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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker


Thank you, everyone, for your kind and encouraging comments and emails last week. I really enjoyed them!

Here's what we did to save money last week:

My husband cut my hair for me. It took all of 3 minutes--less time than it would have taken me to gather my purse and keys and get in the car to go somewhere to have it cut--and it didn't cost me anything either!

I gave the baby a haircut.

My husband cut his hair.

I harvested basil, green onions, Armenian cucumbers, Swiss chard, a handful of almonds from our new almond tree that I planted in spring (it's tiny still),  a few tomatoes, and pears from our garden.

I canned a batch of relish.

I planted seeds from the Armenian cucumbers I picked to replace a bunch of vines that died this past week. It's still hot enough to pick come November, so I may be able to harvest again around November. I'm hoping it's not too hot for these to germinate; it may be.

Olive branches and pears The Prudent Homemaker

We had a small bit of rain, right during the eclipse! I put out buckets and collected over 5 gallons of water from the roof runoff. I used this to water my potted plants in the garden. 

I collected warm-up water from the shower and used it to water potted plants as well.

The rain brought a return of humidity and cooler temperatures for a few hours, allowing me to turn off the air conditioner for a few hours. Once the air conditioner was back on, I was able to collect more than 10 gallons of water from the air conditioner drip.

I reprogrammed our thermostats to 80ºF (26.6ºC) at night. I had them set at 79º. This will make a slight difference in our electricity usage. We'll be using the air conditioner well into October; it's going to be well over 100º all of September (it was 109º here Saturday and 113º (45ºC) here Sunday).

We enjoyed swimming at my sister-in-law's house. 

I went to the library book sale and spent $4 on several used books for the children (several of which will be used for school). I love building my library inexpensively!

There is a local play audition that is a collaboration between two churches here. Several of my children want to audition. Before auditions, they are hosting two free workshops for children to learn how to audition (which my children attended this past week) as well as one on acting, which my children will attend next month.

My husband and I enjoyed two dates out using gift cards that we were given.

What did you do to save money last week?


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  • Rhonda A. August 29, 2017

    Cindy, you can use any type of squash, any type of beans and any type of corn you'd like. A poultry based broth or vegetable broth would work best, whatever you have on hand is fine. Most recipes on-line call for things like onions and other seasoning to be added, which you are welcome to include. I didn't for mine, since early pioneers had very little variety in their gardens when they first started out in our area (potatoes, turnip and the 3 sisters mainly). Most of the seasoning for the batch I made came from the delicious homemade poultry stock, made from chicken carcasses, turkey carcasses plus all the juices and leftover bits of stuffing from the pan, the giblets & neck from the turkey, whatever veggie peelings/scraps I had saved in a freezer bag, an onion and a couple whole dried bay leaves thrown in for good measure. The soup is a complete, nutritious, balanced and very frugal meal!

  • Terri C September 01, 2017

    You can make that substitute, but might be interested to note that our canned 'pumpkin' is actually not pumpkin at all. We've been eating canned squash all these years!

  • Rhonda A. September 02, 2017

    Thus why you can substitute canned pumpkin (make sure it is not pumpkin pie filling, though). It's all squash, no matter what type you use. One of my co-workers baked a "pumpkin" pie at work using the heritage squash from our gardens. It tastes great!

  • Athanasia August 29, 2017

    Happy Birthday to you Rhonda! Enjoy all the treats!

  • Rhonda A. August 29, 2017

    Thank you, Athanasia! Have to admit, that cheese is pretty darn good!

  • Juls Owings August 29, 2017

    I need to make a note of the 3 sisters soup. I've grown 3 sisters before and never thought about putting them together. I have dehydrated zucchini and dehydrated yellow squash right now in the pantry.

  • Rhonda A. August 29, 2017

    In the early 1800s, canning jars had not been invented yet. Most pioneers had to travel over very rough terrain, so crockery pots didn't always travel well. Most early pioneers would dry much of their harvest to preserve it for winter, including the corn, beans and squash. I would think the yellow squash might be better for this soup, but a combo of the two might taste good as well! It's a pretty basic soup, so feel free to experiment by adding different squash and beans, whichever are your favourites or what you have on hand.

  • Cindy in the South August 30, 2017

    Update: I made your soup because it was rainy last night, and using the "spirit" of the pioneers to use what I had on hand...lol, I used pumpkin, beans, and corn...but mine were all canned. I added salt, and chicken broth (made with bullion, because that is what I had on hand)...it was delicious (I admit I cheated and added a little sugar because I always do when I cook canned corn)!!!! Thanks so much! Since I had purchased the can of pumpkin for 10 cents, on sale last year, and the can of beans, and corn, were 50 cents a piece, it was a very cheap and good soup. I will be making it again!

  • Rhonda A. August 30, 2017

    I just had a request from one of my co-workers to make the soup again before we finish for the season. I'm planning to make it on Sunday. We also discussed having those working in the houses make things to go with it, so we can all enjoy a nice, homemade lunch.

  • Becky August 30, 2017

    Our weather is still extra hot--I'm looking forward to fall!

    I've been canning, canning, canning, too. I will be interested in seeing what you do with your peach juice.

  • Rhonda A. August 30, 2017

    Becky, I'm hoping to make and can up some peach syrup to use on pancakes or waffles, but I'm having a hard time finding a low sugar recipe. I can make a low sugar peach jelly using the no sugar needed pectin, if nothing else. We struggle with diabetes, so I really don't want or need high sugar products, even if they are homemade. So, if anyone has any suggestions on how to make a low sugar syrup that can be canned, I'd be interested in hearing from you!

  • Athanasia August 31, 2017

    Rhonda, I meant to give you an update earlier but forgot. We did use the rag dolls as a craft for the Wednesday night reading club activity. They set up 3 long church tables in the hall , laid out all the supplies. She had a couple examples to follow including a boy version. The boy one had braided legs and was in blues, grays, beige, and browns etc. 34 children participated. Thank you for the idea.

  • Rhonda A. September 02, 2017

    Wow, that's a lot of children! Hope they all enjoyed making the dolls.

  • Mary August 28, 2017

    Hello all! Last week I was home most days. Only went out for Mass and a doctors appt. during both times out, I did grocery shopping.
    I made banana nut muffins for the first time, which I will make again but smaller.
    We watched a free movie on tv one night.
    All meals were made at home and my husband took leftovers for lunch.
    At the end of the week, I hurt my back and was not able to do much for two days. I am doing a lot better now. Have a good week all.

  • Athanasia August 30, 2017

    Mary, I am glad your back improved so quickly. Aches and pains are no fun when there is lots to do.

  • Mary August 30, 2017

    Thank you! It's a reminder as I get older, to be more careful reaching and bending.

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden August 28, 2017

    I have enjoyed going through your comments too.
    Sometimes I pick up something that helps or encourages.
    We are harvesting a lot of our garden this month. It's been a great year. http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2017/08/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-82717.html

  • SJ in Vancouver BC August 28, 2017

    I want to say Thanks, as well, for all your work you do on this blog. I don't always write each week but your posts are always an encouragement.
    The green beans have started to come in. My first picking yielded enough for dinner and four servings for the freezer. I'm also enjoying the 2nd harvest of strawberries. Also picked: cherry tomatoes, summer squash, chard, cucumber, hot peppers, green sweet pepper and beets. Some neighbors were away and I watered their gardens. With permission, I picked some more cucumber and hot peppers. All of these were canned. It's amazing what three small garden plots will produce - about 4ftX 8ft for each.
    Other savings - not going to the thrift store; turning off lights every time I left the room; no air conditioning for most of the week; eating all meals at home and working on eating down my pantry/freezer.
    The not-so frugal. My washer needs to be replaced. I bought what I could afford and it's not worth trying to repair it.

  • Nancy August 28, 2017

    Dear Brandy..love your table setting...very fresh and seasonal. Thank you again for your wisdom. Here are a a few frugal accomplishments .
    . Baked French bread and made homemade potato soup
    On a cooler evening.
    . Picked more basil..thyme..rosemary to dry.
    . Made basil oil...basil mayo..
    . Made a round loaf of oatmeal honey bread .first time
    . Gathered fresh stems of leaves to fill house vases
    . Pulled out simple decor for Fall of things I have.
    . Gave a gift to friend in hospital using things I have
    .Re did my front porch chairs cushions..by covering with large pillow cases and adding orange n white pillows
    . Made all meals at home
    . Colored my hair. Did my nails
    . Company coming this week...prepared homemade
    Biscotti to enjoy with coffee..almond filled short bread cookies..brownies to have for dessert.
    . Husband having a serious angiogram this week..plan on taking my coffee and snacks along to hospital. Simple
    Meal chicken salad prepared ahead in fridge.

  • Athanasia August 29, 2017

    Nancy, I pray for the best possible result to your husband's angiogram.

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