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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week in June

It's incredibly hot here this week. We started on Sunday with a high of 112º, and the thermometer just kept going up.

Tomatoes and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

I picked tomatoes and basil from the garden for a caprese salad.

Caprese Salad The Prudent Homemaker

I cooked a ham, which we sliced for sandwiches using my meat slicer.

I cut grapes from the garden, which we enjoyed alongside sandwiches for lunch.

I worked on my embroidery project quite a bit while sitting inside in the air conditioning, under the fan.

While sewing, I listened to several free French lessons online.

I sowed seeds for more zinnias, basil, red noodle beans, and pumpkins in the garden.

My eldest son helped me put in stakes and a trellis in the garden for beans using materials I had on hand. My husband had picked up several stakes for free several years back from someone who was getting rid of them. It has been nice to have them to use in the garden.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

I attended a church social and accepted the leftover food that I was asked to take home. Several people were able to take leftovers home.

I went to Target for a few necessary items. I was considering purchasing a few more things (and had Cartwheel discounts for several of them), but I decided against them and to save my money instead.

Before I went to Target, though, I decided to stop in at Ross. I don't usually shop there but felt like I should go in. I was able to find a dress for $15 that was just what I was wanting (solid navy blue, with sleeves, and somewhat vintage-styled). I'm working to build a new wardrobe in the smaller size that I am without spending much money. This dress was in the budget. 

My daughter and her friends were going to the thrift store. I had them take my donations with them and they got a receipt for me for my taxes.

Dorsett Goldens The Prudent Homemaker

I picked apples from my tree.

I cut the shirt sleeves down on four more shirts for my husband to turn them into short-sleeved shirts. He had been needing some new shirts when all of these hand-me-down like-new long-sleeved shirts were given to us (by a stranger!) and since our weather is usually warm or hot, turning almost all of them into short-sleeved shirts has been perfect for him.

I mended an item of clothing.

I turned a pair of pants and a pair of jeans that were torn at the knees into shorts for the children.

I listened to swing music on Pandora while cutting apples and sewing.

Change Purse The Prudent Homemaker

I made a little change purse to hold my quarters when garage sale season comes back around in October. I was wanting a little quick project that could be completed after I had done my other sewing, and this was quick to make using fabric scraps I had on hand. I added a little British telephone box charm that I had on hand (I bought 6 of them for a small amount on Etsy for gifts a few years back)  with a jump ring and a pair of needle-nosed pliers.


I just want to thank you all for your comments. It's nice to know that others in the world are working to live within their means. It's not a conversation that I get to have with women nearby, and I truly enjoy reading each of your comments and learning from you!

What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • Sandra June 25, 2017

    We had friends over for dinner last night. I have lots of sugar shell peas in the garden and wanted to incorporate them into our dinner. We are have temperatures in the 90's now and although that's not very hot compared to your temperatures, Brandy, it is still ac weather for us. We ate out on the deck which was shaded. I served lettuce wraps for an appetizer using lettuce from our garden. I decided on a dinner salad with chicken breast meat, sugar shell peas, grapes, apples, green onions, and pasta. I made a sour cream and mayonnaise dressing with some lemon zest and ginger marmalade. We had warm home made dinner rolls with our salad. It was a complete success. I served cherry pie made with cherries from our tree with a scoop of ice cream. Discovering that I was out of milk and cream, I saved a trip to the store and served an herbal tea with dessert. That was a big hit, too. It was a very frugal dinner party with everything prepared from our own garden, pantry, and freezer.

    We didn't shop this week. We are eating meals based on food in our pantry, freezer, and garden. I have been canning cherries and making pies for later.

  • What a lovely dinner party menu! And served al fresco, with friends. Must have been so satisfying! And cherry pie is the BEST! Lucky friends!

  • Sandra June 25, 2017

    Thank you, Margaret. The pies are delicious, but it is a bit of work pitting all of the cherries.

  • Allyson June 25, 2017

    Yes, pitting cherries is work! But so lovely that you have them in your yard and garden. I purchased a bag of cherries as a treat for my boys at $3/lb last week. I pitted them all for them, as they are still small, but it was worth it to see how much they enjoyed them, cherry juice dripping down their chins!

    Enjoyed your dinner party menu. Sounds a lot like how we entertain.

  • Danna June 26, 2017

    When my mother in law had to move to a memory care facility we inherited her old well loved cherry pitter. My boys (almost 9 & 11) LOVE to sit and pit bowls and bowls of cherries for me. If you can find an old cherry pitter at a yard sale, they are tons of fun.

  • Janet June 25, 2017

    Pitting cherries can be a job, but we always found it to be a worthwhile one. We have had tart cherry trees in the yard for 50 years now, and the children grew up learning how to pit cherries with a toothpick or paperclip. It is a spring tradition around here. Every blue moon we have a year that for some reason they just don't put on, and I am always thankful to have some put back in the freezer. We have yet to have a year go. Y and be completely without.

  • Athanasia June 26, 2017

    Janet, we use the paper clip also and find that the fastest and easiest for hand pitting.

  • Rhonda A. June 26, 2017 do you pit a cherry with a paperclip?

  • Athanasia June 28, 2017

    Rhonda, hold the cherry in your one hand and hold paper clip with your writing hand. Just push the end of the paper clip into the stem end of the cherry, wiggle and pull the pit out. We use the bigger size paper clip. I just measured one and they are
    1 7/8 " long

  • Rhonda A. June 29, 2017

    Thank you for the explanation, Athanasia! I had never heard of this before. I bought a cherry pitter a few years ago, but they are expensive and only one person can use it at a time. Might have to try this trick so that my mom and I can work on pitting a bunch of cherries at the same time.

  • Athanasia June 26, 2017

    Sandra, your dinner sounds delicious. There is a store around here which has the jingle of "great food for not a lot of money". I think that's what we all aim for around this list.

  • Lisa June 30, 2017

    Look for a cherry pitter, I found one on clearance after the season. Plus my kids have so much fun using it they usually do it for me!

  • Jenny June 26, 2017

    Cherry pie Yum! I only ever see cherry and apple pie in Australia.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada June 25, 2017

    I, too, get inspiration from both your writing this blog and from the comments. Living life frugally is, for me, about making intentional choices. I chose to drink coffee at home and not Starbucks. I chose to make lunch when I'd rather go out. Years ago I chose to pay off my student loans and credit cards.
    So many choices in the day to day living of my life to not spend money. All the many choices put together give me an amazing life.

  • Alexa-asimplelife June 26, 2017

    Bravo !

  • I love your blog, Brandy! The combination of living within your means, focus on creativity and beauty, and delight in hearth and home make it a lovely place to visit and share.

    My frugal accomplishments for this week include:
    - I was given a bag of Dutch ‘hail’ (essentially chocolate sprinkles) from a colleague at work last week. Growing up, I used to eat them sprinkled on bread and butter, the same way my mom did growing up in Holland. I took them and created cupcakes with them. ( I brought the cupcakes to work as a thank you for the gift and also as a thank you to a colleague for covering for me while I take a day off to go camping with some friends. I also made mini versions for the DH to take into work. The cupcakes were a hit! And of course I buy the butter on sale, and the shortening, cocoa, and flour in bulk.
    - I froze the leftover chocolate buttercream to use at a later date. This works wonderfully for when you either don’t have time to make a frosting from scratch, or when you want to fancy up a regular cake or cupcake by changing up a filling inside. #NoWaste!
    - Went to Costco (my work gives me a membership each year) and took my parents and sister along so that they could buy stuff too
    - Ate enough samples at Costco that it effectively was a light lunch
    - Found 2 lbs of yeast for approx. $5 (cheapest price I can find anywhere), butter for $2.85 brick (again, best price I can find), cocoa powder in a large bag (cheaper than buying it in smaller containers either in a store or online), chocolate chips (cheapest price anywhere), and bought a #10 can of tomatoes for the first time. With the amount of tomato dishes that I eat, I should be able to use that up quickly even though it’s just me and the DH, but I plan to portion out and freeze some.
    - Got a free sample of laundry detergent at Costco
    - Decluttered and gave a sweater to my sister that she’ll wear at work, and some garden pots to my mum. The rest of the clothing and household items I donated.
    - Made apricot jam as a gift for Father’s Day, as it reminds my dad of the jam his mom used to make. I used up the last of the pectin I had in the cupboard to make it a bit thicker, but usually I just use fruit and sugar to make my jams.
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks card
    - Bought a cherry pitter and a package of 50 plastic pipettes for under $9, using money I earned doing surveys. I plan to use the pipettes for alcohol-soaked cupcakes (I’ll post on my blog when I actually make some, because the presentation is quite something but it’s really easy to do).
    - I packaged up some bananas and peaches that were overripe, along with the last of a container of peanut butter, some psyllium, and some kale I had frozen, into two baggies in my freezer. I’ll add homemade yoghurt to them and blend them up for smoothies during the summer.
    - Took the last of my wilted carrots from the fridge, peeled them, and soaked them in cold water to re-crisp them. Worked a charm!
    - Made a batch of yoghurt. Can’t wait to enjoy for breakfasts (or dinners!) with sliced bananas and spoon of homemade strawberry or apricot jam, or topped with homemade strawberry granola. Lots of calcium, protein, and potassium, plus 2 servings of dairy and 2 servings of fruit makes for a meal that fills me up.
    - Picked some radishes from my balcony garden and ate the greens and root in salad

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • J June 25, 2017

    Margaret, when I read about the chocolate sprinkles on your blog, I meant to tell you there is a store in Unionville called The Village Grocer that carries a number of Dutch imports. It's definitely not a store for the frugal shopper, but it is a beautiful store that reminds me of being in Europe. It is nice for a treat. And they sell amazing almond croissants. One time I went there and they were giving out pizza samples, and the sample was an entire slice. Made my day!!

  • Thanks, J! I'll have to check it out next time I'm in the area. I LOVE almond croissants! I can never make them to match a good patisserie so they're one of my weakness when I find a good bakery. Mmm...totally craving almond croissants now! And free samples are the best!

  • Alexa-asimplelife June 26, 2017

    Me Almond croissant ...the last one I had was when we were in the Phillipines end of last year. It was the very best, from a shopping centre bakery....Mmmmm

  • Jane June 26, 2017

    Margaret I love your opening paragraph. Beautifully put. Now I'm off to your blog to nag you for that alcohol infused cupcake recipe LOL

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