Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Frugal Accomplishments This Week

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I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things, leaving the house a bit more, but still trying my best to take it easy. Frugal things I'm doing, predominantly, are things that save more money using as little energy as possible. People have commented to me "You just had a baby- you need to forget about frugality for a while" but unfortunately, that isn't doable. Having a baby doesn't miraculously improve your financial situation- if anything, it makes it more stressed out. I've been doing what I can to ensure that having a new baby isn't as expensive for our family as it is for most families, but even so, it means that my husband had to take off work, I had to pay my midwife, etc...
So my rule is- if I have to be on my feet for too long, or if it entails walking far, or it involves heavy lifting, it's out. When I left my house to go shopping, I went to the store that was further, but had a bus straight there and back from right outside my door and had deliveries to my home, instead of the closer store that entails walking 10 minutes uphill... And another sale that happened locally- I took a bus 3 stops (and about 3 blocks) within my own community to get there, and got a ride back...

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

Made lentil curry and vegetable curry for lunch, using the odds and ends vegetables I had in the fridge that needed to be used up, including woody radishes that I took off the woody outer part, for the curry.

Made pancakes and chocolate sauce for breakfast one day, and made buckwheat porridge for breakfast another.

Heard there was a terrific sale at the grocery store on chicken and meat and veggies- got some chicken and beef at incredible prices, then cut up my cheap whole chickens into meal sized portions for my family.

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Bought onions cheaply, and a bunch of reduced rack zucchini (not sure why they were on the reduced rack to begin with, because they were in perfect condition) dirt cheap. I soaked a bunch of chickpeas that I bought very cheaply on sale, and then had them soaking in my fridge for a few days, so they needed to be cooked already. And a few days beforehand, I defrosted a 2 pounds of ground beef I bought at a terrific price, and used half for supper, and put the rest in the fridge for another night. And I forgot it was there until I was looking in the fridge a few days later- fortunately I found it before it spoiled! But that made it necessary for me to cook it immediately for lunch/supper. I was thinking what I should make it with and decided upon the chickpeas and the zucchini, since I have a lot of those. I was considering chili, then I googled recipes for ground beef, chickpeas and zucchini, and came up with this recipe for moussaka, which looked good.  So I replaced the lamb in that recipe with my ground beef, and just used that recipe for inspiration, using cheaper ingredients and what I had in the house- tomato paste (that I got free) instead of the fresh tomatoes, dried mint and parsley instead of fresh, etc...

Made my own cheapo flower bouquet out of plants I picked.

Got Anneliese a bus pass, since now that I have another kid I need to pay for an extra fare, even when just traveling with Anneliese and the baby, and with Anneliese's children's bus pass, I get to pay less than half price. (This actually was last week, but I forgot to write it then.)

Taking my own, homemade shepherd's purse tincture to help with postpartum stuff.

I'm still exclusively cloth diapering and nursing Rose.

Despite the extra laundry, etc... Mike and I have been keeping up with the laundry and have line dried everything, not needed the dryer.

Went to a sale and bought some stuff I needed for the next few weeks at terrific prices. Ordered via my friend some other items I need via an even cheaper sale in her area.

Raided my pantry and found some expensive items I'd forgotten I had, that I had planned on buying to use over the next few weeks, only to discover that I didn't need to buy them since I already had.

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Something else expensive that I needed, but only needed a little bit of, my friend and I are buying a package of and splitting it, so neither of us needs to pay for a full package when we each only need a partial package.

Used up pantry and fridge and freezer odds and ends to make a nice meal:
Made mashed potato filled rice paper wraps (blintz style) with nutritional yeast and mushroom gravy (from a few random rice paper wraps I had lying around, an open package of instant potato flakes, and water from cooking noodles plus an open package of nutritional yeast that was getting old and needed to be used up), salmon scrap soup with dried out miso and wakame seaweed, plus homemade noodles (I had some dried, homemade lasagna noodles in my cupboard that I broke up and cook for this) and gluten free soup nuts that I needed to use up, and for dessert coconut jello made with homemade coconut milk, with leftover chocolate sauce (from the pancakes a few days before) and refined sugar free blueberry loaf made from leftover buckwheat porridge, leftover white rice, ground flax seed and a few random gluten free flours I had in small amounts lying around (millet flour, chickpea flour, potato starch), sweetened with jaggery (cheapest non refined sweetener I can get) and bulk bought frozen blueberries.

Used coconut cream that hardened cooled and hardened on the surface of my coconut jello, to make a delicious coconut cream rice.

What did you do to save money this past week?


  1. This week I;

    - ate only food in the cupboards when my husband and daughter were out of town
    - planted lettuce seeds
    - ate lettuce from plants I already bought
    - bought wine from an outlet store, advised by a friend who knows all about wine
    - encouraged my brother-in-law to look for work and he did (we support him:(
    - made granola
    - have gone without a car while my car is being repaired rather than rent a car
    - used a coupon to buy Easter plates and napkins
    - mailed rather than delivered a check (saving gas)

  2. Congratulations on your new baby! Those flowers are beautiful.
    Last week: we were able to turn the heat down or completely off during the day on most days. We had to have space heaters in our bedrooms at night because the heat barely comes out of the ducts in those two rooms (we will have this looked at over the summer, my hubby couldn't figure it out). I have turned off the one in our room. This will be a huge savings on the power and light bill.
    I bought and received a Wonder Wash and love it! I have washed all but two loads in that. I cheated and used the washing machine to wash a load of curtains and a "new" sleeping bag for our toddler my hubby found at a rummage sale for $1! It's pink with lambs on it and it's brand new! I also washed a load of big heavy towels that had accumulated. I hung all loads to dry except the big heavy towel load. I was able to hand laundry outside twice this past week :) We live in the Midwest.
    We ate up all the left overs and cooked and ate all meals at home. I drank lots of water.
    My husband got our summer yard stuff out of the garage and put it out in the front yard by our fire pit. The winter stuff has been taken down and away.
    We have two solar lamps we use at night, one in the living room and one in the bathroom.
    Started spring cleaning my house using homemade cleaners
    I gave my mom some soap nuts to try, with instructions to give me the little bag back if she doesn't like them.
    I made a batch of homemade laundry soap for the REALLY dirty loads that the soap nuts just aren't strong enough for.
    started soaking the really dirty laundry in soapy water overnight to help them get cleaner in my wonder wash
    that's about all I can remember ! Have a great week!


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