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Frugal Accomplishments for the Third Week in July

I spent many, many hours up late each night this week canning. I am grateful to my mother-in-law for teaching me the basics of canning. I had a newborn at the time (my second baby) and she came to my house and taught me to can peaches. 

With lots going on during the day (and another newborn!), I always find it easiest to can at night, when no meals are being prepared in the kitchen and no one needs anything from me.

Using cucumbers picked from my friend's garden, I canned a batch of sweet pickle relish, a batch of bread and butter pickles, and a batch of giardiniera.

Concord Grapes The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut concords and another seeded grape from my garden and canned several quarts of grape juice. I also canned the grape pulp; instructions in the canning book say to strain and discard the solids so that you have clear juice. I don't mind having unfiltered juice with a little pulp. Some of my jars were just juice, some were pulp and juice, and some were more just the thick pulp (like blended grapes) which are perfect to use in smoothies and in popsicles.

Green and Red Beans The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested figs, seedless grapes, green onions, Swiss chard, miniature bell peppers, a couple of peaches from the white garden, and red noodle beans. 

We collected eggs from my friend's hens and picked tomatoes and green beans from her garden.

I used YouTube to show the children about many things mentioned in their schoolbooks. We saw videos about giant grouper, Niagara Falls, and Amsterdam.

My husband cleaned the dryer vent lines and removed the front lower panel of our front-loading washing machine and cleaned out the drain. These two things will help our clothes to dry in a timely manner. I had noticed them coming out of the washer wetter than normal and also taking longer to dry even after I did an extra spin cycle, so they will now be able to dry in one cycle, rather than taking twice as long as they had started to do.

I collected water from the air conditioner drip all week long and used it to water potted plants. I also used shower warm-up water to water potted plants.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

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Comments

  • Brooke July 23, 2018

    Gorgeous grapes!

    Here's my list
    * Last week I was on vacation and my husband and saved money by eating out twice a day most days and saving leftovers for dinners.
    * Packed a nice beach bag for us so we didn't have to purchase snacks, water, etc. Also packed additional snacks and tea bags and avoided ordering beverages with meals as usual.
    * Purchased fresh fruit on sale upon arrival for vacation snacks. It was great to curl up and read and have this fruit (chilled) as a delicious snack on hot days.
    * Cooked in bulk before vacation and froze leftovers to have easy meals when we returned.
    * Enjoyed free entertainment and activities on vacation: drive-around site seeing, nature trails, and the beach.
    * Watched a movie on Netflix rather than going to the theater.
    * Increased the amount of our automatic savings account transfer.
    * Worked out using free YT videos.
    * Purchased culinary herbs at a discount.
    * Made a cream cheese/yogurt strawberry dip instead of purchasing from the store.
    * Did my own pedicure at home.
    * Made homemade soft scrub (baking soda, dish soap, and a bit of water) to clean shower and sinks.
    * Made homemade toothpaste.
    * Read and finished a book I purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1. I rarely purchase books in other places anymore. I need to go to the library and take advantage of the books (and movies! magazines, too!) there as well.
    * Saved and reused glass jars from other products.

    Have a great week! I always love reading everyone's comments, so thanks for taking the time to share! :D

  • PJGT July 23, 2018

    We continue to plug along this week. I am reorganizing the house and working diligently to get rid of things that are not wanted. This allows us to live in a lovely space without clutter AND find things. I remember Brandy said something similar...an inspiration.

    This week my son needed his sleeping bag fixed. We teamed up to find a way and successfully mended it. It was a good teaching moment and I realized how self-sufficient he is becoming!

    I found some coins ( I am always amazed at the coinage I see on the ground these days), gave myself a haircut, trimmed the back of my husband and son's hair for them, have been choosing free exercise in an attempt to lose the final size, used kale from the flower pots (edible landscaping), froze 4 quart bags of green pepper slices for winter use from free peppers, made iced tea to keep from buying flavored drinks, and have been enjoying our deck instead of going out.

    Our biggest frugal success is to notice that our dog with the queasy stomach stopped eating again. We moved into canned dog food mode and began feeding him several times a day. So far, he's eating and we are avoiding a vet visit. Still some ways to go to return to dry food though.

    Happy frugal-ing y'all!

  • Reader July 24, 2018

    Good job on canning... i know how hard it is to can while having family AND the hot weather AND also when you want to do it properly!

  • Reader July 24, 2018

    I really pushed myself to freeze some strawberries, little bit of cherries, 2 small boxes of raw wild strawberry jam, small box of gooseberries, 2 little bags of raspberries, small box of rhubarb... All our own stuff. We tend not to eat those things very well in winter. I must prepare better foods with them.
    Also canned some cucumbers my mom sent me.
    We have our own potatoes now and onions, also green peas and lettuce...

  • April July 24, 2018

    Not a whole lot of frugality this week it seems. We went back and forth to my mother in laws 3 times(just over and hour away one way) cutting into the gas budget

    The teen had his dentist appointment and his insurance ran out when he turned 19 so we had to pay cash. We did get 15% off by paying day of, so that helped. He, of course, needs some fillings now, so I spread those 2 appointments out(one in August, the other in September). We'll get 15% off by paying at each appointment

    Rented two movies from redbox using codes

    Hubby's cousin and aunt were in the area so we met for lunch on Friday. His cousin paid and everyone had leftovers for dinner.

    My mom sent over 4 boxes of tea bags. They'll last my hubby forever since I have to drink decaf.

    My mil sent over 2 giant boxes of taco shells(48 shells each, in packs of 12). I'll share some with my mom. She also sent 2 12 packs of 7up, 2 bags of chips, and a couple big bags of candy.

    Neighbor sent over a Walmart size grocery sack of tomatoes and cucumbers. Hubby is in heaven.

    Hubby grilled a bunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken legs Saturday so we've been reheating them for dinner.

    Found out some our school system has a new program that the supplies for each kid will be provided, plus a backpack. It's only going to cover just a few schools this year and the 11yos middle school is on the list so that is a few things that won't need to be purchased.

    While not exactly frugal, I wanted to get hubby a Kindle because he's discovered reading ebooks is cheaper than buying paperbacks. I put some money back, hoping I could find a good deal on prime day. I got him a Fire 7. It was on sale for 29.99. I used $10 gift code I received from a survey project, then another $21. I even managed to get him a yellow one. :)

  • Kim July 24, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    Congrats on your night time canning, what an accomplishment!!
    I have recently found it more difficult to keep the budget under control. Gas and grocery prices are increasing faster than I can believe where I live. I feel I have cut our budget to the bare minimum and am still having trouble covering all our needs.
    I am trying to stay positive and this blog helps with that considerably. Thank you to Brandy and all who comment.
    I am drying another batch of parsley and dill from my garden.
    I am going to try having a small garage sale this weekend. I have never had much success with this but I have a small pile of stuff gathered so I will give it a go.
    I planted some more basil and am hoping it grows well enough to harvest some for making pesto.
    I knitted a dish cloth for my own use and am now working on one for a Christmas gift.
    I dried 3 loads of laundry outside last week since we had 90 degree temps.

    This blog encourages me every week...thanks so very much!!

  • Rhonda A. July 26, 2018

    Kim, do you have a Pinterest account? It's free to sign up if you don't. I love to research frugal living ideas on Pinterest and have found some great pins that talk about what to buy/cook/eat when you are "broke". Brandy has some great recipes on here, but it never hurts to look at other ideas out there for inspiration, too. You may find some delicious meals to make for your family that are super simple, very healthy and ultimately help stretch your food budget even further! If you are looking for ideas or inspiration, there is a wonderful resource right here in this community too. So don't be afraid to ask! I'm sure we'd all be happy to share our favourite, ultra frugal meal ideas with you as well.

  • dawnelle July 24, 2018

    - I found a side job through a FB site. I'll be folding clean laundry (!) once a week for a gal who doesn't have time. Super excited about this one, as it's easy and nearby.
    - Cooked all meals at home, was also able to make extra for both my mom and grandma who are experiencing some health issues.
    -Got the Friday Freebie at Fred Meyer (Kroger) and put aside for a gift.
    - Mended my daughter's jeans (rip in seam). Easy and she was thrilled.
    -This isn't necessarily frugal, but resulted in some frugal methods. I have seven kids, and they do chores often. Yesterday, instead of a normal chore list, I randomly wrote down that they each had to do a kind deed for every sibling. They had until this morning to do it, and they had to tell me what each thing was. It ended up SO fun and so meaningful. I saw bedrooms secretly being cleaned, cookies baked, notes written, etc. Nothing cost anything and most of them had fun (I cannot say my teenage boys had fun in all honesty, but they did it). I'll repeat it next month, I thought it was well-worth it.
    - Made cherry freezer jam and orange-cherry pancake syrup (that was really good) with cherries that weren't being eaten.

  • Liz July 24, 2018

    Hello Frugal Friends,

    This week I tried to be more frugal. The month is so long, even when you budget!! Here are some things we did to save/ earn.
    - We ate some produce from the garden such as zucchini and swiss chard with onions. I love to cook swiss chard in oil and onions. This is probably one of the cheapest things I make!
    - We ate a couple of free lunches at the USO on post since we were there anyways.
    - I was able to get 10 ears of corn for 10 cents each at Walmart!
    - We ate some cheap, low meat meals such as baked potato with salad and just a little bit of chili.
    - I sent away for some free samples, I have them at my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/07/24/freebies-today-7-24-18/
    - I also downloaded some free Kindle Books, which are also on my blog.
    - I stuck to a $60.00 budget for the last 2 weeks of July since we have garden produce and other items to eat.
    - That's all I can think of for now!
    I hope everyone has a great week!
    Liz

  • Jess July 24, 2018

    This has been a busy week in the garden. I pulled 32.5 pounds of potatoes (which was about 1/2 of what I had planted - the rest are still out there), 14 pounds of onions (which was about 3/4 of what I had), 3 cantaloupes, 1 watermelon, 12 butternut squash, 14 acorn squash, and lots of green beans. I’ve canned 21 pints of green beans so far. I’ve picked over 100 pounds of tomatoes so far this year. I’ve made 19 jars of pasta sauce and 7 quarts of crushed tomatoes. I’ve still got 2, 5 gallon buckets to process. We eat a lot of pasta so I’ll probably make more spaghetti sauce. We’ve also eaten about 1.5 pounds of tomatoes fresh. Wild blackberries and black raspberries grow on our farm, so we’ve been picking them. We got about 2 pounds of black raspberries and they are done producing now. We’ve gotten over 2.5 pounds of blackberries (plus some that we gave to my grandma) and they are still producing. I’ve made blackberry jam and froze them. I also froze 6 pounds of frozen corn. We ate 20 or so ears of corn fresh. I’ve also been drying oregano, basil, parsley, and cilantro. Our strawberries are pretty much done now, but I was able to make strawberry jam and we eat over 5 pounds fresh. There have been a ton of garden based meals these last couple weeks - Parmesan zucchini fries, fresh berries & melons for snacks, squash, blackberry-chipotle pork loin, bruschetta with fresh tomatoes & basil, mini quiches with fresh veggies, broccoli & cauliflower with dip, cauliflower layer salad. I’ve hardly had to grocery shop!

    I’m also still getting double pay checks, so we decided to use the extra money to make some needed repairs to our vehicles. One will get new brakes & rotors and the other will get new wheel bearing and repairs to the power steering. Luckily, my husband can do the labor himself, it will just be parts.

    I noticed an error on my health insurance deduction on my first pay stub at my new job. They had listed my husband and I as tobacco users, which increased our premium by $80 a month. I called Human Resources and they fixed the error. Thank goodness I checked! Who knows how long they would’ve deducted it before I noticed!

    My husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage last Friday, so we went on a little weekend getaway to an Amish community about 2 hours from our house. We loved looking at their handmade goods in the little stores around town. There is also a delicious restaurant whose owner is Amish. We ate there and visited the local Amish grocery store. They have excellent prices on herbs & spices in bulk, so I stocked up. On the way home, we stopped at an outlet mall. My husband’s only pair of tennis shoes and fallen apart. He was able to get a new pair of tennis shoes for a good price. I picked up several pieces of clothing for work for about 1/2 of what I’d pay new.

  • Pat July 24, 2018

    This blog and all the comments are so encouraging!
    I am continuing with all the usual things I do to save money and time.
    I am harvesting green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and my first tomato. I grated, sliced and cubed the squash and zucchini for cooking and baking. I added grated squash to potatoes for hash browns, sauteed some with apples and spices and baked it with other veggies from my freezer. It is so mild that it takes on the flavor of whatever I've added it to.
    Have a great week everyone!

  • Jerri July 24, 2018

    I cleaned out/reorganized my upstairs pantry and reloaded it with canned goods. I didn't throw out much food (yay!) but did throw out a lot of packaging. It looks nice and I can locate stuff again. This project freed up my counter top. I walk by and open the cupboard door just to see how nice it is.

  • Billie Moore July 25, 2018

    This blog helps me feel like the little things I do to keep from wasting money are important, so many times I'm greeted with a why bother attitude,I know why I bother but it can get you down.So thanks Brandy for the time you put into the blog and thanks to those that share.

  • Sarah in Maryland July 26, 2018

    We've gotten a lot of good deals at the grocery store recently and have been given many food items, including 15 lbs of frozen blueberries.

    One thing my children have been enjoying is homemade corn dogs. They are quite frugal and to make them even more so, I cut each hot dog in thirds and get them in small batches in my smallest saucepan. This way, I use much less oil and I don't use sticks which would just get thrown away. The kids really like these "corn dog minis"!

  • Tina July 29, 2018

    How do you make the breading please?

  • janet July 27, 2018

    If anyone ever wonders why they bother being frugal. I know for certain just a little frugality will save a family on average $10K per year. Deep cuts obviously go farther. I saved for 23 years it came out to $389K Every coupon , every dropped coin, every item someone gives you that you can't use that has resale value it all adds up!

    On top of the $389K I was able to do more for my family and give more to others during these years as well.
    When times are tighter I have been on the end that had to receive and we were extremely grateful!

  • Tejas July 27, 2018

    We have had many unexpected expenses this year with hubby's bike accident which resulted in multiple hospital stays, multiple surgeries and procedures, medical supplies and equipment, and the purchase of a used car to replace his bike. After 5 months off, hubby is doing well and returned to work. Had to replace our 20 yr. old a/c system last month, to the tune of $12,000. We lived for 3 days with 98 degrees inside the house. Very grateful for modern a/c. Trying to keep food costs low, as it is the one thing I have control over. Made another batch of my whole wheat, olive oil baking mix that I use for pancakes, biscuits, cornbread, muffins, etc. By baking vegan with no eggs or dairy, and using water as liquid, baking is super cheap and every bit as tasty as the old recipes. Often, these quick breads do double duty as bread with the soup or meal, then as dessert with jam or syrup. Made recipes of ketchup, tomato soup, spaghetti and enchilada sauce that call for one can of tomato paste. All make at least 2 cups for no more than 70c. Drying blackeyed peas from my garden. Continuing to use my harvested red and white bulb onions. Substituted minced carrot tops in a sauce recipe that called for dill.Growing 2 kinds of sweet potatoes that had sprouted. I regularly get 60 lbs. of sweet potatoes from a 4x5 bed next to my house. The vines look pretty, too, and we eat the leaves for greens. Worked 4 hrs. as a sub. Mended shorts and a shirt. Haven't used dryer sheets in yrs. and have never noticed a difference in softness. Made a batch of laundry detergent. So happy to have found a friendly site here with so many good ideas. Thank you, Brandy, for your frugal elegance that is inspirational.

  • Candy July 29, 2018

    Has anyone ordered any of the samples from Get it Free? I just discovered it and they had DeWalt drill bit sets, kitchen gadgets, Tide, Hanes, Craftsman. But there were no details on what you needed to agree to for all that glorious bounty to land in your mailbox. Thanks!

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