Monday, July 4, 2016

Frugal Days - End of June

 

The children were at church camp last week.  My son left his plush wolf with me with strict instructions to take good care of him.  Each day I took a photo of "Mr. Wolfie" doing something my son enjoys - here playing on the tablet.  We could email the children each day so I sent a photo each day - this was our son's favorite.  The one of Mr. Wolfie helping me weed the tomatoes?  Not so much!

It's officially summer here - summer session is over and the weather is beautiful and warm, some days hot.  I'm ready for summer!   I have two goals for the rest of this summer: Cross some things off my to do list and get a lot of rest.    Those two things sound opposite but I think we can make it work - slow and steady wins the race here I'm pretty sure!  Many of the things I'd like to cross off are little or things that I consider fun (finishing up some sewing and crafting projects!), so I'm really looking forward to my summer vacation now.

The last two weeks have been pretty busy and I feel like we haven't been very frugal.  We haven't been that bad but I feel like we're just kind of limping along here.  A shingles flair up and a bad head cold didn't help.  I am hoping we can really tuck it in the next few weeks - we don't know what the fall holds financially at this point and we may have to tighten the belt in a very, very big way come August.

Here's what we've done the last two weeks that may be considered frugal:

* I enjoyed two pot luck parties to stay goodbye to friends/co-workers who are moving away.  I brought cut fruit and paper plates/cups/napkins/silverware from the stash that we already owned. Both parties were super fun and the food was delicious.

* My husband took the children to a local small town parade while I was at one of the pot luck parties.  They had a great time and brought home a grocery bag full of candy.

* We bought 4 cinder blocks and 8 3-1/2 ft-long 2"x4" boards to make holders for our cut logs for our fire pit/campfires.  We typically camp in the same county live in so we can use our own logs for the fire (we have trouble with Emerald Ash Borer here so transporting logs across county lines is prohibited).  We have one holder for wood that needs to season and one for wood that is ready for use.  We need to get 2 more cinder blocks and 4 more boards to make another for wood that needs to season.  The cost for the 4 cinder blocks and 8 boards?  $16.  We'll spent another $8 for the additional materials.  And we don't have to worry about ticks or other bugs in our logs anymore!  We don't have a decent saw for cutting the boards, so we spent a couple of dollars more (total) for pre-cut.  We will have holders for al of our logs for $24 - we're very happy with that price.

* I cut flowers from the yard to decorate our kitchen table several times and for two bouquets for our secretary at work as well.

* My husband borrowed several books that he needed from a friend rather than buying them.  They are theology books that our local library doesn't carry so this was very helpful!

* I baked a rhubarb cake one night and made buttermilk coffee cake for breakfast and snack.

* We took the children to the local Splash Pad for a few hours one afternoon to play.  They had a great time.  No admission price and my husband and I had some time to talk while we were there.

* We updated the budget book and had a really long conversation about our finances.

* We had storms come through and a large branch broke off our huge maple.  It landed partially on the roof and partially in the tree.  We carefully rolled the branch off the roof and into the front yard.  Then we used our reciprocating saw to cut it up into somewhat smaller pieces and piled it by the fence in the back yard.  Our neighbors paid someone to come out and do this for them.  Apparently we saved quite a bit of money doing it ourselves!  We will have the arborist that comes through in spring and fall trim off the rough end left on the tree so that it doesn't get infected.  Later we cut up the logs into pieces for our fire pit. 

* My husband and I went on a date out on a weeknight while the children were at church camp.  We used a gift card to pay for part of the meal and we had leftovers for lunch the next day. No sitter to pay made it an inexpensive date!

* We carpooled with friends to church camp, which is approximately 2 hours away from where we live.  This worked out wonderful for us since both the friends are Pastors and busy on Sunday, so we took all the children to camp and one of the friends brought all of them back, since John and I were both working on Friday when the children needed to be picked up.  The children had a blast and are already looking forward to going back next year!  

* My husband did two weekends of Pulpit Supply (filling in for local clergy who are on vacation or medical leave).  We set aside the money from those two paychecks for summer fun - one for our camping trip later this summer (park fees, groceries, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.) and one paycheck for my birthday and our anniversary and a few other things we'd like to do with the children later this summer.  We will have to watch the money (Pulpit Supply doesn't pay much!) but we will be able to do everything we'd like this summer, which I'm very grateful for!  We did have a plan B but it's nice that we can stick with plan A.

* We continued to eat down the freezer (we're almost to empty!) and we made biscuits, cornbread, soup, waffles, cookies, pizza and breadsticks, and calzones at home these last couple of weeks.

What have you done the last couple of weeks that was frugal?

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