Friday, September 20, 2013

Frugal Friday - Frugal things We've Done in the Last Month

With my parents here to visit and school starting, I put blogging on the back burner.  Now it's time to catch up with posting!  :)   

Here's all the frugal "stuff" we've done in the last few weeks:

I blanched and froze beans, beets and cabbage.

I dried apples, celery and zucchini.   We had gleaned the apples from a friend's tree.  This was my first time drying zucchini - I had no idea I could before - so I'm hoping these work well in soups over the winter.  We love minestrone soup and hopefully dried zucchini will work just as well as fresh in it!  The celery came from our CSA and we had way too much for what we'd use before it went bad. 

I made and froze two more loaves of zucchini bread.

I made tomato sauce, which we also froze.

We picked zucchini, tomatoes and peppers from the garden.  We're counting the days until the butternut squash are ripe - yum!

Something ate our grape vine and sunflowers as well as the lettuce I had planted for this fall.  Oh well.  We dug out the grape vine and the sunflowers since this is the third year our grapevine has had problems and the sunflowers were volunteers anyway.  I replanted the lettuce but I'm not sure it'll be warm enough.  We'll see.

We purchased the last of our edger stones at 44-cents each and finished installing those.  They look lovely and John got some "extra" exercise.

John dug out the "parking spot" for the grill so we could lay the gravel and sand in preparation for laying the stones.  We had bought the stones on sale several weeks ago and were waiting for pea gravel and sand to go on sale too.  They did, so we started!  Hope to the get the whole thing done this weekend.

Mended several pairs of pants for all four of us, a dress and two skirts of Missy and two shirts for John.  We also turned two pairs of pants into shorts of Buddy (he had worn out the knees.)  Next up - finding my ballpoint needle so I can mend the last skirt for Missy and two pairs of workout pants for me!  In the meantime, I have hooks for three items that need to be replaced.

Caught the ironing up! WHOOT!  (I'll ignore that I have a new pile started after doing the laundry this last weekend...it's only three items, I can do that this week, right?)

Picked flowers from the yard to decorate the house with - red, orange and yellow giant zinnias and Shasta daisies.

Went through my closet again and got rid of several things that no longer fit or are too worn for me to wear to work.  Cleaned out most of my maternity clothes (I kept a few favorites) and shared them with a friend who is expecting her first baby (SOOO excited for her and her husband!).

Went on a date to the coffee shop with a coupon while my parents watched the children.

Celebrated the first day of school - 3rd grade this year! - with our favorite take-out, purchased by my parents!  We had talked about going out to eat but opted for take-out instead.  Cheaper and we had leftovers for 3 meals afterward!

My parents bought groceries while they were here - their way of paying us back for housing them and everything else that goes along with that.

Since we had most of our grocery money left (we did buy a few things while they were here) from their visit, we used it along with our regular $30/wk budget to stock up on canned goods this week while they were on sale for 44-cents a can this week.   We bought canned corn, green beans, black and kidney beans, and tomato sauce.  We also bought 2lbs of ground pork sausage that was on sale which we will use for stuffing squash when it's ripe and ready to cook.  We now have a lot of canned goods!

Used several coupons combined with a sale at the fabric store to buy fabric for two jumpers and an outfit for Missy and a fleece pull-over for Buddy.  Purchased patterns on sale $1 each for Christmas dresses for Missy and me - we decided to use fabric my Mom and I bought when I was in high school and never used.  It's a beautiful purple washable satin and a matching washable brocade - they'll be lovely!   My Mom purchased everything for us since she hadn't bought anything clothes-wise for her grandchildren in over a year!  Yes, we're totally spoiled rotten!

We so enjoyed having my folks here!  My Dad is doing very well - and is in complete remission from his cancer! - and he is enjoying going out and about since he hadn't been able to do that for roughly 8 months.   We went to the Minnesota Zoo (we have a membership so it was no cash out of pocket for the visit), out to eat several times (always on their dime), to the Science Museum of Minnesota (we have a membership there too), and a few other local places (the park, the library, etc.).   Wonderful to do things with my folks and I know they enjoy doing things with us too.  Very little out of pocket expenses for all of it except for gas to get there.

We used the public library several times for both books and movies.

I downloaded several free books for my Kindle for PC.

I tried a couple of new recipes using ingredients we have on hand.

We cleaned out the garage and donated a bunch of stuff as well as throwing away several broken or worn out things.   We also discovered that we have more rolls of edging than we thought for the backyard.  Bonus!

My Dad had made doll furniture for my daughter that was supposed to be for her birthday, last May.  He didn't want to ship it so they waited to bring it up.  They brought it up this trip and she LOVES it and it was so much fun to watch my Dad playing dolls with her - usually a tea party.  He used to do that with me too!

We had lots of meals outside and bonfires in the evening out back too.

We were gifted a bag of potato chips from a friend.  We received several small snack-size bags of corn chips after a church event as well.   The corn chips are being used for snacks for the kids at school (they bring a snack to eat every day after gym class).   We ate the potato chips with chili one night for dinner.

Both John and I had the opportunity to have several free lunches at work - we took advantage!

We've been treated to yummy treats after church several times - and they always want to send leftovers home with us.  We've brought home oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, brownies, and doughnuts.

Other than a super high electricity bill - that always happens when my parents are here - we had a rather frugal few weeks!

How have your weeks been?  Visit Life as Mom or The Prudent Homemaker's Blog or Web Page for more ideas and inspiration.

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