Sunday, March 5, 2017

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I played around a bit on and made some new headers for the blog (see above).  Canva has a lot of free resources (and some they charge for).  If you like to play with graphics, lettering, etc., it is a useful tool that can do a lot of things!  You can also upload your own photos and other images with no cost.

I refilled hand soap dispensers with some shampoo we got on sale, with coupons, and with a rebate.  For the foaming hand soap dispenser, I added water to get the proper consistency.  I add a little water to the standard pump dispensers as well.  The shampoo was pennies per quart and makes an economical hand soap.

As a little present to myself, I picked up a miniature orchid about 6 weeks ago.  It was blooming at the time, and those blossoms lasted quite a while.  It began to bloom again this week - there are three more buds that will likely open in the next week or so.  We live in a fairly dry climate, so I hae it in a glass...canister?...with a bed of aquarium gravel and some water to keep it more humid.  I am really enjoying my little orchid.

Husband has continued with Safeway's Monopoly game.  This week his instant winner freebies were a pack of Orbit gum, salt and 2 donuts.  We still have bananas and a loaf of French bread to redeem, and when he opened the game cards from this week he had one another free canister of salt.  I use the plain iodized salt to soak cabbage for kimchee, so we are pretty happy to stock up for free.  Later in the week he received coupons for free hummus, another donut or bagel, water crackers, some malt-o-meal cereal and a box of facial tissues.  This makes it sound like we must surely be spending a small fortune at Safeway, but we are not!

Husband flipped our piano bench, glued the cross piece that has been loose for a while, and clamped it to dry.  So far, so good!  We have this very long clamp from when we were building our house, and he used glue he had in his workshop.

Back in November, I bought a large soda at Sonic.  I bought it in the morning when they are 99 cents.  (I know...breakfast of champions.)  It had a survey on the receipt, which I completed, and then the receipt was good for a free Route 44 drink.  I picked up the free drink this week....and the lady gave me the receipt, which has a survey on it, good for a free Route 44 drink.  Echo...echo...echo...hee hee!

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We watched a family movie that we checked out from the library, Husband and I continued with our HBO series, and we all have books going.  After a recent training on and how it works (it is free through our district), I am going to take some courses there for work, and I'm going to have Daughter work through the piano lessons offered there.  We stopped piano lessons for her several months ago when her instructor raised prices with no warning, and we've been working through the books she had from that, but we are just about finished with those books...the timing of this is very good!

Daughter and I cleaned out/purged her play room area in the basement.  We have some things to sell and some to donate, and her space makes a lot more sense for her and her age/maturity now.

I made a batch of kimchee.

Cabbage is soaking in salted water in the crock on the left, for kimchee.
On the right, a batch of kombucha is brewing in a half-gallon jar.

I had a weekday off from work (because it was my Saturday to work) so we went to pick up a load of firewood while Daughter was in school.  I also picked up a kombucha scoby the same day, and started a half gallon batch of kombucha.

We had salmon one night for supper, and I made a compound butter for it - lemon zest, parsley, dill, some 'citrus grill' seasoning, garlic, and a bit of salt...and butter.  I made more than we used, so the next morning, I used that compound butter to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  YUM, y'all.  It used what we had on hand, but it also made me realize that we could make these tasty grilled cheese sandwiches on a regular basis!

Our little seed starts are doing...okay.  I will need to replant a few, but I'm hopeful that they will continue to grow.  Below is a jade plant that had gotten overgrown.  I sawed it all off level with the pot right at the new year, and it is coming back really nicely.  The leaves and stems are larger, which I think is a good thing.  I also have a pint jar full of rooted starts that I will likely share with friends, since I don't want 37 jade plants.

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


  1. We have a similar thing to your drink surveys. Every time we eat breakfast at Bojangles we get a survey for a free sausage biscuit so we just keep recycling that one and along with our senior cheapie .49 coffee we have a very inexpensive date morning out. I also did a survey on our Chick fil A receipt for a free sandwich. We scan their app every time we are in and get rewards. This week I earned a free FF so I see an inexpensive lunch out soon.

    I put three dozen muffins in the freezer for morning snacks this eek using up some over ripe bananas. Green peppers were 3/.79 so I put a bag of peppers in the freezer. They keep for about 6 months and I never throw out pepper that way. Groceries for this week were a total of $35 at Aldi. We are getting a Lidl store soon. I will be interested to see how the deals and prices will be there.

    Those long clamps sure do come in handy. Hubby has a strap clamp that he uses when a chair leg needs gluing. Just like you we feel it is better to fix what we have than replace it.

    Hav a frugal week!

  2. I laughed at your breakfast of champions remark - back in the day - my breakfast of champions was a soda and Snickers bar.
    The salmon sounded delicious and I like how you "repurposed" the leftover butter. I want to try Kombucha, but am scared since my stomach only seems to tolerate pasteurized drinks other than water or tea. Although, I haven't met anyone who makes it having digestive maybe I should just stop being a wuss.
    Have a great week!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jen. I started by trying kombucha from the store, and when that did OK for me, I started making it at home. I don't drink it all the time - just now and then....that's why I had to get a new scoby. You can make one at home from a bottle of store-bought kombucha - that's how I got my first one - but it takes a while. For what it's worth, I have a friend who has some issues with fermented foods - do what works best for you! :)

  3. The flower is beautiful. It looks like you had a great week. I'm sure it feels great to have firewood on hand. I know that we keep going to get another load where we dumped it at my sister's farm, but know that we have to cut more next summer because we are going to run out next winter if we don't.

    Kombucha is a love-hate things, for sure. I've tried twice to make it and let it go too far the first time and it molded the second time and then I gave up. My husband loves it and buys it occasionally. I normally can't tolerate it myself, so each to his/her own! I have a friend who is extremely sensitive to many, many foods, but she benefits from kombucha. She makes it successfully and if I get brave, she and one other lady I know can set me straight! One time, one lady I know made it with strawberries and it was actually tasty. I drank only a little, and I was good!

    1. I do like mixing kombucha with some fruit juice. If you cap it properly and give it time in the fridge, it will carbonate, and then it's really good. I understand, and agree - to each his own! I am definitely still learning.


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