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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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  • Leigh Ann June 26, 2017

    I know that there are some Lidl stores opening in the States, and we look forward to it eventually making its way to where we are (TX). A friend goes to one in SC, and says that it's similar to Aldi.

  • Annie-Blake June 26, 2017

    What a very productive week you had! Beautiful coin purse too.

    I also don't know anyone with a similar frugal outlook so it's great to connect with others. I appreciate your down to earth, knowledgable and pretty photos blog!

    Our week was fantastic, as is every week!

    -bought $5pp tickets for my family to attend a French Festival in the CBD (online presale). Children get free admission. There will be, amongst other things, a whole section dedicated to free children's activities! Plus a free story book.
    -found a French playgroup for my children to attend, 2 hours every Saturday morning. It seems quite craft based. Looking forward to checking it out.
    -spent $36 on the weekly grocery shop. I was $30 over budget last week so this weeks minimal cost puts us back on budget.
    -went to the foreshore with the children's scooter and trike. We met a friend and her children there. We had a play, walk and picnic on a perfect sunny day plus a nice chat.
    -made ice-cream in the blender using, amongst other ingredients, berries picked off our Lilly Pilly's. It came out a lovely purple.
    -made healthy snack muffins with oats, banana, peeled green apples, egg, melted butter, honey and wholemeal flour
    -did not have to fill up the car with is on half full after 3 weeks
    -now wanting to listen to some swing music : )

  • Becky @ Becky's Place June 27, 2017

    :D After reading Brandy mentioning listening to swing on Pandora, I actually did the same last night while reading comments. Fun!

  • Athanasia June 29, 2017

    Annie what is the CBD you refer to? I only know it as Christian Book Distributors.

  • Darcy June 26, 2017

    Thank you, Brandy, for consistently posting about your frugal accomplishments each week. It is so appreciated. I love coming here to read everyone's comments and keeping motivated to stay frugal. My husband and I are empty nesters, looking to build up our retirement funds, and getting out of debt before I retire in another decade or so (my husband will be retiring sooner). There is always something to learn here.

    A coworker gave me a large grocery bag full of Swiss chard from her garden. I will be trying your soup, Brandy!

    I made Greek yogurt in the slow cooker.

    On Saturday we celebrated our oldest granddaughter's 8th birthday. Our second oldest daughter made Subway-like sandwiches (she worked at Subway through high school) served with chips, fresh fruit and a cookie cake for dessert.

    We celebrated Father's Day at our oldest daughter and son-in-law's house. We had Italian sausage and bratwurst on the grill. I brought homemade potato salad and fresh fruit. We also swam in their pool with our grandsons.

    Our youngest daughter moved out of our house and into her apartment so we have some extra space again. I am looking forward to using my sewing machine more and making some aprons for my daughters and grandchildren for Christmas gifts.

  • Laurie in AZ June 26, 2017

    We are in the same stage of life as you are, Darcy. We are taking a hard look at where we are and where we want to be in 10 years when we retire. I just quit my job of 15 years due to some company changes. My husband says I should just say I am retired, but I am not all together sure that I won't go back to work eventually. I am enjoying being extra frugal now that I have the time!

  • Marci June 26, 2017

    I took delivery on 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Zaycon. I trimmed bits of fat from the meat and froze about 30 pounds of chicken breast. I canned 10 pounds and then made 4 quarts of chicken rice soup with the bits I'd trimmed. I bought 25 pounds of carrots for about $5. I will be canning those next week.

  • Janet Horn June 26, 2017


    You are a great hostess of this blog. It is such a lovely group because of you. We all look forward to coming here to have this talk about living within our means , and many of us get busy with life and have seasons where we do not comment however, we are still extremely grateful to you and all of your work. It is a wonderful place to come together each week for this conversation.

  • Thanks Janet!

  • Jessica June 26, 2017

    Thank you for always posting and creating this great little online community. I am younger (in my 20s) and it seems like it's not "cool" to be frugal. My husband and I have tried to make smart choices about money since we got married 4 years ago. But our friends don't seem to be on the same page. So I don't have a lot of people to talk about this kind of stuff with. It feels so good to really be supported and encouraged.

    Anyway, here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - made two more raised strawberry beds
    -charged electronics at work or in car as much as possible
    -made an extra $180
    -washed only full loads of laundry, except for a load of delicates
    -accepted leftovers from my parents
    -continued to eat from pantry. I have about $30 left in my grocery budget for the month, which I probably won't need unless we run out of milk. My husband is a big milk drinker. It's one of the few things he insists on having, so we make it happen. Right now, milk is less than $1 a gallon at our Aldi's, so it's not a budget breaker or anything.
    -set up new bank accounts that have higher interest rates. In the first month, we received $10.50 in interest on our checking and savings accounts!
    -combined errands as much as possible
    -checked out books and movies from library
    -we have seen an unusual drop in temperatures here lately, so we haven't ran our air conditioner in 4 days.
    -got free dirt to fill in our retaining wall for our landscaping. Got some plants on sale to finish the landscaping. It looks wonderful! I'm so happy to have that project done!
    -used the internet at work after hours to complete an online training. This saved me in gigabytes since we get charged a fee if we go over a certain amount.
    -cooked 2 large meals and then reheated leftovers throughout the week to avoid heating up the house.
    -changed dishwasher cycle to take off the heated dry feature
    -exercised without using electricity
    -made 2 loaves of bread and a batch of soft pretzels
    -I had to buy a new pair of black sandals, as my old ones had broken. I found a pair on sale for $15.
    -changed the dog's food to a cheaper brand.
    -caught shower water. I still haven't had to actually run the sprinklers since it rained quite a bit last week. We've had little bits of rain occasionally since then and the garden has stayed pretty good. We are supposed to get more rain later this week, but the garden will probably need a light watering before then.
    -found a shampoo that I like on sale for 78 cents a bottle. I bought 2
    -practiced shooting my bow for fun
    -picked lettuce and radishes from garden. I have TONS of tomatoes coming on. They are still green right now. I'm also seeing little beans, pumpkins, zucchinis, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and watermelons on my plants. Hopefully, they all survive!
    -Picked chives, basil, and parsley from the garden. Dehydrated and stored them.

    I think that's mostly everything. I hope everyone else had a wonderful week and found some great ways to save some money. I always enjoy reading through the comments and seeing what everyone else is doing. You guys give me great ideas!

  • J June 26, 2017

    Jessica, you and your husband are making wise choices that you will not regret. These will have long term rewards.

  • Jessica June 26, 2017

    I hope you're right! We are trying to pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible. Then we will be completely debt free. That will be a great day!

  • Free dirt is such a blessing! It's expensive to buy and always kind of a bummer to pay for, in my opinion! I've bought dirt many times.

  • Jessica June 26, 2017

    Absolutely! A person we know is building an addition in their home with a basement. They had all the dirt from the basement to get rid of. We were glad to have it!

  • Cindi June 26, 2017

    Jessica, you are wise beyond your years to save now. Learning to live frugally now will pay big dividends the rest of your life -- and the money you save now will compound and be a real boon to you later on. Staying debt-free will give you the freedom to do things your less-frugal friends won't be able to do, and you'll be much better prepared to weather emergencies. Good for you!!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. June 26, 2017

    Jessica, I completely agree with Cindi. Keep up the good work!

  • Jessica June 27, 2017

    Thank you!

  • Jessica June 27, 2017

    Thank you! I just feel so much less stressed when I am making smart money decisions. I am not perfect, but I do try very hard to be a good steward of the blessings I have been given.

  • Trust me after years of not smart decisions followed by the recession we are still reeling from ... you will be glad for the little sacrifices!!!

  • Juls Owings June 27, 2017

    Please keep doing what you are doing. When my kids were your age only 1 stayed frugal and the others followed their friends. Guess which one is retiring at 40 and owns his house? His siblings sigh with regret when they get to talking of life at family dinners. He doesn't rub it in and has many times called the youngest for advice on grocery shopping and meals. The oldest says she "ate" her retirement ... I'm proud of the choices you are making. Stay strong.

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