Friday, March 14, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments this week, and a recipe

This week, I feel like we've done really well with living frugally.  Here's how it's played out:

Grocery shopping on Sunday was only sale, coupon, and need items.  (Well, ok, I did splurge on a $1.99 box of clearance junk cereal for me.  I'd been craving some for about two months.)  We stocked up on cabbage, which is on sale around St. Paddy's Day, and keeps in the fridge for several weeks.  I also found some bell peppers on the discount produce rack at 3/$2.50, which is really good for grocery store prices around here.  It's hard to find them for less than $1.00/pepper.

We were also given some eggs and cheese by my mom, which was a nice treat.  Now I probably won't have to buy either until the end of the month.  When I got to school on Monday, I found the conference table covered with leftover concessions items, including a whole box of bananas.  The items were available to anyone for a donation of their choice, so I took a whole bag of bananas and a few other snack/breakfast items for the week for a small donation that fit our budget.  The bananas were mostly frozen for later use in bread and muffins.  Of course we used our reusable shopping bags, which we got a five cent credit for at one store.

Made a crockpot of cabbage, tomato, and ground beef soup.  I usually make this with ground sausage, but all we had was the beef.  It was a great way to stretch a half pound of meat, and we love cabbage in soup.  We supplement the protein by adding beans, this time pintos.  But usually, I prefer red kidney beans.  (I'm listing the "recipe" below.)  This lasted us for lunches all week, and dinner on Tuesday night.  By cooking it in the crockpot, it means we used a fraction of the energy of the stove top.

Made enchiladas with more pintos, turkey from the freezer, half of a sale pepper, onion, and cheese and flour tortillas.  (Most of these were bought on sale or with a coupon.)  I used store bought enchilada sauce.  This made enough for dinners and lunches to fill out the week.

Benny made a loaf of whole wheat bread in the bread machine.  This was great with soup and for toast for breakfasts.  We also made muffins early in the week using raspberries we had in the freezer from the summer, which we picked for free from a friend.

We were a one car family this week, since the Jetta was in the shop again, and found it really worked for us, especially since I carpool to work  We're slowly thinking that perhaps we could do this full time.  We'll continue to evaluate and see.

We didn't eat out, buy anything extra, or splurge (aside from my cereal) this week.  We went ahead and scheduled all our bills for the rest of the month, so they're all set to be paid.

Made a birthday card instead of buying one.  Made a loaf of banana bread as a gift for a friend.  Found a coupon code for a photo book for a birthday gift, so it's much less expensive than we originally thought, but still a very thoughtful gift.

Found the code for our tablet and realized that we still have a week before the warranty runs out.  This is great since the touch screen junked out earlier this week.  Benny's taking care of the details; we're hoping to get a replacement.

We sold about $70 worth of stuff on eBay, so we're that much closer to cleaning out and having our CSA money. Yay!

What about you?  What were your frugal accomplishments this week?  How are you living and saving green?

Cabbage, Sausage, and Tomato Soup:

1/2 head cabbage, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
1/2 lb ground sausage or beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped
1 24 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can kidney beans or 2 c homemade
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt or minced garlic
generous tsp of ground pepper
fennel seeds if not using sausage

Combine all ingredients except beans in crockpot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Add beans about 4 hours into cooking time.  Serve with homemade bread or saltine crackers.

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