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Frugal Accomplishments For The First Week of July

July Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

We harvested red and green seedless grapes, peaches, tomatoes, and apples from the garden.

I cut chocolate mint for a large batch of herbal tea.

I went to the Joann's on the 3rd of July to buy a few items on sale, including some broadcloth in black, white, and navy at 50% off at $2.49 a yard and some ribbon by the spool at 60% off. 

My husband replaced our garbage disposal himself.

We used solar lights at night in our bedroom instead of turning the lights on. I bought a two-pack of these at Sam's Club in May for the same price as one from Amazon. We've had problems with other solar lantern batteries burning in our heat in the direct sun. We put these inside the window and they worked without any problems. They were bright enough to use for reading at night.

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

We celebrated the Fourth of July at home. I hosted and food was combined with my mom. We watched fireworks from our yard--they weren't real large, but we were able to see what several people were setting off nearby from our yard and we didn't have to spend any gas to go anywhere.

I redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 gift card to Lowe's.

I looked over the grocery ads when they came. There were some good deals--but not the pasta sale that I'm hoping to see. I threw the ads out. I also received some catalogs with summer clearance sales. I glanced through them--and then quickly tossed them. There were some things that I liked but that weren't in my budget nor were they priorities or planned purchases. Throwing them out removed the temptation to spend money I need to use for other things.

I organized three drawers. It took a bit of time but was a no-cost way to add some peace to my life.

I organized my garden seeds. I have plenty of vegetable seeds to plant for my fall garden without having to purchase anything.

My husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary at home with a meal for the two of us: caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from the garden.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

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Comments

  • Jenifer July 10, 2017

    Happy Anniversary!

    I too, have been waiting for deal on shaped pasta. I started making basic gnocchi for something different that spaghetti.

    I spent money this week restocking the pantry with Aldi.
    I have been wanting nail polish for my toes since June 1st. I treated myself to a bottle from the dollar store.
    Forth of July, I brought potato salad. I was a tad shy on servings vs. people and only had enough potatoes for what the recipe called for. I bulked up the salad with celery, bell peppers and carrots. It was well received with a serving left over.
    Made rhubarb crumb muffins with the rhubarb from the garden and cut a 1/4 of brown sugar out of the recipe. They tasted just as good if they had the quarter cup added in.

    I am grateful to have sat outside on a beautiful day and read a book for a few hours for free entertainment.

  • Marie July 10, 2017

    Jennifer, I made blueberry muffins and really regretted not leaving out a bit of the sugar. I normally do, and I find desserts taste better and are, obviously, more frugal.

  • TCR July 11, 2017

    TJMaxx and Marshalls both have good prices on nail polish. I like OPI and there's is more than 1/2 off retail.

  • Kelly July 10, 2017

    The wild blackberries are ripe on the bushes across the street in the field. Hubby picked a bowlful and we had fresh blackberry pie that night. I had already purchases a pint of heavy whipping cream so I mixed that up to use on the pie.

    Fireworks are held in our town on Lake Erie, so we walked down to the lake with our lawnchairs, watched a beautiful sunset and then the fireworks. Since 10,000 people come to the Lake front for our fireworks, and we only live 4 blocks away. We walk down and back home again.

    Thursday night, my mom brought over a Little Caesars Pizza she'd had leftover. I gave them some pie to take home. My son ate a few pieces of pizza for breakfast Friday Morning.

    Got some free magazines in the mail thanks to Recyclebank & Verizon Wireless Smart Rewards.

    Stayed home a lot because I'm on injury leave from work. Had a slight accident that caused me to trip and fall, which wrenched up my back and caused me to have numbing pains down my right side. I start Physical therapy tomorrow for it.

    Made meatloaf and mashed potatoes with food already on hand. Surprisingly, my son LOVED it.

  • Marie July 10, 2017

    Are you in Fairport Harbor??? Walking home sounds wayyy better than trying to get out of there via car :)

  • Kelly July 12, 2017

    No, Conneaut OH :)

  • Bethany July 10, 2017

    I harvested herbs, lettuce and raspberries from the garden, and saved money by purchasing discount meat. Full frugal accomplishments here: http://therenaissancehousewife.weebly.com/home/frugal-accomplishments-this-week5455095

  • Sounds like a lovely week! I love your garden produce pic!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - I made granola bars (http://approachingfood.com/vanilla-bean-granola-meal-replacement-bars/) using egg whites, and fried up the egg yolks in some hamburger grease then chopped up the fried eggs and froze them to add to fried rice at a later date. The DH will appreciate the meaty flavour and I will appreciate his appreciation!
    - picked some parsley and radishes from my balcony garden. I ate the radishes for lunch, and added the parsley and young radish leaves to salad for dinner.
    - Made a cold brew coffee concentrate, from coffee packets saved from a hotel stay. I also made caramel syrup (but with milk instead of cream, because that’s what I had, and also, it’s healthier). I’ll use the concentrate and caramel syrup to make fancy-pants iced coffee drinks at home.
    - Cat-sat locally for cash.
    - My zucchini plants are blossoming! I’m so excited! I need to drill some additional holes in the dollar store planters I bought, as they’re currently retaining too much water and the leaves are a bit yellow, but still, zucchini blossoms! My tomato plant also has some fruit on it. I’m letting the last two of my radish plants flower and eventually go to seed to see if I can collect seeds for next year. In the same two-radish plant pot, I planted an amaryllis bulb that I saved from Christmas time (and chilled in my fridge). I’m hoping it grows and flowers. Gardening experiments are fun!
    - I planted more radish, pea, zucchini, and lettuce seeds.
    - My mother gave me a mail-in rebate form for free dishwasher detergent that she couldn’t use, so I bought the largest value product I could, and sent in the receipt/upc code/voucher. That’s 16 loads of dishwasher detergent for the price of a stamp!
    - Made tomato-basil-mozzarella salad using basil from my balcony garden!
    - Made iced tea using loose tea gifted to me
    - The DH and I painted the guest bathroom. We did have to buy paint and some supplies, but we used some supplies that I had saved from when I painted the condo after purchase (6 years ago now, I think), such as painters tape, sandpaper, and brushes.
    - I bought cheese and grated it all, put it into Ziploc bags, and froze it. Not only does this mean the DH and I can’t snack on it (better for our waistlines and better for the budget), but it makes meal prep easier.
    - I made Nasi Goreng (an Indonesian rice dish) which was frugal because a) rice and b) I used the fried egg yolks I mentioned earlier in the dish along with some frozen vegetables (from my freezer, bought on sale of course), and some regrown green onions. I boiled the rice in the last sachet of Bovril that I had from when the DH was on a liquid diet and added in some home dehydrated red and yellow peppers too. All together, it made for a tasty dish, and I was able to freeze 5 portions for future work lunches as well.
    - I made some quick yet frugal dinners: frozen veggie patties (bought in bulk from Costco, leftover from a camping trip), reheated and smothered with homemade mushroom soup (it was too salty to use as a soup, but perfect as a gravy), frozen mashed potatoes (leftovers from another meal), and frozen broccoli (previously bought on sale, blanched, and frozen). A vegetarian version of a meat, potato, and veg plate, and easily put together after a long work day! A lot of my friends don’t understand why the DH and I don’t eat out more often, but this is why – who needs weekday takeout when I’ve got a sit-down dinner ready two minutes after walking in the door? We do eat out occasionally, but I’m a pretty good cook and can replicate most dishes, and I’d rather save the money we would have spent and use it to pay down the mortgage a little bit faster.
    - Made homemade pizza for dinner using my homemade pizza sauce, and saved some for the next day’s lunch.
    - Bought broccoli on sale and blanched and froze the heads and made broccoli slaw with the stems.
    - With the veggie trimmings, I made compost tea and poured it onto my balcony garden
    - Cut and froze regrown green onions. I’ll regrow them one more time in water (they’ll be paler green this time), before planting them in my garden in some good dirt to grow nice and green again.
    - Made blueberry lemonade: I had a jar of blueberry jam that I had cooked for too long, and which had turned into blueberry candy, so I boiled that with water, lemon juice, and some sugar, and made blueberry lemonade! Great over ice on a hot summer’s day!
    - Made a batch of tomato taco rice and froze it to use in future burritos/enchiladas
    - Listed a couple of items on a trading app.
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $10 Amazon gift certificate

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

  • J July 11, 2017

    Margaret, that is a great idea regarding the cheese! I am going to start doing that with our pizza cheese.

    I was wondering if you've ever made kosheri? Not to be confused with kosher, it's an Egyptian dish with lentils, rice, tomatoes, and onions. It is very frugal and vegetarian. There is a great recipe for it in the Ottolenghi cookbook.

  • Hi J! I haven't made kushari, but as it contains hot sauce, I'm sure it's delicious! I'm not a big fan of rice and lentils in general (I can eat them, but I'd rather eat other things). That said, if I'm ever in Egypt I so want to try this dish! (Can you tell I Googled it? :) ) Interestingly enough, I do remember eating a rice, lentil, and toasted spaghetti dish as a child. I think my mom got it out of an Arabic cookbook, so it's probably related to kushari. And I haven't read the Ottolenghi cookbook, but I've heard good things! I'll have to borrow it from the library one of these days; thanks for the recommendation!

  • J July 11, 2017

    It is a good cookbook - but not frugal at all aside from the kosheri and a few cracker recipes. A lot of the recipes require ingredients that even someone who cooks a lot would probably not have on hand. I got the book because we used to live by their Islington restaurant in London, and I remember walking past the window and seeing the truly stunning desserts in the window. And yes - the book does not disappoint on this - full of beautiful dessert recipes.

  • Athanasia July 12, 2017

    Margaret, interesting use of your blueberry jam candy. Did you make a sort of concentrate or did it just make one pitcher?

  • I boiled up a big pot and it filled two pitchers. I used one pint of over-boiled blueberry jam, a big pot of water, some sugar, and some lemon juice. Heated it until the sugar and jam were dissolved, and served it over ice! So, so yummy! :)

  • Athanasia July 12, 2017

    It does sound good.

  • Janet July 12, 2017

    Margaret what trading app do you use?

  • The BUNZ app! There's a website as well, but I never have the time to use it, so I downloaded the app and found it very useful. It's still quite a young app, and only in a few cities in Canada (I'm not sure if it's even outside of Ontario). You can't use money to buy items; you can only trade for them. Some people get around that by trading items for gift cards, bus tokens, or alcohol. It's probably a lot like craigslist was back in the day.

  • Melanie July 12, 2017

    I'm so glad you posted how you used the frozen veggie patties. I have some in the freezer I need to use. Your idea sounds much more appetizing than using them on buns.

  • Wendy Gower July 10, 2017

    Here's my frugal list for the week -

    * Made chicken stock in the slow cooker. Jessica bought a cooked chicken to make sandwiches for herself. She gave me the carcass so I made the most of it. From that I made a pot of chunky chicken and veggie soup. Some was for a lunch and the rest went into the freezer in single serves.

    * Made four loaves of wholemeal bread with extra goodness.

    * Sold one dozen eggs.

    * Made lots of cards using stock I had on hand.

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

    * Made 32 muffins using frozen berries Jessica had bought and abandoned in the freezer. I added raspberries from our garden last Summer. I used this recipe.

    * Made another pot of chicken stock in the slow cooker. This went straight into the freezer for future soup making.

    * Cleaned the dishwasher and filters with bi carb, vinegar and Miracle Spray.

    * Cleaned the kettle with citric acid. While I was at it I put bi carb, vinegar and water from the kettle down the sink to clean the pipes.

    * Darren and I had freezer meals ( leftovers ) for dinner one night.

    * Hand washed the dinner dishes instead of putting the dishwasher on. Some nights it's just Darren and I home so there's not enough dishes to use the dishwasher. I don't like dirty dishes sitting in the dishwasher until there's enough to put a load on.

    * Found an old room spray in our bathroom cupboard. The fragrance had changed slightly so on the advice of the shop owner from where we bought it, we diluted it with cooled boiled water. Now it smells fine and we are using it up.

    * Darren took a carload of unwanted items form my garden shed. He received two discount stamps for the donation.

    I have some photos of these tasks on my blog http://myabundantlife07.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/this-weeks-frugal-tasks-saturday-8th.html

  • Allyson F July 10, 2017

    Hi Brandy ,
    I am a relatively new commentor but long time reader of your wonderful blog. My frugal accomplishments are as follows:
    I harvested lettuce seeds.
    I planted seeds for green beans, cucumbers, and basil in my garden.
    I took a clipping of my daughter's oregano and planted it in a pot by my back door.
    I watered my veggie and flower gardens using water from my 3 rain barrels. We get lots of rain here in New Orleans but it's hot so I water a good bit in between rain days.
    I composted kitchen scraps
    I saw my sister over the weekend and gave her a dress I made for my mom so I could save postage. She will try it on and let me know if it needs any altering before I make her another one.
    I purchased a case of Mantia' s spaghetti sauce from Sav-a-lot for $.99 a jar. I thought that was a sale price but I think that is the regular price-still cheaper than other brands. I needed to replenish my supply. We keep extra pantry items in a spare closet in our hall, which we jokingly refer to as Hall-Mart. This keeps us from running to the store so often :)
    I made spaghetti and meat sauce one night for dinner and used basil and oregano I had dried from my garden to doctor it up.
    We stopped at Sam's for a few items we get there at good prices. The milk is about a $1 a gallon cheaper than other stores.
    My husband dyed my hair and I cut his. We also trimmed our little dog for the summer. I refuse to pay a groomer.
    We helped our son start to replace the roof on his patio. It was wood and asphalt shingles but will now be sheet metal. We were able to reuse all but 2 of the wooden support beams and all of the metal brackets and hurricane straps by straightening them on his vice.
    I also helped my son with free window coverings for the 2 windows in his spare room by using some fabric trim I ripped off an old set of curtains from my daughter and sewing on some old curtains my son had in his den that I also shortened to fit the windows in the spare room. I made 2 tie backs to match out of the fabric trim. I'm so happy when I can make something new out of something old, all for free!
    I sanded an old for door my daughter bought for her house for $56 at the Green Project (a place that takes leftover home repair items that have been salvaged and donated and sells them cheap for others looking to refurbish them. The door is craftsman style, solid wood door with 6 small windows at the top. Would have been $400 brand new. Lucky day finding that one!
    I read comments on this blog everyday for free entertainment. I enjoy the like minded friendship I have found here.
    Hope everyone has a good and frugal week ahead :)

  • Libby July 10, 2017

    I love your Hall-Mart!!

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