Friday, July 15, 2016

Frugal Friday - Frugal Things This Last Week


This week has been blessedly quiet, in spite of having to run places a couple of days this week.  I feel like I've actually been able to relax a bit and catch up on a few things.  Above is a photo of what I picked from the garden one day - a handful of string beans, a "chocolate" sweet pepper (that sausage looking thing in the middle there!) and a large handful of mixed lettuce to go with the kale from our CSA.  I've been spending a bit of time every non-rainy day in the garden and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!  

I think I've finally hit the "sweet spot" with the flowers in my garden too.  We used to have gaps during the summer where there were no flowers blooming, which always made me a bit sad.  This year they've been continuous and I've been thoroughly delighted!  I've had cut flowers on my kitchen table every day - which has been a goal of mine for years.  Simple things that make me so happy!

It's been both a fairly frugal week and what felt like a very spendthrift week as well.  I actually ran to the grocery store twice this week during the week, something I never do - one night because we ran out of apples and we needed some for our picnic lunch at the zoo the next day (everything else we had would get squished!) and one night because my husband was making chili (totally off menu but he really wanted it!) and we had no tomato juice.  I felt like I was breaking all the rules!  Spent under $10 total though and we have tomato juice for at least two more meals of chili.  That's something that we usually have in the pantry so I felt really silly having to go buy some.

Here's some things that we did this week that were actually thrifty:

* We foraged raspberries and cherries at a friend's place on Saturday.  I froze 18 1/2 cups (just over 4 liters) of raspberries and 7 cups of cherries.  I was very happy with the results!  I have about 2 cups of cherries left to freeze and I plan on doing that today.  Then we'll have roughly 2 liters of frozen cherries too!   I'm hoping to forage raspberries at another friend's house this next week.

* We picked lettuce daily, a handful of green beans daily, a pepper and 7 cherry tomatoes from the garden this week.  It looks like we'll have several more tomatoes, more beans and possibly another pepper this week. 

* My daughter and I decided on what we're going to do for her birthday party next week.  We should stay nicely within our $30 budget for the party and may even have money leftover! She's really looking forward to her party!  It's a Harry Potter theme so I'm hoping to post photos in two weeks (after the party and I've had time to recover!).

* I cut flowers for my kitchen table twice this week.  I also split peony plants and gave some to a friend.  They are heirloom variety and she's really excited about that.

* We made chili, biscuits, pancakes, waffles, and muffins at home this week.  We froze extra waffles and pancakes for later.  We also made honey-cinnamon roasted chickpeas, kale chips and no bake energy bites for snacks.

* We made homemade ice cream using our hand-cranked ice cream maker.   Delicious!

* The children and I went to the Minnesota Zoo using the membership that my parents bought us for the children's birthday earlier this year.  My parents had also given the children money to purchase  a plush animal each and they were on sale so we had extra for ice cream!  Only cost?  Gas to get there as we packed a lunch.  We love the zoo and the children played a game while they were there and "won" a packed of milkweed seeds each.  We planted those in a large open area we have in the back yard when we came home.  I'm really excited as milkweed is a flower that the bees and monarch butterflies love.  I ran an errand in the area as well since it's quite a distance from where we live.

* I blanched and froze kohlrabi that we weren't going to eat before it went bad.  We'll eat it later this year now.

* We played board games several times this week and made origami animals.  I'm really enjoying the extra time with the children right now! 

* We cleaned out our daughter's room - she actually did almost all the work - and rearranged some furniture in there.  She had a lot of things that had just piled up over the last year or so (literally) and since her room is very small, it was terrible.  We put many things away in other parts of the house and separated out several things for donation.  We also put things away in a more easily recognizable fashion.  Her room looks terrific and she has the study area she's been wanting now too!   We bought absolutely nothing for this project and have a nice little donate pile to take to the thrift store some time next week.

* A buckle came off our son's sandal - the stitching holding it in place gave way.  I sewed it back on.  It took 10 minutes (most of which was finding the correct color thread and an appropriate needle) and we saved an almost brand new pair of $55 sandals!  (Our son wears adult sized shoes and has wide feet to boot - his shoes are not cheep!)

* I used a punch card to get a free loaf of bread at the bakery this week.  We won the punch card at a fundraiser quite a while ago and we still have three loaves of free bread left on it!

I think that's it for now.  I have a whole day at home with no running today and I'm hoping to spend the rest of the morning in the garden and this afternoon at my sewing machine.  That sounds like a day well spent to me!   The children have two birthday parties to run to this weekend and I have a potluck to say farewell to another co-worker ('tis that season of life I guess) plus worship this weekend so a quiet day is welcome before a busy weekend.

We did have some very disappointing news this week, so I'm grateful for a day to just think and do a few things that will "stay done", as my mother likes to say.  It's always rough when plans don't come to fruition but that's part of life so we continue on.

What did you do this week that was frugal?

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