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Frugal Accomplishments for the Fourth Week in July

We have had a large number of unexpected expenses this month, with multiple costly repairs needing to be made and items needing to be replaced. Some expenses one just doesn't imagine ever having, but yet, there they are. Continuing to find frugality in as many ways as possible is important to keeping everything running smoothly.

Grapes in urn The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested peaches, figs, grapes, tomatoes, Swiss chard, green onions, and rosemary from our garden.

I planted seeds for what I hope will be a good harvest in a few months. I planted seeds for sunflowers, basil, chives, and green onions.

I said yes to some more tomatoes from my friend's garden when she offered.

We had a fun get-together with the children's friends and some of their cousins. We did the same thing the week before with some of their other cousins. Using a large tarp (that my husband got for free off of Craig's List) we created a giant slip and slide. We have done this for a few years now. It's a fun way to cool off and still play outside when it's 114°F/46°C out, which it was at our house.

It's still quite humid here as the summer storms pass overhead (not falling on us--the clouds just go right on by!) and I collected several water gallons of water from the air conditioning drip each day and used it to water potted plants. I also continued to collect shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants.

I cancelled my free Amazon Prime trial the day before I would be charged.

I watched a free photography class online.

I read two books that I borrowed from my mom.


What did you do to save money this past week?


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  • Marivene July 30, 2018

    *Continued to harvest blackberries, pie cherries & red currants. The grasshoppers are growing & we are doing battle.

    *Took another pine cone survey & cashed a pine cone check to add to my cash fund for thrift store shopping.

    *Continued to use the grass clippings from the lawn to reduce the water needed in the perimeter beds.

    *We had several visits to the ER this month, & were grateful for good insurance to cover the vast majority of the cost.

    *Continued to gather items we no longer need, to be donated to the thrift on the next visit.

    *Two younger peach trees, both Red Reliance, died this year, so we removed them. The large peach tree that is a different variety was unaffected, for which I am grateful.

    *One of our daughter’s sent a short video of her kneading bread dough with Little Stuff. I am so thankful that we have skype & FaceTime, & are able to share precious moments like these within the family.

  • Marybeth July 31, 2018

    I am with you on FaceTime. It is wonderful. My oldest daughter lives in Baltimore and we live in NY. I get to sit down every Sunday and have a nice chat while seeing her beautiful face.

  • Lillianna pickles July 30, 2018

    This week's post hits close to home. I drove my car a mile down the road to the store. College girl had come home and unexpectedly required some personal items from the store. This was a necessary trip and I had not planned on it being a problem. After all, my planned trip to the dealership was for recall work. Well that silly little car stopped and wouldn't budge. Neither one of us had our phone on us. Thankfully they know us at the grocery store and I called roadside service. I am always thinking ahead about having problems and having a solution ready. USAA promptly informed me that they would not tow me 12 miles to my service center that they only cover 11 miles ! I won't even mention my anger. I called the dealership and they had someone come pick my car up. So now in addition to the warranty work, recall work, I now owe for a tow, a new battery ( who knows why) and whatever caused the car to stop running. I pray I have enough money to cover it. At this point I am now broke. I mean no savings, no checking, no cash and credit maxed out. The food stamp office has had our disability checks messed up for 7 months. I can not get this resolved and collect the back money they owe us. Now I need it. I will actually have to call the state governors office and they have an advocate who can see that it is resolved. Someone made a mistake and although they acknowledge they owe us money, no one will get it processed. I have no more patience. Thankfully all bills are paid that are necessities and we have food. If necessary, I will have to uber into the city and home to get sugar cookie from the airport. Try as I may, I constantly struggle due to others mistakes. Meanwhile, the boy left yesterday for the Army and for the fifth time , they sent him home today. I have little puffs of steam coming out of my head like a cartoon character. I hope to read lots of happy, joyful postings this week. Don't mind me, I am grumpy. I will have everything under control in a couple days.

  • Patricia Koernig July 31, 2018

    Lillianna, I hope your disability checks issue gets resolved soon. Your optimism and grace under such challenging circumstances are an inspiration.

  • Rhonda A. July 31, 2018

    Oh, Lilli, what a mess! I hope everything gets resolved soon for you and your family. That is one really tough spot to be wedged into. I'm sending happy thoughts and joyful wishes your way.

  • Heidi Louise July 31, 2018

    How absolutely frustrating! Yes, call an advocate and anyone else you can to see what reparations can be made. Your state representative/senator might also be able to expedite the disability checks. Advocates are made for situations like yours, and though you might have been politely patient, you have waited beyond far enough. Best hopes to you and your family.

  • Juls Owings July 31, 2018

    Lillianna pickles July 30, 2018 My dad gave me a handwritten note when my late husband dropped dead from a heart attack, no health ins , no life ins, no will, no savings, no money in the checking as he had just paid the mortgage, utilities overdue and we had 5 children in our home. the note said


    Told me to read it when I felt overwhelmed and frustrated (like when Hubby's ex that he did NOT have a child with tried to sue me for life ins that didn't exist because he had been fired from the job he had when he was married to her)

    Blessing on you sweetie

  • jenna August 01, 2018

    The saying everyone use to tell me is God gives you what you can handle. I know this is true but I often felt Myself having way more than I could handle and still do.

    Men don't seem to take care of woman the way they use to.
    Although I am watching my son and noticing he knows how to take care of his own.

  • Cassandra Donahue July 31, 2018

    Please call the disabilities advisory commission in your area. They can possibly help you. Good luck! I understand!

  • Lisa from Maine July 31, 2018

    Lillianna, My heart goes out to you. Sometimes when it rains, it pours. You had hopes to get ahead this summer too! Getting money from the government is often a 1 step forward and 2 steps backward affair. Keep at them, but as you are aware, you'll get it on their schedule. If the advocate at the state governor's office cannot help you in a timely manner I would contact your state senator/representative.
    I would contact the USAA to tell them that you are disappointed with them for not going the extra mile to help your family out (and I mean that literally and figuratively). Yes, that might be what their rules are but really?! I would also contact the dealership & ask if they could at least waive the tow fee. Mention that you purchased this car so that you could have a dependable car and not have to deal with the service fees that are often associated with an older car. You never know until you try.

  • Janet July 31, 2018

    I would have stuck the car in neutral and pushed it one mile.

  • Lillianns pickles July 31, 2018

    Friends thank you for your kind words. Janet I laughed so hard at this and right now, I really need a laugh.Later on, I got to thinking. I should have had it towed down the road halfway and called back and used another tow for the next half. I don't have a limit on calls. I did call them and cancel my roadside assistance and am checking into other options. The whole point is having service that actually benefits me. Living in a rural area can be dangerous. Many of the roads are very curvy with no way to see ahead. They all have steep drop offs, with no pull overs. Very easy to get killed or have someone hit you from the rear and explode both cars. Many areas have low points where you cannot pick up cell service. After 30 years of service I will be expressing my disappointment until someone at least apologizes. I hate bad service.

  • Andrea Q July 31, 2018

    Did you ask if you could pay for the extra mile? We recently had a similar issue and I was offered the option of paying $6 per mile over the 15 mile maximum on my plan.

    Fingers crossed that you get some positive news this week!

  • Maclaine August 02, 2018

    We have USAA and when I wanted my car towed outside the 11 miles, they just had me pay for the extra miles. No idea what the cost for 1 mile is.

  • http://Http://thejewishlady.com July 30, 2018

    I know what you mean about unexpected bills. We had 3 days of intense storms that made the roof leak - not fun for sure!

    I continue to stay frugal by shopping the sales and using coupons and rebates. I have gotten free shampoo, free coffee, free excedrin, free blush and free Twizzlers lately. My only fail was missing out on $0.16 school supplies at Walgreens. All of my transactions with pics can be found here: http://thejewishlady.com/super-savings-saturday-7-21-18/

  • Danalynn July 30, 2018

    Where do you watch your photography classes?

  • Megan July 30, 2018

    I’m curious about this as well! A local class was offered by two photographers, and they wanted $550 (you did get a printed canvas, as well as the work displayed during a local art night)... but wow! I couldn’t stomach the expense with all of the classes you’ve mentioned you’ve found online for free. Thanks for any tips!

  • Most of the classes I have watched online for free are from CreativeLive.com. They have classes that are free to watch online and for sale after the live showing. If you choose to buy the class, they have a discounted rate while the class is still live. They also offer occasional sales.

    The class I watched this week was a free one from https://www.amyandjordan.com/

  • Megan July 30, 2018

    Thank you for the info!

  • Juhli July 30, 2018

    Sorry to hear you have had so many unexpected expenses - that is hard.
    My major frugal accomplishment was spending a bit of time filling out a free raffle ticket at my local Trader Joe's and winning a picnic basket stocked with goodies. We will use about half and pass on the rest.
    Otherwise, continuing to use the library and have a big stack of books. Taking swim technique lessons so I can utilize my HOA pool to swim laps for exercise, walking the dog for exercise and cooking at home most nights.

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