Friday, June 7, 2013

Frugal Accomplishments

Last Saturday was 'no license fishing day' in our state, so we went fishing.  Husband actually has his license already, but I have not gotten one this year.  I'm not sure I will be going that often, and if I decide I want to fish, I can get a license any time of year...for now, I'll just sit tight with a good book from the library.  Anyway, we caught five fairly quickly, and then things slowed down around 11, so we left then.  I cleaned, skinned and de-boned the fish and we used it to make croquettes with bread crumb, egg, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and some other spices.  It was really tasty!

We also went to Sam's Club on Saturday, on our way home from fishing (the fish was in a cooler, on ice).  Since we got there about lunch time, the samples were over the top.  We really got to try a lot of stuff, and while some of it was tasty, we stuck to our list.  :)

For $4 and change, I got a bunch of flower pots to add to our little outdoor area.  They were certainly not a need, but with an average price of less than 70 cents, they were a great price, and they will add a lot of color for years to come.  The flowers that went into the pots were technically free - I got them with some of the $25 credit at King Sooper, where they had 4 packs of flowers for $1 each.  I used soil from our garden, because it's pretty good soil.

I used $7.00 in coupons for groceries.  In our area, Save A Lot has bacon on sale for $2 a pound.  We have had this bacon before, and we like it quite well, so I picked up six packages.  I am hoping to stay out of the stock-up money for that, but we will see where things stand at the end of the month.  If you don't know it, bacon freezes just fine.  I just put the packages directly into the freezer, and then thaw/cook when it is time for some. 

I made these cookies, fried rice

Some of the 'decorations' in our little outdoor area are from a time when a lady on freecycle was offering 'lawn ornaments'.  It was one of those deals where you had to take all of them, so of course, we did.  Two big white concrete geese, a couple of ceramic frogs, a white frog planter, a big black ceramic kitty, a pretty awesome bull that has since bitten the dust and a few more that I can't remember right now.  They are all a little weather worn, so I am taking leftover spray paint from previous projects and using it to make things wild colors.  So far I have an aqua blue goose, a purple goose and a hot pink bird feeder. The next time daughter has her friend over to play, I will give them small brushes and craft paints so they can paint on polka dots, flowers, stripes...whatever suits their fancy.  I think we will finish off with a clear seal and some glitter, because who can resist rainbow glitter geese?

I got the rest of the garden planted.  Amish pie pumpkins, zucchini, soybeans for edamame, a few beets, tomatoes, more green beans, carrots and lettuces and greens, and Malabar spinach.  I planted all my Malabar spinach seed, so I am going to watch for some seed to go on clearance this fall.  I think it might be my all-time favorite cooked green!  Our garden is not large, but it will provide us with a lot of produce if the weather is good and we take care of it, which we definitely plan to do!

I harvested parsley, basil, a few spinach leaves, asparagus and green onion tops.

I picked a couple of iris flowers for the kitchen table.  The scent is really pretty, but strong - I was surprised by that.

OK, so up above where I said I got the rest of the garden planted...on Monday we had a rabbit program and on the way home, we stopped at Kmart because my prescription was ready for pick up, so I used part of the gift card they gave me to get seeds for daikon radish, Armenian cucumber (they are supposed to set even in hot weather), and baby bok choy.  I will wait on the bok choy for cooler weather, but I think I might slip a cucumber seed or two in somewhere, and I have a spot in mind for the radishes.  These are those long white radishes used in Asian cuisine.  I want to grow about four, so I can experiment with a couple and make takuan with a couple (it's a pickled radish - so good!)  I have to find out if it's OK to put pumpkins and cucumbers close to one another - I know that cucumbers will make cantaloupe taste really bitter, and I don't want any of that sort of trouble.

Kohls sent me another $10 off any purchase (any purchase of $10 or more) card.  This time around I'm thinking kitchen towels or washcloths.  K-mart gave me $3 in reward points that had to be used right away, and so I did (actually, that was last week, on the Lime Away that was on clearance).  Oh, and on Thursday, Kmart send me another email with another $3 in points.  More seeds?  Kleenex?  Time will tell.

We are helping with the garden at church, so we stopped and did some work on a day when we were already in town for a rabbit program.  We put the rabbit carriers in the shade and gave them hay and water, so they were comfortable while we did a little weeding.

Recently,  friend of mine let me into a private 'thrifty group' on freecycle.  It's people local to me, and I guess it's like a mini craigslist, which works out kind of great since the craigslist for the region covers a large area.  Anyway, I had told Daughter that she would get a thank-you-for-helping gift at the end of Summer reading.  There are these stuffed animals horses she's seen that she really likes, and they are about $20.  I got one from a lady today for $4, her children just weren't interested in it - and really, it does look brand new!  I have it set back for the end of July when we are done with all the bunny rabbit programs for summer reading.

Room for Improvement.

We went to the bread outlet.  I have this card that allows me to go online and print coupons for their Sara Lee products, making them buy one, get one free.   One per customer.  I had Daughter with me, so we got two loaves of the lower carb 100% whole wheat bread, a pack of 100% whole wheat hot dog buns and another of 100% whole wheat hamburger buns.  All that was $2.50.  The room for improvement part is where I forgot to have them punch my punch card.  I even had it with the coupons and the money...I just forgot.  It's going to take us forever to fill that thing as it is, but if I forget like that, it's going to take us two forevers.

I stopped at the convenience store to get a drink on Tuesday, after the rabbit program.  It was 85 cents with tax.  I had left my purse in the car, so I just had the .15 in change....and Daughter asked for a beef stick.  I explained that I only had the .15 on me, but the man behind the counter said he was the manager and he gave her the 'adorable child discount'.  I think we should take her along if we ever need to go car shopping....but still, better planning would have saved my entire dollar, lol.

I didn't make a menu plan this week.  Husband was on nights, and in addition to that, his night schedule is erratic - he has to go in at different times on different nights. I don't know that it cost us more money, because I used up some things we had in the fridge, but it did cost me time, because when I don't have a plan, I feel more like it takes me longer to figure out what I'm doing. 


christine said...

I am enjoying reading your weekly blog entry about your frugal accomplishments. I too have made those cookies, but added coconut. They are easy and can't be burned. I'm not the grandma who makes cookies as I always seem to burn them!

Laura said...

I like to make them when it's hot, Christine. They don't heat up the house like oven cookies do - I bet they're delicious with coconut, too! Thanks for the tip. :)

Cathy said...

I have a few questions for you that maybe you could answer in your blog?

1. What do you purchase at Sam's Club? I'm not exactly sure what is a bargain there and what isn't.

2. Did you come up with the idea to add Choffy grounds to muffins or did someone suggest it? Those grounds smell sooooo good!

3. You seem to always be moving prescriptions around to get rewards. Are you able to do that when you use insurance? Or do you only get those when you aren't paying by insurance?

As always, I adore your blog. Even when I don't comment I am here reading.

Pamela @ Flower Patch Farmhouse said...

Hi Laura, you left a comment and question on my blog but you are a no reply blogger so I had to hunt you down. About your Iris, yes you can plant them immediately, no need to wait. I hope your friend enjoys them. Regards, Pamela


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