Friday, October 10, 2014

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments

We loaded up a bunch of scrap metal, including aluminum cans and some other aluminum, and took in our little truck with the trailer in tow.  We turned in $140 worth of scrap!  I was hoping for $50 or more, so I was really tickled with the results!

I found some really cute packaging for party favors for Daughter's upcoming birthday party - $1 for 12, when I only need 8.  I wanted something smallish, to help keep the cost of favors reasonable.  I'm planning for each guest to get a Frosty coupon, a pencil, some stickers, sweets and a necklace (girls) or key ring (boys).  I am making the necklaces and key rings - more on that soon.  These little packages should hold all of that, no problem.  I made a list of the remaining items we need for the party so I can make as much as possible and watch for sales.

I transplanted a few more flowers and plants, improved a river rock border on the big flower bed, and we moved some gravel.  If we paid for all the landscaping we've done this year, I think we'd need a second mortgage, but we have done most of the work ourselves, and saved a ton.  We did hire an end-loader/bobcat guy to shape the driveway, grade off the grass, spread the first 15 tons of gravel and take out some stumps for us.  We also hired a guy to put seamless gutters on the garage, but we ran the (underground) drain lines from the downspouts, along with drainage for two downspouts on the house.  We set about 25 railroad ties (that we got free for the hauling), spread the second 15 tons of gravel (by hand, because we're crazy like that) for the driveway, along with a huge load of fill dirt, many small loads of topsoil....and we've moved river rock more times than I want to admit....but it's all coming together.  Right now, I'm waiting/hoping to hear from someone who has pavers for sale (second hand) that we can use to create a pathway to the front door.  We also have some more drainage to install, and that's probably it for this season.

I gathered seed heads for Blanket Flower.  I have sown some in the field and saved some to share.

We used sales and coupons to get Chex mix for .50 a bag.  We also signed up for a freebie at King Sooper - a potato side dish.

Husband went up on the roof to use a wire brush on the spark arrestor cap.  He is a very brave soul.   (I stay down on the ground and cheer him on, like the wimp that I am.)

There were some light-colored water rings (from drinking glasses) on our kitchen table.  I did an internet search and learned that I could use some white cloth and a hot iron to get them out.  All I did was put the iron on 'steam' and iron over the area, on the cloth....a little at a time until the water rings faded away.  It worked like a charm.  If you have wood furniture with water marks, check out some of the videos on You Tube.  They were really helpful and informative.  I actually went over the entire surface of our kitchen table, a little at a time, and it looks much more even.  I polished it afterward - it's not 'like new', but it is much better than it was!

I was wanting some sort of caddy to hold the salt, pepper and butter for the kitchen table, and found a basket that I already owned that works perfectly.  We have made some changes to our homeschool process and Daughter often uses the kitchen table these days, so it's nice to have a way to whisk these items off of (or onto) the table as needed.

Sorry for the lack of photos this week - How have you saved lately?


  1. Wow, that's a lot of landscaping you've done on your own! Great job! I'm tired just reading about it all. We (meaning my husband, mostly on his own because he never wants me to help him) also did some landscaping work this year. He extended our back patio, something that I had been wanting to do for 13 years! We couldn't find pavers of the same size as the originals so he took all of them off and we bought brand new pavers from Home Depot. We priced them at both Home Depot and Lowe's and brought them home in his truck (we did 2 loads) to save the delivery fee. He also got gravel and sand in his truck from a wholesale place. It took him several weekends but he did it and it looks so great. He also built us a berm with the displaced dirt and some mulch (bought in bulk, we could have gotten free mulch from the dump but he didn't want to bother as it is twice as far as the wholesale place) and I asked him to reuse some of the old pavers between the berm and the patio so I could put flower pots on them. He used the rest of the old pavers to extend the paved area in front of the shed he built himself 3 years ago so now he has double the work area out there. I love my new patio!
    He also installed some gutters alongside a portion of our roof since we were experiencing flooding in the house when it rained very hard ever since he had dug out the old patio... I'd love to have gutter all around the house but he was put off by how much this whole cost, even though he did it on his own. The thing is, it's a little bit of an investment that would pay off big time in the future as we have less rotten wood to replace on the house! So I'm hoping to convince him this winter. He's also been repainting the whole house on his own (the exterior) for a few months, he does a little bit at a time because he is replacing rotten wood as he goes along and since it's a 2-story house and it's very hot and humid most of the year, it's very exhausting work (and now football season is here, wink!).

    It's also amazing that you got that much money from recycling your aluminum scraps! You inspired me to look for a local place where I could take my cans, but the closest I could find is 45 minutes away and I would need to pay tolls (or drive further). They're paying $0.55/lb for aluminum cans right now and after the gas and tolls, I'm not sure it'd be worth it for us. Also, we don't have a garage (or a barn!) so storing the empty cans would be problematic. But I love that you did that, it's wonderful that you got so much money for something you could have easily thrown away. Go, you!
    I need to revarnish my kitchen table because my teens used a Magic Eraser to clean it off a few times (I never thought to tell them NOT to use that sponge!) and it completely stripped the varnish in a couple of places. Since I'm lazy, I just put a tablecloth on top and since I'm REALLY lazy, I bought a clear plastic "cloth" to put on top of that. Now I can have a nice table with a tablecloth that I don't have to keep on washing and ironing. I got the idea from my parents who live overseas and have used the tablecloth/plastic cloth idea for years.

    1. We have a 2 story house and are having water damage issues with gutters as they really cannot handle all the runoff we have. Also, they have to be cleaned out every year by hand. You may want to look into the louver system I talk about in my comment. The problem is that we have to tear off all the old and probably replace rotten facia and then install the louver system. Hubby will not be able to do this alone and I think we will have to hire some help to do it. You would be ahead of the game since you could just install the system from the beginning. My late FIL had a neighbor with the louver system and he saw them in action and said they really work.

    2. I just clicked on your name and find you are in Clermont! Hubby and I grew up in Leesburg! We have been gone from there for almost 21 years but still come back to see the family and friends.

    3. I was just in Leesburg (Carver Middle School) for my youngest son's cross-country meet this past week! I've never heard of that louver system, thanks for the heads-up. It might be worth looking into because we do have a couple of oak trees around the house so the cleaning the gutters would be a problem... well, an inconvenience, at least.

  2. Wow, you all have done so much this summer!

    I hate it when hubby goes on the roof. He is too fearless up there. Also, a friend's husband died after a fall from the roof several years ago. Soon I want to tear off our gutters and put on a system that uses louvers to make the water come off the roof in a mist. That will reduce water damage problems that we are having and keep hubby from having to clean out gutters.

    We had my van in the shop this week and the problem is not fixed. This has been a many months long problem that no one can figure out. I did go through the month's budget and used found bits of money to pay the bill so that we did not have to tough savings. I hate it when I am treated like I am ignorant at the shop because I am a female. Just sayin'.

    We have had a whirlwind week with family here and helping our daughter while her husband has been out of town. We pretty much just stayed home and enjoyed the beautiful weather we are having. There have been lots of meals in the screen porch and porch swinging. I cannot even think of what I did to save money other than how we live all of the time. Our youngest daughter told me that I am 'cheap' this week. Thanks for the compliment, my child! Really we are not cheap but frugal and that is how we will always be.

    Have you tried rubbing your table with mayo? Let it sit for several hours and then buff the wood. Our oldest daughter and hubby bought a maple table off Craigslist after they came home from Their time in China and it was solid but quite scratched. They did the mayo thing and it was amazing how much it improved the surface. I actually have mayo on the grandkids bar in the kitchen right now and will buff it later. It is a good use for mayo you don't like and will never buy again. :)

    Have a good week!

  3. My mother always did the mayonnaise trick to get rid of water rings. She used nut meats on scratches.


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