Sunday, February 22, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week and Accountability For My Struggles

To be honest, I'm a little exhausted- went to bed a little too late a few too many nights in a row, so its hard for me to keep my eyes open long enough to even write this introduction to my post...
But I didn't want to leave you without this week's post, so... about this week and frugality:

We had a snow storm and lots of rain this past week, so I don't think I line dried anything- only used my dryer. However, on the up side. I didn't end up washing any loads of laundry twice because I left it too long...
Also because of the storm, I didn't use any cloth diapers..

And as for throwing out food... I think this was a pretty good week, not much ending up in the trash...

Here's what we did to save money this past week:

Frugal in the Kitchen
Made mallow with carrots, steamed chicken, and rice for supper.
Juiced super sour lemons I picked, and used them in place of lemon juice in a tahini sauce recipe
Took care of my "very last legs" produce, making guacamole (using foraged lemon juice), and sauteing cabbage.
Baked fish heads, and made soup from fish bones.Made leftover rice into rice pudding for breakfast
Turned leftover rice pudding into croquets with sow thistle, free anchovies, and buckwheat flour, served with foraged sage and sow thistle salad with homemade French dressing.
Made steamed whole chicken with super last legs onion, deboned the whole chicken, used the liquid from the steaming and the bones to make an amazing chicken broth.
Made chicken soup from the water from steaming a chicken, plus chicken drippings.
Used my mallow mayo to make coleslaw.
Made From Scratch
Juiced some free oranges I got, and made orangeade with them.
Made sumac spice out of foraged sumac.
Made mayo out of mallow sweeds and wild mustard seeds and foraged sumac and foraged pink peppercorns and olive oil from my mom's tree.
Made jaggery syrup.
Made a homemade salsa type dip.
Made homemade chocolate cake twice.
Made homemade frosting.
Made homemade natural red food coloring and black and grey.

Foraged calendula, made calendula tea for skin care.
Foraged sow thistle, callendula, sage, and passionfruit.
Foraged mallow and mallow seeds.

Frugal Fun
Had a free fun game night with friends- Apples to Apples.
Ate out at Ikea with the family.

Free Things
Hubby picked up some free items I got a voucher for, after I got a problematic item.
Got free produce and free fish scraps from the farmer's market.
Got two whole chickens for my friend, cut them up for her (so I saved her money, since she only paid for the whole chickens, not cut up), and in return, she gave me the fat and bones, etc...  which I used to make stock.
Got free xanthan gum from my friend who bought it but didn't like it.

Frugal Shopping
Hubby got me a valentines day gift on sale.
Bought Chris Kresser's Paleo Code on better world books.
Had a friend pick up some whole chickens for me cheaply from a cheap store that they were at anyhow, to save myself travel costs plus the inevitable extra you spend every time you enter the grocery store.
Picked up my bulk order of coconut sugar.
While in the city, went to the farmer's market and stocked up on super low priced produce,

What did you do to save money this past week? Anything you're particularly proud of?


  1. Your efforts are inspiring. :=)
    I would love to learn how to forage but what holds me back is not knowing if I'll be picking the wrong item and end up sick. How does a person learn how to pick the right item?

    1. There are all sorts of ways to learn about foraging the right way. Many areas have foraging classes, which is a great way to start. And there are also lots of books about foraging.
      http://www.pennilessparenting.com/search/label/foraging I try posting a lot about foraging, with detailed instructions about how to identify wild edibles, and be able to tell them apart from any poisonous look alikes if they are any. Most of what I post on my blog regarding foraging grows all over the world. What area do you live in?

  2. i just contacted amazon to refund the difference on an item i bought whose price dropped from $8 to $7 less than a week after it was delivered. that's two long baby stretchies for $3.50 each, better quality than available here for over $5 so maybe they won't fall apart.

  3. Penny, I always laugh ruefully when I see you mention fish heads. In my neighborhood, due to a strong Asian community, fish heads actually cost more than the bodies! They even serve it in cafes (and salmon heads are AMAZING baked). Sadly, my culture is so frugal that it's hard to find a part of an animal they don't sell (and usually the "unwanted" parts are more expensive!). And supermarkets are loathe to give out any scraps because of a few incidents where the workers who cut the fish will conspire with a family member to have them pick up scraps and hide some really expensive fish inside. While I am proud that nearly nothing goes to waste, it's harder to find frugal ways to get meat or seafood in my area.

  4. penny, how about a post on homemade natural food colorings? :)


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