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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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  • Ellie August 21, 2017

    To save money this past week I:
    "shopped" my gift closet for several birthday gifts and mailed them out in recycled boxes.
    used my local library for internet service and several new books and magazines
    hung all laundry to dry in the house due to allergies
    made home made citrus cleaner
    pre-made salad in mason jars to have less veggie waste
    ate most meals at home and packed snacks and drinks to take with me while running errands.
    packed 2 lunches for my husband to eat "on the road" (this is a little challenging as he is a long haul trucker without a 'fridge in his truck.
    Saturday date day was a visit to our local farmer's market, exercising together, and Scrabble post dinner at home.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful frugal week.

  • Erika August 21, 2017

    My husband brought home an awful cold last week. Two trips to doctors and Urgent Care later and he's finally feeling better. Meanwhile the kids and I are now sick. Sigh.

    My list for the week can be found here...


  • Athanasia August 22, 2017

    Erika, I am sorry to hear you are all sick. Summer is the worst time to not feel well--not fun at all.

  • Steph. August 21, 2017

    Hello! I am envious of those butternut squashes!!!

    I purchased two small star jasmine plants that were on sale for $5 each and planted them in our courtyard. Fixed some sprinkler issues so that an area of the yard will get better water and I am hopeful to plant some veggies in that area in the fall for our hot zone.

    Made homemade salsa, green jalapeno sauce, almond milk, yogurt, granola, and hummus. A lot of these homemade staple items are just on autopilot now for me and they really don't take much time now. I stocked up on some grass fed beef because it was 50% off.

    Younger son and I are taking a mini trip toward the end of the week to visit family before he heads back to college and I am planning to do this as frugally as possible. :)

  • Marivene August 21, 2017

    My grandmother always put a grape leaf in the bottom of each pickle jar to make them crisper.

    I have been dehydrating grapes along with sliced pears as they ripen. I picked a half bushel box of pears from our tree when the stem would release if the pear was lifted at a 45 degree angle. The box has been on the dining room floor, under the counter, for the last week & the pears are ripening very quickly. Most of them have wind damage from the storms last month, with subsequent insect damage, so dehydrating is a better option this year than canning.

    This morning I picked a half bushel box of notmquite ripe peaches from our big tree, to lighten the load on the branches. I thin a lot in the spring, but the weight of the fruit just pulls those branches down. Other than the branches in question no longer touching the ground, it is hard to even tell that I picked. It will not take those peaches long to ripen in the box, either.

    I have picked up ground beef & ground bison multiple times from the bargain basket at the grocery store, for $1.99 per pound, in the one pound heavy shrink wraps. All three of the brands I have bought are hormone free, organic, antibiotic free, etc. and they are usually upwards for $8 per pound. I will not pay that, but when it is in the bargain basket, I do not pass it up, either. Some has gone to our daughter, & some is in our freezer.

    I continue to knit on presents for the holidays - little doll dresses & doll blankets - & to order the things I am buying on sale & with coupons. Most of them have already arrived, & just need wrapped.

  • You're the one who gave me this tip! And it is great! I love it! I use it all the time now!

  • Marivene August 22, 2017

    My grandma would be proud!

  • Athanasia August 22, 2017

    It is just one of those little things you always do but don't think of mentioning because you just think it is common knowledge.

  • Jessica August 21, 2017

    This week was back to work for me. We will see an increase in gas now that I am working again, but my salary is well worth the extra spent in gas. My husband is a carpenter so he must travel to wherever the job is. Luckily, he will be completing a kitchen remodel for the next couple of months on a house just a few miles from ours. So that should help offset the gas expense for a little while!

    My garden is producing massive amounts of food right now. So we are eating everything we can and preserving the rest. This week, I canned 7 pints of pickle relish, 7 jelly jars of pepper jelly, 5 jars spaghetti sauce, and 21 pints green beans. We are also eating watermelon from the garden this week. I blanched broccoli and froze peppers as well. And I was able to give away some green beans, as I had already canned quite a bit before this last round. At this point it is more than enough to get us through the year. I also shared a couple zucchinis.

    I picked 110 ears of sweet corn yesterday. I will freeze all of this corn and it will last us over a year. The patch still has lots of corn left, so I will give some away and we will eat fresh corn on the cob as much as possible until the patch is done. Apples should be ready within the next week, so then I will get started on canning applesauce and apple pie filling.

    We ate dinner at my parents house a couple nights this week. Breakfast was provided the first two days of work last week. I couldn't eat all the food, so I took the muffins back to my office. They are individually wrapped. I added them to my snack drawer.

    My husband also hand washed his truck rather than paying for a car wash.

    I only bought milk and some potato chips for groceries this week. I also bought two dresses at 40% off.

    Thank you again for all you do on this blog. You are so inspiring and a constant reminder that there is always something else we can be doing.

  • Lisa August 23, 2017

    What a blessing to have such a harvest!

  • Janell in Georgia August 21, 2017

    I have been reading, but have not commented in quite a while. But these last 2 weeks have been great on savings. First my husband's sunglasses needed new lenses. The company will replace the lenses for a lot less than buying a new pair. They are name brand and rather expensive, but he works outside and they have lasted about 3 years. Considering the work he does, 3 years is great. Anyway, I sent them back and they no longer make that style. They offered me any pair of glasses they had in stock for a fee of $11.95. Say what? Their glasses run about $150-$250.
    I'm home all day by myself and do not turn lights on. My husband always asks how I stand it. It's not the only thing I do to conserve energy though. We have budget billing for power. This was our anniversary month to recalculate our payment for the next year. I opened my bill on Friday and it said BALANCE DUE $0. And our payment each month will drop $17.
    This one hurts but glad I figured it out after a year. My daughter purchased a car June 2016 and got her own insurance because she graduated college and was moving out. I had her old car removed from our insurance since we were giving it back to my brother (yes, he gave their old car to her when she turned 16). I did not realize until last month that she was actually still listed on our insurance. My payment was almost $50 less this month. I don't know if it will continue to be that much less or if that was a prorated payment. But I was excited.
    See, my husband and I haven't been on a vacation by ourselves since we got married in 1991. We are always with family or friends. And the only vacation we normally get is a week of camping/fishing with about 15-20 of his family members. So, in November we are going on a short cruise. Passports are not necessary, but if something happened we could not come home by plane without one. My parents are in their 80s so I feel a passport should be purchased. I have saved enough money this month to almost pay for them. To pay for the cruise, we have been purchasing Carnival gift cards as Kroger when they have 4x fuel points. I have filled my diesel truck up 3 times at $1 off which saved me about $75.

  • Ellie August 25, 2017

    Have lots of fun on your cruise. If it is your first one, look for cruising tips online. They helped plan my cruise not rack up lot's of onboard expenses. It is so great to have someone make your bed each day as well as enjoy the dining service. - Just like going to a fancy restaurant every night!

  • Darcee August 21, 2017

    I don't understand Swagbucks. I have tried it but I guess I am just not getting it.
    I made some cleaning spray, and homemade laundry soap with some old ingredients I found. I made granola, cooked up several pounds of ground turkey at once so I don't have to keep using the stove top.

  • Janell in Georgia August 21, 2017

    I can't figure them out either, Darcee.

  • momsav August 21, 2017

    Darcee, Janell in Georgia, I had a hard time figuring it out, too. It's boring, truth be told. I finally decided that I needed to do other things to earn extra money. It's definitely not for everyone! I wouldn't feel too bad about it.

  • Holly August 21, 2017

    I almost gave up on Swagbucks when I realised that (1) I am obviously not in a desireable demographic for nearly all surveys and (2) they drastically reduced the number of Swagbucks I could earn per minute of video watching. My searches on my laptop are still linked to Swagbucks.com so I surprise myself from time to time with a few Swagbucks. But I haven't been using my laptop as often since the case broke which rendered it a very stationary laptop so that I can retain the ability to plug in its charger. I need to remember to place online orders whenever possible by going to the store via Swagbucks.com to get the 1%-3% back in Swagbucks that are offered by the various merchants. I forgot about that feature for several months. Oops.

    But I got a very welcome surprise when I checked to see how many Bing.com points I had accumulated during the last several months without any effort at all. $45!!! So far, I have cashed out $5 as an Amazon gift card, and $10 as a Starbucks card. I now have a $31 balance, most of which will be ending up in my Amazon account. What a happy surprise.

  • Holly, do you find Bing rewards you better? I have wondered about it. Perhaps I should switch!

    I agree with mosav--it IS boring. Sometimes one needs the little something, especially if you can't do much else, but it is not really any fun at all. I feel the same way about taking surveys for another company. I'm not delighted with it either, and it's not much money for the time, so it's a hard call.

  • Holly August 22, 2017

    It isn't an either/or choice. It is easy to get 25 cents or more a day in a few minutes by going to bing.com and doing the daily fact-based quizzes, catching up on the news, and then doing enough additional browses to make your daily maximum of 150 browsing points (300 daily browsing points this month only). You can get more points by using Edge for an hour a day, but I haven't done that yet. $7.50 a month or a bit more isn't going to make anybody rich, but I view it as getting paid a little to be informed and entertained. I linked my Chrome browser on my laptop to Swagbuck for searches, but haven't done so for other browsers I have installed on my laptop or any browsers on my tablets. If I wanted to earn points watching Swagbucks videos, something I haven't done in months, I would go directly to swagbucks.com on my laptop's chrome browser and watch them from there. When they had introductory language lessons as an option for the videos, I liked being able to make a few cents while learning some phrases for travel.

  • I bet you could dry green beans fast too with your climate -Mine are in the dehydrator right now. Here are my frugal ways this week:http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2017/08/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-82017.html

  • I never seem to be able to plant enough! They really like humid weather and cooler temps, so even the yard-long types that are recommended for here are a challenge as the leaves often burn.

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