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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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  • Lisa July 31, 2017

    Completely agree about the sheets as backing fabric. I have found some really cute vintage sheets.

  • Gardenpat July 30, 2017

    Meijer's was having a 2 day sale on their boneless pork loins- $1.37/lb!!!! They were each between 4-5 pounds so I bought 6 !!! They were marked originally as about $17 each but they were about $6 ! And they are nice lean boneless meat!!! I had the butcher cut 3 of them into chops and the other 3 in half for roasts in crockpot. I will shred some of the roasts for pulled pork and some for carnitas as well as enjoying pork roast for a dinner!

    I rearranged my basement pantry shelves to make room for the 32 pints of peaches that I canned last week from peaches we were given! My shelves are now more organized and I love that our stored foods keep getting rotated because we are eating them regularly! In the old days, our food storage would sit on the shelves for an emergency! But a few years ago, I realized that it was even better to be constantly eating and replenishing it so everything is still being eaten while it is still at it's peak of nutrition and taste!
    We spent the evening last night roasting marshmallows over our fire pit and watching our chickens forage freely in the yard! So relaxing!!!
    I earned another $12 in Pinecone surveys and used it to pay down our final hospital bill.
    I washed and dried ziploc bags to reuse. I made several different grab and go lunch entrees and packaged up leftovers from dinner into individual portions for lunches/desserts. We also have 1-2 Use it up nights for dinner where we eat up the bits left in the fridge while they are still tasty and fresh!
    We drove up to Michigan (about 5 hours each way) to spend 3-1/2 hours there visiting my brother! We brought snacks/water with us in the car and filled our gas tank using Gas Buddy to find cheapest gas!
    I got another big banana box full of greens/veggies from our grocery store for free for a supplement to our chickens dry feed! What a blessing!
    Our three new hens are still not laying yet but we get 13 eggs/week from the other two!
    I decluttered and gave away hand weights, polyester quilt batting and a lap stand for embroidery that I wasn't using. So, each day, more and more things are being re-homed!
    Our night temps are lower again so we are just keeping windows open overnight rather than a/c! So far this summer, we have only run a/c units about two full weeks so our electric bill is way lower than usual!! We are grateful!!
    All in all, a very good week!!

  • http://Erika @ The Make Do Homemaker July 30, 2017

    That flower arrangement is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the picture!

    This was a week of really low lows and then the week recovered awesome in the second half lol!

    Anyone got ideas on how to combat slugs in really rainy conditions? Insecticidal soap isn't sticking, beer traps just flood out and do nothing and sitting there picking the slugs off and feeding them to the chickens works a bit but I can't babysit the garden all day. They're doing awful things to my turnips right now. Thanks!

    My list for the week can be found here...


  • Rachel H July 31, 2017

    I used to have a problem with slugs coming in the house. I poured salt on them to kill them. Try that and maybe sprinkle salt around the plants.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada July 31, 2017

    Egg shells crushed finely works well in the rain.
    When it's dry - sprinkle used coffee grinds around the perimeter of the bed. Or, if you have a feed store, buy bran that they feed cows and sprinkle the bran around the perimeter.

  • Athanasia August 02, 2017

    Don't use salt on your garden slugs..it's not good for the plants.

    We use diamataceous earth. It doesn't kill the slug, they just don't like crawling across it. Also keep all debris cleaned up as they like rotting vegetable matter. Encourage toad because they eat snails and slugs. We place toad houses throughout beds...just overturned old clay pots that have part of the rim cracked out to act like a door. They stay cool and damp and the toads like them and keeps them handy for eating garden pests.

  • Cindi July 30, 2017

    Those figs and flowers are so beautiful!
    And congratulations on your son on achieving Eagle Scout. That is quite the accomplishment.
    A lot of this week’s frugals were about making do – and learning some new skills/tricks in the process. I ran out of quart-sized tea bags for making iced tea, so I gathered up all the ‘odd’ tea bags I have received as free samples or as gifts over the last year or so and began making tea with them. A lot of these were herbal tea (I prefer black tea for drinking hot) and white tea or green tea with “different” flavorings (fig and pomegranate, anyone?). They made for some unfamiliar flavorings, but some of them we liked a lot – others were fine for quenching our thirst. We go through a pitcher of iced tea every other day in the summer.
    I wanted to make tacos but didn’t have taco shells. I did have corn tortillas, so I made my own shells – I’ll definitely be doing this again.
    I ran out of potatoes, so made macaroni salad instead.
    I wanted to make ice cream to use up some leftover raspberry puree (from making jam last week) but didn’t have any cream, so I made sherbet instead (which uses milk). It came out great.
    I made chicken stock from bones I had saved in the freezer and vegetable trimmings.
    I used rainwater to water my hanging baskets and potted plants.
    Cut flowers for an arrangement for the house.
    Made homemade cinnamon-raisin bread, whole wheat bread, brownies, and granola.
    Cleared out space in a flower bed to plant some sugar-snap peas. The seeds were freebies I got last year. I’ve never planted them this time of year, but I am hoping for a fall harvest. I also planted some more lettuce.
    Harvested green beans, lettuce, collard greens, chard, and tomatoes from the garden.
    Our neighbor who is moving blessed us with several bags of groceries from her pantry and freezer – frozen fruit, sugar, frozen corn, crab legs, lots of pasta and pasta sauce and much more. I was blown away by her generosity, but she said she is paying by the pound for movers, so it wasn’t worth it to move all of the food.
    Local corn was on sale, 8 ears for $1, so I bought 16 ears and froze the corn. My neighbor gave me 3 quart bags that she froze last year, so I should have enough to take us through to next corn season.
    I’ve been cleaning out closets and cabinets and donated several boxes and bags of stuff to the local Humane Society thrift store.
    I had a frugal fail, too – I forgot to pay my credit card on time (I pay it in full every month) and incurred a late fee and interest – an expensive lesson to keep better track. I paid it off right away, as soon as I got the late notice in my email.

  • mable July 30, 2017

    If you have not incurred a late fee before, call the credit card company and ask if they would consider removing it to make a good long time customer happy. It worked for me. If you have a good history with them, you may save yourself some money. Can't hurt to try!

  • Rhonda A. July 30, 2017

    I'm glad you finally found a sale on pasta! I'm glad your family was able to get immunizations for free, too. I love the idea of using the whey and powdered milk to increase the protein content of your crepes. Thank you for sharing! Can't wait to read the upcoming posts you have planned this week, too!

    It's been an interesting week for us. This week, our frugal accomplishments included:
    *Meals made at home included chicken fingers with noodle side dish and broccoli, BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs with fresh corn on the cob, hamburger helper with green beans, and waffles with homemade plum syrup.
    *We cooked up the entire dozen corn cobs for dinner one night...way more than we can eat. The leftover corn was then cut from the cob and frozen for later use.
    *On one of my days off, I took the time to make a nice breakfast for my daughter and I. I cooked a bunch of hash brown patties so there would be leftovers to use for several days, made up a package of Hollandaise sauce (should be enough leftover for a second day) and scrambled some eggs with bacon bits mixed in. We made a simplified version of a breakfast bowl which was delicious, and now I have some different breakfast items to eat when I'm rushing to working!
    *On my other day off, I canned some yellow plums for the first time. I decided to follow a hot pack method, but it didn't work out well. The fruit was so cooked, it was mush when I put it into the jars. So disappointing! I took the leftover syrup with bits of mushy plum pulp/skins, added some corn starch and a bit more sugar to make a plum syrup to use on pancakes or waffles. Hoping my family likes it, as I might end up using the canned plums for the same thing.:p
    *My mom kindly took the time to wash and freeze the 2 flats of raspberries and large basket of blueberries I bought at the market last week. I will make jam when I get time, preferably on a day when the temperature is cooler.
    *My mom also baked a loaf of banana bread for the freezer with bananas that were over ripe and needed to be used up. Always good to have on hand for company, lunch treats or to share with co-workers.
    *My vehicle developed a very distinct knocking sound that grew worse very quickly. My husband happened to have Monday off, so I asked him to take it in, hoping it wouldn't be an expensive fix. It turns out the lug nuts on the front wheel had not been tightened properly when our winter tires were switched. The tire was very close to falling off! :o Someone was watching out for us, because any other week, I would have had to wait until the next Saturday for him to take it in. So glad we caught it before disaster struck and it only cost $42 to repair.
    *Signed up for a ghost hunt at our museum later this month that is only for staff and volunteers. Two of my young co-workers that are seriously into ghosts have also signed up. This may be the most entertainment I will ever get for $20!
    *One of my co-workers decided to try making paper, and I enthusiastically asked if I could help. I love learning new skills and crafts! Although we were too busy this week to get together, I'm hoping we will get an opportunity in the near future.
    *Received a free Freezie while at work during a particularly hot day.:D
    *Took my daughter school shopping. We were able to buy 4 tops. Two were full price and expensive, but I used a Visa gift card to knock the out of pocket cost to a reasonable amount. The other two were on sale, plus a further 70% off, making them a really good price! We also started to pick up some school supplies, but I will watch for sales before buying more.
    *DD attended a birthday party for a boy we met through an ABA program. We can probably count on 2 hands the number of birthday parties our daughter has attended, with fingers left over. I decided to buy a gift that was a little more expensive ($20) as I know that this boy has struggled with friendships and probably has not had many birthday parties. I figured he deserved a nice gift. I made sure to get a gift receipt, just in case he got a duplicate gift or didn't like it (that happens with Autism spectrum kids, so I wouldn't have been insulted). Turns out DD was the only kid who came, despite inviting several. DD enjoyed swimming in his pool, hanging out with a friend for the afternoon and best of all, he LOVED his gift! ;)
    *Went to the chocolate and cheese factory while DD was at B-day party. Picked up a stash of discounted chocolate and 2 bags of delicious cheese curds. YUM!

    I will be checking back regularly to read everyone's comments and to watch for further posts. Have a wonderful week everyone!

  • I didn't find a sale. I had coupons for 16 pounds and I noticed at Winco that they had several shapes for $0.88 a package, which is a lower price than anywhere else. I bought only two shapes: fettucini and macaroni noodles, as those were 16-ounce bags and not 12-ounce bags. For a sale I would have bought 80 or 100 pounds of pasta. I never did see a good sale (i.e. $0.49 a pound) but perhaps in September I can find some!

  • Marcia July 30, 2017

    I haven't seen a price like 49 cents a pound in years. We usually can get 16 oz for $1, and occasionally for 88 cents, but that is it! Some types of pasta are as much as $2.79 a lb here. Luckily there are only two of us, but I can sympathize with your size family's needs.

  • Marcia,

    It's only one store that has that price and it's 2 and sometimes 3 times a year. I never know exactly when they are going to have it BUT they have sometimes had it in September, so since I didn't see the sale in July I am going to wait for it. I buy almost all of our pasta at this sale which is why I buy so much at once. It's only on the American Beauty brand (but in the Eastern U.S. Kroger stores have the same sale on the Ronzoni brand). Unfortunately, Smith's, our Kroger affiliate has almost completely gotten rid of this on their shelves and replaced it with other brands that don't have as good of a sale. Also, several companies (this one included) are making 12-ounce packages of several shapes instead of 16-ounce ones. This has led to me buying a smaller variety of shapes because the 12-ounce and 16-ounce bags are the same price, and of course I would rather get a whole pound.

  • The immunizations were a huge blessing. That was over $1000 that I didn't have to pay for. I'm so thankful.

  • Lilllanna Pickles July 30, 2017

    My special needs daughter has a boyfriend on the spectrum. How wonderful these two have each other. Your post makes me cringe as I relate to this issue so deeply. All children should be taught compassion and not rejection , because it really is important. At age 39, our friend tells horrible stories of being left out and being made fun of. Making a special effort can make a huge difference. I hope he enjoyed his gift. I make a big effort to do small things for JOE , because they mean so much to him and yet are so little for me. Pain last a lifetime.

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Lillianna, I am glad to hear about your daughter and her boyfriend. It sounds very positive for both of them, now. I am sorry he suffered when younger. We have a couple at church both in their 50's now...he had a very poor beginning, being turned over by his birthparents to the colony and grew up there but by the grace of God was found by a loving family in his teens and adopted. She grew up in a wonderful family...they met at camp for special needs adults and dated long distance for years. They balance each other out perfectly...he has the physicality to help her with her care and she has the mental abilities to take care of all the day to day business of life. They have been married 10 years now, have their own house 100% accessible and they both have the greatest sense of humor.

  • momsav July 30, 2017

    I used to make paper many years ago. It's very easy and fun! You'll enjoy it; you get to play in water!

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Rhonda, how nice that your daughter attended the boy's birthday party and that they had a good time.

    Also, wanted to let you know that I copied off the information you shared on the rag dolls and gave it to a woman at our church. She and her 3 children help with my summer reading program and come up with an activity every week for the Wednesday night club. Our program theme this year is pioneer life as it is the 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder's birth. She loved it and I think that is the activity set up for next week.

    You could use your mushy plums to make plum butter also, should the family not like them as is.

  • Rhonda A. August 04, 2017

    Thank you, Athanasia, for the idea on what to use the mushy plums for. I know next time to ignore the "hot pack makes a better canned produce" comment and go with the raw pack method with plums...Live and learn! Anyways, I'm glad you could use the rag doll craft to share with others. I'd love to hear how the session went!

  • Ruthie July 30, 2017

    The arrangement is beautiful and I love the bench it's sitting on. Did your husband make it? I'd love the details about it

  • I borrowed it from my mom for photos. I actually have no idea who made it. I may borrow it again; it's a fun prop!

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