Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Frugal Accomplishments

This past week was pretty good for us, frugally speaking.  We didn't have any unexpected expenses, and we were able to take advantage of a community meal, which saved some meal prep and food expenses this week.  I also had a snow day, so this saved on some fuel, since I didn't have to drive to school on Friday.

Here's what we did this week to continue to stick to our budget and keep things frugal:

  • Made all meals at home, including potato soup in the crockpot, lasagna soup, smoothies, salad, foccacia using the bread machine for dough, waffles with fruit, and oatmeal.  
  • Had lots leftover from Greek Day at school, so this made up lunches for several days.  These included hummus, pita chips, olives, grapes, and cheeses.  We will use some of the cheese this upcoming week for homemade mac and cheese.
  • Used brown paper bag for cooking bacon instead of paper towels in the microwave.  This paper was then composted.  (Our composter is closed, so we don't have concerns about animals getting into it.)
  • Continued with regular composting and recycling.  We continue to add brown paper to our compost, and are acquiring some of Mom's pecan shells to add to the compost as well.  
  • Made a minimal trip to the grocery store to pick up some produce and almond milk that was on sale.  The almond milk should last us for at least two weeks.  They had a lot of produce discounted, so I picked up some bell peppers, fruit, and blue potatoes unexpectedly.  
  • We had a meal at church on Wednesday night for the kids worship service.  This made meal prep easy and allowed us to stretch leftovers one more day.
  • Used the crockpot for two meals, which yielded leftovers to last most of the week.  This saved significantly on electricity.
  • Enjoyed a big family breakfast on Friday of waffles, smoothies, and bacon.  This meant that lunch was just snacks of fruit and cheese.
  • I saved an unopened carton of milk from being thrown away in the school cafeteria.  I took this home, though if we get more than a few, I usually take them to the food pantry or save them for kids who need a drink during the day.
  • We took advantage of a cooking class at the Playhouse for little man, where he made homemade granola.  He really liked this, so we're trying out a granola recipe at home this week.  He also enjoyed painting there.
  • A potential upstairs tenant visited, and we think she would be a good fit.  We're waiting to see if she sends us references.  Fingers crossed!
  • On our snow day, we finalized our taxes and got them in the mail.  We're hoping for some of a refund, which should help to round out the baby fund.  We also took some more pictures of eBay items to post online.
  • We planned two shared meals for the next week with friends.  One our friends will host, one we'll host.  This is a nice way to get some social time in without spending a lot to eat out.  It's also a fun culinary stretch for us, since both of these friends are vegan/vegetarian.  We're planning meals of enchiladas for one and these egg sandwiches (the pitas with feta) for the other.
  • The weather was beautiful, so we spent a lot of time outside over the weekend walking, blowing bubbles, and I spent some time surveying the garden trying to assess what needs to be done next.  We need to trim back some of the dead flower heads we left over the winter for the birds.
  • We discussed scheduling our mulch to be delivered and spread.  We should do it soon, before too many more perennials come up.  So, maybe we'll have that done right before/after baby comes home.
  • Benny touched up the paint on the coffee table where it had gotten scraped and scuffed.
  • Benny also finished the new TV shelf to add to our TV nook above the fire place.  It looks great, even though it doesn't quite meet his "OCD" tendencies.  And it was so much cheaper than purchasing something ready made.
  • We cleaned off the mantle and dusted some parts of the house.  We'll finish this deep cleaning this coming week.
  • We organized the freezer and put some things in the large freezer downstairs.
I'd love to hear what you did to live and save green this week!

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