Saturday, March 14, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments and Blessings, Second Week of March

My dear friend and I went out for breakfast.  I printed a certificate from to reduce the cost.  It was really fun to get together, visit and catch up a bit!  When we got back to her home, she shared some beautiful roses with me.  They looks so cheerful this week in our dining room.

I completed a couple of surveys for Pinecone Research.

Rawr!  Daughter sold some of the dinosaurs she had outgrown.  Now she has a fund she
can use to buy toys and supplies that fit her current interests.  She mostly gets these
items second-hand.  We are hopeful that this is teaching her good stewardship with
We were able to sell a few more things we no longer needed on a local Facebook buy-sell-trade page.  We also gave away some items.  It is really nice to free up the space in our basement and make it more useful.

Daughter had some standardized testing this week.  Since she is enrolled in a virtual school, we had to travel into town to the testing site, so we did some errands on the way home from testing.  We packed food from home to save money (and have healthier choices).  We used a coupon for a free Jr. Frosty on Monday (for her) and we did stop for lunch on Tuesday, but it was Taco Tuesday (like in the Lego Movie!) and I had a coupon for a free bean/cheese burrito (for her), so the out of pocket cost for that meal was less than $1.25.  (I had packed food that day, but she had eaten it all during testing.)

I discovered 'infused water'.  This was a side-effect of waiting for Daughter at the testing site, which was a nice hotel.  They had stations set up for guests and visitors and had infused water available.  The first day was strawberry-blueberry, and the second day was cucumber-orange.  I struggle to drink enough water, but I really like the infused water.  They had 6-8 blueberries and 3-4 sliced strawberries in a 2 gallon container of water, and the flavor really came through. am making it at home, drinking more water,and enjoying it very much.  I can also toss the 'used' fruit into a smoothie.

I made 11 half pints and one quarter pint (plus a little extra that we are eating).
It is lower in sugar, but still plenty sweet.
Strawberries were 1.25/lb this week, so I bought some for eating...and some for strawberry jam.  The price of corned beef was really not what I hoped for, so I did not get any, but chickens were on sale for .88 a pound, so I put a couple in the freezer.  There were also good prices for pasta sauce (.69/jar after sale/coupon) and some other produce, like celery (.88/bunch) and cabbage (.20/lb.)  I found petite sirloin steaks on sale for $4 a pound and bought almost 7lbs....and wrapped and froze packages to put in the freezer.  That is the same price we are seeing for ground beef on sale, so if we need ground beef, I can always make some with a package of these steaks.  (I have a meat grinder attachment for my mixer.) Finally, I got a freebie (free friday download) and found some items on a markdown shelf that will be great for the Easter basket.

Homemade jam on homemade bread with homemade yogurt...topped with
blueberries and homemade granola.
I milled a few different grains for various whole-grain flours, then I baked bread and blueberry muffins.  Last Sunday I made grilled turkey steaks (brushed with barbecue sauce, and sprinkled with cheddar and crumbled bacon - yum!), baked potatoes and steamed broccoli and carrots for Sunday dinner - it was tasty, and really quite affordable. Throughout the week I made cheese enchiladas (also made the sauce!), Mexican rice, mashed potatoes, fried rice, bean sprout salad, grilled chicken w/pasta and vegetables, burgers, and potato salad.  We had salads and fresh fruit too, and ate leftovers for lunch when there were extras around.

We used a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables this week, and the chickens and rabbits benefited from the peels, cores, etc.  They enjoy these treats, especially in the cold months when there is not any fresh grass or bugs (bugs for the chickens, not the rabbits).

I'm working a little bit these days.  The library has contracted me for some chicken programs for kids, and I had my first chicken program today.  They are really fun, and I think the children and families had a nice time.  I learned this past week that I will be doing some bunny programs during Summer Reading, and I'm looking forward to those as well.

Daughter has a rainbow of soft, flowy pants for summertime.

This (second) order also had a yellow v-neck shirt,
which is in the laundry right now.
The items I ordered from Schoola came, and Daughter really likes them.  Our order was correct and timely, but my friend who ordered had one item the wrong size....Schoola made it right when she contacted them, and I'm glad to hear that they are making an effort to make things right if there is a mistake or error.  If you register with them you get $15 off your first order, with no minimum purchase.  I had one person use my link to sign up - she got $15 off her order, and I was given an additional $15 off as well, so Daughter is all ready for summer!  She especially loves the loose, flowy pants, because they are both pretty and comfortable.

This owl shirt turned out to be a freebie, and it's
cute with her freebie pants!
I bought a couple of items this week too, using some of the funds I got selling items we no longer needed.  Actually, the lady we bought this owl shirt from refused our money ($1)....we were supposed to meet at 10 and she got there late and insisted we just take the shirt.  It goes well with Daughter's pants from Schoola!

I also bought a piano lamp this week.  I am very happy to have this and I've been looking for one for a long time.  It is the House of Troy brand, which I had never heard of (I don't get out much when it comes to shopping), but it has a long cord and a heavy base, and it serves its purpose quite well.  It was $5.  When I went online to find out about the light bulbs, I learned that the ones like this one sell new for...$234 on Amazon.  YIKES.  I can't say that I saved that much, because I don't think I would spend that much for a lamp under any circumstance, but I'm hopeful that it means the lamp is high quality and will last a long time.

I washed our clothing with homemade laundry soap and dried everything on drying racks or outdoors.  It sure was nice to hang the sheets in the sunshine! We also used our wood stove as needed to help keep the house warm.

Did you have a good, frugal week?  Share your victories in the comments, if you please.  We can all learn from one another.


  1. Roar! Good job on the dinosaurs! You really had a great week and I am really impressed that you found a piano lamp for $5. I wonder what makes people water drinkers or not. I love water and prefer it over every other beverage.

    I feel like I did very little last week because of the time change. It really throws me for a loop. I went to the grocery store on Monday morning and the meat case was empty for the most part and the meat guys were just standing behind the glass looking dazed. It was 11 AM. I wonder when they finally got to work! I felt exactly the same way. That is rough having standardized testing during the week after the time change.

    We did get down and go through many boxes from the attic. This was an easy batch without too many memories to get over before donating. We took a big load to the thrift store on Saturday and then cleaned a bunch of mostly trash out of the garage and ended up with another box of stuff for donation. Hubby says we are nearing being done with the attic! We have a closet with toys in it that needs to be sorted out and then we can make final decisions on what toys we keep and what goes.

    We got two estimates for our new roof and I am glad we did because one company came in $900 cheaper and will use 30 year shingles as compared to the other that would have put on 20 year shingles. We will have all of the cash once hubby gets his annual bonus. Meanwhile it can come from savings but I suspect the roofers are running behind since we have had so much rain.

    We are working on 72 hour buckets and found a roll of nylon string in the garage that can go in there. We also stopped at Harbor Freight and used a coupon for $2.99 tarps and got two free flashlights for the buckets. We are going to work on putting them together next weekend and decide what else we need to buy for them. We are trying to use what we have and no get carried away with this. We would like to get them done before tornado season.

    I cooked at home for the most part. I tried a new bread stick recipe that was really easy and good. We had Pasta e Fazioli soup and bread sticks and salad on Friday night. Way better than Olive Garden! The pancake recipe that I found to use sour milk is a winner as is the new bread recipe. We ate Saturday breakfast at home instead of out which is rare. I made a beans and rice with sausage dish when our gluten free daughter was over last week and it was a real hit. Baby Bella, 9 months, was stuffing it in with both fists. I plan to make that one again, especially when our oldest son and family come since his kids adore rice and beans.

    I am thankful for sunshine and warmer weather today! Have a good week everyone!

    1. For someone who was suffering with daylight savings, I think you had a great week, Lana! Thanks for your kind words, and all the ideas and info you share - I'm always inspired by you and I think when we all share our perspectives, we can all learn.

      Here's to a good week for everyone! :)


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