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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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  • PJGT July 30, 2017

    Congratulations on your Eagle Scout. Sometimes I take the Eagle Scout Mother pin out and remember the joy of our son beaming at his ceremony. Truly a family accomplishment.

    Started landscaping our property after taking over a ton of trash to the transfer station, having the neighbor take truck loads of metal (lots of old farm machinery) and moving a couple pickup truck loads of old boards to a place for future bonfires. The land is sloped, so I'm going to have tiered beds. I have access to many perennials, so they are free. My son started off with one pickup load of free composted soil from the town (my son shoveled a full bed of dirt in and than shoveled it out again into a pile on our future lawn...he's awesome). And we have an abundance of flat rocks here which I used as supporting walls for the first tier. One free tiered bed down!

    Since I am not having a garden...I'm only growing some gifted tomatoes in buckets...I have been looking for extra produce. Today I found my first zucchini.

    Took a bike ride just before dinner to help keep me to my eating plan. Still taking off last winters extra pounds. I have to keep reminding myself that eating less means more savings!

    Saved 5.00 off 25.00 at a store opening. I made sure to only buy what was on my list. I have another coupon for next month and will use it the same way. Their milk is less than anywhere around, too.

    Other than these, I did the regular old frugal things. The unusually rainy summer has me playing catch-up.

    Have an amazing week everyone.

  • T July 30, 2017

    Making all food at home. Black bean burgers, taco soup, Beef pot pie, Lentil casserole, spinach casserole, Quiche and ate leftovers. Had dinner at son's house one night. Harvested tomatoes, basil and lots of peppers. Froze what we can't eat now and dried the basil.
    Thinking about birthdays and Christmas. I am going to make things for Christmas and probably birthdays too. Not sure what yet.
    Stayed home, except when we worked on house and visited family. Car is sounding awful, I told my husband that and he told me his truck had some issues too. Praying they will hold out longer, at least one of the vehicles. Didn't save much for emergency fund, too many bills. But at least we are not putting anything on credit to dig ourselves further in a hole.
    Husbands's job is still iffy, very stressful. At least he talks to me, and yesterday he brought me some flowers he picked for me and put them in a cup for when I woke up! Sweet man!
    Spent time with both my sons and my one son's family. Wondering what to feed my grandkids tomorrow, probably gram flour pancake or egg in the hole. $105 dollars to cover expenses left from his paycheck, including gas for my husband to get to work until Friday. I don't want to touch the very small Emergency fund we started and maybe put part of this in it on Friday. So I am going to limit purchases to vegetable oil, eggs, and toilet paper, oh I'd like to buy a gallon of milk too. We have been out of butter all week, but we are making do. Pantry and freezer meals include: Gram flour pancakes, tuna melts with carrots and peppers, Homemade pizza , masala vada,( an
    Indian bean fritter) Ham sandwiches with peppers, tomatoes and potato salad, black bean soup, French toast, chicken curry salad, carrots, chicken soup, ( maybe with dumpling or the cheap noodles I bought.), Salmon patties, asparagus soup, (from frozen asparagus) canned pineapple, potato soup. Having a pantry with some food is such a blessing!
    I will check on my disabled son tomorrow. Make sure he has food this week. I'd like to invite him over, but sometimes he likes his alone time. He did come over the last two days. I sent him home with the makings for lentil casserole and tuna casserole today. And other stuff the day before. He is doing so much better, I'm proud of him actually living on his own, with a friend, and cooking. It was enjoyable talking to him the last couple of days. He has encouraged me to lose weight in such a nice way. I think you are right Brandy, it doesn't really cost extra money to lose weight. I really just started a few days ago and have lost 5 lbs already. I have a long way to go. I just don't eat as much, nothing at night. I eat what I want, just not as much. That is what I did when I was skinny. So I'm going to do it again. Stress eating has got me for several years, but now I decided to drink water instead ,or clean and just keep busy.
    I have also enjoyed talking to family this week. My aunt, my parents, my sons, grandchildren. My husband's family. Frugal fun!

  • Plus eating less saves money :)

    I have thought about what I ate when I was skinny and it was a lot less, in part because I had less money to spend than now (which is absolutely mind-blowing to me sometimes!) I'm still stuck on those last few pounds because I haven't been willing to eat that amount I ate before, but in order to lose it and keep it off, I need to cut my portions further.

    Best of luck in everything!

  • T July 30, 2017

    Thank-you Brandy! You are so right! Eating less does save money. Thank-you for your words of Encouragement! I reread them today. So helpful in my whole attitude towards everything.

  • Lilllanna Pickles July 31, 2017

    So happy to hear your son is able to live on his own. Mine talks about it all the time. I don't think it will be possible but we may have an alternative some time later. Her long term boyfriend may need some where to go in the next few years. It would be possible for them to marry and live under my roof. I have a huge unused family room on the other side of the house that would make a great space for them. I always tell her God gave her to me because I would always take care of her. She definitely has challenged my life but what a blessing.

  • Rhonda A. August 01, 2017

    Lillianna, I think your idea is perfect for your daughter. My autistic daughter is only 14years old, so we don't know yet how capable she will be to live on her own. I have high hopes she will be able to as she matures, and I'm doing everything I can to teach her daily living skills until then. However, if she is not quite able to, I've often thought that I'd look at buying a home with an in-law suite, so she can have her own space/apartment, but we can help her as needed. My alternative is to look at us both renting in the same apartment building, so again we are close enough to help, but she still has some independence.

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Rhonda, I think either of your ideas re' your daughter sound good, and they grow so fast you are right to start thinking about it now. I have mentioned my brother in law before...he rotates between his siblings about 3 months at a time since both parents passed. For us, we see that continuing as a long term solution as he enjoys all the different families.

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    T, your food sounds delicious. I have not heard of masala vada but am going to check my Indian cookbook for it. I probably have any ingredients needed.

  • T July 30, 2017

    Oh, I forgot, I also turned off lights often and used the light from the windows. Turned the air conditioner to a higher setting to save energy.

  • Jeannie July 30, 2017

    I haven't posted recently because the garden is in and I am processing food all day long. I am sure there is something frugal I have done, but I can't remember. All I can think about is the food waiting to be cleaned, chopped, shredded, peeled, shelled, blanched, frozen, cooked, canned, dehydrated....
    Anyway, I have managed to take pictures and go into details about the garden, the Lima beans, the squash, the dog, the kitchen, the bug I smashed that killed my squash plant.....
    Anyway, I think I am cracking up....


    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Jeannie, everything you listed ARE your frugal activities...gardening, prepping, freezing, canning, dehydrating!!

  • Jeannie August 03, 2017

    Thank you Athanasia, you are right! I could not see the forest for the trees, or maybe I couldn't see the garden for the Lima beans.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Becky July 30, 2017

    We are getting quite a bit of produce from our garden now. I've been canning and freezing beans and made pickles twice. It is supposed to be super hot this week--like 108! Crazy for this part of Oregon!! So, I'm thinking that will ruin the rest of the lettuce. Thankfully, there is a smaller planting that will be ok, I hope, to eat later. I hope to plant a little more soon.

    We went to Silver Falls State Park. We hiked for miles.

    I did some needed shopping and got great deals.

    We are preparing to go on a mission trip to Mexico and leave later this week. I'm scurrying around like a chicken getting ready--lots to do between now and then. I'm trying to pack quite a bit of food and snacks. I don't like going into every gas station mini-mart for those kinds of things, and they make me sick anyway. I cannot eat some of the food the group is cooking, either, so am bringing choices I can eat. We will be taking our van, full of teen-agers, as this is a high school trip. It should be great!

    I have pictures of the falls and my week on my blog: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/saving-money-and-weekly-update-july-30-2017/

  • Athanasia August 03, 2017

    Becky, I cannot believe how hot it is by you! I always thought it was cool and rainy there year round. I hope you get some nice time away at the ocean.

  • Annie-Blake July 31, 2017

    This week was focused on time management and efficiency with a view to save money and get the same results with less efforts (as we are busy working parents).

    I refocused our shopping and meal plans. I thought showered quick, easy and cost effective recipes.

    I delegated more.

    I did some 'spring' cleaning. Sorted through bagged up clothes that no longer fit my children and made a plan as to who gets what (family members, friends, charity).

    I went over August plans and outings and our expenditure and savings.

    I made a large batch of soup and added quinoa. My children and I made cupcakes from scratch and decorated them. Lots of fun.

    I staked the tomatoes in the garden. I planted some Lemon Scent, it is a gorgeous lime green colour.

    Getting the internet seems to be on hold for the time being. Our new laptop, purchased in readiness, sits new and unused in its box.

    The children and I attended playgroup. They had lots of art and craft activities, indoor & outdoor play and singing and dancing.

    I had a lovely night out with my husband and friends. Grandma looked after the children.

    Looking forward to hearing about your August shopping plans and the sewing project.

  • Linds July 31, 2017

    Just hopping back on the money saving bandwagon after a long string of massive life stresses. So my list is pretty short and unexciting.

    This past week I did a pantry, fridge, and freezer clean out. I threw away an embarrassing amount of food that had gone bad. But the upside is I knew what needed to be eaten within a few days so it could be saved from the garbage as well as what staples and freezer items we had to make a menu plan. I've stuck to the menu plan pretty well so far, making adjustments as necessary. We've only spent $52 for groceries this week and almost all of it was zero waste/packaging free. This is not too bad considering how much we would have eaten out without this plan and my motivation to stick to it.

    My husband got to go fishing with a neighbor Sunday morning and caught a King salmon! Wild line caught king salmon costs $29/lb at the fancy grocery store near by and we don't ever splurge like that. So we had a delicious salmon dinner, we froze another large meal's worth, and will be smoking a good amount of salmon tomorrow.

    I've been organizing and decluttering a lot this week. On one of my trips to drop off donate items I remembered the store was having a half off kids clothes sale, so I was able to pick up four pairs of pants, three pairs of shorts, and a Harley Davidson jean jacket for my four year old and hooded jacket for my 2 year old for about $21. Everything I picked up is in amazingly good shape. Unfortunately, garage sale prices are even more than the thrift store prices in my city and thrift store prices are on the rise too.

    I've renewed my focus on removing single use plastics from my life so that was good motivation for packing my lunches for work and staying away from fast food/eating out for lunch saving money this way is pretty easy.

  • Annabel Smith July 31, 2017

    Brandy your photography is really stunning. I think you could easily sell your images i.e. maybe in a Prudent Homemaker annual calendar or diary even... and also be hired to take photos, portraits etc. Its a thought!
    On our farm we get figs, two different types. So I was interested in putting rosemary with it in jam.
    It is winter here (Australia) so I will note this for when the figs come after Christmas. We don't waste one fig. Last year they were $2 EACH in the stores here.
    I don't know if any of your readers will remember years ago a blog called Laines Letters. I followed her and she stopped posting and then I found you to follow as there are many similarities! For those that remember Laine is posting again! My last week was pretty good savings wise. I have been trying different stores and travelling a bit further to get prices down and find more thrift stores... and its worked. Prices have really gone up so it is taking more work to keep the food costs down. Each week I am trying to learn new things.... last week I made yoghurt and there is so much I can make with plenty of yoghurt on hand! With love Annabel.xxx http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com.au/

  • Lynn July 31, 2017

    Thank you for letting us know about Laine. She was a great source of inspiration for me. I am so blessed by this website and the ladies that comment here. It gives me comfort to know there are still creative and hard working families out there. I don't seem to run across them in person any more.

  • KimP July 31, 2017


    Does Laine have a new site up?? I have been able to read the one's on your blog also. I was so happy to see those!! :D

  • Annabel Smith August 01, 2017

    Dear Kim,
    Laine was going to have a website but it just hasn't happened. So for now she is posting some blog posts on The Bluebirds are Nesting which is a big honour for me as I love her so much! I need to get them all into the "Laine" subject in the index. There are three posts from her so far. I waited and waited years to see her writing again! With love Annabel.x

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