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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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  • Athanasia July 06, 2018

    Ach, my typing. IF you treat it well and IF you store...actually it looks like it is the auto correct changing my words.

  • Stephanie July 02, 2018

    Congratulations on ten years! That's an amazing accomplishment, and I've enjoyed your site for a very long time now.

    This week, I hung my laundry out to dry, finished reading several books from my own shelves (one I'll pass on to others via a Little Free Library near me), and finally found a rug for underneath my piano bench. I've been looking for one for ages, but have held off because new ones the size I needed were so expensive. This one was a dollar at a yard sale, so that made me happy! I studied French using resources I have at home, made several meals' worth of spaghetti sauce using veggies that needed to be used up, and read several books I'd requested from interlibrary loan. On one day, I was really struggling with pain and so we stayed home, thus spending no money at all.

  • Linda July 02, 2018

    Congratulations and thank you for your blog. I started following your blog because of your lovely gardens but kept reading because I enjoy the way you “romance the ordinary”. Fresh flowers, creative homemade birthday celebrations, home-cooked meals and lovely gift wrappings all done on a budget and with a house full of little ones! You are a marvel!

    I will list a few things I’ve done to save money but I can’t hold a candle to most of you. I dried and saved heirloom seeds from my spring lettuce to use in the fall, harvested herbs and vegetables from my garden, edited our business website so I didn’t have to hire it done, sold some vintage items on ebay that belonged to my late mother-in-law and have been in storage and made some 4th of July promotional items for our business instead of buying them.

    I really enjoy your blog, especially your gift a day series and pictures of your gardens. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

  • FrugalinToronto July 02, 2018

    First time writing here. My husband needed a laptop urgently for his work. We had been using his old one for around 10 yrs and it was on its last legs. We bought a macbook one year old from a reputed second hand computer shop after doing lots of research. It cost 550$ instead of the 2600 a new one would have cost.

  • Brandy July 02, 2018

    I’ve been ready your blog for years and enjoy all that you do. I’m not frugal as you and most of your readers but work hard to save money where I can. Your blog gives me wonderful ideas as well as the readers who post. My biggest save was using the Ibotta app. It’s been about 8 months but I was able to cash out $60 to help pay for my daughters Girl Scout camp. Feels awesome to see those tiny amounts add up. I also purchased a $5 Kohl’s book with my $5 rewards. Only paid tax and gave it as a birthday present to one of my youngests sons preschool friends as a birthday gift along with his favorite candy.

  • Donna July 02, 2018

    Thank you for your blog. I have been a reader for several years and truly gleam information to help me and my family.

  • Corinne July 02, 2018

    Congratulations on 10 years! I have been reading your blog for many years, I think it has been at least 8 years. I have only commented once or twice. I found your blog when I needed help understanding how to be more frugal and simplify my life (my husband and I have 4 sons). I have read ( and stopped reading ) many other blogs along the way, but I never have stopped reading yours. You have inspired me in countless ways. The fact your are a Francophile and a Harry Potter fan really endeared me to you. You seem to run a very calm household which is something I aspire for. I am continually impressed with all that you and your dear family accomplish.
    I have also been inspired by everyone's comments and ideas on their frugal accomplishments. I love how supportive everyone is on this site. I see it as a respite from my hectic world. I treasure all of your posts and look forward to each one of them
    Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  • Kim in Florida July 02, 2018

    Happy 10th anniversary to your blog!!!!!

    I havent really posted in awhile, by the time I get caught up on all the posts, its later in the week and then theres no sense in doing so!!! One of the things that I have been doing for a few months now is I cut my sos pads in half to make them last longer. Here in Florida, if I use it once and leave it on a ceramic trivet, its rusted the next day. At least by cutting it in half, I can get 2 days out of one pad. Last week I thought I needed dishwasher pods, so I had a $25 giftcard for Walmart that I had redeemed from swagbucks, I went to Sams and lucky for me, they were on an instant rebate for $4 off. I had been getting $10 coupons off of groupon in my email. I found a deal at the butcher shop and a deal for large shrimp at the seafood store. Out of pocket costs were less than $5 for each, which made for 2 decent suppers. My husband decided that he would like to diet, so we both have weight watcher online accounts. While thats not exactly frugal, He is eating a lot less food. I am buying a lot less meat, but more in season fruits and veggies. Im almost at goal, once I hit lifetime, my weightwatchers will be free. Last week I did a lot of food shopping through both of our ibotta accounts. The freezer is stocked with turkey burgers and morningstar farms frozen items. Other than this, just my normal efforts to save/not spend money.

  • Jassy in WA July 03, 2018

    I keep my used SOS pads in the freezer in a baggie. That way they don't rust and I can use them multiple times.

  • Janet July 06, 2018

    Try keeping your Sos pads in the freezer when not in use . We still cut them in half but we keep them in a glass pyrex bowl in the freezer door. It seems to work.

  • Athanasia July 06, 2018

    Kim, I don't like SOS pads for many reasons. I've used for years the stainless steel scrubby balls. They can go right in dishwasher along with load and last months.

  • Linda Higgy July 08, 2018

    Athanasia, I agree! After throwing away rusted, splintery expensive pads I decided to buy the stainless steel one. Best buy I have ever made. I have been able to clean items ( stove, pans casserole dishes) with one that takes the grime off and doesn't hurt my old hands. You don't need to scrub hard, gently works well and fast.

  • Kim July 02, 2018

    I am so very thankful for all the hard work you put into your blog on a regular basis especially with how busy you are with your large family. I just can't tell you how much your blog has improved the quality of life for our family. You are truly a blessing to so many- but first and foremost to your own family which I greatly admire.
    I hope you and your husband have a great time celebrating your anniversary.

    I turned my dishwasher on the other morning and then went to brush my teeth before heading off to work for the day. When I went back into the kitchen- it was flooded! I quickly turned off the dishwasher and mopped up most of the water and then called my husband who was already at work. He came home and was able to fix the plumbing issue with very minimal cost for parts. So thankful for his handyman skills. So thankful the water didn't ruin the flooring.

    For the first time ever, our cherry tree is producing lots of delicious cherries so we are eating those fresh and not buying any fruit.

    My daughter and her husband are remodeling their bathroom so we have been babysitting our grandson so they can work on the bathroom project undisturbed. They have been planning this project for at least 5 years. They slowly purchased the items needed at thrift stores and such and their total cost for tiling walls around tub and tiling floor and putting up bead board on other walls, new toilet, new sink, new light fixture, new paint is $2000. It really pays to plan and be patient and most importantly, be willing to do all the work yourself.

  • Patricia Koernig July 02, 2018

    I am new to commenting on your blog. Have been following for the past year. I lost my husband 2 years ago...am finding my way in this new normal. Thank you for providing a space to read, comment, and learn. You mean the world.

  • Terri W July 03, 2018

    Hugs and prayers for you at this time. I lost my husband almost 2 years ago also. It is such a different life now, isn't it? I am blessed to have my 3 daughters and their families close by and my church family is amazing! As far as finances go, I am living on less income, but I also have less expenses. It seems that it just takes time to readjust priorities. This blog is a God-send to me for information and company!!

  • Patricia Koernig July 03, 2018

    Yes, Terri Life is very different, and it takes time to readjust on all counts. And, like for you, this blog provides such comfort. You feel less alone, right? I appreciate you reaching out. Much grace to you. Patricia

  • Ja July 02, 2018

    Just to let you know that I so enjoy your words, pictures, recipes and tips. I have worked hard to be frugal and yet enjoy the beauty of life for many years.
    I accept your challenge to think of just one frugal action taken this week. There are so many but this is the first thing I thought of.
    We took three of our grandchildren for ice cream while on a day trip. When we got there we realized it would cost over $20 for each of us to get a small cone. We decided to walk across the street to a small grocery and buy a container of ice cream for $4. We stopped at a picnic area on the way home and enjoyed the ice cream. The kids loved it because it was all-you-can-eat!

  • Stacey July 06, 2018

    That's such a wonderful idea and a memory maker too!

  • Lynne July 02, 2018

    Congratulations on your blogging milestone!

    This week with the help of a neighbour I made mandarin and lime marmalade for the first time, (all fruit from my neighbours garden). I have given away a few bottles as presents and people love anything homemade.
    I think this blog is inspiring me to look for a second hand freezer. We belong to a fruit and veg co-op and I need extra space to freeze things that are at the moment spoiling as we don't get around to using them. Anyone have advice on upright versus chest freezers?

  • Rhonda A. July 02, 2018

    I love my upright freezers as they are so much easier to see and find what you are looking for! My understanding is that chest freezers keep things frozen longer if there is a power outage. But I would rather have a more functional freezer that is user friendly. By the way, I would recommend watching auction or estate sales for a used freezer. When loved ones pass away or need to move/ downsize often their family already have a household full of stuff and the duplicate items get sold. They can sometimes be in really good/ like new condition too!

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