Happy 4th– and Frugal Friday

Raspberry Jam

Happy 4th of July!  It’s Frugal Friday again!

This week I cooked double batches of chili and pasta carbonera, so I was able to serve 4 meals for the effort of two. Thankfully my family does pretty well with leftovers, because they are a real help on busy days.  We also resisted fast food when we were out during dinnertime one day, instead waiting to eat til we got home.

On Monday we had our usual 4th of July party with all our kids.  OK, not really frugal, but I wanted an excuse to show you pictures.  We played all sorts of water games and had burgers and grilled shrimp and melons and jalapeno poppers for dinner.  Our married girls brought dessert– yay!– and our grown boys contributed to the treats that folks won as prizes for the various  games.  We had lots of fun.  Click on the various photos to see the enlarged version of each.  Bonus points if you spotted the new girl and wondered who she is.  Her name is Erika and she is Jared’s girlfriend.  🙂  Slightly confusing since Jared also has a sister named Erika, but very delightful. 🙂

On Tuesday we took the teens to the dollar movies with friends. This year to encourage them to spend their money wisely, we decided to only allow three ‘new’ (full price) movies per year, and to wait for the dollar theater for other movies.  This has not been the most popular decision: some say since it’s their money, they should be able to decide, and in the spring it was painful for them to only watch SOME of the new movies their friends were seeing. But this summer there are lots of interesting options in the dollar theater that they now get to enjoy for the first time (or second) for only a buck. Not sure if this decision will truly lead to wiser spending later in life, but at least it is netting just a bit more money in each kid’s bank account.

On Tuesday I also canned 13 pints of raspberry jam.  The berries are coming on full force– hooray! — a really good thing since last year I didn’t can enough jam, and we ran out in about March this year.  Also of note, my husband had one of the boys spray our apple trees for the second time this summer, which should increase our yield greatly.  We’ll probably spray one or two more times between now and harvest time in September.  All our other garden produce is organic, but apples just need spray if you’re not into worms.  At least in our experience.

On Wednesday we brought kids to the God and Country Rally, an outdoor concert, fireworks display, and patriotic celebration in our area, where we got to see Audio Adrenaline, Esterlyn, and Ryan Stevenson for a grand total of $5 (to park the van.)  We ate before we went, brought dollar-store glow sticks with us instead of buying the overpriced ones they sell in the venue, and limited the kids to $6 spending each. Again there came mild grumbling about my spending cap, but I just told them no one ever regrets having money in savings. Right?

On Thursday I found a CUTE clearance outfit at GAP for my youngest daughter for less than $6 including tax.  Just about the only time I’ll buy kids’ clothes new is if the clearance is stupendous, and this time it was.  We also moseyed into Claire’s and found cards of earrings marked down to $2, with an additional sale of buy two/get one. So 6 cards of earring cost me less than $9, and will be good little stocking stuffer/birthday gifts here and there.  They were even earrings for sensitive ears, which is a necessity for one of my daughters.

On Thursday I made split peas and rice for lunch– super easy, moderately well liked by all, and very affordable.  I also made a menu plan for the next couple weeks, which should help me wisely use all the food we have stashed in freezer, fridge and cupboards. And one of these days we’ll have apricots, and later plums from our fruit trees– always a help in the produce department in the summer. All in all, a decently successful week in the finance department around here.

How’d it go at your house?  I love to hear about your successes.



  1. I just shared 5 frugal things from my week: http://purposelyfrugal.com/2014/07/04/5-frugal-things-happy-4th/#.U7bk-5RdWSo

    I love the picture of the raspberry jam! My cousin recently showed me how to make it and how to can! And now I love the feeling I get when seeing home-canned things! 🙂

  2. Happy Fourth of July Mary – love the pictures.


  3. I was able to get 11 lbs of cherries for $1.45/lb. Kids ate them like crazy and I still canned up 12 jars of jam. Sadly we lost our entire frig and freezers contents. We live in a very bad apartment and are still without a frig. So on top of losing all that ive had to get ice. We have started really sorting out and packing up for our move. Just hung around house for 4th though my oldest took my 5 yr old out to caych fire flies and got to see some fireworks.

  4. Just got farina for .99 a pound buying 10 pounds of my favorite breakfast and snack food. Bought 20 pounds of bananas for .29 a pound cutting up and freezing for smoothies. Son moving so he GAVE me 200 blue canning jars which I am going to use for Christmas project (cookie recipe ingredients in them); keeping silverware in on counter; holding raisins, brown sugar, tea bags, nuts, chocolate cihps, etc. in; and daughter wants some for using as coin banks- the rest will be used but in the future. Daughter found a cookbook at library she had used for six weeks making several recipes from and raving about all the nice recipes it had to siblings so went on ebay and purchased for her for $2.99 (bookstore cost was $32) with free shipping/arrived a week later—she was thrilled.


  1. […] for ideas for a bash of your own, here are some posts featuring previous years’ festivities: 2014 |  2013 | 2010.  Goodness, how have my kids gotten so […]