Monday, March 31, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments This Past Week With a New Baby

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As I predicted last week, this past week was one in which I can't claim to have had lots of frugal accomplishments. I mean, I barely spent any money at all... but that's in large part due to the goodness and warmth and generosity of my wonderful community and less because of any specific frugal accomplishments. Yes, I didn't pay a cent for my suppers this past week, but is receiving meals from friends and neighbors in the community after having a baby isn't exactly a frugal accomplishment. In our community, we take care of each other, and while right now I'm on the receiving end, I try my best to also pitch in when I can, making meals for friends and neighbors when they could use them, whether they're sick, just moved, had a baby, etc...
In terms of actual frugality, I am actually prouder of myself for deciding NOT to do specific frugal things I was tempted to do, because I know myself and that I tend to push myself further than I should in general, and especially after birth, I need to recover faster, and pushing myself too far too quickly would make me take longer to recover. For example, when I was in the city because I needed to register my birth, I passed by a large patch of nettles and I had to use a lot of self control to NOT pick those nettles. Because even though picking them wouldn't have been hard work, washing and cleaning and cooking them would. So I didn't. And I didn't make all these great recipes I saw for "from scratch" stuff. I sat tight and did nearly nothing...

Here's what I and my family did do this week to save money. (Rule of thumb- if it takes extra energy, in almost all cases, I avoided it.)

We got free food from someone giving it away- ketchup, lemon juice, and tomato paste. (She dropped it off at my house, or I wouldn't have gotten it.)

Got meals from the community, so didn't need to make supper. For lunches, instead of making easy meals, I took meals out of the freezer that I popped into the freezer when I had leftovers that I didn't feel like serving for yet another meal, so was able to rely on cheap legume dishes that might have otherwise gone in the trash/spoiled instead of cooking more expensive, easy to make meals. Note to self for the future- even food that wasn't the hugest hit when I first made it, when defrosted and served on a lazy day, it is definitely a big hit.

Spent nothing on the baby or myself for after birth- got all hand me down clothes and clothes saved from Anneliese, used cloth diapers that I had from my previous 3 kids plus a few that I bought months ago from Amazon. Used only cloth postpartum pads that I made before Anneliese was born.

I needed my husband's help around the house, so was going to have him take unpaid days off. Then we looked into the law about hubby getting off work for pay, so that I could have the help and take it easy and still get an income for during that time. Because he was home, got dishes and laundry done, so didn't need to use the dryer or disposable dishes.

Snacked on produce and veggies we had in the house, cooked up the stuff that needed to be eaten, instead of going shopping...

Made a homemade anti-rash salve for a family member who had a fungal rash. (From coconut oil infused with foraged lavender and foraged plantain I had in my fridge a while already, plus rosemary and clove and tea tree oils.)

Used breastmilk to heal a skin issue.

The boys foraged carob on the way home from school.

And this last one... I'll elaborate on it in a further post... I dehydrated and encapsulated my placenta...

So, what frugal things did you do this week? Was there ever a time that you were proud of yourself for NOT being frugal?


  1. I'm seriously excited to hear about encapsulating your own placenta! I wanted to try this with our most recent addition, but due to the expense of having it done by someone else, my husband put the kibosh on that idea and I certainly didn't know enough to do it on my own. Congrats on the newest babe, I wish your growing family much health and happiness!

  2. please remember to rest during the day when you can. take help with a smile when offered! thats the best thing you can do for yourself and family right now.

  3. O im so very much looking forward to the post about placenta encapsulation! Good for you!

  4. I did the following this week;

    - ironed pre-used white tissue paper to wrap my brother's birthday gift
    - "harvested" gold Christmas ribbon to use on said gift
    - used coupons to buy his presents cheaply
    - used up a card I already had for his b-day card
    - took him out without my kids to save money on lunch
    - bought frozen pizzas for $2.00 each and "doctored" them up with tomatoes, mushrooms and extra cheese rather than order out
    - washed and handed down clothes from my kids to sister's kids who have very little
    - downloaded Viber on my phone to talk and text for free to relatives in europe
    - borrowed book from church library
    - went through boxes in the garage and found clothes to pass down, gifts that my kids never used to pass on and lots of unused office supplies


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