Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Busy Frugal Day

 photo IMG_0701_zps11b914af.jpg
Photo from my Grandma's house, now hanging in mine
Yesterday I pretty much spent all day on the computer, making calculations and writing blog posts.
Today, I stepped back from the computer and actually got stuff done, and had a pretty good day. Exhausting, but good.

First, I made homemade pancakes from scratch for the kids for breakfast.
Then, once my boys were in school, it was time to clean up.
I had a sink load of dishes to wash, and since I am trying to cut back our water bill (since water is expensive here), I decided to try to wash the "super frugal way" with 2 basins, one filled with water for soaking and rinsing off after soaping, and the other filled with water to rinse with after rinsing in the first basin. My husband is often the one who washes the dishes, and when he does it, I don't interfere in how he does it, but I wanted to try doing it this way, and it worked very nicely and used much less water.
When I finished washing the dishes, I took the water from the second basin and used it to mop the floor.

Afterward, I made lunch with lentils I got free from a friend, plus brown rice. I cooked it in the pressure cooker to cut back on my gas usage. Afterwards, I made sauted vegetables using fennel bulbs that I got free from the farmer's market, along with the cores of two cabbages I got from the "past prime" store there, and past prime carrots (seasoned with mustard and dill- delicious!) and a salsa made out of nectarines and orange/lemon hybrid I picked (free), tomatoes from the "past prime" store, and free peppers and red onions from the farmer's market, and made patties from leftover lambsquarter risotto, some mystery gluten free flour (most likely millet), flax seeds, and free peppers and free zucchinis.

I headed into the city to go teach a wild edibles class, and on the way there, foraged a bunch of cactus paddles to use to show to those attending the class (cacti don't grow near where I run my class), and then brought them home after. I brought along food for the family so we wouldn't be hungry while out and need to buy.

While I was in the city anyhow, and even was passing near the store where I buy it, I stocked up on jaggery, which is the cheapest refined sugar free sweetener I can get.

After my class, I went with my mom to my grandmother's apartment, where we sorted through Grandma's stuff. It was nostalgic being there, seeing her bags lined up "just so"- I expected her to just come and pick up those stuff... Her presence was really strong there, and the thought that we have to pack it up is sad.
My mother asked me which of her things I wanted.
Jewelry was one.
It's really funny- growing up, I thought Grandma's necklaces and other jewelry were so out of fashion and "nerdy", and when she gave me necklaces as gifts, I didn't really enjoy it. Now I joked with my mother that my grandmother's stuff were so old fashioned and out of style that they came back into style, and I really want those necklaces. So I got a huge bag full of costume jewelry (pendant necklaces, bib necklaces, beaded necklaces, beautiful earrings) and broaches. I had been wanting to go buy some recently, but didn't get around to it, and now I got a large amount as inheritance, and will remember her every time I put them on.

I also got some scarves and headbands from grandma's place, as well as a bunch of socks, and a few pots.

I got some gorgeous jewelry boxes as well- ornately/intricately carved, and they're probably originally from Africa, from one of my grandmother's many trips.

I also took home a beautiful decorated mirror, a large framed picture of flowers she had hanging on her wall, and a framed photo of me and her from when I was 10 years old.

I got her sewing kit with all its thread, as well as her knitting back, her half finished project still on her knitting needles, with the pattern next to it. I want to finish that project, in her memory.

And then some random odds and ends- a bottle of olive oil, a wheeled backpack, and 2 umbrellas.

I loved my Grandma. She meant a lot to me.
It means a lot to me to have these things from her apartment, so that way each time I use them, I will be reminded of my special Grandma.

And now I'm exhausted, I had a full day, and now to bed.


  1. You got alot done! It's always nice to have reminders of your grandma. When mine passed I got her jewelry and a dancing ballerina picture. It's still hanging up back in GA. I also got all her unused bacon bits, Grandma knew I loved those as a kid!

  2. The Dutch way of doing dishes is even more frugal, but it scares me, really: Fill the sink with hot water and a squirt of detergent, scrub the dishes clean in the sink...and that's it. I've at least managed to convince my husband to rinse the dishes afterwards, but it's part of the reason why I hope nobody ever offers to help with the dishes. I just run hot water on as low a stream as possible. I've timed it; I can wash a full sink of dishes in less time than it takes to fill up the sink.

  3. Oh, lovely, I'm glad you'll bring so much of your grandmother home with you. I kept many of my father's things, including a frugal crystal radio he built (it uses an oatmeal container and a lot of wires cribbed from other projects). I'm not sure how to use it but he proved once that it works!


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