Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products/services I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Ah, June, a beautiful month of pre-summer! I have been thoroughly enjoying our lovely weather, but summer is almost here weather-wise so the air conditioning will be on more and the humidity will keep me indoors more than usual. In the meantime, I am going to embrace the season as it is!
I remembered to jot down some frugal homemaking notes throughout last week so I have a few things to report that will hopefully inspire you and give you new ideas!
*We amazingly stuck to our monthly menu plan again this week. We’re doing well with this new idea, and I plan to continue it into July. I may even copy the exact same menu plan since it has summer type meals. This has saved us a lot of money and personally has saved me a lot of time this month so I’m calling it a win.
*My younger daughter and I planted some herb seeds and have them gracing the front porch. She is 13 and has a summer bucket list. I had no idea planting a garden was on her list so when I asked if she wanted to help me plant some herb seeds, I was actually surprised that she was so excited and jumped at the chance! And then she told me why, and my heart melted. We planted rosemary, basil, oregano, bee balm, thyme and parsley. I had been saving some tin food cans from vegetables for this exact purpose so we used those. They are arranged on a small tiered plant stand at the corner of our front porch, and I think they look lovely. I’m hoping to bring any of them inside that can possibly overwinter, which might only be the rosemary.
*I was tempted to purchase some items online on more than one occasion recently. Amazingly I was able to talk myself out of all purchases, as none of them were needs. I recently started adding items to a future shopping list in my homekeeping notebook and it seems to be helping me not make impulse buys. The list for July’s shopping is getting long due to this, but I know by then I will be able to start marking items off the list since I tend to talk myself out of buying most things if I wait a bit.
*My husband has taken lunch with him every day this month, and that is a record for us. It’s all because I have time to do it and the energy to do it since I’m no longer working. God bless all those homemakers who also do a paid job! He’s mostly been taking ham and cheese sandwiches along with a PB&J which he sometimes eats for breakfast. I also send him chips, and have banned the rest of the family from eating those so I can only buy 1 bag per week for his lunches. (I do buy pretzels for the rest of the family, but they are ⅓ the price of chips at ALDI.) I try to have something special to send with his lunch, such as fruit or cookies. And if we have leftover muffins, those get sent with him also. He has been working on job sites without access to a microwave lately, although sometimes he does get a project where no one is living in the home currently but has a microwave so maybe he can get away from sandwiches soon! I do try to break it up a bit with other types of sandwiches like tuna salad or egg salad so it’s not quite so boring.
*We have continued packing ice for my husband each day, as well, so we are continuing to save the $2-3 per day he was spending on a bag of ice. Each morning when I make his lunch I empty the 5 ice trays into a grocery shopping bag (another use for these!) and each evening when I clean the kitchen after supper, I do the same thing. I just keep filling up the bag in the freezer until it’s full and then start another. I keep these in the bottom basket of our upright freezer, and he grabs a bag each morning.
*I was able to get my free annual mammogram this week before my insurance ends at the end of the month. We had received a request to send in documentation of our income, and after submitting our most recent tax return, we were notified that we were no longer eligible for tax credits through the Healthcare Marketplace. The insurance premium for my husband’s and my very high deductible health insurance was going from $45 to $1040 per month. We cannot pay that premium so we canceled the insurance. I was happy my mammogram was due this month so I could squeeze it in!
*I made homemade garlic salt instead of buying it premade as I usually do. I am often picking up a bottle or bag or box of something and thinking, “Can I make this from staple pantry items?” And if so, I am starting to try it. We’ve never bought very many convenience foods, but honestly I’ve always considered items like garlic salt a basic pantry staple. So my creativity is ramping up a bit! After searching online, I found that I can mix salt and garlic powder in a 3:1 ratio. I put it in the mini Ninja blender since we only buy kosher salt and I wanted a finer texture. Then I poured it back into the garlic salt shaker container from the store bought stuff. Now instead of buying both garlic powder and garlic salt, I will only buy garlic powder. We always keep salt as it’s a definite pantry staple.
*I redeemed a $0.25 ibotta rebate. I don’t often buy the items they have rebates for so usually I only get the “any” item rebates. They slowly add up! If you’d like to sign up for ibotta, here’s my referral link! I am using all extra funds from sources like ibotta to add to our savings after paying the tithe off of it.
*I exchanged a pair of earphones bought at Walmart as they stopped working within 2 weeks of purchasing them. I just got the old reliable Apple replacement earphones since those have always worked well for me.
*I rinsed out a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle and used to wash towels. This is the last rinse for these bottles before going in the trash. Once these get too low to squeeze any out in the shower, I will add water to them, shake and use in the shower until the watered down stuff squeezes out. Then they get one final rinse for washing towels!
*We went to 3 yard sales only because we were filling time while waiting in town. I had an extra $1 and my daughter had $5. We were able to get a few pairs of jeans and shorts for my daughters with our combined funds.
*Father’s Day was a success I think. We kept our spending for the 2 Dads (my husband and father-in-law) to just under $50 and had a lovely dinner too.
*Since my insurance is ending, I had to figure out something to do with the one prescription I get which is a hormone therapy. After calling the clinic where I get my women’s services, they suggested I try the county health department. I can get the prescription from there for $5 per month and they will also provide a free annual women’s exam as well as a free annual mammogram. So now I have a plan to continue with those preventative services.
I also read a lot of homemaking related books, magazines and blog posts this week, as well as watching some YouTube videos. I love learning from others!
How did you save money, live frugally, or tend to your home and family this week?