Saturday, November 25, 2017

Frugal - Mid November

Pink Tobacco Flowers - non-smokable.  They made a beautiful border this year in my garden.

I'm convinced firmly that life just is busy at this stage, and that is okay.  I don't always enjoy it though, especially when John has seven-zillion things happening all at once and we don't spend as much time as a family as we'd all like.  It appears we're going to have a week or two of relative quiet (as much as we can during Advent).  Here's hoping!

I've been working hard at stretching our money and cleaning out the house, as well as keeping up with all the daily things.  Here are some of the frugal things we've done the last two weeks:

* Made homemade pizza, bread sticks, biscuits, waffles, applesauce spice cake, roasted chickpeas, chicken noodle soup, meatball soup, oatmeal muffins, banana-blueberry smoothies, and pancakes at home.

* Mended a necklace by replacing a broken jump ring.

* Borrowed a keyboard from work (I was able to sign it out for a few weeks) to aid some writing I need to do.  This eliminated the need to buy one.

* John brought home leftover chili and casserole from a funeral luncheon.  We ate those for lunch a couple of days.

* I ordered a birthday gift for my Mother online using a 60% off code.  I paid more for shipping than I did for the gift in the end!

* John hung Christmas lights on the outside of the house.  We already owned these.  They look lovely!  And I'm pretty excited about having them up.

* I spent quite a bit of "extra" time this week scrubbing the kitchen and living room from top to bottom.  I've also spent time cleaning out things we don't need.

* The children pulled out every single item of clothing that they own and tried them all on.  We cleaned out a LOT of items and bagged them for donation to our favorite thrift store.  I now have an updated list of items the children need and I can start looking for those.  We bought our daughter two pairs of leggings since she needed some immediately and was completely out - thankfully they were on clearance sale, costing us only $10 total for both.

* I also spent quite a bit of extra time working on embroidery for Christmas gifts.

* John and I sat down and spent quite a bit of time talking through our financial and family goals for next year (2018).  We have some plans in place and a tentative budget as well as plans that hopefully will make 2018 a very good year.

What have you done lately that is frugal?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Frugal Things First Part of November

A fairy house that our daughter and a friend built.
It has been a crazy couple of weeks.  John has a synod meeting for a couple of days, we celebrated Reformation Day with the Confirmation of 8 young people at our church, there were two events at our children's school and we've been trying to get Christmas gifts started and the fall cleaning done around the house.  Whew! I have been trying to take a minimum amount of work home in the evenings and on the weekend for the last two weeks and it's been going okay. That still needs some tweaking but I'm pleased with it so far.  We are doing some big time planning for 2018. Hopefully, I can share that with you when we're through - I'm pretty excited by it!

Here are some things we've done that may count as frugal in the last week:

*Made coffee cake, calzones, bread sticks, and French bread.

* Returned books from the library and picked up some new books and a movie, stopped by later and picked up an item on hold.

* Froze bananas that were going bad to later.

* Made up a plan for making Christmas gifts for my family and our church employees.

* I spent quite a bit of time working on embroidery. This will be used later for gifts.

* Ate most meals at home or brown bagged meals.

* Ate one meal at a Confirmation Party, one meal out on a date with a gift card, and brunch at a friend's house.

* Decorated for Halloween and fall using decorations we already had.

* Finished winterizing the yard ourselves.

* Hemmed a pair of pants for my son.

* Tightened a button on my husband’s shirt.

* John brought home a huge apple pie from a parishioner. Yum!

* Cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom, including washing rugs and linens and cleaning light fixtures and vents.

* Used Amazon’s deal of the day and some gift cards to order an electronic item required for my job. Doing this saved me over $150!

* Attended a free concert.

* Attended a high school play today with super cheap tickets.

* Went to two craft fairs and bought a few Christmas presents. I'm more than halfway done with Christmas shopping. I just need to get sewing!

* Bought our son new tap shoes and jazz shoes using some store credit we had. His old pairs were too small.

* Stopped at Barnes and Noble to window shop and get updated Christmas lists. That's quite enjoyable and since we didn't buy anything, that was free.

* Updated the budget book and paid bills. Put together a spending plan for the rest of the year.

What did you do this past bit for frugal activities?