Saturday, December 7, 2013

Frugal Things We Did This Last Week

I'm hoping to get back to more regular posting about our little life in here in frozen Minnesota (our high yesterday was a balmy +3F - Brrrr!).  We'll see how that goes because we always know that something will come up!  That's the plan anyway.  Thanks so much for sticking with me!

So we'll start by sharing frugality!  Here are the things that we did this last week that were frugal:

* We watched a Christmas movie on Netflix with the children.

* I used the turkey carcass I brought home from Thanksgiving dinner at our friends' house to make Turkey Noodle Soup.  We ate some for dinner one night, took some for lunch at work and froze the rest for later use.

* I worked from home several days either to avoid paying for childcare or to avoid driving on our super-icky roads this week (rain-snow mix anyone? no thank you).

* I mended a pair of pants, three camisoles, a pair of pajamas and I took in the waist on a pair of snow pants.

* John returned a four sets of window blinds that don't work with our window frames. This was a serious disappointment as we need new ones badly and these would have been inexpensive, nice and well-functioning but the hardware is made for windows with a deeper frame than we have.  Hanging them outside the frame isn't an option for a variety of reasons, so we need to keep looking.

* Made some small things to put in the children's shoes for St. Nicholas Day - coupons for dates with Mom and Dad and for cooking or sewing lessons (depending on the child), and bookmarks.  I used Brandy's printable bookmarks for the bookmarks with a ribbon rather than a tassel. 

* Had two at home date nights with my husband - one watching a movie together on Netflix and the other doing some daydreaming about the future. 

* I put away the fall decorations and started to get our Christmas decorations.  Since we're in Advent now and Christmas doesn't officially start until the 25th, we put up our decorations slowly, building up to the 25th.  So far I have the Jesse tree, the Nativity, and the Advent wreath as well as some Christmas table linens out.  Tomorrow we'll add some of the greenery and our Christmas card holders since we're starting to get Christmas cards.  Our tree doesn't go up until the 15th and then it will stay up until Epiphany (the 6th of January). 

* Bought bread flour at Sam's Club so I can get back to baking bread on a regular basis - I've been really bad about that lately.  Also working harder on turning off the lights in rooms that aren't in use and line drying the clothes that can be line dried easily inside.  We've also kept the heat at 67F during the day when someone is home and 58F at night and when no one is home.  I'm hoping this will drop our heating bill a tiny bit.

* Bought ourselves a really nice wooden cutting board so we don't need to replace our cutting board as often. 

* John's family draws names for Christmas and we sent our lists off with mostly needs - things like a new lunch box for both of us, dress socks for John, and pajamas for the children.  I also like to ask for things like candles and coffee beans, which we use regularly and love. 

* I've also been working on making a few Christmas gifts for the children and for my parents.  I made homemade bath salts for the children's teachers and a couple of girl friends (Epsom salts were on a sale a few weeks ago and I had essential oils and olive oil on hand).

* The children made homemade Christmas ornaments from pipe cleaners and leftover cardboard tubes (TP, paper towel and gift wrap) to give to their Grandparents, teachers and friends. 

* John and I made the commitment a few weeks ago to spend 30 minutes per day 5 days a week cleaning out our insane amount of stuff that we own.  We took a large load of items that we don't need to our local thrift store.  We have several slips for shopping credit in return for our past donations, so this time we took a tax deduction slip instead.  The house is shaping up nicely and I am thinking that by the time May comes we'll have a house that is mostly uncluttered and much easier to care for than it currently is! 

What have you done in the last few weeks to help you and your family be frugal?

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Lea