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Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week in July

Grapes in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I collected eggs from my friend's chickens and picked cucumbers, a few green beans, and tomatoes from her garden.

I canned a batch of dill pickles from the cucumbers.

July Harvest The Prudent Homemaker 

I harvested grapes, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and figs from my garden.

In the garden, I sowed seeds for red noodle beans, red zinnias, white zinnias, Genovese basil, Thai basil, Dark Siam basil, carrots, Chinese lanterns (hoping that this time they grow!), and parsley. It's much later than I normally sow seeds in the garden for these things, but many of my seeds did not come up earlier, or came up only to be eaten by bugs, so I am trying again. 

While weeding, I found a few carrots that had grown in one spot from seed dropping from carrots in my garden. I carefully dug them and replanted them where they could grow larger.

Grapes in Basket 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I took cuttings from two sweet potato vines to root in water to make new plants. These are a decorative vine; they do not make sweet potatoes. I took short cuttings from the tips of the plants (about 4-5 inches long) and took off the bottom leaves. Where the leaves were, the plants began to root in water after 4 days. Later in the week, I took additional cuttings from the other type of sweet potato vine to root as well. I plan to transplant these to pots in my white garden. These are an annual that does better in  more mild and humid climates than here (I saw them growing quite large and beautiful in the sun in Missouri a couple of years ago) but here they need a bit of protection from the sun to keep the leaves from burning to a crisp.

We had a very humid week. This is "monsoon season" here, but I think it would be more appropriately named, "cloudy season" as there is not much rain. We got a tiny bit of rain on Monday night, but it was enough that I was able to leave the drip irrigation and sprinklers off on Tuesday. The clouds bring lots of humidity, and they brought the temperature down below 100° for several days. I took advantage of the cloudy, cooler (only 96°F/35°C and humid!) days and worked in the garden doing lots of weeding. I put an ice cream bucket under the drip from the air conditioning; when it is humid like it has been this past week, I can collect several gallons of water from it each day, which I used to water pots on my patio along with water I collected in a bucket while waiting for the shower to warm.

I purchased some dahlia tubers online on 50% off clearance with free shipping.

I purchased some children's clothes online that were on sale and clearance that were not much more than local thrift-store prices.

I gave my two older sons a haircut. My husband and I cut his hair.

I went to purchase chicken on sale earlier this week and the store was out of it, so I got a raincheck.

Tomato Salad The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • It feels like I am getting nothing done! It's hard, that's for sure!

  • Diane July 17, 2018

    Oh my Brandy. I feel like a sloth next to you.

  • juls owings July 20, 2018

    I'm the baby sloth

  • Jeannie July 17, 2018

    This past week went well, frugal wise.

    *I cleaned Mom’s house and it is now ready to for a realtor to inspect when she is ready to sell. I found more food on top of her cabinets which I brought home and also unloaded her full freezer.

    *I had not planned on going to the grocery but could not resist the $.99 ice cream at Kroger. I grabbed my limit of 5 early Saturday morning before they ran out. While there, I loaded up on the split bone-in chicken breasts for $.77 per pound. It is the best price I have seen around here in a long time. I filled the shopping basket half full and came home and began canning. It is easy to cut off the large piece of meat, shove it in a jar and process. The bones are tossed in a crock-pot overnight to make broth. It will also be canned. I used some of the broth to make a large pot of chicken vegetable soup with assorted vegetables from the garden. The soup was canned. Later today I will have my son bring home another basket full of the chicken before the sale expires. I will do it all again. I do need to freeze some but my freezer is almost full from Mom’s food.

    *Epic fail, I reached my limit of irritation and yanked the phone out of the wall. It wouldn’t stop ringing from solicitors and political robocalls. We have 5 registered voters at this number and all vote so we get 5 of everything. One evening I got 6 calls while trying to cook supper, then 4 more beeps for incoming calls while chatting on the phone. It was 10 calls within two and a half hours! It goes like this all day long plus my husband has a business phone. (For people outside of the US) - I have filed complaints with the FCC, the phone company, and Better Business Bureau. Nothing ever happens. The code-a-phone accepts messages so my family can get through. The silence has been calming. I may never buy a new phone again, no matter how cheap.

    *Other money savings, Bill gave Scooter a clipping and then cut his own hair. We have a set of clippers for people and another for the dog. Bill is snooty about that – he won’t share with the dog.


    I hope everyone else has a good frugal week. I look forward to reading the good ideas.


  • Cheryl J July 17, 2018

    Hello all, I enjoy reading all the great frugal ways that are shared on this site. Below is my list.

    Received a $10 off $50 coupon for Target so I’m currently making a list of items that can be used with Target Cartwheel and the gift card rebates. I wasn’t impressed with this week’s ad. The coupon is good until 1 Sep.

    I got the free Ore Ida fries with my Ibotta app.

    Received $6.50 back from coupon app.

    The Nielsen Survey group sent me $5 to complete a survey on radio and tv usage. I will receive another $5 after it’s completed.

    Temperatures are pushing 110 in Texas so I will be using our overhead fans more and turn the AC up to save on energy costs.

    My husband got free samples for medication he takes from his doctor, we plan to use it during our upcoming vacation since it’s in a smaller container.

    Received a $10 off $30 from Bed, Bath and Beyond, I will use it to purchase a friend’s birthday gift.

    Planned weekly menu based on what we have in pantry and freezer.

    Looking forward to reading all the great posts.

  • Bobbie July 17, 2018

    My husband is starting an intensive licensing program in August, and I got back to work (I work for a school), so I have been spending my time and (too much) money on stocking our freezer with meals and quick grab and go snacks. Our grocery budget for the next two months will be minimal, though, so it's worth it. Plus it be will make my life easier too, since he will be so busy with his program I will be picking up the slack around the house and with the kids.

    We have run into some financial difficulties lately, so I'm trying my best to think positively as well as more long term. We have two kids in daycare which costs us a pretty penny. Our oldest starts kindergarten next fall though, so we are so close to having that expense reduced!

    We got 4 chickens this last week from a neighbor. They are adjusting to the coop nicely and I'm looking forward to when they start laying. We got rid of our old flock back in May and boy was that a mistake! We saw a huge uptick in spiders and ticks around our house. Chickens are fabulous at keeping pests down- plus, free fertilizer for my garden!

    We have kept shower times at a minimum and the A/C off most days. My project today is to seal our back door to help insulate the house better. I'm also really trying to potty train our youngest to save on the price of diapers- but he is one stubborn little guy! :) He's getting there, though.

  • Marybeth July 17, 2018

    Your pictures are beautiful. So happy for you that you are getting so much produce. You amaze me with how you are able to grow so much in such temps. I cannot make myself go out in your cooler temps of 95 degrees. I usually work in the garden in the evening when the temps are in the high 70's to low 80's.

    I have been getting tons of lettuce. I have been giving some away so that it doesn't go to waste. Peas are trickling in still. My peppers are doing great. Lots of jalapenos and banana peppers are being picked. My purple bell peppers are turning purple. This is my first year growing them so it is new for me. I picked my first few string beans. I ate them raw and they were so good. I have several baby cucumbers and lots of tomatoes on the plants. I love this time of year when I can grocery shop in my garden.

    The kids are having an amazing time in Italy. I miss them and all of their help but am so happy for them that they are getting to see the world. Some photos of their trip and the rest of my frugal list are here: https://mcoia.blogspot.com/2018/07/my-frugal-list-week-of-july-9-2018.html

  • In the evening here it is just as hot as the hottest part of the day. I am so happy not to have it be 113° at 8 p.m. like it has been so many summers. This feels much cooler! But of course, it is still hot. The coolest time of day is early morning, where it has been around 86° at 6 a.m., so I have tried working more in the mornings.

  • Jen G July 18, 2018

    That is just amazing to me! We've had HIGHS in the mid-80s here (Seattle) and everyone is screaming and calling it a heat wave! It's also a dry heat, but no one has AC.

  • Marybeth July 18, 2018

    I'm a wimp. I admit it. I couldn't deal with that kind of heat. I have lived in NY my whole life so I guess I am used to humidity and snow.

  • Sheena July 17, 2018

    I think I take the prize as the worst commenter on this site. What makes it worse is that I really enjoy all the posts and read all the comments. I have resolved to be better at this- if I like reading the comments I should comment. Belated happy 10 th birthday and Happy Anniversary Brandy. Especially loved reading everyone’s comments 2 weeks ago. Really interesting to hear where people are from. Thank you for all your hard work. In keeping with other commentators people where I live pity someone being frugal so this site feels like a big support group!

    Right- what have I done to save money. Well right now we are just finishing a weeks holiday in Sardinia. While it would have been more frugal to stay at home this is the first time that the children and I have gone away (as just the 4 of us) in 4 years. It has been great to have the chance to just sit and chat without thinking about things to be done. Really enjoying playing Dobble, Snakes and Ladders, UNO and just talking. I’ve tried to keep costs down by 1. Earning avios on the booking/card used to pay 2. My mother is house/dog sitting. 3. Eating in our apartment. 4. We booked 7 months ago which made the airfares ( EasyJet) really cheap. 5. Did not pay for hold luggage or to book seats. Instead took 4 pieces of hand luggage (1 each) and was on the website as soon as check-in opened 31 days before the flight to be seated together. These 2 actions saved about £100. 6. Decanted suntan lotion I had at home ( which needed using) into 100ml bottles to take in hand luggage. Very happy I did this as it starts at €11 a bottle here. 7. Found food reduced ( yes really) in the local supermarket 8. Booked long term airport parking though a cash back site.

    The cost of the holiday is the same as friends have paid to go away here in the UK. Interestingly a colleague at work has approached me to organise leave earlier ( I am known for booking leave early) as she has left it until the last minute and ended up paying £5000 ( no no typo there) for a villa in Greece for 2 weeks. She also seemed to mention that the flights for her family were £2000!!! I did not say what I was thinking! Don’t think there will be any issue about early leave booking in future.

    Before we went away I went up to stay with my mother in Scotland. She has ‘collected’ ( my sister has other names for it) a huge amount of clothing over the years which my sister ( a very tidy/ house proud person) has tried to get her to sort ( most don’t fit). While I was there the rail in her cupboard collapsed ( deep suspicions everywhere that I had something to do with it ( in a joking way) but I was innocent- although even I will admit that the timing is very interesting ). That was the push she needed and I sorted them and a spare room out for her. She now has somewhere to sew. While I was there someone asked her if she wanted a greenhouse ( lots of glass missing/ she will be moving in the next few years) removed and mentioned a joiner wanted one for an allotment. We said yes to the removal and I asked if he could put up a rail back in my mother’s cupboard ( well he is getting a greenhouse frame for free).

    I have begun selling at car boot sales recently ( just used clothes/ baby and children’s stuff they have outgrown) so when we came back down from Scotland in the train I brought a huge suitcase of this clothing from her house that she told me to sell. She has said I can keep the income. My goal is to earn enough by selling in the car boot sales to completely pay for the holiday. We used a Friend and Family railcard to travel together (30%off) and I bought my mother a senior railcard for travelling back ( I buy her these and pay fares as she is a pensioner and her travelling is to help me).

    I recently found dry dog food ( Pedigree chunks) for the dog ( rescue angel) for £16.99 for 12 kg ( lasts about 2 months). Huge saving on the £46.99 for 15 kg I was paying previously for a brand with very similar content. I checked the ingredients. I used to give him a tin a day as well but it occurred to me that he loved chicken stock. I’m always buying chicken. My last price was £2.54 for a large chicken reduced at Lidl. I bought 3. We eat a lot of chicken and I have a lot of stock as a result- I can’t just throw the carcass away. So now I give him chunks and stock. He loves it and the vet approves. Coat very shiny. Yes I could make soup or freeze it but would run out of space.

    Which brings me to my next project- I have bought a pressure canner. Currently in a box in the hall. It arrived the day before we left. Very excited about this. I shopped around and bought the one Brandy recommends. I have the Ball book so just need to find good sales and will start to stock up. My plum tree is ripening so will be canning them for desserts. Also will can apple pie filling from our apples this year.

    That’s all for now everyone. Whoops one question: I am looking into putting drip irrigation into the garden. There are kits on Amazon. Any tips anyone? I’ve lost a lot of plants in the recent heatwave. I also want to start growing more food ( very proud of managing lettuce this year).

  • Jeannie July 17, 2018

    I am assuming "car boot sales" are where you sell items from the "trunk" of your car? If this is what that is, great idea! Here in the USA, southern Middle Tennessee, we have "garage" or "yard sales" as a way to get rid of unwanted items.

    I love my pressure canner and use it for so many things. Keep your eyes open for food jars that have the same lid as canning jars so you can save money on the jars. My friends save their jars for me and have saved me a fortune.


  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada July 18, 2018

    Our local recreation center has a 'car boot sale' every spring. For $10, you are allowed to occupy two parking spaces for the day. It's a great fund raiser for the center and a great way to have a garage sale. When I participate, I sell until 3pm or so and then stop by the thrift store on the way home to donate what didn't sell.

  • Sheena July 21, 2018


    I forgot the trunk/boot American/British difference

  • Shelley July 17, 2018

    Hello Brandy and frugal friends,

    I was able to get 1/2 gallon of ice cream for $.99 bought the max 5. My van broke and was $2400 to fix hardly worth it as it is a 2006...so we to it to a friend of a friend and he fixed it for $600. My husband just started working as a ICU nurse in February so was not working for 2 years prior ( while in school). We pray the van will last 2 more years. My friend is in town from CA and we are doing many FREE things around town . Went back to school shopping prices were great...my daughter of course wanted the pretty glitter things...I let her get the more expensive as she is a straight A student and finally after 5 years of the same backpack got a new one. Proud of everything we all do to stay frugal!

  • OH! I didn't realize you could have bought 5 at that price! I so wanted to go and that REALLY would have been worth it. I forgot that the digital coupon works for up to 5 items.

    Do you like the ice cream? I asked a friend of mine and she said she hates that brand, but I imagine we would have liked it. What flavors did you get?

    I really wanted to go but we had some car problems (My fault! though it was an accident. . . .) so I couldn't go get any.

  • Nancy in Eastern Washington July 17, 2018

    Not shelley - but we like the ice cream. We are not ice cream snobs by any stretch of the imagination. Can't afford to be. We got two French vanilla to have with strawberries and raspberries from the garden, a blueberry, pomegranate, chocolate chunk (which is yummy) a butterfinger and a caramel praline. forgot to mention those when I did my frugal post.

  • Ellie July 17, 2018

    My friend calls on many execs. At Kroger Corp and even they rave about their Deluxe Ice cream. My family enjoys it too. :)
    The Wal-Mart house brand, however, is TERRIBLE

  • Jeannie July 17, 2018

    I was able to get some of the sugarfree for me and the regular kind for the family. We are not ice cream snobs, but love them all.


  • Cindi July 17, 2018

    We went camping for three nights in the mountains about an hour and a half from home. We camped for free in the national forest and brought all of our food from home.
    A favorite T-shirt developed a stain on the front that I couldn’t get out, so I embroidered some flowers over the stain. Now I like the shirt even better.
    A half gallon of milk was turning sour, so I made cottage cheese.
    We had a good rain – enough to fill my rain barrels, which were almost empty. I was able to shut off the irrigation to the outside beds for a couple of days, and used water from the rain barrels to water my potted plants on the porch and inside.
    I harvested lettuce, chard, onion, carrots and our first tomato from the garden.

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