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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week in June

It's incredibly hot here this week. We started on Sunday with a high of 112º, and the thermometer just kept going up.

Tomatoes and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

I picked tomatoes and basil from the garden for a caprese salad.

Caprese Salad The Prudent Homemaker

I cooked a ham, which we sliced for sandwiches using my meat slicer.

I cut grapes from the garden, which we enjoyed alongside sandwiches for lunch.

I worked on my embroidery project quite a bit while sitting inside in the air conditioning, under the fan.

While sewing, I listened to several free French lessons online.

I sowed seeds for more zinnias, basil, red noodle beans, and pumpkins in the garden.

My eldest son helped me put in stakes and a trellis in the garden for beans using materials I had on hand. My husband had picked up several stakes for free several years back from someone who was getting rid of them. It has been nice to have them to use in the garden.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

I attended a church social and accepted the leftover food that I was asked to take home. Several people were able to take leftovers home.

I went to Target for a few necessary items. I was considering purchasing a few more things (and had Cartwheel discounts for several of them), but I decided against them and to save my money instead.

Before I went to Target, though, I decided to stop in at Ross. I don't usually shop there but felt like I should go in. I was able to find a dress for $15 that was just what I was wanting (solid navy blue, with sleeves, and somewhat vintage-styled). I'm working to build a new wardrobe in the smaller size that I am without spending much money. This dress was in the budget. 

My daughter and her friends were going to the thrift store. I had them take my donations with them and they got a receipt for me for my taxes.

Dorsett Goldens The Prudent Homemaker

I picked apples from my tree.

I cut the shirt sleeves down on four more shirts for my husband to turn them into short-sleeved shirts. He had been needing some new shirts when all of these hand-me-down like-new long-sleeved shirts were given to us (by a stranger!) and since our weather is usually warm or hot, turning almost all of them into short-sleeved shirts has been perfect for him.

I mended an item of clothing.

I turned a pair of pants and a pair of jeans that were torn at the knees into shorts for the children.

I listened to swing music on Pandora while cutting apples and sewing.

Change Purse The Prudent Homemaker

I made a little change purse to hold my quarters when garage sale season comes back around in October. I was wanting a little quick project that could be completed after I had done my other sewing, and this was quick to make using fabric scraps I had on hand. I added a little British telephone box charm that I had on hand (I bought 6 of them for a small amount on Etsy for gifts a few years back)  with a jump ring and a pair of needle-nosed pliers.


I just want to thank you all for your comments. It's nice to know that others in the world are working to live within their means. It's not a conversation that I get to have with women nearby, and I truly enjoy reading each of your comments and learning from you!

What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • Athanasia June 28, 2017

    Thank you Lorna. I have been thinking of getting one of those digital scales like they use on Great British Baking show, since I measure by volume here, not weight. But I'd like to try their recipes without converting. I don't know what they mean when they say "fan". I am wondering if that is a convection oven?

  • Lorna June 28, 2017

    Hi Athanasia what they mean by a fan forced oven is simply a normal oven with a fan in the back of it :) . If you open your standard oven up and see if it has a fan then you have a fan forced oven.

    If not then you are best simply to rotate trays of biscuits half way through the cooking time to stop them burning. I put the top tray on the bottom rack half way through and the cooking time and move the bottom to the top tray of the oven.

    The fan in an oven makes things cook more evenly than a non fan forced oven as the heat is evenly distributed through the whole oven instead of just the top, the same applies to things like food dehydrators.

    I hope this helps.

  • Athanasia June 29, 2017

    Watched the latest episode of the Great British Baking show last night. Wow, they like their biscuits crisp! That Paul was dropping them onto the plate and it they didn't clatter he was, oh no. Soft.

  • Mandy June 25, 2017

    Hello Brandy and fellow readers! I also look forward to this blog and the weekly posts :) It's nice to know I am not alone in my frugal lifestyle!

    -I cancelled my Amazon membership ( I paid monthly), have a phone call into an insurance agent to find us a better deal ( and less money) for vehicle and homeowner's insurance, and still do not have a cell phone (despite pressure to get one - don't need one and rarely used it). I also called my power and light company to find out when "off peak"hours were, and was told they don't do that.

    -shopping: 1 free (8 oz?) bottle of Aveeno lotion for free  using a coupon, purchased 2 - 18 count cartons of large eggs for .59 cents per carton. Used a $5 gift card I received last week and paid $1.40 out of pocket. I earned $3.50 in Ibotta rebates (I spent $8 on a few groceries then checked Ibotta, bringing my price down to $4.50!) and had to purchase a birthday present for a friend of my daughter's for her birthday party in a week. I ordered a couple of clearance priced toys on Walmart dot com, I went through ebates which earned me .66 back and had the toys shipped to the store to avoid paying for shipping. I spent $5 oop for 2 toys her friend will love.

    -cooked 2 batches of beans (red and white) , made minestrone soup, red beans and rice with leftover/frozen ham, overnight oats, "walking tacos", chicken hamburgers using cheap chicken ground up in my food processor with fried American fries, Ate leftovers for dinner, made yogurt, bread, popsicles twice,

    -Temperature outside went down to mid 70's so the ac units stayed off

    -I used $2 in Plenti points towards my fuel purchase for the week to get me to and from work

    -exchanged library books/movies twice

    -printed two free coloring sheets for my daughter to enjoy

    -printed a $10 off $10 purchase for Payless Shoes, I plan to use this to purchase a pair of sandals for my daughter.

    -Re-read several posts on The Prudent Homemaker blog :)

    -Combined trips (Target, Ear Doctor for daughter, etc) to save gas and time

    -hubby changed the oil and rotated the tires on our car himself.

    -My daughter and I took a walk - free exercise, picked up 10 pennies along the way and 3 plastic bottles (water and soda) and 1 Styrofoam cup (recycled the bottles threw away the cup)

    -hung several loads of clothes on my drying racks due to rain or work schedule rather than use the dryer.

    - used up a half bottle of dish soap that I found in the pantry (not sure why it was in there)

    - harvested black raspberries, green onions, a few strawberries, and parsley. I have lots of pears growing on my two pear trees and 5 punches of grapes growing on my vines!! This is the first bunches of grapes since we planted them a few years ago. I weeded the garden, planted Armenian cucumbers because the other cucumber seeds (pickling cukes) did not sprout, I planted more pumpkin seeds, soapwort seeds, found a surprise tomato plant when pulling weeds, planted more parsley, butter lettuce, and green onions

    - I strained most of the last batch of ACV I made using apple peels and cores, then started a new batch of apple scrap vinegar using the "mother" from the last batch I made and apple peels and cores I had saved in the freezer

    added more soapy water to my jar of reusable cleaning wipes in the kitchen

    I watched A Tudor Feast and Wartime Farm on youtube for free (Thanks Jamie for mentioning it last week :) )

    I reused the morning's coffee grounds to make a few more cups in the afternoon for myself

    Reconstituted evaporated milk to use in my coffee, and use instead of milk in mashed potatoes and oatmeal, etc.

    added kitchen waste to compost pile (not meat or dairy)

    picked some tiny purple/pink flowers for a small bottle to put on my kitchen table

    hubby made a new table for his plants out of an old door (stored in the garage for who knows how long) set on top of an old school book cart. He has cactus plants ( in northern Illinois lol). He put these out in our covered and warm breezeway.

    My old 1980's meat slicer that my mother in law gave us several years ago finally quit working for good. I am now saving my money to purchase a new one.

    Have a great week everyone and I look forward to reading everyone's comments!

  • Marybeth June 26, 2017

    I also watched Wartime Farm. Where did you get the Payless coupon? Can anyone use it?

  • Marybeth, it is gone unfortunately. They had a max number and it ran out. A reader mentioned it to me and by the time I had a moment to check it out it was gone. The site where she mentioned it was

  • Marybeth June 26, 2017


  • Mandy June 27, 2017

    Marybeth - I follow The Krazy Coupon Lady on Facebook. They post deals frequently through out the day :)

  • J June 25, 2017

    Brandy, I love reading your posts and all the comments. I told my husband reading your blog has made us money because it is here where I learned about Ebates a few years ago.

    I did a lot of cooking this week. I made a frozen turkey and used the meat to make turkey wraps, Turkey parmigiano, and also Brandy's Museum Pasta Salad which was a big hit with my mother in law who was visiting us. I didn't have rice vinegar or sugar snap peas on hand, so I substituted with Apple Cider Vinegar and a bit of sugar and frozen peas. It was still great. Very refreshing on a hot day.

    I had to replant some of my vegetables in the garden. Hopefully this time they will grow. This year I am growing beets, beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and Rhubarb. Oh, and a lonely strawberry plant. We planted a blueberry patch 2 summers ago but it is still very young and we are focusing on growing the bushes as opposed to getting a yield of berries.

    I haven't been feeling very frugal lately because of all the money for our almost completed renovations (which have been entirely necessary things such as interior weeping tile, new roof etc or things for our hopeful sale of the house in 2018). However, on Thursday this week we had major rainfall. In 24 hours we got more rain than we normally do in the entire month of June. There was flooding in several nearby cities. Thankfully no flooding at our house, but boy was I thankful for the new roof!!! Otherwise I have been trying to make wise decisions for the reno - being frugal but not cheap if that makes sense. One such decision saved $600.00 this week so I was glad for that.

    I picked up a book at Chapters called Letter Art. It was on clearance for $10.00 (from 36.95) and it has some step by step instructions for some gifts I want to make. I did check and could not find the tutorials for what I wanted online. It also has templates in the back of the book for the entire alphabet that can be photocopied and enlarged for various projects. I am not super Crafty, but there are a few projects I want to try now in the hopes of making some Christmas gifts.

    Have a great week everyone.

  • I love getting the leftovers at events. Many people ask me first, since I have one of the larger families around (though we just have 5 kids). And finding a way to skip purchases is always my favorite way to save!

    Here are the ways we saved this week:

  • Stacy in Galveston June 25, 2017

    Let's see the dress!!!

    Have $43 to make the week on...thankful for gas in the truck and food in the pantry. Love your posts as well as looking over the coments - lots of smart women.

  • Jen June 25, 2017

    We started shopping at Winco 2 weeks ago and we are amazed at how much lower most of their prices are. We bought a case of powdered milk from the store house. Excellent price. Picked several bowls of sugar snap peas from the garden. Using lots of herbs and tomatoes from the garden. We bought a pop up pool this spring for an unbelievably low price and are enjoying swimming in it to cool off in our 100° degree weather. My husband's work had a company picnic at a local minor league baseball game. My hubby took two of the boys and had a wonderful free guy night. One of my sons won a coupon for a free haircut. We used that this week and doesn't he look handsome! Started crocheting a baby blanket with a free Ravelry pattern. I plan on sewing some toddler rompers later this week with some adorable cotton fabric I already have.

  • ellie's friend from Canada June 25, 2017

    I only recently discovered your blog, Brandy, but I love reading it and getting creative ideas on how to save money. This week I didn't have any money to spend. I arranged with my single-mother-gardener to come today and weed. I would have done it myself but found it was just too much physically for me. I'll owe her the money until Wednesday. After she finished weeding (at least the part she was working on), she invited me to go see the most beautiful rose garden. It was stunning so I took several photos. When I came back, she invited me into her veggie garden where she picked Swiss Chard, Kale and herbs (basil, garlic flowers, parsley so I have enough greens to last me for the week. This summer I am going to go to Banff, just for the day. Calgary and region now have a bus to and from Banff and Lake Louise. It is only $10 each way I think. Because of Canada's 150th birthday, entrance to national parks is free so I am going to take the bus to Banff one day soon. Already I've had 2 trips to the mountains to see the wildflowers, courtesy of friends. Most of the summer I will have a staycation but in mid-July friends are taking me to lunch at a "you pick" farm so I will get Saskatoon berries and cherries for my freezer. Another friend is going to give me extra perennials that she has. I bought 6 small rock garden perennials with a gift certificate I won. It has been a wonderful summer so far.

  • Holly June 26, 2017

    I ordered the free Canadian National Parks pass online hoping we will be able to have a day trip to Point Pelee this year. It is nice to hear that you can now take the bus to Banff and Lake Louise. Enjoy it for all of us flatlanders.

  • elie's friend from Canada June 26, 2017

    Undoubtedly you already know, Holly, that you don't actually need the pass to get in free. I ordered mine ages ago but have not received it yet. Calgary and region put this special bus (which goes about 10 times a day) to reduce highway traffic in anticipation of all the tourists. Have a great time at Point Pelee. If I had money and health, I would go from sea to sea to sea to as many of the national parks as I could.

  • Athanasia June 29, 2017

    friend, it does sound like you are having a wonderful summer. Enjoy your mountain scenery and all those lovely flowers.

  • Bethany June 25, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your accomplishments Brandy! What I love most is that you know how to be frugal without being tacky or cheap. I always leave your site feeling inspired. :)

    Some of my frugal accomplishments were harvesting lettuce, thyme, strawberries and lavender from the garden. I also got a free T-shirt from Menards and re-cut it into a fitted T for myself. Some other accomplishments here:

  • Carol June 25, 2017

    I live in Houston where it is hot and humid, not as hot as Nevada but hot nonetheless. But no matter how hot it is outside, men with white collar jobs wear long sleeve shirts all year long. Short sleeved ones are considered unprofessional. Guess this isn't the same in Nevada? I never lived anywhere but TX and always assumed it was that way everywhere

  • This town is extremely casual. When I went to the symphony with my husband last month, I was one of the few women in a dress, and definitely the only one in a long dress; you could have picked me out from the crowd. Many people, both men and women, were wearing jeans and t-shirts to the symphony. I was shocked; people were always dressed up when I went as a youth in Los Angeles. I knew we were a casual town, but still. . . .
    When it comes to work, people are also casual. In some professions, a tie is required but short-sleeves are definitely okay here. I don't know any real estate agents, though, who wear a tie here. Most work is done over the phone and through email. Most male agents that I know wear shorts, flip flops, and short-sleeved shirts or t-shirts to work. No one expects the agents to dress in long pants and certainly not long-sleeves; it was 114º here this week. The shirts that my husband received are all plaid button-downs, so they're more informal and yet much dressier than a t-shirt ;) People dress up for their business card photos but are casual in everyday work and in meeting with clients, unless they have a very high-end clientele.

    It definitely depends on where you live in the country. A friend of mine once commented about her daughter's two wedding receptions. One was in New York state, and everyone went in suits and ties. The other was in Idaho (where the groom was from) and most people showed up in jeans and cowboy boots.

  • Debby in KS June 26, 2017

    I had to comment on the clothes. My best friend & her husband recently went to a funeral (in the Cali desert) and wore what I would. He wore a suit & tie. She wore a dress & heels. She said that one of the cousins walked up to them wearing flip flops, a Hawaiian shirt, & shorts and asked them why they were so dressed up. She's been talking about that for weeks!!!

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