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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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  • Mia August 07, 2018

    I love your free samples post. Thank you so much!

  • http://Http://thejewishlady.com August 06, 2018

    I am so impressed with your canning, especially the jam! I have tried canning twice and found it very time consuming.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping sales and using coupons/rebates when possible. Recent finds include free lipstick, free toilet paper, free candy, $1.00 watermelons, $0.69/lb peaches, $0.79/lb zucchini, $0.37/lb chicken drumsticks, $1.50 blueberries, $0.29 school supplies and more. All of my transactions with prices here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-8-4-18/

  • Athanasia August 09, 2018

    the Jewish lady, canning is easy once you get a system going. Keep all your supplies organized, keep needed items like sugar and vinegar and lids and spices stocked up, keep it all handy during canning season. Also, I use the same recipes and routines I have used for years; I do not go looking for new recipes. I may add a new thing or two every year but for the things we like I do not change. Consistency and cleanliness is very important. If you have the freezer room make freezer jam. Start to finish is about 1/2 hour at most, once you have your fruit ready to go. I put the jars etc that I will need in the dishwasher ahead of time so they are washed and ready to go, then I just rerun them on hot rinse before use.

  • Marivene August 06, 2018

    *Picked more blackberries, along with elderberries & crabapples. The elderberries were picked with one of my grandsons, who also picked the crabapples, & both went home with his family to make crabapple/elderberry jelly. He helped me stem & freeze the elderberries first, tho, to rupture all the cells so the would yield more juice for the jelly.

    *Rinsed out the milk bottles & emptied the rinse water on the blackberry bed before crushing & adding the milk jugs to the garbage can.

    *I began to pick the pears. They are beginning to color, & if I pick them into a box, they will ripen nicely inside the house, away from the pecking of the birds.

    *When I watered the pear tree today, a lovely little hummingbird came & flitted from branch to branch, obviously enjoying a bath! We enjoyed watching as it flitted about the branches, turning this way & that. The wrens bathed when we watered the cherry tree. The air outside has been smoky from the many fires burning here & in California, so I would imagine even the birds like to get the smoke off from time to time.

    *Received another pine cone check, which I will cash & add to thrift store funds.

    *Made sure the garbage can was completely full before pulling it to the curb for the pick up. Trimmed, weeded & pruned as needed to fill the space in the can.

    *Skyped again with Little Stuff & Baby Brother...the joys of being a grandma!

  • Mia August 07, 2018

    I'm in California too. Ontario. Where are you?

  • Marivene August 08, 2018

    Mia, I am in Utah, not California, but the wind is bringing the smoke from the fires there to us.

  • Holly August 06, 2018

    Mom's osteoporosis caused pain this week. It took 2.5 hours to get her upright and out of bed Sunday. I had her sleep on my wedge pillow last night and today it took her only a half hour to get out of bed this morning.
    I am so looking forward to setting up the manually adjustable bed and memory foam mattress we ordered from Walmart for less than $200 when it arrives later this week. When ordering the bed and mattress, I went to walmart.com through swagbucks.com so I'll eventually get about $4 in Swagbucks.Mom didn't like the idea of sleeping on a metal frame plugged into the wall during a thunderstorm. So I likely will find myself cranking up and down the head of the bed every day.
    I picked up the basket we had ordered for mom's walker at Walmart but when I opened the box at home, I was so disappointed. It looked like it had been in a car accident, it was so bent out of shape. When I started the return, I was surprised to see that I could not return it to the store but would have to mail it back. What?!? I chatted online with a customer service rep and a replacement was arranged with no return required. But I intend to open the box at the store-and show the store clerk why. Some shipping clerk had clearly been asleep on the job.
    When mom's feet were so swollen, I had slashed the middles of a pair of Dollar Tree slippers so they would fit her swollen, bandaged feet. I finally stitched a piece of elastic into each slash, so the slippers will last longer.
    I am handwashing and drip drying the bandages and fluffy liner so they last as long as possible.
    The neighbors to the east always have a wonderful garden. Last week they gifted us with lots of summer squash and we worked our way through the bounty down to three patty pan squash which I intend to stuff tomorrow. This week, they gave us cucumbers. summer squash, one green pepper, dill, basil, rosemary, and oregano. The herbs are sitting in a large glass mug on the coffee table and smell wonderful. I will be learning how to make pickles this week.
    My back is much less painful since I have begun visiting a chiropractor, so I have started some long-neglected yardwork. It is going to take time for my muscles to get used to working.
    I decided to have mom begin her strength and gait training at a physical therapist in town next week rather than at the center where she has gone for lymphadema therapy. That will cut our driving down by at least 60 miles per week for at least 7 weeks.were
    I live in the woods south of Flint, the city infamous for its water woes. This week, the State of Michigan told everyone not to eat the fish in the Huron River from Milford, a town about a half-hour from here, downriver to a point about halfway to Ann Arbor because of contamination from fire-fighting or waterproofing chemicals. The Shiawasee River, whose headwaters are also nearby, has a separate prohibition on its south branch because of another chemical. I don't have a fishing license now but I intend to start fishing again when I am old enough for a senior license. It is beginning to look as though I will be limiting my fishing spots to small ponds or the very headwaters of rivers. Michigan has abundant water resources. But those resources have not been valued and cared for responsibly.

  • Margie from Toronto August 07, 2018

    You have certainly had a busy week - glad to hear that your back is improving but be careful when helping your mom. What a good daughter you are.

  • Janet August 11, 2018

    Yes, watch your back look up videos on transfer rather than lift of patient.
    If you throw out your back your both stuck.

    Take it from someone taking care of hubby at 298 lbs transfer with patient helping is way better.

  • Athanasia August 09, 2018

    Holly, you and your mother seem to have a very good relationship. You are blessed to have such a long loving lifetime with her. I have enjoyed hearing your adventures over the years.

    Maybe if you can use a surge protector at the wall you can ease her mind and protect your back at the same time.

  • Gardenpat August 06, 2018

    My week has been relatively routine but included my day-to-day : washing, reusing ziplocs bags, giving veggie scraps/greens to my chickens, making dinners/meals/ snacks from scratch using ingredients already in my pantry.
    I made a table runner for a long banquet table for an event in October that I’m helping with. Our budget was small, so we opted to buy a $1 yellow plastic tablecloth from Dollar Tree and I made the table runner from my fabric scraps to make it look more special!! https://pin.it/mp45gkdkyttjpz Frugal does not need to mean plain or deprived!

    I also made a baby snuggler to help baby feel secure as they go to sleep. Miserably written pattern (but free) online that my daughter and I finally figured out and got one made for Just the cost of my time! All supplies were from my stash! https://pin.it/m3rkj2womnqruq and https://pin.it/r7bvkjfxbtocj7
    I may market these.

    I made 3 dozen chicken/ham/cheese wraps for lunches so that we have some variety without buying lunch out!

    I pressure canned some of my dry beans- black, kidney and pinto, giving me 15 pints to replenish my stock on the basement shelves! I’ve always had dry beans as a part of my food storage, but only in the last few years have I pressure canned them in hot water , making them ready to eat whenever I need some in a recipe! Major savings in time and money!! https://pin.it/xqst6mrdchvmmh

    Today I made another quilt and am ready to quilt it tomorrow! All made from scraps! https://pin.it/g3cfdcfstaodmi

    So just a routine week in the life of a frugal family!!

  • Laurie in AZ August 07, 2018

    I pressure can dried beans also. It take a little bit of time, but I really save time later on and the $ savings is worth it!

  • Becky August 07, 2018

    I love the picture of your canning, and the quilting is beautiful, as always. You certainly crank out the projects! I love hearing about what you are up to each week.

  • Susan August 08, 2018

    You are so talented. I loved everything you made.

  • Tina S. August 06, 2018

    I love the picture of the freshly canned goods, Brandy. Everything looks delicious. I am still eating jam I canned two years ago. Hopefully I will have time to can some tomatoes this year.

    My job (receptionist at a small medical office) was beyond busy with one person leaving soon and two new people starting. I was so exhausted this weekend that I barely left the house. But it was good to take a break, and I had time for housework and laundry, and even to finish up a sewing project. On Sunday I took a very enjoyable swim in our condo's pool, which I had all to myself. We are gearing up for more hot weather this week.

    One fun thing I did was plan a party for my departing co-worker, with a $30 budget from my boss. I got party supplies, decorations and all the ingredients (except sugar, which I already have) to make peanut butter chocolate pie for the party. My co-worker will love it. My boss is buying us all dinner (takeout from a Thai restaurant). We rarely have work parties, so it will be fun (even though we are sad my co-worker is leaving). It's tomorrow night, so I'm making the pie tomorrow morning.

    I have next week off, so I will continue with my bedroom painting project then. I haven't made much progress because it was too hot to paint, and I was too tired. Anyway, hope to get it done soon.

    Otherwise, I just did all the normal frugal stuff: cooked at home, washed out ziplocs, made and bottled water kefir (with bottles I've had since 2011), walked to work and brought my lunch with me, and sat out on our patio and read. My husband and I had our normal Sunday date night, and walked to a favorite restaurant. We then had ice cream at the local ice cream shop (this is not frugal, but oh my goodness, it is so delicious!)

    I love this post every week, and enjoy reading everyone's comments.

  • PJGT August 06, 2018

    I'm impressed that you take time to read. It's so great for kids to see their parents reading and enjoying it!

    This week I am still in frugalista mode...
    *received a telescope ftom the local freecycle group after posting that we would like one
    *used money I received for my birthday to order my son a present for his upcoming birthday at 10% off with free shipping
    *I am in a new size, but not quite comfortably enough yet, so I pulled out a cute skort from the thrift shop in my new size and have it visible for inspiration
    *our neighbor showed me where to pick huckleberries, so I did for a bit. It's the end of their season, but I'll know when and where for next year! Not sure what I'll do with the ones I have as there are not enough for jam. We'll probably have them in muffins or waffles, or I might make a syrup.
    *a friend gave me lupin seeds to take back east to plant. My son and I leave I'm 2 weeks for school.
    *I used squares of upholstery fabric to make a rug for the guest bed. The dollar store sells a rectangle piece of rubber made for rugs to keep from slipping, and I stitched it to the back. Doesn't move around and makes a nice place for starting rather than the cold hardwood floors. And cost only one dollar.
    *used a steak knife to cut my hand lotion bottle open and am dipping my fingers in to use the last little bit!
    *we have a new-to-us coffee scoop and I discovered it is 2 tbsp rather than 1. No wonder I had to keep adding water to the coffee because it was too strong.
    *I continue with my use a bit less plan.
    *Free Food Friday netted a good amount of veggies for this week, 3 apples and a gallon of milk. I also brought home rolls and French bread which I will make into French toast.

    My husband is up and down and I admit to tiring. It's tough when your life changes so drastically and money becomes such a problem along with the emotional toll. God's blessings are truly evident! With our daughter graduated and working, our son back in college and healthy again and me with a job now, we can start to stabilize things and move forward. Being frugal is not only a necessity, but also is something I can control when there was so much of my life out of control.

    Happy frugal-ing!

  • Rhonda A. August 07, 2018

    PJGT, could you mix the huckleberries with another fruit to make a batch of jam? I've done that before when I only have a little bits of berries or when I'm using expensive berries (mixing them with cheaper fruit helps cut the cost).

  • PJGT August 08, 2018

    Good idea! I wonder if apple juice would not overpower the huckleberry flavor. I'm going to look into this! Thanks, Rhonda A.


  • Marivene August 09, 2018

    My husband loves huckleberries. In our experience huckleberries are a very strong flavor, dominating any other in mixtures like jam. They may be tiny, but they are mighty in flavor. If we store them in the freezer, they need to be in a glass canning jar, or they flavor the butter in the same freezer!

  • Heidi Louise August 09, 2018

    Apple might be a good choice for a flavor that wouldn't dominate. In a great many bottled juice blends, even if apple or pear or white grape aren't included in the fancy juice name, they are listed early the ingredient lists, which means they make up a lot of the juice, maybe the sweetness, without providing a lot of the flavor.
    Slight digression here-- My grocery store often has 100% juice in the refrigerator clearance section for slightly less than half price the day before the "best used by" date. They last for at least a week and I have frozen the cartons as well. The current one is called "orange peach mango" with small print of "flavored blend of apple, orange, pineapple, peach, grape, and mango juices."

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