Friday, September 12, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments From the Past Week

Our little herb patch has lovage, horse radish, lemon balm, oregano, feverfew, lots of mint,
'walking' onions and garlic chives.

I gave myself a haircut.  I had cut it into a bob for summer, which was great, but it was getting long and a little unruly, so I'm back to soft layers.  It feels, and looks, a little lighter.

I was more conscious about combining errands, staying home when I could and using less fuel.  On a day when I really did need to go out to pick up something I was buying, I also stopped at a friend's house and returned library books, for example.

I use a local facebook buy-sell-trade page, which had to do with the 'something I was buying' mentioned above.  This week, I got Daughter's main birthday present, her main Christmas present, and a couple of stocking stuffers that I know she will love.  I paid for them with funds I got from selling items we no longer needed...on the very same page.

I picked green beans and zucchini from our garden.  The beets and peas I planted for 'fall garden' are sprouting.  I am still watching for the lettuces.

I weeded out all my old, rusty canning jar rings and made these cute pumpkins.  I wanted to paint them, but the only spray paint colors I had that were even close to what I wanted were red and gold.  I did a light, not-so-even layer of the red, then did the same with the gold, hoping it will look 'orange-y'.  What do you think?  The stems are sticks from our yard.  The flowers are last week's indoor bouquet.  I leave them on the back deck - they look pretty there, and the birds can come and pick at them...later, I take them to the compost bin.

I made a loaf of zucchini bread this week, to help use up some of the bounty.  I also made a lot of our other foods from scratch, and we made good use of leftovers.  I make more kale chips too, because a friend gave me a grocery bag of kale, and that's a great way to preserve it for later.

The weather this week has often been dreary and cool.  Good weather for
baking and dehydrating indoors.  The tree with the netting (right of photo)
is our prune plum tree.  We should be able to pick the plums soon.
I combined a sale on soda, a sale on crackers and a gift card rebate to get four 2-liter bottles of Coke and three boxes of Cheez-Its for $5.01.  I know....not the healthiest.  We also had homemade kale chips this week (so at least we're trying!), and the snacks will last past this week, for sure.

In another sale, I paid 1.96 for four boxes of granola bars, and received a $2 off coupon for my next purchase.  My next purchase (I did it right away, before I lose the coupon!) was a 40 oz. jar of peanut butter that was on sale for $5, which was just $3 after the coupon.  Four boxes of granola bars and a very large jar of Skippy for $4.96 is pretty good!

Walmart had girl's socks on clearance.  There were 10-packs for $1 in toddler/preschool size, and 10-packs for $3 in girl's 'large'...which sure do look the same as women's socks to me.  I bought two packages of the large ones for me (Daughter likes socks that come further up her leg, but I like this kind fine) and two packages of the smaller socks.  We will donate those when the church asks for clothing donations for missions.  If I find that the larger ones don't fit me after all, I can donate the remaining ones.

We read books, watched movies and listened to music from the public library.  We also attended a library program for kids that gave Daughter a chance to create and have fun with her friends.

When I was going through a cabinet in the basement I found a huge container of bubble solution.  Huge.  I topped off Daughter's bubbles (which are not much of a draw anymore, at her age) and I've been using the rest of it in the laundry.  It seems to work just fine.

We went out for a meal on the weekend and used a coupon to cut the cost by almost $5.  We drank water instead of soda and we all shared one side.  We had plenty to eat, but our 'ticket' was less than half what we would have paid for individual meals.

Kitchen scraps - melon rinds, vegetable peels, apple cores, etc. went into the outdoor chicken run, as always.  The hens pick and the 'treats' and are quite happy to get them.

I took two surveys this week, earning $3 each.

I partially thawed a large turkey this week and cut it into pieces.  I roasted the breast for supper and plenty of leftovers, some for lunches this week, some for meals next week.  I wrapped the wings together, the legs together and each thigh separately.  The wing meat is good in buffalo chicken recipes, the legs are great for barbecue and the thighs get soaked in an Asian marinade and then cooked and served with rice.  the frame and remaining parts went into the crock pot with six cups of water to make stock.  The only thing I threw away outright was the wrapper.  :)

Did you have a frugal week?  Share your accomplishments in the comments!


  1. You did great this week! The pumpkins turned out a very nice with your spray paint solution. Your herbs look good. I love being able to go out and get fresh herbs whenever I need them. Lemon balm is crazy invasive here. It comes up everywhere that the seeds can wash to in a rain.

    I got many good grocery deals this week. A free 2L of Coke and 25 cent Powerade plus peanut butter for $2.40 for a 40 oz jar, 45 cent salsa, boneless pork chops for $2 a pound, 12 dbl roll packs of TP for $2.49, laundry detergent for $1.50 a bottle and everything else that I am now forgetting. There were quite a few freebies this week.

    We went to a free concert at the library on TR night. We packed Chicken Caesar salads and water and enjoyed a free night out. The music was great this week! Two more free concerts to go. It seems to be the same crowd every week and people are starting to really have fun and talk to each other. I like that sense of community.

    The vinyl soffit and facia has been slowly falling off the shed. It was a mess. Hubby said it would be a lot of work and money to put vinyl back on. So, last weekend he just took all of it off and threw it away. This weekend he will just paint the wood with paint we already have and it is a free fix other than labor. That is if it does not rain.....

    We had many inexpensive meals this week with what we had on hand. My meat supply is getting low so I am watching for sales to restock. I baked cookies with Krusteaz cookie mixes bought for 30 cents and baked all our bread.

    My frugal fail was taking our daughter and grandchildren out for lunch to a place that I know has gluten free food instead of getting my act together and figuring out what to cook for her. What I did not know was that the Chick fil A where we went has a great play area for 2 year olds and our little guy had SO much fun playing there that it was worth it. And our little guy LOVES the food there--he was beaming. He called me after they were home to tell me that he loves me. How does a 2 year old know how to call me on Mama's phone all by himself? And he does know it is me he is calling because he says Nana when I pick up! Then I hear Mama saying in the background, 'Liam, are you talking on my phone?'

    My lettuce is doing well but the squirrels are determined to have it. I am determined that they won't. I saw two eating it on Tuesday. I go running across the deck yelling at them like a crazy woman and they just look at me and keep eating. I lugged that big heavy planter that it is in into the screen porch where they cannot get it but where it will probably not do very well. My tomatoes and peppers are still producing. Our weather will make a big cool down this weekend so things may be slow down now.

    Something that I did that was frugal a few months ago was make new cushions for the chairs in the screen porch. I bought the outdoor fabric from for a great price and reused the stuffing in the old cushions. I was dreading cutting open those old cushions because they were 15 years old but when I did the stuffing was perfectly clean and white. This is basically a tip to check on that if anyone decides to a similar project. I also have found that a wet microfiber cloth removes mildew from outdoor white painted surfaces better that the pressure washer does and no bleach is needed. My screen porch is cleaner than ever!

    We treated some ailments with essential oils this week. Always a frugal option for us.

    Have a great week everyone!

  2. You've been one busy family, Lana! Thanks for posting. :)

  3. Great bargains at the grocery! Two of my girls texted me this week to say what they had in original totals and what they actually spent. Love that they want to follow my example, lol. Here's what I did this week:

  4. Your pumpkins turned out great! I had seen that idea and was saving a box of old rusty rings but my spring cleaning mood made me give them away to my oldest girl . She strung them up to make clangy things to scare pests away from gardens. I could have just put them in garage. But there will always be more rusty rings. The ones I saw weren't painted nicely as your are.

    Laura, where do you take the surveys? I have tried them on swagbucks and another site whose name I can't remember now,,,Dollars something. I am turned down for every survey...I am never " a match" so they will direct me to another and another and after 4-5 I just give up.

  5. Athanasia, try Pinecone Research. That's the one I have stuck with ongoing. You won't get rich from it, but if you declare a purpose for the $, it can really make a difference. Thanks for you words about the pumpkins - they really are kind of fun! The paint job is very haphazard, but it seem sto work with the rustic style of the craft. :)

  6. The red-gold pumpkins look terrific, actually! What a great idea.

    My herb garden has basil, oregano, two types of mint, lavender, tarragon, and lemon balm. The lemon balm really does seem indestructible. Does anyone have ideas for how it can be used? I have no idea!

  7. Avalon-here is an article on lemon balm uses-

    I like to crush some sprigs into a glass of ice water and it makes a good hot tea too. I use it fresh and steep it for 10 minutes covered with a saucer to keep it warm. It takes a good bit of herb to make a flavorful tea. I think it makes a beautiful garnish too since it looks so much like mint.

  8. Sorry for the multiple posts but this one is for Avalon too-this is the link in the first article and I just clicked over there and saw the awesome recipe for lemon balm lemonade! We could have been drinking that all summer!!

    1. Thank you! It is pretty and smells pleasant, so I've bundled it with lavender, or even mint or basil, for bouquets, but now I'm going to try these suggestions too.

  9. Love the pumpkins . Adorable... DId you glue the rings together after painting? What type glue did you use?
    You did a lot of saving this week.. thanks for sharing.


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