Frugal Accomplishments

Frugal Accomplishments For the Last Week of January

Chocolate Crepe Cake The Prudent Homemaker

A stack of chocolate crepes for a birthday breakfast

 

I sowed seeds for beets, arugula, spinach, larkspur, and New Zealand Spinach. 

I cut rosemary, Swiss chard, beet greens, arugula, and chocolate mint (pictured above) from the garden. 

We received more rain, which meant I didn’t have to turn on the sprinklers. I used rainwater I collected in buckets to water potted plants.

I cooked a large pot of beans in the crockpot and used them to make pasta e fagioli and white bean dip.

I practiced my French by watching videos in French on You Tube, using Duolingo, using a French/English dictionary, and reading French learning blogs.

We went to the library. I checked out some magazines, a movie (one we’ve seen before, but it’s in Frech, and I want to listen again) and the children got some books.

What did you do to save money and find joy this past week?

 

Note: For the chocolate crepes, I added 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to my regular crepes recipe.

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109 Comments

  1. We ate all meals at home
    I kept the heat 2 degrees lower than I normally have it set at
    Used up leftovers
    stayed home when not working except one grocery shopping trip
    I cancelleld Hulu because we didn’t watch it
    Have a great week!

  2. I really enjoy your blog. I just discovered you a few weeks ago and have gone through the archives several nights before going to bed! 😉

    My frugal week:

    Combined trips so I only had to leave the house four times this week — including going to work two days.
    Cooked from the pantry and from our home canned goods. Only $1.79 spent at the grocery and that was on milk.
    Baked a cake, cookies, sandwich bread, and English muffins all from scratch.
    Mended my Mister’s three pairs of jeans!
    Cut firewood off our farm.
    Recycled boxes, cut to the right depth, for kitchen drawer organization.
    Repaired a lamp.
    Cleaned my car and checked all fluid levels (preventative, but saves money!).
    Collected scrap lumber from a rental remodel to burn in our water stove.
    Saved receipt from Sheetz gas to use for a free coffee on my way to work next week.
    Packed snacks for our errand day to avoid eating out.
    Deadheaded and fertilized over wintered geraniums – which will save money in the spring; they are four years old and still going strong!
    Shopped clearance and got three pairs of leggings for less than $9.

    And, to bring me joy, drove along the river on my way to do errands so I could see the sunlight on the water and admire the Canada geese that stay over the winter in our area.

  3. Those crepes look delicious! I keep forgetting to try making crepes, which is sad because they are quite delicious!

    My frugal accomplishments for the week- the individual savings are small, but many small changes can make a great difference!

    * I bought some spinach seeds for 9c a packet. I debated getting other seeds too at that price, but I have limited growing space on my patio so I decided not to.

    * I made a large pot of bacon, bean, and potato soup. I only used 6 slices for the whole 5qt pot! I got the recipe from BudgetBytes. I also baked bread to go with the soup.

    * I found a lone bag of frozen peas buried in the freezer, which means that’s one less bag I’ll need to buy for next month’s groceries.

    * I finalized the meal plan and shopping list for February- total budget for the month is $85, and the shopping list is under $80 so far.

    * I did laundry at my mom’s house while helping her clean and run errands. Both of us benefit from this arrangement- I don’t have to pay $2.50 per load of laundry and she gets help around the house!

    * I’ve made good progress on collecting all of my favorite recipes into one google document, which has helped inspire me with meal planning.

    I’ve also been working on a pet-project of sorts, where I’ve been working on a meal plan for 1 person for $20 per week, assuming no garden and minimal bulk buying. It’s not quite realistic to how many of us on a budget shop, but in some other online circles that I frequent, it may be very helpful for people.

    I hope you’re doing well, Brandy! I cannot wait until I’m able to start my seeds for my garden 😀

  4. Oooh I love Crepes cake!
    I’m starting to get my gardening supplies in order and checking the viability of seeds stored from other years. I need to order more heated seed starting mats but I’m holding off for now. I suppose I shouldn’t delay it much longer.

    In a happy note, we got our taxes organized and mailed off to the accountant in record time (we own rental property and so we use an accountant). This is the earliest we have accomplished this because Army retirees have their statements completed first so it is much quicker than when we were on Active Duty.

    My husband has almost completed the new chicken coop he made for my birthday and was able to reuse the solar door from our previous coop. We have eaten all meals at home and i make almost everything from scratch.

    Of much local excitement, New Jersey (I’m only 20 minutes from the NJ border) is the first state to offer baby boxes (a terrific public health initiative) to expectant mothers. You can read about it here: http://www.dollarsandsensetimestwo.org/2017/01/in-praise-of-the-baby-box/. Have a good week everyone!

  5. Those chocolate crepes look yummy!
    My week just kept chugging along. I am done shopping for January and my total is $34. I will be depositing $300 in our emergency fund and that brings me great joy!!
    My list for restocking the pantry is quite long but I will wait for sale prices. Our immediate needs are tp and sliced cheese.
    We ate all meals at home and I was successful in rolling over parts of one meal into another. I doubled the chili portion of my chili mac recipe and used part of the chili for chili dogs later in the week. We also had beef and gravy last night and I used the leftover meat and gravy for vegetable beef soup using onions, celery, carrots, corn and peas from the freezer.
    I made a batch of banana muffins and a double batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
    I took a dozen of the pumpkin muffins when I babysat my grandchildren and it made me happy to see their faces light up when they saw them. They are 5 and 1 and we had a great evening playing and reading books!
    Have a great week everyone!!

  6. Oooh, those crepes! Totally craving that right now! 🙂

    My frugal week:
    – Took home a small container of craft paint from work that they were going to throw out. I plan to paint a mural on a bedroom wall in a few months, so this is perfect timing.
    – Made another batch of egg-free vanilla custard/pudding. This worked out really well, as I ended up with a migraine the next day, and all I could stomach was the very easily digested milk pudding.
    – Went to a professional con-ed conference (attendance paid for by my workplace), and came home with a bunch of swag: a chocolate bar, a small sack of loose candy, and a breakfast bar; an eos handcream, a mini package of disinfecting wipes, a package of mints, and a lip balm; and a tote, a pair of ear bud-style headphones, a t-shirt, and a full-size bottle of mosquito repellant. I was probably most pleased about the full-size chocolate bar! Of course, it was all branded, but whatever, it was free!
    – I was also given two funky pens (they look like wild-haired doctors) which I will give to two little girls that I know. They won’t care or understand the branding, they’ll just think they’re cute and have fun drawing with them.
    – I made a yummy and quite frugal side dish (especially if you grow your own zucchini) which the DH liked. I plan to make it more often, since it’s healthy and is so easy to prepare. http://approachingfood.com/a-simple-sassy-side-dish-apricot-zucchini-couscous/ Assuming you grow your own zucchini, the other items are potentially pantry items, depending on what you stock.
    – Made two loaves of bread (switching out some white flour for oatmeal to up the fibre and protein content)
    – Made a batch of pancakes for Saturday brunch but as I was out of milk, I used some watered down yoghurt. Worked perfectly!
    – Made a pot of tortellini soup, but didn’t have tortellini in the house, so used some frozen spinach ravioli that had been sitting in my freezer. Inexpensive and very filling!
    – Bought a product at a pharmacy, but realized once I looked at the bill that I had been overcharged by $10. I raised the issue (turns out the shelf where the product was, was mislabeled) and they honoured the lower price. That’s $10 back in my pocket!
    – Gave my mom some pens I received and couldn’t use, as well as some water bottles/thermoses. If she can’t use them, she will pass them on to someone who can!

    And that’s it!

    As for joy…probably cuddling some little kittens at my workplace on my lunch hour. Kitten purrs make everything ok! 🙂

  7. I forgot what I was going to type because those crepes look so delectable! Well we know what brought you some joy this week 😉
    Frugal:
    I continued using items from freezers and going in the deep recesses of the pantry. We are starting to prepare for a cross country move in a few months and I’m trying to use up all we have.

    I purchased after Christmas clearance nuts in the shell, cracked and used in 3 batches of homemade granola.

    Listed sets of books on Craigslist. Books are very heavy and quite expensive to move.

    Cleaned out my filing cabinet of financial documents prior to 2009, used these as kindle for starting the fire in the evenings.

    Filed FASFA forms for our 2 eldest in college, the earlier you fill them out the better the opportunity for work study positions.

    Checked freebieshark website daily for samples or coupons. This week I received 2 protein bars, 2 tea bags and 5 feminine care samples free in the mail.

    Joy:
    Went for walks daily with my two youngest. One day I won’t be able to have them at home with me on a daily basis. This is one thing I’ve intentionally taken time to appreciate after the older ones have left for college.

  8. Melissa,

    I linked to two new ones I started using in last week’s post. I want to put everything I am learning together in one place for quick reference and add to it as I find new things. I haven’t done that yet, so check last week’s frugal accomplishments post for now.

  9. Day 28 of eating from pantry/freezer …. a shortage of vegetables led me to the grocery store, and am eating healthier for buying carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and bananas. The store had their $1. sale, I spent $45. and my savings (shown on bill) were $42. which is pretty good I thought! bought pork chops, cole slaw, chili beans, canned tomatoes. all were on my list.
    made muffins as a gift for friend. attended an estate sale and purchased a framed watercolor and a plant pot, also some mats for picture framing 4/$1.00. Am busy clearing, cleaning my garden for new growth, which is beginning to pop up. snowdrops are blooming. ann lee s

  10. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia and I hope you all had a wonderful week 🙂 .

    We found joy this week by –
    – Going to church this week.
    – Attending an Australia Day ward function and having a good time talking and socialising with lots of other friends.
    – Cutting our free to us firewood and clearing the front lawn area of branches, large logs and leaves.
    – Working side by side as a couple to accomplish chores without buying things.
    – Picking beautiful fresh home grown vegetables from our gardens and preserving some for advanced food storage.

    Our frugal accomplishments for the week are –

    Gardening and firewood –
    – Picked green beans, snow peas and capsicums from the gardens.
    – Cut and split 1.65 cubic metres of firewood from our free to us ironbark tree saving $165 over purchasing firewood.
    – Shredded 6 wheelbarrows or 360 litres of leaves from our free tree for general garden mulch saving $56.88 over buying it in bags at the gardening hardware store.

    In the kitchen –
    – Preserved by blanching and freezing capsicums, beans and snow peas.
    – Cooked all our bread and meals from scratch.

    Financial –
    – Saved $32.61 on our electricity bill by using our solar lanterns over a 3 month period.
    – Banked $750.48 into our saving for our home with cash high interest savings account.

    Fuel –
    – Saved $22.94 on the cost of fuel by topping up 4 empty fuel jerry cans in a town we were at a function at that we knew had cheaper fuel prices. Fuel in our little town is currently $1.44lt versus what we paid being $1.249lt for E10 unleaded and $1.249lt for unleaded which is a huge saving 😀 .

    Water –
    – Missed 1 scheduled garden watering due to rain saving 469.9lts of town water usage.
    – Used vegetable washing, steaming, boiling and blanching water to water the vegetable garden seedlings with.
    – Used grey water from our showers and washing machine to water the house lawns all week.

  11. Hi Brandy,
    I agree, that stack of pancakes looks amazing! Such a great idea
    This week frugal achievements are
    Hung the washing to dry on the line, we have had no rain for weeks now, my poor garden!
    Cooked from scratch every night
    Rode to work every day
    Planted some seeds for rocket, apple cucumber, Chinese broccoli, thyme and basil, they are just staring to lift their heads
    Made some paneer cheese and used the whey produced as an ice cold drink, it’s really refreshing
    Cooked and baked for my hubby and son so they could take home made food away with them for a weekend fishing competition
    Used tank water to water the garden, our water charges are astronomical
    Made a bag, lunch bag and cutlery wrap for myself for work
    Stayed at home over the weekend and got lots of jobs ticked off my list
    Made two batches of yoghurt and a batch of laundry liquid
    Made lemony garlic hummus to have with home made rosemary and garlic crackers
    Made another loaf of light rye bread
    Made another vegetarian meal, I am now including at least one meat free meal a week to cut the cost of groceries

    And that’s all I can think of, have a wonderful week.
    Fi

  12. Harvested tomatoes, lettuce, sugar snap peas, zucchini, swiss chard, arugula and beet greens. Enough for 2 servings each day for 6 days.

    Mended ripped pants pocket.

    Combined 4 errands in one driving loop – did not use gas in car – Chevy Volt.

    Visited 2 local parks with nature trails – no cost workout and fresh air to boot.

    Picked up 7 books on hold at library – no wasted time searching shelves only to find book at another library.

    Read magazines on-line thru library’s free Zinio site – fabulous way to read multitude of magazines with no due date

    Watched a movie thru Hoopla – another free resource thru our library

    Haven’t turned on the heat (or AC) this past week – either bundled up or opened sliders for a great breeze.

    Re-negotiated our cell phone to reduce monthly cost by $10 – we only use it for emergencies when we are out of the house or car ( car comes with a phone connection , not On Star)

    And, for the 12th week in a row, ate all meals at home

  13. What a beautiful crepe cake! Looks delicious.

    Frugal Accomplishments at our house this week:

    I gave my husband a haircut.

    I made ham and beans using the ham bone from Christmas that was in the freezer. I also made spaghetti sauce and yogurt in my slow cookers.

    I took my lunch to work every day.

    We went to a couple of thrift stores on Saturday and I was able to find sweaters for half their regular price. I bought three of them. I also bought a pair of jeans for $1.75 and found a like-new sheet set and some cookbooks.

  14. Oh, those crepes look yummy!
    We had a lot of snow and cold early in the week, but on the first sunny day, we went snow-shoeing, which was a joy. I have also really been enjoying knitting a pair of socks, using yarn I was gifted for Christmas, while listening to audiobooks, which were also a Christmas gift. And my women’s group at church started a new study about finding peace in God that I am really enjoying.

    On the frugal side, this week I made homemade granola, cooked all meals at home, and packed a sandwich the day I went shopping so I wouldn’t buy lunch or buy too much at the store because I was hungry. We had homemade pizza one night. I replaced the elastic in my husband’s ski goggles and mended two pairs of jeans. I pruned my apple trees and saved the wood to use in the smoker.

  15. A co-worker gave me a box of chocolate mint Girl Guide cookies. She buys a case when they are being sold in the fall and then gives boxes out through the season. I was really happy with this treat!

    Repaired the zipper on my winter coat that had gone off track. The cats then spent an evening taking turns cuddling up on it for a nap. (The fabric is very soft and the padding makes it very comfortable.)

    I continued to eat from the pantry and freezer. Made one of my favorite meals with leftover chicken: chicken and orzo. Orzo is pasta the size and shape of rice. I cook it in chicken broth and it seems to hold the flavor much better than rice does doing the same thing. Then I add cooked chicken and vegetables. (It is wonderful with some feta cheese crumbled on top, though I didn’t have any in the house this time.) Unfortunately, orzo is relatively expensive for pasta, and more expensive than rice, so this is a bit of a treat. I try to keep a package of orzo in the pantry, though.

    Yesterday I did my grocery order for the first half of February. Great sales on whole chickens and toilet paper. Lean ground pork is half the price of lean ground beef these days, so I’ve switched to it in all the recipes that use ground meat. Some of these I haven’t used in quite a while, because I haven’t been willing to pay the prices for ground beef.

    Picked up two extra books when I went to the library. I hope this means I drive to the library less often, though maybe I’ll just end up reading more!

  16. I love crepes cake! The first time I had it was in Sweden with strawberries and whipped cream. Yum!

    This week I:
    -used leftover oatmeal and cooked cereal to make muffins. Yummy and a little more healthy.
    -made chicken broth in my crockpot with a chicken carcass and vegetable scraps I’ve been saving in the freezer
    -watched a couple of Great Courses lectures about understanding and looking at art which I then used as a springboard for discussion with my daughter during art appreciation for homeschool
    -watched several YouTube videos on edible landscaping and checked out Rosalind Creasy books from the library on the same subject
    -make an effort to use up various leftovers in different ways during the week so I didn’t end up throwing them out
    -tried to combine errands with homeschooling trips to use less gas
    -received my seeds for this spring’s garden. it’s a little too early yet to plant in Washington, but I’m ready and have a bunch of things to add to the garden!
    -in the process of organizing all of my homeschool supplies so that I’m not buying duplicates of things I already have and making use of the things that I do have

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

  17. When we moved 2500 miles I shipped books at book rate through USPS. You cannot ship anything but books in the box (not even a card) and there is even tracking included now. Very affordable for moving heavy books. I also had my wonderful mother-in-law ship them for us after we arrived to ensure that we arrived first.

  18. Melissa, I’m intrigued by your use of cooked oatmeal and cooked cereal in muffins! Can I ask how you did it? Did you substitute it for something? Or just add it in as an additional ingredient? I know cooked cornmeal cereal can be chilled, sliced, and fried (basically polenta then), but I’ve never heard of another way of using up cooked cereal, so I’m very intrigued!

  19. It has been a difficult week, with a very sick grown child (mother’s worry, no matter how “grown” the child) and long, heart wrenching cases at work, so frugality was on autopilot this week. I took my lunch to work, However, when I received the call about my sick kid early Saturday morning, I ran out the door, and forgot my lunch and breakfast. Luckily, Aldi is just down the street from the hospital in the town where my kid lives, and I was able to go get bologna, cheese, etc cheap later in the day when it seemed he was going to be ok for now. I will just use the bologna for my lunches this week, so it will not end up being wasted, although I had not planned to buy any groceries this week. I ended up staying overnight with relatives, and went to Sacrament where my kids live. I seem to attend that ward more than my own branch church..lol.The talks this month have been on self reliance, and it is always fascinating to me listening to members from all over the world talking about what they learned in their childhood. Today, a female member who grew up in a farming community in Nebraska, talked about digging irrigation ditches, and leveling fences. The Bible talks a lot about sowing seeds, farming etc., and I always enjoy hearing modern farm stories. All of you fine ladies are awesome in sharing your gardening and farming tips! I love the crepe cake, Brandy!,

  20. One person commented that they had filed the FAFSA, and you do get a better chance when it’s filed early. This year there was a change. FAFSA used to open January 1 for the upcoming August-June academic year. This year it was changed to open on October 1. So last October (2016) the FAFSA opened for the 2017-2018 academic year. Just an FYI for anyone who might want to know!
    I so enjoy hearing all the frugal tips from everyone. Thank you, Brandi, and all those who comment. It’s a wonderful community.

  21. Wow those chocolate crepes! I’ll have to try those sometime. My little one will surely approve.

    I’ve been really busy with school so not much shopping is being done, which is good. I suddenly felt very strongly about opening a new Etsy shop so I spent a lot of time working on that. I’m pretty excited. I had a shop there for years, and I’ve taken about 2 years off. I’m finally ready to start fresh. I feel like I know what I’m doing this time.

    Here are my frugal efforts and fails this week:
    http://2minimize.blogspot.com/2017/01/last-weeks-frugal-efforts-and-fails.html

    Have a great week, everyone!

  22. 1. Have managed to keep out of the grocery store all month except for milk and some apples (and they were the damaged ones that the local store sells for VERY cheap. Not rotten, just odd shaped so people won’t buy them.) I still have a lot of stuff I preserved from last year’s garden and meat and salmon we got from hunting/fishing friends, so for the first three months of the year we are buying only milk and apples. Apples because they are the cheapest fruit and if we get tired of eating them straight out of the fridge, I can bake them or make applesauce.
    2. Needed some medical supplies our insurance won’t cover. By accident I discovered that our American Express card, which we use for gas and groceries, has been accumulating points. I didn’t even know they had a points system. Turns out we have a lot of points, so I was able to use them on Amazon to purchase almost $500 in gauze and tape! A miracle, as my husband needs to use those every day.
    3. Finally tried to make homemade pizza. We were feeling like a treat and I realized I had all the ingredients in our own kitchen, so I made a batch of dough. Although I need to roll it thinner in the future, it was quite delicious. Cheaper than store bought!
    4. Tried a new bread recipe that was a hit so will be making that in the future whenever we need sandwich bread.
    5. I was the lucky recipient of an Omaha Meats gift this month! They are out of my price range but a wealthier sibling sent it to me as a birthday gift. It has been a real treat to eat lobster and more exotic things like stuffed potato balls. There was a potluck at work and while normally I would contribute something less expensive from my cupboard, this time I used some of the meat to make steak kabobs. It was such a thoughtful gift and very much appreciated.
    6. Took several boxes of items to Salvation Army and two boxes of books to a non-profit used bookstore. Frugal in that these were tax write-offs, plus enabled me to clear out some clutter that consisted of some nice and barely used items someone else will be glad to have.
    7. I have looked and looked for a cast iron skillet, to no avail. I finally broke down and ordered one. It arrived, followed by another one two days later. I called the company and they told me to keep the duplicate because the shipping costs didn’t really make it worth sending back. As it turns out, a friend is getting married and she has few kitchen items. So, I am giving her the extra skillet as a wedding present. I felt sort of weird re-gifting it like that but I don’t need two, she will love it, and it certainly saves me a lot not to have to pay for a wedding gift out of pocket. I did knit a handle protector that you slip over the handle instead of using a pot holder, so I personalized the gift a bit.
    8. Did the usual of reusing all sorts of bags, being careful how much detergent I use per load, hanging up most things, and so on.

    One non-frugal thing is that my husband is ill so I keep the heat very high because he chills easily. Since we live in Alaska and this month we had weeks of 30 to 40 below weather, that means a lot of fuel oil. I try to economize in other ways to cover the costs and remind myself that there are some things that are worth it and his comfort is one of them. At least now I know that we earn points for paying by Am Ex!!

  23. I sent my books to California that way and, nineteen years later, back to Michigan. I lost only one box of books that got mangled by some sorting equipment. I provided a list of books in the box to the post office but they wanted prices too. I provided prices but, it turned out, a few days too late to collect on insurance. Grrr. They only found enough of the box’s label to send that to me. I really wish they had sent me the books that had been partially eaten by the machine. But if I have to move cross country again, I’ll likely do the same thing. A good share of the rest of my things I sent via Greyhound. They were the cheapest at the time. My most beloved things moved with me in my little pickup truck. A decade ago, you could have a few days “free storage” at the Greyhound Station, enough to drive cross-country. I wonder if the post office would keep the book boxes for a few days too, allowing you to pick them up at the post office, saving them from lugging some heavy boxes to your new door.

  24. Le gateau est beau!

    [list]
    I cooked all meals at home except while I was away on a business trip.
    Scanned and uploaded medical receipts for reimbursement.
    Picked up a book from the library and requested two more through inter-library loan.
    Made chicken stock in slow cooker and then turned it into land rice soup.
    Made a mortgage payment with extra principal totaling 5.6 months! This will probably be the largest extra payment I can make this year. I put 100% of my annual bonus towards the mortgage as well as 100% of Christmas money from my parents combined with zero-budeting the month of January to put every available penny towards the mortgage.
    Completed two surveys on the bottom of receipts and received a coupon as a result.
    Made Swagbucks daily goals on two days.
    After reading here about using evergreens to fertilize acid-loving plants, I swept up the very dead Christmas tree needles and deposited them on: azalea, rhododendrons, irises, and rhubarb….or where I think the irises and rhubarb are 🙂
    Signed up for a free Trivia Night at the town-next-door’s library.
    [/list]

  25. Thanks for all of your inspirational thoughts and ideas.
    We were blessed this week with our jobs, home, and time together.
    -We enjoyed our bag lunches during our work day and evening dinner around the table. Challenging ourselves to use up the items in our freezer and pantry items.
    -I sold some items at two different antique stores and put the earnings into savings.
    -We are putting time and energy on new flooring and paint on the walls in our basement. Found some nice 12″ floor tile that we are installing ourselves.
    -Going to make my “weekly” to do list this evening, plan to research the cost of our prescriptions and book some preventative vaccines we are do at our local clinic.
    Hope that the blessings of your day are many.

  26. Last week was odd due to travel cross country to see my brother and family. I had budgeted for the trip and that helped me not spend any extra money on last minute impulse purchases. I left my husband a list of cooked meals that were in the freezer so he didn’t have to think about cooking…turns out he ate cereal and PB and J or tuna fish sandwiches. We will eat the freezer meals this upcoming week.

    I was completely fascinated watching my brother and family spend money. I used to be as casual about taking out my credit card. We walked around a local mall and in each store they went in except one, they bought something. Interestingly, I didn’t feel the urge to buy anything. I was also amazed that sandwiches at the North Carolina airport cafe cost $11 each and there was a line of people waiting to buy them. Seems a bit high to me ;). All in all, I had a wonderful visit and was very glad I made the trip, it was worth every penny. As I grow older I get more conscious of how there are fewer chances to see family.

    Due to continued rain in Phoenix last week, the outside sprinklers are still turned off. I believe most of January I had them off, hope to see a good small water bill this month!

  27. I am not Melissa, but have used cooked cereal in muffins for years. I add it to the bowl with the milk or water, & beat it in well to make it “mushy” – technical term – then short the dry ingredients a bit to compensate. For instance, if I were adding a half cup of cooked oatmeal to a recipe, I would hold back a scant half cup of the flour from the ingredients. Adding cooked cereal makes the finished product a little more moist, in a good way. Works in banana & pumpkin bread, too.

  28. The past week was my birthday week and I took full advantage of it. On my actual birthday my husband took me to a movie and out to eat. My DD and SIL came over in the evening with a cake and gifts. The following day, my two sisters took me out to lunch and supplied gifts. Since my birthday is so soon after Christmas, they always say they don’t know what to get me as gifts but they manage it every year. My granddaughter came over on the second evening as she is taking a class the other night. She has been volunteering at an arts center in order to qualify to take some evening classes for free. If she manages to finish the 4 courses she wants, she will have avoided $450 in costs. Right now she is editing film and showed us some of her archives today when we visited her at her home.

    I wasn’t at home as much this week but still managed to cook every night except my birthday. Made a pork roast, and later a pork stir fry over brown rice, homemade pizza for another two nights (the pizza is always enough for two nights unless granddaughter stops over!!) I am also trying to use up some older frozen items just for the sake of rotation. Our anniversary is coming up this week, and I think my husband will be enjoying pie for dessert–the only question is going to be which fruit will be inside it! Cherry or apple/cranberry? I did get the kitchen floor scrubbed on my hands and knees, which doesn’t happen so often these days. (The birthday was #74!) I’ve been trying to keep it clean by whipping my floor sponge out more frequently ever since. Also made a double batch of granola and ABM bread, like every other week.
    When baking potatoes, I always do at least one extra and used one for a fast supper following company this week, and have another in the fridge for something in the next few days. I like them fried with onions and green peppers as a fast side dish, or just fried plain for breakfast sometimes. I also organized my checkbook and bills following an unfortunate mistake in my math and consequent mass confusion! Everything is back to normal now and all bills paid. I do need to be more careful but I’m always jotting figures down out of my memory–not the most efficient method. A large stack of newspapers were finally recycled (they only pick them up every other week) and I have started on the next stack–we get two papers a day so they do pile up quickly. Expenses have been low this month, as I like them to be, so real estate taxes were easily paid, and grocery costs kept low. Two weeks were under $50 and the freezer and pantry are still full.
    This week’s list is longer, with some staples on sale, so we will see what happens. JOY is seeing my granddaughter twice in one week, which doesn’t happen often–and today’s was with only us, not her parents–so we got her full attention!!

  29. We had a 2 children’s birthday parties and a baptism to attend so I used presents we had on hand for the birthday gifts and a royal doulton bunnykins prize I won was used for the baptism gift. I had the wrapping paper and cards on hand. Total cost for 3 presents was $5.35. All my cards I purchase for between 10 and 20 cents each.

    We went to the library and borrowed books, used the internet and took in a baby class of singing and dancing.

    Walks to the duck pond and park.

    Made gingerbread biscuits..a nice sweet treat and lovely activity for my daughter and I to do together.

    Trying to continuously cut grocery spending. Sticking to $110 per week for now. Having trouble being creative with meals so will look on the internet for inspiration.

    Received hand me down baby clothes from a friend. Already getting lots of wear out of them.

    Thinking up an etsy side gig to bring in extra cash.

  30. Here is the recipe I use. Keep going to the bottom of the post and you’ll see it written in the text. It’s for oatmeal, but I use any kind of cooked cereal. I also add a TSP of salt and sometimes reduce the amount of baking powder. It’s a very flexible recipe.

  31. Hi y’all!

    This week seemed to drag along- a five week month is intense when you’re trying new behaviors to establish new habits. At our weekly budget meeting this past Saturday, I remarked with glee: “wee only have three days left!” I meant until payday of course, but my husband looked up and said:”But we won’t have met our goals then!” I think he was afraid I’d stop my budgeting efforts. I explained what I meant- he was relieved. I do tend to start things with gusto and peter out after a while. My joy this week was seeing how much we accomplished in a month where we were purposeful in our spending and saving. Thank you Brandy- you are an inspiration- as are the many others who participate here! I am so encouraged by y’all and I pray for you too.

    This week, I noticed that I practiced flexing my hospitality muscle. We decided to not eat in any restaurants until we paid off all of our debt. This means I am cooking(or reheating leftovers!) for our friends and people that want to spend time with us. I hosted a Girls’ Night Out where we had drinks and potluck snacks around the fire. I hosted a former student for coffee and we talked about her goals for the coming months(SO much joy for me there!). I hosted a student and her husband for a farewell lunch. They’re headed off to their next adventure. Hosted a friend for our weekly lunch- it is very nice to sit and talk about everything without interruption(our kids are all in school) and she is enthusiastic about whatever luncheon I present! We also hosted my in laws for a game night and then had an impromptu lunch at their house after church on Sunday. My mother in law is such a good cook. We hosted our supper club and made a delicious chili that provided a LOT of leftovers.

    Our family prepared communion for our church. We organized the kids outgrown clothes. Some of these I was able to pass on, some I sold for cash! I sold two chairs for a good profit. I sold a rug that I purchased for $2.99 at Goodwill for $50. That was a great day! I sold a table for $35. De-cluttering our home has proven to be very rewarding.

    I made a birthday gift for one of my son’s friend- a vintage apron(50 cents) and two boxes of cookie mix(bought with an Ibotta rebate and coupon- $3 OOP). This has proven to be a huge hit with our kids’ friends. If you are good at baking(I’m not) you could assemble a baking mix for much cheaper. The other gift we give at parties is a coupon for an extended play-date and favorite snack at our house. This is a gift that my kids’ friends ask for year after year. THAT gives me joy! We made cards and gifts for a beloved teacher’s birthday.

    I cut coupons and worked on meal planning for February. We received a dozen free eggs from the lunch lady’s chickens. So unexpected! I bartered for a free photo shoot. My sister sold a dress for me online. My husband was asked to facilitate an online class- the amount he’ll receive is the exact amount we have to pay in taxes. Thank you God!

    This went on a little long- This month, I have enjoyed logging our successes as well as noting where I can improve(those notes are in my journal!) Praying that everyone has a productive and joy filled week!

  32. LL,

    I like what you said about “We were blessed this week with our jobs, home, and time together.
    -We enjoyed our bag lunches during our work day and evening dinner around the table”

    Those are life’s best blessings.

    Yours,
    RR

  33. Great work! This week was quite busy for us.

    1. I made kefir. I bought a starter from the beer brewing store and flavored it with 3 homemade fruit syrups. The lemon is my favorite by far. Delicious and organic!

    2. Mr. Picky Pincher brewed a batch of beer this weekend. It’ll be ready for drinking in a month. I’m hoping this will save us money on our beer budget, which is at $100 – $200 a month. Ouch.

    3. I baked biscuits and English muffins with leftover whey.

    4. We cooked a fantastic Sunday supper with an on-sale turkey from Thanksgiving and odds and ends like sweet potatoes and green beans. It was fantastic!

    5. We rented movies from the library, as well as several cookbooks and personal finance books.

  34. We figured out what we spent this month on groceries,non-food and eating out and came under the grocery budget we set with us mostly eating out of the pantry. I took what we hadn’t used for groceries and got my garden seed that should do for us for the next 2 yrs.I will have to start a few things for transplants. If they don’t work we will go without. I get my transplants for tomatoes etc at auction. Hubby wants to eat out once a week, I wanted twice a month so we decided 3 times a month for Feb. We know once will be with my Dad, we combine Valentines with our anniversary for the second one. Hubby is missing his pizza fix I think LOL. We decided to try growing white potatoes (again). I looked at oldworldgarden for suggestions on potato boxes and then we prices a local company for non-degradable potato bags. Looks like the bags are going to be cheaper but Hubby wants to look at them first before the final decision. We will pay for them out of the grocery money we save in Feb. The rest is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/01/last-week-frugal.html
    Blessed Be Juls

  35. I shop at a bird seed store where their seed is clean and bug-free and there really is no waste — the birds eat every bit of it. The store also gives out free “dollars” for every so many dollars spent, and I pay a small yearly fee to be a club member, which gets me special sales and sales on top of sales, plus a discount on anything I buy the rest of the time. I shopped this weekend and got two bags of food, a new finch feeder to replace my very worn out one — the goldfinches are here! — and renewed my membership, earning one free item by doing so, and spending my accumulated “free dollars” at the same time. I spent less on the two bags of food and the feeder than I would have on the single least expensive bag of food, if I had bought it without the added discounts and freebie.
    Birds earn a lot of their keep — when we have veggie plants in the spring, you should see the nesting birds hunting very closely amongst our veggies for insects to feed their young. They pluck bugs like grasshoppers, small hornworms, and beetles right off. They don’t get every one, but they get a lot of them. Their entertainment value is high, too, especially when they raise a nest of babies on our porch and we get to watch. A favorite nesting spot of theirs is an old turpentine collection pot that was given to us free, and we had hung it on a post.
    I shopped for less groceries this week, sticking to mostly produce and re-stocking dry goods. I’m trying to eat down my freezer as well, and I’m seeing the freezer walls for the first time in a long time. I hope to have it nearly empty by the time the chickens are ready to be harvested this spring.
    I bought my third Christmas gift for Christmas 2017, this one paid for with a Swagbucks card. The first two were paid for with a rebate gift card for my contact lens purchase.
    I ignored that come on at the gas station, that said if I bought only three 20 oz. soft drinks, I’d get 10 cents off per gallon. I have a 12-gallon gas tank. I would have to pay about $5.50 or so to get $1.20 off of my gas? I don’t think so. And I don’t need the soft drinks, either.
    I started back to work on my denim braided rug. It’s slow going and tough hand-sewing, but our worn-out jeans get used and I need another rug.
    My best joy was spending some time with my two youngest granddaughters this weekend. The stand-offish older child was still sleepy after getting up from her nap and allowed me to hold and cuddle her, rub her back and brush her hair — a really unusual occurrence with this child! The baby was delighted for me to play “patty-cake” with her, and clearly wanted me to do it again and again, so I did. Love my grandkids!

  36. We had a very frugal get-away to the beach for 1 night. We were on the clean-up crew for a high school church retreat, and did have to clean for several hours–but, it was so worth it. The waves were lovely to watch.

    I worked a little more than usual, and we had 6 doctor/dentist/etc. appointments between our family, so got less cleaning and organizing done than usual when I added it to home-schooling. This morning, though, I’m making up for lost time and have several meals in process for the week ahead. (We ate odds and ends several times last week, and ate leftovers from the retreat at the beach)

    https://beckyathome.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/saving-money-january-29-2017/

  37. Just a suggestion – potatoes like to stay cool and I have read that they don’t do as well in bags or boxes when the heat hits. This past year I did an experiment – I planted some in raised boxes, some in the ground and then some I planted in the ground and when they were about 6 inches high I put a dollar store laundry basket over them with shelf liner around the inside and the bottom cut out for the leaves. I then hilled them up as they grew in the basket (which held the dirt up nicely and prevented it from getting washed away). By far, the best and heaviest yields came from those planted in the ground with the baskets over the top which really surprised me! Only thing I can figure is it allowed the roots to stay cool and moist, second best was the ones planted in the ground and hilled although I had a problem with the dirt washing away and third was the ones in the planter boxes. Oh and the ones with the laundry baskets were planted in the same area as the other ones I put in the ground.

  38. Hello Brandy and readers from NW Louisiana! So glad to hear you continued to have rain in Nevada. We’re slowly drying out here and may be able to plant more seeds and herb plants this week.

    Cooked and ate all meals at home except one lunch of fried chicken on our errand/shopping day in the city. It was delicious but at $18 for two adult fast food meals was rather pricey. And I used to do this 2-3 times per week, glad I’m conscientiously trying to eat out much, much less.

    Batch cooking: Made homemade pizza — pepperoni bought on sale a while back; no Italian sausage so I browned a little regular breakfast sausage, added just a little each of garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, parsley flakes, crushed red pepper flakes, but I didn’t have fennel seeds so I substituted anise seeds, and it tasted so good I think I will do this from now on with breakfast sausage or ground pork. My jar of yeast went out of date last October but I keep it in refrigerator and so far it’s still working (it’s on my list to replenish), and a pound of whole mozzarella that was out of date but unopened. Pizzas turned out great and we had two dinners and two lunches from them.

    Bought 6 pounds of ground beef at 2.49/lb at Kroger. I made double batch of meatballs, ate half with spaghetti and sauce with leftovers for lunch, froze other half for Swedish meatballs; mixed up two meatloaves, one traditional with tomato sauce, other plain for brown gravy — both frozen uncooked; and made four 1/4-lb hamburger patties. LOVE having something ready to go in freezer. I’m going to try and get some more ground beef tomorrow before sale ends – I have appointment in the city.

    Baking:. Made cream cheese poundcake using cream cheese, butter, flour, sugar and eggs purchased on sale last month.

    Tried a new cookie recipe, oatmeal Snickerdoodles. Very good, more like a chewy snickerdoodle but still very tender. Recipe used baking soda instead of cream of tartar that my snickerdoodle recipe calls for, I may try the tartaric acid next time to see which texture I like best.

    Got refried beans, gourmet mac and cheese mix, as well as gourmet frozen mac and cheese as freebies at Kroger. These aren’t something I usually buy but free is free.

    Got total of .75 Ibotta rebates for hot dogs and ground beef.

    That’s all I jotted down but it has been very encouraging to me so far as I look back each week and review my accomplishments. And I love reading about everyone else’s frugal successes!

    See y’all next week.

  39. This list is from the last two weeks:
    *we ate dinner at my parents house after church on Sundays…each week, they sent us home with leftovers
    *my children had two scheduled days off from school. instead of going somewhere (and spending money), we stayed home. my children had basketball practice and we had neighbors over for a ‘crafternoon’ , using supplies we had already at home.
    *we were given a free ‘farmhouse’ TV stand.
    *went to the library-borrowed various DVD and books and my son attended story hour
    *watched the premier and subsequent episodes of ‘Victoria’ on PBS. Has anyone else watched it? It’s been so, so good thus far!
    *Used a gift card I won from a Christmas, to buy snacks and bulk foods at a specialty grocery store
    * found Christmas napkins on clearance for $0.19/pk. I bought all the store had, which was 7 packs and put them away with my Christmas things for next Christmas
    *my aunt gave me 2 magazines to look through and enjoy
    *my mom bought 4 shirts for my son, she found them at Goodwill. They look brand new!
    *I was at TJ Maxx this week and found some gifts to put away in my ‘gift’ bin. They were on clearance. Which made them very reasonable since TJ Maxx prices are already discounted. My TJ Maxx store had a huge section of ‘toys’ all marked down in price. I think leftover from Christmas. My daughters will use these gifts for 2 upcoming birthday parties.
    *Our family received a box of grapefruit and lemons from our family who lives in AZ. I opened the box and sunshine poured out! It smelled so good and was a treat to our family in cold, snowy, dreary Ohio.

    Have a great week everyone!

  40. Brandy–thank you so much for your blog. I know I have said that before, but I just hope you know how much you help everyone with your site. I find that re-read many of your posts. It is helping me to be more creative with saving money.

  41. Oh, those crepes look delicious!

    We’ve had a pretty routine week around here, which is nice.

    Frugal Efforts:

    * Continued w/ the pantry challenge.

    * Made bread and granola.

    * Hubs made a huge batch of pumpkin soup (to use up pumpkins from the fall), and we froze it for future meals.

    * Harvested Swiss chard, green onions, and lemons. We have lettuce and peas growing, but they’re not yet ready to pick.

    * Collected several more items for our next yard sale.

    * Cut up Christmas cards for crafts/gift tags.

    * Hubs made a new, larger enclosed run for our hens.

    * Gathered the first two eggs of the season!

    Joyful Activities

    * Watched geese flying north. Spring is on its way!

    * Sent birthday cards to friends and relatives, including my 1-year-old grandniece.

    * Ate home-grown oranges. Sweet and juicy.

    * Noticed the green (!) foothills and snow-covered (!) mountains beyond them. Such a nice change after 5 years of drought.

    Have a great week, everyone!

  42. I spent the past week at our middle daughter’s home, helping her with the toddler while her husband was out of town for the week on business travel. Little Stuff & I baked every morning while Mommy was at work. For a 16 month old, stirring anything is an adventure. We made banana bread in mini loaves & mini muffins from the bananas her mom had frozen as they ripened, when they weren’t eaten fast enough, & one of the batches had chopped chocolate added as well. Little Stuff was more than happy to quality check the chopped chocolate before we added it to the batter. For one of the batches, we also added the leftover oatmeal from breakfast, & that batch had a particularly nice texture. We also made yeast dough, setting a sponge in the morning right after breakfast, working up the dough just before lunch & making dinner rolls, breadsticks, or cinnamon rolls right after her nap. We made breadsticks twice, & she can almost roll out a breadstick by herself now. My daughter used her food saver to package most of the banana bread for Little Stuff.

    I only took a carry on bag, & on the flight home, I was glad of that, since there were demonstrations in both the Portland & Salt Lake airports, in the baggage claim areas, & since I had not checked a bag, I was able to avoid the areas of unrest in the airports.

    Little Stuff’s daddy travels frequently for work, & she gets all sorts of concerned when he gets out his suitcas, so I made it a point this time to take some books for her, that I bought at the thrift, as well as some Duplos blocks from the thrift, & put them inside the suitcase. We opened it together, & she decided that suitcases are not so bad, after all. Her daddy also made it a point to bring something back for her from his trip, & had a stuffed Delta airplane in his suitcase for her to “find”.

    While I was gone, my husband had the new furnace installed, so the temperature in the house is much better controlled now, & the furnace is far more efficient than our previous one, which was 17 years old. We will get several rebates, & they gave us 5% off for paying in full at the time of installation.

  43. Oooh, I would love to receive a box of citrus. I grew up in Los Angeles and would frequently buy it from guys at the freeway offramps. That was where it was always the sweetest. I kept $5 bills in my ashtray for that very reason!

  44. Lots of joy and sleepiness here!
    – Have been truly blessed that this baby NAPS as my son didn’t. Trying to sleep whenever she is out to keep up my energy and spirits. I get very negative when I’m sleep deprived!
    – Trying to start pumping once a day or so to build up a supply for going back to work
    – Figured out a way to extend my maternity leave for two weeks by going back part time. This will let my family help out while I”m at work and will avoid paying for daycare for an extra two weeks. It also means the little one’s immune system won’t be tested quite so early!
    – continued to eat the wonderful meals provided by friends and family
    – washed cloth diapers and did other laundry
    – as my energy has come back, tried to straighten the house a bit. it helps with both my and my husband’s cheeriness to see things tidy.
    – kept the heat up in the kids rooms but down everywhere else
    – input the energy production from our solar panels (they were on the house when we bought!) into the production trading system
    – worked on the list of gift ideas for people for this year. don’t have time to make any presents now but it doesn’t hurt to start planning!
    – one frugal fail: I purchased a TV for my inlaws for Christmas at Target and just saw the price dropped by $100! Since it waas so long ago, Target won’t honor the new price, but I know some credit cards have the added benefit of purchase protection. Looking into it, one of our CC has 90 days of purchase protection to rebate the difference….unfortunately that’s not the CC I used! Oh well. I had put it on an amex because I had heard they did purchase protection but it turns out they don’t. Lesson learned!

  45. Rachel,
    I love it that your husband will be paid ‘exactly’ what you owe in taxes! I love hearing stories of how God provides.

  46. We have been trying to use what we have on hand for meals (and only buying things we absolutely need). I was able to get a refund for my daughter’s Scoliosis brace, now I have money to pay for two months of my daughter’s braces. I also ran our errands at one time instead of making separate trips which helped us save money and time. We also received a credit to put towards doctor appointments. I was able to use a coupon and an app coupon to get free coffee and fountain drink.

  47. Did she answer yet? But it sounds to me like just one person as she has a budget of 20.00 per week for one person. That would be my guess.

  48. Roberta, have you ever made hummus? Lemon and garlic are just 2 normal ingredients in it besides salt, olive oil and tahini. I googled it to see what would come up and the top recipes are all that. We like cumin in ours too.

  49. (Commenting again for the first time in a few months.) This past week, I :
    – Recommitted to tracking spending/trying to figure out a better budget. I have been using the free version of http://www.budgetsimple.com but did choose in January to upgrade to the paid version ($40/year) for the better reporting capability, which I am already finding helpful.

    – We have a planned family restaurant meal each Sunday after church. This week, we went to a restaurant for which I had a $25 gift card (that I’ve had for two years).

    – My mother visited this weekend; she, my daughter and I played a couple of board games that we own/had received for Christmas (Horseopoly – like Monopoly, but with a horse theme, and PicWits, which is kind of like Apples to Apples but with picture cards).

    – My husband and I used my mom’s free babysitting service to also go out together. We went to an Indian restaurant he likes. My meal was large enough that, when I brought the leftovers home, they created two more lunches to pack for work, plus a breakfast (there was a hard-boiled egg on my plate).

    – Came in about $30 under my $300/month grocery budget. Happy about that, since it also includes toiletries and I am trying to use more natural items, which often have a higher cost. Part of the grocery savings is doing a better job of making the family eat leftovers, and using items from the freezer/pantry. This past week, I made a pumpkin pie (which my daughter has been begging for) with ingredients on hand, and sloppy joes. Our grocery will often have a larger container of ground beef on sale. When I purchase it, I brown all of it at once (sometimes with onions, if I have them) and then portion it into smaller containers for future use. The sloppy joe meat came from one of these meat purchases: its first use was in chili, then the sloppy joes, and I think next I will be making a beefy baked beans dish.

    – Also used some of the turkey left from our Christmas meal that I had ground up in the food processor and froze to make a turkey pot pie for dinner and made some baked oatmeal for breakfast as the cereal eaters (daughter and husband) never tell me when the supply is getting low until they run out.

    – Redeemed my Pinecone Rewards survey points for cash into my PayPal account.

    – Read a library book (and renewed it on its due date to avoid an overdue fine!), “Being Mortal.” It should be an interesting discussion at book group.

  50. Hilogene, how nice you were able to see your brother and his family. That must have been a pretty long day though each way in airports and on the plane. I hope the flights were uneventful.

    Just out of curiosity, how to you pronounce your name? Thank you.

  51. Happy Birthday Marcia…I am glad you had a good time. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. Pie sounds delicious.

  52. Cara, what is a “farmhouse TV stand”?

    Have not tried VICTORIA. We use the DVR and save the episodes of GREAT BRITISH and GREAT AMERICAN baking series and the MARTHA BAKES series. We like the locally produced shows…travel, personal interest, cooking etc. My daughter and I rewatch the cooking shows. Have not found a series lately that has caught our interest.

  53. Last week as expensive for us with a large auto repair. I was able to negotiate a 15% discount ($150) and a rental car for the day. Since we don’t have a car payment and only incur these expenses infrequently, we still feel our car is affordable.

    I set a budget for January’s groceries and managed to only go over the budget by $21 for the month. I have reduced the budget forFebruary and I’m determined to do even better. I have 40 pounds of chicken doing later this month that was paid for in December.

    I’m still looking for a job and had a phone interview today for a good job. I am hopeful!

  54. Wow! My kids would love chocolate crepes!:D
    We are on a spending freeze this week because of the way paychecks fall and we had to pay our mortgage. Have done well, except for gas in car and my husband splurged to grill steak because it was in the 40s outside!
    Daughter is well on way to earning way to camp. Proud of her for her hard work.
    This is spirit week at school. Each day there is a service project. We used cans from storage for food pantry and usedbooks in great condition for book drive.
    Excited to get great inspiration from everyone this week!

  55. Thanks, Athanasia – the first time she helped me knead the dough, she kept looking up, like “It’s ok with you that I’m sticking my hands in this?” She loved it. By the end of the week, when I cleaned off her hands & took her out of her highchair from breakfast, she would run right over to her stool by the counter, climb up & lightly slap both hands down on the counter. “Ready to bake, Grandma!” It was fun.

  56. Maybe so. I try hard, but my husband has to have meat each day! If we gardened like Brandy, we could save at least in the produce department.

  57. Frugal efforts: Found enchilada sauce at the Dollar tree 10for $1. I bought 10 but will check back today to see if they have any left. I bought pork chops for $1.35 a pound. Have been eating out of the pantry and freezer this week. My father gave us two quart bags of peas from his garden this past summer. Love those!
    Stopped by a thrift shop near my husband’s work. Found two Barbie dolls and a brand new puzzle for my granddaughter. Will put those away for Christmas. For myself a beautiful heart necklace for $1. Perfect for February. At Goodwill I found a balance for our master bedroom window for $3.99. Also a brand new Susan Branch recipe book for my friend who collects Susan Branch. It was $6.99. Put up for her birthday or Christmas gift. Found tons of things marked down at Marshalls. White House vertical puzzles for $2, and Florida Gators puzzles for $1. Bought for grandkids Christmas.
    Joy: went on a girls weekend to Wakulla Springs Lodge. My part of the room was $94 for two nights. We rode the tour boat down the river, enjoyed seeing birds, turtles and alligators. Went to a seafood restaurant nearby for dinner the first night. The second night we had dinner at the lodge. Enjoyed music in the lobby afterwards. I had taken $250 in cash and came home with $95, which went back into my travel fund. Had not been on a girls weekend in about 15 years, so this was well overdue!

  58. Rachel, my husband grew up in that type of family but we gradually cut down . My family grew up with the MORE WITH LESS cookbook, DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET, LAUREL’S KITCHEN….My mother has always had an interest in more low-on-the-food chain- eating as she calls it. I always continued that with my family. Two of my girls are vegetarian. My oldest son is married to an Hawaiian-born woman whose parents are from China. She cooks meat and seafood almost like an accessory to the vegetables and starches. At least half our meals are meatless or very low in meat. Your husband could still have meat, maybe just less? Good luck!

  59. Cindy, I pray your son is much better.

    Your church service topic sounds very interesting, hearing all those varied experiences. If you like to read I recommend the book LITTLE HEATHENS about children growing up on the farm during the Great Depression and how self reliant folks had to be just to survive.

  60. Oh and in cold climates, February is the hardest month of the year for bird survival. Anything you can do to help like suet and other high energy foods is great. Also a source of unfrozen water and shelter, like piles of brush and old Christmas trees.

  61. That book sounds interesting , Athanasia! Thanks!. My momma grew up on a farm during the depression, and since my grandmother also lived with us, l was raised by very thrifty folks, they could make a dime stretch to a dollar …..lol

  62. Those crepes would be perfect for pancake day! I didn’t do a huge amount to be frugal this week – we didn’t shop which meant we used what we had in… and meals did get a little interesting but that’s how the best recipes are made!

  63. I make roasted red pepper hummus frequently. I never thought to just omit the red pepper and cumin and go heavier on the lemon/garlic. Silly me. I think I need to get a little more adventuresome with basic recipes like hummus; I tend to be too tied to written recipes.

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