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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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  • Jessica June 27, 2017

    Thank you! That keeps me more inspired to stay on track! I don't need to make a ton of money or have a ton of things. I just want to be comfortable and feel secure. I know life can throw anything my way, so I want to be as prepared as possible.

  • Laurie in AZ June 27, 2017

    I love your idea of charging the cell phone in the car!

  • Jessica June 27, 2017

    Thank you!

  • Rhonda A. June 26, 2017

    You are just amazing, Brandy. Thank you so much for all the inspiration (especially the sewing and craft projects) and for encouraging such a lovely community of frugal people. I've learned so much from everyone here! Love the change purse you made this week. I didn't realize it was handmade until I read your post. So pretty and professionally done! I would love to see the dress you purchased, as someone else mentioned. Always nice when you find a brand new outfit on sale that you know you will wear for a long time. So worth the initial investment. I also love that your daughter and her friends had an outing to the thrift store!

    Well, as usual, we've had yet another crazy week. Today my daughter graduates from grade 8. We have a lot of running around this afternoon. I'm happily reading all the comments until then. Our frugal accomlishments for this week are:
    *Meals made at home included meatballs in Diana's sauce with mashed potato and corn, homemade chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, flavoured rice and green beans, hot turkey sandwiches (used frozen leftover turkey from Easter) with mashed potatoes and corn/green bean mix, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with homemade seasoned & roasted potato chunks, and chicken fingers with tater tots and broccoli.
    *Pulled a bag of homemade beef barley soup and a container of homemade lasagna from the freezer (they were saved leftovers from a while ago) to use as cheap, hardy lunch items for 3 days this week.
    *Still enjoying treats at work baked by my very talented co-workers in the wood stoves of the historic buildings. Some have been exceptionally delicious! We've enjoyed rhubarb tarts, empire cookies, sugar cookies, ginger sparkle cookies, cinnamon rolls, rhubarb cake and so many other amazing baked goods since we started back...YUMMY!
    *I went with my daughter on her grade 8 grad trip to Toronto. It wasn't cheap (paid $120 for each of us!). However, we did have a wonderful time. We attended a show at the Second City comedy club that was fantastic, enjoyed a nice lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory, then went up the CN Tower before heading home. I took healthy snacks from home, which helped us make it through the day. I was very pleased with my daughter's behaviour and I spent less than $30 on the day (a souvenier fidget spinner and a fast food dinner on the way home). Some of the children had never been to Toronto. It was such a wonderful pleasure to witness their pure excitement over this experience.
    *We had to pull out a bunch of my stored houshold items in the garage to look for the double bed frame (Couldn't find it anywhere, unfortunately, so we went to the Salvation Army thrift shop and bought a new one for $52). While we had things pulled out, I looked for items we could use. I pulled my crock pot (my mom's is burning things on the lowest setting), a couple canning jars, my cast iron fry pan, a small casserol dish, a pizza pan, 3 enameled bowls and 2 cheap plastic step stools that my daughter used to use when she was younger (my mom used them for her potted houseplants on the deck). It was like shopping in a thrift store, only everything was free!
    *My husband and I finally watched the movie "The Zookeeper's Wife" for free on our android box. We had wanted to watch it in the movie theatre but it did not last long there for some reason. We really enjoyed it! Now I want to visit the Warsaw Zoo in Poland just because of it's history!!!

    I will keep reading through all the comments as I have time. Thank you all for inspiring me every week!

  • Jeannie June 26, 2017

    This past weekend my busy seasonal work ended until a bit in the fall and winter. Overall I consider it a big success. I only whipped out the credit card a few times for impulse purchases when exhausted. My praises to the ladies who work full time year round. It is difficult and I am impressed by anyone who does it. Now I need to plan what is next, set goals and start “to do” lists.
    *This past week I began weeding the garden, oh what a mess. I harvested cucumbers, greens, onions, strawberries, squash, and feverfew. There is so much more to do.
    *A ridiculous money saver. We realized we were out of coffee filters (running to the store for one item is not something I do), so my husband WASHED the coffee filter and reused it. I offered to iron it to get out the wrinkles. We figured we saved ½ of one penny. But a half penny saved is a half penny earned (Ben Franklin, sort of).
    *An important saver. I had a job in downtown Nashville this past weekend. Two weeks ago when I was working down there I was SHOCKED when I discovered the parking garages have raised their rates from $5.00 for the weekend to $20.00!!!!!!!! Yikes! Walking a long distance late at night in the dark is not something I am willing to do. My brother, my boss, picked up the ticket, but this weekend I wanted to do something else. My husband drove me, dropped me off at the door (woohoo), then went and visited friends. He had fun, I was happy. As a warning, Nashville has become a boom town. Everyone is moving there and the place has gone crazy. It is as if everyone has gold fever. Prices are skyrocketing, gouging is common, and the atmosphere seems to be a frenzied. Gone is the relaxed, polite and friendly atmosphere. Sadly, my old home is gone. Get me back to the country!
    * I finished my series about my odd job. If anyone is interested, I have posted all the links to each post. A bit much, but here they are:


  • Athanasia June 26, 2017

    Jeannie, the job series was very interesting. How lovely to be able to work with family, also.

  • Jeannie June 27, 2017

    Thank you Athanasia. I do love working for my brother and can handle it since it is only seasonal. It wears me out! I have missed reading all my favorite blogs.

  • Jeanne, we are going to Nashville in a couple weeks my sister there halfway. Any frugal ideas for things to do with a family?

  • Janet M Horn June 29, 2017

    Hike to a Waterfall, History buffs won’t want to miss the Tennessee State Museum, Military Museum, and State Capitol tour, all of which are free or tour the Parthenon, a full-scale reproduction of the famous Greek temple, which houses the world’s largest indoor sculpture and the city’s fine arts museum ($6). After, drop by nearby LeQuire Gallery & Studio, where you’ll often find Alan LeQuire, the man who created the Parthenon’s mammoth Athena, at work on his latest sculpture (free).

    Carriage rides are not cheap but you should take one (just negotiate) There is so much to do I hope you have a wonderful time!

  • Jeannie July 02, 2017

    WOW! Janet, you would be a great tour guide.

  • Jeannie July 01, 2017

    Yes, there are a million frugal things to do. When we lived there and I homeschooled, I decided we would do the free things first and then we never had time for the expensive things!
    I recommend this website. It is a magazine that lists what is happening and what it costs.
    It depends on what you like to do and the ages of your children but the city's attractions are unlimited. What do you like to do?

  • Sheena June 26, 2017


    I went to the secondhand clothes sale for both schools ( I have a son and 2 daughters). I saved £40 on a blazer for my son ( needed small amount of mending). I found tops for my youngest for £1 each- bought all I could find. It is easier in the morning if you have not run out of uniform! Bought my youngest a 'big girl rucksack' for next year. I ran into a friend and she mentioned that it looked brand new ( it is pristine). My daughter has insisted on using it before next year. I also bought sports kit. I checked the 'new' website-saved over £220! Yes!

    Sold £20 of children's old shoes and clothes on eBay.

    Eating down freezer as it is playing up. Don't know if it is due to heatwave - here in London it has been 35C. I know it is not much compared to some people on here but it is a lot for us. I think the guarantee has expired so slightly miffed. Just eating food now - no buying. One way of saving money.

    Filled up on cheap petrol at supermarket- loyalty card and credit card ( fully paid monthly) give a lot of avois which I am saving for a trip in approx 4 years ( lots of saving to do).

    I gave my rescue dog ( angel) leftover chicken flesh bits ( no bone) after I had made stock instead of a tin. He loved it. I am looking into making his food myself as I don't like what I read on the side of his tins/ pellet bags- but need to get it right.

    Like everyone else I really value this community as people round here don't concentrate on saving money at all.

    That's all from me for now.

  • I hope your freezer lasts, and if not, I hope you can get everything eaten before then so there is no waste!

    I love that you are saving for a trip in 4 years. It's something I'd like to do, too. Right now I am only dreaming and researching. Hopefully one day I'll get to go!

  • C June 26, 2017

    This particular week wasn't frugal but for good reason.

    Our cat managed to get fleas when I took her to the shelter for discount shots and the entire house became infested. I created flea traps with water and soap that didn't really work but we were able to kill off most of the fleas by vacuuming our carpet and sprinkling borax over it. We also bathed the cat with dawn dish soap and fed her flea-killing pills. The pills were not cheap but the other ways of getting rid of fleas were definitely frugal and much more environmentally friendly than buying flea shampoo and fumigators, etc.

    However, we did spend a lot of money this week. A lot of our church members are going on medical missions this summer and we supported many of them financially. One sister didn't get a single donation until we gave. Additionally, we hosted a game night that many of the church members attended - most of them are college kids with limited budgets so this was a great way for them to have fun and enjoy fellowship without spending any money. We also fed them tacos and soda.

    It was a hit in our budget but we felt the Lord move us to give, even though it hurt. It was a blessing to be able to give as much as we could in different ways as a way of thanking the Lord for us being able to live rent free. I was proud that we were able to do so much. We also put our babysitting services up for a mission fund-raising auction and made $200 for the goers! :)

    Next week, we will be using a gift card to a restaurant to treat our pastor and his wife (who is pregnant for the first time!) to a meal. We are thankful to the giver of the gift card and thankful we could pass on his gift.

  • Athanasia June 26, 2017

    We are having a cool, windy day, but fortunately no more rain for the moment. This is such a growing time of year, so productive and so much more to look forward to.

    We did all the usual of cooking and baking at home, eating at home, hanging out laundry to dry when it wasn't raining, composting, recycling, mending. We're all doing the adult summer reading at the public library and it is getting a little competitive. Baby Dora is participating in my Church library summer reading and with 6 adults regularly reading to her she is doing good too.

    We have harvested rhubarb, chives, mint, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, dill, thyme, edible pod peas, various lettuces, spinach, kale, and strawberries. We managed to get a goodly number of berries, though we were worried. We have had quite a bit of rain and then the forecast predicted up to 7 in of rain coming. So my husband, youngest daughter, oldest daughter and her husband rigged up a tented cover for the bed using clothesline, clothesline poles, tarps, tent stakes. Fortunately there was no wind, just steady rain. We ended up with 5 inches when all done but the strawberries did not drown and we've been picking all week.

    We had relatively quite 2 weeks.

    We did a one day girls trip with oldest and youngest daughters, granddaughter Dora, daughter in law, her baby Anna Joy, myself, my mother and daughter in law's mother... drove over to spend the day with middle daughter. We all went over there as they were having a city wide rummage sale in their town of about 2500 people. We took a coolers with beverages and snacks and food for a picnic lunch. Johanna made cookies for the dessert. We drove my car so I could bring scooter and daughter in law's mini van so place for carseats, purchases, and a place for the babies to stay behind if they were napping,with one or two of the grandmas. It rained on an off but that does not stop garage sales here one bit. Tornado maybe. We ate lunch at the park. We didn't go to her apartment and her roomate (her cousin) had worked the night shift at the hospital and was sleeping.

    We found many items at the sales. For ourselves I bought a tabletop rotating CD holder that I can use in the library, 24 various books and a church cookbook, a clear plastic bag (prob about 20 gal size) of fabric pieces that were mostly cotton but some wool, a Gingher pinking sheers, random balls of yarn, 2 men's flannel shirts, 40+ pieces of silverware most not matching but can be added to our extra silverware we use for big gatherings. A small fleece blanket still in a wrapper. 3 full rolls of paper from an adding machine...these are fun to use to make small banners and signs.

  • Athanasia June 29, 2017

    To the sales I also picked up some partly used spiral notebooks, a 3" loose leaf binder, a gallon size baggie with random sizes and lengths of elastic, ribbon and ric-rac. Also some random pieces of play food, dishes to go with the play kitchen we have in our basement from when my children were young. Last I think was a small stake that had a butterfly and the word FAITH on it for putting into a flower pot. The two mothers were mainly on the lookout for baby clothes in larger sizes and they did OK. The cutest thing they found were 2 white fake fur hooded winter dress coats in size 4. The family selling had twin girls, well our 2 new granddaughters are only 3 months apart and measured the same length at birth, so they think they will run the same size.
    We also picked up a few boy outfits for my sister in law's new baby. They did not come along. Eliana found 2 nice pair of rubber garden boots at 2 different sales...she says she can never have too many of those for the farm. The biggest sized purchase we found was a Cozy Coupe in great condition, no bent wheels. We checked. We bought it as a surprise for Susie's baby boy...They live in an area with sidewalks so they could make use of it. We had to tie that onto the top of my car. As far as adult clothes for the women, that was hit or miss due to a lot of the clothes being inappropriate for us. But we still had a very fun, full, frugal day.

    Some of the items cooked and baked over the last 2 weeks were banana nut bread, white bread, Brandy's French bread, corn muffins, rhubarb pie, banana cream pie, 10 pie crusts for the freezer, butterscotch pudding, jello fluff, sloppy joes...vegetarian and with meat. Made egg salad sandwich filling, tuna-macaroni shell salad plus a vegetarian version, vegetable wild rice soup (normally I don't make soup in the summer but we have had such a cold damp spring we needed it), macaroni and cheese, kabobs with beef, with tofu and with vegetables and lemon rice pilaf, plain yogurt. Had corn on cob 2x. Was just OK. It looked good but it's already old by the time it gets to store.

    We had our VBS last week so it was busy. Our church has a meal every night for the workers and their families which is very helpful. It is nothing fancy but at 5 there is a buffet of sandwiches, chips, fruit and salads, no dessert. Everyone can gather, discuss plans for the night, have prayer time and start refreshed and frazzle free. A group of ladies started this years ago when they noticed their children starting to move into the adult roles in VBS and that lives were so much busier in general. This has to be 25 years at least. Now this week our missionary Patti and my youngest girl Olivia have taken off with the group of 23 Jr and Sr high teens and 11 adults for 2 weeks to work with 2 sister churches and their VBS programs and some building projects. it's very quiet around the house! so we had our tenants over one night for a cookout and strawberry shortcake.

    So far I have done 16 pints of strawberry jam and 3 half pints. I also sugared and mashed some and packed in 1 C freezer containers for adding to homemade ice cream later in the summer. We sold a lot of rhubarb at the farm stand. Finished shelling and freezing peas.

    We sold our 1970 VW bus to one of my husband's nephew's for $1.00. It was the first car my husband's family owned, bought back when he was 16 and they had just left Amish and needed a vehicle to hold 10+ people. We used it more when our children were younger for traveling and camping, then my husband used it for deliveries (seats removed) and to tow the trailer, also for deliveries. It could use more and more work so the nephew will be able to do that. My husband bought a panel truck to use instead.

    We enjoyed time outdoors in the garden and birdwatching and sky watching, when it wasn't raining. The mosquitoes are just emerging. Ick. We did get the concrete footings done earlier in the month for our deck. That will serve as a back yard for us. We really only have a front yard as our house is built in the side yard of the big house next door. We have a front patio that runs a good portion of the front of the house that my kitchen looks out on to. Then we have no side yards as out 3+car garage and connecting breezeway angles down and takes that up. The concrete apron of that meets up along the patio. So the patio in front is great for my potted plants, vegetable pots, large gatherings, star gazing etc, cooking out, hanging laundry etc etc but it is not at all private. The deck in the back will face the woods, be more shaded and more quiet. The drive shares with my daughter's house just beyond us, the inner road that goes to the other farms, then down towards the road with my husband's woodworking business and then finally the farm stand and the two businesses' small parking lot along the county road.

    For those starting the 4th of July holiday already this weekend, hope you have safe and fun plans. Yes, also, Brandy thank you for the time you give for a safe place for all these women to share their lives with each other. As said, you are much appreciated.

  • Em June 26, 2017

    I look forward to reading these weekly posts and comments! It's always a great source of ideas and it's wonderful to see other people living this lifestyle. I wish a bunch of you lived near me! I live in Aurora, CO and I have yet to find friends with the same frugal mindset. Everyone my age (late 30s) just wants to go to bars. I prefer potlucks, barbecues, and game nights! Anywho, here's my frugal week:

    Made zucchini muffins for my fiance's fishing trip using zucchini I had frozen from last season.
    Made bread pudding using old bread about to go stale.
    Made homemade spinach dip for snacks at work.
    Home cooked all 3 meals all week.
    Worked in the vegetable garden and harvested some spinach that's about to bolt.
    Planted lettuce seeds and planted three raspberry bushes.
    Planted the ends of a few bunches of green onions to regrow. I'm working on getting a few pots worth so I'll have green onions year round.
    Mended a couple of work shirts with holes in the shoulder area.
    Hung clothes outside with clothes rack.

  • Kim June 26, 2017

    We had unusually warm weather (for the Pacific Northwest) -almost 100 degrees this weekend so at the last minute we decided to head to the beach. My adult daughter and her family headed down earlier in the day. I was anxious about this because I had not budgeted for this outing but at the same time I realize we have to capture the summer days while they are here. I was very pleasantly surprised when we reached the beach cabin, and my daughter had brought food and had dinner ready and waiting. Then another pleasant surprise was that the small beach town was having a festival and there were lots of free activities that my grandson really enjoyed. My husband and I enjoyed a great sunset on the beach. It turned out to be a great summer weekend to remember with no danger to my budget at all!

    We stopped at a Marshalls store on the way home and to my delight they had a good selection of Gap brand underwear and socks on sale. I was able to purchase Gap socks for all the guys and my daughter for Christmas- each person will get 2-3 pair of nice quality socks for a total of $10! This was a save in more ways than one- we were going right by the store so there was no extra gas money or time involved.
    Due to the warm weather, I was able to line dry 3 loads of laundry.
    We stopped in at a garage sale while at the beach and I was able to purchase a brand new, never-used small French press coffee pot. My adult son uses a French press every day for his morning coffee. His French press is larger in size and so he ends up wasting a bit of coffee each morning as it is difficult to measure out the one cup he has and he lives alone so nobody to share it with. With this new smaller pot, there will be no more waste. The smaller French press was only $3 so I am sure he will quickly save more than $3 worth of coffee.
    I too feel very honored to be part of this blog community and feel so very grateful to Brandy for all the encouragement she provides us.

  • Shelley June 26, 2017

    This is the only blog I follow! I look forward to the blog and replies every week. I had 2 no spend days this week. My goal is 10 days a month with no money spent. I have a paper planner, everyday I write what I spend and add it up at the end of the month. I shop Aldi, Sam's Club, Publix and Kroger. This was not a very frugal week. My husband traveled and usually save money on food. Not this week we ate out 3 times. Oh well my sons was spending the night at a friends and I treated my daughter.

  • Oh wow! So many great comments this week (like usual but more prolific). I'm having a blast reading them all! Thanks for hosting us every week, Brandy!

    It's been busy and frugal around here. Still trying to wrap my "variable pay brain" around regular paychecks but I am getting there!

    My list for the week and garden update can be found here...

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