Slide background

Encouragement

Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography
Inkwell and Pen

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Recent blog posts

September's Grocery Shopping Plans

Posted by on

September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

September 2016 Garden Harvest

After a month of no shopping, I'm planning to continue to live mostly from our pantry, freezers, and garden, with a few purchases. Our income is still rather limited. In 2012 and 2013, we had a budget of $100 a month for food and $65 a month for non-food items. Our income is now even less than it each of those years; those years were also considerably less than we made in 2007, the year we had no income for 8 months and began living exclusively from our pantry for over a year. I am grateful for the increase that we had in income the second half of last year (and the savings it allowed us to have that helped us this year). For now, I will continue to take each month as it comes.

I'm budgeting $100 this month to buy things.

This month's budget is very unusual in that I have some gift cards and freebie coupons to use towards purchases in addition to the $100. 

 

Target:

I will redeem 2200 Swagbucks on September first to get a $25 Target gift card. You can redeem one $25 gift card a month for 2200 points; after that, they are 2500 points. It usually takes me 2-3 months to get 2200 points, but this month I spent some more time earning points so that I would have this.

Diapers (1 large box that will last the month)

Children's chewable multi-vitamins (150 count bottle)

 

Winco:

Potatoes. I'll buy 50 pounds; the russets are currently higher than I like to spend (at $2.98 for a ten-pound bag) but I will be going above my price point on them this month (normally $2.25 a bag)  and hope that when I make it over there, the price has come down.

Gold N'Soft Light spreadable margarine in a 3-pound tub, which is usually around $2.24. (I use this on baked potatoes, to cook with, and on toast; it has 0 trans-fats). I'll pick up 3.

Carrots (10 pounds for $3.88)

Milk

Apples. I'm hoping to see sales between $0.79 and $0.99 a pound when the new crop of apples comes in.

 

Smith's:

Corn on the cob: 6 ears for $1 (no limit; I'll buy 24).

Chicken (a reader sent me some manufacturer's coupons for free chicken for a certain brand of fresh chicken that she can't get in her area; I'll pick these up and add them to my freezer).

American Beauty pasta. It looks like the new sales price is $0.69 ($0.49 looks like a price I won't see anymore). I printed several coupons for $1 off 2 packages from coupons.com and I will pick up pasta. I'll only buy the 16-ounce bags (rather than the 12-ounce bags) so that I can get the most food for my money. I'll buy 50 pounds of pasta. (I also added the Smith's digital coupon to my card for another $1 off coupon).

Friday freebie. I loaded the Friday freebie to my card and I'll pick it up when I'm there; it's a candy bar and I can give it as a gift to a child.

 

Albertson's:

Sour cream 10 for $10; I'll have my husband pick up 10  (which will save on gas as there is a store in the shopping center where his office is) and we'll enjoy them on potatoes as well as rice and beans. 

 

Sam's Club:

I still have a $25 Sam's Club gift card that I got from Swagbucks earlier this year. I kept meaning to use it every time I went but I kept forgetting it was in my purse! I plan on using the gift card to get the following:

25 pounds of Long grain rice ($8.34)

Ketchup ($3.83 for 114 ounces; we use it to refill 3 large bottles)

Oxi-Clean powdered stain remover (10.1 pound box), on sale through the 17th for $12.48

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

From the garden this month, I will harvest Bartlett pears, Swiss chard, oregano, basil, a few handfuls of red noodle beans, a few Armenian cucumbers (several of my vines died and bugs got to the zucchini plants last month; a couple are left but I never harvested any zucchini last month as the heat caused the flowers to wither and die before they ever opened), a few tiny tomatoes, green onions, chives, rosemary, and some other herbs as I need them for meals.

 

What are you planning to stock up on this month?

 

 

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
Last modified on

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Posted by on

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

 

Thank you, everyone, for your kind and encouraging comments and emails last week. I really enjoyed them!

Here's what we did to save money last week:

My husband cut my hair for me. It took all of 3 minutes--less time than it would have taken me to gather my purse and keys and get in the car to go somewhere to have it cut--and it didn't cost me anything either!

I gave the baby a haircut.

My husband cut his hair.

I harvested basil, green onions, Armenian cucumbers, Swiss chard, a handful of almonds from our new almond tree that I planted in spring (it's tiny still),  a few tomatoes, and pears from our garden.

I canned a batch of relish.

I planted seeds from the Armenian cucumbers I picked to replace a bunch of vines that died this past week. It's still hot enough to pick come November, so I may be able to harvest again around November. I'm hoping it's not too hot for these to germinate; it may be.

Olive branches and pears The Prudent Homemaker

We had a small bit of rain, right during the eclipse! I put out buckets and collected over 5 gallons of water from the roof runoff. I used this to water my potted plants in the garden. 

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used it to water potted plants as well.

The rain brought a return of humidity and cooler temperatures for a few hours, allowing me to turn off the air conditioner for a few hours. Once the air conditioner was back on, I was able to collect more than 10 gallons of water from the air conditioner drip.

I reprogrammed our thermostats to 80ºF (26.6ºC) at night. I had them set at 79º. This will make a slight difference in our electricity usage. We'll be using the air conditioner well into October; it's going to be well over 100º all of September (it was 109º here Saturday and 113º (45ºC) here Sunday).

We enjoyed swimming at my sister-in-law's house. 

I went to the library book sale and spent $4 on several used books for the children (several of which will be used for school). I love building my library inexpensively!

There is a local play audition that is a collaboration between two churches here. Several of my children want to audition. Before auditions, they are hosting two free workshops for children to learn how to audition (which my children attended this past week) as well as one on acting, which my children will attend next month.

My husband and I enjoyed two dates out using gift cards that we were given.

What did you do to save money last week?

 

Last modified on

August Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I picked red noodle beans, butternut squash, Armenian cucumbers, grapes, Swiss chard, and a few tomatoes from the garden.

Oregano Drying The Prudent Homemaker

I cut oregano and basil from the garden to dry. My drying process is simple: I rinse the herbs and lay them to dry on a cooling rack. Our climate is very dry and the bit of the humidity that we have had from the passing storms is gone, so our humidity runs between 5 and 10%. I let these air dry and it takes 1 to 2 days for them to be completely dry. In a more humid climate, it may take up to a week before your herbs are dry this way. It uses no power and is very simple, which I love!

I canned a batch of dill pickles with the cucumbers. I added a grape leaf from the garden to each jar to help them to be crisper.

I was given some onions and some bell peppers that were past their prime. I used them with cucumbers from my garden and spices I had on hand to can sweet pickle relish. The timing was perfect as we had just used our last jar of relish in tuna melts the previous week.

I cooked meals in my solar oven every day.

Baby Lizard The Prudent Homemaker

Wren caught a baby lizard in the garden this past week.

I took cuttings from my Boxleaf euonymus and Greenspire euonymus bushes and started them to root. I took several as I know they won't all take. I lost several bushes in the garden due to the extreme heat and sun this summer. I know it will take 4-5 years to get the bushes large enough to replace the ones that died, but it will save me the money on new ones. I will move any that any take root into the garden sometime in November or December when the weather cools.

I saved $6 in electricity over the week before last. The electric company had estimated my bill to be $415 for this month. With 4 days left, they're now estimating it to be $375. I always challenge myself to make the number much lower than they predict. This is our highest electric bill for the year.

I made a pair of earrings for myself using beads and findings I had on hand.

I mended and modified a hand-me-down dress that my girls received a few years ago.

Making a Casting The Prudent Homemaker

For a merit badge, my husband taught my son how to make a mold, and then to make a casting from it. Before we were married, my husband was a mold maker for the movie industry; it was fun to see him teach Ezrom this process We had all of the supplies on hand..

I had a couple of date nights at home with my husband.

My husband worked from home two days, saving gas to drive to his office and back.

I used Recyclebank points to renew a subscription I got for free from them last year to Cooking Light magazine. Now I have another free year to enjoy reading.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 Lowe's gift card. I am saving up cards to use to purchase supplies for some projects at home.

After watching the short video, "The Potential of the Piano" as a family this week, my eldest found a free pdf of the sheet music here. (You can also download a free MP3 of this pretty song at the same link).  Winter likes this song so much she is considering using it as a recital song.

We went swimming at my sister-in-law's house. On the way home, we stopped at the library, where we enjoyed the art exhibit (I shared a photo over on Instagram), checked out books, and made note of some upcoming activities that we are interested in attending.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

Last modified on

Italian Pittosporum The Prudent Homemaker

My daughter brought home some leftover greenery and two roses for me from a floral arranging class she took because she knew I would like it. She also brought home an arrangement that we enjoyed on the table all week. She learned how to make a simple arrangement and a boutonniere. The woman who taught said that if the girls in the class could make their own boutonnieres, they could save the cost of buying one for their dates for any future dances by making their own.

I used a free print offer from Sam's Club to print free invitations for my son's upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony. A lot of places offer you 100 free 4 x 6 prints when you start shopping with them. I never used these as I was printing 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 images before. I was glad to use some of them this time! Almost all of these will be handed out in person, so we don't need envelopes nor do we need to pay to mail them. (I know several readers asked about his project. I'll have a post up with photos later; I still have quite a few photos to go through).

I planted some seeds a reader shared from her garden in my garden.

I cut grape leaves from the garden for a meal. I also harvested a few red noodle beans, Swiss chard, garlic chives, basil, and a few tomatoes.

I collected hollyhock seeds from my garden.

I collected several gallons of water from the air conditioning drip and used it to water potted plants on my patio.

Every morning where we had a low of 79º and a few mornings where it was 80º, I turned off our air conditioners and opened the windows for an hour. I keep the house at 79º, and the air conditioner will run in the mornings too, but this way I can air out the house. According to the report from the power company, I saved $9 this week doing this (plus my house smelled fresh!)  I wasn't able to do this every day; half the week it was too hot, with lows around 86º. We run the air conditioner here until mid-October generally, when our highs drop down to 83ºF.

I took stock of my garden seeds and began making plans for what I will plant this fall. It's too hot to plant cool season vegetables until October, which is when I plant my fall garden here.

Solar Oven Roasted Chicken The Prudent Homemaker

I used my solar oven to cook a pot of pinto beans, to roast a couple of chickens, and to roast potatoes. I made large amounts of beans and cooked two chickens at once so that I could just reheat leftovers in the microwave. I didn't have to use any power to cook those meals nor did I have to heat up the house (which is really wonderful when it's 109º outside!)

My son helped me repair the trellis in the front yard where it had fallen from the weight of the Lady Banks' roses that I had growing there. I had cut the plants to about 2 feet high and will probably move them to another location at some point, as they do not flower almost at all where I have them because of the lack of sunlight (and this type of roses only flowers once a year as it is).

I took cuttings from my star jasmine and am attempting to root them to plant on this same trellis in place of the roses. It's probably too hot for this, but the plant needed a trim anyway. If they don't take, I'll try again when the temperatures go down.

My son accepted a brand-new pair of tennis shoes from a widow on our street whose late husband no longer needed them.

I took apart my dishwasher filter and gave it a thorough cleaning so that it will run better.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

Last modified on

Vintage Reproduction 1940's Overalls

Posted by on

Vintage Overalls The Prudent Homemaker

 

Winter was wanting to make herself some 1940's style overalls. I ordered this printable pattern for her. She made the first pair out of some dropcloth that I had  (that painter's cloth you buy from the hardware store to put down while painting) and made the second from some denim that my sister-in-law gave to me several years ago.

Vintage Overalls 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I had purchased some large buttons on a sale from Wawak years ago and she used those for these two pairs.

Vintage Overalls 3 The Prudent Homemaker

The blue blouse is a garage sale blouse she made over to be short-sleeved with a Peter Pan collar cut from the sleeves.

Vintage Denim Overalls 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The green shirt is a t-shirt. She added a Peter Pan collar to it using fabric I had on hand. She really wants to wear Peter Pan collars, so she recently added them to three t-shirts. This green one came from a recent thrift-store purchase. It was a long-sleeved t-shirt, but she shortened it to make it better for our climate.

Vintage Denim Overalls 1 The Prudent Homemaker

She loves how they all turned out.

Her shoes are these (affiliate link)

We were at Hobby Lobby looking for some fabric for a project she was doing recently and while we were there I noticed there was a new Simplicity catalog out for fall. It turns out that this is the 90th anniversary of Simplicity Pattern Company, and they have a large vintage reproduction section up towards the front of the catalog. They are offering a very similar pattern, and if you could get it at on sale at Joann's or Hobby Lobby during one of the 5 for $5 sales you would have quite a deal! It's pattern 8447, and it looks like you can order a printable version from Simplicity's site too, which would be a help if you live far from a store (watch their site for sales on the actual printed pattern, too; sometimes my stores are out of the pattern I want to purchase.)

Vintage Denim Overalls 3 The Prudent Homemaker

I have to say that I'm loving that my eldest daughter is loving vintage clothing and vintage reproduction clothing just as much as I am! 

Tagged in: Sewing Winters Sewing
Last modified on

Zinnia Arrangement in Blue Jar The Prudent Homemaker

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I reconfirmed that we don't need to buy any school supplies this year (except printer paper, and I'm good for a while). I thought I might need one thing, but my son informed me that we had 4 or 5 of them in the drawer. 

I collected over 25 gallons of water from the drip from the air conditioner, as we had humid weather. I used this water to water potted plants in the garden.

We had an unexpected rainfall! I put out buckets to collect water, and turned off the sprinklers and drip system for the next two days. You can see a little video of my white garden during the rain on my Instagram account.

Al Fresco in August The Prudent Homemaker

The weather cooled down over 25 degrees that evening, so we enjoyed an al fresco dinner in the backyard.

My daughter's youth group had an extra activity this week to learn how to decorate cakes from a woman who makes wedding cakes. As piping icing has been eluding me for years, I decided to stay rather than dropping her off (I would have had to drive home, stay home for 10-15 minutes, and come right back, so staying made sense gas-wise, too.) As it was, only one other girl ended up coming (over 10 had signed up!) and I figured out what I was doing wrong. Obviously, I'll need to practice to make things perfect, but I can now finally ice cakes and cookies! I know a cake decorating class is pricey, and I was starting to think I needed to take one after my sister-in-law worked with me last week and we still couldn't figure out why I couldn't ever get icing to come out of the bag. She came over, we made her icing, and we put it in, and neither of us could get it to come out! My biggest mistake? Using a ziploc bag instead of a regular icing bag. From now on I will use the right tool! I also learned my other major problem: in our heat, you cannot make an all-butter buttercream; it will be liquid. The same goes for Swiss meringue and Italian meringue frostings. They are liquid in our weather here. Frosting needs to be American buttercream with shortening and no more than half-butter, or it will be a liquid that will run right off your cake (and definitely won't work for piping!) I had tried all of those recipes this year and they ran right off/melted off my cakes. (This is also why I haven't shared any birthday photos this year!) 

So now I can do this, which I've wanted to do for years:

Pink Rose Cupcakes The Prudent Homemaker

I purchased two pairs of shorts for my son for $3 from a Facebook garage sale page and two pairs of jeans for $5 for a daughter. It's a little higher than I usually pay but both needs were able to be fulfilled for less than buying new, and they were all in very good condition.

Armenian Cucumber and Red Noodle Beans The Prudent Homemaker

I picked the last of the figs, a few tomatoes, 3 Armenian cucumbers, and a handful of red noodle beans from the garden.

I cut basil from the garden.

My husband mended his office chair. A new one would have cost over $200. He paid $4 for parts.

 Neopolitan Cake The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

Last modified on

 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background

Gingerbread Pancakes

Slide background

Pecan Pie

Slide background

Butternut

Squash

Soup

Slide background

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Slide background

Turkey

Slide background

Applesauce

The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List