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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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  • Tina July 22, 2018

    Hi Cindi---Please accept my apologies if I am sounding forward as I have no idea where you work or if you attended a conference for your own business. If you work for an agency or other company, please check with your employer about what types of expenses they cover if you have not yet done so. I am a Director of an agency and was surprised a year or so ago that a few of my employees didn't realize that our agency would pay for their parking fees incurred while attending meetings; our agency also provides a set amount of money each day to cover meal expenses. As am employer, I would not expect my folks to cover extra costs while attending a work function such as an out of town conference. It could be that your agency might cover your expenses if you have a receipt...or at least a portion of your expenses. I hope so!

  • Cindi July 23, 2018

    Thank you for such a thoughtful reply! As it happens, I work for myself, so no one else to reimburse those expenses (though I do save all receipts for my taxes.)

  • Bobbie July 22, 2018

    Your grapes are beautiful. Luminous.

  • margie from Toronto July 22, 2018

    I worked a few extra hours at my church job this week so that will help a bit when I submit this month's hours.
    I combined a number of errands and some walking in order to save on transit fares.
    Found some good deals on bacon, cottage cheese, milk and cheese this week and used Loyalty points to pay for the bulk of groceries. Also found some good deals at the drugstore for the non-food items that I want to top up - aiming for at least a 6 month supply on everything - only a couple of more items to add.
    Had problems with my cable reception and by the time they got it sorted I had missed almost 3 full days of TV so I will be getting a credit on my next bill - of course I had to ask - they didn't offer....
    Attended a free evening at a downtown independent bookstore as a "field trip" with my Sisters in Crime group (mystery writers and fans). There were sandwiches, cookies, wine & other cold drinks plus a "20 books in 20 minutes" presentation.
    Attended an evening outdoor presentation of Pygmalion at the Guildwood Park on Friday night - a friend lives nearby and asked if I would go with her. The ticket was $20 but I like to support local groups and they did a wonderful job. We sat outside and there was a lovely breeze without too many bugs - and my friend cooked a lovely salmon dinner for us so it was a great day.
    Otherwise I continued to use the library, stayed home some days and got caught up on laundry & ironing, and continued to use up items from the freezer and pantry.
    Canning is such a lot of work - I hope you are managing to get some decent hours of sleep - even with a new baby - I cannot imagine doing all that you do each week!

  • I didn't get much sleep; I was up to at least 11:30 p.m. most nights and 2:30 a.m. once so that I could can. It takes a long time to get a few jars done but I am happy to have added to my pantry this past week.

  • AndreaG July 23, 2018

    Margie: I like the idea of a six month supply of toiletries. I think I might implement this myself!

  • margie from Toronto July 23, 2018

    I find that those are the types of things that it's really annoying and inconvenient to run out of - plus I hate paying full price for things that I can always get on sale somewhere so that's my two main reasons to stock up. I live in a 1 bedroom city apt. but I'm lucky to have decent closet space - and since I live on my own a 6 month supply doesn't actually take up too much space - but I know that might be a drawback for some people. Good luck.

  • AndreaG July 23, 2018

    I’m almost there on free Crest toothpaste. The coupon available for buy 2 save $2 means free toothpaste when Crest is on sale for $1 like it is this week at the Superstore. I’ll redeem two of these coupons this week for four tubes and have my 6 month supply. One item down, a few more to go! Hope you are safe in Toronto after the shooting last night. I’m in London and it’s just too scary so close to home.

  • Margie from Toronto July 23, 2018

    Thank you for thinking of Toronto Andrea - very scary! I live on the other side of town but I'm over on the Danforth at least a couple of times a month as I love the shops, plus two friends live over there (they are both fine). I have been to all of the restaurants that were targeted so it is quite shocking!

  • ellie's friend from Canada July 24, 2018

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Terrible occurrence! I feel so sad for the two young fatalities.-- beautiful young girls.


  • Rhonda A. July 24, 2018

    Years ago, my husband (then fiance) and I lived in that area. We were north of that section of the Danforth. I used to go for walks along that section all the time, not to mention eating out in some of those amazing Greek restaruants. So heart breaking to see this happen there. I remember it as a really nice, relatively quiet area to live.

  • Shelley July 22, 2018

    It feels like I had a how much can you spend week.
    Animals went to the vet $295
    Car needed a few repairs $69
    Out of everything like paper towels and what not $200
    I did find some coupons for food items...
    Hopefully next week will be better

  • Becky Pratt July 22, 2018

    Some of the things I did to keep more money in my pocket this week was to stay home instead of going to the stores.
    I paid all of my bills on time. Goodness those late charges are getting higher and higher.
    I accepted some frozen chickens that were on sale. I was given 4 of them.
    I am cooking all of our meat in the slow cooker to keep the house cooler. We are breaking records with our heat here in Texas.
    I cook enough meat for us to have meals for 3 or four days. This is saving me time and electricity.
    I made a chicken yesterday so we had chicken and rice last night. I will make chicken and noodles, risotto, chicken alfredo and then chicken salad from this one chicken. I will then put all of the bones, some onion, skin and whatever chicken is left in the slow cooker again to make broth. After that is finished the bones will go to the dog.
    All meals were made at home.
    I am making gnome ornaments to sell from scrap fabric and stuffing I have from other projects. These ornaments are almost free for me to make.
    I sold a parrot costume this week for Halloween. This was $137.50 I wasn't expecting yet.
    My 14 year old granddaughter has grown so much (almost 6' tall) this summer that none of her clothes fit. I have been looking for clothing for her and have found some leggings for good prices. Last night her mother came home with new clothes for herself (gifted to her) so she and Gaby went through her "old" clothes (mom is eating healthier and exercising and has gone down a size) and Gaby now has blouses and shorts for the start of school.
    I cancelled Prime Unlimited for the rest of the year. This saves me around $10.00 a month. I will be sewing more and won't have time to read as much as I do when it isn't my busy time.
    I had already cancelled Terminix. We will be spraying my house.
    I am trying to weigh if I can stand to cancel cable. This would save me about $60.00 a month. I can watch most of what I want on the computer so it may be gone in the next few months.
    I can't think of much else I've done this week.
    Brandy, thank you for all you do.

  • Laurie in AZ July 22, 2018

    We cancelled our cable and haven't looked back. We do have Amazon Prime and Netflix, but those are much cheaper than having cable.

  • Debby in Kansas, USA July 22, 2018

    Becky, we cancelled our cable several years ago. Admittedly, we did have about a month of angst lol, but then it was over. We got an antenna and found that there was more we liked, 3 PBS stations! We watch far less tv now and get a lot more done. We get series' at the library like Downton Abbey, Sherlock, etc.

  • Heather July 22, 2018

    I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you to really consider cutting cable. Here in Ohio the cheapest we could find was $125 and couldn’t afford that. That was almost 5 years ago. We do have subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix and I have amazon prime but it allows us to watch all our normal shows but only have it be around 35 each month. Worst case you cut it for a month or two and try life without it and decide to go back to cable. Best case you cut to cord for good and save some cash. Good luck!!

  • Kathy L July 22, 2018

    I am a native Texan - Corpus Christi - so know what you mean about that heat! You mentioned you give your dogs chicken bones; you might want to ask a vet about that. Ingested chicken bones can result in a mighty high vet bill!

  • Candy July 23, 2018

    Please do not give chicken bones to your dog, there is a real danger of the bones splintering and becoming lodged or perforating. But some broth on dry food would be wonderful.

  • Tejas July 23, 2018

    If you cook chucken bones long enough for bone broth, they are very soft. Cooking them longer, they are almost mush. No danger then of the bones splintering.
    Enduring Texas temps of 106 and up here. With 70% humidity, it is very draining. Give me dry heat of 115 anyday, over the 90's with high humidity!

  • Rhonda A. July 23, 2018

    Tejas, I used to be a veterinary technician and worked in the field for over 10 years. It is not recommended to feed chicken bones to dogs, as many have stated already. I understand what you are saying. However, there is always a risk that there could be a bone splinter, which can perforate the intestine, causing very serious medical issues. I've see the cost of vet bills to treat or just diagnose things similar to this. My honest opinion is that it is not worth the risk, both for the animal's health and the financial implications that go with it.

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