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Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week in July

Grapes in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I collected eggs from my friend's chickens and picked cucumbers, a few green beans, and tomatoes from her garden.

I canned a batch of dill pickles from the cucumbers.

July Harvest The Prudent Homemaker 

I harvested grapes, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and figs from my garden.

In the garden, I sowed seeds for red noodle beans, red zinnias, white zinnias, Genovese basil, Thai basil, Dark Siam basil, carrots, Chinese lanterns (hoping that this time they grow!), and parsley. It's much later than I normally sow seeds in the garden for these things, but many of my seeds did not come up earlier, or came up only to be eaten by bugs, so I am trying again. 

While weeding, I found a few carrots that had grown in one spot from seed dropping from carrots in my garden. I carefully dug them and replanted them where they could grow larger.

Grapes in Basket 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I took cuttings from two sweet potato vines to root in water to make new plants. These are a decorative vine; they do not make sweet potatoes. I took short cuttings from the tips of the plants (about 4-5 inches long) and took off the bottom leaves. Where the leaves were, the plants began to root in water after 4 days. Later in the week, I took additional cuttings from the other type of sweet potato vine to root as well. I plan to transplant these to pots in my white garden. These are an annual that does better in  more mild and humid climates than here (I saw them growing quite large and beautiful in the sun in Missouri a couple of years ago) but here they need a bit of protection from the sun to keep the leaves from burning to a crisp.

We had a very humid week. This is "monsoon season" here, but I think it would be more appropriately named, "cloudy season" as there is not much rain. We got a tiny bit of rain on Monday night, but it was enough that I was able to leave the drip irrigation and sprinklers off on Tuesday. The clouds bring lots of humidity, and they brought the temperature down below 100° for several days. I took advantage of the cloudy, cooler (only 96°F/35°C and humid!) days and worked in the garden doing lots of weeding. I put an ice cream bucket under the drip from the air conditioning; when it is humid like it has been this past week, I can collect several gallons of water from it each day, which I used to water pots on my patio along with water I collected in a bucket while waiting for the shower to warm.

I purchased some dahlia tubers online on 50% off clearance with free shipping.

I purchased some children's clothes online that were on sale and clearance that were not much more than local thrift-store prices.

I gave my two older sons a haircut. My husband and I cut his hair.

I went to purchase chicken on sale earlier this week and the store was out of it, so I got a raincheck.

Tomato Salad The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

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Comments

  • Debbie Fodor July 17, 2018

    Your grapes look absolutely delicious. Sultana grapes are my favourite fruit. It is the middle of winter here, so it is going to be some time before I can enjoy grapes in season.

    I recently learned that carrot leaves, swede leaves and turnip leaves are all edible, so I have been using the vegetables and the leaves when I pick them from my garden.

  • Jo July 17, 2018

    Debbie, turnip greens (leaves) are a very popular dish in the U.S. southeast, more popular than the root; however, I see very few people eating carrot or swede leaves (that's a rutabaga in the U.S., right? )

  • Swedes are sugar beets :D

  • Jeannie July 17, 2018

    I don't know about Swedes but I do grow sugar beets. They are used to make sugar so they are very sweet but also have a mild beet flavor. I use the leaves in salads and cooked dishes.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  • Becky @ Becky's Place July 17, 2018

    Ha ha! I'm glad to see it is considered normal to eat sugarbeet leaves. My parents told me there was a lot of spinach to be picked from the garden. So I set out with my bowl on the 4th of July to get salad makings. I marveled at how large and perfect the spinach leaves seemed to be. A couple of days later I was out in the garden with my dad and he pointed out the sugarbeets and the spinach just a couple feet away. I had picked sugarbeet leaves to make our salad for the 4th. Nobody noticed or minded and I am now relieved to know that I didn't risk making anyone sick. I asked my dad what he planned to do with them and he didn't really know. Love to hear more specific ideas.

  • Jeannie July 17, 2018

    They are extremely nutritious. I have seen them dried and sold in capsules in health food stores as supplements. You can't get much in one little pill and for the outrageous price they were charging, give me a leaf!

    They are a bit tough, like eating an older cabbage leaf, but if you cut them small, no one will notice. They are good sauteed in butter, toasted whole in the oven, blended in a smoothie with fruit (don't use the tough stem), or shredded in the food processor and used like cole slaw.

    The flavor is better in the winter after they have converted their sugars. Here (lower middle Tennessee) mine survive the winter under the hoop house except that I can't stop eating them and always run out. I have planted them twice already this year but something (I think it is a rabbit) is eating them. Today I put a netting over them and hope it works.

    It is not too late to plant them for this year because they will survive cold weather.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  • Andrea Q July 17, 2018

    It depends on who you ask, Jo! Other names for swede: yellow turnip, rutabaga, neep or sometimes just turnip (which is often used interchangeably for white or yellow turnip). I've witnessed more than one heated discussion about it in international cooking and gardening groups!

  • Marcia R. July 18, 2018

    I was thinking along the lines of rutabaga, myself. I have never eaten carrot leaves, but I don't often grow carrots anymore--space is limited and carrots are cheap in the stores and available year round. Carrots are VERY popular in my family--rutabaga not so much. I will sneak it into a beef stew or soup in small cubes, and people will eat if without noticing too much. I like it--my folks were farmers from large families and were teens during the depression. They didn't have the luxury of not "liking" something--if it was on the table, they were lucky to have it to eat! I will eat white turnips too without complaint, which is more than I can say for the rest of the family.

  • Mable July 17, 2018

    SOme people are quite allergic to carrot leaves, even when they are not allergic to carrots. You might want to warn people or be alert if someone is eating your carrot leaves and starts feeling tingling and a closing throat.

  • http://thejewishlady.com July 17, 2018

    The tomato salad looks so delicious! I love being able to garden and then enjoy the bounty. It always feels like an accomplishment to grow your own food. I'm getting a lot of tomatoes this summer.

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons whenever possible. Last week, I found $0.21 crayons, $0.21 rulers, $0.16 highlighters, $0.16 folders, $0.39 tissues, boneless chicken for $1.69/lb, strawberries for $1.50/lb and more. The only frugal fail was getting caught up in the Build-A-Bear hype. All of my transactions here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-7-14-18/

  • Annie-Blake July 17, 2018

    Love the abundance of grapes in the basket!

    These past three weeks I have been trying more than usual to not spend as we have some medical bills. This is how it went:

    -no additional spending for the 2 week school holidays. Creative thought was required.
    -packing my lunch and tea/milk
    -only driving locally
    -using food I have on hand and stretching it further than usual
    -gratefully accepting meals at friends and families houses
    -using paper on hand to make wrapping paper for upcoming friends childrens birthdays. The presents come from my stash that I always have. My children got to paint and have fun while putting the finished product to good use. Cards were also handmade with what I have on hand

  • Libby July 17, 2018

    Fascinating about rooting the sweet potato vines. I remember my grandmother rooting plants but didn't pay a lot of attention and now I don't know how to do it.

    I started my new job last week and have a long commute. I made sure to have five dinners ready for heating up in the microwave as soon as I walk in the door.

    Tried a non-name-brand gas station as their gas prices were 10 cents less per gallon.

    Good friends moved abroad this weekend and offered me the food left in their refrigerator and pantry. I gladly accepted four bags of food. Several are new-to-me ingredients so that will be fun to experiment.

    Bought several new-to-me blouses and blazers on ThredUp to wear to work as my new job is dressier than my last one.

  • Sheena July 17, 2018

    Hi

    Have you tried YouTube for tutorials on rooting plants? I found a really good one on how to root roses there.

  • Llibby July 19, 2018

    What a great suggestion! Thank you :)

  • Sheena July 21, 2018

    Pleasure

    The one I found on roses was by Monty Don

    Realy felt like I could manage it after watching him

  • Heidi Louise July 17, 2018

    My Mom would root coleus plants. The red ones would send out roots in a glass of water fairly quickly.

  • Thank you for mentioning rooting coleus. I have just started to like this plant and our local nursery usually has some in late summer; I may have to try rooting cuttings to expand the ones Ihave in the garden.

  • Lorna July 17, 2018

    Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia :) .

    Brandy what a blessing all of the fruit and vegetables you were able to pick from your friends and your gardens too and it is amazing how far saved shower warm up water goes to water pot plants and plants in your vegetable gardens too.

    Here is how we saved and got ahead last week -

    Our savings added up to $248.40 last week :).

    Earnings -
    - Earned $44.69 from the sale of thyme picked and dried from the gardens and saved capsicum seeds from the gardens through my eBay internet shop.

    Purchases -
    - Purchased 7 x 250 g of strawberries on special saving $4.38.

    Blessings -
    - After having a smashing good time with a couple of recycled jars I had here due to really cold sub zero temperatures here on jam making I texted 2 close friends living within a couple of blocks of me who supplied me with 12 washed out and recycled jars & lids they had saving $12 over purchasing them in the shops. We now have adopted a warm up jars with hot tap water and then putting the jars and lids in and filled with boiling water and emptying them out just before pouring the hot jam in them. Bingo no broken jars due to very low winter temperatures and another case of we live and learn new skills and techniques :).

    Trading -
    - Traded 46 g garden picked and dried French lavender, 28 g of English lavender, 21 g of marigold (calendula) flowers and 100 g of dried rubbed oregano and 26 g of dried tarragon from excess pantry stocks for 3 x 44 g lavender lip balms, 1 x 25 g of chocolate lip balm, 3 x 10 g lavender lip balms and 1 x 10 g of vanilla lip balm saving less postage $65.92 over purchasing them locally.

    Finances -
    - Banked more money into our home deposit savings account bringing us to 26.56% of the way there.

    In the kitchen -
    - Made 12 jars or 3.608 kg for $21.31 from some home grown and some purchased strawberries and free lemon juice given to us by a friend saving $38.58 over purchasing it in the supermarkets for an equivalent quality. 2 jars will go to the ladies that kindly supplied us with the jars as a thank you.
    - Made 2.8 kg of homemade honey,oat,coconut,almond and sultana granola from items in the pantry saving $28.69 less expenses over purchasing the same quality in the shops.

    In the gardens -
    - Picked 1.127 kg of cherry tomatoes saving $11.27 over purchasing them in the supermarkets.
    - Separated thyme picked and dried from the gardens making 319 g saving $42.87 over purchasing similar organic dried herbs in our local shops.
    - Picked another huge lot of thyme, English and French lavender from the gardens which we are drying for sale and home use.
    - Saved a lot of marigold seeds from the gardens to replant into another garden bed around the house.

    Hope everyone has had an equally wonderful week :).

    Sewingcreations15.

  • Marcia R. July 18, 2018

    Husband and I went away for the weekend and stopped for lunch in a university town. Our sandwich was accompanied by a salad of greens, most of which I did NOT recognize, calendula leaves, and a couple blossoms that looked a bit like columbines with the curved curlique on the bottom, but in deep yellow/brownish colors I've never seen in columbines. We ate them although they did not taste like much. It was a pretty salad, although I jokingly called it "weed salad" to my husband because I do recognize most salad greens grown in the area! Foraged is fine with me, if they were. Expanding my knowledge even this late in life! What my children loved best when they were very young was to pick flowers off clovers and pop them in their mouths, giving their grandmothers fits! My granddaughter could recognize quite a few different edibles among the weeds by the time she was three. She would eat chives too, when her cousins ate "around" anything onion-like.

  • Sounds like nasturtiums, which are a common salad flower. They don't taste like much, which is why I prefer to enjoy them in the garden or in a vase rather than on my salad, though I know they are edible.

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