I’ve been following The Prudent Homemaker Blog for quite some time. I love the articles Brandy Simper shares with her weekly frugal accomplishments. At first I thought I could never be as frugal as she is, but this week I decided to keep a list of my own and I’m doing okay!
She has taught me that waiting to buy makes something more valuable, looking for creative alternatives is possible, waste-not-want-not is a true principle, and that living within our means shows our Heavenly Father that we appreciate all he is given us.
Here are my weekly self-reliance accomplishments:
Money Saving Accomplishments
- I helped my Cub Scouts make Halloween tin-can lanterns from leftover empty cans.
- We boo-d some neighbors using a mixture of store bought cookies (I was tired that day) and homemade cookies. Do you think my friends will know? 🙂 I also shared some of the cookies with my cub scouts.
- I decorated the front porch and front hall table for Halloween using as many old decorations as possible. I spent $2 on a porch pumpkin, $3 on a few mini pumpkins and found a small bail of hay on sale for $6. I bought a black mesh web to put behind our spider, but used a $5 Entertainment coupon and got it for FREE.
- I took my preschool class on an outdoor fall hunt for leaves, acorns and pine cones. Later they glued their treasures onto a paper plate. Very inexpensive fun!
- I picked tomatoes for a salad from my own tomato plants. Even with our cooler temperatures, the tomatoes still taste good! My garden was sadly small this year, however there is always next year.
- I combined errands to save gas by dropping my daughter off at school, then shopping for groceries at the store near the school. I’m working on not running to the store for “that one thing.”
- I purchased a set of CorningWare on sale from Amazon.com and paid for part of it with a gift card.
- I adjusted the thermostat in the house for the cooler weather. Nice that the heater doesn’t go on much because the windows on the south side of our home heat the house extremely well, so the thermostat believes the whole house is warm. I also squirted a little WD-40 oil on the floor heater vents so they will be easier to open or close this winter.
- I worked on my college son’s T-shirt quilt which I’ve been promising forever. I ironed the fusible interfacing last week and started sewing the blocks together this week. I will post a picture when it’s done.
- I watched the season opener of Studio C on BYUtv with our Roku. Love that show!
- I combined errands by visiting my physical therapist, then made a bank deposit, and then returned an item to a store before heading home.
- I went to a company dinner with my husband. Free food!
- I replaced 4 light bulbs with energy saver bulbs. Doing this over time because of the upfront expense.
- I reused old picture frames to hold pictures of my four missionaries.
- Daddy took my youngest on a quick Daddy-Daughter date for ice cream using a coupon she earned at school.
- Friday morning is my designated “me” day. I don’t schedule appointments, work or volunteer at the school. It’s a real perk me up. So this Friday, I combined errands by returning items to 5 stores because they are all in the same shopping center. It gives me great exercise to park the car, run into the store, return the item, and run out. 🙂 No shopping in the stores allowed.
- Then I dropped off a load of donations to the Deseret Industries Thrift Store which made my garage cleaner, and of course I had to shop there. Hee hee!
- At the Centerville Deseret Industries Thrift Store, I bought 2 skirts, 2 jackets, 1 blouse, and 3 sweaters for a total of $32.00. That’s 8 items of clothing which average $4 each! Love it! Okay. I did buy 2 tops for my 8 year-old, but I tried hard to focus on me which is not always easy. Shopping Tip: I know the colors that look best on me and coordinate with my wardrobe, so I only look at items in those colors. I also only look for brands I like that have a good “shelf life” such as Christopher & Banks, Eddie Bauer and Land’s End. I also know my size in those brands. It gets overwhelming to look at everything in a thrift store, so I flip through the racks looking for my favorite brand labels. Love when I find it! Here’s the clincher. I have to get rid of 8 items of clothes I own. Out with the old, in with the new. Or is it out with the old, in with the old. 🙂
- I got a haircut at Great Clips for $6.99.
- I colored my own hair with pre-purchased color and developer I mixed myself from the beauty supply store and saved about $50.
- We ate out at Costa Vida using two coupons. This is our weakness. However, we always have leftovers for lunch the next day.
- I looked through our Entertainment coupon book and clipped coupons on items we typically buy and put them in my purse.
- I looked over Caleb Warnock’s blog for ideas on winter gardening. He’s the author of “Backyard Winter Gardening” which is my next book to purchase.
- I spent a total of $75 on groceries/food this week. Woot Woot! Love having food storage on hand!
Food Storage Cooking
- I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Used a spice cake mix, a can of pumpkin and chocolate chips from our food storage.
- I made Chicken Taco Soup. Used canned beans, canned corn and canned tomatoes from our food storage.
- I made Chicken Alfredo. Used fettuccine pasta from our food storage.
- I made Beef Stroganoff. Used frozen ground beef from the side of beef purchased in January, and cream of mushroom soup and rice from our food storage. I emailed my BYU son the recipe, and he made it for 12 friends. Way to go Joe!
Whew! It’s been a long week, but writing these things down has helped me see I am working on self-reliance by finding ways to save money and use my food storage. I know many of you are doing great things too.