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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Thai Basil Seedlings The Prudent Homemaker 

I pulled the Thai basil plants (above) from the grass that had grown on their own. I'll replant them in the garden this week.

I harvested colander of tiny tomatoes, 4 1/2 butternut squash (2 decent-sized ones, 2 tiny ones, and half a tiny one; the other half was bug eaten), green onions, garlic chives, basil, and Swiss chard from the garden.

My eldest daughter applied for four scholarships.

My eldest son took a free ACT prep class.

I mended a sandal.

I added water to my lotion bottle to get out the remaining lotion. It yielded me a week's worth of lotion.

We had a surprisingly humid week. I was able to collect several gallons of water each day from the air conditioner drip, which I used to water potted plants in the garden.  On Thursday night we got a few minutes of rain, during which I went out and moved buckets to catch the rain. It rained a bit on Friday morning as well, so I was able to collect more rainwater in buckets and turn off the sprinklers and drip irrigation for the day (it's always nice when it rains on my assigned watering day!)

My husband and I enjoyed a date out using a gift card that we were given.


What did you do to save money last week? Did you try something new?



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  • LSM September 12, 2017

    Struesel topping for banana bread? Do you have anything particular to share? I would love to find a little cheaper option than nuts. My children love banana bread but I don't love the cost of all the nuts theyneant to put on!

  • Jeannie September 13, 2017

    LSM, I pulled out my recipe but after looking at it, I am not sure it would be much cheaper since it calls for one stick of butter. I only use it as a special treat because of the extra sugar it adds. I have cut it in half and spread it thinner over the top of the pie. The recipe came from an aunt who would make a year's worth of apple pies in the Fall during harvest time and freeze them ready to bake. She put it on top of the pie instead of a pie crust. It was one of my uncles favorite desserts.

    Apple pie topping
    1 stick of butter, melted
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 cup flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Mix all together and spread over apple pie. It will bake into a crispy topping. Very decadent.

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  • Juls Owings September 14, 2017

    I do this with apple and cherry pies... with apple I will also squirt a bit of caramel ice cream topping and with cherry I do chocolate ice cream topping. I've tried the "drink" mix type and Hubby saves it's too thin.

  • Jeannie September 16, 2017

    Gosh this sound delicious! I wish I could eat at your house.

  • Laurie in AZ September 11, 2017

    Sunflower seeds would be good in zucchini muffins too. Don't know if they are cheaper tho.

  • Jeannie September 12, 2017

    I can get sunflower seeds very cheap compared to walnuts. They even come in different flavors so I might try the honey roasted flavor.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Mo September 11, 2017

    Jeannie - maybe sunflower seeds (unsalted) or pumpkin seeds (sometimes also called pepitas, again unsalted) could be substitutes for the walnuts at a lower price per pound?

  • Jeannie September 12, 2017

    I have seen pumpkin seeds but have never priced them. Brainstorm idea - I toast the big squash seeds and they are really "pumpkin seeds". Figuring out how to use them would be FREE! These ideas are getting better and better.

  • Athanasia September 12, 2017

    Jeannie, the pepita is the inside of the pumpkin seed with the husk removed. Normally, they are expensive.

  • mable September 12, 2017

    There are a number of pesto recipes that suggest substituting bread crumbs for the nuts. I tried it and have not used nuts since. MUCH cheaper and one more thing to do with stale bread.

  • Jeannie September 13, 2017

    Mable, REALLY! Using bread crumbs! I will definitely give this a try. I am not sure the walnuts give much of a flavor to pesto anyway because the fresh basil is strong. The walnuts might just be a filler to make the pesto thicker. I always have stale bread!

  • Sandra September 13, 2017

    I have also found that you can substitute other nuts for pine nuts in pesto, but have never tried bread crumbs. I do mix other greens with the basil. I have found that a 50/50 mixture of basil and other greens works well. I've used both parsley and kale with basil and still get a good flavored pesto.

  • Jeannie September 16, 2017

    Thank you for the idea of adding other greens to pesto. Sometimes the basil flavor is overwhelming depending on when I pick it. I don't know why it is different, or if I am doing something different, or the weather makes it change, but adding other greens would work. I am new at making pesto. Last year was the first time I had ever made it or even tasted it. Since I can't eat sugar, and all store brands and restaurants used sugar, I could not try it. Now, I LOVE IT and grew extra basil plants to make more for this winter.

  • LD September 14, 2017

    And the sunflower seeds in pesto are very good....

  • Tami September 11, 2017

    I know you asked for a walnut substitute but I can not think of one that is much cheaper but maybe cut the amount down from 1/2 cup to say 1/3 cup? Also, wanted to throw it out here that I prefer zucchini bread, or any quick bread for that matter without nuts added. I have made a few recipes that say to butter the pan then use a sugar/cinnamon mix as you would if you were flouring the pan. It makes it really yummy! Then I will sprinkle a bit on top too. You could use raisins or chocolate chips as an add in for variety? Not sure of the price difference.......

  • Jeannie September 12, 2017

    I will probably cut back on the recipe some after I try it the first time. We will have a taste testing event. I love taste testing contests and they can vote on which way they like it the best. Usually though, everyone likes it a different way. They will all probably vote on all chocolate chips, sugar coating topping and leave out the zucchini.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Cindy in the South September 12, 2017

    Wow! Nuts are expensive! I usually harvest pecans off the side of the road, or where they fall on sidewalks here. Other than that, I have used sunflower seeds purchased at Tractor supply (which is actually for birds for but I figure sunflower seeds are sunflower seeds)......I also will leave nuts out and use raisins, or prunes slices very small, instead.

  • Jeannie September 12, 2017

    Shopping for food at Tractor Supply! I have a Tractor Supply store in town, very close by. I don't care if they are for birds. The next time I am out I will stop by there and see what they have. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

  • Athanasia September 12, 2017

    It must be a thing...our farm store also carries nuts cheaper than the grocer. All kinds, not just the "bird" sunflower seeds.

  • Terry calkins September 13, 2017

    Jeanne. I substitute sun flower seeds for nuts in my cookie and bread recipes as well as pesto. I can buy them in bulk areas for 1.99 a pound

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