Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall Frugality

The rhythm of fall is different.  Couple that with us returning from a week of vacation and this was a week for shifting gears!  Happy fall, y'all! ;)  These are the ways we saved money and enjoyed the week:

This is one of the quilts that Grandma sent home for Daughter's bedroom.
The other one is pink pastels...both are rail fence pattern...and just beautiful.

This one for us is not as bright/red as it appears in the photo.  It's a rose color with a bit of green and blue. 
So lovely!

I purchased items on sale, with coupons or both, for the most part.  I got a few things free - some Emerald Breakfast to Go Packs (store promo), 3 tubes of Crest (free after double coupon and sale) two rolls of Brawny paper towels (free after double coupon and sale) and 2 Suave deodorants (free after double coupon and sale).  Other highlights - 16 oz. sour cream for .60 after coupon/sale, Tombstone pizzas for 1.90 each after sale, coupon and catalina, Kleenex tissues for .79 a box after coupon/sale, Honey Nut Cheerios for .79 a box after sale/coupons...all in all, it was a good week.  I also went to Sam's and stocked up on cheese, cheese and more cheese.  I repackaged it when I got home and froze it for future use. 

His name is Froggy.  We set him free.

We rescued a leopard frog in our window well.  We live in a semi-arid region, but it has been a wet, wet summer (comparatively).  Frogs are, well, rare here, and it was really exciting to get to help one!

We made beef stew curry, rice, breakfast tacos, shoyu chicken, sesame spinach, mashed potatoes (a double batch, so I froze some for a future meal), panfried zucchini, a Bolognese type sauce and pasta and steamed broccoli.  I also made some simpler things like a boxed noodle dinner.  Our average supper this week cost approx. .60 per person thanks to buying things on sale, stocking up previous weeks and cooking from scratch.  Breakfasts and lunches cost even less! 

I bought this with some of our summer sales fund. 
My mom had given me the jar attachments from
 her food saver.  With this and the attachments,
I can make up salads for the week on Sunday,
vacuum seal them and they are fresh each day.

I made four this week because I knew we had lunch plans for Friday.  They stored perfectly and were
fresh each day. Love it!  It's easy and fast to pour the greens in a bowl and add some mix-ins for a
healthy, fast lunch.

I had an appointment in town on Tuesday.  We did our other town errands that day.  We used a 20% off coupon at Goodwill that will expire before we're in town again, got something free I'm not going to divulge because it might end up in stockings, went to the library, etc.  Books, music, games and other media were free from the library.  A good library system is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Speaking of the library, we attended a free homeschool program all about science.  It was 'milk science' and the students got to make butter and whipped cream and learned about  homogenization, pasteurization and more. 

I used furniture wax/polish to get rid of the oxidation on our cranberry colored front door.  It looks much better!  I rejuvenated our welcome mat too.  It's still in great shape, it was just looking faded and tired.  It's indoors for these pictures, which is why the door isn't cranberry, hee hee.

Our welcome mat has faded to a pinkish color and a lot of the color in the middle has worn away.

I fixed it up with some craft paints I had on hand.  Much better, and basically no-cost.

I signed up for a free 1 year subscription to Family Circle magazine.

These 'carrot balls' are from our garden.  Aren't they weird???

I shredded the zucchini that grew large while we were away on vacation.  It's in one-cup portions, and I will use it this winter to make zucchini bread.  We picked about a third of our apple crop -the rest will be ready over the course of the next few weeks.  many of our apples have bird, hail or deer damage, so there is a lot of cutting away of bad parts.  Some are nice enough to keep for fresh eating, which is great news.  I've made 7 pints of apple pie filling, 7 quarts of applesauce and lots of chicken scraps.  I can likely get another batch of applesauce from this first harvest.

applesauce and apple pie filling

These jar lids are 2 pieces - a rubber ring and a plastic cap,
and they are re-usable.

Big R stores are having a 50th anniversary celebration.  Wednesday's big deal was 50% off Nutrena feed, limit 5.  Since we have chickens, I got 4 bags of layer pellets and 1 of scratch grains - 250 pounds total - for $33.75.  Major savings! 

We took Daughter to another free library program on Saturday - the 501st something-or-other of storm troopers.  She was in 7th heaven!

It looks like they're about to tussle, but I think they were just giving one another thumbs-up.

The kids got to make light sabers too...the printouts for the handle are somewhere on
Disney's Family Fun site, I think.

My friend Kelly came over and taught Daughter and I how to use a knitting loom.  I can knit on one...and I purled one row too!  Kind of excited about it - thank you, Kelly!

Room for Improvement:

We tried sauerkraut this week.  Thumbs down all the way around.  We didn't like it at all.  I tried to,  No.  Now, I have dear friends telling me there is more to it than just opening the jar to re-heat...but I'm not sure we're ready to try again just yet.

How was your week?  What did you do to save and enjoy the autumn weather?


kate steeper said...

Your kids always look so pleased with the free and low cost stuff you find for them to do , I wish there was more in the UK , here theyre so busy shutting libraries and local facilities that theres not much anymore..Kate

Laura said...

I know what you mean, Kate. It is not like this throughout the U.S. either - different areas fund their library districts in different ways...and some don't fund them at all. This library district is well-funded, but also well-run. It's an impressive operation.

Another thing I'm aware of in our area are little co-operatives. Three or four parents or grandparents will form a group and take turns hosting activities, learning opportunities, field trips, etc. It's a nice way for parents and children to connect and learn together. I think it makes things more affordable too.

Rhonda said...

Your home is beautiful and the quilts are so nice, I like them a lot.

In the apple photo, I am wondering what the tall silver thing is the back right background?

Laura said...

Thank you, Rhonda, for your kind words. That big silver thing is our Berkey ceramic water filter. We have well water, and it significantly improves the taste of it, but it's supposed to still allow some minerals through, unlike distilling. You can use them to make puddle water drinkable if you have to, but ours is just to improve the drinkability of our well water. :)

I agree 110% about those quilts - my mama is amazing!

Terri Cheney said...

I'm so glad I found your site through one of the linky parties! The carrots remind me of a packet of seeds I saw and the carrots were round like radishes. Love the way you spruced up the door mat! That is clever clever.

Sauerkraut: Rinse rinse rinse and squeeze dry and THEN put a little bit of brown sugar in with it to heat up. It's good with pork or sausages that way. Rinsed and put on a corned beef sandwich with Swiss cheese and homemade Thousand Island dressing and toasted for Reubens (so good in winter with creamy potato soup).

Laura said...

Hey, Terry, thanks for the info about sauerkraut....I will save it for a day when I feel brave, lol.

I have seen the carrots that you described, but I didn't ever buy that least not based on the labels. All of our carrots are short this year, and we didn't plant short varieties. Oh well.

Glad to have you here! :)

momma-lana said...

I love,love sauerkraut! No rinsing for me and I will eat it straight out of the can cold! It comes from being raised on it I think.

My husband and his 3 siblings went in on a lift chair for my Father-in-law. I was able to find our share out of our regular budget without having to withdraw money from savings. It has made life much easier for him as he was really struggling to stand up.

I stocked up on pasta for 25 cents a pound with a sale and coupons. I bought all of our produce at Aldi and saved a bunch of money. I made applesauce from the last bag of frozen apples from last fall. I made our bread and pizza crust from scratch.

I have given up on a fall lettuce crop. The squirrels will not leave it alone and they have pretty much destroyed it all.

I bought new bedding for our bed on clearance plus 30% off from Land's End. I bought a $200 quilt for $55 and shams for $9 each. I plan to do a frugal redo of our bedroom. We will paint some furniture that we have and add some accents. The window treatments are reusable. We will have to paint our bathroom but the bathroom has not been redone for 18 years, yikes.

Saturday morning we took our daughter and her family out for breakfast using a certificate that I got for free. The we took advantage of the Smithsonian free museum day and went to a new Dicken's museum. It was very interesting and we really enjoyed it.

I cleaned 4 boxes of stuff out of my kitchen and a box and shelving unit out of our attic last week.

I painted the base of our kitchen table and it is hugely improved. I did have to buy the paint but I have many projects planned for that one gallon so it was well worth the cost.

The quilts are beautiful! What a lovely way to think of your Mom everyday.

Laura said...

Momma-Lana, it sounds like you've been really busy and found some great deals - congrats! Now...where do I mail that sauerkraut? ;)

momma-lana said...


Katie said...

Your apple pie filling looks delicious! I have apples on my counter awaiting the same yummy fate.

Ginger said...

Yea, I found your blog again! I link to you on my own blog so I can't loose you again!!!!
I missed seeing your posts!


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