Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Frugal Accomplishments

This past week we did really well, frugally speaking.  I manage to stay away from the grocery store for two weeks, except we did buy bananas.  The weather was reasonably warm, so we were able to hang clothes outside a few times, and have some outside play time and family walks.  The warm weather also meant that we were able to conserve on energy bills, with heat not running.

  • All meals were cooked at home.  These included potato soup with homemade turkey stock (in the crock pot), black beans and rice, black bean hummus with carrot sticks, waffles with sausage and fruit smoothies, loaded mac and cheese with broccoli and sausage, french toast casserole with cranberries and pomegranate seeds, and banana chocolate chip pecan muffins.  
  • We enjoyed a shared meal with family of baked ziti and salad.  Mom also sent an extra serving home with us, which made a nice lunch portion.
  • Composted all appropriate kitchen scraps.  Enjoyed our new stainless steel compost bucket that Mom gave us for Valentine's Day.
  • Really appreciated salvaged items from the food pantry, including two milk crates full of produce.  We salvaged two cups of strawberries, a few raspberries, a pear, a nectarine, two bags of snow peas, asparagus, two packages of green beans, four packages of mushrooms, jalapenos, chopped onions, two large cartons of yogurt, and a gallon of milk.  We also salvaged a whole produce box of overripe bananas, which we froze for use in smoothies and baking.  (The boys also like to eat these frozen as a snack.)
  • Continued to hang all laundry up, either inside or out, saving on drying costs.  All clothes were washed in cold water.
  • Used items at home for some basic science experiments with little man (baking soda and vinegar in a bottle to fill a balloon, etc.).  He really enjoyed these, so we're going to try to do a family science night at least once a week at home.
  • We also used items at home to do some fun water color paintings with salt.  They turned out really neat, so we'll frame a few.  Some will hang at home, others will be gifts.
  • Took the boys to the playhouse on Saturday, which was really fun.  They both had a blast and it was nice to visit with some other parents too.  The free coffee and tea was a bonus for me!
  • Enjoyed a last minute invitation to a birthday party.  The friends requested no gifts, so we just made a card by re-purposing the front of a previous birthday card.
  • Finalized plans for the car sale. Will hopefully get the title transferred on Friday.  Looks like we'll be able to barter for our outdoor painting needs, which means it will benefit both of us in the long run.
  • Found out the in-laws are coming this weekend, so have to get things ready for them.  They will likely pick up dinner for us one night, which will be nice, and we will fix breakfast and lunch for them while they're here.  I am thinking a breakfast casserole with sausage, mushrooms, peppers and onions that I have in the freezer.  
  • Since the weather is nice, we're hoping to do our next round of bug spraying outdoors for pest control.  Doing this ourselves with a concentrate we found online has saved us hundreds.
  • Also want to take advantage of the nice weather to try to get some garden chores done.  I'd like to cut back the raspberries and asparagus while they're still dormant.  I might also try to rake and chip some leaves for compost.  (This might not happen with hosting in-laws this weekend, though.)  
  • I might try to order some tri-color sage plants too.  I've been wanting to try them as a foundation planting along one bed of the house.  If I order, I will find a coupon code.
  • Benny has picked up some more side work with technology.  We will continue to try to pick these up.  These funds should go directly toward Benny's retirement fund.
  • We have a lead on the upstairs rental!  She's coming up early next month to take a look at the space, but sounds super sweet and should be a good fit for us.  If she signs, it sounds like it will be a year lease, which will be nice.
  • I continue to look for professional development opportunities with a stipend, but am also exploring options for tutoring.  Hoping to be able to earn an extra $20-$40/week tutoring.  
What did you do to live and save green this past week?  I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Several years ago, we belonged to a gleaner's group that sounds a bit like your food pantry. Because I helped there every week, sometimes there were items that were not going to make it over the weekend, and they wanted the workers to take them home and use them up, or give them away to someone who could. I can remember at least one occasion where we were given an entire box of bananas. We froze them, made banana bread, smoothies, ate them fresh, etc. and used the entire box up in no time. It sounds like an overwhelming amount, but I was surprised at how quickly they were gone.

    I liked being a part of that group, but needed to stop when we got our 8th child (first as a foster child, then adopted in time) --there just wasn't time to devote an entire day to Gleaners anymore.

  2. Wow, Becky! I'm amazed that you found time to give to your gleaners group with 8 children at home!

    I am grateful that my mom can give the time that she does, and we just volunteer when we can on the weekends. I feel like life it busy enough with our two boys and me working full time. I am always amazed by moms with large families.

    Thanks for visiting!