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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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  • Lisa from Maine August 07, 2018

    I don't can but I use them for Jar gifts at Christmas

  • Laurie in AZ August 07, 2018

    That's a great idea!

  • Mary August 08, 2018

    Oh you gave ideas! Thank you!

  • Mary August 08, 2018

    I thought I typed you gave me ideas!

  • Mable August 06, 2018

    We usually have our first frost by the end of August and already it feels like fall---raining every day, the colors of flowers starting to fade slightly, and high 40s for nighttime temperatures at our house. The garden is in full swing, so every day I am canning or blanching/freezing or dehydrating. If I try to do more than one of those in a day, I start getting impatient and weary, so I limit myself. Today I harvested cabbage and started 35 pounds of sauerkraut. Earlier in the week, I canned three dozen jars of dill pickles, 8 jars of rhubarb chutney, and 6 jars of relish. I also dehydrated a year's supply each of sage, dill and basil.

    A neighbor borrowed our pickup to move two loads of stuff and returned it with a full tank and a wash! We have not washed it in over two years, since we use it only for hauling compost and wood and such. Nor did he take it with a full tank, so he repaid us much more than we gave him. We have been burned before, with people borrowing our truck and returning it with less gas than when it left, so this was really a nice surprise. At times I have wanted to get that bumper sticker that says, "Yes, this is my truck and, no, I won't help you move."

    Found some frozen peaches from last year and I need the freezer space, so I made a peach and cream cheese pound cake. l found some sad carrots, half a sad cabbage not fresh enough to use for kraut, and two kohlrabi. I added in two leeks and a head of cauliflower from the garden, simmered them all in homemade chicken stock, used and immersion blender to make it thick and mostly smooth, added some leftover cheese bits, and we had a very filling four nights of meals. Each night I made a different type of muffin or bread, so it was a little less boring. I was pretty happy with myself for avoiding food waste, which is easy to do in the summer when all the fresh stuff is coming in from the garden every day and you just want more fresh and not yesterday's pickings.

    Finished earning and collected a $10 gift card for Amazon, using Drop box, and $25 from Swagbucks, and $10 from Ibotta. Did two mystery shops that paid, plus I was reimbursed for buying cookies (and REALLY GOOD chocolate chip Starbucks cookies) and $5 worth of gas and a bottled water...every little bit. I keep track of what I save with coupons, doing mystery shops, using the library instead of buying a book, and apps such as Swagbucks, and some months it has been as much as $300.

  • Juls Owings August 07, 2018

    I want the bumper sticker also...but it needs to include no you can't use my trailer. LOL Last "help me of a family member" we did cost us over $300 and they were suppose to give us the money right back, then after wards we got "when I get next year's refund." Sorry, won't do that again as we were told later that means we won't get paid ever by their sons. They weren't raised that way at all.

  • Laurie in AZ August 07, 2018

    Great job on not wasting food and making that soup. I love it when I am able to do that!

  • A from Ohio August 06, 2018

    A few frugal efforts from recent days-

    - careful shopping, purchasing items from different stores determined by price and quality
    - salvage store shopping prior to traditional store shopping, stocking up on as many list items as possible
    - combining errands/work, saving time and gas
    - recycling, reducing trash (we pay per bag of trash)
    - bag-lunches for work (amazed every time I see coworkers eating the expensive cafeteria meals served at the hospital where I work)
    - garden harvest: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, yellow squash, & zucchini (wonderful gardening year here in NE Ohio). We ate or shared our produce.
    - mow our large lawn (3+ acres) when it significantly needs it - long, but not so long it harms the mower. We fill our gas cans while running other errands
    - continue to prepare craft sale items for the 5-6 shows we plan to attend this autumn, specializing in items made from inexpensive/free supplies. We have an amazing supply of quality reclaimed wood, among other items.
    - husband resurfaced our large back deck by himself, doing a beautiful job (he also replaced our failed water heater several weeks ago)
    - downloaded and enjoyed library audiobooks and also podcasts
    - listened to Cleveland Indians on the radio, continuing to thrive without cable or internet in our home
    - slightly trimmed my hair, making the final 2 weeks (of 10) before the next hair appointment easier to deal with
    Have a terrific week!

  • Jeananne Lybbert August 09, 2018

    What are some of the items you craft?

  • I envy your canning. My garden never even got started this year and I haven't run into good enough deals on produce to can anything yet this year.

    I've been reading too. In my case I'm working my way through Martha Stewart's Home Keeping Manual. Huge book, but has a lot of good information in it.

    I've been busy around here with back to school preparations (our schools start next week), battling larder beetles, various lessons for the kids and therapy for the son. Tiring but rewarding!

    My list of various activities can be found here...


  • Lillianna pickles August 06, 2018

    My lovely car made it home from the dealership with repairs covered by the warranty. Sadly the anticipated sucker punch fees took $400.00. I find in my old age that my wisdom is the only thing that keeps me ahead in life, if only by a few inches. I have tried to use up all things in my house and make do with what I have. I needed oven cleaner but had none. I googled how to clean oven with ammonia and found it did a great job. I vaguely remembered a post somewhere I had read at some point in life. I found a large coffee can of pennies at the car wash. I ran them through the CoinStar and used the 12.00 to buy 18 lbs of ground turkey that was marked down. I combined the turkey with some ground chuck and made meatloaf and cooked meat for soups and chilis for the freezer. I had no seasoning mix but found that a recipe on the Lipton soup mix worked great. I used 35.00 of Swagbucks to place an order on top cash back with Wal-Mart for household supplies and made 20.00 bonus. I am missing $50.00 worth of Swagbucks that I have submitted a help ticket on. I have found that I can use the Visa gift cards on my utility company's websites. I will continue to cash out for the Visa's and pay my utilities with them. I will then take the allotted cash and put back in my now empty emergency fund. I probably will limit cashing out for PayPal as I have no desire to receive any tax documents. Sugar cookie is coming home this week and I am happy to have her back.She has had a great visit with family but said she wants to get back in her own bed. All my emails that I receive have meant so much to me. I hope everyone is having a great week and hope we all are over all the bumps in life at least for a day or two.

  • Lisa from Maine August 07, 2018

    Lilliana, I applaud your ability to dust off your difficulties and move forward. It is a talent that is not that common anymore. Too many people get swallowed up by their problems. I, too, was raised by the philosophy of "it is what it is..now move forward" (it's not just a corny saying!). You do what you have to do to move forward. I love you creativity and imagination. It's by no means easy I'm sure.

  • Margie from Toronto August 06, 2018

    I loved Hamish MacBeth, both the books and the TV series - if you can find it on Youtube it is worth checking out just for the gorgeous scenery.
    It was another hot week here so relatively quiet except for a lot of errands and catching up on things.

    Monday and Tuesday - Stayed home both days as it was so hot so no spending
    Wednesday: Combined a bunch of things to do on Wednesday and walked to get exercise & avoid extra transit fees. Organized a few things at the bank - dropped off my July hours for part-time job
    Thursday: Did a big grocery shop, stopped at the drugstore for some sale items - and accumulated a lot of things on my Loyalty Point program so should have at least $40 in points saved by the end of this month - topped up my transit pass and made a trip to the library.
    Friday: combined errands - finished paying all bills for the month - went to Credit Un - LCBO -Dept. Store - Book store - Finished grocery shopping - didn’t eat a meal out as I might have in the past - just had a cappuccino and people watched for a bit of a rest.
    Saturday: Stayed home - cleaned, ironed and spent a couple of hours on paperwork for PT job.
    Sunday: Did have lunch out after church but just a sandwich and coffee. Checked out some other possible part-time work opportunities and will send in my resume this week.
    Did get some sad news yesterday - someone that I've known for a few years and attend class with (but not a close friend) committed suicide after the recent sudden loss of his partner. It is very sad and such a shock for both his family and friends. I will go to the funeral this coming weekend. We all have bad days and maybe we think we have it so very tough but we really never know what others are going through. It has reminded me to be more grateful for what I have and not worry so much about what I don't have. I look forward to reading everyone's comments - it is something that I look forward to each week.

  • Athanasia August 07, 2018

    Margie, I am sorry for the loss of your friend/colleague. I am glad you will be able to attend the funeral. The rate of suicide just seems to be increasing. I was reading an article about suicide among farmers/agricultural workers and it is now higher than the veterans rate.

  • ellie's friend from Canada August 07, 2018


    Condolences on the loss of your friend! Sometimes a moment of despair can overwhelm us.
    It is so hard to lose a partner.

  • Margie from Toronto August 07, 2018

    Thank you and Athanasian for your kind thoughts. It has been a very sad couple of weeks.

  • Sandra August 06, 2018

    So nice to find your weekly posting this evening. I just finished dinner and it is a welcome reward. I, too, collect drip water from the air conditioner though not nearly as much as you collect. I continue to pick fresh herbs to chop into my salad mix. I love the little surprising bites of flavor. Usually I gather some arugula, parsley, basil, tarragon, mint, chives, and oregano. I give them a fine chop and mix them in with my lettuce when I make a salad. We are finally picking tomatoes. The first one was ripe on July 3rd which was appropriate since it's name is 4th of July. Still, another ripe tomato didn't appear until August 4th.....a whole month! In any case they are setting good now and there are also plenty of cherry tomatoes, some almost as big as a ping pong ball!

  • Becky August 06, 2018

    I love herbs in my salad, too. I especially like a little cilantro chipped into mine.

  • Piggykr August 06, 2018

    *last week was vacation for my sons extra curricular classes so we spent a couple afternoons at a free splash pad.
    *i didn’t go to the supermarket. Instead I had delivery for only the essentials. No impulse buys!
    *i worked from home.
    *i passed on some books I no longer needed.
    *i froze some veggies that would’ve gone bad.
    *i delayed getting my hair cut & dyed fill I go back to work in the office.

  • Liz August 06, 2018


    I love to see all the canning jars lined up after canning! Great job!

    - Well our biggest frugal accomplishment this week was to avoid temptation and pay all cash for a replacement vehicle. We have had a lot of hail this summer and my husband's truck was totalled. It was very tempting to buy a brand new vehicle, with a loan. I think everyone assumed that we were going to since everyone does. Anyways, we paid cash for a very used vehicle. Hopefully, it will buy us some time to save up for a nicer vehicle. It is hard to explain frugal choices to others. But I feel a sense of relief that we do not have another bill at this time.
    - I have been able to get a lot of good deals at Walgreens lately. Right now, they have some candy that is giving a Register Reward for the full value of the candy. So in essence, I am getting a bunch for free by "rolling" the register rewards back and forth to other items. I am going to use the free candy for a goodie bag for the leaders for a church program that I lead. I am happy that I can give some gifts without breaking the bank.
    - I have been doing some mystery shopping again for extra cash.
    - I also am filling in on a cleaning job for a friend while she is on vacation. I will put this in an account that I have put aside for a 20th anniversary trip for my husband and I.
    - My son has been doing some yard work jobs to get extra money for "fancier" school clothes that I don't want to buy.
    - I was able to get some free school supplies from a military organization.
    - My son and hubby attended a men's breakfast that was free. They had fun and just brought items to cook for themselves.
    - I cooked many meals at home including beans and rice, bean and rice stew, chicken breasts and hamburgers. We also ate one night at the in laws.
    - I sent away for more free samples, I have the links on my blog at: https://lizsfrugalfamilyfun.com/2018/08/06/10-freebies-today-8-6-18/
    - I tried to continue to salvage what I could from my garden. It is actually amazing what does grow back.
    Best Wishes to All,

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