Thursday, March 21, 2013

Frugal Accomplishments

We seem to be on some sort of roll around here when it comes to making frugal choices and getting great deals.  I think the two are different, do you?  I mean....hanging your laundry to dry, walking to the park instead of driving, cooking at home instead of buying takeout all strike me as frugal - they are behaviors that are related to using what you have, reducing the need for additional stuff or spending money.  Great deals come, and then they go, and are more dependent on where you live, how often you go out to do errands, etc.  That said, this is a combination of both, for sure.

Using this means I had to find somewhere else to store plastic bags!
I received a coupon for a free 20 oz. coke that I won playing an online game sponsored by Subway.  It was yum!  I also got a coupon for a free Nivea lip care product up to $3.99.  I'm guessing it's something I signed up for and then forgot.  I've won a couple more coupons for drinkable yogurt playing a game on Facebook for Cacique products, so those will come....eventually.  We'll see if I remember! :)

We went to Sam's club and got our free 1 year membership.  We paid $45 via Living Social, but since I got 3+ people to sign up with my link, we were refunded the $45 payment.  With the membership we received a $20 gift card and vouchers for free pizza, a free rotisserie chicken and 2 boxes of free cookies.  We walked around, got the lay of the land, checked some prices and ate some samples.  We picked up Husband's OTC allergy medication for a much lower price than we've seen it elsewhere, plus we got a few other things with the gift card.  (We also got the free pizza.)

I transferred a prescription to King Soopers and as a reward for the transfer they loaded $25 in store credit onto my loyalty card.  We'll use it to stretch our grocery money.  When you're only budgeting $80 a month, these bonuses really make a big difference!

At Walgreens I was able to get some Easter candy free after coupons.  We do one big basket for the whole family.  So far I've spent about $2 of actual money and we have more than plenty. 

I sold 15 chickens, gave two to my neighbor and one to a friend. This will drastically cut our need for chicken feed, and we will still have plenty of eggs for ourselves and some to share. I was 'having to' go to town every other week to meet my main egg customer, and that will not be true anymore, so it may save us some gasoline too.


Marigold is laying an egg for us.

Thank you, Marigold! :)
One of the people who got some chickens from us gave us coupons to the restaurant where he works - enough for all three of us to eat there for free.  Twice.  For us, that's a big, big deal, because we don't go out often, and this is somewhere we'd never been.  We liked the food, and while we were there, he also brought us dessert!  What a kind, giving soul he is! 

We set up a little 'hot box' in our garden and planted some radish, spinach and lettuce seeds.  We also put out a few peas by one of the fences, so we can get some early vegetables from the garden...if it doesn't get too cold again.

We waited until Friday to go to town and did all our errands then, when Husband could go with and we could check Sam's and go to lunch together. 

We picked up a ream of paper at Staples - it will be free after the Easy Rebate.

I've been listening to music CD's and reading books from the library.  I checked out a book about microgreens and I think I could grow them in my south-facing bay window through the cold months.  They would be a tasty, nutritious addition to salads, soups and omelets.

A lady who donated yarn for the shawl/scarf/hat ministry gave Daughter some children's books.  They are moving - downsizing - and she was glad that Daughter would read and enjoy them.

I price matched sale prices from various supermarkets so that I could just go to one place (walmart) to do most of the shopping.  It's much closer to home than any of the other stores.  We planned the menu from items on hand, since we're trying to reduce our pantry and empty out the freezer some.  We were a little loose with our planned menu this week, but it was a benefit in the long run - we utilized leftovers and items from the potluck instead of cooking up even more food.

I used homemade laundry soap and hung our clothes on wood racks to dry. 

We heated with wood on cold nights to use less propane, and we used natural light whenever possible to save on electricity.

I attended a needlework group at the library (also free) where I can get together with others and learn new skills, share ideas, etc. 

I baked an apple pie, made baked beans and a relish tray for a potluck - we grew and canned much of the food that I took.  Post-potluck, I brought home turkey and ham, some of the baked beans that I took and some dessert.  We added some canned corn and had that for supper, which saved me cooking.  There was some 'bagged salad' at the potluck that was past prime.  I brought that home for our chickens, who enjoyed it very much.

On a day that was too warm for the wood stove, but still a little chilly, I made two loaves of zucchini bread and a loaf of banana bread. The zucchini shreds were from the freezer and the bananas were on the counter, and more ripe than we like them. We also had a lot of eggs on hand, and baking all three at the same time uses less fuel than baking one per week. All three loaves were wrapped and put in the freezer - I will take one each Sunday to church.


from this....

...to this

We were blessed with clothing and shoes from a friend whose daughter is a little older than our daughter - lots of lovely things in the next size! 

Another friend brought me some (huge!!!) flour tortillas, a pizza crust and sauce and some roast beef that they will not use - what a blessing!  (They are a Jewish family preparing for Passover, so that is part of the reason she is giving me these lovely things.  She is also just exceptionally generous and kind.)  I was completely out of flour tortillas, and I've been kind of craving a good sandwich - the thin slice roast beef will be perfect for that! 

Yet another friend has loaned us a spare booster seat until I can get one somewhere.  Now that we are using the truck sometimes, it is really handy to have a spare for the days when I forget to take Daughter's seat out of the car.  That same friend gifted daughter with a jacket that she just loves.  Daughter just reminded me that they gave her a stick 'hobby horse' too.  (The kids give each other toys now and then - they've done that since they were little.)

I made croutons from a loaf of white bread from the bread outlet.  We like them better than the ones from the store, and they cost less too!


I took Daughter to the library's free 'movie night', which includes free popcorn.  She got to see Wreck it Ralph with her friends while the mamas visited out in the children's area.  It was good for both of us!

Since organic cabbage was on sale for .19 a pound, I bought six heads and for the first time ever, I'm (hopefully) making sauerkraut.  It's all sliced and salted/brined.  So far, so good.  I also started a batch of kimchee - it's much less expensive when you make your own.  I fed all the cores and outer leaves that were bruised to the hens.
When you're fermenting, you can re-use old canning lids.
We had friends over to play while their mom went to an appointment.  It saved her driving a lot further to have them stay with Grandma for such a short time, plus it was a nice playgroup time for Daughter and her friends.

Several of the items above are part of some loose barter.  My friend whose kids came to play is the one who gave us tortillas and beef....and she was also kind enough to take our last hen so she wouldn't be alone.  The neighbor who took two chickens off my hands gave Daughter the jacket and is letting us use her spare booster seat.  These sorts of things can really help a lot.

I've been going through the house doing some spring cleaning/decluttering, and re-decorating with items on hand.  I have this vase that belonged to my great grandmother - I put some silk flowers in it and put it on my night table.  Just moving some things from one room to another is really re-freshing the house some, and it doesn't cost a penny.  So if you're tired of the same old same old, try moving some things around.  You already liked them well enough to bring them home, and the change may be just what you need.  :)

I hope that something here will give you an idea for saving money too!  There are so many ways to stretch our dollars, and sharing them means we can all benefit!

Shared at:
Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest

4 comments:

Sheila said...

Wow - you have a great list this week! It was fun even just reading it!

Anonymous said...

Your frugal accomplishments are phenomenal as always. This week I actually have something pretty great to report myself! I have been scouring freecycle and craigslist looking for a smaller table for my kitchen. Saturday my Khori called me out of the blue and said her meighbor had just offered her a kitchen table and did I want it? Did I ! Not only did I get a beautiful table but 2 leafs and SIX chairs all in excellent condition!
The little frugal things this week were a free dentastix sample in the mail for beamer, a large bottle of laundry detergent for only. 99 after sale price and coupons and a batch of corn chowder. made with cans of cream corn bought on the dented can shelf for. 27 each
Two cans made 6 servings! Keep up your inspiring posts, I'm learning a lot!
Love and God bless,
Helen

Mermie said...

I have always loved and been amazed by reading your blog posts!
xo

Laura said...

Thanks, Sheila - we really did have a good week - lots of money savers!

Helen, I saw your table and chairs picture - SO pretty! You are turning your place into a little country cottage! It's adorable. Also, I still need to mail your package....

Mermie, you're a sweetie!

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