The deer population in our area has increased significantly in the past few years, and we have changed our gardening practices as a result. They will eat most everything we try to grow, so now we only garden in some enclosed areas that we have. Our garden is much smaller than it used to be, so I am not growing as much of the food that I dehydrate, can and freeze. This week, Sprouts Market had yellow onions, 3 lbs. for $1. The onions were very nice, and quite large, weighing about a pound each. I bought about ten pounds of them (for three dollars and change!). Some are in our basement pantry for use over the course of the next several weeks, but I also cleaned and diced a lot of them, then froze them on cookie sheets and then put them in freezer containers. When I need diced onion for a recipe, they will be ready to go.
I don't mention this often, but every day, Husband takes his lunch to work from home. Conservatively, he might be able to buy lunch out for $3 a day, and that would probably be fairly monotonous, plus not very healthy. Even with that conservative estimate, he saves us $600 a year by taking food from home. (If you are wondering about my math, I multiplied $3 x 4 because he works 4 days a week, which is $12 x 50 weeks a year (figuring two weeks of vacation per year), for $600 in savings.)
As a thank-you, I took a jar of homemade peach jam to the lady who gave us a couch a few weeks ago. I attached a small note card that I made with paper, stamps and ink I had on hand.
The gardens gave us green beans, zucchini, oregano, lettuces and mint. I did a bit of fall planting - peas, lettuces and beets. Our kale and chard are still growing well, and our butternut squash and pumpkins are both setting nice fruit. The currant tomato plant has some tiny green tomatoes on it, finally. We have had a cool summer with very cool nights - tough circumstances for a tomato plant.
We planned a menu for the week that gave me the chance to use up some odds and ends in the fridge - chicken onion quesedillas used the last of a chicken from the previous week and fried rice helped me use some leftover rice and vegetables.
I made Irish soda bread and cooked from scratch quite a bit this week. A couple of our meals had ground beef in them - I ground up a roast I bought for 1.66 a pound. It was the last one - I had bought about ten of them last year, wrapped them very well and froze them. They have made beef a very affordable option for us for quite a while, as ground beef for burgers and other meals, (taco meat, beef in spaghetti, etc.), stew, kabobs and teriyaki.
I gathered more free denim jeans and cut more square for the denim/flannel quilt that I'm making.
We borrowed books, movies and a Wii game from the library, free of charge.
Husband drove our car to work most days, because it gets better mileage than our truck (35 and 20 mpg, respectively). One day, he did take the truck to work, and he stopped on his way home to pick up free firewood. There is a company that takes damaged pallets, replaces the damaged pieces and then the pallets can be used once more. The wood that was removed due to damage is free for the taking. There is always quite a bit in the warm months....come late-September, it gets really scarce, so Husband stops every few weeks during warm weather and gets a truckload. It makes great kindling, or works well for days when a quick, hot fire in the wood stove will keep the house warm all day.
I took a survey and earned $3.
We met friends at the park for some play time. We packed snacks and water from home.
We went swimming with friends, as their guests at a nearby indoor pool. We packed snacks and water from home that day too...but it wasn't my turn to provide snacks, and my friend got daughter an ice-cream from the vending machine. We used the snacks the next day.
I used a local buy-sell-trade page on Facebook to sell several items that we no longer needed. This has been a real boon to us - we are in a semi-rural area, and this works really well because it's mostly people in this area, so most of the sales go through quite nicely. We also purchase items on the same page - we get great prices, we aren't traveling far to get things, and it's good for our little community.
On that same Facebook page, Daughter used some of her earned spending money to buy a Lego set, unopened in the box, for 75% less than retail. She earned the money weeding, and just like allowance (which is paid for everyday chores - the weeding was an add-on sort of job), she divided her earnings into saving, giving and spending. I'm proud of her for realizing that she can look for second-hand before she heads to the retail store. (In this case, it wasn't even second-hand!)
I went to the craft store with a friend and used 50% off coupons for my purchases - baker's twine in assorted colors. (I used some on the jar of jam, pictured above.) I will use it for some gifts and for packaging soaps that I hope to sell around the holidays.
Husband and I have been going through items in the barn and sorting into items to save, items to sell, recycling, and scrap metal.
I picked flowers and greenery from the flower beds and some trees (that needed trimming) to make indoor arrangements.
|blanket flower, Russian sage, silver mound |
and branches from an apricot root stock
Did you have a frugal week? What did you do to save more, spend less and make do? Leave a comment, if you please!