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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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  • Athanasia August 07, 2017

    Rhonda, I think I might just look for one of those digital scales they use on the baking show. I do have a canning scale that goes up to 5 pounds but that's not sensitive enough to do the smaller amounts.

  • Joanne August 05, 2017

    Hi Athanasia I have the opposite problem as I am mathematically challenged and as I'm in the UK I tried to convert your measurements from cups to grams- nightmare!! I love American cookbooks and collect them when I can! I have used this link http://allrecipes.co.uk/how-to/44/cooking-conversions.aspx before and it's very useful when converting. Good luck with the gooseberry recipe- I used to have to pick these for my grandad when I was a child - my little hands could weave between the ferocious thorns better than his, well that's what he said anyway!

  • Athanasia August 07, 2017

    Thanks, Joanne, I will check it out. Gooseberries seem to be more popular in the UK just by recipes I have seen for them on the internet. They are thorny; we probably have the same kind your grandpa did.

  • Cindy in the South August 05, 2017

    I have never had gooseberries, but I substitute mulberries (which are free because I have a mulberry tree) for blackberries, blueberries, strawberries etc. in all recipes since they are free. Could you do the same with the gooseberries?

  • Rhonda A. August 05, 2017

    Probably not, but Athanasia may know better as she grows and uses them. My understanding is gooseberries are very tart and require more sugar in a recipe than a typical sweet berry.

  • Cindy in the South August 06, 2017

    Maybe add more sugar in recipes then? I am all about trying to figure out how to use free food...lol I have dandelions in my yard and I am always trying to incorporate them in recipes because they are free and are supposed to be good for you. I also have wild onions and use that instead of green onions because they are free (although I prefer green onions).

  • Athanasia August 07, 2017

    Cindy, like Rhonda said, gooseberries are more tart, like rhubarb or cranberry tart. So best cooked with sugar. Not usually eaten raw, as blueberries or strawberries or raspberries, blackberries etc. We actually have several mulberry trees around the family properties. We don't use them, we let the birds take them. I know, you like the free stuff, but they bribe the birds away from the other fruit trees and bushes. We planted the blueberries and strawberries for our own use but the raspberries, grapes, blackberries and cherries are all cash crops for the family. I hope this answers.

  • Susan O. August 05, 2017

    Brandy, your figs look so nice in the basket. It's a little early for figs here, but are trees have quite a bit of fruit. I think we're going to try to make fig jam this year for adding to bars and cookies over the winter. This is the first year there were enough to make it worth our while.
    Last week was a pretty good week, savings-wise:
    Gathered 31 eggs.
    Harvested cucumbers, zucchini, pears, basil, oregano, and thyme.
    Canned 2 pints plum syrup; dried basil, oregano, and thyme; and braided onions for the first time. We also put some nice onions that didn't have enough leaf to braid into our onion storage bags to use first and chopped the last of them for freezing.
    One of the parents at the preschool where my sister works gave her a baguette and a cantaloupe.
    My mom and dad met some friends for lunch. Since the restaurant was fairly near where mom's sister lives, they went to see her, too. When they left, my aunt gifted them several lemons from her tree. She also sent gifts for my sister and me, a body gel and lotion set for each of us (they were big bottles, too!).
    We had the last of the chopped plums from our trees in the garage refrigerator. So I pureed it, added water and gelatin, and made two baking dishes of yummy, dense "Jello" that we enjoyed very much.
    On Sunday afternoon, there was a baby shower at church. I gave the baby a home-crocheted blanket in a box that we had around the house, wrapped in paper and ribbon from our stash, accompanied with a home-made card. My sister and mom had previously purchased home-made cards for the baby as well. My sister won a prize at the shower - a nice-sized bottle of bubble bath. My sister prefers baths over showers, so it will come in very handy. We added the gift bag and (very fancy) tissue paper to our stash, along with the tissue one of the other prize winners gave me. The hosts of the party gave me some game props they were done with that I'll be able to use for making cards. (I'm hoping to start selling cards on Etsy soon.)
    My sister and I both give shoebox gifts to Operation Christmas Child each year. This year I'm compiling boxes for two girls (one in the 6 - 9 age group and one in the 10 - 14 age group). I used a smaller composition-style notebook that I bought at the Dollar Tree and scrapbook/card supplies that I had on hand to make a journal for the older girl. I also crocheted a headband for each girl from crochet cotton I had in my stash.
    I sold a few greeting cards to my mom and sister.
    Mom REALLY needed new bras, but she'd had trouble finding ones she liked at a price she was willing to pay. She used an online discount at JC Penney's and free shipping to our local store to buy 4 good-quality bras for the unheard of price of $45.23 including tax. That's better than even cheap bras, here.
    Our frugal fail last week was going to the fair. We really wanted to go this year because I was in the hospital during the fair last year, but we didn't realize that it had gone up by $2 per person this year. We spent more than we had intended on food and water, too. The silver lining is that we learned for next year. 1. Buy tickets at a discount in advance. 2. Even though we're not allowed to bring in outside food and beverages, each person is allowed 2 unopened plastic water bottles; bring them. 3. Don't buy food in the stands near the main entrances; the food over by the livestock area is MUCH cheaper. Lessons learned!

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