Sunday, January 11, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Past Week and Accountability For My Struggles

Hi everyone and welcome back to my weekly round-up of all the frugal things I did this week, as well as my accountability for things that I may or may not have done as frugally as I would have liked to.
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So first off- cloth diapering. I was going very well this past week! All through rain and snow and an inability to line dry my laundry outside, I was exclusively cloth diapering! Super proud of myself! I washed cloth diapers and even made a make-shift rack in my bathroom to dry them on, since I didn't have room to hang up my standard indoor washing rack since we needed to bring a whole bunch more stuff indoors because of the storm. What helped was inheriting a bunch of cloth diapers from a friend earlier this past week (mainly pocket diapers, but also a few other types) which meant that with my increased stash, I wasn't as stressed out about having enough diapers and having them dry in time!
I also didn't leave any loads in the machine long enough to need to re-wash them, so points for that, as well as points for not using my dryer!
My husband did buy a package of diapers just in case, because I didn't want to be stuck without in the storm... I did end up using one disposable diaper on Saturday night... because we had problems with our water because of the storm, and until our landlord gets that fixed (hopefully in the next few hours) we've been completely without water, so that means no doing laundry, not diaper laundry and not anything else- and not even washing off the dirty diapers with our diaper sprayer...

And as for food waste...
I can't say I had none.
I did my best to repurpose a lot of food that would have otherwise gotten thrown out- even using up the zucchini bread that I made that I thought tasted icky (fortunately the kids and hubby didn't mind it) and turned flopped frosting (peanut butter based) into a base for a smoothie.

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But I did have some food that ended up in the trash. A little bit of leftover mashed potatoes with tuna fish and ketchup (half a serving, maybe), some foraged greens, some citrus fruit, a tomato, and a bunch of cucumbers. I gotta figure out how to use those cucumbers up, because I'm noticing that cucumbers are one of those things going in the trash most often...

So, what did I get right this week in terms of frugality? Well, here's what we did to save money this past week:

Free Stuff
Hubby brought home leftover food from a party.
Got a bunch of hand me down cloth diapers.
Hubby got a whole bunch of catered food free that they delivered to his work, but most people didn't show up to because of the snow, so they had a lot extra.
Got a free bottle of olive oil made from my mother's olive tree.

Frugal Shopping
Bought hot water bottles with coupons.
Went shopping and stocked up on gluten free bread- great sale- very cheap beef hunks, past prime radishes, dirt cheap grapefruit and cabbage, name brand high quality aluminum foil for cheaper than the low quality stuff, cheap sardines in water, plus other stuff.
Had them slice the cheese super thin at the cheese counter, so you get more from it, able to spread it further.
Bought powdered sugar from a neighbor who sells it at half the price as the store.
Got free pastry bags from the grocery store and free raisins. (In both cases I asked the price of them, because I wanted to buy them, and they just said to take it free!)

Foraged sow thistle and suillus mushrooms.
Mike foraged olive leaves.

Frugal in the Kitchen
Kids had homemade waffles for breakfast.
Made wild greens and past prime veggie stir fry with peanut butter tahini sauce.
Made onions, zucchini, and fennel (all either bought cheaply or got free), plus foraged lambsquarters and canned peas from scratch and dent store.
Made cheapo easy pizza with cheapo bought gluten free pita, tomato paste, and super thin slices of cheese.
Cleaned out my fridge and found some veggies that needed using up- combined soft and wilting veggies- turnips, radishes, zucchini, carrots, and turned them into a nice curry.
Made homemade beet coloring and homemade pomegranate concentrate to use as natural food colorings.
Made homemade frosting, and gluten free cake, and frosted it myself.
Served zucchini bread in the crock pot (that I didn't think tasted good, but they liked it) for breakfast to kids and hubby together with leftover frosting- and didn't throw it out.
Made scrap soup in the crock pot- with chicken bones, beef bones, and carrot scraps.
Took scrap soup broth and added some leftover rice and lentils from the freezer (that I put there because they came out mushy), an open can of tomato paste, suillus mushrooms, and a bunch of veggies that were soft and needed to be used ASAP to make an awesome soup that was polished off.
Made homemade popcorn.
Put buckwheat porridge to cook overnight in the crock pot.
Made decadent homemade gluten free, refined sugar free chocolate cake.
Made lentil soup for lunch and supper for the family.
Butchered a whole chicken.
Made homemade gluten free bread.
Made homemade hilbeh, a Yemenite fenugreek based dip.
Made homemade roasted eggplant salad using a cooked eggplant sitting in my fridge for a few days, and onion greens from my onions that sprouted.
Deep fried noodles- made some spicy and salty, made some chocolate covered together with pretzels, with my homemade chocolate.

All in all, a pretty good week!

So, what did you do to save money this past week? Any frugal accomplishments you're especially proud of?


  1. those kinds of cucumbers last best when wrapped in plastic, btw.

  2. Kelly K (@RNCCRN9706)January 11, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    Could you make pickles out of those cucumbers?

  3. In the UK we are encouraged to recycle, not trash, all food waste. The local council give up special bins for food that are collected once a week. I wonder if you would consider recycling food waste as more frugal than just throwing it away?

  4. Great job. We also have been watching our cukes die & it's so cold to have a cold salad!

    (The page would be easier to read if your list was bullet points instead of just text.)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll try my list bullet points next time! Yea, just not in the mood of salad so much lately.

  5. I think Ruthie makes a good point. If you do any gardening, you could compost anything you don't use. Makes great fertilizer.

    1. Unfortunately, we dont have a yard, so composting is out. (Hubby doesnt want an indoor worm compost.) It pains me to throw compostable stuff into the trash but i don't really have a choice since I dont know of any public compost bins here...

  6. hi! love reading your weekly challenges! the best thing is at each meal to peel and slice a couple cucumbers, and serve them along on the side. or just leave them on the table. the kids will take when hungry. when you have alot. how about trying a cucumber salad which can last about 2 weeks in the fridge, or as someone might have mentioned, to pickle them with other vegies which is very easy on the stovetop, or in jars as pickles. let us know. I can pass along the recipe for the pickling over the stovetop. if you want.

  7. Chickens love cucumbers and any other rotten veggies or other foods.

    1. Once upon a time we had chickens. Unfortunately not anymore, so I can't feed these scraps to the chickens...

  8. Chickens love cucumbers and any leftover food.

  9. yay full week of cloth diapering! we are trying to do the same with my nearly 2 yo :)

  10. An amazing week...esp congratulations on the cloth diapering!

    Another vote for quick pickles.


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