Friday, November 21, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments, the Week Before Thanksgiving

Hi friends!  I'm getting back into my blogging groove - here are this week's frugal accomplishments:

Daughter and I have been spending some time coloring together in the evening.  I found this artist - Karla Dornacher - who offers some free printable coloring sheets.  Daughter likes to draw her own pictures, but I am enjoying the coloring sheets.  If you do an image search of Karla Dornacher free printable coloring pages you may find some that you like too!

Last Friday, we combined all our 'city' errands into one day and got them done!  It saved us time and fuel.  We scheduled our visit to Costco mid-day, and those samples held us over until mid-afternoon, when we stopped for lunch/supper.  It was also 'happy hour' at the restaurant (OK, Del Taco - so fast food restaurant), so quite a few menu items were half price, saving us over $5.  Here are some savings highlights from our city errands:

We stopped at the vet supply and picked up Taffy's last dose of puppy vaccination.  Each time I give her a shot it saves us about $10 over taking her to the clinic.

I picked up the prescription I had transferred to Kmart and received a $25 gift card for the transfer. (I mentioned this in last week's frugal accomplishments posting.)  They had some Thanksgiving/autumn decorations for 90% off - we got a stuffed felt and wool turkey for 1.29 and an autumn 'Welcome' sign for our new walkway.  When I paid for the prescription I got a $3 off coupon for TP, the same brand that was buy one, get one half off, so that made that deal even better!  We got a nice backpack that was on clearance for $3.75 and some 11.5 oz bags of ranch flavored tortilla chips for 25 cents a bag.  Husband likes to have chips in his lunch, so I asked him to open a bag and taste them.  If he didn't like them, we'd be out 25 cents, but if he did, we could stock up.  They were good, so we stocked up!  This store is pretty far from our home, so I didn't want to make a second trip. We got a vat of fabric softener and some windshield washer fluid and after the gift card, it was just a few dollars.

Our $1.29 turkey.

At Costco we picked up a Christmas gift (I would say more, but that would be a spoiler) and peanut oil for frying our turkey this year.  The oil was less per ounce than it is at Walmart, but we had to purchase more of it.  Since peanut oil is an oil I use throughout the year, we decided to get the larger container, and I can dispense it into something smaller.

Kohls had sent me a $10 off $10 post card.  We picked out two Christmas ornaments that totaled $9.98.  When the cashier scanned the post card, the amount owed was zero.  I thought we'd pay some sales tax, but that wasn't the case.

I picked up the prescription I had transferred to Albertsons and got a $25 gift card there as well. (I mentioned this one last week too.)  We picked up some bacon for 2.99 a pound and some cream cheese for 1.19, and I will save the rest for a good meat sale.

Daughter took along a library book so she wouldn't be 'bored to death'.  I took some crochet, and worked on a scarf when we were in traffic.

That was errand day.  It took a few trips to get everything into the house, and I have no desire to do more errands any time soon!

The rest of the week, we stuck fairly close to home.  We went to the library for books one day, and I attended a free paper crafting program another day.  Daughter spent her time reading, choosing books and playing educational games on one of the computers in the children's area.

Husband has been having some neck and shoulder pain, and a pinched nerve is a possibility.  We agreed that, if we had one, there are nights he would sleep in a recliner, mostly to prevent him from sleeping 'on' the sore shoulder and making it worse.  I put the word out on a couple of local buy-sell-trade boards that I was loking for a brown, tan or tweed recliner for him.  A friend of mine saw one of the postings and sent me a note.  The next day I brought home this recliner.

She had gotten something else and was going to put this chair out for thrift store pickup, but gave it to us instead.  It needed a little bit of upholstery cleaning, but I was able to get it cleaned up with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and hand-scrubbing with a microfiber cloth.  (I learned about using rubbing alcohol instead of water - it won't make water spots on light upholstery and also disinfects and dries more quickly.)  It fits in our space and goes with our other furniture, which is fantastic!

Daughter used some of her birthday money from October to get a Wii game second-hand.  It is a game she really likes (Kirby's Epic Yarn) and it is in excellent condition.  She paid $3.

I worked on some Christmas items and crocheted about half of a scarf.

We gather firewood, for free, from various sources.

We heated the house with wood.  We had some days that were warm enough that we didn't have a fire, but we did have a fire every  night.  We have flannel sheets and blankets on our beds to help us stay warm at night, and we are wearing warm clothing during the day.

Daughter went out in the field and gathered some pine cones from beneath our pine trees.  We will use them for Christmas crafts and decoration.

homemade kimchee
I did some cooking from scratch this week - cornbread, soups, pancakes and waffles, etc.  I also partially thawed a large turkey.  I removed the breasts and legs and wrapped and froze them for future meals.  I removed the meat from the thighs, wings and frame (as much as possible) and made all of that into ground turkey.  I took 1 1/2 pounds of that ground meat and made turkey breakfast sausage, and then froze the ground meat (and sausage) in 1/2 pound packages.  All the bones, skin, frame, etc. went in the crock pot with herbs and seasonings.  I got about two cups of cooked meat off the bones and also made about 2 quarts of rich stock.

I went through some items we no longer use and sorted them for selling and donation.

I took some dog treats and cut them into quarter-inch pieces for Taffy.  She is still training (on SO many levels), so small treats are better for her anyway.

I'd love to hear about what you did this week to spend less, save more and make do - comments welcome!


  1. You had some really good frugal finds this week..Congrats.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! Your $1.29 turkey is so cute!

    Last weekend we had three grandchildren for the weekend so Mom and Dad could go away for their 10th anniversary. We took them and our 2 yr old grandson who lives local to Monkey Joes and used BOGO coupons. All four played for only $20. Then we took everyone out for BBQ and used BOGO coupons so 7 of us ate for $21 and we took home enough meat for another meal. It was a very frugal way to do something special with our little visitors.

    We had a lot of leftovers form the weekend so we ate those for supper on Monday and Tuesday. We are doing very well at not wasting food.

    I am finding more and more that I get better prices on many things at Sam's than anywhere else in town. I need to take the time to go in and really look around more but yesterday I saw that motor oil is only $2 a quart in a 12 qt case and Jimmy Dean sausage was only 4.98 for a 2 pound roll. Picked up two of those sausage rolls. Milk is always a dollar less there than anywhere else in town. ALsi had really great prices on produce this week. Sweet potatoes were .99/3#, onions were .79/3# and potatoes were 1.79 for 10 pounds which is the best price we ever see. I stocked up and stored them in the cool garage and hopefully they will keep well.

    Last Sunday night hubby picked up our free turkey from his employer. It is only 13 pounds and I have been round and round about whether to get a bigger one for Thanksgiving. I decided to just use what we have. I don't stock up on whole turkeys because we just don't eat them even though I think we will. I did stock up on some turkey breast so I am set. I did some of my cooking and froze it for Thanksgiving this week. I will be so glad I did.

    I stocked up on bread flour for 1.38 for 5 pounds. I have stuffed the pantry with flour now and cannot buy another bag until this stock is used down but it will be Easter before we have sales on it again. I am really trying to be realistic about what I stock up on. Sometimes my brain still thinks I am feeding seven and I get carried away with the low prices. Also we will not have a house full this year for Christmas since hubby and I are going to Florida to spend it with my parents.

    I have been hanging a few small loads of laundry to air dry inside.

    We ordered Rainhandler 'gutters' for our house. They were having a 24% off sale with free shipping. This is a louver system that disperses rainwater and keeps leaves from getting trapped. We have a man coming to give us an estimate for taking off the old gutters and installing these next week. This is the number one project we wanted to do after paying off the house. We had to save the money up to do it but YAY! no more gutter cleaning! The sale really helped up do this sooner as it saved us about $200. Hubby could do the removal and installation himself if he took some vacation days but I really don't want him walking around on the roof and on a ladder trying to do it solo. A friend's husband died after fall from a ladder about 7 years ago and some things are just not worth it.

    As a fellow shoulder pain sufferer I am so glad you got the recliner! We used this product for pain like that and it is lifesaver! We recommend this to everyone and they all wonder how they ever managed without it. The great thing is that it actually heals what is causing the pain.

    It has been really cold here way too early.We have been wearing wool socks and dressing in layers. It really helps with the heating bills. What a blessing to have all of that free firewood! Have a good week and stay warm!


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