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Frugal Accomplishments for the Third Week in June

Roses in Blue Vase The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for the house and put them in some garage sale vases.

I picked the last of the blackberries from the garden.

Apples and Flags The Prudent Homemaker

I picked apples, lettuce, basil, tomatoes , and three zucchini from the garden. 

I cut and dried parsley from the garden. 

I sowed seeds in the garden for zinnias and Bells of Ireland. 

I collected spinach seeds from the garden.

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used it to water pots in the garden.

My mom picked up a bag of top soil on clearance for $0.65 for me. I used it to top off the pots in the backyard that were needing a bit of dirt.

I opened the garage door in the early morning just a few inches and let the heat out of the garage. I also opened the windows for a couple of hours early each morning to freshen the house, during which time I was able to turn off the air conditioning (with lows at 83º next week and highs above 110º, I won't be able to do that then, though I will let in at least a bit of fresh air still each morning to freshen the house, and then close the house back up.) Monday and Tuesday we had unseasonably cool weather, and I was able to turn off the air conditioners! That changed quickly as temperatures were 110º F /43ºC by Thursday, which are normal temperatures for here this time of year.

I ordered some homeschool books while they were on sale and also used a free shipping code, which saved me a total of $48.63.

I listened to swing music on Pandora.

I studied French using free sources. One of my children studied French using free sources as well.

My husband gave one son a haircut.

My son and my husband mended the wheelbarrow.

We had an online video call with friends in France.

Gladiolus and Grape Vines The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

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  • Marci June 18, 2017

    I bought 8 pounds of strawberries for $.98 a pound, made 10 halfpints of strawberry jelly and froze approximately 4 pounds for more later. I made homemade Greek yogurt from 2% milk. I turned off the A/C when I went to work as well as various other electrical appliances and augmented the A/C with a portable swamp cooler when I came home. I used kitchen warm up water to water indoor plants.

  • How do you make Greek yogurt?

  • Robbie, you can make Greek Yoghurt by straining out regular yoghurt until it reaches a thicker consistency. I usually line a colander with a clean cotton dishtowel or some cheesecloth, pour the yoghurt on top, and place the colander over a bowl to drain for 6-12 hours, or until it is as thick as you like it. Easy to do!

  • Marcia June 18, 2017

    Let's see. It was a rough work week. I really wanted to go out for tacos and wine Friday night. But when I was done with work and met my husband with the kids, he told me he was sick with an upset stomach. That pretty much changed the whole weekend into "quarantine/ hibernation mode" -because he probably picked it up at work, and I didn't want our family to be a vector.

    So, no meal out on Friday night. No potluck on Sunday, so I saved myself cooking something big and saved a bottle of wine too. Because he didn't feel like eating, I skipped my main weekly grocery shop, and I did that last week too. All I got was saltines and applesauce. He wanted some tea, and the brand he likes was on sale for $1.25, but they were out. So I made tea at home from teabags and put it in the fridge. Iced tea!

    The kids and I worked our way through the leftovers. For hubby's tummy, I made homemade bread, roasted potatoes, and relatively plain pasta (olive oil, lemon, parsley). I also made smoothies and homemade salad dressing. I cooked up a big pot of beans for later in the week.

    For entertainment, day 1 we played Legos and did some coloring. We went outside to play, but it was hot (not Vegas hot, but hot). So we were only out there for about 15 minutes. Once it cooled down later I took the boys for a short 1 mile walk and found another book to read at a little free library. We watched a movie on Netflix (The BFG) and some shows on Amazon (Poldark) and Hulu (Worst Cooks in America).

    Day 2 hubby was feeling well enough to go to work (he has a deadline), so I packed him up applesauce and potatoes for lunch. His Father's day breakfast was homemade bread. We did some more coloring, but I REALLY needed to get the kids outside. Because of the quarantine, I avoided the invited lunch out playdate. I avoided the neighborhood potluck. I avoided the park. We went to the beach instead, the one with free parking. Except parking was full so we had to park in the nearby street and walk. We did buy smoothies after, which were not cheap. But after the kids were less than appreciative so we are going on a "no treat" streak until end of July, when we go on vacation. So they can learn to appreciate it again.

    All in all, I was well below my budget again this week for groceries. I'll surely be glad when hubby is better, and hope that nobody else gets sick.

  • Mandy June 18, 2017

    First a question: My apple trees, which are 4 years old, have apple scab. It's to late to do anything to save my apples this year, but does anyone know what I can do to save the trees (2 of them) so we can actually harvest and enjoy our apples? I have two pear trees next to the apple trees, can those get it too?

    I harvested parsley, strawberries, and green onions. I spread some more fertilizer on the garden and fruit plants and weeded. I planted more basil, parsley, lettuce and delicata squash seeds. My flower seeds in a planter in front of the house have sprouted. My husband picked up some free plants someone was giving away (I am not sure what they are but are just green right now, they will flower next spring if they live) and he planted them around our mailbox.

    cooked all meals from scratch and ate at home

    drank water and made my coffee at home every morning

    purchased a Sam's club membership, taking advantage of a good deal making the membership $20 ( I missed out of the free products, though, which would have made it .06, but I am ok with that). We purchased some bottled flavored water (for my husband - he's trying to kick his Mt. Dew habit but does not like plain water), cheese, Ziploc bags, and Dove white bar soap. I began keeping a price list so I know which store has what cheapest.

    I took advantage of a deal at Target to purchase Oxiclean: buy 2 at 9.98 and get a $5 gift card, used a 10% cartwheel plus two $1 off coupons I printed from coupons dot com, plus I had $2.30 left on my last Target gift card bringing the price to just over $4 each. I will use these when I run out of laundry soap soon to make Brandy's laundry soap recipe. I also noticed while I was there the price of eggs was ridiculously cheap. I will pick some up tomorrow after my daughter's ear doctor appointment not to far away. I also have a $3 off coupon making a small bottle of Aveeno lotion free that I will pick up at the same time.

    I made minestrone soup, peach pie popsicles, pumpkin bread, tacos with rice, hamburgers with cottage cheese, applesauce, and baked beans, lemonade using bottled lemon juice in the fridge, meatloaf with baked potatoes and homemade "Pizza bake". My daughter and I made my husband a homemade carrot cake (Brandy's recipe) for father's day as it's his favorite cake.
    I made a meal plan for the coming next two weeks to avoid fast food/ordering in. My employer has me working 6 days next week and things will be hectic.

    I also started working for my best friend who has opened her own mental health practice (She has a Master's in Psychology and several certifications). I am helping manage the social media accounts for her as she does not have the time right now. Eventually, when she has enough patients, she will bring me on as her Administrative Asst. She pays me a small amount but I enjoy doing what I can to help make her dreams come true. We can also use the money it brings in :)

    I stayed home! Saved money, time, gas, and wear and tear on my vehicle :)

    I will be getting insurance quotes (home and auto) from some different companies. The one we have had for the last couple years continually raise our rates every month, with no explanation why. I will also be cancelling my amazon prime membership and let my tracfone cell phone shut off after the service days ran out because I never used it. I do have a home phone, that goes through my internet, that only costs $13 per month for unlimited calling in the U.S.
    Have a great week everybody!

  • Athanasia June 19, 2017

    Mandy you should call your county extension to see what is best for your area. You do know you can still eat the apples, right?? There is nothing chemically/biologically wrong with them that could make you sick. Just cut away what you don't want on this year's crop and look into treatment before next season.

  • Mandy June 19, 2017

    Thank you Athanasia! I did not know we could still eat them :) I guess I should have googled that! LOL I will call our county extension and see what they say to use. Thanks again!

  • Athanasia June 21, 2017

    Your're welcome. Hopefully you will get an ample crop.

  • Lilllanna Pickles June 18, 2017

    My special needs daughter spent 10 days in the hospital. This was a surprise illness. I am grateful for the wonderful care we received from an incredible staff. There is no telling what her bill will be but the hospital said our income is so low that they will write off any balance due. I am grateful for their charity. I was blessed to not have to pay parking at this facility. It is the only free one I have ever seen. We had use of free internet the entire stay. My daughter didn't eat anything but yogurt and applesauce the entire time. Each day, the dietician would bring me a tray of food. She said they always had extras sent up that did not get used. The food was incredible. I came home to find that I had sixty dollars worth of gift cards available from swagbucks. I stocked up on several grocery items we are low on at My computer died the week before the warranty expired. They couldn't repair it. They refunded my purchase price and I purchased a nicer one on sale for an additional 16.00 dollars. I rarely buy extended warranties but this item is the exception. That extra 45.00 dollars was well worth it.

  • Jane June 19, 2017

    I hope your daughters health improves. It must be so hard not knowing what you have to pay. I'm glad the hospital came through for you.

  • Mandy June 19, 2017

    Lillianna - I am so glad your daughter is better and home (I am assuming). It sounds like a wonderful hospital :)

  • Cindi June 19, 2017

    I hope your daughter is okay. That must have been so worrying.

  • Rhonda A. June 20, 2017

    Caring for special needs children is hard enough. But when sickness strikes, it can be even more stressful. I hope your daughter is on the road to a full recovery. So glad that the hospital was so generous with the financial support and meals, too. I'm sure that is a huge relief for you!

  • Athanasia June 21, 2017

    Yes, llillianna, I am thankful to hear the good outcome for your daughter. It sounds to be the best of a bad situation.

  • K June 18, 2017

    This week has been mostly spent on finishing unpacking, though we did make a few financial moves:

    * I picked up my transit card- as a student, I get access to a transit card that allows unlimited rides for $300/year, and since I live right on a train route, taking mass transit to campus is quite easy and much cheaper than driving. Parking on campus would run me at least $70/month, not including gas, mileage, and increased repair costs, plus I won't get stuck in traffic :D

    * I did not go grocery shopping at all this week. We'll need to pick up some milk (and perhaps some bread, if I don't get a chance to make some), but my SO can do that at work, saving me a trip.

    * We've been eating more leftovers from the freezer and using up the food we have already instead of shopping more. I will definitely need to stock up again soon, but I'm hoping to wait until July. I did pick up some bread and some tomato paste (to make enchiladas with chicken from the freezer), but everything else we need we already had.

    * We ended up not using some parts bought at Ikea, so we will return them and get our money back.

    * We ordered a new mattress- a queen, complete with frame, for $400- and it arrived just a few days ago. We finally got it set up today, so tonight should hopefully be quite comfortable!

    * My mom found a comforter set for us for $84 (originally $300). It matches our color scheme in the rest of the apartment perfectly, plus it came with the comforter, 2 regular and 2 euro shams, a bed skirt, and 4 decorative pillows. It looks and feels really nice, especially on the new bed!

    Packing and unpacking all of our stuff reminded me of how much we truly do have and to be thankful for it. Even though I had spent months using up our pantry, we still have so much food left. I retook inventory and planned the rest of June's and July's meals based on what we have on hand, so we will only have to purchase a minimal amount of food, which will help with our budget.

    Also, unrelated: I would love tips from others who bake (particularly bread) in a gas oven. I've only ever used electric, so I'm in a bit over my head. I also finally had room to put out my toaster oven, so if anyone has any ideas for what to cook in one, I would greatly appreciate hearing about them!

  • Baking in a gas oven is easy! Just follow the recipe! I prefer gas over electric for the stove and oven, personally.

  • Terry calkins June 19, 2017

    K. In the summer I only use my toaster oven. I bake my breads as rolls as a loaf is too tall. I make single layer cakes and small batches of muffins. It saves the heat in the kitchen as well as lower electricity. It also helps me to control the size of batches . I tend to cook too much!

  • Becky @ Becky's Place June 20, 2017

    I take it one step further in the summer. I set my toaster oven out on our porch so none of that heat is inside.

  • Janet June 19, 2017

    I bought three small pans for our toaster oven, and during the summer i use the toaster oven the same as I would the big oven with these smaller pans. You have to watch the items like a hawk (because the oven is smaller it tends to finish faster and would burn most items If I did not watch but it is easy enough to watch and so I do)
    I also use to reheat / during the summer I try to keep the big oven off as it heats the house too much!

  • Allyson June 19, 2017

    I have cooked egg and cheese sandwiches in the toaster oven. If a small oven proof dish fits, it is nice for roasting veggies for two. We also use ours for reheating leftovers from pizza to sloppy Joes to cornbread or hotdogs.

    Good luck!

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