Friday, August 29, 2014

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Gayfeather plants grow wild on our property.
We have moved several to the terraces to the north of our home.
Has your week been busy?  Ours sure has.  Here are some things we did to spend less, save more and make do with what we have:

We had a few dwarf apple trees in our orchard that didn't survive last winter.  Husband dug them up, cut them into short lengths and split the pieces into chunks to use in the smoker on our grill.  He used some last Sunday when he made ribs for us.

Kohl's sent me another $10 off a $10 purchase gift card.  (They send these out periodically to people who do not have a Kohl's card, to encourage them to shop there.)  I got a small fondue pot and some kitchen towels, both on clearance.  The total was 9.99, so I thought I would have to purchase another item (I had mis-calculated in my head), but the cashier said it was fine, so the items were completely free.

I sold some items that we no longer needed on a local buy-sell-trade board.  It reduced the clutter and put a little money in the bank for a rainy (or maybe even a sunny) day.  While I was going through our things to sell, I came across two throw pillows that go very well with our new-to-us couch.

I picked green beans and zucchini from the garden, and a friend gave me a grocery sack of kale.   I canned four pints of 'dilly beans' from the green beans and dill in our garden.  One of my favorites.

Our green beans continue to bloom and produce!
I transferred a couple of prescriptions to K-mart and received two $25 gift cards.  I found 4.7 oz containers of pectin on clearance for 2.75 each - there were three, and I bought all three of them, along with some feminine products that were on sale, special toothpaste for sensitive teeth (also on sale), many boxes of facial tissue (on sale, of course!), two bed pillows for Husband and I (on sale), two very large bottles of fabric softener (on sale) and some items for Daughter's upcoming birthday party...which were, yes, all on sale.  I have five cents left on one of the cards..everything was, essentially, free.

We got books and media from the library.  I was able to watch the movie The Book Thief and read a novel, and Daughter got some books for school.  I also did some subbing for a few hours - every little bit helps!

We dug irises, divided them, and re-planted them on the terraces we built on the hill to the north of our home.  We also moved some other plants to the terraces, either divisions from other plantings or wild flowers from out in the field.  I found some bulbs that I forgot to plant last fall...oops...and put those in too.  I don't know if they will make it, but it is worth a try.  They are ones I dug last fall from our existing flower garden.

We did a fair amount of scratch cooking.  Husband grilled ribs on the weekend, and they were awesome!  During the course of the week I made teriyaki beef, macaroni salad, rice, did some fresh raw veggie prep, made baked beans, slaw, English muffin pizzas, garlic green beans, beef and grilled onion burritos, salsa, grilled chicken and zucchini, smoky pork, rice, sesame spinach and all sorts of leftovers re-mixes.  :)

We went swimming with friends, who took as their guests with no fee.

I picked flowers and a few tree branches to brighten our home.

We enjoyed sunny days outside, watching hawks, finding horned lizards in the field, chasing grasshoppers, and soaking up some late summer sunshine.

What sort of frugal things did you do this week?


  1. I should really keep a list of some sort because I am not remembering much.

    Hubby has had class 3 days this week at work which means lunches and coffee and snacks included. It is nice to have a lunch packing break and it saves on food for the lunches.

    Sunday we had a 93 cent meal out after church by using our Hardee's check in app for free burgers. we drank water and used a $1 off a large fry coupon and split the fries. Yum.

    We had four supper meals this week from one small London broil. That saved me quite a bit of cooking too!

    I made a delicious bean salad when our oldest daughter and kids were here yesterday. Home canned great northern beans with homegrown grape tomatoes and homegrown basil dressed with olive oil, vinegar, garlic and s&p. It was delicious and an inexpensive lunch.

    We doing home improvement projects with materials we have on hand. You know all those things and cans of paint that follow you home from Lowe's and then hang out in the garage? It is time to get those things done instead of buying more materials!

    My lettuce starts are looking good. I am still harvesting tomatoes, peppers and herbs. I fertilized with leftover coffee grounds this week.

    Having the tree raised over our TV antenna has done the trick! No more freeze frame faces and lost signals!

    A friend and I went to a free concert that our library sponsors at lunch time every two weeks. Everyone brings their lunch and local talent entertains. This time it was an excellent jazz group. After I went to Aldi for produce since they are close together. Aldi carries some things seasonally so it is the time of year to stock up on what they will not have until next summer. It costs a bit now but pays off in months to come when I don't have to pay higher prices for those items elsewhere. They had huge watermelons for 2.89. We will be eating that all week.

    Have a good Labor Day weekend everyone!

  2. Laura, your terrace is going to look spectacular once all the plants start filling in and blooming.

    What is sesame spinach? Sounds interesting.

  3. Great list, Lana! :)

    Athanasia (what a lovely name!), sesame spinach is this: Wash and drain your spinach, then cook it (still wet from rinsing, that helps steam the leaves) with a little cooking oil. When it has cooked down, add a bit of soy sauce, dark sesame oil, ground black pepper and if you have them, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. My 8 year old dances when I make this! :)

  4. Dear Laura,

    Your blog is just lovely and very pleasing to the eye. Thanks for sharing. I found you today via The Prudent Homemaker's blog.

    Debra from NC


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