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cdttmm
8-1-15, 11:05pm
Welcome to a brand new month and a brand new thread for our daily frugal activities! Please share and be a source of inspiration to others!

cdttmm
8-1-15, 11:23pm
So I nearly posted my frugals for today in last month's thread... :D I can't believe it is August already!!!

A few frugals to report for today. A friend called me this morning as she was driving back from the airport where she had dropped off her parents who had spent the past week visiting her. She wanted to know if I wanted to meet and have breakfast. Of course, I had just eaten and was really not interested in venturing out. So when I returned her call (yes, I'm THAT friend, the one who screens calls even when they are from friends and family!), I asked if she wanted to stop by my house instead since it is basically on her way home and I would make a pot of coffee or tea and we could catch up. Turns out she was at a coffee shop just a few miles away getting a bagel with cream cheese to go. So she was more than happy to come on over. Total frugal win as I got to visit with a friend without having to drive anywhere or spend money on breakfast out.

The humidity was high yesterday and even though the temperature dropped over night, the house felt sticky even though it was only 71 degrees indoors. I put the fan on hoping that the moving air would be enough to convince me that turning on the A/C wasn't necessary. It worked. And now the humidity has dropped and it has cooled off again tonight so I have the windows open and a nice cross-breeze happening as a result of strategically opened windows and well-placed fans.

Spent several hours in the apiary today pulling out frames of capped honey for extraction and checking the health of various colonies. By the time I was done it was 8pm and I was exhausted. I was very tempted to drive into town and use a gift certificate to eat at the little restaurant. But the food there really isn't that great and leaving the house seemed like a huge challenge so I decided against it. I've been eating down the fridge and pantry for so long though that there isn't much left to eat in the house -- as an example, I ate cheese quesadillas for breakfast this morning. :~) Okay, that was mostly because I had a pile of cherry tomatoes from the garden and I wanted to eat them with something -- cheese quesadillas seemed like an acceptable answer to that problem. Anyway, I finally decided to bake something since I didn't have to worry about heating up the house. I searched online for breakfast food type recipes using applesauce because I still have an abundance of it. Found a recipe for apple spice muffins that seemed promising. Used up some applesauce, some molasses (substituted it for 1/2 the sugar in the recipe), and 2 eggs. At the last minute I decided to throw some raisins into the delicious tasting batter just for kicks. The muffins turned out great and now I have breakfast and/or snacks for the next few days. Feeling very creative and frugal about all of that!

chrissieq
8-1-15, 11:54pm
Moved our daughter today - 10th time in 10 years. Frugal for us, used a friend's van vs renting a truck. Friend refused to accept any payment or gift as thank you so I went to a great bakery and bought an assortment of delicious bars and gave them to her sons - of course, she texted with comments about how great they were. The women I work for offered us an L-shaped sofa that they had bought at an estate sale that did not fit their home - we hauled it out and now they can put both cars in the garage - win/win. My daughter works for a coffee company so we will throw these generous friends coffee.

A bit concerned about how she and her partner feel like the apartment has to be in perfect shape/fully furnished/outfitted on day #1 - they are ages 28 and 32 and it is their business, not mine, so I can only offer an example.

Meezer_Mom
8-2-15, 4:10am
Was out running errands and a newstand was in my path so I stopped and bought a new sudoku book. I did a quick calculation and I think I got the most puzzles I could for the price.

Got back to my part of town, picked up my free 7-11 lemonade slurpee and it didn't scan as free. So, I'll be calling corporate. Second promotion item in a month that didn't freebie at the register. *sigh* I also bought some pre-popped popcorn.

Then I went to the free movie in the park that my community group co-hosted. Council office provided light snacks so I was able to save the popcorn for snacking later. Movie was good. Doing it again later in the month. I do have a microwavable air popper. Note to self: USE it!

Stopped by the diner after for a cup of chili and some iced tea while I worked some puzzles. Enjoying myself so I may read while sipping on my refill.

Tussiemussies
8-2-15, 4:34am
We had decided yesterday that we would venture out for an early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We have a $30.00 gift card and $10.00 coupon off. Instead because of my strange sleeping schedule, I wasn't awake in enogh time so DH made roasted vegetables with veggies that we have had for awhile and he popped in an Amy's frozen vegan pizza which the cheese on it is really good! So we saved money there. Had a no drive day and DH worked today as he got some work that came in on Friday PM. He thought he finally had a weekend to relax more, which he needs, I feel bad for him, but it was generating income. I have been reading some books I got one is called Vice Cream, Ice Cream for vegans. I bought this book a long time ago and thought it was strange to use cashews for making ice cream...DH had made a vegan dessert. Mock cheesecake bites and the base was cashews and it was delicious. So now I will be using a cookbook that I bought a long time ago and get use out of it. DH brought up our new vanity for the bathroom, and all of the pieces are fitting in so nicely that I picked out.

Well so far that was my frugal Saturday...last night after 12AM, I did go outside and saw a beautiful sight of the "blue moon." Did anyone else catch a glimpse?
Christine

It is so nice in the middle of the night here, the tree frogs just stopped croaking now hear the crickets having their turn and I hear noises of wood cracking which we think is a deer getting her evening meal. Such a beautiful time!

Meezer_Mom
8-2-15, 5:17am
Sounds lovely, Tussiemussies. :)

freshstart
8-2-15, 8:07am
I got to go to a STORE! my outings have been MD appts and CVS since December. Had DD, my dad loves this ancient fish fry place, I never really cared if I ever ate a fish fry, but for some reason, now I am craving them. DD ate her whole meal so my dad didn't get all pissy (she is 16, but I'm 45 and my dad still does this, big showy act about how horrible you are for not finishing (um, doggie bags, Dad?) and then he proceeds to eat every bite with joy while complaining he will NEVER eat out with you again. Even though if you wave your keys and say "fish fry?", he is in the car in 2 seconds flat). Then we went to Ocean State Job Lot, my first outing! I had to use a wheelchair but that wasn't as horrible and upsetting as I thought it would be, it was nice and made it so I could see more of the store, instead of being done just from walking from car to store. I finally got a Buddy-proof heavy trash can with lid for my room, metal, it looked as nice as the ones in the BBB flyer for close to $30 and cost $8, yay! No more Buddy the bandit, stealing kleenex and eating them, so gross! That's all I spent, they are hit and miss.

Using my mom's wheelchair and being to actually go somewhere not at a snail's pace and a fall that drives people nuts (DD, I honestly think does not want to do things in public with me because she is embarrassed. Thought I would get snarky comments about using the wheelchair but she didn't) opened my eyes. Mon I am calling MD to get scripts for the stuff that will make showers much less dangerous, walker, wheelchair. Have more grab bars in BR. If I have safety equipment, maybe I won't need help. Even though cardio and primary said only crucial exertion for now, bed as much as possible until my pressure comes up, I don't think a monthly outing with DD in a wheelchair is that unreasonable. I'll ask.

Funny story- my last outing to the mall, was after Xmas to let DD spend her gift money. Shopped for 1/2 hr and it was BAD, told her I would meet her in Johnny Rocket's, closest restaurant, take her time, very sorry. She was actually fine with that. I sat at the counter gulping water, so dizzy. At this place, they play Aretha's Respect and all the staff stop their work and sing and dance to it in a line. I turned my head to look after a bit, got so dizzy, I fell off the stool in the middle of their dance! OMG! Of course, DD had just arrived, the music had stopped, people were staring and they were trying to get me to allow them to call 911, mortification not yet complete, Claire says loudly, "I told you you are NOT allowed to dance with them here!" Whole place heard that one. People thinking I fell because I was trying to participate in the dance number? Oh, hell NO. I got up as fast as possible and bolted in shame. I guess I kind of get why she doesn't want to do things with me, lmao.

freshstart
8-2-15, 8:12am
Was out running errands and a newstand was in my path so I stopped and bought a new sudoku book. I did a quick calculation and I think I got the most puzzles I could for the price.

Got back to my part of town, picked up my free 7-11 lemonade slurpee and it didn't scan as free. So, I'll be calling corporate. Second promotion item in a month that didn't freebie at the register. *sigh* I also bought some pre-popped popcorn.

Then I went to the free movie in the park that my community group co-hosted. Council office provided light snacks so I was able to save the popcorn for snacking later. Movie was good. Doing it again later in the month. I do have a microwavable air popper. Note to self: USE it!

Stopped by the diner after for a cup of chili and some iced tea while I worked some puzzles. Enjoying myself so I may read while sipping on my refill.

yay! this sounds like a nice night. I thought of something, do you have a smartphone? there has to be free sudoku app, I would think

I like the idea of movies outside, I'll have to check with my town

danna
8-2-15, 9:06am
Aug 01
--monthly spreadsheets uptodate and balance accounts
--eating leftover pea soup from freezer for breakfast...anyone else eat soup for breakfast?
--packed up things I have posted on Kijiji together so I know where they are if they actual sell and dated them so if
they don't sell at some point they will be ready to give away.
--did a few yardsales and bought nothing

Meezer_Mom
8-2-15, 9:43am
freshstart, I thought about getting an app but I really like pencil on these. And less hassle with charging, neck ache, etc. Got to let it rest sometime. ;)

freshstart
8-2-15, 9:58am
Aug 01
--monthly spreadsheets uptodate and balance accounts
--eating leftover pea soup from freezer for breakfast...anyone else eat soup for breakfast?
--packed up things I have posted on Kijiji together so I know where they are if they actual sell and dated them so if
they don't sell at some point they will be ready to give away.
--did a few yardsales and bought nothing

you done good! what is Kijiji? do you like spreadsheets better than things like YNAB or Mint?

Stacy
8-2-15, 10:41am
This week, I've been trying to use the overpriced food vendor at work less and bring in more food. I bought a large bag of snacks at a discount food store and portioned them out into smaller bags, and that helped for three days until they were gone. I've been boiling a dozen eggs at a time and putting them back in the carton, labeled, and the whole family has been finding them a quick and easy way to get protein. I've been eating a egg for my morning break just about every day. I don't even buy the cheapest eggs, but this is still a cheaper breakfast than just about anything else I would want to eat. When I get a chance, I make a gallon of iced tea at home and divide it into 20 ounce glass bottles that I got when I actually would buy iced tea in the store years ago. I don't know if they even sell it in glass bottles anymore. This is even more frugal because I got lots of tea from somebody on freecycle a couple of years ago and I'm still using it up. DH brings it to work. I drink water at work, but it's nice to have iced tea when I get home, especially in this heat.

early morning
8-2-15, 11:36am
Sounds like everyone is off to a good start! I was able to hang laundry OUT yesterday instead of drying it in the house - not really a money saver, but much nicer! Got some free samples of very expensive skin care products for DD. Today we're moving our son home for (hopefully) a short stay while he regroups and job-hunts in a larger city. Or goes back to school. We rented a truck and a store and lock, which we will pull the plug on soon, if it looks like he's staying here for a longer term. He'll either have to get a job and pay for the storage, or he can sell his stuff (all of it second-or third-hand to begin with, and replace it when he moves out. Truck rental was a no-brainer- the gas for multiple trips in the pickup and van would be more than the truck rental, not to mention the extra time (it's a 90 minute trip, one way). Plus it made the weather a moot point, which is good since we were locked into this date... DS and DH called around to get the best price, saving $150 by getting a one-way from DS's town over picking up a round trip truck here. So an expense, for sure, but at the cheapest price we could come up with...

awakenedsoul
8-2-15, 11:55am
I've been eating more eggs, too. I don't like the taste of them cooked, so I make an eggnog using soy milk before I go to the gym. It's an inexpensive, easy breakfast. Watermelon has been .20 a lb. at the store, so I've been eating a lot of that. It's perfect in the hot weather. I'm still eating up the leftover homemade pizza and tacos. I'm also eating through the homemade oatmeal cookies that I made the other day. Yesterday I did the machines at the gym, so today I think I'll save the gas and do yoga at home.

Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom. Today I'll do a deep clean in the kitchen. I found a mop at the Salvation Army. I like to wet mop the floor with soap and hot water. It seems to get them cleaner than when I use the swifter with vinegar. water.

Having the new to me Beetle has been great! A nice car feels like such a luxury after taking the bus everywhere for so long. I'm really glad I did it, though. I was able to build up a nice fat emergency fund. I listened to Dave Ramsey's podcast yesterday while I worked on my tank top. I should be able to finish it today. It's a good feeling to knit things that are comfortable and useful.

rosarugosa
8-2-15, 3:11pm
LessisBest: I'm glad you were able to get out. If your DD is 16, I believe you would embarrass her just by existing, so you can't worry too much about that!
Stacy & Early: We've been eating a lot of hard-boiled eggs too - so quick & easy, especially in the hot weather.
We've been cooling the house solely with fan power and it's been pretty hot. As Cdttmm noted, strategic placement is key.
MY DMIL called this morning to tell me that I inspired her to get a salad spinner, and she doesn't know how she lived all these years without it! She was raving about it! I knew that only this group could truly appreciate such a thing! :)

Meezer_Mom
8-2-15, 6:33pm
Great job, Everyone! Stacy, I love tea too. And I have a collection of tea that rivals Teavana's. Yet I somehow manage to buy drinks while out and about: coffee, tea, soda, etc. I was just thinking about this last night. A true hole that I can plug with not a lot of effort.

freshstart
8-2-15, 7:14pm
MY DMIL called this morning to tell me that I inspired her to get a salad spinner, and she doesn't know how she lived all these years without it! She was raving about it! I knew that only this group could truly appreciate such a thing! :)

you should've told me she wanted one, hoarder mother, we have 4, lol.

rosarugosa
8-2-15, 7:54pm
you should've told me she wanted one, hoarder mother, we have 4, lol.

LOL

danna
8-2-15, 8:48pm
Aug 02
freshstart KIJIJI is a local online buy and sell owned by Ebay (it is across Canada and you just go to your city and post for free)
I had a lot of success selling on it in the past but in the last year it is not working so well. You do get less money then ebay but don't
have to ship.
Today
--no drive, no spend quite day in the house reading/resting and watching a free movie from the library.
--Dd and I had a quick supper of chicken/cheese on tacos....yummy
That is about it for today
--

freshstart
8-2-15, 11:42pm
sounds useful

Tussiemussies
8-3-15, 12:48am
I love to make homemade ice tea too. We buy the Teatleys British blend which is a dark tea which we like. This summer we have been on a kick of making homemade pink lemonade. We use no-sugar added cranberry juice to turn it pink, and it is so thirst quenching! Every summer we seem to gravitate to one drink...last year was iced coffee lattes.

Well it sounds like everyone is doing very well with all of their frugalities

I went on a frugal diet...my spiritual book recommends filling your plate with 1/3 protein, 2/3 of greens and vegetables raw and if still hungry, then carbohydrates and this was written in 1931' I was looking at Corelle dishes on Amazon and saw a plate modeled after these figures. So I picked up two plates with a gift card I had received for Amazon and now I am eating according to these proportions and having two yogurt and fruit snacks a day.

I am working to be Vegan and still eat yogurt though, soon I will be making my own soy yogurt...

Awakened, I have found that if I use Silk original soymilk and add stevia, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg an mix it up, it definitely tastes like eggnog! Sometimes I will have that as my, protein...

My salad spinner is still packed away...I think I will get one and pre-treat our greens and them put them in a glass bowl to just be able to use when wanted...

I had a no drive day today, but DH did some food shopping. We didn't even do a large order but it was so expensive. We are going to cook from what we have now and then start the meal plan from the book I got...Eat Vegan On $4 A Day. The recipes look really good.

Does anyone else have this book? She gives how many portions per recipe and how much each portion costs but not the measurement for each portion. If anyone has the answer, please let me know, in the meantime I am going to see if she has a website...

The tree frogs are croaking and I can hear the crickets again which the crickets are a sure sign that this is the last trimester of summer...we have the AC on with our ceiling fans on to make it even cooler. Hope you all are having a pleasant night! Christine

Meezer_Mom
8-3-15, 1:53am
I had to give up eggs b/c of my gallstone. Thanks for the faux "eggnog" recipe Tussiemussies!

Am not a fan of green salads. I was just about to donate my spinner when I read it can also be used to aggitate hand washable lingerie, like bras.

Went to the laundromat with a couple loads. Decided to experiment and see if I could get away with one less dryer charge on both loads. Could only get away with that on one. Still, .35 saved every week is $18/year.

Discovered some drops of tea didn't come out of two tops, though, so I've got them in another soak. Also discovered a hole in the heel of one of my gym socks. It's a small thing but I'm going to try my hand at darning.

Also brewed some tea and have it chilling in my pitcher. Yeah!

Meezer_Mom
8-3-15, 2:59am
Just a follow-up on darning: It came out better than expected for a first try. Gym sock so not fancy but I will no longer fear holes in my socks! Empowering in an odd way.

cdttmm
8-3-15, 8:57am
Eating my apple spice muffins for breakfast -- they turned out great and I'm so pleased I have a new recipe that will likely get lots of use! We have an apple orchard that was well established on our property when we bought it 13 years ago. We get loads of apples in the fall, but processing them is a huge job. I did well with turning a bunch of them into applesauce back in 2011 and there is still applesauce in our freezer from that batch. I've been too busy the past few years to do much with the apples so they have gone to the neighbors or gotten eaten by the deer. But this year I am determined to make apple butter, apple leather, and dried apple rings. I'll make more applesauce if I can successfully eat the rest of what we already have. I know this will be a ton of work, but I'm feeling motivated and ready to take it on at the moment. That could change once the semester starts, though. . . :0!

Strategic fan use and no A/C happening over here. It's so nice to hear from others who are using this same tactic because sometimes I get lazy and just want to turn on the A/C and simply have climate-controlled comfort without having to think about it.

The chart I made for taking daily vitamins has been very helpful. It's a pretty small thing, but I am very happy to see the growing line of checkmarks indicating that I have remembered to take vitamins each day. And although the rotational strategy means I won't have any empty containers to show for my efforts for quite some time, I feel good knowing that I'm on the right track when it comes to using up something that I previously bought. Hopefully when this is over, I'll be much more judicious about vitamin and supplement related purchases.

Yesterday, I rebuilt 10 frames for a bee hive. They were part of a pile of hive pieces that remained from a bear attack several years back. It took about 90 minutes to complete as it was a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle but without the picture on the cover to guide you! And it's somewhat delicate work using finishing nails. I don't have a nail gun so I was doing this by hand. Mostly I did it because I get a great feeling of satisfaction out of being able to fix (small) things and make them usable again. Of course, it also saved me about $30 as that's what it would have cost to replace them.

danna
8-3-15, 10:01am
cdttmm I had good luck last year with excess apples given to me...good luck as in I enjoyed them and ate them up
before the end of winter.
I cored and cut up/ did not peel the apples then I cooked them just slightly, cooled and bagged some in larger bags
but, lots in the tiny snack bags, these are perfect for one serving of oatmeal. I suppose one could freeze in muffins tins and then over wrap too.,,,just thought of that ...lol
I tried some with a little bit of sugar and lemon
but, neither was really necessary. I used some in muffins/coffee cake/dump type cakes so they got used up and
I thought easier and quicker to process.

pinkytoe
8-3-15, 11:40am
Made a frugal at home anniversary dinner and saved quite a bit over eating out.
Cooked up a batch of dried chickpeas yesterday, froze several jars and DH made hummus with the rest.
Gathered up eggs and last of tomatos from dd's garden while she is away on honeymoon.
Forced myself to make a dinner menu for the entire week so that we aren't tempted to eat out at the end of a long work day.
We are not allowed to wash cars at home so spent $3 at the carwash - DH scrubbed while I rinsed and now I have a shiny car.
Put my entire monthly paycheck in our retirement account. We got a late start in life so playing catch-up the past few years.

freshstart
8-3-15, 3:34pm
We are not allowed to wash cars at home so spent $3 at the carwash - DH scrubbed while I rinsed and now I have a shiny car.
Put my entire monthly paycheck in our retirement account. We got a late start in life so playing catch-up the past few years.

can't wash cars, wow. My town is lame about water conservation, they even stopped that you can only water your yard so many days a week. People with automatic sprinklers pushed to drop this and the town just did. I waited for the time when you can speak up at town board meetings, I was the only person who even wanted to comment and they said sorry, meeting over. Idiots have their sprinklers all they want, I love when they are running and it's raining!

congrats on saving whole paycheck!

awakenedsoul
8-3-15, 3:37pm
Wow...it sounds like everyone is doing well with their frugals this month. Such conscious spending and saving. I love it. tussiemussies, That sounds good. I'll have to try adding some of the spices. This morning I got up early and went out front to work on the cottage garden. I replaced some of the pinecones in my border. I pulled up the Bermuda grass and weeds, and raked up the straw mulch. I had 4 wheelbarrows full of straw mulch that I put down for the last rain storm. I put it in my compost pile, which desperately needed some browns. Now the pile is much more balanced. I have a lot of produce trimmings from all the fruits and vegetables that I eat during the summer. I took my coupon to Beverly's and bought the yarn I need to make a baby blanket for my neighbor. It's such a pretty pattern. I found it for free on Ravelry. It's also a small stroller blanket, so the cost of the yarn won't break the bank. I excited to get started on it. I love making baby stuff. The moms really appreciate it. Most of them don't knit, but they love to receive hand knit items for their baby. I bought antique white and pink yarn, since she had a girl.

I'm still eating through the tacos, homemade pizza, and oatmeal cookies. It's a good thing I don't mind eating the same thing every day! It keeps me on budget, though. The gold finches are feasting on the wild sunflowers in the garden. There's a lot of activity at the birdbath, too. I'm having regular visits at the hummingbird feeder, as well.

SteveinMN
8-3-15, 5:55pm
This has been a better month for frugals than July.

- Had lunch out with friends at a fast-food joint; one of them brought newspaper coupons for the place so I ate chicken tenders and fries for $2.99 plus tax. I also took advantage of my geographic location and stopped at a dollar store nearby to buy the bath soap DW and I like (Yardley at $1 a bar is a steal!). I also stopped at the thrift store next door. Saw absolutely nothing I needed or even wanted -- and was surprised to see the shelves relatively bare. Have people quit donating things to thrift stores?
- I'll be fixing the fill valve to our toilet tonight. It makes this loud mooing sound. I was happy to learn that I did not need to buy a special valve and, in fact, didn't even have to buy the most expensive one (that's the way it usually works).
- Our garden trundles right along. Our neighbor planted squash against our common fence and many of the vines grew through to our side of the fence. Neighbor said we could have any squash that came up. Last count was a dozen spaghetti squash (which we like), so bonus for us. Also bonus is a tomato plant that will bear at least three tomatoes. Not sure if they're cherry tomatoes or not, but fresh tomatoes are fresh tomatoes. I've also been trading another neighbor pickles for fresh cucumbers and, in a few weeks, fresh tomatoes, collard greens, and maybe dill.
- This actually happened last week, but I stopped at another grocery store near where I happened to be for their buy-2-get-3-free frozen pizza sale. At the register the clerk rang up the pizzas at the usual price. I asked if the sale was still on and she said it ended the day before. I pointed out that they hadn't removed the sale signs from the freezer section, and they ended up giving me the five pizzas for the price of two (which, at any other store, would be the price of three, but we're still ahead so ...) -- and ripping up the signs. :cool:

Much better month so far!

chrissieq
8-3-15, 9:25pm
I drink the Tetley's British blend for AM tea but bought some super cheap store brand to make ice tea and really like it - will try it for hot tea on of these days when I remember!

No drive, no spend day here. Made a batch of dog biscuits. Used some gifted peppers for tonight's dinner - stuffed peppers - easily 5 meals between us and easy to reheat at lunch time.

Made a couple of calls to check on insurance coverage and work benefits- didn't work out the way I hoped but worth making the calls to know for sure.

Tomorrow is National Night Out and I am bringing cookies that are in the freezer, a can of Aldi's baked beans doctored up with bacon and onion, cucumber salad gifted to us that we can't finish along with our meat to grill. I organize our block for this event - guarantee that we have face time at least once a year.

SteveinMN
8-5-15, 4:30pm
Well, the new fill valve is in. It only took an hour, start to finish, and learning a new swear word as I tried to remove the factory-applied allegedly-finger-tight (yeah, maybe for The Hulk) nut from the old valve. So far no leaks.

More cucumbers and a standing invitation to pick some collard greens (which is good because ours -- well, we're doing things differently next year).

The weather has been fantastic here: high around 80, low low humidity. A fan suffices for the warmest part of the day and it's actually kind of nice to zip outside in the 60* morning air.

Called the company that is paying my "retirement" and asked them to stop sending me pay advices in the mail. Every other bit of business is transacted via email or their Web site; why they have to waste the paper and I have to deal with it every month is beyond me. We'll see if they got the memo next month.

pony mom
8-5-15, 10:37pm
Thrift store find---two Lands End polos, new, for $2 ea. and a Ralph Lauren polo for $1.49. These are replacing some of my current riding shirts. Four old ones that I don't like wearing are in my donate pile. Looking back, I think these four were free from someone years ago.

I like using linen spray to freshen my sheets every morning but it's getting more difficult to find. I saved a recipe to make my own and finally tried it....and it's great!!!

One of the Bass loafers I found in a thrift store that are my work shoes became a flip flop today, when the heel and half the sole became unglued. Tomorrow I'll drag out the hot glue gun and attempt to reattach it.

Float On
8-5-15, 10:58pm
I like using linen spray to freshen my sheets every morning but it's getting more difficult to find. I saved a recipe to make my own and finally tried it....and it's great!!!
.

would love hear what you are mixing for that, I used to get the best smelling linen spray at TJMaxx and haven't seen it for years.

merince
8-6-15, 10:04am
I haven't posted for a while but I am loving reading everybody's frugals - you are giving me a lot of ideas to try!

Pony mom - I would also love to have the recipe you're using.

pony mom
8-7-15, 12:32am
Here's the linen spray recipe!

Spray bottle
1.5 cups of distilled water
3 oz. of vodka
30 drops of essential oil

Mix it all together and be sure to shake before using. I find it works well but the EO scent doesn't last very long, which is a usual thing with the pure oils. I'm wondering if the cheaper oils made for crafts would be a bit stronger and last longer (and not stain). Costume rental places spray vodka on their clothes to remove odors.

Linen sprays used to be everywhere but my usual go-to places, like Marshalls and TJ Maxx, rarely have them anymore.

kally
8-7-15, 11:20am
The other night we thought about going to a special event at our open air market, a midsummer feast. It is always fun, lots of food etc. But then I figured that we would probably drop $20 and I go to this market on a regular basis. So stayed in and had a lovely vegan meal.

$20 here, $20 there, it adds up. I try to schedule our meals out so that they are well spaced and seem more enjoyable.

JaneV2.0
8-7-15, 11:30am
Amazon has a variety of linen sprays--not cheap, but for a little indulgence...

iris lilies
8-7-15, 11:47pm
I have never heard of linen spray.

DH clean out out a house today for our friend who sells real estate. We got a set of sheets from the clean up. We needed this size for one of the beds to have a spare set.

In the clean up, DH filled his truck twice. He did a good job in sorting items to bring home as possibilities. We stood out in our alley going through the stuff in the truck for Keep or Toss. There were LOTS of bars of soap, unopened. I wouldn't bring them into our house until he committed to using them in the shower. Most he wouldn't use, 6 bars of Irish Spring he will use.

There were about 30 tubes of various shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, and products like this. About half of them unopened. I don't have much of an "ick" reaction but I DO have little patience with fiddly stuff, so I decided I wouldn't take time looking at each of these. I pushed them all into a box along with the multiple bars of soap and several candles and was about ready to dump them. DH insisted that we set them in the alley beside the dumpster along with some candles for someone to take. I reluctantly agreed.

I'll be damned, within an hour the box of toiletries and candles was gone, someone had taken them. yay!

I also scored a new box of aluminum foil, a few jars of spices that looked fresher than mine, a few cans of fruit from Trader Joe's, a jar of almonds, some scouring pads. The former owners were very clean. My own stuff would not have been this clean.

Meezer_Mom
8-8-15, 12:33am
Thanks pony mom. I've never used linen spray but I think I should just for a kindness on my senses. Iris Lilies, sounds like a useful haul. Spices are always good.

Selah
8-8-15, 1:19am
I have no frugals to report, other than that of being so busy working three and sometimes four jobs, I have no time to spend money on anything. On the other hand, from reading the posts above, I realize that for once my ignorance has saved me money--I'd never heard of linen spray, either, so I never spent money buying it. (But it sounds so nice...uh oh..."Danger, Will Robinson!")

Tussiemussies
8-8-15, 5:26am
I had a homemaking book that I loved and this woman learned everything from her family. She used a linen spray, so I made one and it was nice. It was the water and the EOs. I think I will try pony mom's recipe with the vodka in it. It doesn't last long as far as I remember, but I would rather use EOs instead of fragrance for health purposes....

lessisbest
8-8-15, 7:19am
By adding vodka or witch hazel to homemade fresheners (for the air or a linen spray), they are both germ fighters that help the mist evaporate faster. I'd also suggest using distilled or reverse-osmosis water in these mixtures. Hard water minerals from tap water can leave mineral deposits on surfaces where the mist settles.

I made a mixture that included Thieves Oil (http://www.natural-aromatherapy-benefits.com/Thieves-Oil.html), distilled water and witch hazel, and used it in the bathroom all last year during flu/cold season. We used it as an air freshener as well as spraying the bathroom surfaces several times a day (after use). I keep a stack of small bar mop towels handy to wipe down all surfaces after spritzing with this mixture, including the bathroom door knob (both sides).

Once we set up our humidifier, I also added several drops of Thieves Oil to the water each day. Hubby used a spray bottle of the mixture at work in his office and sprays liberally, especially when someone who is "ailing" has been in his office. Neither of us were sick at all last winter, not even a cold, and we avoided the flu as well, which was rampant where hubby works.

1 c. distilled water
1/2 c. witch hazel
essential oil (5-10 drops)
Shake well before each use.

I also purchased cobalt blue glass spritz bottles to use the mixture in (dark brown glass will also work). Light, through a clear bottle, can cause the water in the mixture to form algae and cause that "funky" algae smell.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Instead of commercial hand sanitizers, we used this recipe:

2 T. aloe vera gel
1 T. distilled water
1/8 t. vitamin E oil
5 drops Thieves oil
Larger amount:
5 T. aloe vera gel
4 T. distilled water
1/4 t. vitamin E oil
8-10 drops Thieves oil
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I also made a liquid hand sanitizer spritz and carry small spritz bottles:
In a 5-oz. spray bottle:
-fill 1/3 with alcohol or witch hazel
-add 15 drops Thieves oil
-add 1 t. aloe gel
-fill the remaining amount of the bottle with distilled water
Shake well before each use.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IMMUNE BOOSTING BATH
1/2 c. Epsom salts
1 T. coconut oil
5-6 drops of Thieves Essential Oil
Mix together well and add to your bath.

You can also add Thieves Oil to homemade Shower Disks if you aren't a bath person.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Waterless Hand Cleaner
1/2 c. aloe gel
1/4 c. 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (NOT rubbing alcohol)
1/2 - 3/4 t. essential oil for fragrance, or those with anti-bacteria qualities (like Thieves Oil)

Meezer_Mom
8-9-15, 2:04am
Past couple days, I've been working on reversing my habit of buying beverages while out. Have been carrying my water bottle everywhere, even stopping into Subway to simply refill. Today, I had lunch courtesy of Corner Bakery as they are promoting some new sandwiches. Pays to get on the e-lists of the restaurants you like. And, again, I had it with water. So, I'm going to work on this new habit AND not stopping into 7-11 for chicken wings for the next week. (Day 2 of success on that one.)

I really am a creature of habit. If I do something once, I'll do it again. Then I start creating cues for myself. How can I *NOT* stop into 7-11 when it's between the bus stop and home? By walking past without stopping. Duh!

Tussiemussies
8-9-15, 4:07am
Lessisbest, I just love your recipes, I will have to copy them down. You are so informative on many topics. It is always great to read your input. Christine

Tussiemussies
8-9-15, 4:23am
My husband is making so much progress on our bathroom renovation. He did the plumbing today, put the sink in and tomorrow will put the toilet in and touch up the paint. Everything looks so great, I am so glad I had him change the paint color, the light blue is so much nicer with the white wanescoting for our cottage inspired home...we are saving so much money with my husband doing most of all of the work. Now I just have to figure out what to put on the walls and pick out some fixtures.

Made a big pot of kidney beans and DH made some chili with it all. We had chili the other night again tonight with noodles and we will have chili wraps with fake cheese. We didn't buy our favorite cereal that is about $4.00 a box and instead I had some oatmeal. I know Oatmeal is not GMO, but I thought I heard that they are spraying it with pesticides once harvested. Does anyone know any facts about this? I plan on making vegan ice cream tomorrow from a cookbook of only vegan ice creams called "Vice Cream" I am going to be making coconut macaroon. The recipe sounds fantastic! Have any vegans here used this book? Christine

lessisbest
8-9-15, 7:16am
Tussiemussies - Thank you for your kind words :).

Oats are not genetically modified, and are not expected to be so. There is a GMO Database at this web site: http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/plants/39.oat.html

I avoid commercial cereal products because they are a financial rip-off. There is approximately 17-cents worth of grain in that $4 box. You pay more for the package and advertising than the product inside. I make all my own hot and cold cereals from whole foods, and have for decades.

Coconut milk makes WONDERFUL vegan ice cream and you can find all kinds of recipes on-line.

lessisbest
8-9-15, 7:29am
The message above would edit, so I'm adding: I make all my own hot and cold cereals from whole foods, and have for decades. It's a great use for nut pulp after making your own nut milk, as well as coconut pulp after making your own coconut milk.

BANANA SOFT SERVE
(source: The Oh She Glows Cookbook - over 100 vegan recipes- by Angela Liddon)
4 large bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen
2 T. roasted almond butter or peanut butter (optional)

In a food processor, process the frozen bananas and almond butter (if using) until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. This process can take several minutes, depending on your food processor.

When the bananas mixture is smooth and has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, remove it from the processor and enjoy immediately. (Note: choose yellow bananas with only a few spots. If you choose really ripe bananas, they don't get as creamy and have a very strong banana flavor.)

cdttmm
8-9-15, 8:31am
Great to read everybody's frugal reports so far this month! Here are some recent ones for me -- sorry if I'm repeating myself, can't remember which (if any) I've already posted about!

I am almost out of blank checks in my checkbook. But looking back over my records, it seems that I write about 15-20 checks a year so really no need to order more than 100 checks at a time because I'm guessing the number of checks I write will continue to decline. Ordering checks through my bank is so expensive so I searched around online and found that I could order checks through VistaPrint.com. I chose a very basic design, took advantage of a current sale, and now I have enough checks to last me at least 5 years.

Been eating tomatoes from the garden, but there are finally too many to eat every day so today I'll make pizza sauce to freeze. I was hoping to get to it yesterday, but a few other tasks took longer than expected.

Went to BJs yesterday. I'm trying to go only 1x per month at most and really plan out what I'm going to buy. Entered a raffle and got a $50 credit for discountdiningdollars.com, which essentially means I can get $50 worth of coupons to use over the next year. Fortunately, you can choose which coupons you want and it seems like there will be some of value to us. Now I just have to remember to print and use them!

Also, while at BJs, I bought 3 dozen bagels, which I will slice, wrap individually, and freeze. I could probably make homemade bagels for less, but this is a good baby step. The bagels freeze well and hopefully having these ready to go will mean that I don't resort to buying breakfast at school once the semester starts. I can just grab a frozen bagel, take it with me and toast it once I get to school since we have a toaster in the office. I bought a big jar of peanut butter to keep in my desk, too, so bagel + peanut butter FTW. I also stocked up on a few other items for school because all the coupons were available this month. Most of it is not true "needs" and I could have just skipped buying it, but I suspect it will be worth it in the long run. I bought a 5-pack of disinfectant wipes. I use homemade cleaners at home, but it's so much more convenient to use the wipes at school. I learned years ago that if I am diligent with using the wipes, then I can survive the entire school year without getting sick. So for $10 in cleaning supplies a little effort, it's totally worth it to me! I am going to make the homemade spray that was reference above, though, because even though the carpet in our office and the upholstery will get shampooed over the summer, it just doesn't stay smelling "fresh" for more than a few weeks.

I leave for Canada today for the beekeeping conference this week and I was thinking of this while at BJs. So I stocked up on pita chips and Babybel cheese to take with me. I figure the ~$20 I spent on that stuff will probably get me through 3 or 4 meals rather than eating out. I'll take along stuff for making vegan protein shakes, too. I bought lunch at the conference each day because is was only $12 and it will be more convenient on the days when I am taking my master beekeeper exam. But I figure those lunches will be my big meals out and that I'll try to limit my other meal expenses as much as possible.

I sold 12 ponds of honey to a brewery in NYC and then I sold 4 more pounds of honey this past week while at a local education conference. Slowly trying to grow that business. I updated my business profile on honey.com, which is the national honey board's website. It was only $50 for the year to be listed and even for that very low cost there are only 8 of us from Massachusetts that are listed, which tells you how non-tech savvy most beekeepers are (or how unwilling they are to spend even a little bit of money to advertise). My SO wasn't going to list the NYC based beekeeping operation that he's in charge of until I had 1 sale and 1 call about another sale within the first month. The sale I made was $24, but the call I got about a second sale, had I been able to fulfill it, would have been worth about $21,000!!! Unfortunately, my beekeeping operation is way too small to do the volume they were looking for, but it was nice to know that the $50 in advertising was definitely worth it. After I got that call, my SO went on the site and paid the $50 to list his business as well. LOL!

Several years ago I paid a friend, who was just starting up her marketing business, to have some logos designed for my honey business and to have labels printed for my honey jars. Well, now she's had quite a bit of success and so I'm not really big enough for her to keep me on as a client. (She only really works with clients who can spend a certain amount of money with her each month, which was one of the recommendations her business advisory board gave her. Considering I was on her business advisory board, I can't really complain!) But, it turns out that she still has all the digital files for my logos and labels. And she can't locate them. Ugh. So I'm a little bit annoyed that I might have to pay to have this stuff recreated. Fortunately, I discovered that I have some of the work in old emails (thank goodness I am one of those digital hoarders who almost never deletes emails!). So I think I figured out a way to recreate (and update) the labels myself and I discovered that you can buy Avery labels (in clear) in the size that I need. I'm not sure if this will work out, but if it does, it will be far less expensive for this to be a DIY project instead of something I pay for.

Okay, this is getting very long and I'm probably just rambling at this point so if you made it this far -- thanks for reading! And I would post the link to my honey.com listing and solicit your feedback, but it has my actual name and contact info so I'm a little hesitant. But I'm guessing some of you will be able to figure it out pretty easily if you go to look. If you do, I'd love to hear what you think about the logo and the little blurb about the business. :)

Tussiemussies
8-9-15, 2:02pm
Thanks Lessisbest for the GMO database, and for your information about cereals. The only thing we will buy from here on in is oatmeal and cream of wheat. I also like cornmeal mush, and we have organic cornmeal as I realize that the usual cornmeal is GMO.

I have made banana creams in the past and I like it. I got the "Oh She Glows" cookbook for Christmas but have yet to really look through the book. Something to look forward to!

freshstart
8-9-15, 2:41pm
Past couple days, I've been working on reversing my habit of buying beverages while out.

when working I was a home care nurse driving around all day, I drink a ton of fluids. I would get a giant diet coke at Burger king (their's was the biggest) every day ~$2. Somedays I got two! Eventually, I found these tumblers at BBB, Tervis brand, that really did keep drinks cold for hours even if it's boiling out. They are overpriced but if you check in once in a while, the old patterns are close to 75% off. So I started bringing two, I'd use my Sodastream or just water. Now that I've been out of work, no diet coke unless it's a "special occasion", although I'm only out for MD appts, lmao. But seriously, I buy diet coke once a month now when I'm out. Once I use up all the soda stream supplies I'm not doing that either. Now, I cannot believe I let myself have 2 ginormous diet cokes for $4 a day, it's really not like me, I fell into a habit. Good luck!

awakenedsoul
8-9-15, 4:54pm
I'm still making oatmeal cookies in small batches from the homemade cookie dough that I have I stored in the fridge. I haven't bought dessert in years! Yesterday I made a batch of hamburger with country gravy and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were on sale...10 lbs. for $1.00. Can't beat that! I'm going to boil the rest of them today. They're starting to sprout. Mashed potatoes store well, and they taste good. I stocked up on some things from the drug store yesterday. Next week I'll stockpile more groceries. I've been saving the ads that come in the mail. This morning I finished the baby blanket I have been crocheting for my neighbor. I'm really pleased with how it looks. I blocked it and laid it flat to dry. I'll take it to my knitting group to show off next week, then drop it off to her. I'm going to do some Kundalini Yoga this afternoon. It's a stay home day, and that way I will still get in some free exercise. I still need to arrange to have a few simple repairs done to the house. There's always more to do when you own a house!

freshstart
8-9-15, 6:59pm
you got a lot done!

my friend was here, she lives on Long Island with 4 kids, that's a lot of groceries. I think she's convinced me to go to Aldi's for almost everything. it's a longer drive, I'll have sell my dad on that, but we could be saving more. I think I need to go with him the first time or he'll just look around and say they have nothing.

Meezer_Mom
8-9-15, 7:46pm
Thanks for the support, freshstart. Here, I'm not much of a soda drinker. My weaknesses are iced tea at Denny's or the other diner while I read and 7-11 coffee (with chickie wings) at the end of the day. I enjoy reading but can never sit still at home to do it; always see other things that need/want to be done. Or so I think. So these are other cues I'm working on.

I've been reading MINI HABITS by Stephn Guise. His point is to just commit to one small act towards your goal. He committed to just one push-up per day. Once he did that, he was a winner. Of course, he started doing more. He makes the distinction between willpower, motivation and habit. The first two require emotional background. Habit becomes automatic regardless of emotion.

No change occurs overnight. It's all small steps. I'm valuing this book as one of the smartest I've read in a very long time.

Stacy
8-9-15, 11:15pm
Wow, it sure doesn't take long to get behind on this thread!

I had been hoping to get away this weekend, but those plans fell through because we were suddenly short on money, and even worse, I had taken Saturday off work so I missed out on overtime. So I'm not really happy about that. I spend the weekend skimming through a few books on saving money, but I came to realize that I already knew most of the ideas in these books. I've been doing this for ages, yet somehow I haven't mastered it.

I actually cancelled Netflix, the DVD and the streaming, and I have yet to tell the family. We have it until the end of the month, anyway. It's not that expensive, but I need to be frugal with my use of time as well as money. Paying for Netflix led me to always feel like I had to watch the movies or else I was wasting it. Seriously, I need to be doing more important things with my time. Both DH and DS are capable of opening their own accounts and putting their own movies on it.

I also cancelled a wine-buying service that I loved, nakedwines.com, in which $40 was being deducted from my checking every month, and when I felt like it, I would just order a case of wine at discounted prices. This is the good stuff, too. I bought my last case from them and cancelled my membership. This one I told DH about (DS doesn't drink). I'm been drinking way too much and need to clear my head of all the alcohol. I told DH that if he wants wine, he can go to the store anytime and buy some.

So yeah, it was a week of hard choices, but I'm trying to reduce my monthly expenses and get my family to start taking charge of some of their discretionary spending. And I need some time and energy to focus, and things like TV and wine don't help at all with that.

Stacy
8-9-15, 11:24pm
my friend was here, she lives on Long Island with 4 kids, that's a lot of groceries. I think she's convinced me to go to Aldi's for almost everything. it's a longer drive, I'll have sell my dad on that, but we could be saving more. I think I need to go with him the first time or he'll just look around and say they have nothing.

I've been going to Aldi quite a lot because it's conveniently on my route home from work. It's true that they don't have everything, but the things they have are so much cheaper than at the regular supermarkets. I get whatever I can find, and then I go to the regular supermarket for what I can't. I'll sometimes buy a whole case if it's an excellent deal and I use the item frequently enough.

Meezer_Mom
8-10-15, 3:01am
Great job, Everyone!

Stacy, I can totally relate to knowing how versus actually practicing frugality.

I can crunch numbers with the best Frugalista in the ring and squeeze the chips out of a Buffalo nickel. Thing is, I decided that I don't want "thinking about money" to be my raison d'etre. So, I've been looking to simplify my methods. I decided to let my natural flow drive where I needed to find savings.

The books of tips and hacks and such ARE great fun. They get my juices flowing. But the reality is that I'm not a homeowner (and have no garden), have no children, have certain health condition that require me to be careful about what I eat, and I DO enjoy first-run movies, books, museums, etc. Cutting them out would be torture. Consequently, I enter contests to score tickets, go to free previews, attend museums on monthly free day, and use the library (even borrowing new kindle books). So THAT stuff I've got down. It's the habit stuff I've got to work on.

freshstart
8-10-15, 3:41am
n.

I've been reading MINI HABITS by Stephn Guise. His point is to just commit to one small act towards your goal. He committed to just one push-up per day. Once he did that, he was a winner. Of course, he started doing more. He makes the distinction between willpower, motivation and habit. The first two require emotional background. Habit becomes automatic regardless of emotion.

.

just requested it from library, they don't have it even interlibrary loan. Is it worth buying? I love reading books on tips and organizing and saving money. I'm really good at reading them, they do help me save money, but as for organizing, I FAIL, lol

rosarugosa
8-10-15, 6:10am
There has been nothing frugal about me these past few days. DH teased me and said I'm just a "frugal wanna-be," and I think he's right. I did some significant discretionary spending this weekend.
That said, I'm going to go to the box office of the Lyric Stage in Boston today to get tickets to My Fair Lady at their one-day sale, so I'll hopefully be able to score tickets for $25 - $35 each instead of $75. So this is one of those spendy frugals that is my specialty!
I will try to reign in the discretionary spending for the rest of the month since I've already spent my allowance through mid-September. That's the one good part, discretionary spending comes out of my allowance and not the general household budget, so the impact is less than it would be otherwise.

Meezer_Mom
8-10-15, 7:31am
freshstart, I totally would buy a copy. I got in on a kindle deal via bookbub.com and paid, I think, $1.99. But google the title. When checking the author's name earlier, I saw pdf available and he has a website. I haven't checked these out. If you get there ahead of me, please share your feedback. He seems like a stand-up guy.

rosarogusa, good luck on scoring a discount. We should not deny ourselves that which we enjoy.

Here, I avoided 7-11 (Day 3). I did get a Jamba Juice before the gym today but I was given a gift card for Christmas. Nominal amount so I couldn't sell it. Kind of led me to consider whether gift cards should be counted as part of budget. But since the IRS doesn't think gifts are income (to a point), neither should I. If I'd been given $100 gift card and bought some pricier items on my wish-list, the budget would be off-kilter for weeks or months. A gift's a gift. Glad I resolved that for myself.

freshstart
8-10-15, 2:01pm
That said, I'm going to go to the box office of the Lyric Stage in Boston today to get tickets to My Fair Lady at their one-day sale, so I'll hopefully be able to score tickets for $25 - $35 each instead of $75. So this is one of those spendy frugals that is my specialty!


ideally, culture should be part of a budget if it's something you love, kwim? it's good for you, like veggies. At those prices it's barely more than a movie night.

Do you live near Boston? My favorite city, my brother has lived there for 20 yrs. I never get tired of the museums, especially the Isabella Stewart Gardner. Right now he lives in Jamaica Plain, right across from the arboretum, so pretty!

Stacy
8-10-15, 3:47pm
I had the day off today, so I got a lot of stuff done around the house that had been piling up for awhile. I'm thinking about taking down our living room's wall decor and bringing it to the consignment shop. I bought it years ago, and I can't believe I used to like that sort of thing. Flowery prints from Home Interiors. It is time for us to part ways. Problem is, I have nothing to replace it with, so I'm still just mulling it over.

nswef
8-10-15, 6:40pm
stacy, I read somewhere that removing it will make room for the other...just enjoy the blankness for a while.

freshstart
8-10-15, 6:54pm
my taste changed drastically to clean lines, fairly modern. I hated my wall decor. I took it down and was happier with the empty space and took years to refill it. Then I moved, and messed that all up, lol

rosarugosa
8-10-15, 8:23pm
Freshstart & Meezer_Mom: Thanks for the support! They do say money is best spent on experiences, and I've never regretted money spent on concerts and theater. DH just loves the movie My Fair Lady for some reason, so a night at the theater for $70. is a good value for us. I work in Boston, and we can park for free in my employer's parking garage a block away from the theater. This is a great little theater and we've seen some excellent shows there (Lyric Stage on Clarendon St for anyone in the area). We live a little bit north of Boston and we love the Arnold Arboretum. We took horticultural courses there years ago, and that was also money well spent.
Good work everyone on controlling those small everyday expenses.
Stacy: Have you tried any of the Black Box wines? Maybe not "the good stuff," but pretty decent and reasonably priced. I like their Malbec. Costco's Kirkland brand Chardonnay & Malbec are also excellent wine values.

Meezer_Mom
8-11-15, 7:06am
"Remember to celebrate your wins." ~ Stephen Guise, MINI HABITS

brooklynn
8-14-15, 12:27pm
We have 5 apple trees and a frequent abundance of apples. I core, peel and slice and freeze 6 cups to a freezer bag. One bag makes one great pie (thaw and drain before using) or 4 loaves of apple bread (found recipe in all recipes.com). Two years ago we were inundated by apples and I am still baking with them! Last year, no apples, so I am happy to have two year old apples to use....pies are great btw.

lessisbest
8-14-15, 4:46pm
August is a no-shopping month, and things were going smoothly on that front, until we noticed our water heater had a stream of water coming from it. Yes, Ms. Lessisbest, you need a new water heater. Fortunately, it was replaced the same day and there was money in the Emergency/Christmas account to cover the unit, new parts, and my favorite (easy-on-the-eyes) plumber for his labor. TOTAL: $939.03.

It was funded by the $1 savings plan (we save all our one dollar bills and have never saved less than $500, and as much as $1,000) and the $20/month I save by cutting my own hair and banking that budgeted expense, and any "found" money we toss into this savings account (recycling metal, rebates, garage sale....). Our house is 9-years old, and this year it's the water heater, last year it was the used-once-a-week dishwasher. The year before that it was the piece 'o crap builder-grade kitchen stove/oven. That leaves the refrigerator and HVAC as options for next year.

That's enough reason to establish that emergency fund and fund it by whatever means you have at your disposal.

rosarugosa
8-14-15, 9:22pm
Brooklynn: Your frozen apple stash sounds wonderful! My DH would be jealous (he loves to bake).
Lessisbest: Sorry about your water heater, but it's true that having an e-fund to cover these things is a wonderful thing indeed!

flowerseverywhere
8-14-15, 9:32pm
Funny story. Yesterday I was at a BYOB potluck. The people across from me pulled out one of those little wine boxes that fill 2 glasses. It was a red wine container and out came white wine. I commented and the woman said " you don't think I would continue to buy these expensive little containers. We bought these last year on sale and continue to refill them from the big box at home".

Cracked me up.

awakenedsoul
8-14-15, 10:00pm
I love reading everyone's frugals. Yesterday I hired a handyman to do some piddly things that were bugging me. He fixed the outside gate, (put on a new latch, and dug away all of the mulch that was making the gate stick.) He put up two towel racks that had fallen. (the screw holes were stripped.) He removed an old blind that wasn't working. He also put a lock on my bedroom door, so my dogs can no longer use their noses to push it open when they want to get out. He did all of this and only charged me $67.00! He even drove to two hardware stores to get the materials! (The first one is no longer there.) I was thrilled. It feels good to get everything fixed. Today I had the hot water heater fixed. It was supposed to cost $125.00, but the owner knocked it down to $100.00. He was very nice. I'm hoping to get that reimbursed by American Standard, since this hot water heater is only 7 months old. I'm glad it's working again.

Yesterday I donated a crocheted baby blanket and a pair of hand knit socks that I made to my new knitting group. They knit for the poor. It's through one of the local Catholic churches. The lady in charge does a good job of distributing everything. I'm making another baby blanket for my neighbor. I also started a really cute baby sweater. I've been buying the yarn at Beverly's, with a 40% off coupon. This group also provides free yarn, if you need it. I'm not wild about their colors, so I've been bringing my own. It's a good feeling. It's free, we sit and chat, have a coffee, and enjoy our craft. I think I'll start bringing in some baked goods. Yesterday they had donuts.

I bought some fruit on sale at Food for Less and Stater Bros. I checked out the flyers, and bought whatever was under $1.00 a pound. I've been eating salads for dinner. I got the lettuce on sale, two heads for $1.00. I use olive oil, raspberry vinegar, garlic, tarragon, basil, and dill for the dressing. I've cut out the garlic until after my surgery.

Stacy
8-15-15, 9:24pm
We have 5 apple trees and a frequent abundance of apples. I core, peel and slice and freeze 6 cups to a freezer bag. One bag makes one great pie (thaw and drain before using) or 4 loaves of apple bread (found recipe in all recipes.com). Two years ago we were inundated by apples and I am still baking with them! Last year, no apples, so I am happy to have two year old apples to use....pies are great btw.

I remember two years ago when everyone had a ton of apples. As soon as people heard that I would take free apples, I'd find bags of them sitting by my desk at work. I made enough apple pie filling to last the rest of my life.

Stacy
8-15-15, 9:27pm
Stacy: Have you tried any of the Black Box wines? Maybe not "the good stuff," but pretty decent and reasonably priced. I like their Malbec. Costco's Kirkland brand Chardonnay & Malbec are also excellent wine values.

We like Bota Box. Though it's the priciest of the boxed wines, it's still cheaper than buying (drinkable) wine by the bottle. But I told DH that if he wants wine, he'll have to buy it himself. I need to cut down on wine because of those empty calories, not just to save money.

Stacy
8-15-15, 9:30pm
Funny story. Yesterday I was at a BYOB potluck. The people across from me pulled out one of those little wine boxes that fill 2 glasses. It was a red wine container and out came white wine. I commented and the woman said " you don't think I would continue to buy these expensive little containers. We bought these last year on sale and continue to refill them from the big box at home".

Cracked me up.

Whatever works for them!
I was wondering what the point was with those little boxes. Why not just buy a bottle? But now it makes sense. They are a lot more portable.

Stacy
8-15-15, 9:38pm
I have a ton of fresh vegetables at home that I haven't had time to use, and we get our next CSA box this Thursday. So I'm going to my mother's house tomorrow and giving them to her. She said that she's trying to eat healthier, anyway. So she can use them all up and we can start fresh on Thursday.

CSA's are a great idea, but with working overtime all summer and having no energy to cook, and also my son moving out sometime in the next few months, this will be the last year we participate.

rosarugosa
8-15-15, 10:37pm
Flowers: That cracked me up too!
Stacy: I can totally see how a CSA could be too much of a good thing. We sometimes have trouble using all the produce we buy, and that's stuff we picked out for ourselves! I threw away two zucchini today that had turned to mush in the fridge :(

cdttmm
8-16-15, 11:25am
It's so nice to finally have time to sit and read the forums and to catch up on everybody's frugals! I'm back from my big excursion to Canada for the beekeeping conference. I only passed one of the four components of my master beekeeper exam. Such a bummer. And not very frugal because now I'll have to pay $75 to take the three components that I didn't pass again next year. <Sigh.> Oh well, it was a good learning experience and I'm glad I went and didn't just put it off for another year because I'm not sure that I would have known what to do in order to be better prepared.

There were some frugal moments along the way and other not-so-frugal moments. I drove, which was definitely a frugal win. But I do know remember why I often don't take long road trips. I found it exhausting to have to drive nearly 500 miles by myself. I brought some food with me, but somewhere I lost two bags of the powder for making protein shakes. I think I accidentally left them in the hotel room the first night. Ugh. ~$20 down the drain. When I got to the conference, I didn't really investigate the parking options and spent $36 for a campus parking pass for the week. But it turned out that the building where we were taking our exam was quite far away and I had to carry my laptop and my beekeeping equipment with me for the exam so I ended up paying another $30 in parking over the course of 3 days to park in a lot that was far more convenient. Oy.

Fortunately, those were really the only not-so-frugal moments. There was breakfast provided by my hotel (well, it was just included with the price of the room) and there were plenty of snacks provided throughout the day at the conference. I had pre-paid for lunch at the conference and I made good use of the huge array of options we were offered for lunch at the university cafeteria. I tried to go to as many sessions at the conference as I could so that I would get good value out of the conference fee. And I tried to network with key people as much as possible to establish some relationships that might be beneficial in the future. Overall, it was a good experience and it reminded me that I am much more easily stressed by stuff when traveling and that I need to take that into consideration when planning for future events. Last frugal of the trip, I checked out of my hotel room a day early and drove home overnight on Friday night to save myself from having to sit in a long line at the customs stop at the border during the day on Saturday. I went through customs at about midnight and it took all of 30 seconds.

On the home front, well, it is hot and humid here so there will be liberal use of the A/C. Boo. But there are loads of tomatoes ripe and ready for picking. Far more than I can ever eat on my own so I'll be making pizza sauce for the freezer all week. My dearly beloved left early this morning for his vacation to Oregon. I drove him to the airport, despite being exhausted from my own excursion, but it will save a whole lot of cash over parking a vehicle at the airport for 2 weeks.

So I'm going to focus on preserving the harvest, eating from the garden, fridge, and pantry, cleaning the house, working on the garden, harvesting honey, and generally getting ready to go back to school in three weeks! Can't believe the summer is almost over, but I'm looking forward to being back in the classroom and doing what I love to do.

freshstart
8-16-15, 2:06pm
[QUOTE=cdttmm;211084]It's so nice to finally have time to sit and read the forums and to catch up on everybody's frugals! I'm back from my big excursion to Canada for the beekeeping conference. I only passed one of the four components of my master beekeeper exam. Such a bummer. And not very frugal because now I'll have to pay $75 to take the three components that I didn't pass again next year. <Sigh.> Oh well, it was a good learning experience and I'm glad I went and didn't just put it off for another year because I'm not sure that I would have known what to do in order to be better prepared.

/QUOTE

Sorry about having to go back. Are you a teacher?

Selah
8-16-15, 4:01pm
We got a perfect little coffee table at Goodwill Industries for $20--in perfect condition, and new it would have cost at least $125 or so. My mom is organizing and decluttering our home, so she gave us a beautiful leather armchair/ottoman, and three lamps. I found a gorgeous original watercolor for our living room at the Goodwill for $14.99 in perfect condition--clearly it would have cost anywhere from $150 to $200 if we'd bought it new. The house is really coming together now and looks great, if I do say so myself. It is full of stuff that either I or a family member made themselves (stained glass by my stepfather, quilts by my mother, woodburning and painting by me), passed down through the family, or was gotten at a fraction of the price at thrift stores--and even furniture from the grocery store! G-d bless America! :)

freshstart
8-16-15, 8:40pm
well done!

cdttmm
8-17-15, 8:53am
Hi freshstart, yes, I am a teacher. I teach business and psychology at a community college. We have an alternative HS program there as well called Gateway to College (it's actually a national program). I teach beekeeping, Tae Kwon Do, personal finance, and positive psychology for the high school students.

In frugal news, I found the two bags of protein powder -- they were in the center console of the car. Not sure why I put them there, but happy to have discovered that I didn't leave them in the hotel room.

Went to Home Depot to buy a new kitchen faucet. While there I discovered a huge Salvia plant marked down from $19.98 to $8.50. Score! Not the ideal time for planting perennials, but I'll make it work.

Made a double-batch of chocolate tapioca pudding last night to use up some milk that was about to go off. Guess what I'm having for breakfast this morning? :~)

Need to make the banana chocolate chip muffins today and roast the tomatoes for pizza sauce. And I need to install the new kitchen faucet. I've never done it before, but I'm hopeful that I can figure it out!

Gardnr
8-17-15, 10:50am
Stacy, CSA is a big challenge when you're busy. Sometimes I just have to blanch/freeze what I get. That I can do very quickly.

Firmer veggies I roast in the oven and then I can use over a week for lunches, snack, quick dinner with bread or grilled protein.

I hope you can find a way to enjoy your CSA spending. Gifting is great too and your Mom is lucky you're not turning them into compost (like I did a Japanese cucumber I forgot to slice up and discovered it slimy Saturday when i cooked up all the veggies in the fridge).

Gardnr
8-17-15, 10:53am
I threw away two zucchini today that had turned to mush in the fridge :(

oh what I would give for those. My plants are producing nothing and i had to plant them twice!

danna
8-17-15, 11:26am
I am sure I have told everyone this but, not sure if I have got it to everyone how easy and fast this method of freezing is.
Last year I GRATED Zucchini, carrots, cleric root, onions and froze in the snack size bags....no blanching needed but only good
in soups, stews, and under a roast in the oven......type of dishes and of some are great in breads.
Quick way to get some things in the freezer and were so handy in the dead of winter also, made it easier to get a meal on the table quick.

rosarugosa
8-18-15, 5:53am
I had yesterday off and DH didn't have to be to work until 10:00, so we took an early morning walk on the beach and it was glorious! I'm not really much of a beach person, but walking the beach is a whole different animal. Definitely another awesome source of free frugal fun. It's about a 10 minute drive from here, and at that time of day we could grab a free parking spot.

cdttmm
8-18-15, 8:09am
Frugal and a de-cluttering win. We have three L-shaped desks leftover from when we ran our previous business out of our house. They are big and heavy and have just been sitting for 5 years. Ugh. They needed to be taken apart to even be removed from the space they were in. Yesterday I set about to take apart the first one. I was thinking that I would end up having to pay a disposal fee to get rid of the thing. But it came apart in such a way that I thought it might be feasible to put it back together again. So I posted it on Craig's List and within an hour had a request for it. Well, the requests kept coming in one has already gone to a new home and the second one will go to a new home today (hopefully). I just have to decide if I want to get rid of the third one, too, as I was originally thinking of keeping and continuing to use it for the short term. But I have another desk I could potentially put in it's place...

Major de-cluttering without a disposal fee? Yep, I'd call that a frugal win!

Meezer_Mom
8-19-15, 3:24am
Nothing really to share here. Have been exercising restraint on old habits and trying to establish some new ones. :)

early morning
8-19-15, 1:30pm
cdttmm, my father used to winter over some perennials in the house or his tiny greenhouse, and salvia was one of his favorites - he especially liked the red. The plants would get huge, and when he put them out in early spring, everyone was amazed at how big his salvia was "already!" Thanks for the memory...

Rosa, do you live on the Cape? I loved the beaches there in the off season, when we were visiting DH's aunt. Peaceful, beautiful, and, in most cases, deserted.

My frugals are the same old; DS has moved back temporarily and I'm trying to keep us in our frugal rut while helping him out over this rough patch. Expenses are mounting, though, so I'm going to have to ratchet things up!

cdttmm
8-19-15, 5:27pm
I decided to part with all three desks. We really have far more stuff than we need in this house so I was happy to see the desks go to new homes. Now I just need to figure out how to furnish the in-law apartment on a budget so that I can list it on Air BnB and actually make some money off of our extra space. I've got a headboard and footboard from a Jenny Lind (spool) bed, but will need side rails and a mattress. And I've got a futon frame, but it also needs a mattress. I could request mattresses on Craig's List, but I'm a little worried about bedbugs so would rather buy new (or get used from someone I know and trust). I'll have to do some research to see what the options are. So that frugal project is in the works.

Got motivated this morning and made a batch of chocolate banana muffins. It was an exercise in creative baking. In place of the chocolate chips, I used up a bunch of very old Lindt dark chocolate truffles. I had stockpiled them several years ago when we were going through this phase of eating a few after dinner every night. Well, eventually we moved on to other types of sweets and these truffles languished in the pantry. At some point, it must have gotten really hot because they had melted a bit and then cooled -- it was evident when you unwrapped one. And they tasted a little stale. Oy. There was no way I was letting chocolate go to waste so I melted them in the microwave and used them in the muffins. Also used up the three very ripe bananas, some applesauce, and the last of the coconut milk. The resulting muffins are quite good. Not great, but good enough for breakfast-eatin' for the next week or so.

Not much else to report because most stuff is the usual stuff. Watching Netflix for frugal entertainment, eating meals at home, staying out of stores, and so on.

rosarugosa
8-19-15, 8:51pm
Early: No, I am a little bit north of Boston. It's funny, but I haven't been to the Cape since I was about 10, the traffic situation sounds too horrifying.
Cdttmm: very creative turning your miscellany into muffins!

early morning
8-21-15, 11:27pm
Today we sold some stuff in the front yard. I'd like to say we added it to savings, but in reality we bought dinner with it... still, decluttering for food is frugal, isn't it? :~) Put two loads of laundry out to line-dry. Got some free coffee from Dsis.

Rosa, we've not had any traffic problems when we've gone (early April,late September), but the relatives we visit hate the summer traffic congestion.

Meezer_Mom
8-22-15, 4:11am
Doing a little decluttering here too. I have too many tops for the gym/yoga. Tonight I counted and parted with those that could be sent to fabric recycling. I retained two because I like the colors. My plan is to cut them into knittable strips and create fish/shell/ocean soft sculptures for my cat to play with. Have everything I need including the patterns. Not today, mind you, but definitely in my project queue.

rosarugosa
8-23-15, 9:01am
Groceries came in way under budget this week, and DSis & Mom have agreed that we can finally put aside the holiday gift-giving ritual, so that's a pretty big win. We all have an overabundance of stuff anyway.

Gardnr
8-23-15, 9:55am
Groceries came in way under budget this week, and DSis & Mom have agreed that we can finally put aside the holiday gift-giving ritual, so that's a pretty big win. We all have an overabundance of stuff anyway.

Congrats on so many successes all at once!!!!!:cool:

It was such a relief for us when DH's family agreed to stop gifting (except his Mom who was very unhappy). They were all about gifting little stuff and frankly, it was cluttery junk and you know us simple livers detest that!

Yea you!!!!! I relate to your relief!

Meezer_Mom
8-25-15, 1:50am
Spent the day talking myself out of even bothering with Kmart's $15 off $25 spent "surprise points". Exceptions are food, cleaning, pet, health & beauty. Which leaves clothes, but nothing on clearance. While I could use a couple blouses for work, the reality is I would not be otherwise spending but for this coupon. Thanks for listening.

beckyliz
8-26-15, 6:14pm
FINALLY replaced the toilet flap in the master bath toilet. I know we're going to save $10 a month on our water bill. So easy once I actually did it (isn't that the way?). The time-consuming part was unloading and moving the shelf unit that stands behind and above the toilet so I could have room to work. It looks much better now because I cleaned it well before putting it back.

Selah
8-29-15, 3:25pm
Found magazine recipes to use up forlorn and forgotten contents of our freezer. One delicious, "keeper" recipe for gluten-free, oven baked chicken only required the purchase of a box of generic cornflakes for about a dollar. Am delighted by this low-cost recipe discovery!

Tussiemussies
8-30-15, 3:25am
YAY, our new bathroom is almost, completely done, we just need some towels, wall art, the door painted and one piece done with the door. It came out so very nice and is a great size for a powder room, nice and roomy. My husband did a fantastic job of doing a lot of the work and I picked everything out. I know we saved thousands of dollars. If my husband wasn't able to do the work, we could not afford this new bathroom. The old one was gross...now I said to someone -- it is the nicest room in the house. A true SL win!

rosarugosa
8-30-15, 9:58am
Congratulations on your new bathroom, Christine. That's great that your DH was able to do the work!
We have a vacation in the Berkshires scheduled for next month, and I want to see how creative we can be about funding it outside of our normal budget. For example, I'll be receiving a special wellness incentive payment from my employer sometime in Sept, so that will cover a bit of it. We'll still need to come up with about $300, so I want to see what I've got accrued in credit card cash back rewards, Pinecone Research surveys, etc.
We came in within budget on groceries this weekend.
Big non-frugal was clothing expenditures because I needed a couple of suits for winter. I did get them on sale and I'll pay out of my allowance, but still a pretty big expenditure. Changing sizes is expensive!

Williamsmith
8-31-15, 6:56am
New to this thread...wasn't sure what was applicable but I'll give it a shot. I recently just moved to a location where I have to pay a water bill. I lived for 23 years on a property that had its own well. So I realize after three months, I'm not getting a water bill. A visit to the township offices revealed they didn't even know I existed. Hmm..how did that happen? The secretary looks at me and says, "Well, since we have no clue when to calculate your water usage....we will just charge you the base rate of 22 dollars per month. How's that sound?" I couldn't get my checkbook out fast enough. I estimate a savings of 100 dollars. Now if I would have just let it go a few more months..............

cdttmm
8-31-15, 9:06am
Williamsmith, welcome to the monthly frugals thread. And great job on your first frugals -- those are definitely in line with the type of things that we love to hear about here! Of course, we don't have any rules, so really anything that fits in your definition on a frugal win belongs. :)

I haven't posted much as of late. Been kind of busy. My dearly beloved was on vacation in Oregon for the past two weeks so I had the house to myself. Well, myself and the six furry children. :~)

I spent most of that time converting what used to be part of our home office for our previous business into more of an in-law style apartment. I disassembled three L-shaped desks and moved them down a flight of stairs so that I could give them away to three kind souls who requested them when I posted them on Craigslist. Then I disassembled a different L-shaped desk and moved it up the flight of stairs and reassembled it so that in one corner of the studio apartment is a little office space complete with all of our various electronics (printer, scanner, photocopier). That alone took me about 4 days because it was quite a lot of heavy lifting and awkward manipulation of giant furniture pieces. I then dug out an old futon couch frame from the storage loft above our garage and carried that inside, cleaned it up, and rebuilt it. That part wasn't too bad, but hauling the brand new futon mattress up the stairs by myself was a chore. Then I bought a queen sized platform bed, carried all of those pieces (plus the mattress) up the stairs and assembled it. I wasn't originally intending to buy a bed as I didn't want to spend a lot on this project, but the antique bed frame that I had turned out to have the side rails missing and they can't be replaced with the modern version. It seems like I'll have to have some custom built if I ever want to use that bed. <Sigh.> Fortunately, I found woodworking professional about an hour away who actually does custom built reproductions of antique beds so that's pretty cool. But for now, we're going with the new bed. There are still some elements of the project that need to be finished, but it's about 85% done. Enough that my dearly beloved was suitably impressed when he returned home yesterday. :)

Aside from all of that, I've just been doing the usual frugals. Eating at home (for the most part), driving as little as possible, preserving the garden harvest, keeping the A/C off, and so on. My three dogs are in full blown late summer shedding mode and I considered taking them to the groomer's, but at ~$100 per dog for a grooming appointment I decided I would just do a whole lot of brushing myself. So I've taken to sitting on the deck with them every night and brushing them for about an hour or so. The lawn has a whole lot of dog fur in it at the moment...

Stacy
8-31-15, 5:30pm
Oh phooey, I just wrote a huge post and the site logged me out and I lost it. Grrrr...

Anyway, to make a long story short, here are the three things I've done lately:
Canned all of the ripe tomatoes we had before they went bad. It only ended up being 5 pints of chopped tomatoes, but every little bit helps.
Had a great grocery shopping day yesterday, saving lots of money, and also got a lot of produce for $10 at the farmer's market.
Made a budget for next month in a simplified and easy-to-read format that my family appreciated. This should make it easier for all of us to see what bills and expenses we're all responsible for. (I tend to complicate things otherwise.)

larknm
9-5-15, 7:40pm
Now when we go from our Santa Fe home to our mountain cabin for a few days, I flip all the switches in the box that controls the electricity (except the fridge and hot water heater). I did that today.

I started leaving our African Grey Parrot outside in a hanging cage when the weather's okay--mornings and evenings these days. She's stopped plucking her feathers. I got the cage second hand for $30--pricey for me, but a good price for a cage.

I figured out the portable air filter I was going to replace probably wasn't causing our parrot problems like I'd thought and will try using it again this winter.

Ordered book out by friend from interlibrary loan--it only came out in March and our library usually won't ask for ILL until a book's been out a year, so I'm really glad they did this time because I think my friend is hurt I haven't written him about having read it. But I really needed not to spend the money to buy it.