Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Weekly Frugals

Another week, already?  Was it just me, or did this week fly by?  I hope yours was a good one - here are frugal things we did:

A neighbor who has done some major sorting and de-cluttering called and offered us some plastic storage totes.  We happily took them!  We will use them to store items in our garage while we're finishing the basement.  On that front, we moved some bookshelves out to the garage, and we are going through our books.  The ones we are keeping will go on the garage shelves, and the rest will be sold or donated.

We gave some excess ceramic tile with the same neighbor who gave us the totes.

I bought some of these gladiolas last year at Dollar Tree - there are six bulbs per pack, and they were absolutely beautiful.  I want to expand the bed, so I picked up some more to plant this year.  The ones from last year should return as well.

We borrowed books, games and movies from the library.

I colored my hair at home.  Since I have short hair now, I used my digital scale to weigh out half of each bottle of hair color into a glass bowl.  I stirred it with a couple toothpicks, used just one of the gloves that came with the kit, and I had more than enough product to color my hair.  I'll use the second half (I still have half of everything, includine one glove!) next time.  This wasn't so much about saving money - the whole kit was only $3 - but this way I wasn't wasting half the hair color that I didn't really need yet.

We used our wood stove for heat, burning firewood we picked up free.  Husband has already cut and stacked the truckload of firewood we picked up last week, and he thinks we might have enough for next season already.

When you've got a sweet potato, a couple russets, some pepper,
onion and a carrot, just toss it all together with some oil and spices
and roast it all in the oven.  This was a delicious way to use up
some odds and ends.

We did a fair amount of scratch cooking this week, and Husband made ribs, turkey wings and turkey legs in the smoker.  Husband uses trimmings from our fruit trees for smoking, so it's really affordable.  We had the ribs this week, and wrapped and froze the turkey for future meals.  I made a few things that use 'a little of this, a little of that' to avoid waste, and used some canned fruits and vegetables to stretch our fresh produce a bit.

Marinated 3-bean salad was a great way to stretch fresh produce this week - I added
some cucumber and celery for crunch.  Yum!
A single granny smith apple, a can of fruit cocktail and a few chopped pecans became
5 servings of fruit salad.  The syrup from the fruit cocktail helped sweeten some fruit punch.

Husband combined coupons, sales, and Ibotta/Checkout 51 offers to maximize our grocery dollars.  However...since we keep a fairly substantial pantry in our basement, we are going to dial back on the grocery purchases some.  We need to 'eat down' the pantry somewhat, so we have fewer foodstuffs to store while the basement work is completed.

I (finally!) got some things listed for sale on a local sale page.  Baby steps!

What did you do this week to spend less, save more, and make do?  


  1. I know it feels good to get your basement cleaned out in readiness for the work to be done. It will be wonderful when it is all done. How great to have all those storage tubs to pack into. Your roasted vegetables look wonderful. We do that too and it always so good no matter what goes in there.

    Have a great week!

    Our gas grill had stopped working so my husband rolled it into the screen porch so that he would have a table near by and patiently took it all apart and cleaned it and put it back together. Now it works as good as a new one. We had a grilled NY strip tonight before the weather turns cold again. Savings of about $300 over having to buy a new one. This was a good project for him right now. Something accomplished but not too taxing.

    Our daughter and her husband came and helped fix our fence that was damaged in the storm. Materials were $70. I suspect we saved hundreds over having a fence company come and fix it. I made chili for everyone and chased toddlers. Most of the time one was in the front yard and the other in the back and Bella decided she liked hanging out behind the shed so I could not see her at all. I would not trade that time for anything! They are so fun!

    I finished up the last of the buttermilk and put 1/4 cup of the last batch and milk that was at it's date to fill the quart jar and cultured a new batch. This homemade buttermilk is wonderful and keeps very well. We have never liked reheated biscuits until I started making them with my homemade buttermilk. Now they reheat and taste wonderful. Our cornbread is also the best we have ever eaten.

    We ate out much less this week so that was a big savings. My husband was cleared by the company medical center to work half days 5 days a week from home until he goes back a week from Tuesday. He has done well with it and our schedule feels a bit more normal.

    1. Sounds like a solid week! I'm so glad your family could help with the fencing, and that your husband had a project too! :-)

  2. I love the bean salad idea! I really like to have a time to eat from the pantry. It is good to help with the budget and helps to eat up some things so that they don't go bad.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lisa - I couldn't agree more.

  3. I finished week 3 of my low-budget, clean out the pantry challenge. I am pleased that I was able to stay at about $25 per week, so far, although I did budget more initially. I am really happy that I am seeing some space on the shelves and some empty places in the freezer. Of course, my empty canning jars just fill in the spaces in my home-canning cupboard, so it's just changing slowly over from full jars to empty ones. There is lots of food left, but I did start week 4 with a grocery shop to replace produce and a few other things I needed. I think it will last all week, so that's good.

    Today, I got a broken filling replaced, using dental insurance for the majority of the cost. I know that is common for most people, but this is the first dental insurance my husband and I have had for around 20 years, and it's a huge blessing for us to not have to pay the full amount.

    It's been a great week so far.


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