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early morning
1-1-15, 8:38am
New month, new year, new thread! And a Happy frugal New Year to all! :) Not that I have anything to report yet - December was a pretty frugal month -our major holiday expense is our tree, but we bought it in October. Which makes December look better, lol. I think we need to replace our furnace; we're having someone in on Monday to give us estimates on various models. DH is keeping ours limping along so we can actually CHOOSE what we need, instead of having to have whatever can be quickly obtained and installed because it's 20 below and the plumbing is at risk. Which is what happened at our last house. Wish us luck... today I'm off work and plan to do some mending and over-dye some vintage linens for sale. I am hoping it will be a quiet, drive only to DD's pet sitting gig day.

domestic goddess
1-1-15, 1:04pm
Good morning and Happy frugal New Year! Not much to report today; on the other hand, that can be a good thing. I did some shopping on Friday morning, so I am pretty well set for now. The rest of my family went to DSIL's brother's house for New Year's Eve, so I have had quite a quiet time. Would like to go to Michael's in the next few days for some yarn for a craft project, and that's about it. Got some Amazon gift cards for Christmas, so I can have some fun without spending anything new.
Early morning, I hope you get your furnace fixed/replaced soon. Ours went out on us one Christmas Eve. The repairman had to order a part (this was a 50 year old boiler), but he did keep it running so we didn't freeze until the part came. Bless his heart, then he was right back to make the repair as soon as it came in. Last month was a "spendy" one for a variety of reasons, so I'm looking forward to a more frugal one this month.

lessisbest
1-1-15, 3:38pm
We were busy physically indoors today, so kept the furnace down to 61°F. Even though is still only in the low 20's, the furnace didn't kick on much at all because the solar heat was working. Enjoyed a lunch of leftovers from eating out on a gift certificate we got for Christmas. Nothing better than a free meal than two people splitting a single meal to begin with, that feeds them twice! Found a few things that needed mending, so I got that done. The old "stitch in time saves nine", or in my case, sew on the button before I lose track of it is true. I darned one of my favorite wool socks and hemmed a pair of jeans I purchased at the thrift store in November, but didn't get around to the task until today when I had all the sewing stuff out.

Herb roasted whole chicken for dinner tonight (herbs growing in the sunny south window), with roasted vegetables. I can usually get 6-meals, a couple lunches, and stir-fry or chicken salad out of a whole chicken, PLUS stock by cooking the carcass.

domestic goddess
1-1-15, 9:59pm
Wow, lessisbest, you sure can get some mileage out of one chicken! There are 5 of us, plus one toddler, so we usually get one dinner and sandwiches for lunch out of a chicken, and the stock.

danna
1-1-15, 10:06pm
Jan 01,2015
--partially rack dried 2 loads of wash before putting in drier.
--have balanced bank accounts and updated spread sheets on excel...will teak this years later but, was really close with most of my figueres
in 2014. Keeping track has let me continue to see were I can cut back.....Big one last year was gift giving. One family has already agreed to stop
for next Christmas
--Chicken with lots of veggies in a creamy sauce on pasta for supper...lots of leftovers for tomorrow night.
--The next 3 months are quiet in this cold country so a good time to declutter, and organize so doing the 100 items a month.

seedycharacter
1-1-15, 10:46pm
Happy to be back . . . Bouldercreeker returning as Seedycharacter (cuz I love eating & planting seeds and I don't live in Boulder Creek anymore) . . . I don't track precisely these days but I always look over all receipts a couple of times before I toss them. So today I reviewed a month's worth of receipts and felt pretty good about my purchases. Groceries, gas for my hybrid, gas & electricity, $350 total for holiday gifts for 8 people. My challenge for January is to be more frugal at the grocery store. I shop at Trader Joes, some at Costco, and some at a local store where I buy various organic/local items. Nearly all of my splurges are food splurges, e.g raspberries, blueberries, walnuts. Yummy healthy pricey stuff! I justify these items because I don't buy any meats, but they add up and cause me to feel too pinched by the end of the month. I have plenty of food in my pantry and fridge/freezer so I am going to focus on using up what I have on hand . . . thanks to all for great ideas and inspiration!

lessisbest
1-2-15, 11:06am
Wow, lessisbest, you sure can get some mileage out of one chicken! There are 5 of us, plus one toddler, so we usually get one dinner and sandwiches for lunch out of a chicken, and the stock.

I'm a stickler for food portions (especially meat since it's so expensive) and a meat portion will be 2-3-oz. depending on other protein providers in the meal. I mix meat with a low-costing meat alternative (beans, cheese, etc.) so we can use less meat. I have a $10 meat limit each week, so I've gotten pretty creative. One good size chicken will use up nearly half of my meat budget, so it really needs to stretch.

The roast chicken meals (for two adults) looks something like this:

-Whole Roast Chicken (we split the first half of the breast and will use the remaining half-breast meat sliced for sandwiches).

-Individual Chicken Pot Pies (meat from one thigh - enough for lunch the next day)

-Chicken Tetrazinni (bits and pieces and one leg)

-Chicken Quesadillas or Tacos (back meat)

-Stir-Fry (bits and pieces and meat from one leg)

-Tuscan Chicken (using one thigh and adding cannellini beans for a portion of the protein)

-Chicken salad (possibly)

-Chicken soup (rice or homemade gluten-free noodles, and could also include vegetables for something a little heartier...)

I'll also save the chicken fat.

pinkytoe
1-2-15, 11:30am
Wow-I'm impressed with that chicken usage. We roasted a very small chicken yesterday with vegetables but ate half the chicken. Other half tonight with rice and mushrooms. Maybe I should see if I can get one more meal out of it? DH likes his meat though. Also, I don't have a separate freezer so can't store a lot of frozen broth everytime I roast or boil a chicken. As far as frugal moves, I tallied the majority of expenses by category from this past year and was blown away by how much spent on certain ones. I am embarrassed to say but now know which ones to be more careful about...so that we can retire sooner rather than later.

frugal-one
1-2-15, 1:19pm
I'll also save the chicken fat.

What use do you have for this? hmmmm

lessisbest
1-2-15, 2:22pm
What use do you have for this? hmmmm

I grew up in the country where we raised chickens and hogs and used chicken fat and lard on a regular basis. We made a big deal when mom brought home shortening and cooking oil for the first time....

Chicken (and goose) fat is also called schmaltz (when it's rendered). We used chicken fat for frying (potatoes are especially good fried in chicken fat). You can add a dab to cooked vegetables for a little chicken flavoring much like adding cooked bacon with a little bacon fat. It works well as a fat when making a pan sauce (a quick replacement for gravy). When making a chicken-flavored casserole or pot pie you can grease the dish with chicken fat for some added flavor.

lessisbest
1-2-15, 2:38pm
Wow-I'm impressed with that chicken usage. We roasted a very small chicken yesterday with vegetables but ate half the chicken. Other half tonight with rice and mushrooms. Maybe I should see if I can get one more meal out of it? DH likes his meat though. Also, I don't have a separate freezer so can't store a lot of frozen broth everytime I roast or boil a chicken. As far as frugal moves, I tallied the majority of expenses by category from this past year and was blown away by how much spent on certain ones. I am embarrassed to say but now know which ones to be more careful about...so that we can retire sooner rather than later.

We ate more roasted vegetables and only a small portion of meat - we tend to fill up on the high-fiber foods - and I also served a small portion of cornbread (also high-fiber). We split one large baked apple for dessert (the apple was free). Over-eating anything is wasting food - loving it doesn't make it any less so. Most people don't have any idea how many servings they need or how many they consume. I only have my refrigerator freezer (no stand-alone freezer), so I have it down to a science when it comes to storing food in there, and my FoodSaver is also a huge help.

cdttmm
1-2-15, 6:35pm
Happy New Year everyone! And great start on those January frugals!!!

Our big claim to frugal fame over here is technically from December, but I'll share here, nonetheless. Our local grocery store was running a promotion through December 31st that if you bought $500 in gift cards you got a $50 gift card free. Well, that's a very nice 10% return on one's investment, so we each went in and bought $500 in gift cards and got our free $50 gift card. Nice easy way to "make" $100 for about 90 seconds worth of work. Usually we buy groceries out of the joint bank account, but this time around we each just bought the $500 in gift cards from our personal accounts so that we could each use rewards credit cards. This purchase helped push me over the spending limit required to get 50,000 bonus Delta airline miles from my credit card. Woo-hoo! Those 50,000 miles should net me two free airline tickets this summer to travel to my various races, which is equal to about $900 in airfare. Boo-yah!!!

The other frugals are just the usual stuff. Brought my lunch and tea to work today. We're eating leftovers for dinner. And combining our trip to the gym tonight with a necessary errand.

Azure
1-2-15, 7:08pm
Wow, cdttmm! That is awesome!

catherine
1-2-15, 7:46pm
This doesn't sound frugal but I went to my local grassfed beef provider and bought $46 worth of soup bones--about 10 lbs worth. I'm hoping I can get maybe 4 gallons of broth from them.

kimberlyf0
1-2-15, 9:25pm
I'm simmering a soup made with bok choy stalks; I used the leaves in a meal back on the 23rd and the stalks have been sitting in the fridge unused. I added every leftover potato in the house, some carrots, onion and garlic, and some Better than Bullion that we've had since I made a soup at Thanksgiving. It's not something I normally buy so I need to think to use it. (Edited to add that it was a wonderful soup and well-received by the entire family.)

I've decided to track my groceries differently than last year; I'm going to use a notebook to record what I bought and what I paid rather than only keeping track via YNAB. I don't use a price book as we shop mostly for produce and eat local and seasonal foods, but this will still help me, I think. I'm going to broaden my categories in order to simplify things; I'm not going to break down the purchases specifically for smoothies or cycling. I'll have bulk items (grains, etc.), produce, general groceries, and unnecessary groceries. That one is important because it helps me see how the foods we buy but don't really need (canned olives, etc.) affect the overall food budget. Another thing I intend to do this year is track food waste.

chrissieq
1-3-15, 8:25am
Happy New Year all! Frugals so far - no post Christmas sales; went to lunch with former co-workers yesterday and ate at home ahead of time with the plan to get a cup of tea while visiting but ended up just chatting; walked to library, post office and to the lunch so no use of the car yesterday; have eaten all meals at home but for one trip out with family over the holiday; had a discussion with DH about buying nothing new this year and he seems to be on board; planned to go to Michael's for some yarn and remembered DD's stash stored in my basement and was able to find what I needed there.

We did cut our food budget by $100 per month - I was using excess grocery money as kind of a "slush fund" as in "well, there is still some money in the grocery budget - sure let's grab a meal out" - I think this will help us find those extra $$ for savings or at least more purposeful spending.

cdttmm
1-3-15, 11:34am
Making chick peas in the crock pot today. Got two free tea bags as samples yesterday when I stopped at the grocery store. Keeping the heat at 57 degrees in the house, down from 58 degrees. :D Doing a little meal planning, grocery list making, coupon organizing. Going to bake some English Muffin toasting bread later today or tomorrow. Need to get moving and make a giant pot of cabbage soup today, too.

danna
1-3-15, 11:24pm
Jan 02..03, 2015
My big frugal back in the fall, not sure if I mentioned it then but, it has worked out really well so far this winter. I have never really liked home frozen veggies I get the texture just okay not great. So when carrots, celery root, onions, beets, red & green cabbage and zucchini were cheap in the fall….I grated or very thinly sliced in the processor and froze in snack size baggies …no blanching and easy to squeeze the air out.
Also, froze puree cauliflower, pumpkin, squash in these small bags,…..
I have been using these in soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, in ground beef , beans & rice dishes etc. this not replace the veggies served with a meal but, it sure has upped my veggie intake at a great price, taste and convenience.

1.--yesterday I made a pot of soup using some chicken broth that was in the freezer and lots of these veggies and had it with leftover rice today I had it with some pasta that had been served in a cream sauce.
Great Lunchs.....and supper tonight was Black Beans (from freezer and rice on nachcos with cheese and guacamole and enough for tomorrow.
2.--in the last two days I have done a total inventory of all food stuffs in the cupboards, 2 freezers, and fridge and now know what I have too much of (that is several things) and what items I need to fill out meals,

3. --made a weekly plan for meals, Dd and I usually eat together but, have decided that the
----two days a week that I go out in the afternoons we will just do our own thing (we are finding that we are missing some of the foods that one of us likes and the other doesn’t for me that would be more seafood).
--Two nights we will cook a larger from scratch meal and then the
--other two nights we will have meals from leftovers or something vegetarian
--one night a Breakfast for Dinner night.

4. Made Christmas gift tags from my Christmas cards I do have a lot but, now get a lot less cards so the stockpile will dwindle………I have not bought a gift tag in twenty years.

5. No Spend today and yesterday was only about $5.00 worth of food.

Tiam
1-4-15, 1:42am
Making chick peas in the crock pot today. Got two free tea bags as samples yesterday when I stopped at the grocery store. Keeping the heat at 57 degrees in the house, down from 58 degrees. :D Doing a little meal planning, grocery list making, coupon organizing. Going to bake some English Muffin toasting bread later today or tomorrow. Need to get moving and make a giant pot of cabbage soup today, too.
Well, you ARE inspiring CD. I've been a bit of a weeny this last two weeks when the temps took a dip. But I've been telling myself to toughen up. I already wear 3 layers: two shirts and a sweater and long john bottoms and a pair of pants and heavy duty socks. But I still am tempted to heat the house more. The last two days I've been making myself wrap in a blanket and while it isn't as cozy as my footsy heater, it's cheaper!

May I ask: Are you making the englishmuffin toasting bread from scratch? Does that require yeast rising? And if so, how is it warm enough to rise?

Azure
1-4-15, 1:48am
I had a no spend day today. I was supposed to go to the credit union to deposit my check but the roads were pretty nasty this morning. So I had a no drive day too. Of course, that was cancelled out by the driving of my youngest later in the day. :)

I finally got around to signing up for direct deposit for my paycheck. Since I had not worked in about 20 years I wanted to actually see a real paycheck lol But I guess the thrill is gone. Direct deposit will save some running aroundj.

Spent some time figuring out meals for the next week. Using ingredients already on hand it looks like I will only have to buy a few things this week.

One son is back at school now. The other goes back tomorrow. I am going to miss them like crazy, of course, but the water, food & electric bills should be dropping lol

cdttmm
1-4-15, 7:36am
May I ask: Are you making the englishmuffin toasting bread from scratch? Does that require yeast rising? And if so, how is it warm enough to rise?

Tiam, I use this recipe from King Arthur Flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/english-muffin-toasting-bread-recipe and it does require rising. So to combat the cold kitchen factor, I warm up my microwave/convection oven to about 100 degrees, turn it off, then pop the dough in there to rise for about 45 minutes or so. It works pretty well and I'm only paying to heat a small space instead of the entire kitchen.

I got the chickpeas made yesterday, although I initially overloaded the crock pot so it was a good thing I was around and checking on them and not just doing a set-it-and-forget-it approach. And I got the giant pot of cabbage soup made -- enough for 25 servings. Good thing I like cabbage soup! Also, experimented with making roasted chickpeas as a snack. That was kind of a flop, but they were edible and I'll simply have to try again. I need to bake the bread today because I didn't get that far yesterday.

This morning I'm experimenting with making chai tea. I'm usually a strict green tea drinker, but after realizing what my tea habit costs in a year (sorry, green tea snob in the making over here!), I'm trying to use up any random tea that I simply have on hand. And I acquired two free tea bags yesterday so that just adds to the stash.

Got a coupon online for $3 off eye care items at CVS. Since I was planning to top there today to get more contact lens solution, this will save me a few bucks.

And, yesterday was a no-drive day. Unusual in this house. We were planning to go to the gym, but then it started to snow and we decided against it. Saved a little on gas as a result.

Azure
1-4-15, 11:10pm
No spending today either. Made french bread dough and used that as sandwich rolls for crab salad sandwiches for dinner. Made a very small shopping list for the rest of this weeks meals. I will stop on the way home from work and pick up these items so there won't be any extra driving to get them.

danna
1-4-15, 11:47pm
Jan 04,2015
--no spend, no drive, mostly because the weather and roads were not great
--temperature is dropping so trying not to keep the heat up
--ate leftovers for supper
and that is about it for today.

Tiam
1-5-15, 12:56am
I only heat rooms. So the rest of the house is COLD!! But the kitchen is cold too. So rising bread in the deep of winter is iffy for me, even in the heated rooms.

lessisbest
1-5-15, 8:20am
I only heat rooms. So the rest of the house is COLD!! But the kitchen is cold too. So rising bread in the deep of winter is iffy for me, even in the heated rooms.

Tiam-

There is nothing wrong with a cold rise for bread dough, it just takes longer.;) When we refrigerate bread dough (aka retarding the dough) it's generally 40°F or colder in a refrigerator (or for food safety it should be) and the dough will continue rise for a period of time until the yeast gets too cold and goes dormant, so if the temperature is still in the high 50's and low 60's, you'll just have to wait a little longer. Doug rises according to the strength of the yeast and the ambient temperature and humidity - NOT a clock. You actually develop more flavor and it opens the texture of the crumb slightly using a cold rise.

If you want to speed things up a bit in a cold kitchen, turn the light on in your oven when you start to make the dough. This will gently warm the entire oven chamber and it will hold a more constant temperature. When it's ready for the first rise the oven should be warmer than room temperature and great for rising dough (you may want to check the temperature in different parts of the oven to make sure the temperature isn't too hot - 75°-85°F is about optimal). I generally placed my dough at the opposite side of the oven from the light. Just make sure you keep the bowl/dough rising bucket/etc. away from the light itself, where it can be too warm.

You can also preheat the oven for a few minutes, but I don't suggest using that method because the shot of heat can actually be too hot for dough because people rarely take the actual temperature of the oven before placing the dough in. The whole oven chamber generally hasn't been heated long enough to hold the temperature. A shot of hot followed by a quick cooling isn't good for the rise. Another good method is to place a 9x13" cake pan in the bottom of the stove and add boiling water TO the pan (do not fill a cake pan and then try to move it to the oven - you may accidently spill that hot water while moving it). The added moisture from the hot water is also an asset and will aid the rise.

There is another method where you heat a small amount of water in the microwave to warm the chamber, but once again, people rarely take the actual ambient temperature and it can be too hot. There are any number of ways to make a proofing box so you can control the proofing temperature. I like the oven light method because it's already there.

cdttmm
1-5-15, 8:27am
lessisbest, that is some really great info and suggestions -- thanks for sharing!

merince
1-5-15, 11:20am
I've also let dough raise overnight in the garage where the temp is in the low 50s. Works just as good.

Keeping the frugals the same - bake bread, try to procrastinate as much as possible between shopping trips. It feels like I am not making much progress, but the actual numbers tell a different story :D

kimberlyf0
1-5-15, 5:16pm
When my kitchen is too cold I use an Excalibur dehydrator as a proof box; I figure that it uses a lot less energy than running my furnace.

rodeosweetheart
1-5-15, 5:28pm
No drive days yesterday and today, too darn cold.

On New Years Day, put bubblewrap on most of the windows in the house. The timing was fortuitous, as now it is very cold here.

On Sunday, put together a grocery price book like the one I had when following Amy D--now you can look online for grocery prices, when there was no on-line in those days. Already figured out some interesting things vis a vis pricing and quantities in our local stores. Am using a 5 x 8 plastic looseleaf binder and sorting items by grocery type. This led me to starting my pantry list, so hopefully, we can do a much better job this year in planning our eating--am striving to cut grocery spending radically, which is going to require planning and tracking.

Starting to try to figure out a way to get phone costs under control this year, so lots of surfing of different plans and phones.

Azure
1-5-15, 9:02pm
I need to start figuring out phone costs. My phone is out of contract now. And I'm guessing my DH's is as well. I'll have to check. The boys both have newer phones so they are still under contract. I'm just not sure what I want to do and there are so many options it just confuses me.

cdttmm
1-5-15, 10:26pm
When my kitchen is too cold I use an Excalibur dehydrator as a proof box; I figure that it uses a lot less energy than running my furnace.

That's a really good idea, kimberly! Thanks for sharing!

Packed a lunch and green tea for work today. Lunch was a random collection of odds and ends: a handful of dried apricots, a granola bar, and the last of the failed batch of roasted chick peas. My colleagues ordered take out from the local Chinese restaurant and I got gifted with a vegetable spring roll. Since we made all these yummy meals and froze them over the past few weeks, I'm trying to stay the course and continue eating up the random stuff that has been in our refrigerator/pantry while my dearly beloved is in NYC for work. Of course, I broke down and dinner was a lovely bowl of cabbage soup! Oh well, tomorrow's lunch will likely be another random collection of food items, so it's all good!

danna
1-6-15, 12:21am
Jan 05

1.…lunch was from a large pot of soup made this morning using broth,v-8 juice, corn broth (made and froze in the fall) and several pkg. of grated veggies very good and tasty and lots for tomorrows lunch.
2. …a few days ago I bought about 10 lbs of sweet potatoes on the mark down for $2.00 baked a whole tray of them rubbed with oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. Very good had a large one for supper and froze the rest. Still about 5 lbs to deal with tomorrow.
3. Also, a bag of 10 bunches of green onions for $1.00 still in good condition, cleaned and cut up the white part and a bit of green for the freezer and left the ends whole to add to the soup pot.
4...Dd had to take car for an appt. but, stopped on the way home to pick up Kraft peanut butter on sale for $1.97 a large jar. The limit was 4 so I will get more when I am out tomorrow. This is the best price in years.

lessisbest
1-6-15, 5:27am
Jan 05

1.…lunch was from a large pot of soup made this morning using broth,v-8 juice, corn broth (made and froze in the fall) and several pkg. of grated veggies very good and tasty and lots for tomorrows lunch.
2. …a few days ago I bought about 10 lbs of sweet potatoes on the mark down for $2.00 baked a whole tray of them rubbed with oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. Very good had a large one for supper and froze the rest. Still about 5 lbs to deal with tomorrow.
3. Also, a bag of 10 bunches of green onions for $1.00 still in good condition, cleaned and cut up the white part and a bit of green for the freezer and left the ends whole to add to the soup pot.
4...Dd had to take car for an appt. but, stopped on the way home to pick up Kraft peanut butter on sale for $1.97 a large jar. The limit was 4 so I will get more when I am out tomorrow. This is the best price in years.

I've never heard of Kraft Peanut Butter - that's not a brand sold around here - but our Kroger brand purchased at Dillons had PB 2/$3 recently - even their Natural variety which only contains roasted peanuts and salt (although the jar is 1-oz. smaller than the regular). As a frugal PB aside, if you use crunchy PB, you will use a lot more than if you use creamy, no matter how carefully you spread it due to the chunks of peanuts.

rosarugosa
1-6-15, 6:11am
Azure: There's a lot of info on the Mr Money Mustache Forum on the subject of phone service options:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-discussion-thread-1/
There are also some threads on this forum if you do a search.

lessisbest
1-6-15, 9:39am
No drive days yesterday and today, too darn cold.

On New Years Day, put bubblewrap on most of the windows in the house. The timing was fortuitous, as now it is very cold here.

On Sunday, put together a grocery price book like the one I had when following Amy D--now you can look online for grocery prices, when there was no on-line in those days. Already figured out some interesting things vis a vis pricing and quantities in our local stores. Am using a 5 x 8 plastic looseleaf binder and sorting items by grocery type. This led me to starting my pantry list, so hopefully, we can do a much better job this year in planning our eating--am striving to cut grocery spending radically, which is going to require planning and tracking.

Starting to try to figure out a way to get phone costs under control this year, so lots of surfing of different plans and phones.

You won't believe the difference bubble wrap makes on your windows. We've been adding it in the winter for 8-years now. http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/bubblewrap.htm

I've been keeping a Price Book since 1993 when The Tightwad Gazette came out and am now into the 3 book (a Day Runner I found at Goodwill for $1.99). My only hint would be to use one sheet to track prices on an item, then on the next sheet track the inventory of the same item. When I add an item I'll place a slash ( / ), and when I move it from storage to the kitchen or use the item, I'll finish the slash forming an ( X ). If I need to track the use-by date (especially important with peanut butter for me) I'll add the use-by month/year (8/15), and when I use it I'll cross the whole date out.

The inventory sheet helps keep purchases in check and I'm not tempted to purchase something just because it's a good price if I already have "enough", but didn't remember exactly how many I DID have. After all, just how many bottles of mustard can we realistically use.....even at a great price. You will also see trends in shopping - when you'll find those stock-up prices (condiments, canned pork n' beans, etc., are stock-up prices during the big summer (bbq) holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day). I save a portion of grocery money after Christmas when I can find peanuts, nuts, and fresh cranberries drastically reduced and may use 1/2 of my food dollars for that week for stocking up on those items if I find a great buy. I was able to find large bags of in-shell peanuts at really low prices and bought all they had. I'll be making fresh peanut butter for awhile.

SteveinMN
1-6-15, 12:54pm
I need to start figuring out phone costs.
Having been through that exercise a couple of times over the past few years, I'm happy to help, Azure. PM me if you want.

ObFrugals: 20 cents a cucumber in the "disco" rack at the local supermarket this morning. We like our cukes, so this is a score ... And our latest power bill (our electricity and natural gas come from the same company) shows that our monthly energy costs are half of what our neighbors are paying in smaller homes (we also pay a bit of a surcharge for windpower). I guess that insulation and non-incandescent bulbs and room heaters are paying off...

cdttmm
1-7-15, 9:25pm
Just a few little frugals over the past few days. I've been using up free samples of shampoo that I had in my stash. Saving money and decluttering! Lunch was provided at work today so no need to eat the lunch I had packed. Went to the post office on my way home from work and mailed off 9 books that I had posted on paperbackswap.com. This will earn me 9 book credits for future free books and it freed up some space on my bookshelves. School is cancelled tomorrow due to the cold weather so I'll save money on gas since our make-up class day will be on a day that I would have had to go to campus anyway. Since I'll be home tomorrow, I'll pack up the two returns I have to mail off and will take them to the post office on my way home from work on Friday. Frugal entertainment provided by Netflix, books, internet surfing, dog petting, and cat cuddling.

How's everyone else doing?

Blackdog Lin
1-7-15, 10:24pm
I always have the same-o same-o's to report on the frugality front. And they always focus on not spending, rather than saving.....but anyways.....

No after-Christmas sales were harmed by me this season. Just couldn't come up with anything we needed enough to get out and about to procure them. It's been too cold this week to leave the house voluntarily, so cooking out of the pantry. Chicken-and-pork fried rice yesterday (1/2 of a leftover grilled pork steak and 2 quick-store-bought leftover chicken tenders I'd thrown in the freezer), and cheddar chowder tomorrow. All made with what's in the house. Not wanting to leave the house to go to the grocery really does stimulate my menu imagining. Every day this week have been no-drive days, natch. I did do an online Penzey's order, but waited till I had enough on my list to get free shipping.

Polliwog
1-7-15, 10:43pm
I'm with you, danna. I love using Christmas cards for tags. Pretty two.

Linda

Stella
1-7-15, 11:01pm
I baked four loaves of bread today to have some to put in the freezer. It's crazy cold here right now, so baking seemed like a good way to spend an evening anyway. Normally Wednesday night's are Zach's dad-and-kid time and I go out and have an evening to myself, but I just really didn't want to go anywhere tonight. I made the TWG hot chocolate recipe and we all had a cup of cocoa together.

This is a really expensive month for us. My tuition, Cheyenne's guitar tuition, Bella's fencing tuition and the kids homeschool co-op fees are all due. That's an extra $700. We are trying to keep spending to a minimum.

danna
1-7-15, 11:46pm
Jan07/15
Great to hear from you Stella Happy New Year to you, Zach and the kids, hope you are all well!

1. No spend, no drive….too darn cold to go out…lol

Not much else to report the last two days, just stayed, eat from the pantry,
Watched movies from the library, and decluttered all my files and that dreaded space under the kitchen sink....ugly

Seven
1-8-15, 6:38am
I cleaned up my kitchen cupboards. Now I'm trying to make as many meals as possible without buying extra ingredients (except some fresh vegetables).

lessisbest
1-8-15, 3:11pm
Even though it's a shopping month, I've yet to find a reason to do so (other than groceries). I had a wonderful bonus today when I got groceries. I filled an empty bag with quinoa from the bulk bin (several pounds worth). When the code from the bin was put into the scale it came up with red quinoa at a considerably higher price, and I was purchasing white quinoa (they didn't even have red quinoa available in the bulk bins). It took two employees in the area to reconcile the problem; and for being a "good" customer and noticing the mistake, the quinoa was free. Patience, and being polite, paid dividends today! I hate to think how many people were over-charged for their quinoa purchase.....but failed to notice! Pays to check those little details.

Azure
1-8-15, 5:26pm
Having been through that exercise a couple of times over the past few years, I'm happy to help, Azure. PM me if you..

Thanks, Steve, I may take you up on that. I'm not a techy person at all and all the details just overwhelm me. Too many choices! I'm gonna talk to my DH this weekend and see what he thinks.

Thanks for the link Rosa! I'll check it out.

Stella
1-10-15, 4:16pm
Thanks Dana! I hope you are having a good new year as wel!

One of the presents we got the kids for Christmas was a savings jar that automatically calculates how much you have put in it. We wanted to encourage all of us to put our loose change and maybe couple of dollars here and there for our summer vacation. We have had it just over two weeks and we have saved $58 in it. Not too shabby. The kids scrounge around the washer and under chairs for change all the time now because they like to watch the total count up. It's like a treasure hunt. That was the best $6 I've spent on a gift in quite a while.

Cheyenne and Bella decided that they want to help me with a pantry restocking/redesign project as part of their school this month. We inventoried everything we have and made a list of what pantry staples we like to have on hand. I do much better at being frugal with food if I have a well-stocked pantry, especially now that our family is on the larger side. We made a spreadsheet and took it to the stores we shop at, writing down prices so we can compare them by unit. We calculated what the cost was of the items we needed to restock the pantry, so we can plan our purchases for the next month or so accordingly. We also made a spreadsheet where we can calculate the cost per serving of the meals we eat. I am having the girls do the calculations by hand, since this kind of thing is exactly the sort of math they learn in 4th and 5th grade. They are really enjoying the project, and it's putting math into a real life context that is helping them to avoid that "what is this stuff and why should I care?" problem that is common with kids and math.

They are also designing and building can storage to take advantage of some space behind a door that is otherwise unused. They calculated how many cans will fit in each can holder, how many can holders will fit in the space and how many can holders we will need, total. I love it when school projects are actually useful.

This weekend Zach is building us some wood baby gates. I love my kids, but they are monkeys, and smart monkeys at that. They have busted through every gate we have bought in the last decade. Charlotte is two and she can pick the lock to my bedroom. All I'm really hoping for here is that we can keep the baby out of things for a while, and I don't want to spend $100 to make that happen. :)

Azure
1-10-15, 10:40pm
Did a quick grocery shopping trip today at Meijer. I had $20 in Mperks so that cut my bill back nicely. They were out of sesame oil (mmmmm sesame oil ;) ) and I know I can get a better price on a couple of things at work on Monday. But even after shopping on Monday, I will still be well under the budgeted amount. And I should be good for just about everything for the next 2 weeks. Talked myself out of buying a few things that weren't needs. Well, except for the moose tracks ice cream. Got the menu for the next 2 weeks all set.

DH got free tickets to the Michigan State Univ. hockey game last night. I spent $4 for parking and DH bought us dinner out of his blow money afterwards. So not the most frugal over all but it was budgeted.

Bundling up instead of turning the heat up. Though, I am not as brave as those of you who keep the heat super low. I have it at 68 the hours we are home, 63 at night & 60 during week days.

Won't be driving anywhere tomorrow.

danna
1-11-15, 12:21am
Jan 10
1. Supper was baked potatoes with veggie chilli and cheese (6 baking potatoes on the mark down for $1.00)
all baked today and make fried potatoes tomorrow. (It was a good thing to have the gas range on today!!!!)

2. As I started to try and declutter my fabric I have began to find some great uses for what I already have by
Repurposing :
4 pair of old 100% cotton kitchen curtains make into 16 tea towels kept 8 and gave Dd 8
1 very large vintage 100% cotton tablecloth made into 28 cloth napkins gave Dd 12
1 set of queen size flannel sheets made into a Duvet cover and 2 shams given to Dgs.
All of these “New Things” are free with a little sewing …..win….win

3. Picked out 3 sets of pants and tops that I am wearing out
4. Stretching out how often I shower by 1 day.
5. Using up the ends of products.

Stella
1-11-15, 6:07pm
We had such a nice quiet day today. My friend Mary came over to visit and brought donuts. She was at church and they were cleaning out their pantries after an event and asked her if she wanted to take some food. She brought me two packages of graham crackers, two jars of orange marmalade and two large containers of yogurt. She helped me sort through the mess I had made of my yarn while we sat and talked.

Zach hosted a card night with friends last night and it was one of those events where I wasn't sure how many people would come. I decided to make a big batch of pizza dough, so I could make enough pizza for whoever might show up. I had leftover dough today, so I made homemade pizza for lunch.

The other snack I made for the card night was fried macaroni and cheese croquettes. There is nothing nutritionally redeeming about them, but once in a while, I figure, that's OK. The macaroni is frozen into balls, and it occurred to me that I often have a little leftover macaroni when I make macaroni and cheese, which I do about once a week for lunch. I think I will freeze the leftovers into balls and keep them in a bag to use for fried macaroni for parties.

early morning
1-11-15, 6:20pm
Went to the first garage sale of the year (at my cousin's) - actually in a garage, thankfully, since it was 7 degrees out. He lost his wife recently. She had TONS of stuff. Really. He's been selling all week, and there were still over 200 like-new sweaters, mostly cardigans, many holiday themed. Shirts, dresses, coats, pants, skirts, shoes. She had over 150 Vera Bradley purses and bags, and plenty of other purses. I bought 6 new shirts for myself and DD ($2 each), and 10 new large bottles of Philosophy lotions and soaps for a buck each. There were at least 20 more of those, and he had sold more than half of them before I got there. And case after case of jewelry. I got a few charms, $3 each. Not needed, but a nice memory. I really liked her - she was in poor health for many years but always cheerful. They have plenty of money so she did the QVC thing for entertainment, I guess, since she could shop from home. Funny, because in all other ways they are/were very simple livers. She gave away a lot of things, too, before she died. She started pricing things several months before her death, and the sale was sort of like a memorial to her. Strange, but fitting. Anyway, this should probably go under family, but I did get some great bargains and will remember her fondly when I wear the clothes or jewelry!

cdttmm
1-11-15, 7:50pm
Pretty quiet weekend mostly spent at home. We baked bread today and I'm making homemade mac-and-cheese for dinner. We've starting re-watching the Planet of the Apes movie series since we haven't seen it in years. I've decided to try to spend 1-2 hours every day reading various beekeeping books to help me prepare for the Master Beekeeper exam, which I hope to take this summer. There are 4 parts to it and everyone says the written portion is one of the harder parts. All that studying ought to provide lots of frugal entertainment over the next 6 months!

Back to work tomorrow, but no need to let that get in the way of being frugal. I'll bring both hot tea and lunch with me to work and I'll stop at the gym on the way home.

Blackdog Lin
1-11-15, 10:21pm
We had unexpected company Friday night so I needed to scramble for some snackies for the crew. I always have saltines in the pantry and cheese in the fridge, so cheese and crackers were a no-brainer - but also remembered a summer sausage in the freezer that DH bought for a Christmas treat for himself and we hadn't gotten to yet. Along with a can of peanuts, also left over from the holidays, I was able to throw together a decent snack tray for everyone. Without running to the store and spending money.

I have found, in our set of friends at least, that it doesn't matter WHAT you serve. In the middle of all the beer-drinking, it's enough that you put out SOMETHING for everyone to snack on. I always keep popcorn on hand too, for this very reason.

Stella
1-12-15, 10:56am
1467

Zach built the baby gate last night and it turned out really nicely. I'm going to rig up an alarm with a non-annoying sound (I'm thinking birds chirping) to remind the kids to shut it, or alert me to intruders. Hopefully this works to keep the kids out of the kitchen. It cost about $50 to make, which is less expensive than the nicer baby gates and this sucker is sturdy.

Stella
1-12-15, 10:57am
I don't know why that picture posted sideways.

awakenedsoul
1-12-15, 11:52am
Excellent frugals that everyone's been doing. Great reading. December was an expensive month for me. (Had to replace the hot water heater and replace a gas line outside.) January is looking better. My boyfriend fixed my toilet for me. Sure is nice having a plumber as a mate! He thought he was going to have to buy a new part. Instead, he took apart the old one and removed the rust and particles. (I have hard water and old galvanized pipes.) He added some lip balm, (I didn't have any Vaseline,) and the toilet is as good as new! (I spent $400. fixing that toilet with a different plumber last year.) It's an American Standard from the 1970's. I like the porcelain, and it goes with the style of the house.

The next day he was fixing the bathroom faucet at 5:30 a.m. We had just had our coffee. Barely any water was coming out of it after the freezing weather. Now it's working perfectly. I washed his sheets here to save him money and time at the laundromat. Sent him home with some homemade sourdough bread with Laughing Cow swiss cheese spread I got for a great price at Costco.

Had a romantic weekend together which was free. We drove up to Wrightwood, which is a cute little mountain village. Went to a museum there that had a darling cabin from the 1930's with vintage decor. I could have stayed there all day. I loved it. It was decorated with linens and antiques, just like my cottage. There was also an upstairs fire station from that era. It was like going back in time. It only cost us a couple of dollars as a donation. It was so charming...made me nostalgic.

We drove around the area, looking at the houses and picking out our favorites. I've always been drawn to the mountains and pine trees. There's something about the energy of them that rejuvenates me.

lessisbest
1-12-15, 12:47pm
This whole thread is full of great ideas and the reason I enjoy the Simple Living Forum. There's always something to learn from everyone.

My frugal save for the day.... Last week I made a recipe of The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread (http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/02/the-life-changing-loaf-of-bread/). It was a good way to use up a lot of ingredients I had on-hand, it was very tasty, high-protein, gluten-free, a really healthy bread alternative, unbelievably filling, and it toasted fairly well in a toaster oven, BUT, many of the slices crumbled. At the price of all those ingredients, I had to repurpose the crumbles. I took a page from my bread crumb recipes and put the crumbles in my food processor making them into fine fresh bread crumbs. I developed a recipe to make 4 hearty pancakes per 3/4-cup of the crumbs. I made 8 pancakes (placed in the freezer to use at a later date) and portioned the remaining crumbs to use later and placed them in the freezer.

I just hate wasting food, so this was a good "save".

rosarugosa
1-12-15, 5:46pm
You all are leaving me in the dust - not too much frugality around here lately. We took Mom to Portland for the weekend to celebrate her 80th birthday. We all had fun and I have no regrets, but we spent a lot of money. So now I'm feeling that "gotta get back on track" vibe. We were very disciplined at the grocery store today, so that's a start. I've been doing some decluttering, and I realize there are some opportunities for combined decluttering/frugals. For example, I have a pair of boots that need to be resoled or retired. I think it will be kind of expensive, but I really love these boots and don't want to part with them. So I'm going to re-sole them. Otherwise I'll end up buying another pair - or two - that I probably won't even like as much. So resoling these will ultimately cost less and transform the boots from clutter back into something useful. I altered a pair of pants today that I haven't worn in years and now I'll be able to wear them. I have some other pants that need to be donated or sent to the tailor for alterations, but they can't just hang in the closet without earning their keep.
Lessisbest: Good job on the avoided food waste. We aren't very good with that and I keep trying to get DH on board. When I talk about using something up before it goes bad, he says "You can eat old food if you want to." I told him that his challenge will be to cook it before it gets to be what he considers "old food." We'll see how that goes.
Danna & Lin: You are always admirable with the food savings; you are good role models!
Awakened and Stella: So nice to have in-house carpentry and plumbing capabilities - I am jealous!

kimberlyf0
1-12-15, 6:09pm
I joined a local Buy Nothing Project group and so far I have given away five items and have received a pair of knit gloves and a scarf. I am loving the local community vibe and even though it is more work to take a photo, post an item to give away, and set it outside in a bag (vs. taking everything in a box to the Goodwill) I believe in the local gift economy and am looking forward to this being a way to help me be frugal and help me to help others in their frugality. I have always loved to give things away but for some reason for a long time I was hung up on the idea of things going to people I knew. Perhaps I just didn't have a way to connect with strangers to give things to.

In general, we've not been very frugal for the past several weeks (although our Christmas itself was one of our most frugal, and definitely the most frugal since having kids). I've decided not to be cold all winter and am happily heating the house everyday; I never realized before how grumpy I get when I am cold. We have a birthday to celebrate this week and after that I hope to buckle down with the frugality, staring with freezer and pantry eating (+ produce) for at least a month.

We have instituted a weekly leftovers meal which is going over better than expected and is helping us avoid food waste. My DH doesn't like "old food" either, with a special hang up about old black beans, so I have been finding ways to incorporate them into new meals without his displeasure. I find that reboiling them again in their cooking liquid before using them in a recipe helps quite a bit.

DH and DS#1 replaced our broken kitchen faucet; it was a tougher job than expected but they managed it and saved us the plumber's fee. We'd repaired the faucet multiple times and DH wanted to choose a different brand and style.

We are getting better and better at walking or biking our errands.

SteveinMN
1-12-15, 9:34pm
Half into January and here are the frugals I can think of:










Yeah, this hasn't been a very frugal month either. :|( As I wrote in another thread, we've gotten rid of some good-sized expenses and added an income stream, to the point where we now have about 50% more money to spend each month than we had twelve months ago at this time.

It has struck me that the challenge is not not spending money; it's making sure that what we're getting is worth what we're paying for it (everything old is new again). The thermostat has gone up when DW is home, making her significantly happier. So be it. We've spent some money on replacing tech items which were failing or no longer supported. We're in the process of adopting a rescue dog (home visit coming up in the next week or so!); it's hard to put a price on what that's worth.

[EDIT]
I don't mean to infer that our outgo is going to rise to meet available income. We're still careful about where and how we spend our money. The expenses that ended were choices: a car loan and an insurance policy we no longer needed. The car loan money will continue to be earmarked for future car expenses. The insurance policy money probably will automagically turn into a couple of new windows in the house. The additional income? We have plans to spend it. Later. :)

Just thought of a frugal: this weekend a friend of ours was celebrating his birthday at a local waterpark. Admission -- even with the coupon we found on the park's Web site -- was $20. We weren't going to be able to stay very long. And I'm just not a waterpark kind of person. But we did want to help our friend celebrate. So DW went (and had a great time) and I stayed home. (I guess that's a frugal.)

Azure
1-12-15, 10:28pm
In order to help me waste less food I have begun to write the leftovers & don't forget to uses on the side of the fridge with a dry erase marker.

Today is the first day. Hope it works!

merince
1-13-15, 11:06am
My frugals revolve around food. I did my meat stock-up trip on Sun.

Pork and beef prices have been through the roof lately, but Meijer had a sale on pork shoulder but roast for 1.69 lbs. Those were in 6-7 lbs packages. I repackaged them in 2lbs roasts (including the bone) and I was able to grind the rest of it into ground pork/sausage. The pork tenderloin was also on sale for 2.19 lbs. I roasted one after rubbing it in honey and brown sugar to make lunch meat. Turned out really good.

awakenedsoul
1-13-15, 12:30pm
Sunday I took the bus to the knitting shop and hung out with the women there. It was free, and I enjoyed catching up with some of the ladies from one of my classes. It's fun to see everyone's projects. I used yarn from my stash. I didn't spend much money on yarn in 2014. It looks like I will have enough for 2015, too. I try to buy it just once a year, on sale. That way I qualify for free shipping. My boyfriend was headed back over to my place that afternoon, so I got a ride home with him. We sat in the living room with the dogs. He played on line poker, and I continued knitting. It was relaxing, fun, and didn't cost us anything.

Yesterday I took two buses and the subway down to Hollywood and Vine for my monthly vocal coaching session. I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way and picked up some organic popcorn kernels, beef and turkey jerky, free range eggs, and soy milk. I had packed several snacks to munch on at the bus stop. A trip to Hollywood takes me all day, so I need plenty of food and water. My coach prepped me for two auditions I have this week, and another one next week. She's very efficient. We get so much done in an hour. We taped the class on a CD. That way I can practice at home every day. I don't have any of the new stereo equipment. I still use the CD turntable and speakers that I bought for my dance studio several years ago. I think they'll last a long time.

It only costs me $8.50 RT to go down there. Hollywood is always entertaining. There are so many interesting people. Today I'm headed to Burbank Blvd. for an audition. I'll take the bus again, and walk the rest of the way. Am still car free in LA. It's working. It just takes organization and planning.

cdttmm
1-13-15, 4:04pm
awakenedsoul, you are such an inspiration -- I love reading about all your frugal activities!!!

A minor frugal over here: I am finally able to file my paperwork to receive my official 1st degree black belt ranking in Tae Kwon Do. It has to be approved by the governing body in Korea and it has taken 7 months to make any progress on it. Well, I originally thought I was going to have to pay to send the fees Western Union, but found out today that they can be done by credit card. So, minor frugal in that I don't have to make a special trip to the Western Union office and pay any fees to send the money that way.

Another minor frugal, I start teaching a new class for a local University today. I've taught there a few times before, but not consistently. My class has only 3 students, so the University is allowing us to run it more like an independent study. This will likely mean that I can meet with the three students for fewer sessions and simply make each session longer. That will save on a lot of gas over the semester!

awakenedsoul
1-14-15, 12:01pm
cdttmm, thanks, same here. The little things really do add up. It's interesting to hear how each person on this thread incorporates frugality into their life. The details are different, but the end result is the same. That's great that you can pay by credit card. It's a good feeling to save a trip. Glad to hear you still will make the money with those students and not have to cancel the class.

Yesterday I spent all day at the audition waiting to be seen. I didn't renew my union membership 15 years ago, because I thought I wasn't going to audition as a dancer anymore. (They tell you you're too old when you're in your twenties.) Now that means that since I've come back as a 50 yr. old singer/comedienne I have to wait and be seen with the non union performers. I sat around until 5:00 p.m. yesterday. They sent all the non union people home and made an exception for me. My vocal coach (of 15 years) was the accompianist and she told the Equity monitor, "She's coming with me." I was so lucky to have her step in and recommend me to the director. It made me realize how much of show business is contacts. I felt so relieved. 25 other hopeful singers had to go home. I felt badly for them. The song went really well, and I will go back and dance on Thursday.

Tbe bus last night from North Hollywood was packed. A really nice guy helped me load my bike trailer/shopping cart into the luggage bin on the bottom of the bus. Someone else let me get back in line so that I could get a seat. People that commute on these coach buses are really nice and helpful.

I bought a candy bar at the vending machine halfway through the audition. (Normally I don't waste money on vending machines, I pack my food.) But, this one gave me $4.00 worth of quarters in change! I really needed quarters for my audition commute, too. Sounds silly, but I was thrilled. It felt like I hit the jackpot at a slot machine.

Once home, I made a quick quesadilla with onions, bell peppers, arugula, and avocado. Today I need to catch up on housework, bread and cookie baking, and organization.

frugal-one
1-14-15, 3:45pm
Yesterday, a relative commented that they have so many recyclables. We have HUGE containers that are picked up bi-weekly. They indicated that they can hardly get the lid shut. I was SHOCKED. Our container may be a fourth full after 2 weeks. Mostly containing milk jugs. It just goes to show that it pays to cook from scratch!

kimberlyf0
1-14-15, 4:57pm
I texted DH to tell him that we now have three of us down with the flu, and that I was feverish and going to bed. He suggested that maybe he should bring lunch in, and I told him that we had frozen veggie burgers, canned baked beans, and frozen corn. I bought buns Sunday knowing that I wasn't feeling 100% and might need them this week. I don't love canned and frozen foods and don't want to rely on them day in/day out, but they are great to have in a pinch (and were fast and simple for DH to make on his lunch hour). Lunch was under $10 for all four of us; if he'd brought in food it would have been $25 at a minimum.

Before that I finally gave in and went for cold/flu medicines. I actually prefer to treat each symptom separately as it occurs rather than buying all in one medicines (and there are some I don't tolerate), so I needed several. The store had buy one get one 50% off on their generics so that was a help; I saved $7 that way. They also had breakfast cereal 4 for $6; we almost never have cereal but with mama ill and knowing that Papa will probably get it I decided that a breakfast that the boys can fix for themselves would be helpful (and they are super excited). I had almost $8 in rewards points to put toward the purchase, and earned a bonus $5 in points for the next time I shop.

I stopped for freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 gallons of it. It isn't exactly frugal but I have a hard enough time keeping my youngest hydrated when he is well; when he is ill it is critical and mixing orange juice 50-50 with sparkling water helps. We did recently find that the local grocer has a better price than the produce stand, by $4 per gallon, and both places sell it freshly squeezed and unpasteurized.

DH is going to stop at the produce stand for local tomatoes and avocados; the tomatoes aren't a bargain at $3 per pound, but DH says they are good tomatoes. The avocados are $3.25 for 5 - 6 big Zutano avocados, so those are a bargain.

We'll have to muddle through for supper; I think I have one kid feeling well enough to scrub potatoes for baking, and we can roast some broccoli too. I have some canned chickpeas, so maybe we can try a roasted chickpea recipe to add some protein, or I can make hummus.

Azure
1-14-15, 7:07pm
Oh, Kimberly, I am so sorry to hear you all are sick. Take it easy and I hope you get well soon.

awakenedsoul
1-14-15, 7:17pm
Hope you feel better, kimberly. You are amazing! I can't believe how organized and efficient you are, even when you're sick!

Azure
1-14-15, 7:24pm
Stopped at Horrocks on the way home from work yesterday and bought 2 lbs. of sliced hard salami for $6.99.

Today was a no-spend day. Dinner was very tasty left over pork roast quesadilla's. Dh had wanted to go get a pizza.

I finished washing the bedding from when the kids were all home. I wash the blankets, hang them on a drying rack in the basement and the next day or so I put them in the dryer on no-heat with a tennis ball to remove dog hair.

kimberlyf0
1-14-15, 7:32pm
Thank you for the kind words Azure and awakenedsoul. Really, I have no desire to be frugal today, but being sick can turn into a double whammy because DH will start bringing food in and the food we have will spoil uneaten.

Tammy
1-14-15, 7:58pm
My opinion - lots of recyclable containers are from all the non-water beverages people buy. Mixed up and ready to use. Other than milk I try to buy powders or concentrates, and I drink mostly water. It also is cheaper.
And it is so much easier to carry home from the store.

lessisbest
1-15-15, 5:35am
Yesterday was grocery shopping and errands day. First stop was the bank for cash. Reduced the amount of our "walking around money" and put the remainder in the Christmas/Emergency Savings Account (it's a budgeted item). Second stop: CVS. The nutritional supplement I bought was BOGO Free, so I purchased 2 and got 2 free - WOO HOO! Next stop was the grocery store. Managers special on fresh ground beef (not chubs, the real deal - 85% lean) in 3-pound packages. It was just over my $10/week meat limit, but I haven't purchased ground beef since July and the price was "right" enough (LOL). Found two items on the clearance shelf drastically reduced. Still haven't gone shopping this month and it's half over.

When I got home I used 1/2# of the ground beef to make a small meatloaf and seasoned and boiled the remainder to remove the fat. Placed the drained boiled beef in 1-cup portions in the freezer. Chilled the meat broth the ground beef was cooked in. Removed the fat from the top (to use for feeding the birds) and will use the meat broth as a base for soup today.

lessisbest
1-15-15, 5:43am
My opinion - lots of recyclable containers are from all the non-water beverages people buy. Mixed up and ready to use. Other than milk I try to buy powders or concentrates, and I drink mostly water. It also is cheaper.
And it is so much easier to carry home from the store.

I purchase powdered milk in plastic pails - 1 pail is usually enough for at least a year. Grandma's Country Cream is the best tasting and I use it to make homemade kefir and yogurt. I also buy Morning Moo's Whey-Based Milk Substitute for the lactose intolerant family members (it's much lower in lactose than regular milk). I haven't purchased milk from the grocery store since 1981.

awakenedsoul
1-15-15, 8:03pm
Today I took two buses to a dance auditionl down in Burbank. The bus driver told us the dollar machine wasn't working, so I saved $2.00 on bus fare. I wore dance clothes, dance shoes, and a dress that I've had for years. They still look nice, and they work. Had a romantic and frugal evening with my boyfriend last night. I'm tired today, so, for the rest of the day, I'll take it easy. He wants to go on a 10 mile hike this Sat. We'll see if I can keep up with him...so far, so good.
I'm knitting the second sock of a pair that I started last month. It's easy, relaxing, and repetitive. The yarn was on sale, and it was in my stash. Later on I'll walk the dogs, do yoga, and work on my music.

kimberlyf0
1-15-15, 9:40pm
We are now three of us with full blow flu; my oldest teen has been running a temp around 104° (it comes down some if he takes ibuprofen). Since DH was at work it was up to the other sick teen and me to get things done around here. We've managed three loads of laundry. I heated a pan of leftover beans and made refried beans from them, then made seasoned rice with some leftover brown rice. Add lettuce and salsa and we had tacos for our main meal. The teen did the dishes and I used my Foodsaver on the leftover beans and seasoned rice and tossed the pouches into the freezer. I really hate food waste.

I ordered some nasal inhalers and made one for each of us using essential oils I already have. That brings the price to $1 + pennies for each inhaler, which is much cheaper than buying them at Whole Foods.

However, being sick meant I didn't bake for the birthday, so DH went to the bakery for vegan treats. And I'm not sure what we'll put together for supper; my fever started climbing again and I just didn't feel up to making a soup. Perhaps there are some leftover buns for veggie burgers again.

chrissieq
1-15-15, 10:50pm
Monday and today were no spend, no drive days. Tuesday was just groceries - staying in budget. Wednesday was the drive to work. Tomorrow I get my haircut - my hair cutter has a favorite bakery that is on my way to her shop so I will buy her a ham stuffed croissant ($3) as her tip. Last time she said if I brought her the croissant, my hair cut was free! But I am just counting it as the tip. Of course, now I'm tempted to buy myself one too!!

cdttmm
1-16-15, 8:40am
My most recent frugal was in the form of earning more money. I sold 14 pounds of honey this week for a grand total of $204.

rosarugosa
1-16-15, 8:21pm
Kimberly: I hope you and your family are feeling better.
We didn't stop to pick up bread or anything for dinner, although we didn't have anything defrosted or much of a plan tonight. So we had wine and brie and crackers and olives and called it "tapas." Pretty glamorous, no? :)

early morning
1-16-15, 10:33pm
I've started the add-a-dollar-a-week savings challenge (my SIL wants us to do this for two years and use the money to go to London) - only we're doing it backwards - $52 the first week, $51 the next, etc. I've got three weeks in so far. I've hung about half my laundry in the house, although I used the dryer for several loads because I got behind. Just now cooking off the turkey carcass from our family get-together the weekend after New Years - it's going to get warm tomorrow so I had to get it out of the shed (our extra winter freezer, :~)). There are no no-drive days anymore since we're (me, my siblings, my daughter) currently all taking turns staying with my mom, and I can only stay on the weekends since I work all week- I'm finding it hard to not compensate by making my life "easier" in other ways - more fast food, more use of the dryer, more coffee-house beverages, more wine..... OTOH, we're saving our mother tons of money, lol.

cdttmm
1-17-15, 7:35am
We didn't stop to pick up bread or anything for dinner, although we didn't have anything defrosted or much of a plan tonight. So we had wine and brie and crackers and olives and called it "tapas." Pretty glamorous, no? :)

Love it, rosarugosa!!!

I actually brought enough snacks with me yesterday that I didn't feel the need to hit the vending machines or buy anything to eat at work. Then I re-scheduled my haircut appointment to next week. I figured if I could go an extra week between haircuts because she cut it super short last time and it hasn't grown out to the point where it desperately needs to be cut just yet. Bought a few things on sale at the grocery store last night that I know we needed and that we'll use up. I'm going to stop by BJ's to buy a few things today since I'll be in the general vicinity. Might as well save myself from making a special trip! We've got lots of eggs to use up so will make a frittata later today plus hard-boiled eggs and we'll bake some bread.

Sold 2 more pounds of honey and put in a proposal for a speaking gig. Only 4 or 5 pounds of honey remaining from last season's honey crop so that will be all gone soon! And I'm going to put in proposals for at least one other speaking gig that would take place in March. Fingers crossed on those opportunities!!!

Gotta keep up with the little (and big) frugals as the oldest dog, who is 12, has started to experience some health problems. Hopefully nothing serious, but there were two trips to the vet clinic this week. Pets are not frugal unless you compare the cost of having them with the cost of on-going therapy and then they probably come out ahead and I come out healthier over all!!! :D

rosarugosa
1-17-15, 8:07pm
I drew up an exemplary grocery list, and DH added $10.00 worth of crap at the store (he does the shopping), so I wasn't really happy about that. We're planning to attend an indoor Farmers' Market in Melrose tomorrow, and I thought we could fund that expedition with a frugal grocery list today and skipping Trader Joe's tomorrow. So we'll have to be a bit more restrained tomorrow. and/or I can use some of my "allowance."
Mostly a stay at home day for me with a short walk in the woods, cold but wonderful! When we were walking along the trail I was just grinning like a fool, and DH looked at me and asked "what?" And it was just that I couldn't stop smiling because I was so happy to be in the woods!

Cdttmm: Wishing the best for your pup!

cdttmm
1-18-15, 7:15pm
Relaxing day at home for the most part. Had to go to the gym this afternoon as my Tae Kwon Do school was having a rank test and one of my students was testing. So I took advantage of the fact that I was already at the gym and got in a workout and a shower! :D Made a huge batch of hard boiled eggs this morning. Will make some of them into egg salad tomorrow so that we can have egg salad sandwiches on homemade bread. Making nachos for dinner tonight, per my dearly beloved's request. Using black beans that I made in the crock pot and froze and canned green chiles that I bought on sale several weeks ago. Drinking a pot of black tea throughout the day, the tea was from my stash (that never seems to diminish all that much...). It's been cold and rainy here today, with freezing rain for a good portion of the day. It's made being outside not very pleasant so I'm happy to be able to spend the evening at home enjoying dinner and some entertainment via Netflix.

Got our first rent check from our new tenants. Hooray! Here's hoping they'd like to rent from us for a very long time!!! :D

Selah
1-18-15, 7:25pm
Oof, not too much to report, but I always enjoy reading everyone's posts as they trigger small things I may have forgotten I've done. Now that we're back to America, I've been quite diligent about searching for coupons for the handful of name-brand items we like to use, and routinely save $3 to $6 on every grocery bill. I scored a nice deal on generic Nexium by getting a 42-day supply for less than $10, even though it didn't ring up that way at Walgreens. Since I had the mailer that listed the price and the amount in the box, the clerk kindly rang it up himself for $9.99 instead of the $22 that came up automatically on the register.

I am not eating meat at lunch anymore, which saves us money on lunchmeat. Also, I've given up coffee and drink tea instead, which has cut our coffee bill in half and accordingly reduced our milk consumption (I was a "cafe au lait" type from the get-go!).

I've also nearly completely cut out processed sugar (read: my three-a-day habit of mini Reese's peanut butter cups, YUM, is now a thing of the past), so we're saving a few bucks every couple of weeks that way. Nothing exciting, just chipping away here and there, and trying to be healthier, thinner, and richer!

rosarugosa
1-18-15, 7:58pm
No restraint whatsoever was exercised at the Winter Farmers' Market, but we had fun and got some great things to eat. We like supporting local vendors. Good thing it's only once a month!
I squeezed a bunch of old, squishy looking oranges and was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful juice I got from them. Food waste avoided and I really enjoyed the juice.
I had been seriously eyeing some balsam-filled draft blockers for our front and back doors, but instead I rolled and tied up a couple of throws into cylinders, and those are serving the purpose quite well with no money spent. The colors match the rooms they are in, so they look pretty decent.
My employer is offering a $100 gift card incentive for completing an 8-week fitness challenge, so I registered for that.

Blackdog Lin
1-18-15, 8:47pm
I have postponed tomorrow's planned meal for a day since I realized we have just too much in the way of GOOD leftovers in the fridge. A large sausage patty, 1/2 of (an expensive) steak, a container with over a cup of taco meat-n-beans along with the lettuce and cheese to go with it, 1 1/2 Indian fry breads, a small bowl of rice-n-peas, and another small bowl of green beans. While much of it COULD be frozen, then I'd just have to think and fret about later how to get it used up - so am gonna have smorgasborg tomorrow. It feels thrifty and easy.

Any my glasses strap broke yesterday (I guess I have a weird nose, glasses won't stay up) and I decided I would have to go out of town and try to find a replacement. Instead I found an old one that was way too long and never did work, I brainstormed about it, and ended up cutting a big chunk out of it and hand-sewing (very ugly-ly, but it's holding) the ends back together. It worked! It's not as nice or comfortable as the ones I usually use, but it will get me by nicely until I can order a new one.

seedycharacter
1-20-15, 12:06am
I read my way through the month and so appreciated all of the tips, links, and support I found in the January Frugals thread. As some of you do, I also heat only rooms I'm in, in spite of a whole-house gas heating system, but last month was cold and I got carried away with heat, so I'm bundling up better this month and keeping the heaters off more. I always keep my heater off at night (and have been reading that one sleeps better in a cool room), but I have an electric mattress pad I turn on an hour before bed and turn off when I turn out the lights to sleep. I don't believe this is a huge energy drain and I adore getting into a toasty bed, which stays warm because of my wool and down blankets and my 2 cats who like to cuddle with me.

Like many of you, I'm working on using what's in my pantry, fridge, and freezer. I was planning to make a big pot of soup with my marginal veggies, but got busy with other stuff (like earning $$ :-) ). My biggest savings this month has been buying very few packaged foods--focusing on the basics like beans, legumes, rice, whole veggies and fruit. Eating vegetarian (closer to vegan, actually) is my ongoing biggest act of frugality. Healthy & yummy, too.

danna
1-20-15, 12:14am
Frugals lately

1 Used up points accumulated at groceries for a total of $80.00 in food of course I still used coupons /price matched and bought on sale.

2. Part of that order was a 23 lb leg of pork….the nice butcher cut it into 4 pieces and then I deboned them frying the bones and freezing 3 to use later and using the one to make a large pot of split pea soup. It was very good and made many servings.
Was able to get 6 roasts and 2 pkgs of pieces to freeze and use later.

3. Cut open the bottom of a makeup foundation and was able to use for a whole week.

4. Watching Season 1 of “Twin Peaks” from the library….I had forgot how crazy and ahead of it’s time it was.

5. Have eaten 2 veggie meals this past week and had every little waste used any leftover for lunches

There have been more but that is all I can think of for now.

SteveinMN
1-20-15, 4:33pm
Finally getting in some frugals:

- "Musgovian" chicken soup, the contents of which were described in the leftovers thread in Food;
- got a crate for the new dog off craigslist. The crate is less than a month old -- the dog they bought it for already grew out of it, but it will be fine for ours;
- We're getting a "lifetime license" for the dog. It's the cost of three years of regular licenses, but a 10-year-old inside dog ought to be able to go at least three years. If nothing else, we don't have to take the time to renew every year.
- I've been moving my "junk mail" email address to a new provider, which has triggered some "welcome" emails and discounts.

Kinda nice to be at least a little on track.

kimberlyf0
1-20-15, 8:15pm
We are on the mend from the flu! Everyone is still sniffling and coughing, but we feel much much better; thank you to those of you who offered us well wishes!

We've started Operation Clean, Organize, and Declutter at our house, which has resulted in finding two missing leg warmers (for cycling). As these were from two different pairs and of different sizes this resulted in not needing to replace two pairs of leg warmers. We also found two pairs of pants that we had purchased for my oldest to grow into, but now that DH has lost weight we think they will work for him instead. DS#1 also found two pairs of missing shorts and declared that he no longer needed us to buy him new shorts (or new-to-him, as they would have been).

My new Kindle arrived (not frugal, but we had an older Kindle 2 die on us); while it doesn't fit exactly into the case from my previous Kindle Paperwhite (which was passed to the child whose Kindle 2 died, and he ponied up $13 to buy a new case because he didn't want pink), it fits well enough to protect it if I am taking it somewhere.

We've been working our way through leftovers despite how we may feel about the original meal. Even the picky eater is doing his best.

Blackdog Lin
1-20-15, 9:55pm
3. cut open the bottom of a makeup foundation and was able to use for a whole week.

A great reminder danna. I had forgotten about doing this a few weeks ago: I could not squeeze a single drop more out of my tube of BB Cream (I use daily as makeup), but by cutting it open I had a full 2 weeks more of product in there. Did the same with my hair-styling product and found another 3 applications to use.

Tussiemussies
1-20-15, 10:50pm
I've really have enjoyed reading this month's thread. Lots of great posts here. One nice thing for us that happened was that my husband entered a contest with our grocery chain and won I think in mid-Dec. $250.00 worth of gift cards! That was nice to have around holiday time! Haven't been driving anywhere. Got a nice gift card from Eddie Bauer from my Mom at Christmas and am saving it for spring/summer clothes I may need, I will wait for a sale though. Been very good at eating what is here in the house and not ordering out or going out to eat like we used to! Thinking about summer gardening!!#

cdttmm
1-21-15, 9:25am
Lunch provided at work yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Saves a little money and a little time. I could have gone into work early today and had a free breakfast as well, but decided the extra hour at home was more than worth it.

We got a gift of Honeybell oranges for Christmas and they arrived last week so we've been eating or juicing them. Trying to stay out of the grocery stores as much as possible until we can eat up some of what we have in the refrigerator and the pantry. It always seems like one big trip to the store results in follow up trips for something else we decided that we wanted/needed/were out of.

Got word from the vet that our beloved dog does not have a simple kidney infection, which is easily treated with antibiotics, but rather is likely in the very early stages of renal failure. <Sigh.> Tough news. So we need to switch her diet over to a prescription diet that is designed for dogs with decreased kidney function. They gave me a few free cans as samples and I've been supplementing that with white rice and raw eggs (since we have both in abundance). Might as well save a little bit now because I'm sure the recurring bill for the prescription food will be high. Oh well, this is why we're frugal in all the other areas of our lives so that we can spare no expense when it comes to the furry four-legged children!

I've been using up all the random samples of shampoo that I've collected over time to wash my hair. I think they are finally gone now. Saved a little money and decluttered -- what a win-win situation! Also trying to be more mindful of the amount of just about everything that I'm using. Might not save a lot on any individual occurrence, but we all know that over time that stuff really adds up!

awakenedsoul
1-21-15, 12:58pm
I'm enjoying reading this month's frugals, too. Over the weekend my boyfriend and I did a ten mile hike. I was nervous that it would be too much for me, but I was fine. We brought beef jerky, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and plenty of water. I was wiped out afterward, but treated myself to an extra cafe au lait. (I had saved the leftover homemade espresso in a jar. I keep it chilled in the fridge.) That gave me the energy I needed to make us a nice dinner. My boyfriend had brought over two frozen turkey breasts, a package of chicken, and a pound of ground beef. He wants to stock up my fridge for me. I won't have to buy any meat or poultry this month! That will save a lot on the grocery bill. I baked a loaf of french bread and have been making him sandwiches for lunch to take to work. I cooked a meatloaf and that will be cheaper than lunch meat. Made a big salad with lettuce, spinach, and arugula from the garden. We didn't spend any money, but had an exciting and fulfilling weekend.

I had auditions on Monday and Tuesday. Because I took the bus, I didn't get home until 9:00 p.m. I was so glad that I packed plenty of food...especially those meat loaf sandwiches! I can see why people overspend on snacks at places like 7/11. It's so tempting if you're hungry and busy. I took the commuter bus down to North Hollywood. It's only $5.00 RT, which always feels good. It's a twenty minute walk to the dance studio. It's free exercise, and it warms me up for my audition.

I almost didn't go because of my age. I forced myself to go, anyway. There are several parts for women 40-60 in one of the shows they're doing. None of the older women go to the dance calls. Dancing with the 20 year olds is brutal! I felt like I was going to start crying, and I really wanted to leave. But, I knew the director/choreographer from Juliet Prowse's act 28 years ago. His smile, twinkling eyes, and encouragement got me through it. I met some really sweet girls and enjoyed chatting with them. I limped back to the bus stop. My backpack was heavy and full of tap shoes, character shoes, knitting, bottled water, and meatloaf sandwiches ...

early morning
1-21-15, 9:08pm
awakenedsoul, I love reading your posts, your life sounds amazing! Nice of BF to stock up your fridge, too. cdttmm, sending best wishes for your dog's health! Not much frugal here. Got a price on a new furnace *choke, choke* - I think we will double check prices on another make. This company has been quite good with repairs and maintenance, but we are not married to them, lol. Frugals - not to many, sad to say. Hung some wash inside, ate leftovers for dinner, taking coffee, lunch, etc as always. Picking up more bills for DH's eldest brother, (nothing huge!)- so I need to concentrate on our frugals to offset those.

awakenedsoul
1-22-15, 10:56am
early morning, Thanks. I love reading yours, too. Yes, having a BF who stocks us up on groceries has really helped my budget. Food is one of my largest expenses. I hope your furnace lasts a long time. That's a big purchase.

We finished up the turkey breast that I roasted on Sunday. I used it making sandwiches for my boyfriend's lunch this morning. The french bread recipe I use makes enough for two loaves. It's so convenient having pre made bread dough in the fridge! He leaves at six in the morning, so we have to be organized. Having coffee at home together saves him money. He used to pick up a cup at 7/11.

Yesterday I took the bus to the gym and rested my tired muscles in the sauna and jacuzzi. I'd forgotten how much that helps my body. I plan to go again, today. I also swam a little, and will try to increase that again. Later on I'll knit the heel on my second sock. I should have this pair done in a few days. I've got to darn a pair that I made last year. I try to rotate them so that they last longer. I love the feel of good wool socks. They are so warm, soft, and comfortable!

I've got meyer lemons falling on the ground in my backyard. I've procrastinated far too long about picking those. Today I'll juice them and freeze the juice and rind. It's nice not to have to buy lemons at all.

I picked up a Britta water filter pitcher over the weekend and have been using it. My neighbor suggested it. We have very hard water and my pipes are the old galvanized type. I used to refill water jugs at the water store. Using the filter is much cheaper, and is easy to do. I can pour the water into my five gallon jugs. That way I won't have to lug them around in my shopping cart or on the bus.

rodeosweetheart
1-22-15, 12:09pm
Ooh you are so lucky with the Meyer lemons, Awakened. I have been growing them from seed currently have about 20 little lemon trees; as soon as I get back to SC, they will form basis of a lemon hedge.

flowerseverywhere
1-22-15, 1:00pm
Joined a really fun neighborhood group. 40 people in my neighborhood participated in a dinner group. The home it was to be in ended up with eight people altogether. The hostess made the main dish (stuffed chicken breasts). I was assigned potatoes and made potatoes au gratin. Someone made a delicious salad and someone dessert.

It it was way cheaper than any restaurant and the food was outstanding. Way better than any restaurant. We plan to do this every month. Next month I will host in my home. I think I will make vegetarian lasagna and homemade bread. I will ask for a salad, dessert and for a bottle of wine from the three couples coming. We will also get a few bottles of wine.

Great way to bolster your community connections. Ad the food was really good.

rosarugosa
1-23-15, 5:54am
Flowers: Your dinner group sounds wonderful!
Awakened: We've used a Brita pitcher for many years and have been very happy with it. The filters are reasonable at Costco and they go on special there occasionally for a 10-pack.

flowerseverywhere
1-23-15, 7:43am
Awakened, I love hand knit wool socks too. Not cheap, but definitely worth it.

I am am retired but just fell into a job teaching quilting and working in a fquilt store up to sixteen hours a week. I can bike or walk there and since the weather is good here I can almost do that every day. I plan to put the money in the grandkids 529's as I have everything I need.

awakenedsoul
1-23-15, 11:48am
Ooh you are so lucky with the Meyer lemons, Awakened. I have been growing them from seed currently have about 20 little lemon trees; as soon as I get back to SC, they will form basis of a lemon hedge.

I've never thought of growing them from seed. That sounds like a beautiful hedge! I planted a grapefruit tree along my driveway. It's a standard size, so eventually it should fill that whole side area. Once it's mature I'll have hundreds of grapefruit each year!

awakenedsoul
1-23-15, 11:52am
rosarugosa, Thanks for the tip. I'll wait for them to go on sale. I'm really happy with the pitcher. It's so much easier than lugging around those huge bottles!

flowerseverywhere, The quilting job sounds great. Yeah, hand knit wool socks are really special. I just washed some of mine, and a few pair have small holes in the toes. I think it's from all of the hiking and walking that I do. I saved the yarn, so I can darn them up today. When the yarn matches, you don't even notice where they are darned. I've got a pink antique wooden darning egg that I use. A friend from a knitting group gave it to me...

Azure
1-23-15, 7:18pm
Question - I have a yankee candle jar that my SIL gave me. Starfruit and orange. I LOVE the smell of it. But the wick burned down in the center so it won't burn any more. But there is so much wax left in the jar. What do I have to do to be able to keep burning it? TY!

rosarugosa
1-24-15, 6:02am
Azure: I would try digging a little well around the wick, then lighting the candle and tilting it while it burns for a bit so the melting wax flows away from the wick and doesn't immediately drown the flame. At that point it should be OK.

cdttmm
1-24-15, 5:53pm
Cold and snowy here in Western MA today. So we're enjoying a quiet day at home. No drive, and no spend, unless you count the checks I wrote out and will mail on Monday. :D Yesterday, got a free banana at work (it was Friday afternoon and they were trying to get rid of the extras) and then I got a free snack-sized bag of Goldfish crackers when I stopped at the vet to get the new prescription dog food. Those are some tiny little frugals, but there still frugals so I figured I would share! Another one from yesterday, I had a student who came by looking to buy a jar of honey for her mom. Told her I would bring it in next week. I filled the jar today and checked the bucket to see how much I have left. Looks like only 2 or 3 more pounds. Can't believe it's almost gone and it's only January!

We had let the thermostat creep up earlier this month from 58 degrees to 60 degrees. I think I've gotten us back down to 58 degrees. Of course, more cold temps are on the way so it might go back up again. But even 60 degrees is pretty darn good so I can't complain too much!

My mom called yesterday for help with locating a cheap ticket to fly to Montana to see her brother and SIL next month. I managed to find one almost $100 cheaper than what she had found so she asked if I would just buy it and she would send me a check. I was happy to help out and I was able to put it on my Delta Skymiles American Express card so will get double miles for it since it was a Delta airlines ticket.

Discovered that I have some tea in my stash that when blended together is significantly better than either of the teas on their own. Need to try to remember that so that I can use up some more of my stash. My friend and I met up at a local tea house last week to plan some events for our Tae Kwon Do school and the tea there was so outstanding that I have been thinking about it ever since. But it is quite expensive and I need to hold it in reserve as a treat and not let it become a regular experience!

frugal-one
1-24-15, 6:41pm
Went to 2 free classes this week that were AWESOME. Thursday it was to learn more about my I-pad and this morning it was Pakistani cooking. I am inspired. I loved the food! Anyone have any good cookbook or recipe recommendations?

Float On
1-24-15, 7:17pm
Pakistani cooking.
Oh yum! One of my favorite dining experiences was a little house with 4 tables that was a Pakistani restaurant. Our party of 12 took up the whole restaurant. We asked the chef/server/owner to bring us his favorites and it was wonderful.

awakenedsoul
1-25-15, 1:25pm
I took the bus to Sprouts on Thurs. and bought what I needed. The bill was only $15.00, which felt good. They had red peppers on sale at 3 for a dollar. Granny smith apples and Braeburn apples were only a dollar a pound, so I stocked up on those. I'll make an apple crisp this morning. I've got the butter on the counter softening, and all of the other ingredients I need are in my stockpile. I baked snickerdoodles last week and still have dough in the fridge. They're delicious with coffee or yogi tea.

This afternoon my boyfriend and I will eat up the cold fried chicken that I prepared last week. He wants it in his salad. I've still got plenty of salad greens growing in the garden. I'm going to make another couple loaves of bread, too.

Yesterday I juiced my homegrown meyer lemons for about an hour. I have two more crates left to go. I'll freeze the juice and use it throughout the year for lemonade. That way I don't have to buy juice at the store. It's also handy for cleaning. Bf went on another nine mile hike yesterday in the mountains. I opted out this time, needing to rest my body from all of those auditions and bus travel. We met up later instead and had a relaxing evening.

Today we'll work in the backyard, cutting up a dead tree and trimming some of the others. I need to finish knitting the toe of my sock and then I'll have a new pair. I darned all of the holes in my other hand knit socks, so they're ready to wear all winter. The darning comes out really nicely with the matching sock yarn. It's softer and more pliable than darning thread.

How's everyone else doing?

Tiam
1-25-15, 2:08pm
I took the bus to Sprouts on Thurs. and bought what I needed. The bill was only $15.00, which felt good. They had red peppers on sale at 3 for a dollar. Granny smith apples and Braeburn apples were only a dollar a pound, so I stocked up on those. I'll make an apple crisp this morning. I've got the butter on the counter softening, and all of the other ingredients I need are in my stockpile. I baked snickerdoodles last week and still have dough in the fridge. They're delicious with coffee or yogi tea.

This afternoon my boyfriend and I will eat up the cold fried chicken that I prepared last week. He wants it in his salad. I've still got plenty of salad greens growing in the garden. I'm going to make another couple loaves of bread, too.

Yesterday I juiced my homegrown meyer lemons for about an hour. I have two more crates left to go. I'll freeze the juice and use it throughout the year for lemonade. That way I don't have to buy juice at the store. It's also handy for cleaning. Bf went on another nine mile hike yesterday in the mountains. I opted out this time, needing to rest my body from all of those auditions and bus travel. We met up later instead and had a relaxing evening.

Today we'll work in the backyard, cutting up a dead tree and trimming some of the others. I need to finish knitting the toe of my sock and then I'll have a new pair. I darned all of the holes in my other hand knit socks, so they're ready to wear all winter. The darning comes out really nicely with the matching sock yarn. It's softer and more pliable than darning thread.

How's everyone else doing?

You must be somewhere warm.

awakenedsoul
1-25-15, 3:54pm
You must be somewhere warm.

Yes, Southern California. Our summers are blistering, but the rest of the year the temperature is ideal. It's nice to be able to spend time outside.

How's the weather in Oregon? I'm guessing it's raining...

rosarugosa
1-25-15, 7:05pm
The frugal that almost wasn't: LL Bean gives $10. promotional certificates for every purchase over $50 during the holidays. I have one of these, and another $10. certificate from my LL Bean visa, and they were doing 10% off for MLK weekend. The promo certificate expires in early February, so I was searching diligently for something to buy last weekend, figuring it was a good window of opportunity with the 10% off deal. I had a nice fleece shirt in my online shopping cart that was only going to end up costing me $11. out of pocket. I went through the trouble of logging in and entering certificate numbers, promo codes, etc. But I couldn't quite click "submit," some feeling was holding me back, so I went upstairs and looked in my closet at my fleece shirts. I have the IDENTICAL shirt in cranberry, blackberry, blue and sea foam, and I have similar shirts in various other colors. I actually have 11 fleece shirts (not counting fleece jacket-type-things, and I had nearly persuaded myself that it would be a good idea to buy another one! So yes, I am a crazy person, but I'm pleased that I managed to step back from the brink.
In other news, we were well-behaved as far as groceries go this weekend. We took a walk in the snowy woods for fun, and we ate wonderful healthy food all weekend, all prepared and consumed at home :)

seedycharacter
1-25-15, 11:24pm
Congrats, Rosarugosa . . . so hard to resist a bargain even when there's no need there. That's why I have to be very careful going to my favorite thrift store. I only go on their half-off days, but that makes it even harder to say 'no'! If you're like me you will also wear those 11 fleece shirts til they are threadbare, i.e. for the next dozen years.

I made a huge pot of curried lentil soup today, salvaging some marginal veggies. I put 12 jars in the fridge which will be lunch for 2+ weeks. I was also frugal at TJ's--no splurges (e.g. desserts). Just the basics.

cdttmm
1-27-15, 3:27pm
Enjoying a frugal day at home due to the snowstorm. Our travel ban has been lifted, but most everything is closed due to the snow so there's no where to go even if we could get out of our driveway!

Instead, we attempted to bake cinnamon rolls this morning, but the dough went all wonky in the bread machine and I had to improvise a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread as a result. Good enough, but not great. We'll eat it, though, so no waste. I'm cooking a whole chicken that has been in our deep freezer for...almost 5 years (yeah, long story). The chicken, along with some white rice, is going to serve as cheap dog food for a few days while we wait for the prescription dog food order to arrive at the vet clinic. I could have just bought a bag of dog food, but I figured it made sense to use up this chicken that we're otherwise never going to eat.

Next I'll hard-boil some more eggs since we've got plenty of them. And perhaps make another frittata since the last one was a hit. Need to use up the more than 2 dozen eggs that came from the farm. Nobody expected the chickens to keep laying at such a high rate over the winter -- fine with us -- it means we benefit from the free eggs!

Aside from that, we're just watching episodes of Marco Polo via Netflix and hanging out. I was hoping to go to the gym later, but just got word from my Tae Kwon Do instructor that even though the gym is open our class is cancelled. Guess I'll take this opportunity to finally set up my bike on the indoor trainer instead!

And, of course, I need to do some work to prepare for class tomorrow as I'm assuming school will be open and I'll need to go to work!

awakenedsoul
1-27-15, 7:33pm
cdttmm, That's a great idea: using the chicken for dog food. Glad to hear you have so many fresh eggs, too.

Today I took the bus to a knitting group at Panera. I just ordered a cup of tea. It was fun seeing all the ladies and admiring their hand knits. It's a 15 min. walk to the cafe from the bus stop, so that was good exercise. I worked on a hat I'm making my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. The first pattern I tried was not what he wanted, so I'm saving that yarn for a sweater. This new pattern I got for free on Ravelry. It uses four different colors of sock yarn. I had lots in my stash, so I won't have to spend any money on this gift. I hope he likes it. If not, I love it, so I'll keep it!

Stopped at Sprouts on the way home and picked up some more of the apples on sale at $1.00 a lb. I also bought some dill. It's cheaper to buy it in bulk, and refill the spice jar at home. I use it in my salad along with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, basil and tarragon.

Made a tuna and noodles casserole yesterday. I keep all the ingredients in my stockpile. Finished eating up the homemade apple crisp and am still baking snickerdoodles from the last batch of cookie dough. My boyfriend loves having homemade cookies in his lunch. I like having a couple with a cup of yogi tea in the afternoon.

I plan to do some housekeeping this afternoon and tackle my overstuffed, messy closet. I'm going to donate a lot of the items I don't need. That will free up some space.

On Sunday, my boyfriend brought over his electric saw and a super long extension cord. We cut up a dead tree that had fallen down during the last storm. I put some of it out in front of my cottage as free firewood. It was gone in an hour! BF picked up all of the huge pine cones that were laying in the backyard. I stacked them in the wheelbarrow and will use them as borders for my flower beds. It looks so much better.

lessisbest
1-28-15, 9:19am
Hubby spent 4 days last week in Las Vegas for a Trade Show. He didn't blow even one red cent on gambling and his company paid for the trip. What a frugal trooper!!!

The only shopping I've done this month was to Big Lots last Saturday when they had a 20% off sale store-wide, which is stock-up time on several items.

awakenedsoul
1-30-15, 5:00pm
It's been a frugal week, so far. Yesterday and today I took the bus to the gym and swam. I used the jacuzzi and sauna, too. Since I bought my membership in advance, it doesn't cost me anything. (The price I paid works out to $15.00 a month.) I've been making french bread regularly, and eating lots of sandwiches. Yesterday's were cheddar and salami, today I made some tuna fish with sweet pickles.

I'm almost finished with the sock yarn scraps hat that I'm knitting for my boyfriend. I am so pleased with it! It really has a lot of color and personality. I showed it to him in the beginning stages and he said, "I will definitely wear that." I did some clearing out in my closet the other day and will continue today. I'm working in small doses. I'm glad I have a little closet.

Last night I did yoga, worked on my music, and got to bed early. It's nice to have things you enjoy doing at home that are free. I paid my property taxes and home insurance. It's a relief to have the money set aside in an account. I remember when I was younger those bills would send me into a tailspin. I plan ahead now.

Tomorrow we are going to Venice Beach. Should be fun! The weather has been gorgeous. We are spoiled in California...

Selah
1-30-15, 9:28pm
It's been a very frugal past few days, because I've been either inside working or resting, or going to class or other appointments. No interest in shopping, and the apartment is pretty much "done" for decorating, so now it's nice just to settle in. I am turning my attention to how to get my lazy butt motivated to go out and exercise. Couldn't I find some kind of barter arrangement that would let someone exercise FOR me? :idea:

Blackdog Lin
1-30-15, 10:22pm
Did an inventory of the kitchen freezer (where I keep my dribs and drabs of leftovers) tonight. Found (1) cooked chicken thigh in some sort of tomato-based sauce, and (3) small bags of cooked green beans, and (1) bag of cooked cabbage shreds, and (1) large bag of creamed garlic carrots, and (3) bbq'd pork rack ribs. I have a potato and onions in the house, frozen corn in the freezer, celery languishing along with 1/2 qt. of home-canned tomatoes in the fridge, so.....kitchen-sink stew tomorrow. I also came up with two more menu ideas to finish using up the rest of the leftover items I found in the freezer. I'm excited to get the freezer cleaned out and start fresh again. And all so frugal.

rodeosweetheart
1-31-15, 11:46am
My frugal of the week was to forego a checked back on my trip to see my new granddaughter. Bought a tiny roll on bag and managed to get everything in there, including work computer, and saved 50 dollars in luggage fees.

Azure
2-1-15, 10:42am
awww congrats on the new granddaughter!

rodeosweetheart
2-1-15, 11:42am
awww congrats on the new granddaughter!

Thank you so much, Azure, she is a sweetie, that is for sure. And after three sons and a grandson, a whole new world. I have already bought her a dress and am contemplating shoes to match, little cowboy booties!

Azure
2-1-15, 8:08pm
Cowboy booties would be AWESOME!