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Frugal Accomplishments For the Second Week of February

Anemone Bud The Prudent HomemakerAnenome Bud

It was 74ºF  (23ºC) here on Friday and I've been enjoying working outside in the garden.

I picked up some biographies at the library for our school studies.

I went to pick up the pork roasts on sale at the grocery store and they didn't ring up on sale. Thankfully I noticed, and the manager adjusted each roast (I bought 3) down to the sale price for me.

I got a raincheck for the avocados and raspberries that were on sale but out of stock.

I bought 10 chickens at $0.57 a pound. I cooked one and put the rest in the freezer. $32 for 10 chickens makes for a lot of really inexpensive meals!

I bought 80 pounds of potatoes at $0.25 a pound. These might last until the end of the month.

I decided not to buy any broccoli or onions when I was at the store. These were above my price points on those items (Winco doesn't have an ad, but they often have great produce prices; I just have to look when I get there). I'll keep using the onions I've dried, the last of the fresh onions we have, and we'll eat other vegetables instead (including the chard and beet greens in the garden, of which there are quite a few!)

I made black bean and corn enchiladas, black bean soup, roasted chicken, scalloped potatoes,  a chicken and vegetable soup (using the leftover chicken and broth from roasting it), bean burritos, strawberry shortcake (using strawberries from the freezer), pork loin roast, mashed potatoes, Swiss chard (with lemon from the garden), and pizza. 

Katy Apricot Buds The Prudent Homemaker

Katy Apricot Bud

I harvested lettuce, Swiss chard, thyme, and parsley from the garden.

I sowed seeds for nasturtiums and lettuce.

I opened the house to let in lots of fresh air. The weather was beautiful enough to have the windows open all week.

I decided I wanted to add some new baskets to my garage sale list for April to replace those that are broken. I was on a local Facebook garage sale page and someone listed several baskets for sale. Most would work, but not all of them. I decided it was worth the price, and I would donate the rest. When I got there, I found out that the seller had several more baskets to sell. She allowed me to mix and match to get what I wanted, so I ended up with 9 baskets I can use for $10! I will use the shallow baskets for fruit on the table as well as some strong grape vine baskets with handles to pick fruit. We'll also use these same baskets for Easter baskets.

I purchased some used curtains via the same local Facebook garage sale page for $10. I was going to make some curtains in this exact color for a room, but for the price, I decided Ito just buy these (I may need to hem them first). I will still sew the sheers to go behind the curtains (I've already purchased that fabric).

My mom called me from a garage sale she was at to see if I wanted some of the deals she found. I said yes to several things and paid her back when she dropped them off (including a large number of children's books for $0.50 each!) 

I accepted a serger from a friend who had upgraded and no longer needed her old serger.

I laid new sod in the garden where it needed to be repaired. I had a quote to have the work done, and by doing it myself I saved over $1300. The sod cost me $88.

 

What did you do to save money this past week? What beauty did you find in the everyday?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Mandy February 12, 2017

    I started a 3 month job last Wednesday. The company furnishes lunch twice per week so I only had to bring my lunch 1 day (I was off on Friday).

    I kept things off and unplugged when not being used including appliances, lights, etc.

    My Aunt's birthday is Monday so my mom and I, along with my 6 year old, took her out to lunch. My daughter and I shared a meal since she hasn't been eating much. I gave my Aunt a gift from my gift stash.

    I made fried potatoes and hotdogs, peach pie popsicles, beef/gravy over rice with potatoes, stew using leftover beef, gravy, potatoes and veggies needing to be used up. I also made chicken with potatoes and carrots. My husband brought home a pizza from work that nobody wanted (untouched) for our dinner one night.

    I sewed on a button and mended a hole in a pair of leggings.

    Hung laundry to dry on my racks

    Worked on decluttering the house some more
    Have a great week!

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada February 13, 2017

    Congratulations on the job!

  • reet February 12, 2017

    Thank you for all the ideas and insights into a life very different from ours! 23'C in February sounds like Heaven!
    We had around -20'C last week at nights, but I was able to set timer for the washing machine and dishwasher so that our water pump had to work a lot at night and the pipes didn't freeze. We have insulation but it seems not to be enough.
    Also, I was able to transfer all our frozen food into one freezer, so that the older freezer could be switched off. I am looking forward to the electricity bill in March!
    Thankful reader with husband and three boys from rural Estonia (tiny country in Northern Europe).

  • dian February 12, 2017

    i wish you would share more as it is so interesting to hear about the things you do to save money and the price of things there.

  • Mariana February 12, 2017

    Very happy for you that you received a free surger from a friend. What a treat :)
    We are traveling since Friday and this is turning into the most frugal weekend away. Starting with flight credits for a delayed flight (that we still took just with the delay) that will allow us to purchase whole new return flights! We also stayed for a free at a super nice hotel. Very very pleased.

    http://www.simpleisgoodforyou.com/we-are-travel-monsters/

  • Cindy S. February 15, 2017

    Happy Anniversary and congratulations on becoming a US citizen!

  • http://Vickie@Vickies Kitchen And Garden February 12, 2017

    Great deal on your chicken! I haven't seen that here yet. I did stock up though on shampoo and hamburger for a great price last week. Here are the rest of my frugal ways this Week:
    http://www.vickieskitchenandgarden.com/2017/02/my-frugal-ways-this-past-week-21217.html

  • Terry February 12, 2017

    I have been following several pantry challenge sites. Trying to use what we have. There are just two of us now so we really don't need two chest freezers in the garage. Try as I might we don't seem to use much out of those freezers. I will keep working at it. Decided to set a 200.00 per month budget for groceries, household cleaners and pet food. Keeping track of all expenditures in a notebook. Whatever we can save will be put into a vacation account. If we camp we can enjoy a week at the coast for 600.00. So that is my goal. I have been making lots of soups from freezer ingredients. We will eat it for a meal or two and then I package the leftovers in single serve freezer containers for a quick meal or to pack in coolers for that trip. We still have snow on the ground. We are a long way from spring. The last few days have been somewhat warmer so my hens have begun to lay again.

  • Pat February 13, 2017

    I have been doing a pantry challenge as well since January 1st. What helped me was concentrating on the fridge freezer first and using all the meats in there. Then each week I pull the meats I need for that week from my other two freezers. I am only pulling 2 or 3 packages a week because I am planning for leftovers if I make to much or using the leftover meat for something else. Am example--yesterday we had roast beef and the leftover meat is shredded BBQ beef for sandwiches tonight.i haven't bought any meat for 6 weeks because there is so much here already. It has really cut down my grocery bill!

  • Darcy February 12, 2017

    Seventy degree weather sounds so nice. We have had surprisingly mild weather this last week with lots of sunshine and it is in the 40's today. Very pleasant for February in Indiana!

    We have a very large and old Locust tree in our yard that will eventually cause roofing problems to our house and to our neighbor's. We have had it trimmed several times over the years but it needs to come down now. We have next to no sun in the summertime because it's shade is so far-reaching and I would really love to be able to grow some of our own food. We are getting some bids on taking down the tree from several tree companies. It's not frugal at all but the money is in the bank and we will be paying cash for it.

    I made turkey broth from turkey bones I had in the freezer. I will save the rest of the broth in the freezer for future meals. My husband cooked a pork roast that we ate throughout the week.

    I cooked up a large batch of brown rice. We ate some of it with our pinto beans (from the freezer) and I put one-cup baggies of the rice in the freezer. My husband likes to take rice in his lunches.

    We took all our lunches to work except one. My company provided lunch one day.

    We brewed our own coffee each morning to take to work with us.

    I made shortbread for my husband for an early Valentine's day on Saturday. They are one of his favorites. We had a Valentine's date at home.

    I mixed together a batch of 5-minute bread. I used mostly whole wheat flour and a little all purpose flour. I keep it in the refrigerator and take a little bit out at a time to make a loaf (or 2!) of bread. I used to make this kind of bread all the time but since I've been working full time I had gotten out of the habit. It is a real favorite of ours and pairs well with soups and salads.

  • Diana February 12, 2017

    Could you post the recipe for the 5 minute bread?

  • Darcy February 13, 2017

    Hi Diana,
    There's a video you can watch on You Tube called "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" and the authors of the book of the same name demonstrate how to make the bread. They also wrote Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. They have a blog too.

  • Vicky in Ky February 13, 2017

    Darcy, I know paying for the tree work doesn't feel frugal (I just had to pay for some), but probably the best way to look at it is, if you take the precautionary route and take it down then you won't be paying for roof/house repair for yourself or your neighbor in the future. Plus when it's gone you won't have the hassle and worry of any future damage it might cause. Hope it all works out for you. Have a great day!

  • Darcy February 13, 2017

    You are right, Vicky and thanks!

  • Roberta in So. Cal. February 13, 2017

    Also, is there any way you can use the cut up wood? We had to have a tree taken down (to prevent the wind from blowing it down on our house), and my husband asked the arborist to leave the trunk wood instead of chipping it up and hauling it away. The arborist cut the trunk into manageable sections, and then Hubs rented a splitter for a morning to cut those sections down into smaller pieces to eventually burn.) It's now drying and will be used for fires in the fireplace and/or campouts.

    Several years ago my husband also noticed that trees were being taken down from an apartment complex in our neighborhood and asked the tree guys if we could have the big sections of trunk. They said sure (they have to pay to dump it otherwise).

  • Melissa in Washington February 14, 2017

    You can use the chips wood as mulch under trees and perennial bushes or to add to compost piles. If you have young kids, the smaller branches can be cut into chunks of varying lengths to make blocks. There are all sorts of things that can be done with the leftover wood. Pinterest had lots of ideas. Type in projects made of logs or branches or wood slices.

  • Steph. February 12, 2017

    Wow, you are inspirational! And thank you for your kind emails! :)

  • Margaret @approachingfood February 12, 2017

    What a week, Brandy! And a free serger! That is so amazing! Those things are NOT cheap!

    My week:
    - Took part in a 2 hour focus group, which paid $150 cash. Whoohoo!
    - Got a free Biore nose strip sample from a magazine a local business donated to my work
    - Made soup out of veggie stock (made from leftover veggies, and water left after boiling veggies, and frozen) and some leftover vegetables and plus some beans (boiled and frozen in meal sized portions). Dinner for pennies!
    - Redeemed a Starbucks reward for a free item of choice: I chose a burrito. Free lunch, whoohoo!
    - Got a free breakfast sandwich from Starbucks. There was a mix-up using an ordering app, so I ended up with two sandwiches instead of the one I had ordered (and had paid for using a Swagbucks gift certificate).
    - Had some peaches that were passing peak ripeness, so I cooked them in a light syrup, and put them in the fridge. I’ll serve them with vanilla pudding for dessert at some point, or toss them on salads for lunches, or just eat them plain out of the jar.
    - Made a batch of iced tea from some loose tea gifted to me (Oolong Jasmine Mango), and sweetened it with leftover peach canning syrup. Best iced tea ever!
    - Used a manufacturer’s coupon plus a rebate app to save 40% on some cheese slices. It’s not easy to stack coupons in Canada, so I was pretty pleased with myself.
    - Made Brandy’s Tomato Basil soup for dinner on Saturday. Was super-tasty! I modified things a bit as that’s my style (Queen of substitutions, yo’! http://approachingfood.com/oatmeal-yoghurt-muffins-and-the-queen-of-substitutions/), and was happy to use up a half onion, some baby carrots, and a bit of cream that were sitting in the fridge. I’ve packed leftovers of this soup for lunches this week, along with a slice of cheese and a couple of crackers (tryng to eat down my pantry).
    - Made a batch of vanilla pudding, and a batch of chocolate pudding, and layered it with the last of the cream (which I whipped and sweetened) that I had in the fridge. Egg-free (and frugal!) dairy goodness for desserts this week!
    - Made a batch of yoghurt. Yum!
    - Made a menu plan for the week based on using up produce and items in the fridge, as the DH and I are going away to visit friends next weekend, and I don’t want any food to go bad.

    And that's my week! Can't wait to read about everyone else's!

  • Steph. February 12, 2017

    Here are my frugal accomplishments for the week: Okay this might sound crazy, but I noticed a very small ad in one of the grocery flyers that my favorite coffee was half off per bag. I ended up stocking up and bought 13 bags. I think hubby thought I had lost it. :) I also bought a large rotisserie chicken from Costco for $4.99 and used it for 3 meals plus bone broth and soup that lasted for several extra meals. I made bread in the bread machine. I harvested a massive amount of lemons and gave a ton away to friends. I juiced 25 of them in ice cube trays and plan to juice about that many more. I also sold a handbag on Craigslist (normally I donate everything) to help pay for some plant materials. :)

  • Rhonda A. February 13, 2017

    That definitely does not sound crazy Steph. I buy a cart full of peanut butter when they go on sale (and sometimes bring extra family members to purchase more if there is a limit), to which I usually get odd stares from other shoppers. My family LOVES peanut butter, so it makes more money sense to stock up big time when it is on sale than to pay full price most of the time! We literally have a section of a shelf downstairs dedicated to our peanut butter stash. I get nervous when we get down to 3 jars (2kg size - the biggest ones) and start praying for a sale to happen soon! That's just one of the items I buy in mass quantities when there is a good sale, too.

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