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Frugal Accomplishments for the First Week in June

Blackberries 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested 3 colanders full of blackberries and 6 baskets full of Mission figs from the garden.

Mission Figs in basketThe Prudent Homemaker

I canned fig jam with figs from the garden. I froze blackberries and figs to use late in the year.

I harvested New Zealand Spinach, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, garlic chives, oregano, lemon verbena, and a couple of tiny bell peppers from the garden.  We had several salads from the garden.

I planted seeds for Thai basil, Armenian cucumbers, Hubbard squash, acorn squash, miniature white pumpkins, red noodle beans (this is a try yet again as the bugs have eaten almost every one of my previous seedlings), and zinnias in the garden.

I ordered some dress patterns online that were on a Memorial Day sale for my eldest and myself. I hope to make myself a few new dresses in my new size using fabric I already have on hand. My daughter will be able to use the same patterns to make some dresses for herself.

My daughter repurposed a long pillowcase to make a nightgown for herself.

I redeemed some grocery store Monopoly coupons for two free 8-ounce sour creams, a free salt, and a free pound of pasta. While there, I purchased 2 dozen eggs for $0.88 a dozen (there was a limit of 2).

My husband and I cut his hair.

I gave the baby a quick haircut. 

I shortened the sleeves on a long-sleeved dress shirt that my mom picked up for $0.50 at a garage sale for the baby.  He'll wear this shirt every Sunday and it will be nice for him to have a short-sleeved one.

We needed to replace a ceiling fan in one of our children's rooms. In our climate, a ceiling fan is essential to keeping cool, unless you're willing to spend $200 or more a month to keep the air conditioning lower (a difference of 2ºF/1ºC on my programmable thermostat is $200 more; I keep my thermostat set at 79ºF). My husband and I found a low-priced fan that came with a light kit on sale that only uses 3 lights (the previous fixture had 4). Rather than buying a new rod that matched, he spray-painted the old rod to match.

I cooked a large pot of pinto beans in the crockpot and used them to make bean and rice burritos.

I made a batch of laundry soap.


What did you do to save money this past week?






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  • ruthie June 03, 2017

    What website do you use for the online patterns?

  • I've bought online patterns before from several sites, but this time I bought McCall's and Vogue patterns from their joint site. I know Joann's has good sales on them--but they never seem to have the patterns in stock that I am looking for, so I bought them online when they went down really low instead.

  • Cindi June 03, 2017

    What a nice surprise to log on and see this posted already. We are leaving early Monday to go camping and I thought I would miss the frugal accomplishments post -- I get so inspired reading everyone's posts.
    I had to have new walking shoes. We walk 3-5 miles every day and I have plantar fasciitis, so if my shoes start breaking down, I really feel it. I found a pair I wanted at Penney’s on sale, but when I took them to the register, they rang up for the regular price. I stopped the cashier and asked about the sale price. She sent someone back to check the display and I was right. So, speaking up saved me $10. I washed my car myself instead of taking it to the car wash. Doing this saved $9. Usually I am lazy and don't like to do this, so it is a big accomplishment for me. My washing machine quit working. My husband diagnosed the problem as the pump motor. He ordered a new motor and installed it. The motor was $90, but a service call would have been much more. I am so thankful to be married to a man who is handy! Last night we attended a free program on raptors at the local state park. We got to see a great horned owl, peregrine falcon, Harris hawk and a bald eagle up close – great presentation.
    I made a Father's Day card for my FIL from supplies I had on hand.
    I baked whole wheat bread and French bread. Hung laundry to dry. Ate all meals at home and didn’t waste food.

  • Karen June 03, 2017

    On Memorial Day we attended a program at the church where my son's Boy Scout troop is based. They did the flag ceremony, and lunch was provided. We were invited to my in-laws' house for dinner and brought home a lot of leftover food, which have contributed to several meals this week.

    We stopped by the library one day this week and my children checked out a lot of books to read, now that they are on summer break.

    We participated in a garage sale and cleared out a lot of clothing and other children's items which have been outgrown. I made about $90; my children sold some of their things, too.

    Since we had leftovers, and because we spent a large part of the week preparing for the garage sale, I did not go to the grocery store at all this week.

  • I cut the kids hair this week, too. My daughter had a pillowslip dress she wore all summer one year. They're adorable!

    Here are the ways we saved:

  • Jessica June 03, 2017

    I recently found your blog and love your posts! I hope that you will help keep me accountable as we try to cut expenses so we can pay off our mortgage. Here are my frugal accomplishments for the week:
    - I went to the library to check out a few landscaping books as I am trying to landscape my new yard on my own rather than paying someone.
    -We still have not turned on our air conditioning. It's 90 degrees here today, but our house is 77 right now with the ceiling fans on. I'll open the windows at night when it cools off a bit. I also avoid cooking in the day to keep the house cool.
    - I was in a wedding this weekend. I wore a dress to the rehearsal dinner that I already had. I also wore shoes and took a clutch that I already had to the wedding.
    - I fixed a broken broom.
    -I accepted some leftover food from a pizza party. I also made my own bread and some soft pretzels for a snack. I picked another 1.25 pounds of strawberries. Then I made some strawberry jam with some strawberries I had already picked. I accepted some apple bars and jam from my grandma.
    -I've been tending to my garden, hoping for a big harvest.
    -I stayed under my weekly budget for groceries and even picked up a few extras. I've made a meal plan for the next 2 weeks that uses pantry and freezer items we already have.

  • Maxine June 03, 2017

    Jessica, we are going to be moving this fall. I have been dividing my perennial flowers so I will have some for the new house. Some of them are heeled in and others are in pots. I've dug up and potted a couple of lilac starts and I've tried my hand at starting shrubs from cuttings. I also dug up a couple of flowering shrubs and sawed them in half! My goal is to have ALL FREE FLOWERS (I plan to buy a couple of dwarf fruit trees). Since you seem to have already moved, I'd ask my friends and relatives for divisions and cuttings. I can't imagine anyone turning you down, especially if you offer to come and dig them up. My irises are in full bloom at the moment and you can dig up and divide irises from the time they finish blooming until about Labor Day. Labor Day is also a good time to divide peonies.

  • Debby in KS June 05, 2017

    I completely agree with what Maxine said. I have flowers everywhere and the vast majority were given to me. I call it my friendship garden! I think, "The irises are from Rosemary, the yellow day lilies are from Karen, the orange and brown day lilies are from the elderly lady down the street who offered me the bulbs if I went over and helped her divide them, and so on. I have 4 Hydrangeas that I got for $3 at the end of year clearance- now they're huge and beautiful. I have Asiatic lilies that I got for a quarter apiece at an end of season sale. I have mums that were all gifts. I have Bachelor Buttons from a friend's seeds from hers. And the big ones? I have 4 trees that are now taller than our house that were totally free. How? They sprouted up randomly in our yard. When we were sure they were trees,we moved them to where we wanted them (After calling 811!). Only one died. The others are spectacular. At $150 each to have good trees put in, that was our best deal yet! I thank the birds and squirrels for leaving us the seeds for such nice trees!!

  • Athanasia June 06, 2017

    We do that with trees also. My husband puts a tomato cage around them to keep them from being mowed down. Depending on where it has decided to grow he will either leave or move.

  • Jessica June 06, 2017

    We rented out first house. So, unfortunately, I could not take any of the landscaping with me. I do have some hostas already that were transplanted. The Facebook garage sale sites will usually have people giving away free ones soon. A friend has already offered day lilies, creeping Jenny, pompous grass, and more hostas. I already purchased a clematis on sale and I have Asiatic lilies that I had in a pot at our old house. I am waiting for end of year sales on some hydrangeas and lilacs. I'd also like to incorporate ferns, which I already know where I can get some for free. Beyond that, I plan on adding some boxwood bushes and some blueberry bushes (edible and they look great in the fall). Right now, I'm more focused on building the walk and making sure we are doing all the proper prep work. I found rock to build the wall for free and I think I may have found some free fill dirt. My husband and I set a $500 budget for the project and I've only spent $15 so far. We added some fruit trees prior to that, but we don't need any other trees.

  • Athanasia June 06, 2017

    Jessica, ferns can be very invasive, aggressive growers. If you don't want them moving throughout your entire garden be prepared to pull or dig them out as needed. They will spread and crowd out other plantings.

  • Jessica June 07, 2017

    I didn't know that. Thanks for the heads up! See this is why I needed those landscaping books! Haha! ;)

  • Lori @ My Vintage Whimsy June 03, 2017

    Hello Brandy and others. I used to post semi-regularly when I was living in western NC but then I moved back to my hometown nearly 2 years ago and it feels like my life has been in a perpetual state of disarray since then! I bought a house nearly a year ago and spent the first 6-8 months trying to get it updated, and I'd planned on renting my 2 guest rooms to travel nurses as I'm only 2 blocks from a hospital. Life had other plans, and I met a nice guy several months ago and things have progressed to the point where we're talking marriage. All that to say, he will be moving in shortly. Him, and for the summer months, his 3 small children. Not how we'd planned things, but his lease ends this month and his landlord is refusing to do a month to month lease, so it was either move in sooner than we'd anticipated or continue to waste many hundreds of dollars a month on a house he's barely at.

    In anticipation of the changes, I've saved money by:

    *Finding a nearly new crib, with extra parts, paperwork, mattress, and bed rail for converting to toddler bed, at a thrift store for $40. It was red, but 3 cans of dark gray spray paint later, and it looks much better. Total cost: $52. The mattress alone sells for $49!

    * Reusing twin bed frames, headboards, mattress I've had in various guest rooms of my house(s) for years. I had to splurge on some new box springs ($74 each) and I will need some fresh, little girl linens but I will shop around for the best prices

    * Reused curtains that I took from one bedroom (for the baby boy) and was able to hang them in the girls room. Bought a $5 flat sheet from Walmart that I will make into a curtain for the boy's room.

    * Borrowed an extra dresser from my parents to put in my room

    * Shopped Aldi for the usual staples: half and half, dairy, chicken pieces, paper products, fruit and veggies

    * Shopped at Sam's while with my mom, using her membership to purchase 3-pack of the body wash I prefer, some socks, and a 22 pound bag of cat food

    * Kept fans running to help keep a/c higher. Heat index the last two days was 98° so it's already pretty miserable here

    * Continued to list and sell on eBay

    * Used homemade laundry detergent as frequently as possible. Used homemade cleaners to clean shower, sinks, counters, and dust furniture

    * Shopped clearance and/or thrift stores first while looking for any items needed to go from a 1 person home to 5 person home

    I am sure there's more but I've been going nonstop since before 6 this morning and I am exhausted!! I can't wait to read everyone else's thrifty comments. Have a great weekend, friends.

  • Kraftymomma June 03, 2017

    93/7 hamburger was on sale for $1.99 a pound. I bought 32 pounds, which will last us through the summer grilling season. We bought eggs for $.39 a dozen and cheese for $.99 per 8 ounces. My husband and son went on the shopping trip to purchase limits as well.

    I am due with baby number 3 today, so I cooked up and froze 10 pounds of chicken to use for the baptism party in a few weeks.

    We only turned on the AC this week when temps reached 90 degrees. We keep the house at 79 in the summer.

    I bought used cloth diapers from a friend at a garage sale, saving 75 percent off of retail.

  • Mable June 03, 2017

    1. My most frugal accomplishment is cumulative, in that I raised all my seedlings in the garage and then husband and I spent a total of six hours a day planting them for seven days straight. Last year I spent $230 on seedlings, this year only $26 on seeds and used my own compost for the starting soil. Last year, after expenses, the garden yielded over $2,000 of vegetables and herbs. This year it should be even more, not only because of fewer expenses but because we built a few more raised beds (from scrap lumber scavenged from a friend who does construction and offered it to us free for the hauling) so have more space devoted to food. There were days when I didn't want to keep working in the garden, but I kept reminding myself that soon the worst would be over and I would be happy when we could start eating out of our backyard. (We live in Alaska, so the growing season is very short and only a few edible things come back year after year, like rhubarb and honey berries and raspberries. Also mint)
    2. I joined a foraging group and for the last three weeks we have been eating lamb's quarters, young fireweed shoots and chickweed for salad greens and in things like soup. I looked it up and these have more nutrients than commercial lettuce, so until my own chard and other greens come in, we are eating "weeds" and are thankful for them.
    3. Had a yard sale, netting over $770. SOme of the stuff was from a neighbor who moved and the day before they left the husband dropped off a dozen boxes of kitchen items, telling me we could sell or donate or keep as we saw fit but they didn't have time to "mess" with the stuff. I only wanted an immersion blender (there were 4 in the boxes!) and sold all but one box worth's of the rest of the items. The Kitchen Aide mixer alone sold for $100. Took those to Goodwill---they were actually nice things but I don't have the stomach for a garage sale more than once a year and this gave us a tax donation. What a blessing!
    4. Traded bread I baked for eggs from a neighbor.
    5. A friend's dog died and she is quite elderly and does not plan to get another pet. I thankfully accepted three 40 pound bags of dog food.
    6. There was a sale on whole chickens---five dollars each, which is the lowest I have ever seen here. There were only five left so I took them and as I was checking out the cashier asked if I wanted a rain check for a few more (I had told her they were out and I was sorry to get only five). She gave me a rain check for 15 more!! It is good for three months, which is wonderful since we have no room in our freezer for any more---had I bought more, I have a friend who was willing to hold them for me until our weather turns cold again and we have our outdoor freezer (a large rubber container) working again. Meanwhile, we will work on eating down non-essentials so there will be room when I cash the rain check in on September 1!

    The rest of my frugal stuff is the usual of reusing bags, drinking water instead of expensive pop and so on that most of us already do.

  • Andrea Q June 03, 2017

    Your garden yield is impressive and inspiring! That's an impressive savings realized by starting your own seeds, too. It's been so cold and rainy here that I'm beginning to wish I had started a few things indoors.

  • Frugality has reached new levels of excellence here as with my husband's new rate of pay (which once he switches to his regular shift instead of his "probationary period" his pay will increase by 7%) I have like no money to live on around here. So, it's been time to just get by any way necessary until things start to look up.

    My garden is starting to come together. I'm overly excited about it, but I love growing food, especially right now as the seeds are here and hopefully will pay off when they grow and produce. I can use everything I can get from the garden this year to use this winter as I need to save money somewhere and the more I get from the garden the less I have to buy later.

    I LOVE the pictures of your fruit by the way. We're still a ways off from seeing fruit around here :).

    My list for the week (and garden update) can be found here...

    Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update

  • Laurie June 03, 2017

    This is my first time posting, but I love reading your posts! I have recently quit my job and am a stay at home wife.

    I bought peaches on sale for 87c/lb that I will cut up and freeze. I have smoothies every morning and always mix and match the fruits. Whatever I can get cheap or free, I put in the freezer. Also bought a large container of plain yogurt on clearance (50% off - only paid $1.50). Since it was 2 days to expiration, I froze it in ice cube trays and then put in a bag. I'll use these in my smoothies also.

    I did an inventory of my deep freezer and refrigerator freezer and made up a spreadsheet listing everything with their purchase dates. Knowing the purchase dates is helping me to plan my meals based on the oldest items first. I have a full freezer and pantry right now, so my goal is to spend as little as possible at the grocery store. I tend to buy items on clearance even if I don't need them right now. Good practice, but I need to back off for now.

    Husband has been out of town all week, so we didn't pay anything for his work lunches or for entertainment. I have just made do with what I have and watched TV. There was a going away party for a former work associate and they paid for the lunch, so I got out of the house and saw some old friends.

    I had bought some sugar free koolaid packets on clearance for 5 cents each a while back. I have a ton of sugar free sweetener packets I got for free from work. Figured out that 24 of them equals 1 c. of sugar, so basically I made a mock version of Crystal Lite for 5 cents. Also I have lots and lots of tea that I also got for free from work and drank that all week.

  • Andrea Q June 03, 2017

    Excellent idea including the purchase date on your freezer inventory! Thanks!

  • Lisa in Georgia June 03, 2017

    My husband cut his and our son's hair.
    In preparation for our upcoming mini vacation, I made individual packages of oatmeal (just add hot water), fruit for smoothies, homemade pancakes, and seasoning packets for guacamole (bringing the avocados) and a turkey breast (frozen, bringing in the cooler).
    I printed coupons for free/discounted meals at our favorite salad bar restaurant, where we eat only when on vacation.
    I filled the car with gas at 70 cents off per gallon by using grocery points from Kroger.

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