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Frugal Accomplishments for the Second Week in June

Early June Flowers The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut flowers from the garden for the house for several arrangements.

June Arrangement 1 The Prudent Homemaker

I picked 1 basketful of figs, two and a half colanders full of blackberries, and apples from the garden. We've never had such a large blackberry harvest. I will be covering our bushes with sheets every year from now on to protect them from the burning sun.

I froze figs and blackberries to use later in the year.

Tomato Medley The Prudent Homemaker

I picked tomatoes and basil from the garden and made a Caprese salad

I harvested lettuce, oregano, and Swiss chard.

I sowed seeds for zinnias, Armenian cucumbers, basil, and sunflowers, in the garden.

I collected seeds from my larkspur plants.

I wanted some flowers in a bare spot in the garden. Instead of buying some seedlings, which I was really wanting to do, I dug and moved some seedlings that I had growing in another part of the garden. They may or may not make it through this shady spot in the summer (they were Johnny Jump-ups, which are more of a winter flower in our climate) but they should give beauty to that spot for a little while. I will plan on planting more Johnny Jump-up seeds (which I already have) in this spot in the fall should these die, to make for some pretty winter and early spring color.

I took off leaves from my succulents that were bolting and put them in pots to dry, with the hopes of making more succulents. I have had minimal success with this so far, but I have had some success, so I should get at least one new plant to replace the bolted ones.

I collected warm-up water from the shower in a bucket each morning and used it to water potted plants on my patio.

Our lows this week were 75ºF/24ºC. As I keep the air conditioner set at 79º, I was able to turn it off for a few hours in the early morning each day while I aired out the house before turning it back on around 8 a.m (our highs were around 105ºF/41ºC.)

I studied French using free online sources.

I listened to music on Pandora.

I earned points on Recyclebank and redeemed points for a free magazine subscription.

I made yogurt, roast chicken, steamed Swiss chard from the garden, several salads from the garden, and bean burritos.

I mended an article of clothing. I shortened and hemmed a thrift-store skirt that I bought several years ago. I cut off a daughter's pair of pants that were torn at the knee and hemmed them for shorts. 

June 2 Arrangement Detail The Prudent Homemaker

I looked over the information about the new symphony season. They have several different purchase options available to save money, including a four-performance purchase instead of the full season purchase (where you pick the four concerts you'll attend). I had been hoping to purchase this four-performance option, and they even sent me an email with an additional 10% off discount if purchased by June 5th. Unfortunately, this is not in my budget right now, so instead, I looked over the different pieces they'll be performing for each concert, decided which concert would be my favorite to attend, and decided to wait. The symphony has been sending out ads for 25% off tickets the month before each performance (in the ValPak for Las Vegas readers). If the budget allows that month, I'll purchase the least expensive seats for that performance using the coupon (should they offer this option again). With an irregular income, I don't know what our budget will be yet at that time, so waiting is the most sensible option for now.

My husband welded our trampoline frame, which was in need of mending.

June Arrangement 2 The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?


Note: To those who have asked, I will be writing a floral arrangement post. I'm just waiting for some more flowers to be ready in the garden!

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  • Oh, such beautiful pictures! I love your arrangements and I'm so glad that you'll be writing a post on them!

    My frugal accomplishments last week are as follows:
    - I made ½ dozen single-serving sized sausage & veg hand pies (, for lunches etc. for the coming week. Great way to use up leftovers – mix them all together with gravy, and cover in pie crust!
    - My friends and I went to an Escape Room to celebrate my birthday, and by sharing on social media, we were able to save 10% each off the cost of tickets and get a free drink afterwards.
    - I baked several loaves of whole wheat bread. My yeast failed (my doughs had progressively been getting less and less rise), so the loaves were pretty solid bricks, albeit still eatable. The DH and I ate two, and I cubed and air dried the third loaf to use in Brandy’s Tuscan Bread Soup in the future, or to eat with fancy balsamic as an aperitif.
    - I started a cookbook supperclub group a while ago, and this month we’re cooking from a BBQ cookbook (borrowed from the public library). My contributions were grilled corn on the cob with ancho chili glaze, and grilled garlic bread. The only item I had to buy were the corn and the baguette, as I had everything else in my pantry (and I wanted to bake the bread for the garlic bread myself but as my yeast wouldn’t rise that idea was tossed out, boo). The supperclub is a great (and frugal) way to get together with friends, while learning new skills and finding new recipes. I used some leftover packets of ketchup from a fast food place when the marinade called for ketchup. Perfect way to use them up!
    - Made a batch of strawberry granola, using strawberries I dried last summer
    - Made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t have white flour, so I just used whole wheat flour. I added in oatmeal as a) it’s healthy and b) it was on sale this week so I stocked up. I also threw in the last of the homemade sponge toffee I had made months ago (I kept it in the fridge to use to decorate cakes, etc.) and some leftover toffee bits. The chocolate was actually a Christmas gift that I didn’t like. I added in some ground flax seeds I found in my fridge that I thought I had finished, and also some ground psyllium (I bought some on the advice of my doctor but can’t eat it plain so I add it to baked goods. Better than tossing it out!) So I managed to use up a lot of little bits of things lying around, and make delicious cookies to send in to work with the DH! Total win!
    - I got a small bonus at work, and applied it straight to the mortgage!
    - I baked some chocolate graham crackers, using Brandy’s recipe as a starting point.
    - After I finished baking cookies and turned off the oven, I popped the cubed bread that I’m saving for soup, into the still hot oven to further dry out. The faster they dry out, the faster I can put them in the freezer and not leave them out to dry cluttering up the kitchen.
    - I made ice cream sandwiches using my homemade graham crackers and ice cream that was on sale this week, and popped them into the freezer for easy desserts next week.
    - Cut green onions from my regrown store bought green onions, and froze them.
    - Dehydrated a pineapple to give as a gift (oh so yummy!)
    - I cut some thyme from my balcony garden, dehydrated it, and added it to my spice cabinet. So very satisfying to grow and dry my own herbs!
    - I picked the first radishes from my garden, and added the chopped radish and the radish greens to a salad, along with some regrown green onion, and served it with my homemade ranch dressing.
    - I put up a wire trellis on one of my balcony walls, in a geometric shape, so that my peas can grow up it, while making it a pretty focal point. I’m maximizing the small balcony space as best I can, and it’s so much fun to watch it grow!
    - I made greenery broth (sort of like vegetarian bouillion) using leftover lettuce, a limp carrot, homegrown thyme, some home-dehydrated celery, and some frozen chopped onions. No waste, and delicious broth!
    - Redeemed Swagbucks for a $5 Starbucks gift card on sale
    - Turned half a loaf of my brick-like bread into a stuffing casserole. Just cubed it and added boullion, melted butter, chopped onion and rehydrated celery (reused from my greenery broth – no waste here!) herbs (including some homegrown rosemary and thyme!), etc., and baked it in the oven. Yum!
    - Planted some more nasturtium and lettuce seeds.

    And that was my week! Looking forward to learning from everyone else!

  • Athanasia June 12, 2017

    Margaret, I appreciate that you write out your post, not just put in a link.

    For you supperclub group, do you cook right at the host house or do you all bring your food prepared?

  • Thanks, Athanasia!

    Regarding the supper club, we both bring prepared food sometimes and cook it at the hostesses house sometimes; it depends on the dish. For instance, when we cooked from a French cookbook, one dish was a soufflé, and had to be cooked just before serving; or with our latest cookbook, which was all bbq, we cooked at the hostess's house but did some prep beforehand, like making the dough for the grilled pizza, or parboiling the corn so that it would cook on the bbq faster. That said, if we can prepare the dish beforehand, we do, like when I make parantha flatbreads for an Indian meal. Cooking beforehand means that we can socialize more over a leisurely dinner!

    I really enjoy the cookbook supper club. Such a great way to stretch our cooking skills!

  • Athanasia June 14, 2017

    Thanks Margaret. Our church has it's 150th anniversary next Fall so in preparation we printed up a church cookbook and will be selling it before Christmas. I'm on the anniversary committee and that would be a fun way to promote the cookbook. I know a lot of people will buy it just because but we're going to encourage folks to try recipes from the cookbook and bring it either to a potluck or as snack for meetings etc. I'm going to suggest the cookbook club idea. I know I would do it. We might have to have several. Are there like just the number of people in a club for each item on the menu? or couple per item?

  • I love church cookbooks -- such great repositories of local dishes!

    For my cookbook club, we kept it pretty small. Everyone signs up to bring a type of dish: appetizer, main, side, or dessert. Depending on how many people are able to attend, we'll add in additional sides and appetizers (there's currently only six members, but a 7th might join soon). The hostess only provides plates, cutlery, and a drink. This way we end up with a proper sit down dinner, and we all stretch our cooking skills! The hostess usually keeps the leftovers. But the concept could be expanded to a larger potluck buffet. Food and socializing are always popular!

  • Kraftymomma June 11, 2017

    We welcomed our third child into the world. Instead of eating at the hospital as we had budgeted, my husband went home for all but one meal.

    Meals my husband could cook had been planned in advance so we wouldn't be tempted to use convenience foods.

    When I didn't have wrapping paper for a wedding present, I cut up a brown paper bag and decorated it "shabby chic."

    Before going to the hospital, I bought 10 pounds of chicken on sale, cooked it in the crockpot and froze it for baby's baptism next week. We will have BBQ chicken along with several sides in the crockpot that my husband can put together. The party will be less than 2 weeks PPD due to when family will be in town.

    Due to recovery, we stayed out of stores.

  • Congratulations on your new baby!

  • Cindi June 11, 2017

    Congratulations on your new addition to the family.

  • http://Erika @ The Make Do Homemaker June 11, 2017

    Congratulations on the new family member!

  • Marybeth June 11, 2017

    Congratulations! Is it a boy or a girl?

  • Kraftymomma June 11, 2017

    Thanks all! A boy! We didn't find out gender ahead of time, so it was a nice surprise for the entire family!

  • Athanasia June 12, 2017

    Yes, congratulations on the new baby boy. I hope he takes it easy on you:)

  • Roberta in So. Cal. June 12, 2017

    Welcome to the new little guy!

  • Jenny June 11, 2017

    How lovely, fantastic news.

  • Rachel H June 12, 2017

    Congratulations! What a blessing!

  • Cindy in the South June 12, 2017


  • Peggy G. June 11, 2017

    My husband & I had a mini staycation. We were able to stay at my parents house while they were out of town for the weekend (they live about a hour away from us). My mom had purchased any groceries since they were going out of town, so she told me to pick up dinner, her treat. Instead of going out, we purchased groceries for the price of eating a meal out. These items will last us several meals during the week. We went to a play & sat in orchestra seats that we had gotten for a promotional price of $20, instead of the usual $70 price. We skipped parking Feds & travelled around by bus using our free transit cards.

  • Darcy June 11, 2017

    What beautiful flowers, Brandy! I am looking forward to your post on flower arranging.

    We are continuing our frugal efforts in the garden. Our green beans are growing nicely (this is my first time planting them!) and so are our tomato plants. Next year we plan on growing more of our own food but this was a good experiment to know what works in our yard.

    I harvested lettuce and spinach. I also planted more lettuce.

    I made Greek yogurt.

    We make our own coffee and breakfast at home each morning. In the evening we make our lunches to take with us the next day to work. On the weekends I make one big meal such as a pork roast, roast chicken, or beef roast and then we eat from it a couple of days for dinner. I have also started chopping up vegetables for the week ahead. I am always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen during the week and still have good home-cooked meals.

    My company celebrated an employee's 5th anniversary with a lunch ordered in from Olive Garden. There was enough food for everyone to eat for two days' worth of lunches. Oh, and there was cake too!.

    I mended a skirt and some other items that had torn.

    I spent less than usual at the grocery store to offset some expenses that are coming up. I will continue to do this for the month of June.

  • Sandra June 11, 2017

    As always, thank you for another encouraging post. I know your wise counsel helps keep many of us committed to faithful frugal ways. This past week I made daily salads from lettuce, arugula, and fresh herbs from our garden. We are still eating asparagus and now the peas are ready to pick, too. There will be green beans soon. We cooked all meals at home and carried snacks or beverages with us whenever we went out for a period of time. I bought a short sleeved dress for $1.49 that snaps up the front and makes a great summer house coat. I have made up bowls of succulents for the patio tables using succulents that already grow in our garden. I have been making up bouquets to set on a table on the front porch. The porch is shaded almost all day and the arrangements last very well while adding a colorful welcome by the front door. We bought four 2 lb. blocks of cheddar cheese for $2.97, a best buy. With just three of us, that will last us for three or four months.

  • Athanasia June 14, 2017

    Sandra, sounds very nice. Fresh garden salads are the best!.

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