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Frugal Accomplishments for the Last Week of June

June Cucumbers The Prudent Homemaker

This post contains affiliate and referral links.


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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  • Cathy July 02, 2018

    That is funny. FMTA = Frugal Minds Think Alike! :)

  • Darcy July 02, 2018

    Happy Anniversary on your blog, Brandy! Your site is my absolute favorite thing on the Internet and keeps me motivated and inspired :D

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house:

    I made some new curtains for the kitchen from fabric I had.

    I made vegetable soup from odds and ends from the fridge and freezer. I also made a large pot of beans and rice. We ate some throughout the week and the rest went in the freezer for future meals.

    I was on vacation this week so we saved quite a bit of money on gas. I have an hour and a half commute each day.

    Since I was on vacation I was able to do some activities that I don’t normally have the time to do:

    We attended our granddaughter’s volleyball game. It’s so enjoyable to watch the grandchildren grow up and do things. We took our two grandsons to the local splash pad. It only cost $1 for each child since we live in the township.

    I went to two thrift stores one day and bought many books for myself and the grands. I am beyond thrilled that they love their books. I also found two tops and two pairs of shorts for $2.00 each since it was “Two-Dollar Tuesday.” I have been looking for a set of salt and pepper shakers and I found one I really liked for $2.00. The last thing I found and especially needed was a Rubbermaid dish rack and drainer. The larger ones are not easy to find these days (and expensive!) and my old one was looking sad. I don’t have a dishwasher so a decent quality dish rack is a necessity.

    We took a load of unwanted items to the thrift store. We still have more things to get rid of in the basement but every bit is progress.

    Have a great week, everyone! I will be back to read the comments.

  • Stephanie July 02, 2018

    Hello all!

    This week I received the State Park backpack from the library. It has a free parking pass to any Virginia State Park and brochures, on bug, leaves, Tess, etc. it also has bug and fish nets for kids to use. I used it to take my grandson to Claytor Lake. I have it check out for one more week.

    I went to a few yard sales. Bought chutes and Ladders for $1. Also bought a few toys for my grandson for 50 cents. I bought a picture for my kitchen for $1.50 at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

    I received 2 books from different university’s libraries thought the Interloan Library System. I will use these to write a philosophy of education paper for my teaching license renewal.

    Picked cucumbers and sweet peppers from the garden.

  • Jenny July 02, 2018

    This past week we have sold 200 dollars worth of homeschool books we no longer used. We will use the money toward new books and other needs.
    We packed our own snacks for a short road trip so we didn’t have to stop for any food along the way.
    I have been cleaning and organizing our home, the more organized I am the less money I waste on buying things we already own, and the calmer I feel seeing a fresh uncluttered space.
    Congratulations Brandy, I have been reading for years and your site is one of my favorites, I love your encouragement!

  • AndreaG July 02, 2018

    Hi Brandy:
    Congratulations on 10 years! This is my first post but I have been reading for a long time and am so inspired by your work ethic, your willingness to share ideas, and the comments of readers who also provide so many frugal ideas. This week I hung all laundry out to dry, ate all meals at home and found two articles of clothing at a thrift store for $1 each. Both these items would retail at $100 or more if bought new. My husband took his lunch to work everyday. We’ve had no food waste and I bought only the minimum at the grocery store this week, spending less that $20. The lettuce in my garden is finally getting big enough to pick here in southern Ontario so we are looking forward to some of that this week! I’m looking forward to everyone’s comments and picking up more ideas and inspiration.

  • Esther July 02, 2018

    We do "slushies" made with lemonade in our ice cream maker - yum! Love your blog. Thanks for all you do!!

  • Andrea Q July 03, 2018

    Great idea! We have an ice cream maker, but rarely us it because cream is so expensive.

  • Elizabeth July 02, 2018

    1. A local thrift store was having a 50% off sale, so I found six tops that will freshen up my dwindling wardrobe for $12.
    2. My father is having a cow processed this week, so I am buying a 1/4 of it for around $2 a pound (we are having it mostly done in steaks and roasts, with a little ground beef thrown in because we still have lots of ground beef from the last time)
    3. I have been enjoying fresh blueberries from our bushes every day
    4. Kroger had great deals on dish soap, cookies, crackers, Beanitos, ice cream, and frozen veggies last week, so I stocked up.
    5. I replaced the burner covers inside my grill to hopefully extend its life for a few more years.

  • Monica July 02, 2018

    I look forward to what the upcoming posts have in store! Your blog has been a great inspiration to me through the years. I’ve love watching your family grow as well.
    Our most frugal accomplishment this week was definitely in the garden. We continued to harvest a bucketful of tomatoes every other day. I have canned them and made salsa. I have more to do this week. We were given three bags of cucumbers from my dad and mom and are making dill pickles out of those today. We picked some from my in-laws last week and made five quarts of dill Spears from those. I put up 14 quarts of green beans that I picked from my in-laws garden last week while they were on vacation. Last night I picked my first “mess” of my own peas from my garden so I’m excited that they are making!
    My husband got several free posts from the electric company that they had taken down from various places and replaced with new. They are perfectly fine for fencing posts that we need.
    My father in law gave my husband a car battery charger when he asked to borrow it. This will be useful to us as oft times a child will forget to close the door and the battery runs down. :D
    My son is still having to go to therapy twice a week, 90 miles away but my dad has been going with us some. When he does go he buys the gas and our eats.
    We have all had colds the past two weeks which includes ear aches and fevers. It’s been a bad summer cold. I only took one child to the doctor and the rest we have been self medicating and getting plenty of rest.

  • Anna July 02, 2018

    Good Morning,

    Congratulation! I have used many of your suggestions over the years. All are so useful. I have used the recipes and many have become family favorites, I remember when you had a blog and Facebook and then you switched to this site. Some of my most favorites posting are the Gift A Day series and birthday celebration postings.

    The weather has been extremely hot here and relentless. Yesterday it rained all day and the temperature was cooler and more comfortable. The first new baby, my nephew, was born this weekend and we went to visit him. Because I crocheted a soft baby blanket for him, the gift was well received. The baby is beautiful and I look forward to taking care of him and (sadly) giving him back to his lovely parents.

    Ways I saved last week:

    Turned the temperature on the air conditioner up a few days
    Saved the water from the air conditioner to water the garden (learned that from Miss Brandy)
    Made a new afghan for to be a Christmas gift
    Did not drive for my car for several days to make the gas last
    Had $72 dollars left over from June budget which was put into my saving account
    Added up my change from six months of collecting = $66 and put into my Xmas funds
    Made all meals from the pantry for the last week of June and last week before getting paid

    ]As a single mom/woman these are savings that feel like accomplishments for me:
    Checked the pressure on my tires on my car
    Had my tires rotated for free (part of the warranty)
    Trimmed all the bushes in the yard and raked 8 bags of leaves (save $200)

    Farmer's Market
    I go to the Farmer's Market with $5 to get vegetables and fruit
    Bought a giant zucchini, 3 good size summer squash, big bag of small yellow potatoes, 2 giant cucumbers, 8 tomatoes, big bag of red onions, 8 green, purple, and white peppers, bundle of garlic

    What I have learned from Miss Brandy is to appreciate my small victories of saving money and to reflect on how to save money in the future. I wish I had added up all those savings for the last few years...that would be interesting!

    Have a wonderful week all.


  • Cindy in the South July 02, 2018

    Congrats on the 10 yrs! Our local grocery store had 30 lbs of chicken leg quarters for $10 total!. I am going to give some to my sons. I did all of my routine things. Cooked at home, brought my lunch to work, and wore thrifted clothes.

  • Judy Geiger July 02, 2018

    Congratulations Brandy on ten years of this beautiful site. I have also birth 9 kids and adopted 5. During the recession I found your post so encouraging and hopeful. I have love that you create beauty even when finances are tight. You have done an exceptional job and encouraged others to do so too!

  • Elisabeth H. July 02, 2018

    I've been following you for at least 6 years now, if not more. I really appreciate your work and beautiful, tasteful ideas and pictures!

    Last week I tried to make a flower bouquet. It wasn't too fancy, but still nice enough to give it as a thank you. We didn't need it, because someone else had already bought one for this person, so we gave it to my MIL instead who liked it! I made it out of sunflowers and greenery from our garden and used some paper and ribbon from a present we received; so the bouquet was free.

    Summer break just began here (Europe), so we're using our cars less and stay at home most of the time. That saves us money and energy as well as time we can use in the garden. My husband is doing everything himself and saves us a huge amount of money. We hope to have a huge veggie garden nextdoor year!

    Our berry bushes are doing great and I'm freezing many berries to use in breakfasts during the cooler months.

  • Marie July 02, 2018

    Oh no...it's gone!
    Brandy, I loved that antique fork that was at the top of your web page. I'm assuming you had to move it to make room for your Instagram strip...I hope you reconsider. One of the great things about your blog is that even though you've modernized it a bit, it still has kept its charm and beauty I hope you don't start crowding out the pretty for the strictly prudent. So many website/blogs have gone that route.
    Just my humble opinion.

  • Patti July 02, 2018

    Congrats on your anniversary!

    I’ve commented before with specific comments to other readers but never my list of frugal accomplishments.

    First a comment: Amazon allows you to share your prime membership with up to 5 email addresses. It’s not only legitimate, it’s encouraged by Amazon. You don’t get all the services that you do with Prime but it does allow people to share. I share with my family as part of my “birthday gift” to them. Just look under your account settings.

    Frugal accomplishments:
    1. Stayed out of the stores and unsubscribed to sales emails. Those two things keep me from making lots of “wants” into “needs.”
    2. Shopped for groceries based on this weeks and next weeks sales. I follow a blog for my main grocery store that somehow gets previews of the next week. I check both weeks and delay purchases if I can.
    3. Ate lunch at home. I need to leave work for a mental break but live close enough that I go home and make lunch almost every working day.
    4. By passed the expensive non-water drinks at the store, even though I wanted one, to keep from needlessly spending the money (and drinking the calories).
    5. Signed up for the lower kWh rates during the day with power company. Means I have to shift a lot of chores to after 7 pm but it definitely lowers the high summer bills due to a/c use.

    Have a great week all! Thanks Brandy for all you do!

  • Andrea Q July 03, 2018

    I checked into sharing Prime. Thanks for the info!

    The page I found says you can only share with one other adult in your household and that the other email address will share payment methods with you. I'm going to create a separate log in for my husband so he can keep his own wishlist separate from mine and still access the Prime benefits.


  • Tamara July 02, 2018

    I found your blog your blog some years ago and have never commented before. The reason I continue to eagerly await your posts each week is I feel life should be as beautiful as possible no matter the financial circumstances, and you have shown it to be true. Your blog is a gorgeous combination of practicality and luxury. What is more luxurious than an extravagant arrangement of flowers on the table cut and arranged from ones back yard? My small home is fragrant with the scent of fresh cut flowers, which in my opinion are essential to happiness:)
    Because I am a new Real Estate Broker (and raising a sixteen yr old daughter on my own) I am not able to take an away vacation this summer. However, I have not let that keep me from enjoying myself. I purchased a family sized inflatable pool on sale for 15.00,
    placed it in the backyard, put up my shade umbrella, made homemade lemonade, put on my swimsuit and lounged for hours floating on a small raft.
    My daughter and I are avid patrons of the library and almost never purchase books. This week we went to our local Barnes and Noble, which is very close to our home and found titles of new books we wished to read. Then, we promptly went home and made a request from the library online.
    Thank you for the important work you do with your blog.


  • Alissa July 02, 2018

    Wow! 10 years! That means I found your page not too terribly long after you created it. I remember how I felt like I struggled to put transplants or seeds in a garden while working FT & with my first child being born in Spring of 2009. I reached out to you & you responded with encouragement & tips to try (like doing just st 10 minutes a day and such).

    I have enjoyed watching God bless you by expanding your garden, including the front yard, & the added blessings of more children. He wouldn’t give those to you if He wasn’t going to help you provide.

    You are an inspiration!! I absolutely adore you & your family. I honestly hope to travel to that side of the states. I have you & one other family (I believe they’re closer to Seattle) that I wish to finally meet in-person. I’ve learned so much from you all and those who share while following your page. I don’t feel like a lonely odd-ball anymore. I just know “my kind of people” are spread out ;)

    I pray your site continues to bless you & those who find it/read it for many years to come (though I hope the Lord will ease the burdens finances contribute to). I am so thankful you started all of this 10 years ago. Truly! If I could hug you, I would!!

    Happy wedding anniversary as well!!

  • Terry July 02, 2018

    Always fun to read everyone's tips and encouragement.
    Granddaughter wrecked her car. I told her I would get about 1k for my car on trade in even though it was worth much more. Suggested she buy it for 1k. She was thrilled. Then I negotiated a great deal on new to us car. Everybody was happy.
    A stop at the farm store at the end of the day netted me about 20# of zucchini for 1$. We have had many good zucchini based meals and treats. I made 6 pints of relish using up bell and pablano peppers frozen from our garden last summer. Our garden is slow this year, but the farm store is an easy walk from here and lower in price than the grocery store.
    Up early every day to open the house and start fans only having to use air conditioning late in the afternoon so far.
    Chickens continue to give us just enough eggs for breakfast and an occasional baked treat.
    I'm doing the mending for my widowed brother. He gifts us berries from his garden and some extra fruit from his trees. Everyone benefits.
    All laundry washed in cold water and line dried.
    My stove has issues so we unplugged it and are using my two instapot, toaster oven, George Foreman and an electric skillet and getting by just fine.
    I appreciate you, Brandy for your wisdom, humor and wonderful greatfull attitude. Here's to another 10 years

  • margie from Toronto July 02, 2018

    Congratulations on your 10th anniversary as a blogger and thank you for all your hard work over the years - I cannot imagine how you manage to do so much with such a large family - you are truly an inspiration!

    Monday: Stayed home and took care of some chores

    Tuesday: Attended my monthly bookclub - got the book from the library, paid $1 for coffee at the centre and as I was this month's facilitator I did take a treat for the others - but as we take turns each month this isn't a big expense. I then headed down to my church as it was our last English as a Second Language evening until September and we were putting on a BBQ for all the students. I went early to help with the set up - we had around 70 attendees and we all had a lovely, free meal.

    Wednesday - stayed home and did laundry - one load of sheets went into the dryer but the second load of clothes and the hand laundry that I did all got hung up to dry. Later, did the ironing and got everything put away, I also found $1.10 in change in the laundry room!

    Thursday: Stayed home and cleaned my apt. I was having 7 friends over on Saturday so needed to give the place an extra clean!

    Friday: Pension money was deposited so I did all the errands, went to the library and did the grocery shopping. I knew that this would involve a lot of trips on the subway so I bought a day pass, got more than my money's worth and then passed it along to a neighbour who I met heading out as I arrived home from my last trip of the day.

    Saturday: Entertained and it was not frugal although I suppose for feeding 8 people it wasn't so bad. The guests brought beer and wine but the food was a bit more than I'd hoped. I tend to be the one who has always entertained over the years - and I've loved doing it but now that I'm on a fixed income I will have to rethink how to do this - and how many times a year I'll do it. Still - it was lovely to see everyone - especially those who only come to Toronto a couple of times of year now so I will bite the bullet for this month.

    Sunday: enjoyed Fellowship after church - good coffee and some treats. I also picked up my small cheque for the work that I do there each month and that will be deposited on Tuesday.

    I was feeling a bit down after listening to friends talking about their various travel plans for August - but then I reminded myself that I hate travelling in the Summer (too hot and too crowded) so managed to stop feeling sorry for myself. I will appreciate having the Summer off for the second year in a row and take advantage of all the city has to offer, especially all the free and low cost things that are out there!
    I've also been feeling hard done by as regards my pension situation and had assumed that a new friend was so much better off than me - but then at Fellowship yesterday I overheard her speaking with someone else about having to juggle bills a bit as her pension is so low and then speaking with her later she mentioned that she lived in a Bachelor (Studio) Apt. - I had assumed at least a 1 bedroom in a fancy downtown condo - but how wrong we can be. You just never know how others manage and that is another reason why I appreciate all those who comment here and who aren't afraid or embarrassed to share their lives and their struggles. Thank you all for your contributions.

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