Slide background


Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography

April Flowers The Prudent Homemaker Blog

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.
Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller

Frugal Accomplishments For The Fifth Week of June

Pavlova The Prudent Homemaker

Pavlova with peaches and blackberries from the garden (that I froze) and the strawberries I bought on sale and froze earlier this year. Recipe here.

I picked more apples from our tree and canned applesauce, using resuable canning lids. (I shared a few photos on Instagram).

I harvested Swiss chard, basil, garlic chives, chocolate mint, two colanders of tomatoes, three red noodle beans,  a single red pepper and a single green pepper, and a single zucchini from the garden.

I cut seedless Red Flame grapes and Thompson's Seedless green grapes from our grape vines.

I harvested Early Elberta peaches from our trees.

June Arrangment 3 The Prudent Homemaker

I keep looking for places to sow more seeds in the garden so as to harvest more from the space that we have. I really want more cucumbers, and I realize that in order to have the amount we're wanting, I need to plant even more seeds. I want to eat more fresh vegetables from the garden. I also want more flowers to harvest from the garden to make bouquets; right now it's so hot that most of the flowers have stopped blooming and those that do bloom burn to a crisp by noon. So, this past week, after evaluating my garden space, I sowed seeds for more zinnias (which like the heat and sun, even here!), Armenian cucumbers, parsley, basil, spaghetti squash, cosmos (a test; though these should be easy to grow I've never had them germinate in the past), Bells of Ireland (which seem to like a little shade in our climate and are growing 1/3 the height they should be but are not burning), miniature white pumpkins, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash. (I purchased a seed packet from Burpee for the Bells of Ireland, zinnias, and cosmos for $3.97 at Walmart; it's a nice combination for summer flowers in the same color range that should make for nice bouquets in purple, white, green and lavender. I shared a photo of the packet on Instagram.)

I collected warm-up water in the shower in a bucket each day and used it to water plants in the garden.

I took my eldest to the thrift store. (This is kind of tricky now that she and I are the same size and her style has become quite similar to mine! It kind of feels like a race to find things first in the racks!) She was needing a couple of new shirts. What she really wants is Peter-Pan collared shirts. She decided the least-expensive way to do that would be to start at the thrift store, so we went there. Using some fabric I had on hand, she drafted collars for an existing t-shirt. We then bought her two more t-shirts at the thrift store (for $2 each) and she drafted collars for both of those as well. One was a long-sleeved t-shirt, so she shortened the sleeves.

We also found her a beautiful cardigan for $3 (that I actually picked for myself, but it was too tight in the lower arms--but it fit Winter perfectly) and a dressy black dress ($6) while we were there.

I picked up three t-shirts for myself while there. I'm not really a t-shirt person, but I do need something in my new size to wear while working in the garden. These will work well in fall when I can wear them with jeans. One of them was a t-shirt for my alma mater, which was fun to find, as I haven't had a university t-shirt for 20 years! At $2, it was a much better buy than purchasing it new from the university bookstore!

Winter and I also collaborated on ideas for her to make some things for her secret sister for camp. Each of the young women was assigned a secret sister at camp. I put together a Pinterest board for her with ideas that she could make and things that she could print for this particular young woman. (The other girl likes chrysanthemums and bunnies and her favorite colors are maroon and plum). There was a spending limit assigned to each girl (no more than $10) but rather than buying anything, we used what we had on hand. We got really lucky on one thing as well; there were several questions about favorite candies, and one of them was one that my daughter also likes and had already bought for herself to take to camp (wintergreen Life Savers). My daughter just used some of the package that she had already bought (they are each individually wrapped) and gave some to the other girl. The other candies she listed were all chocolate, and as it's expected to be 105º at camp, chocolate would not be practical to bring anyway. Winter and her friends said their favorite things to receive were the notes from the secret sister, and one of her friends said she has kept all the notes from her secret sisters over the years. Their other friends agreed. 

Winter had met this particular girl last week when the girls were all together on a kayaking trip (the other girl, Victoria, is from another congregation). She found out that Victoria had just recently visited London.

With this knowledge, Winter made the following items for her with things we had on hand:

Secret Sister Gifts The Prudent Homemaker


A bookmark with a hand-drawn and painted chrysanthemum (using watercolor pencils)

A notecard (that she'll write a note in, of course) with a hand-painted chrysanthemum

A maroon felt chrysanthemum pin (using this tutorial)

A necklace using a Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) charm that I already had and a camera charm

A tiny change purse from the London fabric I had leftover from making this apron, a zipper from my grandmother, and lined with fabric from a red sheet (that my mom gave me some time ago). Winter chose to pick the part that said "Victoria" right in the center, since the girl is named Victoria.

Wintergreen Life Savers in a paper bag that she cut down and cut with a fancy edger punch


My husband decided to cut his office phone at work. All of his agents use their cell phones and so does he, so there really isn't a need for an office phone. This saves us $50 a month in business expenses.

It got down to 77º in the mornings. Since I keep my air conditioners at 79º, I was able to open the house up from 5 to 7 each morning and turn off the air conditioning and air out the house.

I listened to free music on Pandora while I was sewing.

I listened to classical music on You Tube while I was cleaning the kitchen and canning.

I printed online coupons for some things I will buy in July.



What did you do to save money this past week?



Last modified on


  • Wendy Gower July 01, 2017

    Love your photos Brandy. We are in the middle of Winter in Australia. It's cold, but not as cod as it gets in your Winter.
    Here's what I've been up to this week
    * Made pita chips for savoury snacks and nachos.

    * Made pizzas from wholemeal pita breads. We used bits and pieces from the freezer and fridge. This is one of our budget friendly versions of takeaway.

    * Saved the washing machine rinse water for each next load.

    * Made another container of dried seasoned bread crumbs. After making all those salmon patties, my container was almost empty. Thankfully I had a container of dried bread crumbs I'd made a few weeks ago. I just had to add the seasoning and shake.

    * Made a bottle of double strength Miracle Spray.

    * Froze four single serves of leftovers.

    * Picked more lemons from our tree. I juiced and froze it into ice cube trays.

    * Fed the compost bins with kitchen scraps.

    * Let our chickens out to free range for a while. They had a lovely feed of grass and insects.

    * Dried most of the washing on clothes horses over the ducted heating vents.

    * Used storage containers to store lots of bits and pieces in the fridge. I'm trying to avoid plastic cling wrap as much as possible.

    * Gave a jar of homemade jam and some lemons from our tree as a hostess gift.

    * Used old school notices as shopping lists and " to do ' lists.

    * Reused lots of plastic bags over and over again around our home.

    * Saved the washing machine water for each next load.

    I have some photos on my blog

  • Mandy July 02, 2017

    I try to avoid plastic cling wrap, too (and most plastic :) ). When I need a storage container for a leftover i'm going to use up soon I just put a small plate over a bowl. It works great for something we will eat up soon.

  • Cindy S July 02, 2017

    I just wanted to tell you Wendy that I really enjoy your blog and I read it every week. The Miracle Spray is great too.

  • Charline July 01, 2017

    I don't like using paper towels as I feel that there are more environmentally friendly ways to clean that are also easier on the budget. A pair of pants of mine and a shirt ripped (they're not fixable) so I ripped them up to use as cleaning rags.

  • Mandy July 02, 2017

    I do the same thing. I use a large hinged mason jar with homemade cleaning solution as a substitute for the disposable cleaning wipes. I use rags to clean the house, blow noses (instead of tissues and they are much softer). :)

  • Mable July 01, 2017

    --Made yogurt from some expiring milk.
    --Even though I didn't feel like it, I picked a gallon of honeyberries to freeze for winter smoothies. (I'd rather have been reading)
    --Put on a shirt to go out to a meeting and as I was walking by him my husband said, "Do you know that your shirt is ripped open from the underarm to the bottom seam?" How on earth I could have put it on, looked in the mirror and not have noticed the two sides flapping about is beyond me, but boy am I glad he was home to see it! Changed and fixed the shirt that night.
    --Made poppy seed muffins and rhubarb muffins, so we didn't satisfy sweet tooths by purchasing expensive treats.
    --Remembered to use two rain checks I'd gotten 2 months and 29 days ago---they would have expired in 2 days and the chicken and grapes had been on an extraordinary sale that is not likely to come around again. Was able to freezer 10 whole chickens.
    --Did six mystery shops in a week. Usually I only do one or two a month, but these were easy ones and close to home; made $120 and got a free bottle of vitamins and a free fancy coffee drink. My husband was happy, since I gave him the coffee because I love the smell of coffee and bacon but dislike the taste of both.
    --Picked, processed and froze what ended up being three gallon bags of pak choi, for cold weather soups.
    --Picked and made five ice cube trays of pesto that I froze and then popped out into freezer bags for future meals.
    --Shredded and froze 13 pounds of zucchini for future latkes.
    --Ate pea pod, carrot, scallion and cucumber salads two nights, even though that is an odd combination, to use up maturing vegetables. Our last freeze was Memorial Day weekend here in Fairbanks, so I can hardly believe how productive my garden already is. I covered the entire garden with sheets the night of the frost forecast and everything survived. I am pretty pleased because this year I really struggled to fill every bit of space with edibles, even to the point of planting Thumbelina carrots in shallower areas where regular carrots would not have made it. We have had a financial set-back because insurance didn't cover a major expense (still arguing, but I am losing hope after two appeals), and food is one place I can cut back because my garden is supplying all of our vegetables right now and, I hope, through most of the winter if I can and freeze and dehydrate. And even though I am fiercely gardening from necessity, I am deriving a lot of pleasure from slowly filling the freezer with things from my own backyard. (I know you do that all the time, Brandy, and you and others here are the ones who inspired me to think that even in interior Alaska I can grow enough in 3 months to provide our vegetables and fruits for much of the year, so thanks to all)

  • "Fiercely gardening from necessity"--love that! I definitely feel like that! The summer is such a challenge here for vegetables. Fruit is good if I can keep it from burning and keep it from the birds, but vegetables are a real challenge in our heat!

    It is amazing that you are getting cucumbers already. I planted months ago and I have some long vines but not a single cucumber yet. I planted several more and hopefully come October they will start to produce some female flowers; I just wish they could give us some now! Oddly enough though, butternut squash always seem to flower and produce in the heat, so I have several of those growing in the garden right now that we can harvest later in the year.

    And I have only harvested three zucchini this year, though I planted in March. Three is a win for me from one plant; I have had five plants before and only harvested four zucchini the whole year-. The last one I picked I had to peel as the peels get hard like winter squash in our heat. Our humidity has been at 5% and it's been over 108 so growing squash is a real challenge. I don't know why they don't set fruit earlier in May when it's cooler.

    I think it's wonderful that you are growing so much where you are; every area has its challenges! I hope you can grow all that you need for the year!

  • Cindi July 02, 2017

    "Even thought I didn't feel like it, I picked honeyberries..."
    So much of making wise, frugal choices is doing things anyway, even when we don't feel like it. For me that is often cooking instead of getting take-out, but I am always glad when I forge ahead and 'do it anyway.'

  • Laurie in AZ July 03, 2017

    I love the idea of zucchini latkes! I never thought of that before. I have some shredded zucchini in the freezer and will be trying those this week. Thank you for the idea!

  • Melissa in Washington July 03, 2017

    I like to make vegetable latkes with whatever I lying around. Squash, carrots, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. It's a great way to use up bits and bobs.

  • Athanasia July 06, 2017

    Thanks for the recipe Mable. I printed it. We make pakoras with grated zucchini and carrots and using the Indian spices. You need to have some garbanzo flour but I wonder if white or whole wheat would work. The garbanzo flour keeps in the refrigerator and I use it for other recipes too. The tip I got from internet was to bake them in mini muffin pans rather than deep frying and that works well, probably for tots too.

  • Wow, your garden is really producing right now! So impressive and inspiring. And I love the gifts that Winter made for her secret sister, especially the pin!

    My frugal accomplishments (and a frugal fail) for the week:
    - Picked some basil from my balcony garden, added it to some frozen pesto I had made a few months ago (made using almonds instead of pine nuts because that was what I had in my cupboard), tossed it with some pasta I bought on sale, added in some leftover mushrooms from a camping trip the past weekend, topped it with homemade breadcrumbs from the freezer and the last bit of some cheese I had frozen, and voila, a lovely casserole! So good I blogged about it (, because it’s worth making again and again! There was a bit of a frugal fail involved though, because the DH went shopping at Whole Foods for the mushrooms. Whole Foods has incredible produce but is not known for being budget friendly. When I saw the bill my jaw dropped. Needless to say, we’re back to shopping at our favourite no frills supermarket.
    - Carpooled with a friend to a camping trip.
    - Saved the bacon grease from the first camping breakfast to use to fry up the next day’s sausage and egg breakfast. The sausages we cooked the night before over our campfire, and reheated for breakfast the next day. Used leftover hamburger buns and tortillas to make breakfast wraps and breakfast sandwiches. So, I saved a product (bacon grease) that would have been wasted, used less propane to cook the sausage by using campfire heat, and used up buns and tortillas that were going to go stale otherwise. Camping win!
    - Used homemade fire-starters to start the fires. (I re-used wax from wax melts that I dipped dollar store cotton pads into. The cotton pads are then used as firestarters). This way the wax is used once more before being tossed out after losing its scent.
    - Used our Canada 150 Parks pass to get free entrance into the national park where we camped.
    - I bought a “Made in Canada” cookie/cake stencil for Canada Day celebrations on Etsy, and went through Ebates for a 2% cash back rebate. Not much (literally 15 cents), but every bit adds up, right? I didn’t get one that is specific to this year’s 150th birthday celebration, so that I can use the stencil for decades to come, or for relevant themed gifts (i.e. baby shower bonbonierre) or cookies for my husband’s workplace.
    - For any Canadians reading this (and possibly Americans), if you’re on pre-natal vitamins because you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant and therefore loading up on folic acid, have your dr prescribe PregVit vitamins for you, as they’ll be covered by your insurance, since they’re a prescription product. Also, they’re good quality vitamins, as they separate the calcium and iron into two different pills (as one cancels out the other if taken at the same time). Paying for pre-natal vitamins can add up, so if you can get them free (or almost free, depending on your insurance benefits), why not?
    - Picked basil, thyme, and oregano from my balcony garden, and slow-roasted it for two hours with olive oil, garlic, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 of a no.10 can of tomatoes, and served it over the last of some farro I had in my pantry (but pasta works too), and topped it with parmesan, for an inexpensive dinner. I froze leftovers for future lunches.
    - With the rest of the no. 10 can of tomatoes, I made pizza sauce (I added in some fresh basil from my balcony garden in addition to herbs from my pantry). Then I took half of the sauce, and froze it in four servings, enough to each make a large pizza. With the other half of the sauce, I added in some wizened baby tomatoes I had in the freezer that I had sauteed along with some frozen chopped onions, some more fresh basil, and some more dried herbs. Voila, pasta sauce! I froze 3 baggies of pasta sauce, and put a pint container in the fridge for use within the next week. I figured out that that #10 cans of tomatoes (along with the herbs and onions I added), made for 25 meal servings. Not bad for a can that cost about $4! Once the pasta, cheese, homemade pizza dough, and farro are added in, I think the total cost for 25 meals will only be about $10. *currently doing a stretching-my-pennies happy dance*
    - I washed and dried some eggshells, ground them, and added them around my tomato plant.
    - I bought a silicone baked doughnut tray online for $5, using money earned from doing a survey online. I actually emailed the survey company to get payment, as my payment didn’t automatically show up, and once I received it, I used it to buy the tray on sale! Luckily, it was still on sale once I received payment. I can’t wait until it arrives and I can experiment with recipes!
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card
    - Picked mint from my balcony garden to add to some iced tea I made (using tea gifted to me)
    - Redeemed a coupon for a free bag of dog food (I don’t have a dog so I’ll donate it), and then use the receipt to claim money back on an app – so I made $3, AND got to donate food! Made my day!
    - I gave my dad some tea that had been given to me, and accepted some dental care samples from my mom to send to my mother-in-law.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as always!

  • Athanasia July 06, 2017

    Margaret, is your growing space the balcony? No yard? You're in a large city, I think. Is it big enough to sit out on, eat out at etc? Grow flowers too? When travelling I have noticed productive balconies in various cities and they look so pleasant.

    For a firestarter I keep a cardboard egg carton on the top of the dryer and just add the bits of lint from the screen till it is full. Also bit ends of candles. Nice to have along for a campfire or out in the firepit. If you shell nuts those are nice to add too.

  • I didn't know nut shells could be burnt -- how interesting!

    My growing space is indeed my balcony. It's not very big, and I've only eaten out there before I started growing things. I originally bought an inexpensive cafe set (table and two chairs) and made custom burlap covers (using an old coffee sack and some quilt batting from my stash) for a bit of a French feel. I brought those indoors though, as they weren't waterproof. I plan to sell them soon, actually. There isn't a balcony above mine, as those above us are recessed, so unfortunately smokers drop cigarette ash onto our balcony, and my newly refurbished waterproofed bench was burnt (it was my mom's old hall bench which I had recovered in oilcloth). I plan to redo the seat (the rest is wrought-iron) using beach stones in cement for a Provencal look. Then I'll be able to sit out on the balcony and enjoy looking at my leafy green growing things! I have a trellis on one wall that I'm training pea vines up, and it should make for a nice design element as well. I'm still waiting for my nasturtiums to bloom and when they do, hopefully they will spill out everywhere and make it prettier. I've tried to design my little balcony garden to be attractive while still providing as much food as possible. Aside from my inability to grow lettuce, I'm pretty happy with it! I love hearing about your farm, btw!!!

  • Athanasia July 07, 2017

    Oh that is too bad about the smokers :( The refurbishment sounds nice though. My daughter did that to an old table with a box of mini tiles that she picked up at a rummage sale. I think they are 1" square. Holding up nicely to the weather, so I wish you the same luck.

  • Elizabeth N. July 01, 2017

    - It was my first week without having a car to drive during the day. We just had our third child and the necessary car seats don't fit in my small car. We aren't sure if we want to buy a van yet because we will be moving this year and we think we could get a van for cheaper where we are moving too (we currently live in HI). We are definitely going to be spending a lot less on gas.

    - I had eating out on the menu tonight because I have been craving Mexican but decided just to eat at home since we had an unexpected expense.

    - We did an activity today we didn't need to pay for.

    - I bought some used kids clothes from someone on Facebook because we are having to build a winter wardrobe from scratch and I want to find as much used as possible.

    - Bought some store brand diapers because they were a good deal compared to what we normally buy. We have also started cloth diapering more. Thanks to a new wash machine in our rental that isn't amazing and a few other changes, we had gotten away from it but now that we have 3 in diapers I want to cut back on disposables.

    - I am trying to make due with my wardrobe right now even though it isn't the best for postpartum/breastfeeding. I want to save the money for a necessary wardrobe upgrade when we move. This means I wear about the same handful of outfits over and over.

    - We unexpectedly had a meal dropped off which was a blessing and we will be eating it tomorrow. We ate a lot of leftovers this week as well.

    - Even though it's getting hot here we haven't turned on our air conditioning. We almost never do because of it's cost. Thankfully fans help a lot.

  • Lisa July 02, 2017

    We have three in the back of our small Toyota Camry. It's tight but works and we figured it was cheaper to buy new car seats than a new car. We're hoping to buy a van in the next couple years when our three boys get bigger and need more leg room! I can imagine that cats would be pricey in Hawaii!!

  • Elizabeth,

    We became a one-car family after our third was born. We sold both our cars and bought one with rear a/c, a necessity in our heat as the children would be bright red in the 5-minute ride to and from church in my small car. My third child is now 12. We've found lots of ways to make it work, and it certainly saves money on gas, insurance, and registration! If you are moving from Hawaii I would definitely wait to buy a new car too!

    I have done the same thing with my wardrobe for many years. It is nice to finally be able to change it and I imagine you'll find lots of cold-weather clothing at garage sales and thrift stores in your new location.

    I know how it is to have three in diapers; I did it for a long time (with different children along the way) and I wish you the best of luck! I felt like my whole day was diapering, feeding, and laundry for a long time.

  • Athanasia July 06, 2017

    Elizabeth, my daughter in law was born in Hawaii and lived there until she left to go to University in California. Her parents moved with her, then they moved again to our north midwest for her graduate school. She says she is finally acclimated to the non tropical temperatures. I have seen many pictures from their life there and it is a beautiful state, though I have heard, expensive to live in. You are wise to make do for now, I agree.

Leave your comment

Guest June 22, 2018

Spring Gardening



 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background




Slide background




Slide background


Slide background



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

Spring Gardening



White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

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