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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 26, 2017

    Another reader, 3-4 years ago mentioned eating the sprinkles on bread and they had a Dutch name for it. I have forgotten the name.

  • Chocolade hagel? There's different types too, like "fruit" flavoured coloured sprinkles or candy-coated anise seed "mice". But chocolate is my fave, obs!

  • Cath June 27, 2017

    We call sprinkles on bread fairy bread here in Australia. It's a birthday party standard :)

  • Laurie in central NC June 25, 2017

    I'm so thankful for you and this wonderful online community. I expect few of us have others close by that share our frugal spirit. I've been looking forward to our first caprese salad, and saw this weekend that our first tomatoes are beginning to turn color! Some of our wine grapes are beginning to ripen. So far, we've only eaten them fresh, and they're lovely that way. I tried something new with our fallen apples; trying to make apple cider vinegar with them after adding a bit of honey. I'm hoping the honey adds enough sugar so they'll ferment. Always the experimenter! Joining in here:

  • Jenny June 26, 2017

    Tell us how the apple cider vinigar goes.

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden June 25, 2017

    You had a great week! Your purse is very pretty. The charm just makes it. I've been busy here in the garden. You can go here to see a list of the ways I've saved this past week:

  • Laurie in AZ June 25, 2017

    Hello everyone! I too am thankful for this website. I have lived frugally most of my life. There have been times where it was a lonely existence, as no one I knew was living this way. Not only did they not live frugally, but they criticized me for doing so! It is great to share with like minded people. Thank you, Brandy!

    My frugal accomplishments this week:

    * Received a free 2018 calendar.
    * Received 8 free birthday cards from a charity I support.
    * Saved carrot peels, onion skins and ends and celery leaves. I keep a bag in the freezer and add these whenever I have them. I will use the bag of scraps when I make turkey or chicken stock from a carcass.
    * We live in a 2 story rented home with 2 ac units. I made sure I raised the upstairs thermostat to 84 during the day, as I do not go up there most of the day. Also raised the downstairs thermostat to 78 degrees as much as I could. I run warm and live in the Phoenix area and I usually turn the ac to 75 degrees just to be comfortable.
    * Hubby is pretty good about using whatever brand of most items, but he is particular about his deodorant. Was able to buy 6 containers for more than 1/2 off each of them by combining sales and coupons, so he is stocked up for now.
    * Drank free tea and coffee that I got from work.
    * Our back porch is really slippery when wet (we have a pool) and hubby and I were tempted to buy a rug for the porch, but resisted and are just using an old beach towel instead.
    * Found a dime on the sidewalk :-)
    * Wore pants more than once to save on laundry.
    * Walked and did water aerobics in the pool to save on gym costs.
    * Wore older clothes when I wasn't leaving the house.
    * Cut up an old shirt into 5 inch squares to use to wipe out my cast iron skillet. This saves on paper towels and I can just throw the rag away. This shirt had tassels and some gemstones sewn onto it. I cut those off and saved for a future craft project.
    * Ate leftovers for lunch all week.
    * Washed ziplock bags and saved bread bags to reuse.
    * Made stirfry one night with leftover pork tenderloin that had been in the freezer for a while. Also used leftover rice from the freezer for that. I used up some asparagus that was leftover from our anniversary dinner out last week and other assorted vegetables that I have in the freezer. Ate the leftovers for lunch.
    * Combined errands to save on gas.
    * Mended a pair of pants.
    * Used free hotel toiletries all week
    * Hubby has agreed to take his lunch a few times a week instead of eating out. This has been a difficult conversion, but he has finally volunteered. This is a huge victory for me! I already have his lunch packed for tomorrow! And I am looking forward to coming up with interesting lunches for him.
    * I donate to a couple of charities every month and have always written a check and mailed. Just realized I could donate online using my credit card, so I am saving stamps and getting miles on my credit card.
    * The windows in my kitchen eating area are not covered. They are on the north of the house so they don't get much sun, but it is a 3 window bay area, so one of the windows faces northeast and gets the afternoon sun in the summer. We hung up a sheet to block it and it has worked great. Doesn't look great, but we are just here temporarily so we really don't care what it looks like.
    * Kept grocery shopping to a minimum. Hope to not have to buy any more this week.
    * Found my umbrella clothesline and clothespins. I can insert the clothesline into the a sleeve in the pools cool deck that is for a volleyball net. I will dry this week's laundry on that.

    Have a great week everyone!!!

  • Maxine June 25, 2017

    My husband never took his lunch to work until the last 3 or 4 years before retirement. One day, I didn't make a lunch for him and he complained that he would have to go to a restaurant to eat! Besides saving a ton of money, lunches from home tend to be "real food" in amounts it's healthy to eat. A lot of restaurant meals leave you coming back to work and wanting a nap!

    Here is a tip from a friend of mine: Every night, when she is cleaning up from dinner, she packs lunches for the next day. Not only does this use up the leftovers, it gets both jobs done faster. Depending on what they had for dinner, how much is left, etc., she adds fruit, fresh veggies, yogurt, dessert if they have any, etc. Her husband's co-workers always comment on what great lunches he brings.

  • Darcy June 26, 2017

    My husband usually takes a salad or homemade soup along with my homemade Greek yogurt with fruit to work with him. He works with a couple of young men who buy fast food for lunch most days. When my husband and these young men started working together they called his food "gourmet" and commented on how "healthy" everything is. Now, several months later, after my husband has shared his food with them, they are asking for the recipes and asking to eat his food, especially the Greek yogurt. They have gone out to buy him lunch just so they could have some of the food he has brought with him.

  • Athanasia June 26, 2017

    Darcy, maybe you should write out a couple of your recipes that the guys liked and give them to your husband to take to work. Sometimes men (and women) think cooking from scratch is too hard when in reality they just don't understand how to follow a recipe and picture how it should be.

  • Rhonda A. June 26, 2017

    Or maybe as a Christmas gift, offer to teach those boys how to make yogurt or one of the recipes that they would like to learn how to cook. Pretty cheap gift that keeps on giving!

  • Darcy June 26, 2017

    Those are great ideas, Athanasia and Rhonda A.! I am on vacation this week so I plan on making them a nice pot of mushroom soup and enough yogurt to share. :)

  • SJ in Vancouver BC June 26, 2017

    Your story reminded me of when I had my first job out of college. I worked with a man who always brought 2 sandwiches and a piece of fruit for lunch. When we'd go out on jobs together, he'd give me one of the sandwiches and I'd buy him a bag of chips. I always thought I got the better end of that deal. At that time, it didn't occur to me to make my own sandwich.

  • Darcy June 26, 2017

    Yes, they are always sharing their food with each other. :D

  • Laurie in AZ June 26, 2017

    Thanks for the tips! I made him a salad with turkey lunch meat, cucumber, tomato and red onion and also included a large dill pickle and a few cookies. I think he will be satisfied.

    In general, my husband is pretty frugal, but doesn't like to feel like he "has to" save money. But I recently quit my job so our budget is a little bit tighter than it used to be and he sees me trying to save more now that I am not earning money. Now he feels like he is helping with that as he prefers me at home right now.

    Most of the guys in his office go out, but I think a lot of them do because everyone else does. I think a few of them just want someone else to make the first move to bring their lunch. It will be interesting to see how many of them follow his lead!

  • SJ in Vancouver BC June 26, 2017

    I worked a job like that. Not only did everyone go out for lunch every day, they also bought coffee at both morning and afternoon breaks. Also, they'd go to very fancy restaurants to celebrate birthdays. I couldn't afford any of that.

    At the time, I was paying off student loans and credit card debt. I allowed myself one purchased coffee on pay day. So, twice a month, I would buy myself a regular drip coffee at morning break, not a latte or fancy drink. Regular drip coffee was all I could afford in my budget at the time. I never ever gave in and had to live through a lot of peer pressure. I'd walk to the coffee cart with everyone so I could socialize. But I'd only buy something on payday. Eventually my co-workers quit harassing me about it.

    Finally, birthday lunches were celebrated in the office as a potluck. I felt truly vindicated when that change occurred. I wanted to socialize with my co-workers but didn't have the money to spend like they did. The funny thing about the potlucks was that everyone mentioned how much better the food was!

    Good for your husband to stick to his goals and pack his lunch.

  • cathy June 27, 2017

    I love potlucks for both the affordability and the sheer variety of food, but some people really resist them. We had a situation with my kid's religious school where once a year each grade would have a special dinner. My child could never stay for the dinner because of multiple food allergies they couldn't accommodate. I pushed for several years for them to make the dinner potluck because I knew then that he'd have at least one thing he could eat (or that we could take his whole meal, but he wouldn't feel out of place because everyone would have different food on their plates). The potluck idea was repeatedly knocked down because it was felt the meal wouldn't be as "nice" as the prepared meal. Finally, one year, they tried it and the person in charge was blown away not only by how much good food there was, but by how much easier it was to plan and clean up! She didn't need to recruit a big committee of people to cook, set up, clean up. Now all the class dinners are potluck :) .

  • Athanasia June 28, 2017

    The first Sunday of every month is a potluck after morning church. Many times family gatherings are potluck also, like reunions and birthday and anniversary parties. Weddings are not potluck but are often cooked not catered. Funeral meals are usually partly catered with the meats and buns being ordered and then the sides and desserts are all brought in by church members.

  • Athanasia June 28, 2017

    My point was , I love potlucks!

  • Eve June 29, 2017

    My husband takes a big thermos of hot coffee brewed at home as he is taking his morning shower. He drinks it through the day, and it saves a ton of money.

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