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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

We sold our car! We are now officially a one-car family again. We were very blessed to sell it for just $500 less than what we paid for our new van, so it was like buying a new car for $500.

Because we waited to register our van until after we sold our car (we had 30 days, and the car sold in 2 weeks), the DMV gave us the credit from registering our old car to our “new” van, which saved us $102.

We went to switch the license plates over to the new van (thinking it would save us money), and we found out that they actually charge $6 to switch plates, or $1 for new plates, so we went with new plates.

I made pizza, Greek yogurt, Italian Dressing, and French bread. I cooked a turkey this week.

I bought no groceries this week.

I made hair detangler this week.

I went to the nursery this week to get tomato plants. Our last frost date was the 15th. I went on the 13th and was there in the morning as they unloaded the first tomatoes and other vegetables off of the truck. I bought 12 tomato plants; one had 2 plants in it, and the one large plant I bought had 4 plants in it. I carefully separated the plants when I took them out of the pots and I planted all of them in the garden. The nights are still cool (low 40’s) so I have covered most of them with quart-sized mason jars, to see if it helps them to grow larger like it has for the lettuce. I can see that for tomatoes, it would be better to have large garden cloches or larger jars, so as to allow them to get much taller before they have to be uncovered (because they’re reached the top of the jars).

I continued to feed the baby lots of things from our table. She loves broccoli, pasta, butternut squash soup, and peas.

I tried a candy recipe for what I had hoped would make a great filling for chocolates. It turned out just like taffy (and after reading the taffy recipe a few pages further, I found out out that it was almost exactly the same). To quickly salvage it, I called the children in for an impromptu taffy pull!

What did you do to save money this last week?

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25 Comments

  1. I also wanted to include lots of greens in our daily meals and what i ve done is I got a bunch of kale, collards, chard and bok choy. I have started incorporating it in everything thing i make like the green bean potato bake, pasta,lentil soup,fried rice,smoothies,brussel sprouts etc.

  2. Sheeba,beauty schools will often do facials and waxing for a very inexpensive price it just has to be a cosmetology school look in your phone book for them. I have never gotten a professional manicure, facial, or waxing. But as a special suprise for my grandmother I got her a facial at a cosmetology school for five dollars in my area. I have my very thick eyebrows waxed there once a year for five dollars also I use tweezers in between to maintain. I make my own sugaring cream for hair removal at home the internet is full of recipes. Henna is fantastic for your hair many people don’t know that you can combine it with other herbs like wode, and indigo to create other colors like black.

  3. Elaine- you said it right about getting to a point where you dont like restaurants. I think i am going through that phase too and plus this is the first time i have planned 2 weeks worth of meals…. I just feel bliss!!! Otherwise every other thing worrying me is what am i going to make for lunch and dinner

  4. Tiggr:The dosa/idli mix is easy to do though it does take the day ahead to make. I use idli rice which you can get in 5lbs bags or larger(do not know the price)but this much easier to grind than regular rice and it will rise.The ratio is 4 cups of idli rice to 1 cup of urad dal(white lentils)and 1/4 c fenugreek/2 TBSP. This was a challenge for me to get the dough to rise overnight in my oven with just my oven light on(warm but not there to cook it)…However when I soak the idli rice seperate in a bowl after washin it super well and the fenugreek with urad dal seperate for about 5 hours or more and then grind them individually only mixing both of them at the end when they are grinded-salt it to taste before letting the dough rise in the oven…The mix lasts a little over a week in fridge and saves me from buying two 16 oz. tubs for $2.49 each at my Indian store…This is idli mix recipe and when you want dosa add a little water to however much of the same dough you are using and make your dosas..

  5. I often feel that way about restaurants. We only go out once or twice a month as it is, and even then I think I prefer our food at home and saving our money. My husband has said something similar a few times too….Congrats on the tomatoes!

  6. The only thing I use paper towels for is draining bacon. I put several sheets of newspaper, then just one layer of paper towels, so that I just use the one sheet. I think you could also designate a kitchen towel for this purpose. After you use it, just put it in some really hot soapy water in a bucket and get it as clean as you can (and pour the water on a rose bush after it cools).

  7. Taral and Elaine I know what you mean about not going out to eat. I have a very low tolerance for getting sick and since we eat at home more I find I am not nearly as sickly. I know what is in the food we eat and I know how the counter was washed and how the plates and forks were washed as well. Many restaurant workers are not paid well , so they come to work sick , they need the paycheck, then they handle your food.Add to that many of the low cost items at restaurants are the foods that can be made very easily at home. I remember everyone raved about red lobster biscuits (they are soooooooooooo easy!)Hamburger is often my husband’s go to item (That is so easy at home!)We eat out one time per week but often it is a picnic I packed from home / mostly it is just to get out. We live right near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park so we go out and often find a nice spot and just sit at a table and listen to the water pass by. Many times no matter where you live there are really pretty places near a library or a water supply bldg, or a power plant I have even take a quilt and just made a prompt picnic.I hope this idea helps others as we down sized some time ago and we have a large number of folks in a very tiny space so this is what has worked for us. Jenna

  8. Sheeba, thanks for the recipe! What do you use for grinding, do you think I could do it with a food processor or would it break? (Btw, nursing ladies, nothing is more efficient than fenugreek tea, if you, err, need more milk!)Amanda, I’m not an English speaker, so the songs I found the scores of for free wouldn’t be of much use to you, I’m afraid. Still, Brandy’s link is great! (I have been browsing the free piano sheet stuff every once in a while for classical scores.)

  9. This is exactly what I do—I have several bacon rags. I put one on a layer of newpaper or magazine paper and then after the grease soaks through to the paper I either soak in a small amount of hot soapy water and throw it in the next wash, or, if it is really old, I throw it away. Heaven knows I have enough rags that throwing one away is much more frugal than using paper towels.

  10. Taral,The newspaper and the brown bags work but not quite as well as the paper towels but use them and some paper towels to cut down on the paper towels. I also use the trick when we go out to eat the napkins that the silver is wrapped in that you place on your lap and wipe your face with if they are barely used I fold them and place them in my purse, bring them home, I have a empty Folger’s container in my pantry and I keep them in there. So I will use brown paper or newspaper and one of those when I have to drain bacon. IN a pinch tissue paper will help too but you have to use that in between something else often or the tissue will start to end up in bits of tissue sticking to the bacon. I have also used brown paper and newspaper and a flour sack towel that I wash afterwards.

  11. LOL! I was just reviewing the blogs I like to visit and noticed I had you (your website) on there from way back before you even started your blog! Glad you do have a blog now!~TJ

  12. We did that with the brackets and it is a great relief , we only had one thing we could not mount and it is just this monster oak buffet and I HATE IT. My 1 year old son hangs on it and slams the doors. I sympathize, 3 year my son came out of the womb with a bang! The child climbed everything. We don’t even have end tables in our living room anymore. We got rid of the china cabinet and the media cabinet, I wish I had thought to buy furniture that was child proofable. I am finally on the tail end( i think) but I could not turn my back on my son for two years. He pulled down four sets of drapes and warped curtain rods and scaled dressers and tables and chairs and end tables and whipped cords around like lassos. Once I caught him on top of the dining room table reaching for the chandelier and I had only run for a glass of water. My baby is a bit more tractable. A bit. I use Dr. Bronner’s soap or Kiss My Face, it’s a bit pricey but so much cheaper than laundry detergent. My older son is very rash prone.

  13. Jenna- Thanks for that information, it is good to know we are at least avoiding getting sick. Our family has never been a fan of fastfood restaurants ever. I dont ever remember the last time i have eaten at MacD and the rest of the chains,been years.We dont eat beef (religious reasons) and i found out macd fries their fries in beef fat, that made me stop eating their fries too.My husband hates it and he says if we do have to go out and eat it should be a decent place coz it should be like a real treat, but thanks to Brandy we have been avoiding going out that one time per week too. Like i had mentioned in my previous reply to elaine, once you have a menu planned everything is stress free!!!But I think im going to try your idea of a picnic, it sounds good. And since we avoid going out, I like splurging on groceries.Coz it still tends to be way cheaper!!!

  14. Sheeba, I made idli mix 3 weeks back and its still in the fridge, not at all gone bad.We have idlis once every week. If you add cooked rice(if its a day old even better) while grinding it will definitely rise.I also soaked a fistful of poha. The idlis have come out extremely soft and dont dry out even after a day.Tiggr-I used to grind with the oster blender (will be slightly coarse) before I got the vitamix. It definitley grinds extremely well.I didnt know the idli mix has to be less thick when you put it to ferment,previously i used to avoid adding too much water to keep the mix thick. But when i had done it this time around I added water so that the mix was less thick, it fermented very nicely and puffed up.

  15. I have had mine quite a long time and I’m not sure where I got it from but maybe label info will help you. It says The Spicery Shoppe Satisfaction Guaranteed Non-Alcoholic Natural Maple Flavor Contains: Glycerine, water & Natural Flavors 1 pint Dist by the Spicery Shoppe, Downers Grove, IL 60515Hope that helps, Holly

  16. Thank you ladies! I did not know the Emergen-c tip. I will have to get some to keep on hand. We agreed no more buffets. Which the hubby was sad about because that was his favorite place lol

  17. also try the Sneaky Chef cookbooks from the library by Missy Chase Lapine. They sneak them in all kinds of things unnoticed much like Sesele. She has a kid’s one too. Holly

  18. I have a recipe for powdered laundry soap. I have 50 bars of Ivory soap i got for free that I use. It always dissolves…so far. And you microwave the Ivory bar and it “poofs”. its fun to watch.

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