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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I gleaned olives again. They are all soaking in lye water now, to take the bitterness out.

I cut red noodle beans, thyme, and green onions from the garden.

My husband cut both boys’ hair.

I made turkey broth and used it to make soup.

I made French bread.

I made yogurt.

Winter made carrot cake for my mom’s birthday.

I printed free worksheets for school for the younger girls from several places.

What did you do to save money last week?

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29 Comments

  1. A good gift is an empty popcorn bucket like they use at the mivies, filled with pkgs of microwave popcorn, boxes of movie type candies and a DVD. I just sent my grandson some bday gifts for his tenth birthday. To encourage his interest in reading I sent him a men’s magazine all about how to do survival type skills in the wilderness and build things.

  2. Great idea about the teabags! And I am so glad you splurged on the tablecloth. We must have our small indulgences after spending money on new brakes. We had to buy some last week as weell–no fun!

  3. Happy Tuesday. Inspired by this blog, I tried a few new frugal endeavors:I made a delicious sorghum (milo) roasted carrot salad from the food grade milo my husband saved me from the harvest. It took me a few tries to cook it, but I was successful and discovered any salad recipe for quinoa works for milo. My boys liked it.Raced out the door when Brandy told us Winco had bulk candy on sale for .98 cents. It really helps for my reading incentive program at school.I have been inspired by Project 333 over the last year to weed out my closet, only keeping what I love and what fits perfectly. I downloaded a simple app called Wardrobe Journal. I calendarized multiple outfits from my favorite pieces (the app files the pictures for me). If I couldn’t put together a becoming outfit with a favorite item, I donated it to a favorite charity. This was the finale of a long process and I am thrilled. I started with hundreds of items of clothing last year and now I am down in the sixties. I love the way the clothes look. This stops me from shopping needless at the stores. I know exactly what I need now to fill in for my work wardrobe. I don’t buy duplicates. It also encourages me to keep the weight off I have lost, because I want to keep wearing my cute clothes.A big scary event for me was to stop a family from stealing our walnuts. (We have an orchard.) My husband and son and I came back Saturday afternoon and found a family systematically stealing ( with tools and huge bags) about 500 pounds of nuts that my husband was going to harvest the next week. The family said, “Sorry, they were just lying there.” Ironically, they were driving a later model Cadillac Escalade, a nicer car than ours. I told them my husband worked all year, that this was his job and they needed to leave. Just an important reminder that “gleaning” must be done with the permission of the landowner.I have a couple of questions: Has anybody bought the BIG cans of olives at Sam’s. How do you divide it up? What containers do you use and do you have to freeze the smaller containers?

  4. I drive a 1998 Toyota and my husband drives a 2008. We could easily afford newer cars with fancier “stuff” inside, but we are thrilled at how much money we do NOT have to pay in personal property taxes each year! Amazing difference. And we couln’t care less about impressing anyone with an expensive vehicle. Also it saves us a LOT on insurance. And when people say they love that new car smell I tell them I love that PAID For car smell a lot better! LOL

  5. I had a similar idea Rhonda. Tools. Do you have a Harbor Freight near you Preppy? They have freebie coupons every week, enough selection to make a starter tool box. I did this for my my nephews. I found 2 small plastic tool boxes at Big Lots (discount chain) for $3 a piece. That and with the free tools made for very nice gifts.

  6. Our frugal accomplishments list seems to be getting smaller. I think this may be a good thing though. I’m getting into the habit of doing certain things and it’s just second nature now, and we just haven’t been doing as much away from home.We harvested bell peppers and radishes. I love how quickly the radishes grow.I froze leftovers or made extra as a freezer meal for most meals.We had mandarin orange chik’n (vegetarian chicken flavored wheat meat) stir fry one night. We ate all the chik’n, but had a ton of rice and veggies left over. I used that and leftover yellow rice and made fried rice for the lunch the next day.I hit my Swagbucks goal every day, and was able to order two more $5 Amazon gift cards. I will use these for Christmas presents.I uploaded receipts to Ibotta, Checkout51, Snap, and Savings Catcher. I price match; so I don’t usually get anything with Savings Catcher, but I forgot to match bananas this week and Savings Catcher caught it.I stopped by Kmart to pick up a couple 25 piece Mega Bloks sets that were on sale. They had a whole cart of Ghirardelli chocolates and store brand chips on sale. I ended up paying $15 for 7 bags of Ghirardelli chocolates, 4 bags of pretzels, 3 bags of tortilla chips, 2 bags of Dorito type chips, and 2 sets of Mega Bloks. The chocolates, pretzels, and Mega Bloks will all be Christmas presents.I finally got my homemade vanilla made. Each 8 oz. bottle cost about $4.50 to make.I picked up Triscuit crackers and cat treats at Kroger for free.We’ve been doing all our usual things too: saving shower water, turning off lights/electronics, reusing bags, eating meals at home.I hope everyone has a great week!

  7. This isn’t really related to this week’s frugal post, but… I know you store up hams & turkeys for your meat all year – does your meat ever get freezer burnt? And if so, how do you deal with it? I’m asking because I cleaned out our chest freezer on Sunday and found 3 steaks I didn’t know we had. One was somewhat freezer burnt around the edges, and all of them had been in there a while and needed to be used. I trimmed off the burnt area and sliced the steaks into strips and layered them with sliced onions in the slow cooker, topped with a tomato-based sauce. I figure 8-10 hours of cooking may do the trick. I’m just wondering if you have any advice on avoiding freezer burn, or how to overcome it if/when it happens? Thanks!

  8. I rarely have trouble with things being freezer burnt. I do use Ziplock freezer bags for things I freeze. The only times I have had it is with things that we were given (such as some things from my grandmother’s house when she moved and someone else’s house when they moved). Those items were in thinner plastic. You can cut off the burnt part or just use a good amount of sauce (like barbecue sauce) to cover it.

  9. Debbie, I bought the chocolate chips at Aldi and like them very well. I lucked up last January at Target on Girhadelli chocolate chips for even less than the Aldi chips,so I bought a dozen bags to put in the freezer. I plan to go back to the Aldi brand when I’m done with these.

  10. Kristine, Your attitude of gratitude is awesome! I am sorry that your husband lost his job but I see so many positives in your post. Praying your husband finds his career job soon.

  11. Linda, our vehicles are even older than yours, although one of them is extremely low mileage for its age. We didn’t buy them new, but we know their whole history. It’s true, our personal property taxes are almost nothing. In our area, vehicles are all they look at for personal property. Weird, but true. If they taxed on household items and rare books and records, we might be in trouble.A friend of ours once described the penchant of some for late model expensive cars quite succinctly. He said it was a form of mobile superiority. We made a decision early in our marriage to concentrate on owning a home and paying it off, letting vehicles take a much lessor place in the scheme of things.

  12. Pamela, I rarely have any freezer burnt meat. I don’t skimp on wrapping materials. If I want to freeze the entire package as is, I put it in a new, freezer quality zip lock bag, making sure to force all the air out.If I divide meat before freezing, I wrap meal size portions in plastic wrap and put those in the freezer bags, again being careful to not leave air in the bags. I rarely freeze whole ham or turkey, but would recommend over wrapping well with plastic wrap and foil or freezer paper.If I have a piece of meat get old, I pretty much do as you did. Make it so tender and flavorful that there is no bad taste. Stew is always successful.The thing that gives me trouble with freezer burn is purchased frozen vegetables. These really don’t stay nice very long and I’ve learned to not overbuy. If I had a large freezer and wanted to stock a lot of them, I would probably put the bags in freezer bags as I do the meat.

  13. MaryAnn,O, the stories I could tell……I grew up on a hazelnut (filbert) farm and u-pick fruit farm. I also lived there as an adult for many years, helping run the farm. We had to chase a steady stream of people out!!!! Sounds like your bunch were a little more organized than most, though. Wow!I could eat the entire big can of olives before it went bad:)LOL! Seriously, once I was given a large amount of olives and divided the olives, covered with their brine, into glass canning jars. I refrigerated them, tightly covered, for a long time. None went bad before we ate them, but I don’t remember how long that ended up to be.

  14. I love the teabag idea. I drink at least 6 cups of herbal tea a day and usually put them in the compost bin but like this idea to get another use out of them before I do that!

  15. We had a fun week, we spent a few days in Tasmania. The airfares were free; we had to pay for the hotel, rental car, petrol, and food, although we were able to salary package the hotel and meals out, which cut the cost by about 40%. Still ended up costing more than your week away! We paid for the Cadbury factory presentation (and got more than what we paid in chocolate samples) and for MONA, an art museum which is a great reason to go to Tasmania just on its own, although the pooping art is a bit on the nose (literally, it stinks). The rest was free. We had a wander through the Salamanca markets; enjoyed the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, stopped off at the Antarctic exploration centre (absolutely nothing there for visitors at all, other than a very small art gallery; but the museum had a very good Antartic exhibit), went to Richmond (an historic town, one of the oldest in Australia), drove almost as far south as you can drive in Australia (stopped about 20 k from the end of the road because of huge signs warning that the bridge was structurally unsound!), took a little walk through a bit of forest that had ferns that towered over us, and trees that towered over them, saw a platypus in the wild, spent some time exploring the Hobart waterfront, and visited a cheesery.At the Cadbury factory store we stocked up on very cheap chocolates – some of the prices were not that much better than the grocery clearance stores near us; some were considerably better; all prices were half or more off the normal retail price. We saved several hundred dollars at the Salamanca markets by not buying the several things I was drooling over!I’ve been doing better at meal planning and using what we have in the freezer/pantry. I took an inventory of the kids’ clothes – we don’t need to buy them anything, except new swim trunks for my son. The school has its second hand uniforms out for grabs at the moment, so we’ve taken a few things we’ll need, but we’re pretty set for school uniforms too.

  16. These are all great suggestions to help battle anemia and I’m going to try every one of them, starting with Marivene’s Snack Mix! That sounds wonderful and who would have thought all those yummy things together would be so full of iron! I don’t have a cast iron pan, but I think I’ve also heard that it’s a good idea to cook in them to boost iron levels. I’ve gone back and forth about buying one because of the seasoning thing and caring for it. I need to do a little research and maybe get a small one to try. Anna, I am also being tested for fibroids even though I didn’t put the two together before you mentioned it here. I’ve had a fairly long-standing battle with anemia and women generally do have lower iron levels even if it’s not technically full-blown “anemia”. I’ll know more in November about the fibroids and I’ll keep you in my prayers as you go through your testing as well. I am definitely going to have to get some Floridex and I wish I had known about it when I was pregnant with my son. Not too long after I delivered him, I went to get out of bed to use the bathroom and went face first onto the floor…whoops! The nurses later told me that my hemoglobin was at 7 (the normal threshold starts around 12, but I was told it should actually be around 14). A friend of mine who is also a nurse said if I had been at her hospital they would have given me a blood transfusion since they transfuse if it falls to 8 or below where she works. I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that. The other thing that is difficult about getting enough iron is making sure to drink enough fluids. One would think after as many years of living in this desert environment that I’d have the hang of drinking lots of water by now, but I know I’m still not getting enough. Brandy, making your Minestrone and Swiss Chard soups should help on both fronts! :)Thanks again for the wonderful suggestions.

  17. I do love the dark meat…it works out well in our family because my husband prefers the white pieces and I love the legs. I think I also heard that the dark meat is higher in zinc which is wonderful during cold and flu season.

  18. Maydijo, when I read you saw a wild platypus, I actually gasped. My daughter is completely obsessed with them…it is her favourite animal. She would be so envious of your trip! Maybe some day we will have the opportunity to visit Australia or Tasmania. Thanks for sharing!!!

  19. Hello all!

    I did post last week so here’s the last two weeks’ worth of accomplishments:

    ~We found that we had a leak in our main water pipe outside…Ugh! However, hubby talked to a plumber who said he we could save on our bill if we dug a trench around the pipe. He would take off the charge for that labor. Once we got to the pipe, we found that it was a job that we could fix without needing the plumber!!! So we ended up saving the $1750 and just spent $200 to do it ourselves. Yay!
    ~Two $0-spend days.
    ~Now that the sun is setting earlier, we are putting the children to bed earlier, which means that I can get to bed earlier…using less electricity and other resources. Wow…that was a rabbit trail!! :p
    ~We were gifted reading books for our emergent reader. She’s doing a wonderful job and is zealous to learn to read.
    ~Our church is having a women’s series every Wednesday morning and I was able to register for free in exchange for hosting a table. I only had to pay for childcare. 🙂
    ~Bought groceries at Target using a left over gift card and put the cash I would have used into our “overflow” envelope. This then gets sent to our next debt as an extra payment.
    ~We go through a TON of strawberries every month, so I broke down and bought four strawberry plants and planted them in pots. So far, we have had only a couple of young strawberries that weren’t edible. BUT the good news is that they haven’t died yet!!! For me that’s PROGRESS!!! 😉
    ~I am listing two of my beaded items up for auction in a friend’s FaceBook auction page. I do this a few times per year, as well as craft fairs in the fall.
    ~I finished and gave away two more loom-knitted cocoon photo-props for the ladies whom I host baby showers for. Just found out that I need to add another two ladies to the baby shower list! Yay for babies!

    That’s about all for now. Have a wonderful week everyone! 😀

  20. I love reading everyone’s gardening ideas, they get the wheels in my head turning on garden possibilities. Here are my frugal efforts for the week. My DD had a birthday, I made her a GF black bean cake, 3 pairs of beaded socks, and a stuffed kitty dress from a baby shirt my DS had grown out of. Her stuffed cat was well loved and completely flat, so I restuff it with some stuffing from a stuffed animal I had planned on giving to the goodwill. I mended a skirt, a dress, some pants, and a pair of pajamas. My daughters footie pajamas had holes on the underside where her toes were, so I relined the foot with jersey knit from a onesie my DS had grown out of.

    I’d like to crochet owl hats for my youngest DS and DD (free pattern on repeatcrafterme.com) and I bought some yarn for it, but if I’m not picky about colors I can use yarn from my stash, so I’ll be returning that. I borrowed an audiobook for free on hoopla. I didn’t spend anything on Halloween costumes because my kids are wearing costumes from years past. I got a ten dollar gift card from target for some items I had intention of buying anyway. I sewed two items for my visiting teachees.

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