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This Week’s Frugal Acomplishments

I received a bag of fabric this week from my mom’s friend. There is some fabric in there that looks to be enough to make a Christmas dress, a skirt for a child, and possibly another dress.

From the same person, I also received 4 doll shirts that I will use for Christmas gifts for my girls.

I made homemade crackers, yogurt, and steak sauce.

I harvested basil, rosemary, a cucumber, and a few green beans.

I received a free razor in the mail (I signed up for this a few weeks ago).

I cut my son’s hair.

I signed up for a free $5 Amazon MP3 credit.

I made a few birthday presents for my daughter using items I have on hand, including sheets and pillowcases from my grandmother’s fabric stash.

I mended a dress.

I cut the buttons off of a dress that was beyond repair to use on another dress.

I watched 2 free shows on Hulu.

Most of our meals were meatless this week. Our meat this week was a can of beef and some leftover turkey from the previous week that I had froze and pulled out of the freezer. We had bean burritos, black bean burgers, and several other meatless meals.

What have you done to save money this week?

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  1. Canned 4 pints of applesauce (with a hint of pear) from gifted fruit from a neighbor’s tree – they leave it out on a table on the sidewalk every year – and other fruit that was past its prime and would otherwise have been compost.Took an inventory of the pantry to remind me of what’s there (hey, look! beans!) and started a plan for final preparations for the winter. Next week, freezer inventory – yikes!Picked up 24lb of sugar on sale with a coupon, which ought to take care of the holiday baking. Deeply displeased that the standard size of a bag of sugar has shrunk by 20%. Grr.Checked out e-books from the library!

  2. Recieved 2 free suger pumpkins and 2 free acorn squash from FIL, which he reieved free from sme of his cousins. I love it when the “love” gets passed down. Cooked and put up pumpkins for later use in pies and pancakes. Saving the squash for some dinners. Recieved free dz of farm fresh eggs and 4 peaches from MIL, which were passed down from here cousins too. (Different side of the family.) Had some leftover notebooks from when DS was in school and I started one titled ” A Year Of Menus” to help me keep up with what is in the pantry and freezer for budget meals and shooping. Went to the library and cheked out a few books to help with this project. Recieved 4 free packets of Mrs. Dash in mail.This is the first year I haven’t had a garden and decided that I sure do miss it. Will put one in next year!Went shopping at a new Aldi’s and stocked my pantry of canned goods for about $21. Made chicken stock out of bones and veggies scraps. Made chicken and dumplings from scratch and DS said it was the best he has ever had. Stayed at home mostly all week to save on gas. Played in backyard when we could due to rain.Looking forward to seeing how “frugal” I can be this week.

  3. Oh how I love the ideas I get from these lists! Thanks everyone!Here’s what I/we did this week:* Inventoried the freezer and pantry * Planned 3 months worth of menus using what I have on hand (whoot!)* Froze leftover spaghetti in single-serving containers to take for lunch at work this fall* Blanched and froze more green beans* Harvested what seemed like a ton of yellow pear tomatoesand a watermelon from our garden* Left the merigolds, cosmos and snapdragons to go to seed – we’ve had wonderful luck with these re-seeding themselves the last few years.* Made “Veggie Stock” the carrot, celery and onion tops* Bought dry goods in bulk from a local store – couscous, rice, and cornmeal for a fraction of the grocery store price and less than Sam’s club* Mended a skirt for my daugther and a shirt for my husband* Accepted more free books from a friend* Purchased a pair of black dress shoes for my daughter (required for her school uniform) on sale for 75% off.That’s all I can think of right now – though I’m pretty sure there’s more.Have a great week ladies!Lea

  4. This is my first official “frugal accomplishments” posting. I don’t have much to list because I don’t remember unless I write them down so I will do so for next week. I moved to a new home so I am a bit unsettled at the moment.*Saved $35 on printer ink because someone gave me one.*Saved money because I bought the “rejected” veggies at the farmer’s market at deep discount. Cut up the peppers and onions for cooking later on this week plus put some in the freezer.*Been using my stockpile to make meals for us to eat from at home (difficult since all our kitchen was packed up).*Used vinegar to clean this week.*Got some out door pots and planters for my container garden at Kmart at 90% off. I plan on planting this week.*Got 6 8lb bags of soil at 50 cent/bag. *Got 2 outdoor tables for my patio area at 75% off.*Saved $100 deposit by having my natural gas bill automatically paid each month and saved $100 deposit on water bill by having old utility company send a letter of “good credit”.*Saved money just by not going shopping at all this week–too busy.I don’t know that my list is as impressive as others but I am pleased.PS. Something came and ate my tomato plants down to the roots and started eating my pepper plants. Not sure what!!!!

  5. Congrats on fixing your own blinds! Such a huge savings there! So wonderful that you recognize that you tend to spend when stressed. I just wanted to say “way to go!”

  6. Love all of the frugal doings posted here!I took my lunch with me to work all week.Planted carrots in my garden. Cut back dead areas on my tomato plants and moved them to a better location for more sun.Drove my car less.Avoided soda all week. Trying to forgo it altogether.Had meatless meals 5/7 days.Bought apples for $0.69/pound at a community fundraiser. Apples shipped in from WA state. Delicious Gala’s!Bought local corn for Saturday night, 5/$1Sold items on ebay.Bought key items at Costco (lettuce, snap peas, cheese, etc) and spent only $30.

  7. Well I am also going to have to try and write everything down, my mind is pulling a blank on me!! But I did remember a few things…- made a freezer inventory so that I can create new meals using things we already have-made homemade yogurt in the crockpot-washed clothes in cold water -started sending water with my son’s lunches instead of juice or juice boxes- Stretched our taco meat by adding a can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups cooked rice the the hamburger meat. This made much more filling and my husband said they were much better that way. I am also buying cheaper cuts of meat(like chicken legs and leg quarters, instead of buying boneless chicken breasts) to save money on meat. I would love to serve some meatless meals more often, but my husband can be very difficult about it, if anyone else has some tips on how to stretch meats in meals please let me know!!!

  8. It is wonderful to read all of the lists that others post! Not a lot of frugal things to report this week :(I used coupons to get a free protein bar, free 1.25 liter bottle of pop and a free box of cereal.I bought only three packages of meat at the grocery store and they were all marked as manager’s specials (it close to the use or freeze by date so all the packages were cheaper than usual). Jill

  9. Some of these things I always do, I just forget that they count for frugal :)-washed clothes in cold water (forgot that one)-line dried as much as possible. Towels don’t dry well when it is raining-didn’t have to water due to the rain, though-bought two new ice trays to put in the chest freezer to make and save ice for coolers for cross country practice and meets. My ice maker is broken, so we had to buy ice last week. Ugh!-harvested cherry tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers and okra from the garden-turned off the water while brushing my teeth and saved the water while it heated for dishes (will use this on the garden when needed)-bought meat on Manager’s markdown, as usual, and put it in servings in the freezer. -Also bought a gallon of milk on markdown 1/2 price-$1.69(doesn’t expire for four days and will be long gone by then)-forgot to take meat out of the freezer today-will go and buy whatever is marked down and have hubby put it on the grill for dinner instead of ordering takeout or going out to dinner-did not drink soda all week, trying to quit altogether-I love Coke Zero!-I never buy anything, other than produce at Aldi, that is not marked down or on sale with a coupon-have binder, will travel!-took lunch to work (I always do)-sent lunches with both kids, instead of buying lunch at school. This is a hard one for my son, who prefers to eat at school. A work in progress.Allison

  10. APPLE GARBAGE JELLYIngredients:Apple cores and peels (I peel my apples and core them before making crockpot applesauce, so these are raw, not cooked leftovers)Lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon of butter (this quells the foaming action).Sugar(No pectin necessary because the product you buy in the store is made from the leftovers after juice is made of citrus or apples, so it is naturally present whenever you cook with apples. However, if you are just doing this for the first time, use the juice you get and follow Sure Jell or some other pectin recipe. IT will still turn out great)Process:Put the cores and peels in a large non-reactive pot, adding enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, until the apple remains are soft. Put the fruit and cooked juice into a jelly strainer. If you don’t have that piece of equipment, use a piece of doubled cheese cloth that is large enough that after it is filled the sides can be gathered together and suspended from your kitchen sink spigot and the juices can fall into a bowl below. (I have tied the filled cheesecloth bag to the thick handle of a wooden spoon, balancing each end of the spoon on a 24 pack of soda. Crude, but effective.) You may be tempted to use a strainer, but don’t: what helps the draining is the weight of the suspended bag, which will be absent with a colander. Leave things to drip for at least five hours, or as long as overnight. Discard the peels and cores, and measure how much juice you have. You will want 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one cup of sugar for every cup of juice—but hold off on adding the sugar.For each cup of juice, add two tablespoons of lemon juice and bring the mixture to a boil. Then rapidly add the sugar, stirring until it dissolves; at this point add any spices or Red Hots as well as the butter. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring frequently, until the jelly reaches its set point. Periodically skim off and discard any foam that has formed.There are several ways to check to see if the set point has been reached (which should take about 10 minutes). The easiest is to use a candy thermometer—when it reaches 220 degrees, the set point has been reached. The wooden spoon test, which is the one I generally use since I can never seem to find my thermometer, involves dipping a clean wooden spoon in and out of the jelly, then turning it a few times to see if the drops of jelly run off like water or form dollops before dropping off. Dollops mean the set point has been reached. When the set point has been reached and you are ready to can, pack the hot jelly into half pint jars; in the meantime, the flat lids and screw tops should be simmering in water. Fill jars to 1/2 inch from the top. Remove air bubbles by running a thin spatula all around the inside of the jars. Wipe the rims of a jar with a clean damp cloth, and put on the flat and screw lids; repeat until you have closed all the jars. Submerge them in a boiling water canner that has enough boiling water in it that there is at least one inch of water over the top of the jars once you have them all in there. Cover. When the water returns to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes. When it rings, take off the lid and leave the jars in the water for 5 more minutes. Then remove the jars. Place them on a towel, so they are not in direct contact with a counter top or table, and leave for 24 hours. I usually count as the sucking sound that signals a vacuum occurs, but you can simply wait until the 24 hours are over and run your finger lightly over each lid—there should be no bubble in the middle, but, rather, an indentation.If something happens and your jelly doesn’t jell, simply re-label it as apple garbage syrup and use in that form.

  11. I did a similar sort of thing, but it was a chicken I put in the fridge to thaw and then forgot about when it got shoved into the back. I nearly wept at the waste! Now I have a designated area for thawing and leftovers, so it does not happen again. The leaving out leftovers over night I cured by setting the stove timer for a certain amount of time; when it goes off I remember. (Once it went off when I had already gone to bed, so I averted a disaster!)

  12. I make chili without beans but stretch the meat with shredded zucchini—my husband does not even know it is in there. Also use shredded zuke in meatloaf recipes. I also add a half a cup to any commercial cake mixes I use…not meat, I know, but frugal.

  13. I fill quart and half gallon milk jugs and freeze to keep coolers well, cool. On road tirps, I fill them with iced tead instead. I have had them still cold three days later (the half gallon ones, not the quart ones).

  14. I didmt think about a thermos..My husband got one several years ago- we dont drink coffee so I dont even think its been used. I have a locker at work ( i work in a lab) I love soups- we do have a nice microwave that works ( for bfast i usually eat oatmeal). Thanks for that suggestion 🙂

  15. I do that too for camping, but my runners like their water/gatorade COLD. It has been hotter than 90 degrees here until the last few days, so they want ice. The frozen milk jugs don’t keep the drinks cold enough, LOL.Allison

  16. I love everyone’s frugal accomplishments! They are inspiring :)Mine for the last week are…Made 6 quarts apple sauce with apples we picked from my Father in Law’s yard. Made 12 1/2 pints pear/grape jelly with pears from my Father in Law, and grapes from my husband’s maternal grandfather. Made zucchini pear muffins from those said apples, and zucs from our yard. And also made an apple cake from those apples!Put all our laundry out to dry.Picked almost all the zucchini, basil, and a few small pumpkins. It froze two nights ago, and I fear this is the end of my little garden.Had a build your own pizza night with friends, we each made two small pizzas and cooked them on cookie sheets on the bbq so we didnt heat up the house. We had a ton of gourmet, whole wheat crust pizza for pretty cheap. Most of the toppings came out of our pantry, I made the dough, and our friends provided more toppings and cheese as well. My husband helped a friend move, and aquired almost 50 lbs of frozen ground beef, chuck steak, steaks, and roast that the friend didnt want to move. He also gave us two bags of bottles and cans. There is a 5 cent deposit on almost all drink containers here, so we turned them in for almost $8. I signed up for a free shampoo coupon online….And I think that is about it for us!

  17. Brandie: I use a tutoral from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f5AMh-wv4c Her segment are divided in a few video. I did a flap that closes. My daughter did a bracelet from multi-color yarn, in a technic I learn when I was in 1st grade. She was so proud of herself and she did a GREAT job!I look in all the shelves that it could have been in, for the liquid smoke. Maybe I should have ask the store clerk. We will however cook the burgers on the BBQ. We are trying them tomorrow :DLinda

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