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Frugal Accomplishments For The Third Week of August

August Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I picked red noodle beans, butternut squash, Armenian cucumbers, grapes, Swiss chard, and a few tomatoes from the garden.

Oregano Drying The Prudent Homemaker

I cut oregano and basil from the garden to dry. My drying process is simple: I rinse the herbs and lay them to dry on a cooling rack. Our climate is very dry and the bit of the humidity that we have had from the passing storms is gone, so our humidity runs between 5 and 10%. I let these air dry and it takes 1 to 2 days for them to be completely dry. In a more humid climate, it may take up to a week before your herbs are dry this way. It uses no power and is very simple, which I love!

I canned a batch of dill pickles with the cucumbers. I added a grape leaf from the garden to each jar to help them to be crisper.

I was given some onions and some bell peppers that were past their prime. I used them with cucumbers from my garden and spices I had on hand to can sweet pickle relish. The timing was perfect as we had just used our last jar of relish in tuna melts the previous week.

I cooked meals in my solar oven every day.

Baby Lizard The Prudent Homemaker

Wren caught a baby lizard in the garden this past week.

I took cuttings from my Boxleaf euonymus and Greenspire euonymus bushes and started them to root. I took several as I know they won't all take. I lost several bushes in the garden due to the extreme heat and sun this summer. I know it will take 4-5 years to get the bushes large enough to replace the ones that died, but it will save me the money on new ones. I will move any that any take root into the garden sometime in November or December when the weather cools.

I saved $6 in electricity over the week before last. The electric company had estimated my bill to be $415 for this month. With 4 days left, they're now estimating it to be $375. I always challenge myself to make the number much lower than they predict. This is our highest electric bill for the year.

I made a pair of earrings for myself using beads and findings I had on hand.

I mended and modified a hand-me-down dress that my girls received a few years ago.

Making a Casting The Prudent Homemaker

For a merit badge, my husband taught my son how to make a mold, and then to make a casting from it. Before we were married, my husband was a mold maker for the movie industry; it was fun to see him teach Ezrom this process We had all of the supplies on hand..

I had a couple of date nights at home with my husband.

My husband worked from home two days, saving gas to drive to his office and back.

I used Recyclebank points to renew a subscription I got for free from them last year to Cooking Light magazine. Now I have another free year to enjoy reading.

I redeemed 2200 Swagbucks for a $25 Lowe's gift card. I am saving up cards to use to purchase supplies for some projects at home.

After watching the short video, "The Potential of the Piano" as a family this week, my eldest found a free pdf of the sheet music here. (You can also download a free MP3 of this pretty song at the same link).  Winter likes this song so much she is considering using it as a recital song.

We went swimming at my sister-in-law's house. On the way home, we stopped at the library, where we enjoyed the art exhibit (I shared a photo over on Instagram), checked out books, and made note of some upcoming activities that we are interested in attending.


What did you do to save money last week?



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  • Oh no ...I guess we all have unique problems with our gardens. Have a good day Brandy and thank you for always letting me comment and leave my link here.

  • Julie T August 21, 2017

    Busy last 2 weeks!!

    Garden is consuming a lot of time.

    Canned 13 pints green beans, 8 pints brown sugar carrots, 7 pints regular carrots, 7 pints bread and butter pickles, 6 pints pickled jalapeños, 6 pints dill pickles, and 6 half pints pickle relish. I also froze 10 pints shredded zucchini and 7 pints sautéed mixed summer squash. Plus the weeding and watering. Tomatoes are loaded but just starting to turn. Late this year

    Kept to my $50.00/week for groceries. That is for 2 people. I buy as much organic as possible. And I need gluten free.

    Found some meet deals in the markdown bin. Ground pork, $1.50 per pound x 2 pounds, chicken tender $2.00 for a pound, and $2.50 for kielbasa sausage.

    Made all meals at home- meatballs, mashed potatoes, hash browns, Irish coddle, hamburgers on the grill, pulled pork, which also morphed into pulled pork nachos and a pulled pork and potato casserole, zucchini brownies and zucchini muffins (gluten free), homemade bread for the hubby, salads, and caprese salad.

    Sewed some clothes for my grand daughters, cut out a nightgown for myself for winter.

    Had my 4 grand kids last week. But we stayed close to home and did free things-swimming at the beach, splash pad, playgrounds, and picnics. Did go camping 2 nights. Made all our meals, canoed, swam, and hiked. Fun time!!

    Cleaned a couple of closets. Filling boxes for the thrift store.

    Need to start working on Christmas gifts.

    Have a great week!

  • Laurie in AZ August 21, 2017

    I had to look up what Irish Coddle is. It sounds delicious and I will try making that this fall. I learn something new on this site all the time! Thanks.

  • Athanasia August 23, 2017

    It sounds like a nice variation on stew but not till it is colder out. The wikipedia said it has sausage in it. What type of sausage do you recommend?

  • Juls Owings August 22, 2017

    Thanks Julie T...now Hubby wants to know if he can have a Full fry so we can have leftovers to make Irish coddle LOL;) Been a long time since I have done either.:)

  • Mrs. T August 21, 2017

    Those Armenian cucumbers are impressive!! I must look into those for next year.

    As far as frugality:
    I cut all five boys' hair last week.

    Found two pairs of "almost" new shoes for my boys at a garage sale totaling $7. Also found a brand new Ralph Lauren long sleeve collared shirt for my oldest for $1. He will wear it for Christmas.

    Was not able to hang much laundry outside due to the rain, but the cooler weather meant no AC. So the costs balance themselves out.

    Made a 1 gallon jug of my all-purpose cleaner that I use for just about everything.

    Packed my husband's breakfast and lunch every day.

    I was given several cucumbers and two cantaloupe.

    Bought 3 tubs of 48 ounce ice cream for $1.99 each, normally marked for 4.99. Will use for my son's birthday and general desserts when it's too hot to bake.

    My little boys harvested more cherry tomatoes for salad.

    Made hamburger buns to go with the ground beef purchased at $1.87/lb the previous week.

    I do have a question if anyone can help… I made a batch of yogurt that went wrong, too liquidy. However I was hoping that I could do something with it? Popsicles? Anyone have ideas? Much appreciated and greetings from Michigan!

  • Cindi August 21, 2017

    Your runny yogurt would be good in smoothies. And popsicles. As the liquid in recipes calling for milk -- would make them a little tart, which could be good.

  • Laurie in AZ August 21, 2017

    Yes, I would use in smoothies. You can freeze in ice cube trays and just take out what you need as you need them.

  • Mrs. T August 21, 2017

    Never thought to freeze it.

  • Mrs. T August 21, 2017

    Thank you, Cindi!

  • PJGT August 21, 2017

    I strain mine to make a spreadable cheese (add spices) of Greek yogurt...also, save the liquid for baking or smoothies.

  • Mable August 21, 2017

    Use instead of buttermilk in recipes. Spice it up and use as a marinade for tough chicken.

  • Mrs. T August 21, 2017


  • Ellie's friend from Canada August 22, 2017

    Make a ranch style salad dressing out of it. I would put some chives, a little garlic, some dried parsley. You could also use it instead of sour cream with some browned (sauteed) hamburger meat, some mushrooms, some paprika and make a fake stroganoff. My first 2 batches in my bargain Cuisinart did not turn out well -- the first curdled and was quite foul (I meticulously followed the directions), the second was too thin. The third, just ready this morning, is very tasty and is great. The second one I drank. This one I've eaten for breakfast. With your thin yogourt I would put oatmeal in a mason jar and add some of the yogourt and leave it overnight and add fruit for breakfast. Good luck.

    On the third batch, I added 1/4 cup of skim milk powder (I could not get whole milk powder) to the milk and starter yogourt and that did the trick.

    You could even peel and cut up your cucumbers, slice them, salt them, leave them in a bowl for a half hour then squeeze extra moisture out of them. Then add some dill and a bit of your thin yogourt and have a nice side dish for a hot day.

  • Athanasia August 23, 2017

    Friend, is that the rolled oats you put in with the yogurt? Uncooked, right?
    How much for one serving?

  • Chris M August 24, 2017

    Hi Athanasia, I'm not Ellie's friend, but I do make a lot of overnite oats! You should be able to find numerous variations online. I always use regular oats and especially like the extra thick ones -- seems to give it more "body." I start with 1/3 to 1/2 cup oats. I also add either a tablespoon of oat bran or Scottish oat cereal to make it a bit more creamy. Then I add lots of optional ingredients -- brown sugar, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds, and some kind of fresh or dried fruit in small pieces. All of this goes in a mason jar. I add the same amount of milk (can be non-dairy) as I started with in oatmeal plus half as much (for 1/2 cup oats -- add 3/4 cup milk). I shake/stir it up, put a lid on it, and put it in the fridge overnite. Next morning, I top it off with a bit more "creamer" (1/2 & 1/2, alt. milk creamer, or more milk/non-dairy milk) and dig in. I can take the jar to work or eat it at home. I gave this to my 6-year old granddaughter one morning -- she looked at the jar, looked at me, and asked, "don't you have any bowls?" LOL! You can use yogurt in place of the equal amount of milk to oats, or less. Then make up the difference with additional liquid depending on how thick your yogurt is. It's a really handy thing to do, if you can remember to do it the night before! Hope this helps.

  • Athanasia August 25, 2017

    Chris, thanks for the recipe. I will try it.

  • It works well in popsicles with some fruit. And I have used it in curries, stroganoff, etc.

  • Steph. August 21, 2017

    I would add a little stevia (or honey) and eat it with fruit or granola. YUM! I have been making yogurt now for a while and each batch seems to come out a little bit thinner or thicker (I use the crockpot method, nothing fancy). The last batch I made was SO thick...it was amazing. But still not exactly sure how I achieved that! :)

  • Athanasia August 22, 2017

    Mrs. T, we use plain yogurt all the time to replace buttermilk--in baking cakes, muffins, corn bread, sour cream--in curry or stroganoff, on top of potatoes, in cucumber salad, also in baking when they ask for sour cream, make frozen yogurt--we add usually mashed bananas and nuts or we add orange juice concentrate and grated chocolate. We have a hand crank mixer. I actually like it on the looser side, so I never buy or make the Greek yogurt. Someone suggested ranch dressing too. That is a good use also, either with the dry mix or your own seasonings. I also use it to moisten in place of mayonaise or in addition to just to cut down on the mayo...in things like deviled eggs, tuna melts, 7 layer salad, veggie pizza, dill dips. We use it to make the cucumber sauce for Greek food and also for the raita for Indian food. We always serve to top rice pilaf with shish kebab. Oh, we've used it on waffles with fruit in place of whipped cream. And we all eat it as is, no sugar or other sweetener added.

    I just bought 4 quarts of short dated organic nonfat plain for .99 each at the store and that will really not last us that long at all. I hope you found enough uses for it and may your next batch turn out to your liking.

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