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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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  • Maxine July 21, 2018

    Cindi, thanks for the comment about making cottage cheese from milk that was turning sour. I have about a quart left in a gallon that has started to go. You reminded me to use some of it in pancakes for breakfast tomorrow (I hardly ever make pancakes) and some of the rest in a loaf of banana bread. (You can guess what else here is starting to go, LOL). I was on the verge of pouring it down the drain.

    We are in our new home and just got internet today, after waiting a month for the cable company to wire our new neighborhood. This means we have been without TV for a month, too (we stream). DH has actually learned how to have a conversation again, LOL.

    I really haven't done anything frugal. In fact, for the last month, my life has been one big frugal fail! However, the USPS sent me a bunch of coupons in the new address package. I used the 20% off entire purchase coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond to save $28 on our living room curtains. Too bad I didn't get the 10% off coupon from Lowe's a day earlier...we bought $1,500 worth of deck materials and would have saved $150.

    We have landscaped the yard with the plants I bought in the spring to be planted in July. This wasn't frugal, but I did it on the cheap (including free plants from friends) and it is beautiful. Just beautiful. Nicest garden I've ever had. (It is about 90% done). I have ordered some dwarf fruit trees for fall delivery and we're building a raised bed from scrap lumber for strawberries. The plants are adapting well to being planted on 95F days in July, but it has taken some extra water. I am in the process of making drip lines so I don't have to (personally) water every day.

    The ceiling fans in the new house are helping us stay cool at a higher AC temperature. We installed one in DD's bedroom upstairs, where it gets stuffy even when the AC is running.

    I am loving living in town again! We are so close to everything! Saves on gas, but just as importantly, on time needed to run errands. I am half a mile to 2 miles from EVERYTHING. We also have sidewalks again (first time since 1977) and enjoy walking through the neighborhood. Life is good...or will be, when I get the last box unpacked!

  • Piggykr July 17, 2018

    I made several loaves of bread.
    We had been out of town and friend was kind enough to watch our pets for free so I gave her a fresh loaf of pumpernickel.
    My son played with his friends on the playground and took a refillable water bottle.
    I met up with some friends a few times.
    I hung most of the laundry to dry. This is a challenge in the rainy season.
    I went to a swap and picked up several books, 3 shirts for my son, 2 sweaters for my husband, 1 shirt for myself, some facial scrub, some hair oil, a new bottle of dish detergent, 4 pairs of socks, an entire set of hair clippers with acccessories, jar of sudoceam, all for FREE!
    I didn’t drive anywhere.
    We shopped at the wholesale market.
    My husband got his haircut while on vacation. It was cheaper than our hometown salon.
    I started using reusable pads. I’m finding they are just as good as the disposables.
    A friend gave me some yarn so I crocheted something for her.
    I made pizza instead of calling dominoes.
    I went meatless for a couple meals.
    We went to dinner at the in-laws.
    We attended a birthday party dinner. No gifts just friends getting together. The host cooked.

  • Megan Z. July 17, 2018

    I harvested my first tomato. The others are slow in ripening but the plants are loaded down so should be getting a good amount in a few weeks. I have been getting a 1/2 cup to cup of raspberries for the past week. I am also making pickles with my cucumbers.

    I found seed packs at the store that were 75% off. I purchased 5 for .20 each. The majority won’t be sown until fall or next year but I am willing to risk it for 20 cents.

    I painted our entryway. I found the color I liked (Benjamin Moore paint) and had it mixed at Home Depot in Behr paint. The cost is cheaper but paint quality still high. I never knew you could do that so it has opened up a lot of design choices.

    I finally used my Christmas present of a food dehydrator. I made beef jerky in it. It is so delicious that it probably won’t last too long. Once my tomatoes start ripening I plan on dehydrating some of them also.

    Isn’t it interesting how many daily decisions you make without realizing that you’re doing them frugally? I sometimes feel I’m slacking in the frugality arena but when I stop and consider my daily routine I realize there are so many actions I’m committing that truly are frugal. For instance I’ve always used the library but I didn’t think of it as frugal until recently. This weekly list has helped me focus on them so thank you.

  • I recently read about this, too--the woman had a Benjamin Moore paint color mixed in Valspar paint. I am curious how you go about finding the Benjamin Moore color to have it mixed. Do you have to go to a store that sells Benjamin Moore and get a paint card sample to do it? I have seen some Benjamin Moore colors that I really like and at some point, I need to do some painting here as well, so I would like to do this.

  • Megan Z. July 17, 2018

    I did have a paint chip that I brought (I initially went to Ace Hardware to look at the colors) but I asked the associate if only had the name, could they mix it up. She said that if you give them the name and the code used (for instance, I had them mix up Pale Oak OC-20), they can look it up in their computer.

  • Andrea Q July 17, 2018

    It depends on the store...some apparently have the ability to look up the color names of other brands, but some will tell you it is proprietary information so you have to have the info or a paint chip for them to color match.

    Most of our house needed painting when we moved in and I have tried a lot of different paints over the past decade. Valspar is by far my least favorite; it chips and scratches very easily, to the point that it isn't worth buying. (Painting an entire room only to have it look horrible after six months use is a huge disappointment and a big waste of money.) I like Behr Premium Plus from Home Depot, but use Sherwin Williams for high traffic areas, like our powder room and hallways. The extra money (they have sales a couple times a year) is well worth it.

  • Marybeth July 18, 2018

    We have also used the Behr from Home Depot. They do rebates so be on the look out for that to help with the cost. Also Home Depot has a wrong mixed shelf. They can add more color for no extra charge. I grabbed a pale ivory one time and had them add purple to it. Came out beautiful. I wanted a light purple but I'm not very picky about the exact shade. I have also gotten the wrong colors for projects. One year all of the kids projects were a light blue that my daughter had picked out for a project. It became the base for many other projects. It cost 99¢ for a quart. That price worked for me.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada July 18, 2018

    Our local independent paint store can look up the paint formula if you know the Benjamin Moore paint name. So you don't have to have the paint chip in hand. Also, some remodeling magazines will tell you the name of the paint color. They also give the contractor's discount to anyone who asks for it.

  • Rhonda A. July 19, 2018

    Brandy, some paint places have the ability to scan a colour with their computer and the computer will create the paint colour for you. You can even take in a piece of fabric that you want to match the colour to and they can scan that. You just need to check with the paint department first, to see if they are able to do this,as not all of them can.

  • juls Owings July 20, 2018

    I gave paint chips and one lid of a paint can from different stores to my head contractor and Sherwin Williams matched all of them. Contractor said all stores can do it but some will refuse because of their rules.

  • Annaliese July 17, 2018

    Hello! Those grapes look so yummy! The salad picture gave me ideas of what to have for dinner this week-and all ingredients are in the fridge!! Thank you for another frugal meal! Here is my list from last week:
    - Cut up more cukes and put in already made pickle brine. (Recipe from last week.)
    -Dehydrated some cherry tomatoes. Grind them up into a powder and used to make a Copy Cat Red Robin seasoning mix. DS loves it on his French fries and we usually get it at the restaurant but this way I save money and he doesn't know the difference. (I put it all back in the empty Red Robin shaker.) Plus have extra tomato powder in pantry for future use.
    -Made some DIY cleaning mixes from ingredients here in the house-Floor freshener using mint from garden and dried orange peel powder from pantry and toilet cleaner powder. For the citric acid, I used some lemon-lime Kool aide packets.
    -I started to can some salsa but made it too hot- had to add some stuff to try and cool it down so now I canned some Mexican cooking sauce. Made extra for Christmas gifts.
    -Transferred $53.00 to Paypal from Ibotta rebates.
    -Turned in Swagbucks points for 2-$25 gift certificates that were on sale. Saving them for holiday shopping. I am challenging myself again this year to try and get stuff free or pay as low as I can for them.
    -Bought another gift certificate that had a high point count to be added to Swagbucks account.
    - Got a refund back on a jersey I ordered thru work since it took them too long to customize it and it went on sale in the meantime.
    -Shared my 40% off work discount with friend so she could get a jersey for her DH to save for a Christmas gift.
    -DH changed oil and tinkered with the Trooper over the weekend to save money.
    -He also has been researching and asking friends to help out with getting Herbie ready for our trip to Disney World in March for the 50th Anniversary. He painted the strips across the rag top himself on Saturday and a friend helped him fix one of the wheels for free. We rode it out on Saturday night to get ice cream.
    -Brought home some free snack bags from work but missed out on the doughnuts-LOL!
    Crop out of garden= more cukes, cherry tomatoes, a few green beans (the heat is really getting to them!) and herbs.
    -Sent another large bag of my clothes to ThreadUp. Saving all money back from them for a pair of new jeans for the fall.
    I am hoping for some rain and today looks like a good chance for some. Wishing everyone a blessed week!

  • Diane July 17, 2018

    You refill the container! Love that!! :D:D
    Any chance you would share the copycat Red Robin recipe?

  • Annaliese July 20, 2018

    Why sure I can!!

    3 packages instant cup-a soup tomato soup mix ( I used my tomato powder I made from dehydrated tomatoes from my garden.)
    10 Tablespoons salt
    2 Tablespoons chilli powder
    4 Tablespoons garlic powder
    1 Tablespoon basil
    1 Tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    Mix all seasonings together in a bowl and funnel into a large spice shaker.

  • margie from Toronto July 17, 2018

    Not a bad week all round....

    .Monday - stayed home and did housework and went through the freezer - no spend
    .Tuesday - grouped errands and banking and walked to grocery store to save transit costs - and get some exercise. Only bought produce and dairy & a magazine. Waited until Loyalty points were available - noted point totals were incorrect, came home and emailed and had 700 more points added.
    .Wednesday - attended my Social Club’s monthly meeting and talk - spent $2 for 50/50 draw - had coffee and cookie for free. Then checked out the large grocery store next door & found Canadian Back Bacon on 50% off
    .Thursday - went to the library - spent an afternoon at a friend’s house - she supplied some nibbles, I took a bottle of wine that I’d received as a hostess gift & my Scrabble game and the third friend brought dessert. A lovely afternoon.
    .Friday - managed to pick up non-food items at sale prices so now have enough TP & Laundry detergent to last into the New Year. Checked my non-food pantry and determined that the only items to find on sale are toothpaste, dish liquid & Q-tips - I like to have a 6 month supply on hand and try to never pay full price for these sorts of things.
    .Saturday - too hot to go out so stayed in to read - renewed some library books online so as not to incur any fines and to be able to group returns with picking up holds.
    .Sunday - enjoyed free coffee and treats at Fellowship after church and enjoyed a nice visit with some friends in the lovely air-conditioned church hall. It was so hot in the church during service that our poor minister had to take off his robes half way through or he would have passed out!
    This extreme heat - around 110F - with high humidity makes me feel so lethargic with no energy whatsoever and I hate feeling that way. I'm hoping to at least get a lot of "paper work" out of the way while I stay inside and hide from the sun! I've made a very large "To Do" list so I'm hoping to spend a good part of this week checking off stuff!

  • Cindy in the South July 17, 2018

    I wore a thrifted $1.00 black dress (with pearls) to a murder preliminary hearing I had to prosecute. It looked great! It is nice to look decent on a minimal budget. I have been called to play the piano in church, and my piano is at my son's apartment. That was a great excuse to go visit...there will be lots of these visits so I can practice....lol. If I just go visit my sons will roll their eyes, but if I go there with a purpose......for some reason, that is ok.....whatever works! I make potato salad and took it to work to eat at lunch for this busy week. I also have bologna, mayo, and bread at work, so that is a fast and cheap lunch. I do not care if I have to eat the same thing every day. I also used up the last of my spinach, some leftover tomatoes, spices, and noodles, and that is my supper for the week! I like not having to think about what I have to cook for supper every night.

  • Mable July 17, 2018

    Cindy, years ago I was doing a child sexual abuse trial and as I bent over to look at my notes while questioning someone, I felt my zipper burst open. I spent the rest of the day nonchalantly holding a piece of paper in front of my stomach, even while sometimes using the other hand to hold a page of notes. To this day I have not bought another pair of pants with zippers in the front! In fact, if memory serves correct, I never wore pants to court again.

  • Cindy in the South July 18, 2018

    That is so funny Mable, and yes, that is the reason I do not wear pants in actual jury trials. I will wear pants in pretrial hearings, occasionally.

  • Marie July 18, 2018

    Oh. My!!!!!

  • Terry July 17, 2018

    Summer gardening is here. We are already happily buried in zucchini. I've already canned relish and given bagfulls away. It finds its way to our table in some form each day. With the first big batch I made faux applesauce. Took some to my mother in law.
    We bought a new to us car last month. I found new floor mats at the thrift store yesterday for 5.99
    I've been doing mending for my widowed brother. He has blessed us with apricots and raspberries. I shared zucchini with him.
    Cooking from our freezer. We recently enjoyed chicken breasts, pork roast and ribs, all served with fresh veggies from our garden.
    With our 100* days laundry hung outside dries quickly.
    I've been doing mending and remaking some items to fit better.
    Using all leftovers up or feeding them to the chickens
    Making plans to visit two of our daughters in September, and then spending a few days at the coast with our crab traps and clam shovels.
    Life is Good!

  • Mable July 17, 2018

    Terry: I grow a ton of zucchini because it is reliable and versatile. Here are some ideas you may not have heard of or forgotten.
    Zucchini tots; lots of recipes on line and most require baking and not frying. Not exactly Tater Tots, but people still eat them up.

    Zucchini hummus https://www.feastingathome.com/zucchini-hummus

    Kung Pao zucchini https://www.feastingathome.com/kung-pao-zucchini-over-noodles-or-rice/

    Double chocolate zucchini bread (really cake pretending to be bread) from a King Arthur recipe https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/double-chocolate-zucchini-bread-recipe

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