On Monday, a friend of mine brought over pear baby food that a neighbor had given to her. I’ll be able to use it for Ivory in the upcoming months when she is ready for food.

She also brought over strawberries and some lettuce that she had been given from someone who does some grocery store gleaning for her animals. Most of the berries were too far gone, but I was able to salvage enough to make 2 pints and 2 half-pints of low-sugar strawberry jam.

The lettuce had a few bad spots but there was plenty for us to eat from it every day, and I’ve even got a little left for today.

Another friend brought us 2 dozen eggs from her friend’s chickens.

I used a $10 off $10 Kohl’s coupon combined with a sale to get a blouse for a daughter for free.

We had several meatless meals, including  baked potatoes and salad. I made salad dressing from scratch.

I cooked a turkey that I bought last November for our family. I am not freezing the meat this time, but will be using it to make several meals throughout this next week. Today we used it in place on beans in burritos.

I watched a few free shows on Hulu.

I harvested basil and a couple of cucumbers this week from the garden.

How did you save money and enjoy life this past week?

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  1. Gluten free is expensive if you try to replicate the same diet you had before by using flour substitutes and such. Same goes for dairy free. I made a list of all the foods I can eat (instead of focusing on what I can’t eat) and work from that. Giving up pasta is definitely a blow to the budget, but I’ve found serving pasta sauce over steamed/sauteed zucchini to be a great substitute.

  2. Unless you have a very old dishwasher, it may be costing you more to hand-wash dishes than to use the machine. It’s worth doing some research. Newer machines use much less water and less energy than hand-washing.

  3. All of the frugal savings of last week was due to my DH. My car’s interior door panels were peeling and for about $10.00 for supplies and the internet, we saved over $800. It only took him about 30 minutes to finish the project.(He did it when the football game went to commercials.) Then my HE washing machine stopped spinning and the message on the control panel said to call for repair. DH went back on the internet and found out what might me the problem and saved the day. No telling how much was saved that day. He worked is part-time job and bought home free bbq pork and chicken for the second week so that saves on the grocery bill. On Saturday night he played w/his band and made his play money. It really does count a lot when we can get our men aboard with being frugal.

  4. Andrea, the dishwasher is at least 15 years old and runs for over an hour on a cycle, never really getting the dishes clean. When I wash by hand, I fill the sink halfway with warm soapy water, scrub the dishes, let the dirty water out, and rinse with cold water. The water is never running consistently and the dishes get much cleaner. Until I can afford to replace the old one I have, I’m making due and I’m certain I’m saving money (and water) in the process! 🙂

  5. I really like that last comment about what life used to be like for stay at home moms! I, too, struggle with just staying home and fighting off the urge to “run to town” for this little____(insert something). It’s no wonder that neighbors became so close to one another! If, in the 1950’s (or even today!), hubs took the one car to work, you could go all day without seeing anyone! Especially if the kiddos were in Public school all day! Better to have a neighbor nearby to visit with than to feel isolated! Lucy and Ethel anyone?

  6. You will eat less bread, for sure. As we have gotten better at it, GF is not as expensive as it was. I do not have wheat flour in my house any longer, just the various GF flours. I still can’t make a decent yeast bread, but we do use a number of quick breads. I have a recipe for oatmeal waffles that is completely GF, if your daughter can tolerate oats. It freezes well, too. We used them for Christmas breakfast last year. Spaghetti squash is a great GF alternative as well to pasta. We use the GF rice pasta for “special occasion” meals like birthdays, etc. My husband has to eat gluten free, as well as our oldest daughter, who is married & her oldest daughter is a severe celiac. The youngest child in this same family is allergic to soy, & two of them are violently allergic to tree nuts. Makes life interesting, to say the least! We have found that having a few “bread substitutes” that are gluten free, soy free & nut free is enough. We have a pumpkin cake, a poppyseed lemon cake (from a gluten-free, soy-free mix, with things added), & a banana cake pretty much cover the bases for birthday desserts. GF cookie crumbs sub for graham cracker crumbs for cheesecake or jello-type desserts. We eat a lot of home canned fruits & veggies, because it is easier for the kids to know that if Mom or Grandma bottled it, everyone can eat it. Soups & salads work great, with GF crackers for the celiac & regular crackers for the others. – Marivene

  7. Perogi are not easy to make either! What kind do you make? And do you have a recipe you’d like to share? The one I use is VERY FUSSY. 🙁

  8. Once I was using a broom to free a bird from our greenhouse and stepped back and broke out a car window with the end of the broom. The repair guy said that was almost impossible to do—the angle and sharpness had to be just right. I am sure I could not repeat that feat if I tried. Your poor husband!

  9. I agree, only in our case it was frugal husband getting spendthrift wife (me) on board. Now I out save him!

  10. I made potato & cheese pierogi since I had a lot of potatoes in my pantry. I just made mashed potatoes, added cheese and some ranch dressing spices. It was thick enough to scoop with a cookie dough scoop. The dough recipe I used was from this site: http://neo-homesteading.blogspot.com/2011/01/pierogi-tutorial-revisiting-family.html — it also has easy instructions with pictures. I used a wide mouth canning lid as my dough cutter which was a pretty cool tip. 🙂 Oh, also instead of sour cream, I used the greek yogurt that I made!

  11. This week has been pretty rough since my husband has been sick all week, and I am in the last 5 weeks of my 3rd pregnancy and the fatigue has really been kicking in!! Anyways, I did get a few frugal things accomplished–made homemade cream soup for recipes, it tasted just as good as using the canned soups, and since it is $1 can for the store brands, I will continue to use this homemade version-emailed several companies requesting coupons, have already received coupons from 3 companies!-saved apple peels for another batch of apple honey tea-made and used homemade pancake mix-requested free sample of Biotrue contact solution for my husband-turned off a/c as the weather has finally turned cooler here-downloaded a couple of new books on kindle for pc-my mother in law gave us 1 1/2 dozen free eggs from a friend’s farm. This was a great blessing since eggs are at least $2 dozen here(regular store brand eggs), and we were down to 1 dozen which doesn’t last us very long! I have been holding out for a sale on eggs, which I am beginning to think may not happen any time soon!!-only used 1/2 lb ground beef in my chili this week, saved the other half for spaghetti or something-Local grocery store had canned goods on sale 10 for $5, limit was 10, so that is what I purchased. I also found 2 blocks of cheddar cheese from grass fed cows marked down to 99 cents so I purchased those, as well as a box of go-gurts for my son that were marked down to 99 cents. -There are some good sales today for 5 lb bags of cornmeal mix and large boxes of smoked sausage, as well as cans of tomatoes for 50 cents each. I am going to stock up on a few of these deals while I can. I also purchased several bags of dried beans this past week that were on sale, I am a little nervous about all I have been hearing on the news about food prices going up at the beginning of the year. I have started to notice things like ice cream and cheese really starting to go up already.

  12. That makes sense. They are trying to draw potential customers in. I save a lot of money shopping at Kohl’s. I was able to get a $55.00 backpack (real leather bottom) for Eva for under $5.00 back in August. If you shop their 80% off clearance racks with a 30% off coupon, you can buy clothing cheaper than thrift stores in a lot of cases. The same with clearance shoes. I get most of my jewelry there as well. Items will be marked down to under $3.00 or $4.00 and then add in a coupon and you don’t pay very much at all.

  13. Wow.. You guys are so wonderful and frugal.. I feel like such a slacker in all of these areas. Any suggestions or ideas on how I can get on board?? We do make out own bread, and we have 2 freezers full of food as well as a pantry full of items we eat off of. We realy only purchase our fresh fruit and veggies each week ( or some meat that might be on sale to stock up on.). We have not been able to plant a garden yet. We hope to next year. We have turned off the a/c and the heater is on (we replaced the filter and made sure all was working well) but we keep it set pretty low so it rarely kicks on. Anyone have anything else they can suggest?Thanks

  14. It sounds to me like you’re already on board, Kim. We do different things each week or month or season depending on what we are able to do. That being said, here are a couple more simple and easy frugal things to do if you haven’t already: line dry (or drying rack inside) a load or two (or all) of your clothing, pack lunches for those leaving the house for the day, learn to trim hair, and maybe start looking around your house for simple gifts to start making for Christmas. Even throwing a loaf of bread in the freezer to go with a jar of jam as a gift for a neighbor, or making some fudge, slicing it, and freezing it for gifts. Lots of little things add up, and you’re doing just fine! Wanting to learn more is another great thing you’re already doing. :)Blessings,Shani

  15. Dairy always goes up as it gets into the cooler months. If you stock up on cheese and butter now and freeze them for cooking, you can save the increase now.Having expereneced extreme fatigue at the end of my last pregnancy, have your hemoglobin checked! I ended up being anemic on my last pregnancy.Make sure you are getting adequate iron to avoid hemorraging (eat less calcium foods to help you better absorb the iron).I increased quickly withvitamin b12 ironvitamin c to help absorb ironFloridex Iron+Herbs 10 ml twice a day (get at a health food store; expensive, but worth every penny. In 5 days I had my energy back).Liquid Chloropyhll 2-3 tsp in water once or twice a dayI ate lots of kidney beans, Swiss chard, and leafy greens as well.Doing all of those I brought my hemoglobin levels up very, very fast.

  16. We had to turn on the furnace most nights but I have been trying to turn it off during the day.Put flannel sheets on our bed. Made a turkey that had been in our freezer.Bought eight bags of microwave popcorn for a grand total of $1.00 at Walgreens.Spent quite a bit of time organizing my coupons.Got a couple of single serving size bags of pretzels and two apples at work for free.Jill

  17. Thank you for all of the advice, I will definately have my hemoglobin levels checked and look in the health food store for the things you mentioned! I am also glad you mentioned that the dairy prices normally go up at this time, I will start trying to purchase some extras to put in the freezer, my husband loves cheese on everything! I am also waiting for the sales on butter so I can stock up some on that.

  18. It sounds like you are doing a really good job already, so don’t beat yourself up. Alot of the things we are doing it took me a couple of years to figure out, and I am still learning! One thing I would also suggest is to go through your pantry and just see if there is anything you could make yourself that doesn’t take much time and would save you money. Things that I make that don’t take much extra time at all are pancake mix, pancake syrup, cream soups for recipes, and cooking dried beans in my crockpot and freezing to use in later meals instead of buying canned. Hope this helps. I agree that reading through some of the previous posts will give you some more ideas, although I would not try too many at a time or you may end up feeling overwhelmed.

  19. Amy Dacyzyn always said that part of saving was what her family did NOT do – did not for fast food, did not enroll their kids in lots of costly activities, did not buy new, etc. Think from that angle as well. It sounds to me like you are on track.Also, make sure you have a budget so you know what you are doing with your money before you get it.

  20. I can’t say that we were very frugal last week. We were so very busy with Rainbow Girls and our Grand Assembly that there was little time to cook or anything else. I did make my dress for the event. My daughter’s was made some time ago. The one thing I did do was save my Mom from buying a new sliding screen door. I had the materials and put new screen in and my daughter’s fiance replaced the wheels (they had to be modified). For a few dollars in materials..we avoided a $50 door purchase! Found Salmon on sale for $6/lb at Winco which was a rare treat for us.

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