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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I made blueberry muffins, zucchini muffins, bean burritos, fried chicken, black bean burgers, beef stroganoff (using some beef that was given to us last year by someone who was clearing out her freezer to make room for half a cow), oatmeal, and spaghetti.

My husband cut his own hair.

My husband took two classes to renew his real estate license. He found a place where he could take 2 classes for $10. When he got there, he found out that they were also serving lunch!

He found another place to take his 2 more required classes for free next week, and one more class for $12.50. He will have taken all of his classes for a total of $22.50 (It would be around $120 if he had taken paid classes for all of them). The $12.50 class is right by the Real Estate Division (which isn’t close to us) and he has to go there to turn in his paperwork anyway, so he will do that after finishing his last class and save himself the expense of gas and the time to drive down there again.

He purchased Forever stamps to use for work before the rate increase (U.S. postage rates increase later this month). Our post office is constantly out of stamps, especially before a rate increase, so he ordered online to make sure he got them at the lower price.

I paid utility bills online to save the cost of postage.

I put a bucket in the shower each morning while waiting for the water to warm up. I used the water to water the potted fruit trees outside. With the rising cost of water charges announced by the water company here, this “tiny” savings will become much more significant in the next three years.

In our bathroom, there are 8 lights (bulbs) above the mirrors. There is also another option; there is a single light above the bathtub (but not one above the shower). I switched to using the single light while showering to cut electricity use. I am also working on shortening my shower time, as I had been slipping into the habit of longer showers again.

I filled a jar with orange peels and vinegar to make a new bottle of orange cleaner.

We received a dozen eggs from my brother-in-law, who has chickens.

My husband and I watched the first episode of season 4 of Downton Abbey and Secrets of Highclere Castle online on PBS.org for free.

I purchased some Ghiradelli white chocolate candy melts on clearance at Sam’s Club for just pennies less than 50% off. They were 11.9 cents an ounce. I will use them to make some hearts on Valentine’s Day, as well as to make some white chocolate Easter rabbits for the children this year using this moldand this one that I purchased last year with Amazon credit. The larger of the 2 holds 1.4 ounces, so it will be only pennies to make. I also purchased this larger mold last year, and it holds 4.5 ounces, so if I want to make that one it would be 54 cents to make. Last year I only managed to make the smallest ones. I want to start earlier so that I can make larger ones this year for everyone.

I thinned and transplanted the thinned parsley seedlings from one area of the garden to another, so that each plant will have lots of room to grow.

I found 2 lettuce plants that had self-sown in the side of the house. I dug them up and moved them to the raised bed.

What did you do last week to save money?

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25 Comments

  1. My sister calls it “God Math”. She is a SAHM and in the last 3 years somehow they have managed to pay off over a 100k of her husbands student loans. On paper it seems impossible with the income they had. When ever things seemed bleakest, God provided. It is awesome!

  2. Last week’s accomplishments:- Did yoga at home with free online videos and took advantage of my free gym membership- Signed up for Walgreens “Steps” program (part of Balance Rewards). Every time you track a workout, you get 20 balance points. Tracked all my workouts!- Threw clementine peels down the garbage disposal to freshen it- Listened to music for free on Pandora while I worked- Made a list of all of the knitting/embroidery/sewing projects I’ve started. I have a bad habit of starting too many projects at once and forgetting about some of them (so they never get finished!). I told myself I have to finish all of my current projects before moving on to new ones. Since I don’t have any birthdays coming up to make presents for, this should work out fine.- Finished knitting a pair of mittens- My husband wants me to knit him a hat. I looked at free patterns on Ravelry and he picked the one he liked best. I found yarn in my stash that will work perfectly. His birthday is in March so I have time to finish my other projects before starting this one.- Printed coupons online and got Kleenex for $0.75 a 160ct box (normally in our area they are about $1.25 a box). Also got floss for free after coupons.- A grocery store in our area sent us some welcome coupons for buying our house. It is a grocery store I don’t usually shop at because they are much more expensive, but they have really good products. I got 1lb of potato salad (freshly made) for free and 1lb free of their seasoned Angus Roast (I bought 2lbs, so it ended up being $1.99/lb). The roast is fresh, not cooked, so we cooked it for dinner with carrots we had on hand and the potato salad! – Made zucchini bars with ingredients I had on hand, apple pie with ingredients on hand, homemade bread (Cracked Wheat) and buns. – My husband was curious how much it costs to make bread at home. I use a bread machine, so I googled kWh amounts for running a bread machine, and multiplied the kWh by our electricity costs to get an estimate. I know all bread machines are different, and the only real way to determine would be to get an electricity reader. According to what I found online, though, it costs about $0.06 to run my bread machine for 4 hours (makes 1 loaf). I was shocked at how low it was! If this really is accurate, it is definitely worth it for me to keep using the bread machine. – I started figuring out the costs for some of our other meals, and started a price list too! I would eventually like to know how much all of the meals I make cost.- I wanted to get a haircut before traveling to a work meeting, but bad weather and procrastination on calling the salon meant that it didn’t end up happening. Funny enough, while at the meeting, someone told me they really liked my hair! I guess I don’t need to go get it cut after all.- I ran out of shampoo, so I started washing my hair with baking soda & rinsing with vinegar. (google “no poo method”). So far, I really like what it is doing to my hair, and since I had all the stuff on hand, it was free!- watched free shows online on Hulu

  3. What kind of yeast are you using for the French bread? I found that switching to instant yeast, and then following Brandy’s recipe, was the solution for why mine wasn’t turning out quite right.

  4. I would love to hear an update on the pasta maker when you receive it. I’ve been making my own tortillas and it takes a while to get them rolled out nice and thin so I’m not always motivated to make them (especially when I can get 40 of them at Sam’s for about $4). The thing is, though, if I don’t have money, I can’t buy them! I did buy them last month because I was running low on flour and I make a lot of bread. When I found a good sale on flour again, I restocked and would rather not spend the $4 when I have flour to make them. Anyway, I hope that makes sense, but I am curious about the pasta maker! Just what I need, another kitchen gadget! :/

  5. I was really worried about how I would be able to pay a $50 bill later this month. I was praying about it and trying to figure how I could juggle it. Times have been so hard for my family. At my job (working at the front desk of a hotel) we have performance calls. We get them randomly four times a month. Well last night, just before I was to get off shift I got one of those calls and got 110% on the call! That means I will get a bonus $50 on my paycheck that comes just before the bill is due! I was so grateful for God’s blessing!

  6. Wow, that is wonderful news! Congratulations on the great review and yet another example of God’s providence! Thank you for sharing and keep up the good work!

  7. My most potentially frugal accomplishment was finally being insured through the Affordable care act, after four long years of risk as an uninsured. I was fortunate that we could afford to pay for my annual doctor visit and my medications, but the specter of unavoidable hospitalization without insurance and losing our home to pay the bill was always present.This insurance is at a price I can pay (not much more than my husband’s Medicare), and has a good stop loss, so now there is virtually no way I can have a medical bill be more money than we can lay hands on if we have to. If I have no unexpected problems, I won’t even be paying the deductable, because preventative checkups and blood work–like I have to get my prescriptions–are free. This stop gap will serve me well until I can get Medicare and a supplement in three and a half years.

  8. Well, I can’t really remember any more. I had been busy getting ready for my mother’s 85th birthday party which after starting last night at 5p has now wound down for a bit. She’s napping, I’m resting, the kids have gone off to the other houses but a whole new group of relatives and friends will be back for dinner. This mornings brunch went from 9a to 11:30 so no one needs lunch. Dinner again is a potluck and there should be about 40 people…since she/we have so many relatives people don’t all come at one time…that is why we break it up, so works with schedules. Then she’ll leave here and go by my sister’s farm for a week. I can’t really remember now because that would be last week and this week is almost over. Hmm. But I did enjoy reading everyone else’s entries!

  9. Amy, I made a new to me recipe this week and added 1/3 cup of chocolate chips. The recipe didn’t call for them but I thought it might taste good. I realized after (gah, why do we always realize AFTER?) that if the recipe would have been more frugal made as written…I do like my chocolate but here on I’ll not put in unless called for.

  10. Andrea, so far so good with the pasta maker. I haven’t made tortillas yet, but I’ve made several batches of pasta and a batch of saltine crackers. I had rolled cracker dough out with my rolling pin to what I thought was thin enough. Wrong! I took the rest of the batch and found out that the setting that was second to the thinnest worked perfectly! I was able to whip out the crackers fast then. I will definitely use it in the future. I marked it on the recipe for future referenceI now need to figure out the perfect thickness on tortillas. I may work on those in the next day or two. I’ll keep everyone posted on what I find.

  11. I am glad to read that you were able to sign up under an affordable plan that works for you! I’ve found that’s NOT the case for us … I don’t know if it’s because of where we live or what, but the lowest plan was still $500 more than what we currently pay … I told Hubby that if we had known that, we would have stuck with COBRA as it would have been about the same price for better benefits!

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