Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Frugal Accomplishments

We continue to try to find new ways to save money, and increase our income, as we work toward our budget and savings goals.  We did pretty well over the past two weeks (yes, got behind last week with posting).  Here are our successes, since we had very little in the way of unexpected expenses.

  • Cooked all meals at home, including corn chowder, veggie stir fry, crock pot Asian chicken, fajitas with leftover turkey, French toast and smoothies, crock pot overnight oatmeal, and cream cheese strawberry coffee cake.
  • Tried to cook mostly from the pantry and freezer.  Only one grocery trip for some staples totaling $10.
  • Took advantage of lots of things from the food pantry including:  two gallons of milk, four loaves of bread/bags of rolls/bagels, five containers of cut up peppers and onions, four whole bell peppers, one avocado, five tomatoes, two apples, two kiwi, one onion,  several zucchini, package of green beans, three packages of strawberries, package of brown rice, two packages of mince meat filling, nine cartons of yogurt, and a soft herb and garlic cheese.  
    • Froze many peppers and onions for later use.  Used some to make fajitas.
    • Processed strawberries (many were too soft or moldy) to yield three cups for coffee cake.
    • Froze two loaves of bread for later use.
    • Used three tomatoes for fajitas, and one for homemade guacamole using the avocado.  
  • Gleaned from school cafeteria again:  three apples, two cheese sticks, two cartons of yogurt, three packages of Goldfish, and two packages of Chex mix.
  • Composted all kitchen scraps, including paper towels, tea bags, coffee grounds, and brown cardboard tubes.
  • Recycled anything possible, keeping household trash to about one kitchen bag every two weeks.
  • Had a day of professional development with lunch provided.  Brought home enough leftovers to provide another lunch.
  • Enjoyed a few shared meals with family, saving on dishes and some food cost and prep.
  • Used a gift card to take little man on a morning date to the bakery.  Took my own coffee mug and used the discount card to save on the purchase.  Also got to take him to school, which was a fun treat for both of us.
  • Continued with unseasonably mild weather, allowing us to hang some clothes outside to dry.  Washed all clothing in cold water.
  • Used cloth diapers, washed at home, and hung to dry.
  • Showered every other day, saving on hot water, shampoo, and soap.  Also saves my skin, since the air is dryer this time of year.
  • Enjoyed a fun social event of a birthday party.  Food was provided, so dinner wasn't really needed that night.  We took a handmade tie dye t-shirt as a gift, with a card and bag decorated by little man.
  • Met with our financial planner and set up 529 accounts for both boys.  We will have the $50/month deducted automatically from my paycheck.  With our savings from the changes in health insurance, we'll never miss the money.
  • Plan to contribute an additional $100/month to Benny's retirement account to try to make up for some of what we haven't contributed over the past few years since he's been home with the boys.
  • Exercised at home using You Tube and my yoga mat (we have not had cable since building the house almost nine years ago).  Walked with the family after work on pretty days.
  • Benny earned some extra money doing some online advertising for a painter.  This helped to pay for new shoes he ordered, which he really needed for work and for home since his others were worn in the soles and had holes in the canvas tops.
  • Considering purchasing a new to us car, which we're having looked at by our mechanic today.  I dropped off the car and walked to school, which is convenient and provides me some good exercise.
  • Working on a professional development fellowship application.  I am hopeful that this will provide me with some good networking and publishing opportunities, as well as a stipend that would really help us to pay down the rest of our home equity line debt.
  • Continue to advertise the upstairs bedroom space for rental.  We are hopeful that our current downstairs tenant will stay on with us, but should know in the next day or two if we need to advertise.
  • Continue to post items on eBay for sale, decluttering our closets and helping us to pay for our CSA share this year.
What did you do to live and save green this past week?  I'd love to hear from you!

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