Frugal Things from the Last Two Weeks

I'm a bit behind on posting - I have several posts that are half done and then, wham, they get shoved to the back burner while more urgent and important things take precedence.   That's the way it goes sometimes.  We all had a good laugh when half the department at work - literally half - showed up to work on things on Saturday.  We're pretty good about not being in at work on the weekends (unless someone has a piece of equipment that must be checked by a faculty member), so we all collectively groaned and agreed that we need to get more done during the week so we can spend the weekends with our families. Now to put that into practice!

Anyway, after the school semester has been kicking my butt for a few weeks, we're still trying to get the budget revamped (continually, it seems like) and get things in place for Internship. We have only 16 weeks until John is done with his current job and moves into Internship!  Wow!!!   We've been doing really well with not spending "extra" money and used the fact that we didn't spend a single penny from either our "recreation" or our "other" (clothes, household, etc) categories these last two pay periods and took the children to a matinee at the movie theater.  We have a local theater that charges $5 per ticket for early matinees and we shared a large bucket of popcorn and a single large root beer with free refills for both - so a movie for 4 for $30!  It was such a treat and the rest of the money from those two categories went into our stock up fund! We put $42 and change into the stock up fund.  YAY for that!

Here are other things we've done the last two weeks on the frugal front:

* I was able to stay home two days with the children when they were off school due to bad weather - we were off one of those days too and I don't teach class on the other.  So I worked from home and we didn't have to pay a babysitter and I didn't have to drive my car either.  Win-win on both fronts!

* Watched several NOVA episodes for free on PBS.  My son was so engrossed with one of their episodes we had to nudge him to get him to blink!
* Made homemade Valentine's for the children's class at school using items we already had.  They turned out super cute and were even easier to make!  Love that.  I'll package them with some conversation hearts I got for a super good deal and we're good to go. I have leftover store-bought cards from last year for their dance class (which they need to bring cards for).

* Used fabric I already had to make a new tablecloth and matching napkins for my kitchen/dining table (we only have an eat-in kitchen).  I could have done something more creative but I wanted this project done!  So this was it:

* Attended a pot luck at church and brought a fruit salad made with fresh and canned fruit we already had in the house.
* Enjoyed free music while attending a piano competition.  Just waiting to play was wonderful! The music came into the hallways and we got to listen to some wonderful players!  The children did well and they had a nice experience with the whole thing.
* Attended a free guest lecture by a former Professor of mine.  The talk was fascinating and it was wonderful to see him again.
* Cut up more of my cousin's old clothes into quilt squares for a memory quilt that will go to her mother, my Aunt.  I saved the zippers and buttons for use in other projects.
* Accepted a free loaf of French bread from a donation that had happened at our church (they had leftover loaves) and then brought home 4 fruit kabobs from a Women's event at the church (they contained strawberries, pineapple and blackberries).
* Attended a Women's event at church and really enjoyed the time there.  They fed us a lovely meal and we got to enjoy a glass of wine too.  We never buy wine for ourselves - so it was a real treat!  Someone had made wonderful little squares of chocolate fudge served with fruit kabobs for dessert - I asked around for the recipe and need to try it soon!
* Baked whole wheat sandwich bread, no-bake cookie bars, peanut butter cookies and we tried 4 new recipes with three of them being good and two making the "definitely use again!" list.  I'm going to try the fourth one again at another time in a smaller batch - I think this one was just way too big.
* Attended a Super Bowl Party at a friend's house and didn't have to bring anything except ourselves.  We had a great time and came home with two bags of chips gifted from our friends.

* The boot trays we have inside the front and back door were getting quite dirty with road salt and slush so I washed them in our utility sink with all purpose cleaner and a scrub brush.  I guess they had been bad enough that my daughter actually thought I bought new ones!  That made me laugh!

* Used face paint I bought three years ago on sale after Halloween to decorate the children's faces for a pep rally at school.  I drew the school mascot (a Bumble Bee) and wrote "GO!" and "BUZZ!" on their cheeks.  They loved it!

* Downloaded several free ebooks for my Kindle for PC.

* Checked out several books for the children from the public library.

* Started pricing seeds and plants and drew out a tentative version of my garden for this year.  I'm excited to add some more shade plants to our front, and more vegetables and cutting flowers to the back yard!  I'm hoping to have enough seeds that I don't have to buy seeds next year.

What did you do this week?  Visit The Prudent Homemaker's Blog and Website to share and gather ideas....


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