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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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Comments

  • Linda July 01, 2018

    We sold an old commuter car to salvage yard. It struggled badly to carry us home safely that last time, after our intellectually handicapped son’s appointment, saving us a costly tow & so many other safety issues. Perfect time for it’s retirement since repairs are too costly to make sense, both insurance premiums & DMV fees were due this week! We once again have 4 drivers and only 3 cars...

    As a first time comment provider I’d like to add your website’s information and inspiration has truly helped our household in so many ways. Your recipe index has become a first stop for me expanding our frugal meal choices because they are simple, inexpensive and successful every time. The community you have built through this site is ever encouraging and kind. Thank you for brightening many of my days!

  • Bethany July 01, 2018

    After several days of intermittent rain, we've been up near 90 for a few days, so I hung out the laundry instead of using the dryer. We keep the drapes (thermal backed energy saving) closed during most of the day to keep the house cooler. I found ground beef for 1.79lb on sale and browned and froze several pounds. I bought 2 copies of the Sunday paper, as there are some high value P&G coupons to pair with CVS sales this week. I checked out several books from the library on my kindle.

  • Jess July 01, 2018

    I found your blog about 10 years ago. It was exactly what my heart, my soul, and my pocketbook needed! I've loved seeing it grow and change and I've loved how you are so honest with us and share your family life as well as ways to save and make things beautiful! Because of you I've overcome the shame I felt at making Christmas gifts and now I'm PROUD to give my best to others! I've learned to can my own jellies and jams and ventured into pressure canning, I have stopped buying popsicles - why would I when I can make such yummy ones here at home?!, I've learned that white beans can make an amazing sauce for pasta!, I've learned that big families are delightful, and there is no shame in having a couch with a cover over it until I can pay cash to get another - I was so convicted by the post you made with your chair and so thrilled to see you got it recovered! I have learned SO much from you and I thank you for adding so much to our lives! I can say you have truly changed my life! Thank you Brandy!

  • Rhonda A. July 02, 2018

    Wow, I second almost everything you stated, Jess...except the "big families are delightful" part. I have 1 autistic child, and she is definitely enough for me to handle! heehee

  • Jess July 04, 2018

    :D. We're up to 5 now and I think we're done. Every day has it's challenges and it's blessings!

  • Laura July 09, 2018

    We raised nine children. They are all grown now and it is so rewarding to see them instituting the frugal ways we practiced.

  • Lilli July 01, 2018

    My frugalness this week has been on the extreme side. College girl is on a mission. College boy left for the military. Sugar cookie is away for ten weeks. I basically shut my house down for the summer. All breakers have been flipped off except for two. I left the chest freezer and the refrigerator on. One wall in my bedroom is on. I put a small window unit in so when it is unbearable, I can sleep in the cool . I have had the internet, trash and recycling canceled. My only bills will be electric, water , phone and my insurances. I hope to save a good bit and balance my budget. I may use the crockpot and electric skillet on the back deck. I will eat simply and will only go into town once a week. I have several movie tickets, Redbox codes and small gift cards to treat myself with over the summer. I continue to collect my Coca-Cola caps and redeem them for treats. I am saving my swagbuck s for several household purchases. All the credits I have at Google express will be used for car food and cat litter. I am eating leftovers from the freezer and won't be spending much of anything. My goal is to see just how much I can save in the next ten weeks.

  • Margie from Toronto July 02, 2018

    WOW! That is impressive! I hope you have a lovely, relaxing summer and that you get to really enjoy all those little treats. Well deserved.

  • Rhonda A. July 02, 2018

    I hope you are able to really save a nice amount to use next winter, Lilli. I know how much you struggled last winter, trying to keep up with your heating costs. Out of curiosity, how are you able to use the internet without paying for it? Just wondering if you have a good suggestion for this.

  • Lilli July 04, 2018

    Rhonda, my son took over the internet and his phone bill when he graduated high school a year ago. He has told me that even while in the Army, he will be keeping his Amazon account and that we can share that. I struggle with wanting to cancel the internet. If I drop my phone bill to the 15.00 plan and adjust the other few personal expenditures, I can keep it on. This is how sugar cookie streams tv and I coupon. The 45.00 is certainly worth it but then again, that's almost 600.00 a year I could be saving. I guess quality of life counts a lot for sugar cookie. I usually have a few Swagbucks tucked away for a back up plan . We live in a rural area and we have several businesses that serve the truckers at the nearby truckstops. There's free internet all over the place a half a mile down the road. Not convenient for a weekend movie or streaming. I think my biggest problem is having inherited the tightwad gene from my grandmother's. I always lived well and losing my husband, the economy crash and injuries from my car wreck just flat out make me insecure. Hope all is well with you.

  • Marybeth July 03, 2018

    That is very adventurous of you. Hubby would veto that in a second. I hope you are able to save a bunch of money. You could always go to the local library if it gets really hot and you don't want to run your AC.

  • Becky July 01, 2018

    Brandy,
    I have been reading this blog for years, and want you to know how very much I appreciate it. I've had times where we had a little more money, but still really used the tips I get from here, and times when we literally have no money and really, really use the tips, but more importantly soak in the encouragement that other people are making it, and being happy, even with very little.

    I guess it's going to turn out pretty handy that as you enter your 10th year of encouragement and plan to share even more frugal tips, we are again facing tight times. I am sure I'll be reading every tip, as usual! I have always been inclined towards a frugal lifestyle, but the past few years have taught me even more about pinching a penny than ever before, and I get many good ideas from here.

    My husband is still out of work when fall comes. Because he was working on 1-year contracts, he does not qualify for unemployment. He applied for many jobs, but has not received an offer, yet. We have got nowhere on the insurance issue, but plan to tackle it again tomorrow. The doctors are saying that my husband's hip is so bad, he needs hip replacement. My car, which is our "good" car is very, very broken.

    But, God is faithful. He knows our needs. There are blessings, too. He has his summer job, which was lined up previously, as he never would have worked in the summer at the school job. I have my part-time job. We have MORE than enough to meet our needs for the moment and I am content. Our garden is flourishing. It won't be long until we have tons to eat from there. Our food storage is full. Where we got about 1 quart of blueberries last year, the 2 bushes are loaded and I picked more today on the first picking than I got the whole summer last year. I will freeze them. Someone who will stay anonymous, by choice, is going to pitch in to help fix the car. That was totally unexpected. We are waiting to see how much it will end up being, but it will be expensive. I need the car for work, but we are sharing the van for now, and using an old, cruddy Mazda our nephew gave us last year when our van needed fixing. Thankfully, my husband was able to get it started. I enjoy my flowers, my garden, my faith, my family, and many other things. I also love reading this blog, with all its comments, from people who also are looking for the bright spots in a world that can become discouraging at times. Thank you for all you do to keep it going.

    We went on a very frugal camping trip this past week. I wrote about it here: https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/thriving-in-my-thrifty-week-july-1-2018/

  • Marybeth July 04, 2018

    Sending you lots of hugs, love and prayers.

  • Becky July 06, 2018

    Thank you! I appreciate every one:)

  • Kelly July 01, 2018

    I love reading your blog.
    I am in my friends wedding in September and we are trying to stay within a budget. So far, so good. So we printed off the save the date cards on walmart photo for 9 cents a piece. I am using my home printer for the rsvp cards and the invitations will be done at her mother in laws work.
    We can use the dollar tree to get some decorations. All in all we will have spent under 2,000 for the wedding.

  • Karen July 01, 2018

    Congratulations on 10 years I've been reading your blog for years and have learned tons on how to prepare a pantry for frugal times.This week I diced and frozen yellow peppers that were getting soft and I didn't have plans for right away. Now they are handy for stir fry, omelets, and soups. I also freeze diced onions for quicker prep on busy nights.

  • Vicki Fisher July 01, 2018

    I picked the last few strawberries, and a good amount of raspberries and boysenberries from my garden, along with some lettuce, rhubarb, a few peas, and an onion.
    My mother has been living with us, and we are clearing out her house so we can sell it. We rented a dumpster, which was expensive. (Most everything in the house is trash. ) Rather than rent a second dumpster, we are taking our little utility trailer to the dump, for $5 a load.
    I took munchies to my grandson's ball game, so his sisters didn't ask for treats from the concession stand.
    We watched several tv shows on Amazon Prime, and a movie on my daughter's Netflix account.

  • Mary July 01, 2018

    Congrats on your blog anniversary! I have followed you for several years and have learned so much!
    Frugal things for last week
    - I stayed in most of the week
    - all meals made at home
    - washed full loads and lined dried
    - temp kept at 78 year round in our house, if we get hot then we use our ceiling fans
    - met swagbucks goal all last week
    - filled car getting .20 off a gallon at grocery store
    - mended a hole in FIL shorts
    - reading books from the library
    - walking dogs and getting exercise at same time!

    I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments.

  • Tammy July 01, 2018

    I love your blog Brandy! It has really helped me keep upbeat even though things have been tight. I love your recipes and ideas to save money.
    This week, we used the library. Cooked at home. Bought some thrift store games to play with grandchildren. Harvested from our garden. Watched for sales on food items bought. Ate on our china to make dinner special.

  • Robbie July 01, 2018

    Thank you, Brandy, for giving of yourself and your knowledge all these years,

    It’s been a long time since I’ve commented on one of these posts. I forgot to track how many times I bought my own snacks and/or lunch to work, but here’s what I’ve got:

    * A coworker brought in (delicious!) homemade cookies and I enjoyed one.

    *Turned up the thermostat a few times to prevent the air conditioning from coming on.

    *Used surplus travel samples to restock the shampoo in the shower.

    *Saved $4 at Petco by using their loyalty card.

    *Updated my price book.

    *Watched a movie from the free movie selection on TV.

    *Attended a retirement party: free food and punch.

    *My husband bought a top entry litter box at a yard sale for $4. He knew I’d been wanting one, but we had been reluctant to spend the money on one lest our cats not take to it. This way, if they won’t use it we’re only out $4. You can’t even tell it was ever used before.

    *Our neighbor cut down a tree for us and hauled it away in his trailer. Even though we plan to get him a gift certificate to show our appreciation, that will still cost less than hiring an arborist would have.

    *Found an extra salt shaker in the back of the cupboard to take to work, negating the need to have to buy one.

    *Replaced a badly chipped cat bowl with one we found at a yard sale for $0.25. (Yes, most of my purchases are for our animals!)

    *My husband cancelled Sirius XM. I will be helping him set up a Pandora account and teach him how to use it.

    *Free cookies at church! :D

    * Was delighted to see that my favorite chips were on sale, then read the fine print on the sign and saw the sale had expired. Asked the cashier if they would honor the sale price since the sign was still up. She had to get authorization from someone else, but I got the sale price!

    *Partook of a free sample at the grocery store.

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