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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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  • 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.

  • Michelle August 08, 2018

    Your jars look so pretty with the canned foods! I love the sound of the "pop" of a jar sealing after you take it out of canner. We were gifted a large bag of peaches from my husbands coworker. We enjoyed eating several then sliced some to freeze and made peach freezer jam.

  • Jennifer O. August 08, 2018

    It has been a rough couple of weeks/ month for us on the frugal end. An ER visit (thought I was having a stroke - was fine, just a blood pressure spike), an emergency visit 1000 miles away to see my grandfather before he passed, another 1000 mile trip for the funeral, dog/animal sitters for each trip, a mold issue in the kitchen and living room, a pantry moth explosion, a broken hose bib, a back to school needs, 3 milestone birthdays, 2 new nieces, the loss of a dog, the inevitable lunches out during pre-planning time, etc. It has been a month to endure.

    As an issue of self-care in this time (My husband is away and dealing with everything was just too overwhelming) I did a decidedly unfrugal thing and ordered some pre-made meals to assist in the first couple of weeks of back to school. It has helped have been quite tasty and are helping me relearn portion control, so I may continue to order then until my husband returns next month.

    We're back on track now. The roof is finally being finished today (this has been ongoing for nearly three months due to insurance, roofer backlogs, and weather). My new medication is working. My classes are small and so far well-behaved. The mold issue seems to have been resolved. The moth traps are mitigating the pantry moths until I can tackle a full clean out (it looks like they came from a big bag of cat food, but spread!).

  • Jennifer, I think that your health makes the meals a wise choice--not unfrugal at all, as you need to take care of yourself.

    I have found that fly paper works well to capture pantry moths. I don't know what mine came in, but they ate through plastic bags at my house and destroyed tons of food. I have since been keeping things in glass jars.

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