Monday, January 4, 2016

Frugal Accomplishments as we finish 2015

Happy New Year, one and all!  I hope your 2015 was good, and that 2016 is even better for you and the people that matter to you.  

I didn't think we were "doing anything" for New Year's Eve.  Husband had to work, and I assumed we would just go to bed and wake up 'next year', har har.  Daughter had other ideas, and so for a treat, we made these adorable cream-cheese and olive penguins:

We used 'colossal' and 'jumbo' size olives, because I thought that would somehow be better...mostly, it just made them enormous.  It was still fun, and it was just stuff from the pantry - cream cheese, olives and carrots, all gotten over time and on sale.  They are easy to make - there are tutorials all over the web. 

About the time we had finished making those, Husband called, and it turned out that he would be home in time to celebrate the new year at home.  He has been mentioning eclairs for a while, so I whipped up some choux paste and some chocolate pudding (which I lightened with cool whip).  They are not exactly eclairs, but I used what I had on hand, and I think they were still a nice treat.  That is a small plate - each eclair is about 1 1/4 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches long.  Not mini, but not full size.  Cute, and fun!  And let me just say, if you've never made choux paste, it is not hard - I promise.  You can also make it savory - add herbs and cheeses and all, and make little snack puffs that are really quite affordable if you get your ingredients on sale.  All choux paste is, is butter, water, flour and eggs...a pinch of salt, and any seasonings or flavoring you might add.  You can also make them and fill them with savories like chicken or tuna salad. are my 'eclairs': 

Daughter used some of her Christmas gift money to purchase some Skylanders characters.  She really enjoys this game (for Wii), and has gotten all the components second-hand, for far less than original cost.  She has played the game for well over a year and still enjoys it.  These figures are fitted with some sort of chip or relay, so you can change the figures to change the character you are playing in the game.  The figures are about $12-$20 each when new.  Her top price so far is $3 per character.  

Daughter was on winter break again this week.  She spent some of her free time working on a book that she decided to write.  It is from the perspective of a wolf that lives in Yellowstone National Park.  It really impresses me that she has chosen such a unique topic and worked hard to add details that help her readers learn more about wolves and how they live.  I'm really proud of her and all the hard work she has put into her story.  

For some 'fun' (?) in the new year, I cut my hair and used a home-kit to dye it 'burgundy'.  Instead of leaving it on 25 minutes as instructed, I went almost 15, and decided that was a pretty deep color....eep!  Most of the time, I am a redhead (without anything from a box), so this is a darker, deeper, slightly purpleier version of what I usually have on top of my head.  It actually looks fine, just different.  It reminds me of cherry-wood furniture.  I almost never do anything like this, and it always surprises people, I think.  The hair kit was about $4, and I did the haircut myself, with some input from a friend.

I am learning about some of the features of Word and Excel, to better do my job.  Our library has some tutorials that have been very helpful.  I have also found some good information on the internet, and now I can do a few things I could not do a week ago!

We went to the thrift store the week after Christmas.  I think a lot of people must have donated recently, because the store was really well stocked.  We purchased three pairs of shoes for $9.99 (Skechers), $5.99 (Keens) and $5.99 (Propets), all in like-new condition.  The two on the left are for me, the pair on the right are for Daughter.  Prices at the thrift stores have gone up, but for very comfortable, like-new shoes, I am not complaining.

We also picked up some puzzles to send to my in-laws, and a wee fish plate to use for condiments, tea bags, etc.

Husband changed a radiator hose on our truck.  We're pretty sure it was the original hose.  The truck is a '94.

We used firewood for heat, hung laundry to dry (OK, I confess, there was that one load that I just dried in the dryer - it was one of those days!), used up leftovers and planned a menu for the new week.

We borrowed books and movies from the library.  There is an ongoing magazine swap as well - we returned some magazines that we had read, and took others home to read.

How was your week?  What did you do to spend less, save more and make do?

1 comment:

  1. I love at you and daughter have been doing. She is so creative that I would be surprised to hear the 'I'm' Bored complaint from her ever!

    Our free Christmas ham from my husband's employer covered Christmas dinner for four, a leftover meal for 2, 15 sandwiches, some of which are in the freezer for lunches, 12 packages of chopped ham for eggs and omelettes, a pot of soup with the bone and some chopped ham and 2 large pkg of chopped ham for main dishes. Not a bit wasted. Milk that went past date has been used in a buttermilk bread recipe that we enjoy. Leftover Christmas cookies were packaged up and frozen to pull out bit by bit. I also froze 2 containers of fajita meat and one of taco meat from Christmas Eve. Leftovers were eaten and no food was wasted from the week which I cannot say for other years. There are still some produce bits and ends that I will put in a stir fry this week.

    While we were at Home Depot finalizing our new kitchen counters we shopped the Christmas markdowns since they were down to 75% off. We were able to buy LED lights for our tree for only $16. I have wanted to do this for years and the price has finally come down. I think these will pay for themselves in a year of use. When we got back to the kitchen dept we found that installed counters were 10% off! This saved enough to pay for 75% of the new kitchen sink.

    We had considered going out for a nice steak dinner after seeing that we have a new Texas Roadhouse but instead we bought a T-bone on sale and a loaf of French bread and had a nice meal at home. We signed up to receive texts from Subway and each got a free 6 inch sub w/ a drink purchase. For entertainment we rented a movie from Amazon with the 75% off code and used promotional credit from choosing slower shipping to get it for free.

    Yesterday I cut up the fronts of our Christmas cards and punched a hole and attached red and white twine that I got for free. This yielded 32 gift tags for next year.

    Have a good week! We have a few days of sunshine before the rain comes back.


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