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This Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I picked lettuce, Swiss chard, green onions, snow peas, strawberries, and chives from the garden this week. I made several green salads, and I made a fig vinaigrette dressing with home-canned fig jam.

I wasn’t planning on grocery shopping this week, but I found out about some amazing deals on Monday.

I bought split (bone-in) chicken breasts at .49 a pound (a Monday only sale; the store sent out an email), and then used a $5 coupon (which came off twice on accident, and the cashier said it was okay, as it took it off the before special price) and $6 off in rewards from the store. (Almost all of which were bonus rewards for buying hams, turkeys with triple points in November and December, and for taking an online survey for the company). It ended up being $9.45 for fifty-one pounds of chicken.

Now I don’t feel so bad about not getting all the turkeys that I usually get in November! We’re eating chicken instead. The breasts are large–about 1 1/2 pounds each. I cooked some this week, and when I make them for us, I divide 2 breasts for 8 of us (Ivory is not yet eating meat). The rest have been frozen for me to use later this year.

I made fried chicken twice this week with this chicken. I cut the chicken up into smaller pieces before I fried it, so that it would be battered for everyone. I used flour that I seasoned and powdered milk for the liquid. When I fry chicken, I don’t deep fry it; I just use 1/4″ of oil in the bottom of the pan, and then I turn the chicken. It uses much less oil than deep frying, which cuts costs a lot.

I went to another store the same day, because my friend let me know that they had strawberries on an unadvertised special at .48 a pound!  I bought a whole bunch, and we ate them throughout the week. I also made jam: 13 pints, 4 half pints, and 2 four-ounce jars. I already had pectin on hand (that I bought in the “bulk” container (which is about 2 1/2 boxes worth of pectin) and sugar. I made a low sugar variety because I prefer the consistency for topping yogurt. I would never have known this is a reader had not sent me two wonderful jars of raspberry jam from her garden last year; I had never had low-sugar jam before, and I loved the consistency for mixing with yogurt.

At the same store I bought 50 pounds of russet potatoes at .15 a pound, which should last us 2 weeks. My friend also told me that the store had tortillas 10 for $1.28, with a $1 off coupon on the package. When I got to the store, there were three packages left. I bought all three. We had burritos today.

I made ranch dressing, Greek yogurt, crepes, strawberry popsicles, strawberry walnut muffins (I added one cup of strawberries, as well as 1 cup of shredded carrots that I didn’t want to waste, to this recipe), museum pasta salad, strawberry shortcake, and several green salads this week. I used leftover whey from making yogurt in my ranch dressing and in crepes. I used the last of a mayo that we didn’t care for in making the ranch dressing, so as not to waste it.

I turned the a/c on on Sunday, as it was over 100ºF outside and quite hot inside. It cooled down to around 90º on Wednesday, so I was able to turn the a/c back off. It was warm again by this afternoon; I had the fans running, but it was 85º in the house with the a/c off. It was cooler outside, so I opened the front and back doors for a while to get a good cross breeze.

My husband fixed a water leak in our garden. Thankfully I caught it right away and it was only leaking for 40 minutes of watering time. I turned on all of the valves manually until he was able to get it fixed.

I cut a few more larkspur from the front yard before I had to pull them all for the front yard work. I put them in some water and put them on my bathroom counter to enjoy.

I cut roses from the garden for our table. They smell wonderful.

Since my sweet husband was busy doing manual labor for me for our front yard, I decided to cut the grass for him. I used the manual pushmower, so I didn’t use any gas, and since the grass hadn’t been mown for 2 weeks, I also burned a lot of calories. The previous owners left us the push mower.

I watched a show for free on Hulu.

I had an at-home date with my husband.

I gave Cyrus and Ezrom haircuts. My husband cut his own hair and I finished it up for him.

What did you do to save money this week?

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25 Comments

  1. Eleanor, if you are going to use rice pasta, either white or brown, for salads, you need to take it out of the boiling water & plunge it into cold water to stop the cooking as soon as it is al dente. The only kind of pasta we us is rice pasta, because it is gluten-free. If it cooks even a little too long, it will turn soggy on you.

  2. ~I took two walks outside,(gave up my gym membership last fall).~Walked with my niece and nephew back and forth on the sidewalk through a neighbor’s sprinkler. My nephew thinks it is now the coolest thing ever and we must find a sprinkler that is on while going for a walk. ~Using coupons got free cereal and healthy chips.~purchased enough eggs to last us the next month because they were only $1/dozen.~Used rewards points to order my son’s car seat and then earned enough Swagbucks by buying his car seat for a $5 amazon gift card.~Attended a newborn care class at one of the local hospitals. The two hospitals in my area offer comparable classes but one is almost double per class. So I went with the less expensive class and feel prepared.

  3. Hi Rachel! I’m in Central Florida. I haven’t tried soy yet just the almond milk. Publix had soy milk on sale this week. I should have picked some up to try. I will next time!

  4. Hi Debbie,I thought my kitty did not need the pricey food my old cats were eating. Well she ended up with bladder stones very uncommonin girl cats she is back on her old food and doing better. I guesscats do better on wet food because their diet in the wild has moisture birds,mice etc. I would do a search on line with the new food you are feeding with the name of the food and something like made my cat sick. Some cat foods are horrible because there are noregulations. Some companies do really horrible things. We make part of the cat chow for the older guy their sites online. I also write the company and they will almost always give you lots of coupons. I also search catalinas for cat food just save$13.20 off $40.00. I hope your switch to cheaper food goes better for you and your girl kitty than ours went. You had a great frugal week . Great idea on making the batter ahead of time and just baking what you need. Have a blessed week.Patti from San Diego

  5. This year we put in reflective covers over the glass that is supposed to block 75% of the suns heat. We hope. Ugh. We have a row home designed by a maniac and they put in an addition that ruins the cross ventilation. It’s like living in a proof box.

  6. This week was pretty awesome…1/ I have been working out more regularly on my own and getting encouraged by a friend who is loads fitter than me and a runner for years. I have been blessed by her commitment to my fitness. She has been hosting the meals for that day as well or we share a meal outside but this week will be my turn for hosting.2/ rented out fitness DVDs from the library that I want to try before even buying them or committing to them.3/received free mags in mail, a cute organic onesie from mini boden and a shampoo with conditioner from suave. Also got free mint plants from this friend to make my son’s fav chutney to go with dosa n idli is that I already make from scratch for every week. What a delight to find these mint plants growing wildly and freely in my friend’s condo community garden. A couple sprigs of mint half dried up fresh mint costs me $1 at the Indian store. So I saved my money here picking a few for my own garden.4/ continue to make most meals homemade.5/ babysat a friend’s child who is a year younger than mine for a morning for free.what a gift that was or me as a mother to remember what your own child was like a year younger. The need and care they need at that age. It’s a gift indeed and the best gifts are usually free.Have a good week everyone.SheebaBrandi those are wonderful deals on the shopping front.never gotten those type of deals on met here in NJ

  7. I cloth diapered 5 days out of seven! when My MIL comes to help she won’t do the clth diaper thing… LOL.I made desserts for a party in lieu of a gift. I made homemade pizza with my girls instead of ordering out.My husband and his father worked like mules replacing our old fence…my husband drove to the next state to save 50% on the fencing supplies…home depot here had them for 96$… just over the border they had them for 45$!!! since we needed 20 sections a significant savings even with the extra gas and tolls and sales tax!I planted my modest veggie garden…can’t wait for tomatoes!I haggled at the walmart pharmacy (can’t believe it worked!!!!!!) to get a discount on eye drops for my daughter… i don’t have precription coverage so may be that’s why they even entertained it!

  8. is that cost per month or quarter?. I ask to compare it to mine in Wales. We have no need for a/c but do need central heating for about 7 months of the year. I have converted from pounds to dollars for ease of comparison. Our combined gas and electricity for a year is $5157. How does that compare to everyone else?

  9. Jenny, that is per month. Gas is a seperate bill.Your amounts are much higher than mine, but I am not surprised; the cost of living is much higher there. Interesting, though, is the U.K. poverty line and the U.S. poverty line (as of January) are roughly the same (when you take in current rates and compare) but the cost of living is so much higher in the U.K. that by comparison, the poverty line in the U.S. might be a middle class line in the U.K.Many have told me that I have some of the highest utility rates in the U.S. I’m not sure about that, but I’ll give you my amounts for all of last year:Electricity: $2253Natural Gas: $439 (we have gas heat, gas stove, gas clothes dryer, and gas water heater. We only need to run the heat for 3 months here; it is the electric bill in summer that is high).Water: $1730 (we have low-flow showers and toliets by law, and a front-loading washer, but with this many people and next to no rainfall, a lot of water gets used here).People is other areas of the country with different climates and different rates could have vastly different amounts. Thank you for sharing yours for comparison.

  10. Hi ladies I just found certo sure jell double pack at 99 cents only. I am not sure if anyone has this store close to them but if you do this is a great price. I would call your store to see if they have it in stock.I just got a bunch free oranges so I will be making marmalade.Blessings,Patti from San Diego

  11. Unfortunately, some of the diaper brands don’t fit different baby bums that well, which stinks when you’re making an investment. (I find the same with disposables…Huggies work best for my round baby boys, but Luvs worked better for one of my girls.) Have you checked any consignment stores? There’s one here that sells used diapers; I’ve seen some that look brand new.

  12. Dear Brandy, I will understand if this doesn’t post to the comment list, but I cannot seem to find your contact info (it’s late, I’m probably just missing it). I was wondering if you’d consider sharing some or of ‘week in my life’ post or something similar. I am trying to wrap my brain around how you get so very much done each week. 🙂 I wonder how often you do errands, shopping, etc., and how much time you generally spend on other projects such as sewing. I know it must take some time to do the photography and writing for your blog and your website as well, and I also know you’re a woman of faith, so I presume there is time for prayer, bible study, etc. I am just curious (I hope you don’t think I’m just plain nosy) because I aspire to a life more like yours. You seem so content and at peace, and I am seeking more of that. Thank you, and God Bless.-Laura at TenThingsFarm

  13. Larua, if you click on the about link above, my email address is there.This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get, and I am planning a series on it, but the first thing to know is that I get more done because I am home. I run errands as little as possible! If I am out and about, I can’t get stuff done at home. It’s either one or the other. So, I will buy more stuff at once so that I don’t have to go shopping very often.

  14. HA! My husband is completely color blind, so this system woudl never work at our house. But ti does give me an idea of using different types of hangers to denote which is which, so thanks for the idea.

  15. Thank you, Brandy – I do know that the days we are home all day we get more done here at home, but I think I am out more partly because we just have one child, who is homeschooled, so I make an effort to get her to some events and activities with some of her other homeschooled friends. Having just one child also means I have less to do than you do, I am certain. If I make a big pot of soup, I am able so freeze portions for future meals, where it would more likely be a single meal in your home. One thing I am finding of late is that when I am more conscious about limiting errands (rather than getting out for my daughter to spend time with friends or to attend a field trip) I miss some of the good deals. Part of that is that we live in a semi-rural area, and I can’t justify driving 30 miles round trip for ‘a deal’. Yet, when I read my own weekly frugal accomplishments, they make me tired…because I feel like I am still doing a lot of dashing about. I don’t mean for this to turn into therapy for me or anything, but I am seeking a more balanced day-to-day scenario. I will eagerly watch for your series, and I’m open to input from others here as well. Thanks!-Laura at TenThingsFarm

  16. I think going shopping is tiring. It really wears me out. I notice a huge drain in my energy from going shopping versus doing things at home. It is much worse in the summer for me; I don’t like to run errands in the heat. My mom put an outdoor thermostat in her car to see how hot it was in her car in the summer–it was 140º! In the summer I try to only run errands at night.Some deals are great online, so that can help you. I love that I can search several online stores in a few short minutes online, plus I can look for coupon codes as well to make the deal even nicer.Perhaps buying items in bulk, say, from Azure Standard or another bulk place, and then only having to get them once in a long while, would help you cut down your shopping trips.I am having a problem with leftovers as of late–and children who used to have plenty at a meal who suddenly are going through growth spurts and can’t get enough to eat. I am having to double several recipes lately and I am serving a lot more vegetables. In one meal we can go through 2 pounds of pasta, 7 pounds of potatoes, 2 heads of lettuce, a huge pot of soup, 2 loaves of bread, etc. Thankfully I can still stretch the meat by giving everyone just a little and then more vegetables and side dishes. I can still make a 4 pound chicken last us 3 meals if the third one uses the chicken carcass for soup (I got almost a cup of meat off of the bones today for our soup).

  17. Brandy, I also find that I get more done when I stay home. I can relate to the growth spurts. I used apple crisps to fill up the “hollow leg syndrome”, because it only took 1 quart of sliced apples (or 4 fresh apples) 1.5 cups sugar, half a cup of flour, 2 cups oatmeal & 1 cube butter. I melted the butter, & mixed it with the oats, flour & sugar & a touch of cinnamon & baked it for about 40 minutes at 350. I think the oats are what helped satisfy them, altho now we know that cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, too. When my husband was younger, he & his brother would come home after 2/day football practices, & they would each eat a quart of peaches. My poor mother-in-law went thru 4 quarts of peaches a day – & that wasn’t even meals!

  18. She’s 2 and a half, so I am hoping that she will be potty trained within the next year. I will need a size 5 and have had a difficult time finding that size. But I will…I am persistent 🙂 Thank you ladies for your help and encouraging words!

  19. What kind of low sugar pectin did you use? I’ve tried pomona’s pectin in the past. That is the only kind I’ve tried. I made a ton of strawberry jam a few years ago, and only recently ran out. Your jam looks so fresh and more like freezer jam, so I’m wondering which kind you use.

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