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Frugal Accomplishments for the Last Week of June

June Cucumbers The Prudent Homemaker

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Ten years ago, I sat at my computer and started creating this website. My plan was to create menus and recipes for those who were living, like us, from their food storage and garden. At the time, we had been living on our food storage for over a year. I had a newborn baby, my fifth child, and my eldest was eight years old. 

At the time, I didn't want a blog. I wanted something easily searchable, with static pages (static blog pages weren't a thing then, at least not on the blogs I read).

I wanted to encourage those who were struggling to put food on the table.

Over time, I shared fewer recipes and more of our day to day efforts to save money. The recession has been a long one and the recovery hasn't felt like a recovery to many.

I have so many things I want to share with you! My family's needs have to come first, so many plans and ideas have sat, unfinished, on the backside of my website, waiting for the chance I have to share them with you. I truly hope that this year I can find a way to share them with you, along with the projects that I hope to make and share. Be sure to check in often throughout the month; I will be sharing as many posts with you as possible!

Now for this past week's efforts to save money:

I said yes to the offer of cucumbers and green beans from a friend's garden abundance. She brought over a few tomatoes from her garden as well. She grows inside of a cooled greenhouse that is cooled with a swamp cooler, so she has the humidity and cooler temperatures that my garden lacks. Her entire garden is watered (and cooled) with grey water and the swamp cooler is powered by solar and wind power (as is the rest of their house).

I mended a hole in two pairs of shorts (one for my son and one for my husband). I turned three pairs of the girls' jeans into jean shorts.

I hemmed two pairs of pants for my husband. It was my first time cuffing pants. I was a bit nervous about it, but I watched a video on YouTube a couple of times with instructions and then I cuffed both pairs. 

We harvested tomatoes, blackberries, and chives from the garden.

I transplanted a few zinnia plants and a basil plant which had all self-seeded in the grass into the garden.

I transplanted a tomato plant which had self-seeded at the edge of the garden into another spot in the garden where it will have room to grow.

My girls watched a movie on YouTube. 

I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. We'll use it for the month (and then I'll cancel) to watch some things we haven't seen before. It's too hot to play outside during the day (107°F/42°C is the average high, with the lows at 79°F/26°C around 5 a.m. ) so the children watch more tv during the summer. I found several things, including several Amazon original series, for them to watch.

My husband and I had a date night at home playing Rummikub and Sequence.

I accepted two used Cuisinart ice cream freezer bowls. Now I can have several bowls cold and ready in the freezer at a time!

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Chili's. My husband and I will use it on our anniversary next week for a lunch date.

I saved warm-up water from the shower and used it to water potted plants in the garden.


What did you do save money this past week? If you've never shared before but you read each week, I'd especially love it if you shared one thing you did this past week to save money, no matter how routine it is!


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  • Angela in Kentucky July 01, 2018

    Congratulations on your blog and wedding anniversary. I am so blessed to have found your site a few years ago. I love it and the comments that are found here. I have shared your blog site info to many friends and hope that they are reading also. I am not near as frugal as some of your readers but do try to save money in many ways. I am definitely more frugal minded than many of my friends who find it "too much" to deal with. I always shop sales and use coupons. My stockpile is such that I often don't have to go to the store each week and basically shop the sales to restock what I have. I am blessed that this has come in handy when I was too sick to go shopping and to share with those less fortunate. This week I have harvested yellow squash, zucchini, basil, green onions and tomatoes. I shared some of this with neighbors. I sold a gifted new in box Kindle and case to a lady on a neighborhood page. I already had one and did not need another. I attended an live auction and got dog food and dog dental chews at an extremely cheap price for name brand. I bid on some items on an online auction and also was able to get them cheaper than even a sale. I enjoy trying to look for the best way to get a deal. I am looking forward to all the comments this week. I read comments each night before going to bed. I then try to think about ways to put them to use at my home. Please continue to inspire us. You are a Godsend for many.

  • Megan July 01, 2018

    While at a yard sale, my mom asked the home owner if they would be selling any succulent starts (they had beautiful planters full). The woman told us they were her mom’s, and asked her mom to come up. She was so generous and sweet, sent us in our way with a grocery bag of free starts!!!

    While at yard sales I found a handful of items to re-sell. Listed 6 auctions and have around that many more to still list. Sold two already for $37 before fees!

    My daughter (8yr old) and I have gone through her room and I’ve listed some toys on Facebook for her that she no longer wants. I told her that some money can go into her wallet for our trip to SoCal to visit family, some into her savings and some into my wallet (either because it was something I purchased or a little for gas money as I’m don’t have people come to my house and am driving downtown to meet people). I haven’t listed anything for less than $10, so far she has made $70 and still has some items listed and a few more to list. Trying to get my son to go through his things this next week while I tackle the “household” items. I can’t stand when the house starts to feel cluttered!

    Enjoying the Chief Inspector Gamache series that was recommended here by multiple readers, I’ve been able to get all of the books from our local library so far! I have also been saving any books that I’ve finished from my bookshelf, rather than immediately passing them on to friends or coworkers and not getting any in return - I’m planning on hosting a book swap later this summer. Hoping that this will be a neat tradition to start and that we can all get new to us books by trading those we’ve already read!

  • Jessie July 01, 2018

    We brought leftovers home from a church potluck(saved them from the trash) to use as dinner!

  • Carol July 03, 2018

    Jessie...I love leftovers! I used to be shy about accepting, but not any more. Taking into account people who need them more than me.

  • Marybeth July 04, 2018

    All of my friends, family, church members and co-workers know I will take leftovers home. If I am busy doing something they always make me a tray to take home. Really helps with the grocery budget.

  • Caitlin July 01, 2018

    I made my son's birthday cake (this year he requested an ice cream cake).

    I baked bread and made pasta e fagioli with herbs from my garden.

    I canned 24 quarts of zucchini pickles, 8 pints of zucchini relish, and 11 pints of faux pineapple.

  • Fiona Chain July 02, 2018

    Hi Caitlin,
    Can I ask what faux pineapple is ?
    Kind regards

  • Ann July 02, 2018


    It's a zucchini preserve that actually tastes just like pineapple! So fun!

  • Kelly July 01, 2018

    I can't believe it has been 10 years!!! congrats!!! I have been following your blog for at last 9 of those if not the whole 10. I remember when you had 2 different platforms and the day to day blog was one and your recipes and knowledge were another. I was so happy when you combined the two. You have truly made my life so much better. I was 22, in school full-time completing my Masters degree and living on $15/week. Despite that tiny budget, I was able to feed myself and my cat very well with a lot of organic produce, some meat and all the personal care items I needed. I was also able to donate so many things as well. I am now 32, still in a very tough financial spot and will be for another year but, because of your knowledge and the knowledge of your readers I am well on my way to being debt free, living within my means and having 3 advanced degrees all while living in one of the most expensive cities in North America.

    I very rarely share on your site but, I do look forward to each and everyone of your posts.

    Thank you for all that you do and share.

  • Emily July 27, 2018

    I think we started following about the same time and in the same place in our lives. I was in graduate school too when I started reading!

  • Lulutoo July 01, 2018

    I walked home from the train (about a mile) instead of taking the bus for $1.25. I always walk but it was 100 degrees that day. (I know, that's a cold spell to you, Brandy!). But as I waited for the bus, I thought, 'This is ridiculous--I'm gonna walk!'. And I did--and I even beat the bus home.). Brandy, yours is my favorite blog. Here's to 10 more years!

  • Julie July 01, 2018

    Packed my lunch everyday, mended a dress and fixed a drawer in our pantry. Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary! I think O started reading your blog about five years ago. I am grateful for your honesty and sharing your experiences.

  • Cindi July 01, 2018

    I so appreciate your faithfulness in posting to this blog, since I know you are very busy with your family. I look forward to seeing your new posts. You have taught me so much, and inspired me so much. I look forward to reading this post -- and the comments of all your readers -- each week.
    This week I baked sandwich bread, granola, French bread, and two kinds of cookies. For my husband’s birthday I made a coconut cream pie (his request). We had friends over to help us eat the pie.
    I was asked to contribute a salad and bread for a funeral meal. I made the salad from my garden and sent homemade bread.
    Summer means lots of free activities in our area. We attended a free lecture by a wildlife biologist about mountain lions, and enjoyed a free concert in the park. We took a picnic to the concert.
    My husband took all the rugs (we have hardwood floors) and pressure washed them, then hung them on the fence to dry. This does a fantastic job of getting them clean.
    A friend who was cleaning out her closet gave me two very nice dresses.
    We enjoyed lettuce, chard, onions, mint, and a few raspberries from the garden.
    My husband and I downloaded free books from the library to enjoy.

  • Lynn July 12, 2018

    Great idea about pressure washing rugs. Thank you.

  • Shelley July 01, 2018

    This week's saving for me...
    Visited a friend and ate out only once...I brought food for us the rest of the time.

    Found milk for $1.58 a gallon! Got cheese for $.99 8oz bought 5...got cereal for $.99 a box not sure if my daughter (10) would like it...so I bought 1...of course she liked it...oh well

  • Terri July 01, 2018

    We only have $100 for the month for groceries and other household misc so I am thankful for our garden. We will eat from the freezer and use our fresh fruit we purchased and vegetables from the garden. I am using more cloth rags instead of disinfectant wipes, and used vinegar to wash the floors. We were almost out of Windex so added vinegar to the spray bottle to clean the windows. Our easiest way to save money is to stay out of the stores and stay home. I have followed you for years Brandi! Thank you for all your tips on saving money, it has been a blessing to my family.

  • Blythe July 01, 2018

    Thanks for sharing Brandy! I always find your posts so encouraging and I am SO looking forward to more posts from you in the near future :).

    This weeks frugal accomplishments:

    Made 3 jars of strawberry jam from 6 lbs of very ripe berries that my husband brought home from one of the farms he manages. I had never made any before, and I didn't have any pectin or sugar on hand but did have honey and found a good recipe on how to use that instead of sugar and use peeled apple and lemon juice instead of pectin. Turned out great! Used it on homemade waffles, total hit!

    My husband brought home 6 large beets and 1 big zucchini from another farm he manages.

    Enjoyed a free movie viewing at our local library. It was nice to enjoy the air conditioning and have my children entertained :).

    Hemmed six pairs of my daughters leggings into shorts. She's 4 and had ripped a hole in almost every pair of her leggings. But since we need shorts under all her dresses anyway, I just decided to repurpose instead of buying new.

    Made a new batch of homemade cleaners using only vinegar, water, dish soap, and a few drops of essential oils.

    My husband repurposed one tall second-hand shelf that a friend had given to us for free. He cut it in half width wise and made two night stands. Now we don't have to purchase new ones (at least for now).

    I gave my son and husband haircuts at home.

    Line dried all of my laundry this week.

  • Lori@MyVintageWhimsy July 01, 2018

    Congrats, Brandy, on your 10th blogging anniversary, and on your upcoming wedding anniversary!!

    These frugal accomplishments are for the last 2 weeks.

    Frugal accomplishments 18 June – 30 June

    Found 2 tomato cages in back yard from previous owners that I was able to reuse for the 2 tomato plants I bought on sale two weeks ago. Found miscellaneous trellises in the backyard that the old owner used for rose bushes I've since ripped out. I will reuse these in my new backdoor garden plot.

    Did all laundry on one day. Figured I would heat up laundry room one day by using dryer for 3 loads instead of doing laundry on separate days and heating the room up multiple times.

    My pull down attic door wasn't shutting all the way and was letting a ton of heat into the hallway, right down from the thermostat for the a/c, so I screwed the door shut! No more heat leaking into the hall!! T

    Mended holes in vintage flannel blanket, 2 pair of pj shorts

    Repaired garden hose. Sprung a leak earlier in the week, so cut off bad portion, put fitting back in usable portion, clamped it down. Saved at least $25. Took less than 5 minutes of time and a little elbow grease.

    Kept a/c at 80° mostly. Some days when the heat index was well into the 100s, I had to bump it down to 76 just to cool the house off enough to not be miserable.

    Canceled renters insurance, saving $170/year. I co-own my house with my dad, who pays the insurance since it's bundled in with his other houses, etc. I should have done this TWO years ago, ugh!!

    Set up automatic payments for my car insurance so I can stop forgetting to pay it (I don't get a paper statement and somehow always forget!) Even though this was bundled w/ my renters insurance and I was getting a discount before, this still averages out to $95/mo. I requested some quotes from other companies and this was still cheaper than what the other places could offer.

    Made new batches of spice blends. I don't buy store bought packages of things if it's something I can make myself. I made white chicken chili mix and regular chili mix. I mixed up a batch of my house seasoning last week to give to my SO to take home with him. I reused an empty chicken bouillon bottle with the shaker lid to put the mix in for him.

    Submitted a receipt for a rebate. Pulled one of the hangtag rebates from a shelf at a store but when I got home, realized it was for a similar but different product. Decided to check website to see if there were other rebates for the product I purchased and there were!! Taking 30 seconds to check the actual website allowed me to submit the receipt and now a $5 check is heading my way!

    There was a hairline crack in my wooden front door that I could see daylight coming through. I found a tube of clear caulk here at home and caulked the crack on the inside of the door, and will caulk the outside of the door soon.

    I spent an (embarrassing) hour cleaning out my fridge. I hate to admit how much I had to throw out. I was an obscene amount of stuff that had been shoved in there and forgotten about and/or partially used. It's rather empty now, but I feel I can keep better track of what's in there, especially since I'm back to living alone.

    Last year I redid the small flower bed outside my back/side door. Previous owners had some rose bushes there but I didn't care for them so removed those, put down cardboard, weed fabric, and mulch. The cardboard/weed fabric did nothing for the weeds, so I raked all the mulch out of the bed, removed the weed fabric and the cardboard, and I've planted my pepper plants and some herbs in there for now. Still have to weed it daily, but such is life I suppose. And the convenience of having herbs right outside my back door is pretty awesome.

  • Heidi Louise July 01, 2018

    Using the dryer for several loads in a row also saves energy because the heating element doesn't have to be pre-heated (or do I mean re-heated?) several times.

  • Sarah B July 01, 2018

    Hi Brandy! I haven't posted before but have been following for at least a year. Love your blog! I'm trying to learn to be more frugal.
    We took care of a neighbor's animals while they were gone. In exchange my kids made some money to put into savings and we could have all the fresh eggs for the week! 2.5 dozen!
    I traded kids clothes with a friend. She had a pair of shoes and a dress listed for sale in my toddler's size and I traded my oldest son's pair of UA pants someone had given him, but didn't fit, for them.
    Now that it's actually hot here I took my kids' winter PJs and cut the pants and long sleeved shirts into shorts and short sleeves shirts. My son says they all look like pirates but it saves us from having to buy summer PJs. That's all I could think of for now, but it's a start!

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