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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Pickles Relish and Jam The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested peaches, figs, grapes, garlic chives, Swiss chard, green onions, grapes, tomatoes, and an Armenian cucumber from the garden.

I canned fig jam, sweet pickle relish, and giardiniera.

I read 4 books (Hamish Macbeth!) that I borrowed from my mom. I then went to the library's website and borrowed and read 4 more Hamish Macbeth books in e-book form.

My parents filled a blow-up pool for the children to enjoy at their house for a few days. When they were done, they pumped it out with a pump and a hose into my garden beds. I moved the hose around to different areas, grateful to have over 1000 gallons of water at no charge to me, and happy that it was able to serve two different purposes.

I collected 3 to 5 gallons of water each day from the run-off humidity from the air conditioner and used it to water my potted plants in the garden. I keep a one-gallon ice cream bucket under the pipes where the water drips on the side of the house and check it periodically throughout the day, and when it's full, I transfer it to a three-gallon bucket and dump that out when it is full. 

I gladly accepted some succulents from my dad that had been slightly burned in the sun. I moved them to a shady spot and if they recover, I'll plant them in a shady place in my garden.

I went to the grocery store and picked up several items using rainchecks from last month, buying boneless pork roast for $0.89 a pound (usually the lowest sales price is $1.79 a pound) and ice cream for $3.99 a gallon. I also used digital coupons to pick up 5 pounds of sour cream for $0.89 a pound. In addition, I purchased more pork roast that was on sale last week for $1.19 a pound. 

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Athanasia August 07, 2018

    We have been very busy, so my last update was probably a month ago. We had that late wet spring (20+ inches of snow in April) then a cool May then a hotter than normal June and July. The heat continues along with the humidity though the weatherman did say already a couple weeks ago there is a touch of Fall in the air. Our overnight temperatures are going down into the 50sF and I have seen a small amount of color change in the trees. We had a delay in some crops due to the snow delaying plowing and then when had a rush of production due to the heat and rain for other crops. So everything is coming due at once it seems.

    We have harvested over the last month parsley, summer savory, cilantro, rosemary, mint, basil, dill, shell peas, edible pod peas, beets, carrots, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, peaches, sweet corn, potatoes, green beans and wax beans, eggplants, cantaloupes, arugula and leaf lettuce. We are already on our 3rd (successively planted) field of sweet corn and it is very good. Our family farm stand has been very busy.

    So far I have canned blueberry jam, frozen blueberries in quart bags for pies and pints for muffins etc, canned blackberries in quarts using directions given to me by someone on this site last year...these are ones I will use later for cobbler. I also canned blackberry jam and froze berries in pint bags. Made raspberry freezer jam and froze berries in pint bags. Gooseberries I sell, give away, let the birds eat. I did use them in one recipe, the trifle recipe I found last year from a British website. Tomatoes we have been keeping up with eating for the moment, selling, and I did make one large batch of spaghetti sauce (6 quart kettle) that we have used in several meals and to make 2 pans of lasagna for a church potluck. I made 2 half gallon jars of refrigerator kosher dill pickles. I canned bread and butter pickles in pints and quarts, sour hamburger slices in pints, and more kosher dill in quarts. I also did 15 quarts of sweet gherkins. These are my favorite. I always order these pickling cucumbers from a neighbor as I don't want to deal with picking all the approx 2 1/2-3 inch pickles needed for this. We canned pickled peppers in pints, made 2 pints of marinated cherry tomatoes for the refrigerator. Will make another 2 jars so have more. Tried those for the first time last year. They were nice served on antipasti trays. Done the majority of canning in smaller batches with younger daughter or alone and the large batches with sister in law, youngest daughter and my mother. Oldest girl is too busy with the farm all day and the twin babies at night so we are doing as much canning as we can for her. Canned quarts of green beans and mixed green beans with wax beans.

    I had June off until after July 4th. Now I work part time until Aug 20th when go back to full time. Youngest daughter is still watching Miriam and Daniel who will be 4 months old tomorrow and Dora is almost 2. We were supposed to have my husband's brother living with us until Labor Day weekend when he would move to another sibling. We had to change the move date up as youngest daughter Olivia did decide to take the year long teaching job at the school she worked 2nd semester at last year. She will be in the same area as her sister Johanna works as a nurse so they will be able to spend much more time together and this is the area where some of my husband's family live. In fact she will teach nieces and nephews in her classroom. She bought Eliana's Toyota Prius as Eliana and Theo bought a larger station wagon. We have time to make her several new dresses and the school has arranged her housing again. Come Fall, we will have an empty nest, again.

    Awhile back there was discussion about Corelle dishes. I love them. My stack of 20 dinner plates only takes up about 4 inches in height and we have little plates and medium plates and 4 sizes of bowls and a couple platters and then 2 sizes of serving bowls. I buy them whenever I see more. I have the white in my kitchen but I buy whatever pattern I see at rummage sales. The mismatched ones we use for large casual family gatherings. Eliana also likes the white so she has a pretty good set also and we can combine as needed for holiday dinners. In all my memory we have broken one bowl and I did it. It slipped and hit just the wrong angle. Otherwise they bounce on our linoleum floor.

    We did finish the summer project for the children's play area we built between our house and daughter's house. The men changed our plans somewhat as they said we could not put it under the tree due to roots. So it is out in the open, but covered with a 12x12 foot canopy for shade. They dug out the sod, put in a layer of sand, then laid down cushioned outdoor squares, like at a playground. They did not want to mow around and move things. So now we have the little covered turtle sandbox, a wading pool, the jungle gym and slide, mini picnic table, playhouse and lawn chairs. It is nice to sit out there with feet in pool. We have been gathering all summer on Thursday mornings with the grandchildren and youngest daughter and my mother, me, my sister in law and her little Henry. We play then eat lunch and everyone goes home for naps. So just a couple more weeks before every one goes different directions and back to work/school.

    To be continued.

  • Becky August 07, 2018

    I can never get enough teeny, tiny cucumbers at the same time to make whole sweet pickles. It's so great that you have a neighbor that you can buy some from. So, I end up canning chunks instead of gherkins. I'll bet yours look SO pretty in the jars. Mine are not as pretty, but luckily the family doesn't know any better and gobble them up quickly. Mine take 4 days of dumping various boiling things over them morning and night, according to the recipe. I've done that twice this year, 1/2 batch each time, because that's how many cucumbers were ripe at the same time. Now, I've moved on to jalepeno dill pickles.

    You have been super busy! I love hearing about all the things you've been growing and preserving. As fun as it is to hear of you canning for your daughter with the twins, I'm sure she must be so happy. It's hard to get that done with even one baby, but twins and a farm? Wow! I'm glad you can spend so much time with all the babies and their mothers.

  • Athanasia August 13, 2018

    Becky, did you like the jalapeno dills? I had one once and didn't. Not sure if I would make them as then jar would be in refrigerator taking up room if one one person wants them. My husband would probably eat them but we all eat regular dills. I figure I already can hot peppers as is. Did you grow your own dill? We sold so much dill and actually ran out. We found out the grocer (kroger affiliate) doesn't stock dill during canning season. You are supposed to buy it in the little mini fresh packs of baby dill which is pretty ridiculous.

  • Margie from Toronto August 08, 2018

    Gooseberries also make a great crumble - especially if served with a warm custard.

  • Athanasia August 13, 2018

    Margie, we have so much fruit that the gooseberries go by the wayside. Though they seem to be popular with foodie type people as the amount of them we are selling goes up every year. Is a crumble a crisp? Fruit in the pan and top with a mix of oats, flour, sugar, butter and spice?

  • Jenifer August 09, 2018

    What a wonderful way to spend time on Thursday mornings!

  • Athanasia August 13, 2018

    Jenifer, it is and the summer went way too fast. I actually left off my daughter in law Joy and her girl Anna Joy and then Joy's mother. They are there always too, but Joy goes back to school next week also.

  • Kitty B (Calgary, AB) August 07, 2018

    My favourite frugal accomplishment this week was trading a bag of books for 2 new Avon bubble baths for my Mum's birthday gift. Other things I did this past week:
    made swag goal x 7
    earned 361 bonus SB
    mended a thrift store skirt
    fixed an outdoor solar light
    used points to treat a friend and myself to a movie for her birthday
    fixed a blind slat
    coloured my own hair
    earned $67.50 in local FB sell group.
    Thank you to Brandy and everyone who takes the time to comment and update weekly. Always a pleasure to read!

  • Tabbie August 07, 2018

    I continue to look for work in our new town. We have been here exactly one month and I have only been offered one job for minimum wage and the drive was 45 minutes away. My husband and I agreed that the cost in gas and wear and tear on my vehicle was not worth it. So I continue to look. It's very difficult as we move around for his job and we never know long we are going to be in a specific location. I am honest with perspective employers in interviews as I feel it is the right thing to do. The last 2 towns we were fortunate enough to stay for 19 months and 22 no the but didn't know that when we moved there. I worked as a nanny at one place and a case manager at another. The employers were willing to take a chance on me and I was greatful. We were in much bigger cities and there were a lot more jobs available. We are in a very small town and jobs are scarce here but I continue to try.
    On the frugal front, I spend no money other than groceries and household needs.
    I have been utilizing my ibotta app a lot. Every couple months I transfer it to my Amazon account and use that to purchase a supplement for our oldest dogs hip issues. It is the cheapest place to purchase it and we get free shipping.
    Taking lots of walks, completing some sewing projects and spending time with my dogs since I havent been working.

    As always, thank you for your wonderful inspiration. I strive to do my best to save where I can. It is only myself and my husband and we live pretty simply but reading everyone's posts really opens my eyes that there are always ways to continue to cut back.

  • Lynne August 09, 2018

    That must be really unsettling Tabbie. You sound like you have such a positive attitude. Good luck with the job hunting.

  • Bethany August 12, 2018

    Tabbie- have you considered freelancing as "sick day child care"? Not a full time home day care, but someone who will the kids for the day who have the colds/sore throats/ tummy crummies/ear infections that prevent them from attending their regular child care or school. That way, the parents dont have to miss work. While not a steady or guareented income, there is potential, and you can charge a bit higher prices as it's a speciality service ( but keep it somewhat reasonable). Pretty much a spare bedroom, a supply of disinfectant, chicken soup and jello, and some quiet time activites- books, chidrens videos, board/card games would do it. Another area in which there might be demand is overnight childcare.

  • momsav August 07, 2018

    What a great deal on pork! I’d stock up, too. I’m going to look for the Hamish series. I need something new to read. I tried to get into The Chronicles of Narnia but failed. I need something with a bit more ‘tooth’.
    It’s wild blueberry season, here. So, i’ve gone several times, picking. I have about 10-12 two cup bags frozen and one 5 cup bag. I also made blueberry syrup, ate several pounds and gave some away. I can’t decide if that’s it for me or not. I love to pick but there’s just the two of us. I did discover that there are a lot of wild raspberries where I picked this year. I hope to remember this next year so I can pick them before the blueberries.
    I’ve been so happy to hang clothes on the line all Summer. Last week I had to run the dryer for two loads because of rain but i’m okay with that.
    I’ve been collecting the water from the dehumidifier to flush or add to the wash. The water bill still went up. Our rates go up every year til we pay off a loan. (If I remember correctly.) Our water barrel is full so I use that to water plants.
    I made nectar for the hummingbirds. We’ve only had two for the past few years. They are very entertaining!
    I used some of my walking tokens at the farmers market. I love it! I ‘bought’ carrots, leeks, potatoes, beets, kale and beans. I stopped at a roadside stand and really bought two dozen ears of corn. I still need to process and/or cook everything.
    I had to make a trip to Escanaba for more snacks for the store where I work. I used my CC. I was paid in cash for reimbursement. The money has been set aside til the bill is due. The points I earn will get me a gift card or two. While there, I filled my car with gas. It was 37cents a gallon cheaper. Plus, I had two coupons bringing the cost down further. I also found a pair of jeans and two Summer weight shirts for my trip to Fl. Those were bought at Goodwill. Two items were the color of the week.
    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Have a fabulous week ahead!

  • Ann August 07, 2018

    Your canning looks beautiful, know you will enjoy it this winter! I made a batch of salsa and canned it with tomatoes given to me, son brought me almost a gallon of wild black berries, made jelly from them, I found carrots 2# for $1.00 got three bags so been having carrots and today took one bag and grated them and put in bags in freezer for carrot/ pineapple salad this winter, Son brought in some apples this evening, I don't think they are ripe yet but will make some fried apples and then let them ripen a bit before I fix the rest of them We were blessed with almost two inches of rain in the last couple days, it was so dry, so it was very much appreciated.

  • Tammy August 07, 2018

    We are both finally feeling better. Spent the day with grandchildren doing free things for entertainment but we did take them out to eat. It was a lovely time and it saved us from driving the half hour to our house and then back again after being together.
    Teaching husband to play piano. Bought staff paper so I can take notation of his music and figure out the chords so other musicians can play his music. He can play by ear and learns fast so teaching him is a lot of fun.
    Having fun watching the chickens free range. They come running and try to fly to us when we come home or outside. They go back in their coop at night. I have laughed so hard watching them!
    Cooking most meals at home.
    Utilizing library.
    We did have a date day and watched a movie, enjoyable.
    Drove around lake and stopped and talked.
    Went for a drive in the evening and saw a Doe and two fawns one night. I'm having so much fun watching wildlife.
    Grandchildren asked my husband if he is a farmer now. He said yes. Then my 4 and 7 year old grandchildren told us ways we can make money. They think we need goats, a cow, more plants, maybe a horse. They told us we should open a store and that they would help us by drawing pictures to sell and that the four of us can sing for the customers and pass around a hat. They are so much fun! Singing with them is something we've done always. It would be fun to put on a concert at our farm. Including the grandchildren would be so much fun! They can sing and my grandson has been making up his own sweet songs about how much he loves his family. i was so nice to hear him sing for us when we went to visit one day.

  • ellie's friend from Canada August 11, 2018

    Hi Tammy,

    Glad to hear that you are both finally feeling better. What a great idea to teach your husband to play piano. Perhaps you should teach piano to your grandchildren, if they don't already know. You might even consider teaching piano to local kids for money. I have thought about doing that but the broken arm intervened. I love all your grandchildren's suggestions! So sweet! I have not been able to get out much this summer for a number of reasons but one day we went to the mountains. A young moose came just to the ditch by the road. It drank from the muddy water (probably full of minerals for it). I have wanted to take a good moose photo for years so this time I got a photo of the young moose kneeling on its front legs to drink. Apparently, moose have to kneel to drink from shallow water. I so identify with your enjoyment of wildlife.

    We are getting a lot of smoke from the B.C. wildfires, even though they are about 800 miles away. Today the smoke risk is high so I have to stay inside due to breathing problems. The whole city can hardly wait until wind or rain ends the smoke. Yesterday, it was a record-setting hot temperature. At least, it is cooler today.

    I think a concert would be a great idea! Maybe a summer sing along for kids (and parents and grandparents).


  • Tammy August 11, 2018

    Oh, I hope the smoke ends soon for you. Breathing problems are not fun. The sky was hazy here in Kansas from the wildfires even though they are far away from us. It didn't have an effect on my breathing though.
    I love your moose story. How nice to get a picture!
    Yes, I think a sing-along would be fun too! I may consider teaching piano for money. I've done it before and really enjoyed it. I love music and enjoy encouraging both children and adults to learn.

  • Jeannie August 11, 2018

    Your grandchildren sound very creative and could be successful entrepreneurs someday. They certainly have the enthusiasm.

  • Tammy August 11, 2018

    Thank-you Jeannie,
    They are full of enthusiasm.

  • Billie August 07, 2018

    My biggest frugal win this week was getting the manufacturer of a very expensive drug I take, for Psoriatic arthritis, to cover my $240 co-pay,I will pay $5.I pay four times a year so this $940 a year,I cried in relief as I always worry about both paying for it and not having it.I was also reminded how important it is to take matters in your own hands. I had called the office manager 3 times and told my doctor twice, that the drug was getting to expensive for me to keep taking.Doctor finally heard what I was telling him,he found an outdated brochure for me and I was able to track down the manufacturer and they were able to give me immediate help.It was hard to keep asking and not feel like I was getting anywhere (office manager didn't even call me back)but I persisted and now I get the drug I need at a price I can afford.
    The next thing I plan to go over with a fine tooth comb is the our insurance cost, they've become unsustainable. I want to protect us without breaking us.I've always had frugal tendency but this website informs me,supports me and reminds me why I'm proud to be frugal.

  • Tejas August 08, 2018

    Billie, most drug companies offer co-pay assistance for their more expensive, specialty drugs. Have you checked into that? I have taken Xeljanz for 3 yrs., but with ins. and copay asdistance, I have never paid a dollar. Things will change when I qualify for Medicare in a few yrs., though.

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