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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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  • Nancy in Eastern Washington June 19, 2017

    Regarding the gas oven - I had never used one when I was a newlywed over 40 years ago. I thought - what a wonderful drawer at the bottom of the stove, and proceeded to put my dishtowels, hot pads and placemat in this drawer, as our apt. had almost no storage. Well the first time I baked something in the oven I smelled something burning, and all of my nice, new kitchen linens were on fire. It was where the flame was, but having no experience with gas - I had no clue. :) so be careful.

    As far as the toaster oven, I love baked potatoes in them. I don't like ones from the microwave, so the toaster oven doesn't heat up the house so much. also I make small pizzas, and really anything you make in a larger oven - just smaller quantities.

  • Rhonda June 20, 2017

    I make baked potatoes in the crock pot. I think they turn out just as good as in the oven, and it doesn't heat up the house.

  • Athanasia June 21, 2017

    Oh Nancy, how sad your brand new items were damaged. But it makes one of those funny stories. Haha.

  • Rhonda A. June 20, 2017

    I used my toaster oven all the time when my daughter was younger. My husband worked evenings, so it was just her and I for dinner. The toaster oven was perfect for making dinners for two. I would cook convenience foods, like fish sticks or chicken fingers for us then add veggies and rice, mashed potatoes or something like that. When I was just out of college, I rented a room one summer where I only had a toaster oven and hot plate to cook with. I made all my meals, as well as baked cupcakes and muffins with just those two appliances. A toaster oven is really just a mini oven!

  • Holly June 24, 2017

    I lived in a teeny tiny studio (180 sq ft within earshot of the Pacific on stormy nights) for seven years. My kitchen consisted of 30" or 36" wide stove/sink/refrigerator (no freezer) combination appliance and a toaster oven. I love to bake and baked everything I wanted except bread (The next toaster oven I buy is going to be tall) and sheets of baklava for a wedding reception. I borrowed the landlady's oven for that. I didn't want to bake turkeys or entire chickens. :-) I LOVED my toaster oven and hope you enjoy yours.

  • Amie June 28, 2017

    I know how you feel. I got an oven thermometer that hangs on the rack. (Mine runs hot) You may need to lower your cooking temp by 25°, esp w dark pans. Easier to cook a little longer on a lower temp, than have something burn when you attempted regular instructions. You don't need much of a preheat time. Also start checking items 15-30 min early. You will also find you prefer some pans over others. You will start to learn timing. If you start to smell something, check it. Cookies bake pretty fast. I prefer to use parchment paper w those and it helps. I mostly use top rack. If you attempt to bake using two closely and rotate multiple times. My oven has a warming drawer under. I only store cast iron in it. It damages everything else. A lot of electric ovens have a storage drawer. These are different.

  • Gardenpat June 18, 2017

    Well, this has been a great week! Last Sunday, we visited our daughter and she taught me how to use my instant pot (I got her one for Christmas that she uses every day. I bought mine last July, took it out if the box in March and hadn't used it) !! Monday, I hard boiled a dozen eggs with just 2 minutes of actual processing time! They came out perfectly! Tuesday, I used a $1.59 gallon of milk and 2 Tablespoons of a nice Greek yogurt as my start and made 24 containers of Greek yogurt using my instant pot! My cost per single serving container of fruity Greek yogurt was 8 cents/container!!! That's a major savings and it was so simple! I'm now hooked! Lol!

    We put up our chicken coop expansion using materials we already had on hand! More than doubled their space! We get 2 eggs a day every day now from our 2 hens! The county public health vet inspected our hens and coop and we are legally permitted to have up to 8 chickens!! The we already ordered and are picking up 3 more next Wed!
    I harvested enough peas from the garden to fill a quart ziploc!
    We sold those 2 rain barrels for $85 and could have sold another 6 if we had them!
    Got an order for 2 twin headboards and a bench with storage cubbies below and coat hooks up above! Should be easy to make and is certainly adding to our income! A custom wedding monogrammed tray we made is being picked up tomorrow and Friday another bench and 2 end tables will be picked up!
    We stained/water sealed the front of our side yard fence. Weeded and mulched our berry bushes. I resisted the urge several times when I was running errands this week to stop for fast food, instead considering what we had in our fridge already and saved a ton that way!
    Opening windows still at night. Fortunately this week, the overnight temps will go down so that will be enough to keep us cool!
    All in all, a good week, with more to follow!!

  • Gardenpat, just wanted to say that I appreciate your always upbeat and positive contributions! Your posts always sound so delighted with life and it's so nice to read!

  • Betsy June 22, 2017

    Could you give more details on your Greek yogurt recipe?

  • Mary June 18, 2017

    Hi all. Most of my week was spent packing and using up what we have. I have donated many things. I have some more packing tomorrow. Then Tuesday we move.
    Have a good week everyone.

  • Libby June 18, 2017

    Brandy I have a question. Have you considered purchasing the instant pot? I got one a few weeks ago for my birthday and I love it so much! I was skeptical but I have really enjoyed cooking with it. Dry beans in 40 min, The best pot roast, chicken stock in an hour, mashed potatoes in 10 min, squash in 10 min, shredded chicken (from a frozen block) in 30 min. I'm not sure about the cost of energy to use it but I spend way less time cooking things that used to take a long time. Im a convert and I wanted to hear your thoughts. I know one way it saves me money is I'm less likely to eat out in a pinch if I've forgotten to thaw something for dinner. The only think that didn't work well was shrimp because they made it smell fishy for days and I had to scrub it a lot to get the smell out.

  • I've heard great things about them but right now I'm not sure about buying one or not. I have other things I'm wanting to purchase at the moment :)

  • Athanasia June 21, 2017

    Brandy, are you still using your sun oven?

  • Well I was . . . but a big wind storm broke it. I am currently waiting for my husband to repair it. So it just depends on when he gets to it. I hope soon, but I don't expect soon!

  • Athanasia June 22, 2017

    Oh, that's too bad that happened!

  • Alisa McNeely June 22, 2017

    I have a generic Instant Pot. I love it. I use it almost every day. Sometimes two to three times a day. I can now buy the less expensive cuts of meat and they turn out fabulous. And, I get bone broth to freeze when I'm done.

  • Erika @ The Make Do Homemaker June 18, 2017

    Lovely flower pics! Around here all I seem to be able to grow with any real talent is dandelions, which my son is allergic to *laugh*.

    It's been busy around here and I'm trying to get as much as I can done without spending any money. The garden is starting to take off, although I have some holes to fill in where seeds didn't germinate or where conditions just weren't right to help the plants grow. Overall, though, I'm happy with how the garden is doing so far. I even went out tonight and thinned the turnips a bit and got enough young greens to make myself a salad tomorrow for lunch, which also gave me enough greens already to have paid for the packet of seeds, so woohoo!

    My list for the week can be found here...

  • Mandy June 19, 2017

    Love your post! I LOVE War Time Farm!!

  • Athanasia June 21, 2017

    Is WAR TIME FARM a PBS show? Is that the actual name? I checked the public library system, which is quite extensive, and nothing was found. Thanks in advance for any information.

  • It's a BBC show, and you can watch it on You Tube :) There is also Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, and Tudor Monastery Fram, plus they did a Victorian Farm Christmas and they did a castle series too. It's wonderful! And yes, that's the actual name. I like them all but particularly liked War Time Farm!

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