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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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  • Stephanie N. July 30, 2017

    This worked perfectly, thank you!

  • Julie T July 31, 2017

    Blue diamond almond flour $7.99 for 2 lbs at CostCo

  • Sarah July 30, 2017

    Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, soak liberally and then rub off :)

  • Laura July 30, 2017

    I use orange oil for all kinds of sticky labels - spray on and cover with a cloth or bit of paper towel. The oil is not super cheap to buy but a little goes a long way and it lasts forever.

  • Rhonda A. July 30, 2017

    I did a quick google search on how to remove glue residue and they suggested using acetone based nail polish. Make sure to wash well with hot soapy water afterwards, to wash off any remaining residue.

  • Stacy Rebek July 30, 2017

    Try Sams Club for the almond flour. They have 3 lbs Bobs Red Mill for about $13 here.

  • Athanasia July 31, 2017

    Just in case any one is interested for further reference, I use 2 different adhesive removers in the library. GOO GONE works excellent on non porous surfaced and a small bottle will last for years. It smells good too. UNDO removes labels from paper book covers by attacking only the adhesive and not the paper.

  • Jen July 31, 2017

    Steel wool gets residue off easily. SOS pads or cheaper equivalent.

  • Eve August 04, 2017

    WD-40 takes label glue off easily.

  • Holly July 30, 2017

    We will be having visits from out-of-state relatives between now and first frost. Our front porch and patio will look much better with a few new flowering plants. While driving to our nearest Aldi's, I passed an open air plant market that was having a closing-for-the-season sale, with most plants only $1 each in five-inch pots. Just what I had been hoping to find so late in the season! We bought four geraniums, a Gerber daisy, one other flowering plant, and some chives for $7. I successfully overwintered geraniums indoors in the past so I have hopes that these will last past October. We never did make it to Aldi's. Later in the day, when we went to the nearest REAL farm stand and bought a few peppers and one tomato, the nice farm girl offered mom a free bouquet of mostly sunflowers that were not looking particularly perky at the end of a warm breezy day. Ah, the perks of being 94! We gladly accepted them, knowing that the birds fed on the balcony would love them. Last night, I cut off the bottoms of the stems before putting the flowers in sugar water. This morning, the flowers looked so much better. We'll be enjoying the looks of them for a few days inside before the birds enjoy the taste of them outside. I plan on swiping a few seeds from the birds so we can grow some sunflowers ourselves next year for free. Our local bakery charges $5.50-$6.50 per loaf of bread. We bought one loaf this week and it is good. But the simple half whole wheat loaf we mix in the bread machine and bake in the oven is preferred by my mom and costs less than 75 cents. I need to bake on the days when it isn't so hot. We live far enough north that heat waves rarely last for more than a few days so I just need to plan ahead (and stash two loaves in the freezer for busy or hot days). Thank you again for all of your encouraging comments and thank you, Brandy, for sharing the photographs and blog.

  • Brandy, I am so impressed with the amount of figs you manage to get your trees to produce! And, I really love that flower arrangement! Truly beautiful. Your family must love having such gorgeous flower arrangements all the time!

    My frugal accomplishments this week:
    - Made a batch of yoghurt
    - Traded two $25 gift cards and a homemade caramel apple pie ( for a Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker. I had been saving my Swagbucks to purchase a new one from Amazon, but new ones cost over $115, and the one I traded for had only been used once, so I was happy with the trade. I wasn’t out any money (aside from the caramel apple pie ingredients – and I used caramel sauce leftover from my banoffee frappe recipe – as I used two gift cards that had been gifted to me over the previous year). Can’t wait to make tons o’ ice cream with this!
    - Bought at least another 10 lbs of cherries, as they were on sale for $1.49/lb this week (lowest I’ve seen this year). I hope to be able to make some jam later on.
    - Took advantage of a promotion at my pharmacy to stop up on my IBS and anemia medications, in order to get two $10 gift cards. One I will likely give to the DH to use, and the other will likely be used for a date night.
    - Using a local trading app, I traded some items I had but didn’t want, for some other items, and then traded those items for a brand-new-in-box, high quality (and trendy) water bottle. The DH and I are going on vacation next month, and I wanted a water bottle that would stand up to high temperatures. And this way, I got one without breaking the budget!
    - Via the same local trading app, I traded some after sun gel lotions for a fancy pillow case in purple – my living room accent colour.
    - Traded a bag of dog treats for a brand new trough planter with a coco liner. My peas weren’t growing properly, and I think it’s because of poor drainage, so I tore them out (they were dying anyway), switched the dirt to my new planter, and planted some more seeds. Hopefully I will still be able to harvest some peas before the first frost. I am so pleased with this trade! Such a pretty planter!
    - Picked some basil from my balcony garden to make pesto with. Yum!
    - Cat-sat again for cash
    - Used two coupons to get two free root beers. I drank them on my lunch hours for a treat.
    - I made a pasta salad using the first of my balcony-grown tomatoes, along with oregano, basil, thyme, and parsley that I grew. I’d forgotten how delicious home-grown tomatoes are!
    - I made a plum and mint clafoutis using plums that given to me by a colleague, along with mint from my garden. I used half cream and half milk to stretch my cream further (and to reduce the calorie content). So yummy!
    - Pitted and froze a freezer bag full of cherries. I had ordered a cherry pitter online, but it still hasn’t arrived (I used the cheapest shipping option), so I used a paper clip as someone mentioned a few weeks ago. A bit more laborious, but equally effective!
    - Made a batch of tortillas, and froze half the batch.
    - Made a tray of enchiladas, using homemade tortillas, and beans and taco rice that I had made and frozen previously. I finished up a can of salsa sitting in my fridge, and used a bit of the grated cheese from my freezer, and cut some regrown green onions to use as well. A pretty frugal meal, and so yummy, with lots of leftovers to take for work lunches.
    - Received a sample tube of a pain relief cream in the mail, and gave it to the DH to send to his mum.
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card

    As always, looking forward to learning from everyone!

  • It's just one fig tree :D Mission Figs produce twice a year; the second crop is larger.

  • Even more impressive!

  • Sarah July 30, 2017

    It's been a rough week over here with several bills coming our way, unfortunately I think it's probably going to be 2 months before we dig ourselves back out of the hole created by them, but we'll keep on keeping on. Here are my frugal 5. I'll also be doing a post on Tuesday for our monthly progress on debt.

  • Rhonda July 30, 2017

    You are so blessed to have a husband who can repair the car and appliances, etc. My husband is not "handy", although he tries. Quite often the repair has to be done over by someone else (at a cost) or it goes unfinished. His heart is in the right place, but it gets a little frustrating. He is wonderful at so many other things, though, I should add.

  • I am having him teach our children as much as possible so that they can also repair things as adults. He can't fix everything and tells me he doesn't know how to do all the repiars, but he knows how to do so many it seems to me like he can fix anything!

  • Marybeth July 31, 2017

    My husband is very handy too. Now with YouTube its even easier. If he doesn't know how to do it he just looks it up. Sometimes he just needs a tool or a part instead of buying a new item. He always has my kids help or do it. My bathroom sink was leaking so my son did the whole thing under dad's supervision. He looked it up, went to the store and bought the parts and fixed it. All of us helped when we built the shed and when we redid our dining room. All of my kids can paint and spackle. He also has them do car repairs such as oil changes. My son even knows how to fix the lawnmower and snow blower. My oldest lives in another state. I'm not worried. She assembled her own bed, hung curtain rods and shelves. Her 2 roommates needed help.

  • Laurie July 30, 2017

    It's been cool enough that we have had the air off most of the week. I was even able to bake bread and cookies twice.

    I purchased zucchini at .39 a pound. Froze 8 pounds and made one of my favorite dinners. There was enough lo for lunch the next day. I got a raincheck for milk at 1.99 a gallon.

    Used a coupon combined with a sale to get a new 3 piece outfit for work for $21. All pieces are basic so they'll be interchangeable with things I already have.

    Emailed college professors to see if a previous version of the textbooks are ok so that they can be bought used.

    Cancelled prepaid insurance on a bike my husband sold.

    Started a new quilt for a Christmas gift using on sale fabrics and fabric that I already have. Planning to use muslin as the back this time to keep costs down.

    Sewed together vinal table cloths from the dollar store to be used as shades for my cousins pergola.

  • PJGT July 30, 2017

    I often use sheets as a backing for quilts and to recover blankets. Top sheets are often very inexpensive in thrift stores, and sometimes even new.

  • Cindi July 31, 2017

    I also prefer sheets for backing quilts. I have found that, with muslin, if you use the quilt a lot, it gets holes in it -- at least at my house. The sheets hold up better. I have a large flannel sheet I bought at a garage sale that I'm saving to back the bed quilt I hope to make this fall. Meanwhile, the muslin-backed quilt that is currently on my bed has patches on patches on that backing.

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