It's Friday again - that means "Frugal Friday!" Whoot!
I always love reading about other people's frugal ideas - I always learn something. And I do mean always!
We're in a new year and a new budget.
We are still trying hard to save up at least a year's worth of mortgage payments (we still have a long way to go with this to be where we'd like to be) and for some other expenses like car tabs, licensing fees, etc. that we will not have the cash on hand for once John starts internship in June. So we cut our budget back to bare bones and are using the "extra" money for the things we absolutely have to buy or have done with the house before June and to fill up that savings. This will also kick-start our stockpile for that next year.
We're working hard on things like turning off the lights, not buying any food out, and line-drying clothes. We're also cleaning out the last of the "clutter" which is predominately paper clutter. I think our recycling company is going to love us over the next month or two! :)
In addition to all of that, here are some things we've done in the last week that can be counted as "frugal":
- Purchased a turkey on markdown at 79-cents/lb. This is the cheapest I've seen them this year. The only other groceries we bought this week were a gallon of milk and a bag of oyster crackers (spent $14 total this week).
- Received two jars of homemade jam as a belated Christmas present from my best friend - YUM!
- Baked two loaves of whole-wheat sandwich bread and a batch of oatmeal cookies.
- Hosted a 12 Days of Christmas party on Sunday night - my parents purchased most of the groceries for this and we also just used what we had in the house - and have been eating the leftovers all week. Total groceries last week were $50 -so $20 over our regular money. Since we didn't buy the groceries, I didn't worry about it.
- Made and froze "chicken" stock using the carcasses of the Cornish game hens from the party.
- Worked on not throwing out any food this week other than the stuff we don't eat - like the skin of the acorn squash. Dug out the compost container so we don't have to run outside when it's 40-below-zero outside and can still compost! So far we haven't thrown away any edible (or once-edible) food in 2014!
- Turned the thermostat down even more at night from 60F to 58F and set it to the same while we are gone during the day.
- Hemmed a pair of pants for my son.
- Went through my fabric and made a list of what I have and who I plan to use it for.
- Took $35 of my Christmas money (from my in-laws) and went to my favorite consigned shop for their new year sale. I bought a tan skirt, a tunic-style purple sweater (to be worn with leggings/stretch pants and tall boots), a super cute black and white polka-dot dress, and two necklaces for $30! I'm very happy with what I got and know they will be worn quite a bit. I needed a new tan skirt and I can always use another dress to wear to work.
- Made homemade gifts for my husband for his birthday (I'll hopefully post about these next week).
- Shopped the clearance toy isle for a present for a birthday party and paid $7 for something the birthday child really wanted. I also picked up a birthday present for my daughter for $5 that I will tuck away for her birthday in May. With had I will be making her, that will be more than plenty!
- Chopped and froze two green peppers that were getting a to the end of their prime. Will use those in cooking later this winter.
- Used the children's Book-It pizzas for a picnic dinner between dance classes this week. John and I packed sandwiches and leftover salad.
- My parents bought John two new sport coats using a buy-one-get-one-free sale as a combination Christmas and Birthday gift. They look great and he'll be sent for a couple years now.
The other thing that happened this week that I thought was "frugal" but probably doesn't count as such is that I had lost my iPod - I use this for teaching my Jazzercise classes - some time last week. I was so upset because it had our Christmas photos on it (our camera died and I haven't replaced it yet) and I was going to have to buy another iPod. Someone returned it to the customer service counter at the store I had lost it in. Since I had a contact information file on it, they called our home phone and I got the iPod back! Hurray!!! I am SO thankful for honest people!
Guess what the first thing I did was? Yep - download those Christmas photos!
What did you do for frugal living this week?