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Frugal Accomplishments For The Fourth Week of July

Mission Figs in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I picked five baskets of figs from my Mission fig tree.

I canned rosemary fig jam.

I used the water from rinsing figs to water potted garden plants. I also collected water from the air conditioner drip and used it to water potted plants. 

I picked tomatoes from the garden. I also cut rosemary, garlic chives, and Genovese basil from the garden.

I collected Danish flag poppy seeds from the garden to plant next year.

I used the whey from making Greek yogurt last week in a batch of crepes in place of the water I would have used in with powdered milk. I used some powdered milk as well (just no water) resulting in crepes with a higher protein content and no waste of the whey. 

I used 8 $1 off 2 packages of pasta to buy 16 pounds of pasta for $0.38 a pound.

I started turning the printer off for days and times when no one is printing. Several people print from it (including my husband for work) but no one needs it on unless it is being used.

My husband cleaned the dryer coil out. It wasn't very dirty, but my loads seemed to be taking a bit longer to dry than normal and I know a blocked vent can cause trouble in that way. We have a gas dryer, which costs very little to run, but time is an important factor for me as well. After the coil was cleaned loads went back to drying in their normal time.

My husband welded a handle on our side gate to make it easier to open.

We attended a free health clinic where my children received free immunizations, vision checks, and dental checks. If you're looking for something like this near you, search your city name, 2017, and "health clinic", "health fair", or "back to school fair." Some of these include free haircuts;  (if you don't already cut your family's hair at home; you can also search for back to school free haircuts). This was our first time attending a health clinic like this; I had heard about them in the past but always remembered about them a week or two after they actually took place, as while I'm thinking about school supplies sales in July, I didn't think about these other things as being in July as well.  A few internet searches turned up several of these throughout the country in August and even one in September, so you may be able to find one near you!

I took photos of my son in his Scout uniform for his upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony, rather than paying a photographer. 

July Zinnia Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for an arrangement in the house.


What did you do to save money last week?


Please check back later this week for my August Shopping Plans post and a refashion post featuring a maxi skirt my daughter turned into a dress!

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  • momsav July 31, 2017

    Wowzers! That's a terrific price for everything you mentioned! Unheard of here.

  • Julie T July 31, 2017

    Busy week here as well as the garden is coming in.

    Bought 3 lugs of peaches and canned 25 quarts of peaches in light syrup, 7 pints of peach honey butter, and with the skins and pits (boiled them with water) made 5 half pints of peach jelly and 6 pints of peach juice (will be great to add to homemade lemonade for peach lemonade).

    Went to Costco and spent $9.48-on two items 2# yeast and a humongous watermelon!! No other groceries last week. We did go out Friday night for a meal with friends. They invited and paid, we went to a place where you cook your own meat on an indoor grill. They provide baked potatoes, garlic bread (also grill them), and a salad bar. I had shrimp (long time since I've had this!!) and my husband a sirloin steak. A treat for us!! We then went to their house for dessert and a visit. Nice time.

    Saturday drove 3 hours for my husband's cousins retirement party. Took my MIL with. Nice visit with family and they provided the food! My MIL brought me a few more books to read (she is an avid reader and buys all her books and lets me read them when she is done). She also brought some nectarines and blueberries and left them with us. I gifted her some cucumbers and beans fromm the garden.

    This week I made country sausage/hash browns, lots of vinegar cucumbers, lots of Kansas City cucumbers, venison maple sausage/ sauerkraut, salad with grilled chicken, turkey Sloppy joes, cap Reese salad, wild rice turkey soup. Eating out of freezer and pantry.

    This week I need to pick the cabbage and get kraut started in the crock. Will have more beans to can and chard to blanch and freeze. Tomatoes trickling in. Have been eating fresh. I want to try my hand at crockpot yogurt. I buy a 40 oz tub at Costco every two weeks. Made Brandy's cranberry almond granola. It is scrumptious!

    Trying to start some sewing projects for Christmas. I love the sewing kit Brandy made. Thinking that would be good gift for oldest grand daughter. She is 6-when she comes to my house we work on sewing projects. She has made baby blankets, doll clothes, and a skirt for herself. She is learning.

    I hope everyone has a good week

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Julie T, what are Kansas City cucumbers? I would be interested. We eat cucumber salad daily this time of year.

  • Julie T August 03, 2017

    Here you go, I have been making this for years. Got from a magazine I believe.

    Kansas Cucumber Salad
    1 c mayo
    1/4 c sugar
    4 t vinegar
    1/2 t dried dillweed
    1 t dried chives or 2 t chopped fresh chives
    1/2 t salt
    4 medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
    3 green onions, chopped

    Mix first 6 ingredients. Pour over cucumbers and onions. Chill 1-2 hours.

    I think they are better the next day. I usually will double or triple the batch for the week.

  • Athanasia August 04, 2017

    Thank you Julie. Dill weed, chives and green onion sound delicious. I will try this soon.

  • Florrie July 31, 2017

    Last week our grandchildren helped to dig up the potatoes that grew from skins that I buried. We have five meals of flavorful potato fingerlings, which I plan to steam and season with basil or parsley, butter, salt and pepper.

    I mended my supply of underwear for the fifth time. Isn't it a curious thing, that mending begets more mending? After putting so many stitches into each garment, I'm not about to throw it out. Meanwhile, I've been saving so much by not having to purchase underwear!

    Brandy, thank you so much for opening my eyes and brains to be aware of all the beautiful things around me. Also, thank you for teaching me not to take anything for granted! I truly appreciate you!

  • Marybeth July 31, 2017

    The biggest frugal accomplishment this week is my daughter went away for 18 days with my sister to Italy. My sister loves to travel and has no children so she borrows mine. My kids are so lucky to have such an amazing Aunt.
    -No water, electric or food for my daughter
    -My sister cleaned out her fridge and gave me everything perishable to take home with me. I also took her dog.
    -My manager has a friend that keeps bees. She gave me 2 jars of local raw honey. The BEST EVER!
    -Took my son for his physical. Cost me nothing out of pocket.
    -BBQ some chicken legs that I got on sale. Boiled the bones to get everything off and added it to the dogs food for 4 meals.
    -Hung all laundry on clothes line/clothes rack.
    -Didn't have to water 2 days thanks to it raining.
    -Poured water from cups leftover, dogs bowl, hardboiled eggs and washing veggies into potted plants.
    -Used cloth rags instead of paper towels. Have been on the same roll for the last 2 months. Still have half a roll. The kids are learning to grab a rag instead of a paper towel.
    -Used brown paper bags to put bacon on.
    -Haven't used AC in 3 days, just fans.
    -Brought lunch, snack and my reusable water bottle to work.
    -Hubby and I went to a movie with my free passes from work. Brought water and snacks. Got my free popcorn and we shared. Free Date Night
    -We did yard work ourselves
    -Hubby and son fixed spike aerator that I had found. They also repainted it with paint we already had.
    -Picked 7 1/2 pounds of string beans and tons of lettuce from my garden.
    -Picked a container of wild raspberries on public land. Forgot to weight them. My son had eaten a bunch by the time I remembered.
    -I don't have any zucchini yet so my dad gave me one.
    -Cut up holey socks and used them to tie my tomato plants to the poles. Lots of green ones. Waiting for them to turn RED!
    -My manager brought in cookies one day. Free snacks.
    -My ice maker has been leaking. Called PC Richards since it is still under warranty. They came and looked at it. Ordered some parts. They will come back this week to fix it.
    -Used coupons on items I was going to buy anyway saving $12.50
    -Made my daughter's birthday dinner at home. Used decorations we already had.
    -Found $3.42 this week in change. I find lots of change at work. People just drop it and don't bother to pick it up. I do.
    -Did a CVS survey and got $2ECB
    -Finally signed up for Ibotta.
    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Mary Beth, finding all that change could certainly add up over time!

  • TerriC July 31, 2017

    Oh that floral arrangement! Brandy you do so many things beautifully. I find you a constant source of inspiration! Thank you for taking the time to share.

    I didn't have much savings last week but I didn't spend much either, so there was that to balance the week out. This week....Well I've already done well in both spending and saving. I found much wanted items to finish the makeover of my desk space into something that is fully functional for my needs today. I'm ready to tackle a big week...


  • ElisaB August 01, 2017

    I love the photo of the flower arrangement on the rustic bench!
    I made a large batch of granola. It is funny but my recipe is nearly identical to Brandy's but I have been making it for forty years.
    We have been hiking in a local state park for exercise. We have one latte per day with our little stovetop espresso maker. Several weeks ago I found some bags of organic coffee on a close out for $2.99 each. I use the leftover grounds on my patio plants.
    I saw something flapping in the road and told my husband that it looked like money. I went over and picked it up and it was a $50 bill. The place where I found it - it would be nearly impossible to find the owner. So my husband and I discussed it and decided that the moral thing to do would be to give it to charity. I had fun buying groceries for the local food bank, trying to get the most bang for my buck.
    The next day I found 2 pennies on the sidewalk and kept them.
    For a long time I have been trying to find a 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet. Our local thrift stores seem to think they are expensive antiques. I found a brand new one in our condo 'give away area'.

  • Juhli August 02, 2017

    Kudos to you and your husband for donating your found money to the food bank. My husband also found $50 once and converted it to smaller bills which he gave to homeless people in the area.

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Elisa and Juhli, thank you for thinking of the less fortunate. I am sure it was much appreciated and we don't know what specific good will come out of it, but there will be something for all involved.

  • Mandy Barnes August 01, 2017

    This is for the last couple of weeks as I have not had time to post. But I have been reading :)
    -Our income has decreased but the bills have remained the same with the added bonus of our property taxes being due Sept. 1. I have tried very hard not to spend any money beyond what we absolutely have to.
    - My mother in law upgraded her cell phone (she does this yearly) and was offered another line for $35 per month. I have not had a cell phone in over a year. She gave me her old phone for free and I just pay her the $35 per month for a smart phone with all the bells an whistles. I will cancel my land line phone before the next bill is due (they do not issue refunds for unused money when cancelling).

    -I have created weekly meal plans to keep me from using the drive through due to my very hectic work schedule and to prevent food waste. I have made chili, soups, pumpkin bread, banana bread, stir fry, cauliflower rice, white bread, wheat bread, sandwiches using homegrown sprouts and the last pieces of lunch meat in the fridge on homemade bread, pork tenderloin (given to us by my MIL), pork tenderloin stroganoff), homemade mac and cheese, fried potatoes and hotdogs (free potatoes given to me with clearance purchased hot dogs).

    -I have kept a bucket in the kitchen sink and shower to save rinsing/warm up water to use in my garden and on my plants. continue to take "navy showers" and "let it mellow" more often.

    -Have hung all laundry on my outside lines or on drying racks in the house. I have used the air fluff option to get the lint and cat hair off our dark colored work clothing.

    -Turned off and unplugged everything possible, including my coffee pot. We keep lights off when not needed and turn off fans when not in the room for more than a few minutes. I used my bread machine to bake my pumpkin and banana bread (after mixing in a bowl and pouring into the machine, otherwise it gets mixed to much and is like shoe leather).

    -I work in a plasma donation center and am able to donate myself again. Because I am an employee I get paid $50 for each donation (regular donors get $20 for the first donation of the week then $40 or $45 the second depending on how much they weigh). This is an extra $100 per week. It's not fun but it's money, which I desperately need to school supplies, clothes, shoes, etc. I also continue to work for a friend of mine for a tiny amount per month, but it helps and it's easy work I can do from home.

    - I have stayed home unless I am working or absolutely have to go run an errand. I try to group errands together as often as possible to save gas and time.

  • http://Robbie August 01, 2017

    We have had a busy week gearing up for start of school.
    We had a 2 day trip to Nashville to visit family. My sister mapped out days locations were open and I found which museums had reciprocal memberships. Dinner was pizza out and my sister treated. Stayed at hotel with continental breakfast so that was nice too.
    Stocked up on some uniform pants in next size for son at resale. Did spend extra to get colored polos vs white which will stain so easily.
    Price checked cleats saving us $30.Spent a few dollars more on a mouthguard with dental protection. I know he's 9 but it's worth piece of mind.(and yes this year is it on football!!)
    Scoured house for half used notebooks to turn into "looseleaf paper" and found a ton of pencils.

  • Jen@FrugalSteppingStones August 01, 2017

    Rosemary fig jam sounds delicious! There is a local place that makes rosemary sweet onion fig jam and I love to make a grilled cheese sandwich with a smear of this jam in the middle.

  • Athanasia August 02, 2017

    I have to do something about getting a fig tree. My lemon tree spends the colder months already in my sun room. My husband did say if we got a fig we could wheel it down to his workshop, as he seemed interested in having figs, too. One of my favorite desserts in winter growing up was stewed figs with sour cream on them.

    The garden is keeping us very busy. I can't remember when I last wrote but our raspberries have finished, our corn has just started, cucumbers/zucchini/yellow squash are abundant. Early cauliflower is over but fall batch is started. We have kohlrabi, cherry tomatoes, larger tomatoes are ripening now, edible pod peas, green beans, wax beans, red onions, scallions, various chili peppers, bell peppers not too impressive as usual, lettuce, melon, red potatoes, beets, dill, parsley, cilantro, mint, rosemary, basil. Because my oldest daughter has been using the greenhouse and hoop houses she has split the cauliflower/broccoli growing into early summer and a fall crop. There is also kale, Brussels sprouts are growing but not ready, carrots, rutabaga still growing, cabbage. Daughters and husband have been out to the hedgerows to get blackberries.

    We have done all the usual of cooking and baking at home, washing and drying ziplocks, hanging laundry to dry, using fresh and preserving the garden produce, using up leftovers, packing lunches for work. We do have some expenses associated with housing the missionary for the summer but that is the way it is. She uses our spare room, we provide her meals. When she has had to travel to another church we let her use my youngest daughter's car and then my daughter and I car pool as needed. It has been very fun to have her here. We went rummage sale-ing and she found several pairs of sandals, some light colored floral cotton-poly fabric and I bought those for her. The fabric was enough for her to make 2 dresses out of and she found some fabric in my sewing room to make a 3rd dress. She had her dress pattern with her as she had hoped to do sewing on this trip. Back home she only has a treadle sewing machine. She would like 7 dresses total to take back and others at church are getting fabric for her.

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    to continue....I forgot we have eggplant, also.

    Some of the dishes we have made the last couple weeks are baked eggplant Parmegian (sp?), baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip) and have chopped up eggplant and cooked with onions and peppers for the freezer. Made spaghetti sauce. I noticed a lot of people can spaghetti sauce, but I never have. I always just cook up what I want to add in the way of vegetables with olive oil and spices and then add a quart or two of my canned tomato juice. Simmer it for 1/2 hour or so, add a couple TBLSP of tomato paste (I like it in the tube) and it is ready. This last batch I added zucchini, eggplant, onion, spices and mild and semi hot chili peppers. I had one link of hot Italian sausage so I cooked that and my husband sliced it up and added some to his serving as did Patti, the missionary. It was somewhat spicy but without the hot sausage my daughter and I were able to eat it. Made macaroni and cheese, tuna macaroni salad with extra shells cooked same time. Made a new batch of hummus and ranch dip to go with the the cut up ever present fresh vegetables. Made fried rice with leftover cold rice and chopped up fresh vegetable and leftover corn cut off the cob and frozen peas. Added lots of scrambled egg to it and served it with a fresh fruit salad. Made bean burritos, Spanish rice using home canned diced tomatoes from last year and this years peppers and onions, also with fresh fruit. Made pancakes with gooseberries in some and diced banana in others with enough for several days of leftovers. I am trying to make better use of our gooseberries. We sell a lot at the farm stand, but we don't do much with them ourselves. I found a recipe for gooseberry trifle on the internet by Tamal from the Great British Bake off and I thought that would make a nice cool make ahead summer dessert. I just need to translate the measurements to US/non metric. I even have a few star anise in the cupboard which it asks for. Made several pies...chocolate pudding, banana cream, rhubarb. Made sweet cherry kuchen times 2 and ate lots of fresh cherries. They were very cheap, for here, in the store so I bought 5 pounds. NOrmally they are 3.99+ which is what they were back to yesterday. We froze, canned, jammed and sauced 70 pounds of blueberries, then we divide up between us, my daughter, daughter in law and their families. I also will give some of the jam as presents. We have high hopes for the blueberry patch planted last year to take off so that we will have our own harvest rather than having to order. Made marinated cherry tomatoes and more refrigerator pickles. Cooked diced and froze more beets. Made jalapeno and banana pepper poppers on the grill again. My husband grilled fish he caught, which is almost always bass or bluegill. He caught a decent sized trout the other day and smoked it. Nothing much is happening with the celery we tried to grow. It's growing but I find it too bitter. I have used it in cooking. Sweet corn with most evening meals now. Zucchini in pancakes, in quiches, in bread and muffins, on kabobs. Put extra bread and muffins in freezer. BLT sandwiches twice so far, but more often once the slicing tomatoes are abundant. Lots of salads...tomato mozzarella basil and tomato cucumber and onion and creamy cucumber and cucumber viniagrette and coleslaw. Took a pound chunk of cooked corn beef from freezer and sliced 1/2 for sandwiches and chopped up half for hash breakfast casserole. Made rye bread, grated horseradish and added to mustard for the corn beef sandwiches, served with coleslaw on them.

    We had the usual variety of family and church gatherings for birthdays and anniversaries, game nights, pot lucks. No weddings the last few weeks or no new babies. It's been a lull in that area. Time to "make" dinner... we are having leftover smorgasbord tonight.

  • Rhonda A. August 04, 2017

    Athanasia, if you type into google search "convert ____ to ____" there is a conversion program that will pop up. You enter in what you want converted (e.g. 50g) and it will automatically convert it to whatever you asked for (e.g. ___cups or ___lbs). I use this all the time for things like miles to kilometers, Fahrenheit to Celsius or even tablespoons to cups when doubling a recipe. Really handy once you know it's available!

  • Athanasia August 04, 2017

    Rhonda, I tried and failed! 100 gm of flour comes up as .8 cups or .44216etcetc cups which don't even sound close and cups don't come in 1/5ths or 4/5ths. Also it seems I have to figure out the grams for each by figuring out the density as 100 grams of flour would not be same as 100 gm of sugar or 100 grams of fruit. Now the soda, spices, cornflour and vanilla paste are all in tsp/tblsp so no problem there. But the oil is in grams as is the honey. Can I just use ml for those, like would 35 gram = 35 ml for the oil and 100 grams of runny (runny??) honey = 100 ml of honey? My liquid measuring cups are all in metric and ounces so I could just use that if grams =ml. Math is not my strong suit.

  • Rhonda A. August 05, 2017

    Try converting grams to ounces for the liquids and grams to pounds for flour/sugar since it is more of a weight measurement. Once you've converted to a measurement you understand, it will be easier for you to convert that to cups. Or just weigh out the amounts on a scare, if you have one, and note the amount for next time. Hope that helps!

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