Friday, March 7, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments for the Week

We went to the supermarket to purchase some produce.  I had a coupon from the store that saved me $1 on $4 (or more) spent on fruit.  I really love Minneola tangelos, and they were .99 a pound, so mostly, I got those....and a banana.  The oranges I had picked out put me at about $3.80, so the banana put us over the $4 so we could save the $1.  I also stocked up on plain tortilla chips that were .80 per 10 oz. bag.  Cutie tangerines were available as a free sample, so Daughter and I each had one.

We used the wood stove to supplement our heating and reduce our propane usage.

The regulator valve in the master bath was acting up.  We called the manufacturer and got a replacement part (lifetime warranty, $5 shipping) and Husband replaced it.  We had already figured out the problem, but if we hadn't we could have called the manufacturer, described the problem, and they would have helped us figure it out.  So...if you're not sure, give them a call and see if they will help! :)

A friend and I are trading play dates once a week, so that our daughters can spend some time together and also so that we can do some things we need to do now and then that may not be fun, interesting or appropriate for kids to attend.

Grandma and Grandpa sent a Girls Day box for Daughter.  Girls Day is a special day in Japan when  tea, snacks and your favorite doll come together for a special tea party.  (Yes, this is very much over-simplified, thank you for your grace.)  We enjoyed having a special time to celebrate.  We invited a friend and her doll, and we supplemented with a few other snacks and some fresh fruit, served with lemon-ginger tea and honey.

We combined errands to save trips to town.  Some things were done Sunday on the way home from church, and the rest took place on Wednesday, when I had an appointment in town.

I've been subbing a little at the library, win-win for everyone concerned.  We borrowed movies, books and other media from the library at zero cost.

I made salsa, franks and beans w/rice, king ranch chicken, pork stew w/rice, deviled eggs,  roast turkey,  mashed potatoes, gravy, glazed carrots,  marinated 3-bean salad, strawberry slush and lunchroom cookies.  I prepped lots of fruits and veggies too.  All of the above was gluten-free - woo hoo!

I also made Irish Soda Bread for the first time ever!  It called for buttermilk...which I Mac-Gyvered out of water, milk powder, lemon juice and some past-date-but-still-fine half and half.  It was super good soda bread.  I can't believe I never made it before!  (This was not even remotely gluten-free.)

I continued horse and barn-cat sitting for a neighbor.  She told me it was OK for me to take some of the wasted hay for my bunnies, so I topped off my hay can.

We used some items we had on hand - some extra/scrap carpeting, a table that we've had for nearly 25 years and some carpet-grip backing - to set up a grooming area in the bunny barn.  I need to get the Angoras used to grooming.  I take them out first thing, put them on the carpet piece (traction makes them more comfortable) with a bit of hay and brush them lightly all over.  It's working well so far.

This one sort of snuck up on me.  I was going to buy some of that aerosol whipped cream to put on jello, hot cocoa, etc.  They were out, so I just bought some whipping cream instead.  It is much less costly per ounce.  Better, I was able to use it lots of different ways.  I did whip some for jello, but I also used some in a supper recipe.  The recipe called for half and half, which I didn't have (because I used it in the Irish Soda Bread) I used about 2/3 water and the rest whipping cream.  Later in the week, I added a bit of cream to frozen strawberry smoothies too.  Super yum.  We still have lots left, and the use by date is far away.  I think this is a better solution for us, since it's much more versatile.

Lunch at home, with a compendium of dragons.

Dollar Tree had some Nabisco Fruit Cookies - 10.5 oz packages of lemon ones.  I had coupons for .75 off the same cookies, so I was able to purchase them for .25 per package.  This is one of those random lucky moments when I happened to have a coupon that fit with an item they had on the shelf.  They also have the Asian Fish Taco Recipe Starters (Kraft), and I have .55 coupons, (so they would be .45), but they contain wheat.  The cookies can be used for snacks, but I don't really want to cook a dinner that one of us can't have, so I passed on those...though I might pick up one or two to donate to the food pantry.

Most of our laundry was done with homemade laundry soap.  I did one load with a free sample I got the other day - a pod pack?  I don't even remember.  All of it was hung to dry in our basement.

I picked up a small cabinet that fits really well in our dining area.  It was used, and only $10.  I paid for it with funds from selling some things we had that we no longer needed.  Also, this meant I could move a larger cabinet out of our dining area, which left it feeling much more open and spacious.  That cabinet was moved to Daughter's room, where it is probably full of legos.  I'm encouraging her to decide how she uses it, so I have had less input.  She's growing up, and it's time for her to feel more ownership and responsibility for her space.

Daughter started piano lessons this week.  In and of itself, I don't know that it's frugal...I mean, I'm not bartering for the lessons or anything like that, but I do very much like her instructor.  She is incredibly talented and makes the lessons fun.  Her prices are very reasonable I think - $15 per lesson - and we live near her, so we are not driving far for the lessons.  The other frugal things we do make these funds possible, and I am happy we are able to give our daughter this opportunity.

I hope you had a good, happy, frugal week!  I'd love to hear about it, if you feel like leaving a comment. :)

-Laura at TenThingsFarm


Theresa F said...

Wow, you had a great week.

Bellen said...

If your heavy cream nears the expiration date you can whip it, drop it in dollops on waxed paper, freeze it then transfer to a container or baggie and just take out what you need. They are terrific on a cup of cocoa.

The Moxley Family said...

I want to learn to play piano so bad! When my daughter is old enough, I plan to put her in lessons. Maybe I'll learn with her!

MY link:

momma-lana said...

We only ate out once this week! Other meals were cooked at home.

I was able to 'purchase' several items for free this week with coupons. I picked up a box of Cascadian Farms granola that had a try me free rebate peelie on it. I have actually mailed off for the rebate too!

We saved money this week by staying home. I have an infection on my knee that has been crazy painful and so I have not really been anywhere but the grocery store once this week besides running out for Chick Fil A one morning. I have treated the infection in my knee with essential oils so no Dr bills.

That is about it since I have been camped out on the couch for half of the week.

momma-lana said...

I don't know if you have Dollar Tree but ours carries heavy whipping cream half pints for a buck.

A Russian friend of mine was reading a cookbook and my house and come across half and half in a recipe. She asked me what it was. You feel really stupid saying it is half milk and half cream in a carton when the person asks 'why'.

$15 is great for piano lessons and I count them worth it if the child is interested. I have been a piano teacher and if the child is not interested then it is a waste of money.

amanda emerson said...

Growing up my family never had money for many extras but I was blessed to take piano lessons. One great thing about piano lessons is that they last. Your daughter is gaining musical skills that she will be able to use the rest of her life unlike something like gymnastics. I have also found the piano to be a real blessing to others. I currently play the piano at our church and this would not be possible without years of lessons. I have noticed that where we live there is really a shortage of available pianists. Here is a link to my frugal accomplishments:


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