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Frugal Accomplishments For The Fourth Week of July

Mission Figs in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I picked five baskets of figs from my Mission fig tree.

I canned rosemary fig jam.

I used the water from rinsing figs to water potted garden plants. I also collected water from the air conditioner drip and used it to water potted plants. 

I picked tomatoes from the garden. I also cut rosemary, garlic chives, and Genovese basil from the garden.

I collected Danish flag poppy seeds from the garden to plant next year.

I used the whey from making Greek yogurt last week in a batch of crepes in place of the water I would have used in with powdered milk. I used some powdered milk as well (just no water) resulting in crepes with a higher protein content and no waste of the whey. 

I used 8 $1 off 2 packages of pasta to buy 16 pounds of pasta for $0.38 a pound.

I started turning the printer off for days and times when no one is printing. Several people print from it (including my husband for work) but no one needs it on unless it is being used.

My husband cleaned the dryer coil out. It wasn't very dirty, but my loads seemed to be taking a bit longer to dry than normal and I know a blocked vent can cause trouble in that way. We have a gas dryer, which costs very little to run, but time is an important factor for me as well. After the coil was cleaned loads went back to drying in their normal time.

My husband welded a handle on our side gate to make it easier to open.

We attended a free health clinic where my children received free immunizations, vision checks, and dental checks. If you're looking for something like this near you, search your city name, 2017, and "health clinic", "health fair", or "back to school fair." Some of these include free haircuts;  (if you don't already cut your family's hair at home; you can also search for back to school free haircuts). This was our first time attending a health clinic like this; I had heard about them in the past but always remembered about them a week or two after they actually took place, as while I'm thinking about school supplies sales in July, I didn't think about these other things as being in July as well.  A few internet searches turned up several of these throughout the country in August and even one in September, so you may be able to find one near you!

I took photos of my son in his Scout uniform for his upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony, rather than paying a photographer. 

July Zinnia Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I cut flowers from the garden for an arrangement in the house.


What did you do to save money last week?


Please check back later this week for my August Shopping Plans post and a refashion post featuring a maxi skirt my daughter turned into a dress!

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  • Nancy July 30, 2017

    Hello Brandy...your flowers are beautiful and I love your ideas for saving this past week. I feel as if I'm taking a frugal cooking and other ideas class this summer with you. I'm thankful you don't charge or else I probably wouldn't have gleaned so much. Thank you. A few of my frugal accomplishments this week.
    . Made homemade saltines. They were a bit hard but looked pretty. Will try again.
    . Had cracker cheese tomato basil treats for lunch.
    . Made French bread again and Basil olive oil.
    . Made fried green tomatoes from our garden.
    . Made pasta salad a few times with tomatoes..chives..basil..from the garden.
    . Made ham n cheese rosemary chives..puff pastry from things in pantry and garden.
    . Froze herbs.
    . Gathered more lavender to hang and dry.
    . Bought greenery to place in vases on tables.
    . Made spaghetti and fresh salad from garden.
    . Went to the library free books.
    . Was gifted a free microwave and dishwasher.
    They are used but new to me!
    . My husband had some unexpected hospital tests that were covered.
    . Cleaned and organuzed papers and folders and found
    some missing items and some much needed paper work for Dr needs.
    . Listen to Pandora free.
    . Had a friend stop by and play our piano beautifully
    And I so enjoyed that free.
    . We have a free symphony concert coming soon near us.
    . My daughter gifted us a free lunch twice as we were running back and forth for tests.
    . Sent out a card I found to my sister.
    . Enjoyed some peaceful moments gazing at our pond..
    The porches...listening to nature.

  • Darcy July 30, 2017

    The last time I made Greek yogurt I froze the whey in ice cube trays and then transferred the cubes to baggies for future use. I have used whey for bread baking and soaking rice and beans. I am making Greek yogurt again this week and will save the whey and use it more often. Thank you for the reminder, Brandy!

    I was able to harvest more green beans, tomatoes, kale, basil, and cilantro. I froze the green beans. We ate the kale roasted (our favorite way to eat it) and in salads. I used the basil for spaghetti sauce and cilantro was added to our tacos.

    I planted lettuce, spinach, and more kale.

    It got cool enough to turn off the air conditioning a couple of times and open the windows. That is always a blessing to me in the summertime.

    We ate all our meals at home. I am on a mission to build up our pantry from loss leaders and from what our garden produces.

    I received from work a coupon for a free entree to a favorite Mexican restaurant. We will probably use it when I am on vacation in a couple of weeks.

  • Sandra July 30, 2017

    I am so proud of you. You make my heart shine every time I read one of your heart felt posts. We are continuing to preserve fruit from our trees. I am finished with canning apricots and am now on to plums. I use the water from the fruit and from the canning kettle to water container plants, of which I have many. Our temperatures never get as high as yours, but we, too, live in a desert climate with hot dry heat and low humidity. This coming week we will be in triple digits, so every extra bit of water is a blessing for my plants.

    Congratulations on your first Eagle Scout. What did he do for his project?

  • Thanks Sandra!

    I've taken photos of his project. I know a lot of people are looking for Eagle Scout project ideas; I'll share his project on another post along with some of the photos I took this past week.

  • Cindy July 31, 2017

    Congratulations to your son and to you! I hope that you will post some of your Court of Honor ideas. My son finished his Eagle Project last month, and since he is the only Eagle in his troop this year, I am scrambling to find ideas for his Court of Honor to be held in September.

  • Kraftmomma July 30, 2017

    I accepted free tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and made salsa and pickles with items I had on hand.

    I cut my entire family's hair.

    My husband worked out at work instead of buying home gym equipment. I only bought what was needed, and bought 3 pounds of cherries for $1.99 close to going bad. I also tried new recipes in my instantpot to keep from heating up the house. Additionally, we "baked" homemade bread on our grill to have yummy homemade bread without heating up the house.

  • Francie July 30, 2017

    I think you are much better than most professional photographers, as in publication quality. ;) Congratulations on your son's Eagle Scout achievement. All your posts are so inspiring and really lovely.

  • Thanks Francie! I know I still have a ways to go to be as good of a photographer as I would like, but I am feeling pretty happy with the way his photos turned out.

  • Seriously. You should consider selling some as stock art.

  • Piggykr July 30, 2017

    I went in for my yearly health checkups only to find I had a tumor. Thankfully I used the hospital affiliated with my employer so I got a 50% discount and had less than $300 out of pocket costs. My surgery shouldn't be more than a couple thousand.

    I've spent a lot of time outside with my son catching cicadas & playing Pokémon go.

    I've cooked most of our meals and stayed home.

    I met up with a friend and we walked around the shopping mall for exercise and avoided purchase.

    On raining monsoon days I take my son to an indoor playground and get a free coffee with 2 hours purchased.

    I shopped the sales for guinea pig veggies.

    My son wanted a smoothie so I made a milkshake for him at home. He loved it.

    I made popcicles.

    We bought fizzy water and make our own lemonade instead of buying it.

    I pet sat for a friend and got 2 boxes of cereal and a bag full of my favorite candy bars in return.

    I got free tickets to a baseball game. They were $30 each if I'd bought them.

    I avoid going to the store unless I really need to.

  • Best of luck with the future surgery! You got this!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. July 30, 2017

    Praying for you!

  • PJGT July 30, 2017

    I've added you to my prayers, too

  • Linda Higgy July 31, 2017

    Positive thinking headed your way! Be strong and faithful.

  • Athanasia July 31, 2017

    Piggykr, we pray for a good outcome and speedy healing after surgery.

  • Sabrina July 31, 2017

    Saying a prayer for you and your family!

  • You know we leave our printer plugged up too and it goes for awhile without anyone printing. I'll be unplugging it now.

    I got my first tomato out of the garden today! Here is the link to my frugal accomplishments this past week:


  • Laurie in central NC July 30, 2017

    Oh, that is such a lovely flower arrangement! And the bench is a beauty too! I've been keeping my eyes on our figs, but they have a ways to go yet. I've harvested apples and peaches. With our extreme dryness, hornets have been chewing on the apples, so most are imperfect. I'm planning on making applesauce with them, so that should work well in spite of it. My husband created a garden gate by welding two together that we were given. I intend to paint it, and your post reminded me I've not shared it yet. Maybe after it's painted! I'm thankful for you and this wonderful community, and happy to be joining in here: https://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2017/07/simple-summer-meals-frugal.html

  • Stephanie N. July 30, 2017

    Hello Brandy!
    This week was full of making things from scratch. I made the white bean alfredo sauce you have listed in your recipes and it was a huge hit! I loved the flavor and will make again. I made a big stock pot of beans instead of just doing enough for the sauce so I have a half dozen baggies of frozen, prepared beans in the freezer for future use.
    I made several loads of french bread for our week. I also made a plum tart and homemade naan. I've traditionally paid $5-6 for a pack of ready made naan so being able to make it myself for less than $2 was wonderful (the higher cost of homemade stems from needing a container of plain yogurt which cost me $1)
    Most of my household has been fighting summer colds/sinus infections/and bronchitis this week. I made dinner each evening for those feeling up to eating. Since only a few servings got used, I froze containers of all the rest and have a weeks worth of frozen meals ready for future use.
    I made and froze several pastry crusts. It's not worth it to me to make a tart and only prepare enough crust for one tart. I triple my recipe (one recipe makes two crusts), divide the dough up into portions and individually freeze so I can have a handy, quick dessert for another night.
    I worked a double shift to earn extra money.
    With everyone sick I was able to turn the a/c up a few degrees.
    I found a jelly roll pan on clearance at our local La Surla Table. I'm really excited about it because it seems excellent quality. It came with the label glued to the front of the pan and I cannot get the glue residue to come off! Anyone have any suggestions?
    I also wonder if anyone knows any good resources for decently priced almond flour (almond meal)? The best price I have found around here is about $7/lb which is outrageous. I love it in some of my baked goods and I use it sparingly but a one pound bag only goes so far.

  • Melanie July 30, 2017

    For glue residue, I've always had good luck soaking the residue spot liberally with vegetable oil, and after a half hour or so, it usually comes off. If any glue still remains, add a little baking soda to the spot and scrub gently. Good luck! :)

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