Thursday, June 30, 2016

Frugal Accomplishments

This past month has been pretty good in terms of frugality.  There were a few expenditures out of the ordinary, but nothing that we hadn't planned for.

  • We continued to eat at home for all meals.  I'll include a meal plan for July soon.
  • The crockpot was used at least once a week for meal prep, which yielded leftovers for lunches.  It also saves on electricity and doesn't heat up the house like using the oven or stove.
  • Washed out produce bags for reuse.  We get a lot of bags with our CSA share, and if we're careful, they can last us the entire year, which means we have to buy very few storage bags.  The only ones we do purchase are freezer bags for storing produce from the garden for later in the year.
  • Kept up our grocery budget and managed to keep it to our $100/month goal.  This is largely due to having CSA veggies now.
  • Continued to use rags for cleaning, homemade cleaners, and very few paper towels/napkins.  What paper was used was composted.
  • Composted all appropriate kitchen scraps.
  • Enjoyed a few pot luck meals with friends, which made for easy meal prep and fun entertainment.
  • Picked blueberries and raspberries at friends' houses, so we didn't have to purchase these.  I managed to put one quart of raspberries in the freezer.  All other berries were eaten by our resident three year old fruit monster!
  • Harvested and braided our garlic, which should provide for the rest of the year.
  • Continued with cloth diapers and baby's diaper rash is gone!  This means less expense on diaper rash cream.
  • Used the clothesline to hang most laundry.  When it was raining, we hung clothes inside on racks.  We've even managed to hang towels and sheets out, which saves even more on our minimal dryer usage.
  • Prepared three more raised beds for the garden.  We'll use these for more raspberry plants, some gifted strawberry plants, and annual herbs such as basil.  These were filled with our own compost, spent hay, and lined with old newspapers and cardboard.
  • We are continuing to look for more sources for our compost.  I've found  a local brewery that will let us have spent grains, and we'll begin collecting coffee grounds from the coffee bar at church.  I might also find some things from the local food pantry, though I'm looking for more brown material than greens.
  • Kept our electric bill to around $100 by not running the AC and keeping windows open.  We draw the curtains in the afternoon to keep the sun out.  The ceiling fans are a huge help.
  • Made use of our Playhouse membership, public library story time, and pool membership (gifted for our birthdays) for free family outings.  
  • Found free music in the park for Friday night family fun.  We take a picnic dinner, and it really helps that the park is only a 10 minute drive.
  • Found out about some grants to help us pay for little man's speech services in preschool.  This new preschool is pricey, but the services they provide are amazing.  We'll continue to watch our budget to keep this a reality for the school year.
  • Have a potential lead on the room rental upstairs.  This tenant can't afford our usual $400/month, but we can negotiate some labor for rent.  He's willing to help with our painting projects, so it'll all work out.  Praying he finds a job to make his move a reality.
  • Found a dresser at Goodwill for the boys' room.  It was $40, a little more than I wanted to pay, but is in good shape and very well built.  It will add much needed storage to their closet.
  • Continued to post things on eBay for sale.  We sold some Mary Kay products, and Benny sold some electronics.  
  • Found clothes in the lost and found bin at school for the boys.  It will take a few years for them to grow into them, but it's worth the storage.  Otherwise, things were going to be donated to Goodwill.
  • Asked a friend about hand me downs for little man to save on clothing purchases.  You never know until you ask!
  • Made a birthday present instead of purchasing.  We bought a pack of t-shirts to tie dye, which yielded several shirts for the cost of one new toy.  The gift was useful, and it gave little man something fun to do, and he loves wearing his new shirts.
  • Got a good report from the endocrinologist and I don't have to go back for two years!  This means no $65 copays for a while, and fewer three hour road trips there and back.  It also means peace of mind.
  • Combined errands whenever possible.
  • Found kit to attach to downspout for the rain barrels.  Hoping to get rain barrels installed next month so we have that water to use when things get really hot.
I'd love to hear how you're living and saving green!  Feel free to leave a comment!

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