of Cheerios from friends as barter.
    *I cooked most meals and ate at home.
    *There have been record high temperatures lately. Since we have to run the airconditioner all day I've been hanging up the laundry and letting it dry.
    *I found a bucket of interlocking blocks in the recycling. They'll be passed on to friends with younger kids.
    *I started using cloth pads. I don't hate them as much as I expected.
    *We played in some local fountains/splash pads.
    *I spent time chatting with friends outside instead of going to Starbucks.
    *I found cucumbers to be cheaper than lettuce for the guinea pigs. Thankfully they like cucumbers so I bought a huge bag.

  • Marybeth July 30, 2018

    Ugh! I hate when several things happen at once. I hope everyone is alright. That is very nice of your friend to give you more tomatoes. I love slip n slide. We had a fake one that my dad made growing up. My kids had one when they were young and we extended it with a tarp. We would put bubbles or bubble bath to make it extra slippery. They loved it. Just watch out for bubbles in their eyes. My son got them in his eyes once so always wore googles after that.

    We went to see our oldest in Baltimore and we looked at 2 colleges for our youngest while away. My garden is producing nicely. I have gotten cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, string beans, peas, basil, parsley, thyme and dill this week. Lots of green tomatoes but no red ones yet. I found a used garden cart that someone was throwing away. One of the tires is flat so we are looking for one to replace it. We have been cooking at home and while away. We have a college payment due in August and we are starting to get our driveway done too. The rest of my week is here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/07/my-frugal-list-week-of-july-23-2018.html

  • Jenifer July 30, 2018

    Mmmmm...tomatoes, figs and those herbs.

    I have a 2”x3” picture frame with missing glass. I took the plastic from a grocery container and cut a replacement for a missing piece.
    We will be celebrating my husbands birthday with friends this weekend. A friend offered to make sauce and pasta if I would make the “Brandy Bread” (rosemary olive oil bread).
    Due to payroll bouncing continuously at my job, I resigned. With this community I know I will have the support needed to keep life running smoothly until other employment is found.
    I am picking a lot of cucumbers, my first tomato,and mini eggplant. My zucchini are blooming, but not fruiting. I started hand pollinating.
    Have a great week everyone.

  • Marybeth July 31, 2018

    Good luck on the job hunt. I was outside this morning pollinating my zucchini.

  • Jenifer July 31, 2018

    Thanks Marybeth, I was grateful for the experience and already feel a weight lifted off my chest.
    AND!!! I helped make a baby zucchini!!!!

  • Rhonda A. July 31, 2018

    Why did I not think of replacing broken glass in a frame with clear acid free plastic! Thank-you for that brilliant idea Jenifer! So much cheaper than buying replacement glass or a new frame.

  • Jenifer July 31, 2018

    Rhonda, I would say the same thing. That frame sat in the drawer un-used until that A-ha! moment.

  • S August 01, 2018

    Also much safer!

  • Maxine July 30, 2018

    Brandy, over the years we have had a number of those humongous and unexpected expenses, so I know exactly what you are talking about. Also, now that your Amazon Prime trial is over, did you know that you can still get free shipping when your order totals $25 or more...even if you are not a Prime member? A member of a frugality forum posted that she starts a cart, adds to it until it reaches more than $25, and then places the order. Go to the Amazon site and do a search for the details.

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    The Bright Beginnings (like Welcome Wagon) lady visited me and left a packet of goodies, mostly coupons. I got a toothbrush, travel-size toothpaste and dental floss. So far, I've been able to use the $10 coupon at a supermarket--and discovered they had top sirloin steak on sale for $3.99 lb. Double score! Also, the independent pharmacy inside the store gifted me with a very complete first aid kit, which we put it in the car.

    I received the change-of-address coupons from the USPS. I've got a 10% off Lowe's coupon that is burning a hole in my pocket, but I don't need anything big right now. I was able to use a 20% off entire purchase coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond, saving me $28 on my living room curtains.

    I found a $40 curtain rod on clearance at Jo-Ann's for $14.99.

    The temps have been mostly in the mid-90sF. We have been using ceiling fans so that we can be comfortable with the AC at a higher setting.

    A friend and I set up a drip irrigation system for about 150 plants, shrubs and trees. I already had a sprinkler system to water my lawn. Adding this was easy, cost about $100, and it works! No more hand watering. It is so convenient! I don't know how much I'll save, because I don't know yet how much the water is going to cost at this house, but it is bound to pay for itself sooner or later. Plus, conserving water is always a good thing. I can't tell you how happy this has made me!

    After about 6 weeks of bleeding money, I am getting back to doing the usual frugal stuff. Doing a good job of eating up leftovers (I made a Greek salad for dinner last night with leftover couscous). Using rags and reusing plastic bags. Stain removal. It all adds up!

  • Maxine, that is always how I order so that I don't have to pay shipping :D I go through different blogger's websites to give them credit on my orders, as I cannot receive credit from going through my own Amazon links. I like to give other bloggers a chance to earn money that way as well.

    Drip irrigation saves a lot of money, and it also saves a lot of weeding time! I love it!

  • I do the same thing! :) Everyone thinks I am so odd by that but it has saved a number of impulse purchases.

  • Elizabeth M. July 30, 2018

    I bought two 5 lb flats of blueberries, and packed them in 2 cup portions to put in the freezer. I was very happy with the price, and the quality. There were almost no berries that had been damaged and they were all fully ripe. The stores offering this had supply problems, so it took 4 visits to get the two flats. I just live 3 doors away, so not too much trouble.

    After an appointment at the next town over, I stopped at a store there that had premium butter on sale at pretty well the best price I see on butter. I bought a few pounds to put in the freezer. The same store had eggs at 50 cents less a dozen than the best price where I live. I bought a couple of boxes of gourmet soup on sale in flavors that I thought would be good served chilled instead of heated, which is working well as something quick to serve on very hot days. (I have fans instead of air conditioning.)

    When I was at the next town over, I asked my car mechanic to check the noise my car is making. The car didn't make the noise of course, but there was no charge. I'll try again later this week, because the noise is very worrying.

    The frame of the monitor on my laptop is disintegrating and the hinges have collapsed, so I will be buying a new laptop later this week. I have done the research to see what specs I need, and what the cost will be. Luckily, back to school sales are on, so prices are good this week. In the meantime, I am taking the week off from transcription and am doing work around the house and yard, as weather allows.

    I have been researching recipes to make with pesto, lemon balm, and ground chicken, to use supplies. I've also been planning what produce to be preserving over the coming month.

    Sunny days are alternating with thunderstorms. The cats don't panic, but they sit very close to me when there are thunderstorms. They don't want me to worry.

  • Juls Owings July 31, 2018

    Elizabeth M. July 30, 2018
    I had to snicker, I have 3 dogs that keep me safe during thunderstorms or just high winds.

  • Elizabeth M. August 01, 2018

    The dogs I have had have panicked quite a bit more than the cats. One used to hide under the toilet, even though there isn't room. Another used to climb over me and onto the bedside table so she could reach up and turn the light on. The lightning was less frightening to her if the lights were on. The cats just think if they stay close by, everything will be fine. Because I might be frightened, not them!

  • Julie T July 31, 2018

    Elizabeth-record the noise with your phone and play it back for your mechanic

  • Elizabeth M. August 01, 2018

    It is a good idea. I don't have a cell phone, but I will see If I can use my iPad.

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