Monday, December 12, 2016

Frugal Accomplishments

This past week we had some great frugal scores, as well as keeping up with our regular activities.  Here's our list of accomplishments:

  • Cooked all meals at home.  This included lentil sweet potato soup using homemade turkey stock, sweet potato waffles, baked chicken with sweet potatoes and salad, and cranberry currant muffins.
  • Took leftovers for lunch every day to work.
  • We took advantage of lots of overflow from the food pantry and said yes to:  half gallon of milk, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, chopped root veggies, yogurt, oranges, pomegranates, and bread.  This will keep us from having to go to the grocery store this week and maybe next week.
  • Took advantage of three shared meals this week with family, friends, and church.  We took corn on the cob to the meal with friends and tortilla chips to the chili cook off at church.  These meals were fun entertainment and saved us on meal prep and groceries.
  • Saved two cartons of milk from the school cafeteria that kids were going to throw away unopened.  Used these for coffee drinks.
  • The citrus we ordered from the local high school band arrived, so we have two boxes of mandarins and grapefruit.  The whole family loves these, and they will store well for weeks in our unheated basement space.  It's nice that it was a fundraiser for the band program too.
  • Hung all clothing to dry after laundry.  Used lowest heat setting on dryer for drying sheets and towels.  Washed all clothing on cold water.
  • Continued with cloth diapers for baby and night time potty training for little man, saving on diaper costs.
  • Both boys have colds, so we're treating those with home remedies such as homemade broth, humidifiers, Vicks vapor rub, hot showers, and hot tea.  I'm still nursing baby, so his cold isn't as bad, and I'm trying to convince little man to take some of the extra breastmilk to help ease his cold too.
  • Showered every other day to save on water and keep my skin not as dry.  
  • Saved citrus peels for making homemade citrus cleaner.  I'll make some liquid with white vinegar and some powdered with baking soda and borax.  It is great for cleaning the bathrooms, and I use the powder for gifts for some friends.
  • Zested some citrus for drying. I'll store this in a jar and use it in baking.
  • Enjoyed our first delay day due to weather to make waffles with the family.  It was a nice treat to have extra family time on Friday.
  • Carpooled to work most days, saving on fuel.
  • Used our shop vac to clean the car out, rather than paying to vacuum it out at the car wash.
  • Continued to compost all appropriate kitchen scraps, including paper towels, brown cardboard, and brown paper.
  • Stayed home on Saturday, saving on fuel costs.  I entertained the boys with things we had at home, and helped little man make tie dyed shirts for the family for Christmas using dye we already had and existing white shirts.  Baby will look so cute in the onsie, it gave new life to dingy shirts, and little man is so proud of his gifts!
  • Accepted some hand-me-down clothes for the boys.  Some are a bit big still, but they are good quality and we can store them.
  • Browsed magazines and cookbooks we already had for entertainment and to help get new ideas for menus.
  • Posted items to sell on eBay.
  • Reposted our room ad for upstairs.  Hoping to rent that space soon so it doesn't sit vacant too long.  It really helps our budget, and we enjoy sharing the space with someone who's a good fit for our family.
  • Saved cool whip containers from a lab at school for use with Christmas goodie gifting.  The containers will hold holiday goodies well, and will look festive when wrapped in tissue paper tied with ribbon.
What did you do to live and save green this past week?  I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Frugal Accomplishments Holiday Edition

This past week was great for us in terms of frugal accomplishments.  We did splurge on family photos with a photographer, but she gave us a discount since I've taught her children.  Our focus this past week was on saving time and money in the kitchen so that we could take advantage of some holiday gatherings with friends.

  • Prepared all meals at home.  Were grateful for holiday leftovers, gifted soup from friends, and everyone being healthy enough to eat this week.  We made cranberry muffins for breakfast one morning (which were a total hit since 11 of the 12 were gone by the end of the day!) and used pantry items to fill in with the leftovers.
  • Welcomed gifted food from my grandmother who was cleaning out her pantry.  We acquired some fruit syrup, canned goods, baking mixes, and dried fruit.
  • Washed all clothing in cold water and hung most laundry to dry inside.  Only sheets and towels were run through the dryer.
  • Continued using cloth diapers for baby, saving a bundle.
  • Made candied popcorn for little man's teachers using ingredients on hand.
  • Opted not to purchase new glasses for myself this year, but will wait until next year.  My prescription hasn't changed much, so it wasn't a necessity.  The 14 year old glasses will serve just fine for another year!
  • Began putting holiday cards up on the mantle for some festive cheer
  • Listened to Pandora for Christmas music
  • Wore existing clothing to a holiday party and paired green accessories with red sweaters/shirts.  Little man wore a Santa jammie shirt as his festive item.
  • Participated in two holiday parties over the weekend, so were grateful for the food there and gracious hosts.  We did take pizza toppings to share at one, using green peppers and homemade pesto we had in the freezer.
  • Used Christmas books as our advent calendar this year.  I had enough collected that I could wrap them, and might need to borrow a few from the library.  Little man gets to open one a day.
  • Saved my supplement check to pay for car repair/maintenance work being done today.  Using a shop that is close to my school, so I can drop it off in the morning and walk to school.
  • Finally located the box of 12 month winter clothing for baby, so glad to have found winter sweaters and jackets for him.  Also grateful for a cousin sharing baby clothing with us which we'll return to her.
  • Intend to help little man weed through his toys some to give to other kids in need this season.  He has many (though not as many as some), and as with most kids, seems to find the most joy in simple blocks, stones, balls, and time outside.  We will keep the treasures, but need to weed out some to begin making room for more clothing storage as the boys grow.
  • Accepted a small table top tree from my grandmother to decorate upstairs for the boys.
What did you do this week to live and save green?  I'd love to hear from you!