Monday, August 18, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Hi y'all! It's that time of the week where I am excited to share about all the different ways my family managed to save money over the course of the past week!
This week I have some super exciting news to share, which saves money and time... and I've been waiting so long to be able to post it! Anneliese, now 2 years and 8 months, is fully potty trained! She's been potty training on and off for the past few months, and for a while now was just wearing diapers at night and to poop, but now she is 100% of the time in diapers, is dry at night and poops on the toilet, so good bye diapers for Anneliese! Now its just little 5 month old Rose in diapers, and she is cloth diapered!
Unfortunately I discovered that the place where I was going shopping to buy cheap meat and chicken, etc... is currently closed until the end of the summer, so I've needed to spend a little more when I need to buy that.... But at least I've managed to find other stuff cheaply, even if not the meat/chicken.
I also am happy to share that, though it is summer, typically a time when people are tempted to spend a lot of money on summer activities for the kids, I've been good about that and have been keeping our summer activities super cheap, if not free.

So, here's what we did to save money this week:

Foraged passion fruit.
Made a lentil and rice dish for lunch.
Bought wedding gifts for two weddings, for each couple a few nice things that were cheap, but all together looked fancy, even though the total cost was low.
Stocked up on craisins, date syrup, and sesame seeds on sale.
Needed to buy chicken since I had none in the house, and since none of the chicken was on sale, I stocked up on chicken wings which are the cheapest per pound, and one package of chicken breast, because I can easily stretch it.
Bought onions, cucumbers, carrots, apples, and peaches from the reduced rack.
Ground some homemade gluten free flour in my grain grinder.
We're planning a trip to the sea side, so bought some cheap beach "equipment" locally instead of at the jacked up prices at the stores near the sea side.

Made 2 batches of vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free bread, to see which comes out best. (Recipe soon, just as soon as I perfect it.)
Went on a trip to a semi local, cheap petting zoo with the kids.
Foraged figs.
Served leftover rice and lentils for supper, made an eggplant/chickpea curry from an older eggplant that needed to be used up and chickpeas that I cooked and had frozen in can sized batches.
Sewed to adjust a skirt Anneliese likes, so it would fit her.

My nephews and niece came over to my house, and I wanted to do something fun with them. So I took them and my kids to a local museum that I hadn't been to ever since I moved to this country, which was giving free admission for kids in the summer- so I only needed to pay the entry fee for myself and was able to bring 7 kids in free. They had a great time at the museum, and we stuck to the main exhibits, not the extra parts that you have to pay extra to see/do, and we had enough fun that way. (We didn't feel a lack for not seeing/doing the "extra" stuff since we didn't even finish the basic exhibits.)
Before we left, I made popcorn and a batch of vegan "oatmeal" raisin cookies to bring along as a snack, and also brought a bag of a snack I'd bought a month ago on sale. That way when the kids would say they wanted a treat, I had one already to give them. I also brought along sandwiches made on leftover bread.
On the way home, we passed by an accessory store, and I bought a few accessories for a dirt cheap price.

Foraged figs and passion fruit, and also picked pears from my friend's tree.
I stocked up on milk on sale and froze the excess.
I stocked up on sale basmati rice.
Made homemade healthy ketchup.
Made homemade gluten free bread crumbs from flopped and/or stale homemade gluten free bread.
Made vegan veggie burgers with vegetables and kidney beans I'd cooked and frozen in can sized batches.
Had a BBQ with freinds, and grilled up chicken wings which are the cheapest meat round here, hot dogs which I bought for a great price, and eggplants that I had in the house and needed to use up already. Each family only provided one package wings and one package hot dogs in terms of meat, so it wasn't very meat heavy like most BBQs. The BBQ was done entirely on foraged wood, no coals, and in our friends' homemade BBQ grill.

Was going to a wedding, so put together a pretty wedding outfit from things I already had in the house, and borrowed a dress for Rose from a neighbor instead of buying one for her.
I timed my trip so I could use a bus transfer (instead of paying 2 bus fares) to get to a person who was able to drive me to and from the wedding in another city, so I saved bus fare, since I didn't have to pay for the bus to the second city. Got a ride home with her as well.
Sold off some tempeh to a friend, that I'd bought previously, only to realize that my body doesn't react well to it; until then it was just sitting in my freezer.

Had some very hard stale bread that wouldnt grind into small breadcrumbs since it was so hard. Soaked it in some water and onion juice, then blended it up to stretch ground beef to make meatballs.
Was staying at my sister's house (without having planned it before) and needed a change of clothes, so my sister gave me a (gorgeous) shirt (to keep) from a bag of clothes she got hand me down from a friend.
Lightly toasted green buckwheat to use in a recipe instead of nuts.
Made a buckwheat version of larabars.
Tweaked homemade wine to make it yummy.
Made homemade hibiscus iced tea.
Foraged rosemary and olive leaves for tea.

Spent the afternoon playing Uno with the entire family, with our homemade Uno game.
Made soup from leftover chicken wings, potatoes, mushrooms and chicken drippings, plus leftover meatballs and tomato sauce, plus leftover sauted zucchini and leftover curried rice, plus leftover tomato onion salad. Tasted good!
Made kombucha.

What did you do to save money this week? What was your best frugal accomplishment? 
Do any of my frugal accomplishments this week inspire you to want to do that yourself in the coming week?


  1. Kelly K (@RNCCRN9706)August 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    I quit my job!! While not exactly frugal, it's a BIG load off my mind and sanity! I DO have another one lined up so, it's all good ;)

  2. what's the price per pound of edible meat on chicken wings? really less than other cuts of chicken? or do you account for it by figuring people eat them more slowly and consume less?

  3. Hi Penny,
    I'm just curious as to how you learned all these frugal strategies like foraging, and cooking ketchup from scratch, etc. Did you read it in books, take classes or other blogs or what? You seem to have a wealth of information about everything frugal on the planet! :)

    1. I read a lot, some things I just come up with on my own, some I get from friends, etc...


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