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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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  • Jeannie July 03, 2018

    Margaret, the baby comes first. Do keep resting all you can.

  • Thanks, Jeannie! I'm writing this from my bed, where I am reclining on a mound of cushions. Hey, baby comes first! Dishes and blogging can wait. :)

  • cathy July 07, 2018

    did you try chewing on fresh ginger for morning sickness. Buy fresh ginger root and take a small piece of peeled ginger root and chew it. I had morning sickness for 6 months each pregnancy. I tried to keep a little in my stomach.

  • Thanks for the tip, Cathy! That's one thing I didn't try. I also find that eating every hour helps, as I vomit if I get hungry. I tried every non-medical intervention I could find, no matter how anecdotal, but eventually I had to use prescription anti-nauseants staggered with gravol (both doctor prescribed) in order to function. Frugal tie-in, between my work insurance and that of my husband, the prescription was covered -- yay! Thankfully the 24-7 unrelenting nausea has eased. I can handle vomiting and such, but nausea has always been my kryptonite! So thankful for modern medicine! No idea how women survived before; it has been hypothesized that Emily (or was it Charlotte?) Bronte actually died of morning sickness (hyperemesis).

  • Happy blog anniversary! I'm so happy you started this blog. It's been such an inspiration for me for many years.

    Here are the ways we saved last week: https://www.mediumsizedfamily.com/5-ways-weve-saved-money-this-week-125/

  • Sandra July 01, 2018

    I have followed your blog eagerly for some time even though I don't comment every week. I have also shared it with several others. Thank you for continuing to provide a great forum for encouraging homemakers everywhere .

    No grocery shopping this week and I think I can go at least another week without shopping. There is plenty of lettuce and fresh herbs in the garden which make wonderful salads. I have been picking apricots from the tree. There weren't many this year due to a severe frost that hit just as the tree was coming into bloom. So I won't be canning or jamming this year, but I am enjoying them fresh. If you haven't tried them in a green salad, I recommend it. This has been a week of cleaning and purging. It feels good to see clean shelves and drawers. This is frugal because it reminds me of what I have and where it is which saves time looking and money not wasted buying something I already have.

  • Marivene July 01, 2018

    *Picked red currants, white currants, pie cherries & apricots from the garden.

    *Froze both the red & white currants to juice in the near future for my oldest granddaughter to use in the mulberry jam planned for the mulberries she picked & froze last week. Adding a cup of currant juice to the crushed mulberries makes a nicer set, due to the natural pectin, and the currants are so mild that it does not change the flavor.

    *Made apricot jam from Brandy’s recipe, without the vanilla, because we prefer it plain. My youngest daughter helped me bottle the rest in quart jars.

    *Made a cobbler from the pie cherries using a cornbread topping. This was an idea found online - it was delicious, gives us another option for the members of the family who are celiac. I pitted the rest of the cherries into a heavy sugar syrup to prepare them for dehydrating later.

    *Finished weeding one of the back perimeter beds, & began to use the grass clippings as mulch on the bed, now that it is weeded.

    *Finished dead-heading the yellow rose bush in the back yard.

    *My youngest daughter brought home some pants & tops that no longer fit her, to see if they would fit me. The pants were too large, since I have lost weight in the last several months, but some of the tops fit & look nice.

    *Ordered some sweat pants online for $7.50 each.

  • Stephanie July 01, 2018

    We are watching a neighbor house and pets while they are on vacation. They realized that they never canceled their Blue apron or milk delivery so gave them to us-we ate two free dinners and two free gallons of organic milk are in our freezer. Yum.
    I fixed a pair of my daughter's shorts that had a broken zipper. She treats them as pull ons so l sewed the zipper shut and sewed the zipper pull in the up position. Now her shorts look right and work perfectly. We are slowly cleaning out their room and giving/donating/selling outgrown items.
    They are in a free sports program one day a week and we discovered one child sneakers no longer fit an hour before we were supposed to leave- l was so grateful to pull the next size up out of the closet.
    School ended a week ago and all backpacks and lunchboxes have been washed. One backpack and possibly one lunchbox need to be replaced due to wearing out so we will be paying attention to sales.
    The kids are doing some summer camp and we are taking some trips but l have signed them up for various library programs and other free/low cost activities like slime at Michaels and home depot. They will have plenty of time to see friends, swim at the town lake, and most importantly be bored. The commuter rail is doing$10 weekends and kids are free so we may do a cheap trip to Boston if l am feeling up to it.

  • Michelle Tilley July 01, 2018

    Hello! I read often but seldom comment, but last week my husband and I harvested and canned 5 pints of pinto beans, we also ate a fresh pinto beans a couple of nights for supper. They are not doing as well as usual this year due to very little rain, but we are enjoying what we have! We are having several tomatoes come off the vine now and okra too.

  • Christine July 01, 2018

    I love your website, but have never commented. I said "yes" to zucchini from a friend's garden and grated and froze it for zucchini bread. I turned some strawberries that were past their prime into homemade strawberry jam rather than throw them away. I cleaned out my linen closet and found some items to sell, some items my daughter can take for her dorm room, and some to donate. Have a great week!

  • Amy Sullivan July 01, 2018


  • Holly July 01, 2018

    Mom and I have been staying out of stores as much as possible. This week, we shopped at one grocery store and took advantage of their sales. Tomorrow, the strawberries go on sale. They looked delicious this evening but, knowing they'll be quite a bit cheaper tomorrow, they were easy to pass up. We took advantage of coupons at the grocery store and at the drug store too.

    We went out to eat last night because it was so very hot and humid and I have dilly-dallied about getting our small air conditioner in the kitchen window. There is a restaurant not far from us that offers dinners for two for $11 and the coffee is just $1.65 or $1.69. Mom and I were able to eat for $16. I had water for my beverage so the tip could be just one cent less than 20%. Mom only ate the soup course with good bread yesterday evening. Her dinner went home in a box and it was our dinner this evening. Yummy. I learned to fry bacon in the microwave today so I didn't need to turn on the stove. We had scrambled egg burrito for lunch. This evening, it is a little bit cooler. Once the sun went down, I opened up the windows and turned on the fan over the stove. I soon will be opening the bedroom windows and turning on the bathroom fan to get out the hot air so those rooms will be comfortable tonight.

    Brandy, thank you so much for your blog. It is a source of encouragement to me.

  • Laura Anne July 01, 2018

    I love your blog, your garden's are so inspiring. I always learn something new either in your words or the comments! Thank you for your work!

  • Gardenpat July 01, 2018

    Congratulations on the 10 years of blogging! Time flies by so quickly as our families grow !
    On Monday, I harvested 7 cucumbers from our garden. I turned those into 7 pints of sweet pickle relish. I bought pineapples for 97 cents and canned them into 13 pints of pineapple chunks to replenish some of the pints that my grandkids gobbled up during their stay!
    Now, on Saturday, 9 more big cucumbers showed up ready to pick in my garden! We will eat them in salads and as snacks, I have a feeling I’ll be canning more pickle relish this week!
    On Wednesday this week, a friend called and offered us some free wood pallets to use for our business and also some leftover construction sand. We picked them up and shoveled sand into buckets to carry home- about 600 pounds! Part of the sand has been used to fill in the seams in the brick walkway we’ve been making and a lot of the rest went to resend our chicken coop floor after I mucked it out! The sand probably saved us almost $85!!
    The pallets have been used to make 4 monogrammed trays that we have orders for ($35 each)- so $140 from the free pallets!!
    I made a lap size quilt using the cotton toile trimmings of a sheet that I had used for a large bed quilt backing! I saw a photo of the quilt online and made my own version. This quilt is going into my gift cupboard which had zero OOP cost!
    We spent 2 hours weeding our gardens and they look so much better now!
    Froze 4 quarts of whole strawberries and about 10 pounds of bananas.
    Made all of our meals at home using ingredients that were all part of my food storage.
    Had an extra $135 when I zeroed out our checking account when our new paycheck came in last week. Half went into savings and half went to pay down our debt.
    So, all in all, a very good week!

  • teresa July 02, 2018

    Hi Gardenpat, I love to hear how you and your husband make things out of found wood. Do y'all have a website?

  • Gardenpat July 09, 2018

    We have a Facebook business site- HandmadeinOldeTowne. Thanks for asking!

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden July 01, 2018

    You are an inspiration to many. Congratulations on your blog anniversary! We went on a tripvacation this Past week. Being frugal really helps us with saving enough money to be able to go. Here are my frugal accomplishments this Past week. http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2018/07/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-7118.html

  • Cindy from Alabama July 01, 2018

    Brandy, I have only posted 2 or 3 times but have been reading for years. I love your blog and the knowledge you share. My husband and I have a credit card that we charge on BUT we pay it off every month. We've never paid interest but have accumulated some "cash back rewards". Last week, we had to replace our washer and dryer. We charged it and as soon as the points were added to our account, we cashed in the rewards and had the accumulated $337 applied to our balance of the washer and dryer. Not bad for charging items that we pay off each month any ways. We are also having a no spend month because of the extra money for the washer and dryer. Excited to see what you are going to share next. Thanks, Cindy

  • Jennifer O. July 02, 2018

    Depending on the rules for your credit card, you can pay your mortgage on it. We do and have enough rewards most years to cover Christmas shopping AND a hotel for vacation each year.

  • Grant July 01, 2018

    Congratulations! I think I have been following for about 5 years now. I have learned so much and really appreciate all you do.

    I also really enjoy reading these posts every week (and all the comments). I feel like I know some of you now. I rarely comment so here's what I did:
    -harvested peas, raspberries and asparagus from the garden.
    -was able to fix the garden gate to keep critters out (we have extreme garden security but not on at the gate, and something got in and ate all the lettuce). It has tried twice since but has not managed to get in again.
    -line dried the laundry.
    -stayed home, except to get groceries.
    -fixed the water pump so we could use the water collected in our rain barrels to water the garden.

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