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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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  • Ange July 30, 2017

    Oh well, it has been a wee bit since I last commented though I had intentions of doing it weekly for accountability. Life sorta sat on me but I have kept up reading everyone's comments but not posting any of my frugal accomplishments. As I look at incoming expenses and our growing children I feel like everything keeps going up, up, up so I am determined to be more mindful of our habits and cultivate more frugal ones at the same time. This week I was emailed from CVS a survey and received a $10 ECB for completing it, I used this to buy prenatal vitamins as they were on sale for B1G1. I menu planned and used up bananas for banana bread. We celebrated Christmas in July with friends and I decorated with white paper chains, played Christmas music from Pandora and printed out finger puppets for the kids to color. I also wrapped an early Christmas gift and we played games with it and talked about how Jesus is the gift all year long. A friend brought Christmas sugar cookies to enjoy too! As I am 21wks pregnant with our 4th I have started nesting and cleaning out drawers and closets which has helped me see what we have and that things I thought I needed to buy we don't really need at all or already had hidden away under clutter. I looked at Pinterest for inspiration to beautify my house with things I have and shuffle them around to see what works better vs buying more stuff! I used a gift card to buy new Mid century legs for a chair that was broken, we were gifted a gc for a dinner out and my parents watched our kids. Since the baby is due in Dec I have been looking at my hidden Christmas board for projects I should start now and buying small useful gifts at lowest prices and putting them away for later. That's all I can think of for now, I hope to keep a list this week so I can encourage myself and not feel so defeated! :) I am very thankful for getting to glean from Brandy and this unique community.

  • Wyoming Gal July 30, 2017

    We paid of our mortgage on Monday, 6 years early! (Woohoo!).
    I mended a skirt. We cooked all our meals including a new tuna casserole recipe. (I'm trying to use the stock pile of tuna, canned tomatoes and canned beans.)
    We shopped for new tires for my car. We find quite a price difference for the same tires. We like the local tire store that provides good service but we ended up buying from the national discount chain because it was $220 less for the same tires. If the local store had been within $50, I would have paid more to support a local business, but the difference was too much.

    I arranged the last intern lunch seminar for the summer at work and there was quite a bit of food left over. I encourage the interns to take food with them and some do - but mostly the cookies or brownies. This time we had a very nice beef tenderloin and the male interns didn't hesitate to take some home. I ended up with the remaining three servings of beef, about 6 servings of tossed salad and some green beans with mushrooms.

    We are leaving for a long trip next week, so this is a "clean out the refrigerator" week.

  • Lisa July 30, 2017

    Congratulations on paying off your mortgage!! That's huge!! Exciting!!

  • Libby July 30, 2017

    Congratulations on getting the mortgage monkey off your back!!

  • PJGT July 30, 2017

    Super!!! A paid for house is pure joy!!!

  • Congratulations on your mortgage! That's wonderful!

  • Laurie in AZ July 31, 2017

    Congratulations on paying off your mortgage! You are an inspiration and proof that it CAN be done!

  • Marybeth July 31, 2017

    Great job on paying your mortgage off early!

  • Lorna July 30, 2017

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia where it is winter in the mountain cottage and we have been getting temperatures of -2 - -4 oc and yes our slow combustion fireplace has been going fairly much non stop. Nothing like a fire to keep you warm :) .

    Brandy what a blessing to be able to attend a free health clinic for your whole family as well as pick so much wonderful produce from your gardens I am so happy for you :D .

    Financial -
    - Banked more money into our saving for our home with cash bank account bringing us up to 20.53% of the way there.

    Household -
    - Upcycled 4 worn bed pillows into 2 good ones by putting the stuffing from 2 into 1 pillow making 2 lovely comfortable pillows for us to sleep on rather than buying more. This saved us $20 over buying more pillows.
    - Soaked the old cotton pillow covers and washed them giving me more brilliant white cotton fabric to make into dinner cloth napkins for the home rather than buying any saving $14 for 4 it would have cost me to buy them.
    - Used flannelette rags to clean the bathroom and outside of the toilet instead of using paper towels.

    Grocery savings -

    - Purchased 4 x 4pk double length toilet paper on special and coupled this with a 5% off grocery gift card discount saving $4.98 off usual prices.
    - Purchased chocolate sultanas and snakes from a discount variety store for a treat saving $2.50 off supermarket prices and purchased 3 correction pens saving $10.12 or 80% off supermarket prices for a branded variety.
    - Purchased 1 packet of macadamia nuts from Aldi saving $3.51 over the prices we pay in our supermarket.

    Clothing purchases -

    - Brought 4 new thick knitted vests for DH on 50% off special, combined that with a $10 off customer bonus voucher and then another 5% off for using his clothing store credit card to bring down the price from $29.95 ea to $11.87 ea saving in total $72.30. I couldn't make them for that :D .
    - Purchased 5 pairs of new wool cashmere socks on Ebay for $4.69 saving $53.64 over what the local shops are charging here and brought 5 pairs of cotton blend socks on Ebay also saving $1.01.

    In the kitchen -

    - Cooked all meals and bread from scratch.
    - Used our slow combustion fireplace to heat water for our hot chocolates, steam vegetables, and heat water for our dish washing up water saving us on electricity costs.

    In the garden -

    - Picked 751g of shelling peas and 1kg of turnips saving $28.53 over purchasing them in the shops.

    Have a wonderful frugal week ahead everyone :)

  • Cindi July 31, 2017

    That was an amazing buy on those wool socks! Wool is so warm and comfortable for socks, too.

  • Lorna July 31, 2017

    Cindi thank you yes I was thrilled as they are $12 a pair here for any wool blend socks and having brought them previously I know they keep my feet so warm in winter.

    Just a tip for those ladies who have ample sized feet as I do, being tall, is to buy the men's socks from the Chinese or Hong Kong sellers on Ebay as they fit a good size 9 foot like mine and are so much cheaper than buying the women's ones advertised.

  • Libby July 30, 2017

    Congratulations on the Eagle Scout achievement!
    The flower arrangement is just stunning.
    This week I made my Swagbucks’ initial goal 5x and finally earned enough for a $25 Amazon gift card.
    Grocery shopped at three stores to take advantage of loss leaders – this included buying 15 pounds of bananas! I freeze them and use them in smoothies.
    Hung three loads of laundry out to dry.
    Turned over & propped up almost-empty bottles to get the last bits out: DW soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent.
    I always flatten the toothpaste tube to get the most out of it, but after reading the comments about cutting the end off I tried it. I’m amazed to have gotten 5 more brushing sessions from the cut open tube.
    We bulk grilled food to eat during the week – saving both time and propane.
    I took naps both Saturday and Sunday afternoons! Frugal because I slept rather than eating to stay awake :D

  • Hmm, I think I should turn our printer off, too. We don't use it much and it does take up electricity.

    Here are the ways we saved this week: http://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-week-87/

  • J July 30, 2017

    We spent a lot of time this weekend with family which was wonderful. My cousin is on a 3 week leave from his deployment in the Middle East and we were able to visit. I think we will be getting together again before he departs for the second half of his tour.

    We continue to visit parks and outdoor spaces.

    I have been making a lot of bean recipes this week.

    I have been reading a lot of recipes, looking for new ways to use some food I have on hand in my pantry. I have started reading the flyers for back to school deals in case anything on my list of things to purchase comes up at a good deal - but for the most part we have just been trying to not spend money.

    I had not had a haircut in almost a year, so I got one but not from my usual stylist. Unfortunately it was a bad cut which has left me very unhappy. I realize it is not a big deal - I am just annoyed (but not bothered if that makes sense) because I could have
    a) spent the money on a GOOD haircut if I had been able to arrange to travel to my regular hair stylist downtown
    b) forgone the haircut for a few more months (although my hair was getting pretty scary haha) and saved the money.
    On the plus side, the stylist cut my hair so very short (despite my instruction to not do this) that it will be months before my hair is long enough to get it "fixed." So I guess I'll be saving money that way! :)

    I wrote a recap of our July grocery spending and some frugal accomplisments here;

    I am really looking forward to reading your shopping plans for August, Brandy.

    Have a great week everyone! I always love reading all the comments here.

  • Perhaps there is a different way or two that you can style your hair in the meantime to give you something else to do with it while you wait for it to grow.

    When mine really was getting so long that I was dreading doing it, I asked my husband to cut it. He's been cutting it ever since, and now I get my hair cut as often as I want. I didn't want to have him cut it for a few years, but when it had been about a year I took the plunge. I wish I had asked him earlier!

  • Sheila Speck July 30, 2017

    Staying home makes for great no spend days. Those were Sunday through Wednesday.

    Thursday I had my six month dental cleaning and received the wonderful news that I get to have two crowns. One will be free because it was done within the last five years. Thank goodness we have insurance and we will only be responsible for half of the cost of the new one.

    Friday I hung out with mom and didn't have to spend any money. I was a cheap date for her as I ate off the dollar menu at BK since she was treating. I drove her car as her driving scares me.

    Home all day yesterday and today. All of our meals were cooked here. All of the laundry was washed with my homemade stuff and line dried. Found five bucks in a pocket. Love laundered money! The thermostat is set to 75 and we use fans in whatever room we are using.

    My son is starting junior year and I have been busy checking his supplies. I don't think we will ever have to buy another pencil. It doesn't look like we will have to buy anything new. *crossing fingers* I'm not buying him any clothes for back to school. We will make do with what he has.

    Now for my downer. Dang blame deer ate all but two of the pears off my pear tree. First fruit I was going to get from it. It was going to be enough to make a tart. I can't be too mad. One of the does has a pretty pair of twins and the herd is nice to watch from the deck. But dang.

  • Athanasia August 02, 2017

    Oh, Shelia, too bad those deer ate the pears! Once we finish our deck we will be able to watch the deer that live in the wood behind our house.

  • Rachel C July 30, 2017

    I went garage sale shopping on Saturday and found a lot of name brand clothing for myself including a brand new dress with tags (retail $50) for 50 cents! I was thrilled. I also found a glass mixing bowl. I baked two loaves of banana bread with bananas that had browned early. I harvested tomatoes peppers and green beans as well as blackberries. We discovered a peach tree and a cherry on our property (we moved five months ago on 2 acres that is bordered by more land). I used my cloth diapers and I researched making my own deodorant and shampoo.

  • What a deal on the dress and I am happy to hear about your trees!

  • Athanasia August 02, 2017

    Rachel, in my opinion you can never have too many mixing bowls.

    I read once to keep bananas separate to slow down the ripening. Like separate from each other, so I break them apart and put them here and there around the kitchen. Unless I am in a hurry for them to ripen.

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