Boy, this week has just flown by - starting internship, back-to-school night, a meet-and-greet, and getting ready for all the "stuff" that goes into teaching a new semester.
Here are some things we did this last week in the "frugal" category:
* I made chicken broth in the crockpot using the carcass from the chicken we roasted on Sunday night for dinner.
* I made Irish Soda Bread, biscuits, and pancakes from scratch.
* John and I blanched and froze green and purple beans, broccoli, and yellow and purple beets.
* I hemmed 7 pairs of pants for my children for school. I ordered them unhemmed (5 for my son and two for my daughter) which is slightly cheaper so I could order them for the sale price early in the summer and still have them fit length-wise when school started.
* I added ribbon and decorative patches to a uniform skirt that had glitter glue spilled on it. Someone had brought it in for the swap and it had been put in the "throw out" pile because the glitter glue doesn't wash out. It was all around the front left side and hem and up across the back from hem to waist on a diagonal. My Aunt gave me a whole bag of sew-on flower patches a few years ago that I haven't used. I made a shower of flowers across the skirt and added ribbon to the bottom and along the button tabs. It didn't turn out quite as cute as I had hoped but my daughter likes it and that's what counts! She can't wear it to school but she can wear it elsewhere.
* Used a coupon to get the children's hair cut before back-to-school night and school pictures. Their pictures always turn out good and it's a relatively inexpensive way to get photos of the children to share with my husband's large family (around $50 total for enough photos).
* Accepted two split melons from our CSA - the melon is still good but others didn't want them because they were split. It did mean we had to eat them in a short amount of time, which was fine. I made popsicles with the flesh of one that we weren't sure we would finish in time by pureeing it and putting it in molds.
* We attended a church pot luck one night and I took a salad using what we had in the house.
* The children were given 8 mini-cinnamon rolls to bring home after our meet-and-greet on Thursday. John and I got two really delicious apple-strussel muffins. I will have to ask around for the recipe!
* I froze several large tomatoes for making sauce later this fall when I have a spare second.
* We picked several tomatoes and two purple sweet peppers from our yard.
* I made up a menu for the next few weeks with what's in our house. We will be buying milk - a gallon or so a week and we have one $25 grocery store gift card left for anything else (flour is at the top of my list right now!). I needed to revamp the way I was doing menus since John is now eating breakfast with us in the mornings (he used to eat them at work) and his breakfast tastes are vastly different than mine and the children (big one - he hates oatmeal!) so I have had to be inventive! He doesn't like most "breakfast" foods so we'll see what we can do over the next few weeks!
* John took a few canned soups and a bag of crackers to his office for days when he's rushed or forgets his lunch or gets stuck. He packed a lunch every day - this is huge! He was used to buying lunch at work and we had spurts of him packing but since he could buy, usually he did. Now, he doesn't have the cafeteria so he needs to pack a lunch every day.
Our schedules are changing drastically this fall from what they have been. John's schedule is much more flexible in some ways but it also means more evenings and weekends. I am teaching early rather mid-day or afternoons, so John will be getting himself and the children breakfast and taking them to school. This is something I have done since the children were babies in daycare and I am definitely going to miss it. I will be picking up every day which is also a change for us - John's previous job ended at 3pm and he worked five minutes from their school so it was his "job" to pick them up most days.
I'm hoping that we can ramp up our frugal-ness some more once we get into a routine this fall. We have a couple of things we would like to save up for. Also, this is our "practice year" for what being a Ministry family is like and I'm hoping I can learn a lot going through this before having to do it "for real"! Not just with being frugal, but being frugal will be a great help with ministry salaries being what they are.
What did you do this week to live frugally?