Friday’s Frugal Five

It’s been a busy week, but it seems like it flew by.  I wish I had some earth shattering frugal tips for you today.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember the frugal things to post about because they are so routine for us.    Things like using the clothes line to dry clothes or taking leftovers to work for lunches.

But I’ll say it again, it’s the little frugal things that add up and over time they just become the normal way of doing things.

Five Frugal Things:

  • This week the Z Man and I celebrated our anniversary.  A long time ago we decided that our food is better than most restaurants we’ve been to so very seldom to we ever go out for a meal.  We started a tradition for our anniversary celebrations to include BLT sandwiches and carrot cake.  When you have bacon like we have, a BLT sandwich feels like a special meal.  Our wedding cake was a carrot cake, so each year we have carrot cake for our anniversary.
  • I made a weeks worth of salad in a jar for our lunches.  During the busy months at work our dinners become more simple like sandwiches or something grilled which often doesn’t allow for leftovers.  I love salad in a jar and I’m a firm believer that is saves money and prevents waste when making all the salads at one time.  How many times have you bought salad ingredients only to find they got pushed to the back of the fridge, finding them days later in need of Viagra and on its way to the compost pile?  That doesn’t happen with salad in a jar because you make them all at one time.  It’s a great healthy grab and go meal.

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  • I fell into a frumpy mood this week feeling that I needed to look better, more styled, more modern, prettier.   Fortunately some of my frugal friends gave me a little boost of encouragement helping me realize that I need to just keep taking care of myself (not smoking, eating better and quitting the omeprazole) and let the rest of those (not good enough, negative) feelings go.  More on this later…  lets just say for now I didn’t spend the $500 or so dollars it would’ve cost to (supposedly) feel better about myself.
  • Yesterday was cinco de mayo so we had taco salads for dinner because I had leftover meat and beans from the quesadillas we had on Wednesday so it was mexican two evenings in a row.  The funny thing is that we had BLTs on both Monday and Tuesday evenings.  No waste = frugal.   The Z Man is so easy going with my dinner plans, he is always happy no matter what I serve.  As long as its good food it doesn’t really matter to him what it is.  That makes meal planning so much easier.  Luckiest woman in the world I tell ya.
  • I completely failed to track my grocery spending for April.  I will go back and tally the receipts when I get time, but lesson learned because I’m sure I spent more because I didn’t track it.  So far for the month of May I’ve spent $14.57.  I want to stay as close to my $20 a week ($100 a month) budget as possible.  Now that I’m buying more local and organic foods it is a bit more expensive, but I’m just fine with the extra cost.  I would rather pay for it now than pay for it later with my health.  Tracking spending = frugal.

What frugal fun did you have this week?

Have a great day!

Till Next time,

Lori

To The Love Of My Life

Today makes 365 days that the Love of my Life put down the cigarettes.  In his words the decision was because “in 15 years I want to feel good and be able to do the things I’m going to want to do”

My husband, the Z Man is a very active man.  He enjoys being busy, whether it is chopping wood, working in the garden, tooling around on an old car or just piddling around the house.  Sitting still is something we rarely do because we like to keep busy and trust me there is always something to keep us busy on our little homestead.

Over the years we have both tried to quit smoking and have failed at it.  But I can honestly say in my heart that we’ve got it beat this time.  I am certain neither of us will pick up the smokes again.

That’s not to say that we don’t have the occasional craving for a cigarette, we do.  But the thought of actually smoking one pretty much disgusts us now.  You can read more about that here.

I also know in my heart that if the Z Man hadn’t decided to quit, I probably wouldn’t have.   Even after he quit, I still continued to smoke for many months.

This is where I need to tell you that my husband is much more patient and gracious than I am.  How in the world he managed to stay quit while I was still smoking…  I don’t know.

What I do know is one of his greatest strengths is determination.  He will figure it out, he will make it work, he will fix it and he will succeed.  That’s my husband.

One of his classic Z-isms is “I’m thankful that God gave me the ability to learn how to do many things, sometimes I just wish he wouldn’t test me so often”  I last heard that as we were pulling the well pump out of the ground to for repair.

So today (if you will obliged me, please)  I want to take time to make sure that my husband knows that he is the best part of my life and every day I thank God for him and for loving us.

To the smartest Man in the world, from the luckiest Woman in the world….

Thank you!

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I LOVE YOU FOREVER,

Lori

 

Friday’s Frugal Five

I liked doing the $20 grocery challenge last month so I’m going to keep it going for the rest of 2016.  The goal is $20 a week for groceries and allow a $50 a month for “good sale” allowance.  The $50 will help out for those times I run across a good buy on things like the maple syrup last month.   The budget will be for food items, not to include health, medical, work related, entertainment or travel expenses.  I like giving myself little challenges each month, they tend to keep me in line which is never a bad thing.

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  1. The Z Man found me a stash of seed starter trays that I purchased several years back, so I was able to use them for our seedlings.  Keep your fingers crossed for me that they will do well this year and that we won’t have to resort to buying already established plants.
  2. I transplanted most of my indoor plants into larger pots using pots I already had on hand.
  3. Returned my books on cd and books to the library on time, and checked out more.
  4. This weekend will be a lot of organizing and planning for the upcoming busy months.  I look forward to the OT income from working longer hours, but if I’m not prepared that extra income can get sucked up into little emergencies because of poor planning.
  5. Lunches were from leftovers, dinners from the freezer and pantry, clothes dried on the clothesline, bills paid, and money in the pickle jar.  Still breathing fresh air and loving it!

How about you, what frugal fun did you have this week?

Have a great weekend,

Till Next Time,

Lori

Friday’s Frugal Five

If you haven’t visited the Non-Consumer Advocate site, you should.  Katy is the creator of Five Frugal Things and is my inspiration for Friday’s Frugal Five.

I have a confession to make.  While the MMGC is going well and I’m staying within my budget, albeit by the skin of my teeth,  I have to tell you that I have been spending in others areas as if I had won the lottery or something.  In the past few weeks I have carried new item after new item into the house.  To the point where I have a guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Let me explain… for a while now I’ve been trying to switch out my (old) teflon cookware for stainless steel and cast iron, so about a week ago I purchased a new set of stainless steel cookware.  But, I did get it at 60% off, so that’s good.  Also, I have limited cabinet space in my kitchen and had been wanting to get a hanging pot rack to help with storage.  I found one that was 40% off, so I bought that.  Last fall when we processed our hog, I cured and smoked about 60lbs of pork belly into bacon, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not slice the meat thin enough to get a bacon texture.  So, I bought a meat slicer and I also got 25% off of that.  Hoping for a solution to my cabinet storage situation I purchased 8 large jars with $1 off of each to store things like grains and beans instead of just having bags laying in the cabinets.  I bought some half gallon mason jars and large mouth plastic lids for better storage also.  I bought seeds for our garden starters, instead of waiting and starting the gardens with established plants from the nursery.  Admittedly in the past we have not done well starting our own seedlings, and also admittedly these seeds were not cheap as I chose organic heirloom seeds.  I could go on I’m sure, but you get the idea.  The point I suppose is that I have been talking out of both sides of my mouth about being frugal.  Being frugal includes more than just what you spend on groceries.  Well, it absolutely should anyway, and in that regard I have failed.

I could give a suitable explanation for all of my purchases about having the right tools for the jobs (the slicer) or about trying to get away from toxic teflon (the cookware) or perhaps because I spend 75% of my home life in the kitchen and would like it to be better organized (the hanging pot rack and storage jars) and even the seeds in hopes that they will be successful (meaning not die) this year and will provide us with seeds for several years and in turn save money.

So, no more!  No more of the spending with out at least trying to find a suitable solution first.  Make do or do without.  Luckily I have not gone into debt for these purchases (thanks to the pickle jar).  I believe to some degree perhaps I’ve been treating myself with these purchases for quitting smoking.  Anyway…. full disclosure, clearly I’ve still got a long way to go in the frugal department.  Thanks for letting me share.  Now on to Friday’s Frugal Five…

  1.  With my new eating plan to kick the omeprazole (generic for prilosec) that I posted about earlier this week. I can’t have caffeine.  This doesn’t really rattle me too much because I’m not one of those die hard coffee drinkers some people are (not judging at all, the Z Man loves his coffee too) I do enjoy 1 or 2 cups of hot tea in the morning and some iced tea from time to time.  Why is this frugal?  I returned an unopened huge box of tea bags to the grocery store.  I also returned a bag of organic onions that were half rotten, limes that were hard as rocks and a couple other things which netted me $23 in returns.
  2. I returned an unopened bottle of agave sweetener because a friend told me that it could flare up my indigestion and heartburn more than just a small amount of unpasteurized honey, which I already have.  I’m not counting this in the MMGC because it was purchased for medicinal purposes along with the supplements.
  3. Bartered again this week with my friend which will get me some lovely dairy and grass fed beef.
  4. Made some yogurt this past weekend which not only is quite cheaper than buying yogurt, it taste so much better.  I also cooked and canned 15 quarts of homemade chicken stock.  Returned my book on cd to the library and picked up a couple more.  Checked out several books on kicking the omeprazole and healing the gut.  Interesting but not shocking how it basically boils down to no one diet fits all and so far, being early on in my research, I am finding a strong consensus of managing portion control, which makes perfect sense when trying to prevent GERD.  (more on all this later)
  5. The Z Man stopped and asked about a few trees that he has seen down in someone’s yard for quite a while.  He offered to clear it away for them, they are happy to have it gone and we are happy to have the wood.  He also used a $20 coupon at Advance Auto to get the break parts to make repairs to our truck.  Yea, he’s handy like that.  I’m such a lucky girl 🙂

We’ve been eating leftovers for lunches, making meals from freezer and pantry items, hanging clothes on the clothes line to dry, driving the speed limit to save on gas, combining errands with work schedule to avoid unnecessary driving.

As for the MMGC I bought some fresh veggies this week spending $28, but I did get the grocery store to price match the Aldi price for avocados for 59¢ instead of 98¢ each.  So, with my returns and the $10.50 I had left over from last week that leaves me with $5.50 left for the month.

Most frugal of all, we are still breathing fresh air from quitting smoking, and adding that money to my pickle jar each week.

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter.  Thank you GOD for loving us!

Till Next Time,

Lori