Friday, October 11, 2013

Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, all!  I just took a few photos this week - hope you don't mind!  Here are our frugal accomplishments:

I signed up for two free magazine subscriptions - one for my mom and one for my dad.  I used my email, so they get the magazines, and I get the spam.

I like to measure everything into the jar (so I know it will fit in the jar)...

Food prep for the week included tuna croquettes, tartar sauce, carrot-raisin salad, lots and lots of green salad, Italian dressing mix, Italian dressing, roasted potatoes and onions, glazed carrots, chicken stock, trail mix, zucchini bread, apple bread, a breakfast casserole, spaghetti and meat sauce, chili and rice and parmesan-sesame crusted chicken.  We had home-canned green beans and fresh mushrooms that I picked up on markdown.

....then dump it out, mix, and then re-fill the jar.

I belong to a very local 'saving group' on Facebook.  I sold a tub of Duplos and a loaf of zucchini bread this week.  The cottage industry law in my state allows for selling some items - honey, baked goods in small amounts, jams and jellies in small amounts and eggs - without a commercial kitchen.  I've put out feelers and it looks like this could be a way to bring in a little cash now and then.  Because the group is so local, I can bake something, photograph it and name a price.  If it sells, OK.  If not, it will go in my freezer or pantry.

We borrowed books and movies from the library. 

Husband and I dismantled the pizio-electric on the tankless water heater.  It's a little doohickey with a flywheel in it that generates the power to spark the doohickey where the propane comes out, so that it will light and heat our water, and it's been acting a little fussy.  We cleaned all the screens and filters and lubricated the flywheel.  So far, so good.  (Update - nope, still fussy.) A new water heater will run right around $900 (including permit), so we hope we can get this resolved.

I picked up two books at the library friends sale that I know Daughter will love.  They are put away for her birthday or for Christmas.

A friend blessed us with some Christian fiction and two cookbooks, plus some pretty purple pencils!  I will pay her for the postage.  Thank you, Helen!  We love it all!

I found a recipe online for dry Italian dressing mix, so I made a batch, then used some of it to make Italian dressing.

I loaned my friend the food mill attachment for the Kitchenaid mixer.  When she brought it back, she had tucked in some thank-you treats for us.  Thanks, Kelly!  She was also kind enough to take some kale...since I grew it and don't know what to do with it, other than chopping a little into soup.

I used the frame from a rotisserie chicken we'd eaten to make chicken stock, which was the base for a vegetable soup we had this week.  I went through the vegetable drawer for the soup too, and used a celery heart, some chopped onion, etc. that might not have been used otherwise.

I made apple butter and dehydrated some apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.

We ended up with 12 jars of apple butter - 10 half pints and 2 three quarter pints.

We combined errands and a field trip for Daughter on town day.  While we were out, we used a coupon at Wendy's.  For 1.07 total, Daughter and I each had a substantial snack.  Raisins in bulk went on sale, so I got a little over 5 pounds, and refilled our container.  (We were out.) I was able to get some dish soap for .50 per bottle.  There is another variety free with a coupon and I got three of those as well.  We're stocked for a while.

We visited the Happy Cats Haven, a no-kill shelter where Daughter will be volunteering once a month.  (happy happy!)

We fed apple scraps to the chickens.

We washed full loads of laundry with homemade laundry soap, and dried them on drying racks downstairs. 

We were given a loaf of banana bread.  We cut some to go with our popcorn on movie night.

Room for Improvement:

We got three eggs this week.  When you factor in that our half-size birds lay half-size eggs, this is not going to be enough.  I need to get a light out there on a timer....and I need to figure out how to get the two blue-gray hens to break their broodiness.  They have been broody for a long time, and really, girls, it's time to give it up for a while. :) 

With the water heater acting up, we are running water that is cold when we need hot.  It looks like we are going to have to replace the pizio-electric.  It's an expensive part, so hopefully it really is the problem.  Then again, every part on this thing is pricey, and they're all non-refundable, so we are at least making an informed guess...I hope.  Replacing the part isn't the 'room for improvement', but running excess water is.

OK, there's my list!  How was your week?  What did you do to save money, and how did you have fun?  Leave a comment, pretty please!


Anonymous said...

I love, love, love your posts both on the blog and on Facebook. I wanted to share a great kale recipe that I will be trying out this weekend:

Anonymous said...

I'll start with today and work my way backwards
Today I got a free pack of instant coffee samples in the mail! These will complete a Christmas gift of like new mug from yard sale 25 cents, a chocolate spoon wrapped in colorful saran wrap and tied with a ribbon. Total about 75 cents yay!!!
Took the beat up coloring book that belongs to my granddaughter and cut oit both the good pages and good pieces. At 3. I get a lot of good pieces as she makes a few lines and declares her masterpieces allllllllll done Nonna! This will prolong the book for at least a week or two
Made a month's worth of dog food.
Worked on a pair of slipper socks for yet another Christmas present.
Thats' about it this week.
Hugs and God bless,

Laura said...

Thank you both for posting! I think kale in stuff is a pretty good plan. Kale on it's own is too strong for me, I think.

I'm working on some Christmas presents too...more on that soon! ;)

momma-lana said...

Baked all of our bread this week and ate all meals at home but one and we had a BOGO coupon. We had a wonderful dinner out for 13.50 plus tip and it was so huge that we brought home soup for lunch the next day and pasta dishes and bread that fed us supper with the addition of a salad. I do not feel bad about eating out if we do it smart. We have a budget for this so it is not an 'added' expense. I made banana bread with some very ripe bananas and took some to a friend who pours her time into my life regularly. Such a blessing to have friends like that.

After our new refrigerator was delivered I spent a few days organizing all of the freezers so that I know what is where and what we have. I now have all of the freezer cooking meals organized into one freezer so that it is easy to look in there and pull out a meal if my day goes amiss instead of eating for that reason. Our new, saved for and paid cash for, appliances will save us a good bit on our utility bills since the ones they replaced were 15 plus years old. We will order a plug to bi-pass the water filter on the fridge. Replacement filters are $40 and we do not need to filter our very good well water.

I painted some old rockers for our bedroom this week and they turned out great. It gives us a comfy cottage feel. I brought in a round table that was stashed in the garage to go between them. The table was a $3 yard sale find. Then I did not like the lamp I had for that place, but wait, I don't like the lamp in one of the guest rooms. Swapped them and they look great and it was free!

Hubby is painting the master bath and ceiling today. Many people that we know hire painters which is so expensive. We do our own painting. Saves a ton. We have struggled with mildew stains on the bathroom ceiling for 20 years so I am taking care of that problem by painting the ceiling gray-ha! It looks great!

Lunch today will be Burger King since we get free fries and we have a coupon for a totally free Whopper. We will drink water. Nice treat!

I got two free magazine subscriptions this week too! I received International Delight coffee samples in the mail. My daughter will like those when she visits.

Picked up a number of free and nearly free items at the grocery store. Shopped Aldi for our produce which usually saves half or more.

I have 13 peppers on my pepper in a pot and my tomatoes are loading up again. Our beautiful weather continues so maybe they will have a chance to grow a bit before I have to put them in the garage or empty the pots.

Hubby and I have again eaten most meals on the screen porch but cannot stay out late anymore because there is definitely chilly air quickly after sundown. This is the strangest fall I remember.

I hope you can get your water heater problem resolved soon for as little as possible. My husband orders appliance parts greatly discounted online if that helps and you can wait on the part.

Have a good week everyone!

Cathy said...

It wasn't a frugal week AT ALL! I took an unplanned trip to South Carolina. My brother in law has been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the lung and liver. He keeps going in and out of the hospital. Because of this, my sister can't watch her 4 month old grandson anymore. While they were waiting for a spot in daycare, I watched the baby!

Brother in law hasn't worked in over a month due to illness so I paid some of their bills, went on 2 massive grocery trips and stocked their pantry and freezer. Also got them some gas gift cards and little things. Like a dozen donuts and some k-cups to put a smile on my sister's face.

I also brought back their oldest dog to live with my parents. So...Helen said she made dog food. How is that made?

What else? Well that's about it. I spent a fortune this past week along with lots of laundry and cleaning for my sister. Then I came back home yesterday. Due to not being ready for the sudden trip, I didn't get to bring many clothes so I kept washing them while I was there. That little baby of ours gets his milk all over me! LOL

Cathy said...

Forgot to ask. What is/are Duplos?

momma-lana said...

I love that your daughter is volunteering at the animal shelter. Our DIL volunteers at their shelter in the cat room and she took us to meet all of her cats when we visited :)

One more frugal thing--Dollar General had lots of clearance items 70% off this week and I was able to score a bunch of stocking stuffers for way cheap. You all might want to check your store.

Laura said...

Lana, y'all have been positively busy! I agree with you about eating out now and then - sometimes there are some really decent bargains to be found. :) Thanks for the tip about Dollar General, too!

Laura said...

Cathy, it's always good to hear from you - I will keep your family in my prayers during this difficult time. I know you are such a blessing to them. :)

Oh, and duplos are the larger, toddler age legos. :)

momma-lana said...

Laura, I finally met my ladies that I will be mentoring at the half way house this morning at church. Such sweet ladies and we are all the same age which is kind of funny since I am supposed to mentor them. I think they will likely be more of a blessing to me than the other way around.

Marivene said...

Laura, kale is very good, as is any green, mixed into baked beans or bean soup. The flavors go well together.

Laura said...

Lana, I'm really glad you got to meet with the ladies - I'm eager to hear how it all goes over the course of time.

Marivene, thanks for your note. I've been doing 'salad in a jar' for lunch, and it's been going great, right up to this week, when it's been cold and I've decided that for winter, I'll be doing soup for lunch instead. I want it to be healthy and affordable, and I think my kale will be a good addition to a lot of different soups. :)


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