Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I made croutons from a loaf of wheat bread.  I just cut them into cubes, then drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, oregano, basil and garlic.  I bake them in a 250 degree oven until nearly dry, stirring occasionally, then turn it up to 350 and set the timer for 5 min.  When the timer goes off, I turn off the oven, but leave the croutons inside.  This way, they are nicely toasted without scorching.

homemade baklava - Husband took this to share with his co-workers.
We went to the library for a free paper crafting program.  While we were there, we returned the books that were due and checked out some new ones.  I also picked up some Christmas music from the Friends of the Library sale.  I can listen to Christmas music on the radio for free, but if I hear Santa Baby one more time, I fear my head might the $2 spent for 6 music CD's was worth it to me.

We used our wood stove to supplement heat and use less propane.  Also, I learned of a new propane company that we are going to try.  Their price is good, plus they will fill the little grill tanks at my house!  I am paying for the fuel with a card that will give me $150 rebate, once I've spent a certain amount on the card.  We are paying our bills with the card (and then just paying the card off at the end of the month).  The rebate makes the propane that much more affordable.  Yay!

I sold some items on a local Facebook buy-sell-trade page.

There were some good grocery sales this week.  Fresh pineapples were .98 each, and they are one of our favorite fresh fruits.  We also got some jalapenos for .69/lb and cream cheese for $1 per half-pound block.  I am stocking up on cream cheese to last a while, before the sales end.  I got a 10 lb. sack of Idaho potatoes for 99 cents.  This is the third time potatoes have been on sale for that price this season.

At Target, there was a deal with a $5 Target gift card as a reward.  I purchased 4 Suave Kids products for about $7, got the gift card, and used it to purchase 15 lb. of unbleached all-purpose flour.  The Suave products worked out to cost about 50 cents each after the gift card.

Husband's work gave each employee a ham for Christmas.  It will make many meals for us.  I wrapped up 7 packages and put them in the freezer, and I believe that several of those meals will feed us more than once.

Lana, who comments here regularly, let me know that Coca-Cola's reward program had expanded the offer for 12-packs of soda in cans.  I had some points, many of them from the freebies I had gotten from Coca-Cola, which I used to get more free soda.  I'll receive the coupons in a few weeks, by mail.  Thanks, Lana!

puppy pie crust

I made another batch of home-made puppy pie crust.  It's a dog treat recipe that I roll really thin, then cut into wee squares for training.  Taffy loves them, and they are really affordable to make.  We mix them with snipped bits of bacon-flavored dog treats (that we buy) in the little blue treat jar.

Husband used points he earned on Swagbucks and Bing to get e-gift cards for Walmart and Domino's Pizza.  (Thank you, Sweetie!)

I made some small batches of 'bark' for our Christmas candy.  All of the ingredients were items we already had on hand.  I purchased the almond bark and chocolate bark post-holiday for 75% off and stored it until needed.  I made chocolate-pretzel-peanut, white chocolate-almond-dried fruit and white-chocolate-peppermint.  It was fun experimenting, and making small amounts of each means we won't waste them (or have too much!)

When it came time to wrap gifts, I used papers and accents (bows, ribbons, tags, etc.) that we had on hand.  I have not purchased wrapping materials in several years, and we still have some remaining.  I also re-used a gift bag and tissue paper that I had saved from a previous year.  Whenever we run low on wrapping supplies, I will look for post-holiday sales....or maybe just use other items that repurpose what we already have.  This year I wrapped homemade soap with strips of pretty fabric and some pretty yarn, for example.

I used a $5 off a $10 or more purcahse coupon from Ace Hardware to get three bottles of lye for 1.82 per 1 lb. bottle.  I am a soap maker, and this is enough for me to make about 7  batches of soap.

I attended 'Happy Needles' - for the fellowship, and started a new crochet project, made from yarn I had on hand.

I hope you had a good week too!  I'm eager to learn about it! :)


  1. Running around like chickens with our heads cut off today and getting ready to head out of town tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for these posts. I really enjoy them!

  2. Hope you had a blessed Christmas . Happy new year.. Did you do a post on soap making on ten things farm? Enjoy reading your blog it is so encouraging


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