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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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  • Cindy in the South June 28, 2017

    All the lawyers wear a blazer coat and tie for court here, it is required. However, many wear short sleeves under their coat. Khaki trousers are sorta standard. You can always tell the out of town lawyers (from the big cities of Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, etc.) because they have on a very expensive

  • Cindy in the South June 29, 2017

    I should say, the male lawyers wear that. All of my female colleagues wear suits for jury trials, but wear simple slacks, dress, or skirt, with a simple blouse for court, and usually, but not always, a suit jacket. Many wear very bright colored suits and clothes and it is considered appropriate here. For days that we are not in court, the dress is still business but much more casual, and if we are not in court on Fridays, we have blue jean day. Of course if we are having court, we dress up.

  • Cindy S. June 28, 2017

    I think its awful the way some people dress for some situations. I know in the end being there is what matters, but at least make an effort to look nice when going to church, a funeral or the symphony!

  • Joanie June 28, 2017

    In the movies, and as I recall in real life, all the men back home in Houston in contact with the astronauts ("Houston, we have a problem") wore white short sleeved shirts and ties. Weren't those scientists considered professionals? Of course that was a long time ago.

  • Athanasia June 28, 2017

    Most people dress up here for work. Unless there is a work uniform like at the gas station or a fast food restaurant or factory. Our doctor wears a long sleeve shirt and tie year round. There is a thing that a lot follow, like in banks, other business and schools, called casual Friday where folks can wear in maybe khakis and their favorite sports jersey or polo shirt. Even at our grocer they used to wear short and long sleeve white shirts with a black tie. That was until this Kroger thing took over and now they wear a polo shirt. We were at the car dealer as my car is still under warranty so they do the oil change and I remember the service department (not the mechanics) and the sales folks were all wearing shirts and ties.

    But when I was younger everyone in general dressed nicer I think, but even so, to me a tshirt is still underwear, not the final presentation.

  • Marybeth June 25, 2017

    I look forward to this post every week. I have very few friends that are frugal. Thank you Brandy for all of the time and effort you put into it.
    We had a very busy and expensive week because my son graduated High school. We did find some ways to save:
    -We did all of the yard work and house work ourselves.
    -We borrowed a friend's power washer to clean the patio, driveway and outside furniture.
    -We used our 17 year old canopy tent. The elastic that holds the tarps together have all broken. We just use zip ties now.
    -We borrowed my B-I-Ls small canopy tent also.
    -We borrowed some chairs from a neighbor.
    -We borrowed an extra cooler from Sister #3.
    -The night of the ceremony we had whoever came to the ceremony back at our house(Thursday night). We had a light dinner before. We served cake after. We brought our own water bottles with us.
    -We did most of the cooking ourselves: burgers, hotdogs, sausage patties, coleslaw, pasta salad, quiche, bean salad.
    -We took whatever food was offered: My mom brought baked beans, Sister #3 brought a sushi platter, Sister #5 brought a veggie platter with dip, a cousin brought pastries and 2 friends brought cookies. We are very lucky to have such wonderful friends and family.
    -We did order a cake from BJs. When I went to pick it up they couldn't find it. They had the order but no cake. I said OK please just write on a different cake that they have for walk ins. The girl asked if I could wait a few minutes and she would do it right then. I said sure. When it was done she said the cake was on the house for being so nice and understanding about the situation. $24.99 for free.
    -We had so many leftovers that I sent home some with my parents, 2 of my sisters, and an Aunt. No one else wanted any. We have leftovers for lunch and dinner today. I already packed my lunch and hubbies for tomorrow.
    -My husband ordered a part for his truck($73) and did the repair himself saving us $.
    -I shopped sales and bought most of the supplies and food ahead of time saving $.

  • Athanasia June 29, 2017

    Marybeth, what a nice outcome on the missing cake.

  • Amber June 30, 2017

    That is a nice outcome on the cake. Last year we ordered 2 sheet cakes from Costco for my daughter's wedding. They had a beautiful small tiered cake made by a lovely friend that they cut & everyone else had sheet cake plated in the kitchen. When we got to Costco the day of the wedding the cakes were wrong. They found my order sheet & sure enough the mistake was on their end. The bakery just shrugged at me and told me I could take it or not. There was no time for them to make it right and it was not the end of the world, but talk about terrible customer service. I even asked to talk to a manager but they said there was no one to talk to. I was pretty irked.

  • Allyson June 25, 2017

    I haven't posted in a while, but had the chance tonight. I love your blog, Brandy! It is a bright spot and encouraging to me. Thanks to everyone for sharing comments, I always come away with new ideas.

    Highlights this week included picking a gallon of blueberries from a friend. We've been invited back to pick this week. I resisted purchasing sandals new online for baby and found a barely worn pair on consignment for $3. I made all our meals at home with veggies from the CSA. We had two shared meals with my mom, including a yummy sweet and sour stir fry with shrimp. She purchased the shrimp and we provided the veggies and cooked. I made a batch of Brandy's granola for breakfast. I took the boys to a free program that the library did with animals. They loved it, and I got to visit with a friend.

    Thanks everyone for sharing!

  • Libby June 25, 2017

    The Caprese salad looks delicious and healthy. A sure sign of summer.

    Thank you for this community and sharing of your life. I love reading what others are doing and it helps me keep up my determination to live frugally and make conscious choices about what I do with my money.

    I'm on a "use it up" kick. I have two bottles of laundry detergent that my mother bought when she stayed with me during recovery from surgery almost two years ago. Both bottles are scented and I prefer unscented detergent. However, I'm almost out of the unscented so rather than buying more, I'm using up the two other bottles first. I also went through a large plastic bag of hotel shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer. I'm almost out of my shampoo and haven't seen it on sale yet. I'm using up all of the hotel shampoos rather than buying more shampoo.

    Blueberries were finally on a good sale here - $1.69 pint. I bought 10 pints, washed and froze them to use in baking and smoothies this winter. Found a celery bunch on sale for $1.29. Diced it and froze to use in winter soups.

    While cooking, I listened to an interesting Ted Talk on fear setting rather than goal setting by Tim Ferriss. I have been struggling with when to spend the money on doing a MAJOR home repair. Using his technique helped me work through my fears: having just enough money but then having the project run over, how much is enough in my emergency fund and how much do I have for this repair, etc.

    My brother is an architect and I asked him if he would draw up plans for this project. He said he would do it as a gift to me. I took photos and measurements to send to him.

    The lease is up in our office and we are moving. I accepted freebies from my employer of: shower curtain rod sample, a wall clock, and some exotic wood samples.

  • jenifer June 25, 2017

    The satin pouch is so pretty.
    I agree, your weekly blog keeps me from feeling lonely in the frugal department.
    I recently lost my job, and through prayer and many discussions it was decided my path is to maintain the house and sell online. It's been a little bit of an adjustment on my ego/pride but it is going well. I think the lack of a weekly paycheck has me more determined to make use of what I have and to sell what really isn't needed. It's almost a high.
    We had about a half a cup of cubed cheese (from a dinner party) that was drying out. Minced it as best as I could and made your potato/zucchini cakes with the cheese added. Delicious!
    Have wonderful week!

  • Jenifer,
    I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job. As our work doesn't mean a regular paycheck, it certainly means always striving to make the most of what we have. My husband and I are constantly finding new ways to save money. The fact that we can still find new ways to save is always surprising and satisfying!

    If you ever have cheese that is drying out (say leftover after cutting on a platter and no one ate the last few pieces) you can put it in a bag in the freezer, and then use it when you need to top something with cheese that will be melted. I've saved bits and pieces of cheese this way many times and then I use it all together on a recipe.

  • Jenifer June 26, 2017

    Brandy, your name has been a common reference that past few years in our house. My husband calls your rosemary olive oil bread "Brandy's bread" even when he gifts a loaf.
    Thank you for your work with your website.

  • KathyB June 26, 2017

    I'm sorry to hear about your job loss, and I am in the same situation. I have been praying about starting my own business, and while I believe the answer is yes, I'm still nervous about it and worried about income (my faith for others is strong...when it comes to me..not so much!) My husband is completely supportive and not worried at all, but it's a shock to the system! This blog is so helpful and inspiring...I wish you luck with your online venture!

  • Jenifer June 26, 2017

    It will be ok.(I'm like you, easier to have faith in others) 2 weeks before my job ended, I was pumped, the house was going to be ready for the queen in 2 days and EBay sales were going to be good enough to carry me through until unemployment kicked in.
    It took 2 weeks to get the house clean enough for the queens driver and EBay sales were awful. And all those pre job loss pep talks started to make me feel worse. But then things started to pick up sales wise, and the fact the house is more in order... Point is, do the pep talks, and don't quit. The jump off point might not be the smoothest but you will survive.
    And honestly this blog - reading, taking notes, the community really helped over the years easpecially the first 2 weeks (after job loss) not be a complete crisis.
    You can and will do it. And you'll do it well!

  • Laurie in AZ June 27, 2017


    I recently quit my job of 15 years. While it was a very exciting job, it was also completely hard deadline driven and I loved my boss, but he was a bit ADD (literally) and wanted everything NOW. I made a lot of wonderful memories, but I am so happy to be home now. I am LIVING my life. My frugality is my job, but I now have a flexible schedule. If I want to spend the morning with my grandson, I can. I can take the time to pray every morning. I'm enjoying having the time to really cook and not just do quick dinners.

    I had stayed home with my kids when they were in school, but went back to work when my husband was laid off. Once he was employed again, my money was extra. I used it to pay off all of our debt, college for both kids, my daughter's wedding, 2 vehicles, a few nice vacations and a home remodel, all in cash.

    I do miss the money a little bit, but I love my freedom more. And I'm very lucky to have a husband who is completely supportive.

    Good luck with your Ebay sales!

  • Athanasia June 29, 2017

    Jennifer, I am not understanding. What is the queen and the queens driver?

    I pray your new life plans go smoothly.

  • Linda Higgy July 04, 2017

    Athanasia, it is a reference to the story "When The Queen Rides By" listed on Brandy's website, under Encouragement. A wonderful read and a potent impression!

  • Athanasia July 04, 2017

    Oh thank you for the answer!!! However, I checked our library system and no one seems to have it.

  • Cindy in the South June 28, 2017

    So sorry to hear of your job loss. I went through that during the recession and it is tough.

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