frugality this week


  • I reused bags from the bulk-food grocery items I purchased.  Any bag I can use an extra time or two is a money savings.
  • We used cloth napkins at most mealtimes in the past week or so.
  • Bought oranges for 25 cents/lb.  They were the last from a big sale that the store had the previous week, and needed to be used quickly.  But I think we only ended up only tossing one of them.
  • Used leftovers as wisely as possible so that very little was wasted.
  • Fed questionable leftovers to the chickens, which makes the true amount of our food waste really low.  We also routinely give chickens carrot peels and apple cores and other produce scraps to enrich their winter diet.
  • Bought a HUGE (5+ pound) cabbage for 50 cents/lb that I will sliver very thin and use gradually for cabbage slaw and stir-fries over the next week or two.  Maybe some egg rolls too.  I made a bunch of egg rolls for the Super Bowl and they were so yummy!
  • Served canned applesauce a few times in the last week when our fresh fruit was running low.  I have quite a lot of home-canned food still, but we’ve definitely put a dent in it.  I am nearly out of jam already, and the kids have been gobbling the dill pickle spears I made.  I will definitely be making more of those instead of the pickle slices that I seem to have too many of.
  • Today I’m soaking beans to make a big pot of chili for easy eats while I’m gone this weekend.  I also made and frozen a couple of tater tot casseroles and a couple pans of enchiladas.
  • Finally got good-student verification and Alive at 25 verification sent to our auto insurance company to decrease the cost of insurance for the three teen/college drivers on our current policy.  With 2 more drivers set to be licensed this summer, we need every bit of savings we can scrape together.

Just in case anyone is curious about how we handle insurance for our kids:  we pay for all their insurance while they are still in high school, and half while they are in college, as long as they don’t get any speeding tickets.  If they get a ticket, they assume the entire cost of their own insurance. Also, when they get married and/or graduate from college, they take over that expense.

This year with two sons getting licensed, our insurance will definitely be jumping.  But another son graduates from college and will be finding his own insurance, so that will make the bite a tiny bit less painful. Our coming drivers also did the Alive at 25 class so that will help too.  Their very FIRST driver’s ed drive is today, so wish them luck.

And speaking of frugality, my 11 yo daughter is LOVING the rainbow loom bracelet maker that she got for Christmas.  Where do you think is the most affordable place to get the rubber bands?


  1. Rubber bands are the cheapest around here at our local Ben Franklin.
    When it comes to driving and licenses most of my kids decided to wait until after 18 to get a license because no drivers ed cost and the cost of the initial insurance is so much cheaper. The colleges they attended did not allow freshmen or sophomores to have cars so they waited until were juniors and two waited until after college graduation before getting a license and purchasing a vehicle.
    Have two daughters one 32 and one 21 who will NEVER get a license because they are so directionally challenged they would constantly get lost walking one mile home from school (they would exit out different door and up in a place unfamiliar with how to get home–driving a vehicle–YIKES no way. With them traveling all over the world, their lack of drivers license has not been an issue.
    IF you like the rubber band loom you should look at the paper looms because it is amazing what you can make, coasters and then laminate, pencil holders, etc.

    • Sandra Mort says:

      I’m severely directionally challenged, too. Some of the stories leave people wetting their pants laughing at me. But a good GPS makes everything SO much easier!!!

      What is a paper loom?

      • ‘Dreamweaver’ that I purchased some years ago from the Mindware catalogue which sells the most amazing educational toys. This product is NOT for anyone under the age of 11 or 12 because the directions are a bit complicated and you need to have a lot of patience to see a project to the end. Also must have access to tons of newspaper or magazines. Anything made can be laminated.
        But that same catalogue has one of our all-time favorite games — Square Up; worth every penny and a great gift.

  2. We get our rubber bands at Five Below. Do you have that store? They were on sale 3 packs for 5 dollars. My daughter loves making those bracelets. 🙂

  3. Amazon has latex free bands if that’s a concern as well. We don’t have either of the above stores, so I end up going to amazon.

  4. I am at a crossroad with the drivers ed. We do not have a drivers school close by and my oldest did not want to go to the local public school. My next oldest wants to wait until 18 as well. But I would not mind having another driver in the house. We do not have the money in the budget to pay for the additional insurance. I am shocked the money that is involved with having drivers.
    We have 3 looms in our house and all six kids are making the bracelets. We get the rubber bands at JoAnn Fabrics with coupons or they recently had them for 50% off. They work on them while I do our read aloud book.

  5. I found Amazon to be a great resource for low cost rainbow loom bands! You have to find the price per band and compare a few different ones.. but we ended up getting some that averaged to $0.004 a band!! She ended up order a rainbow loom book and roughly 4500 bands (3 separate items) for $40. Not bad at all with prime shipping!!! 🙂

  6. I don’t know if these are the same loops I saw at DollarTree, but here’s the link:

  7. Would you please share your egg roll recipe? They sound delicious!
    Thank you!

  8. Terri Millwood says:

    The eggroll recipe is in the Family Feasts for $75 Week…..hoping to make some tomorrow.

  9. I bought some rubber bands bags with a Michael’s coupon for a good price. Also Dollar Tree has them, although they smell very plastik-y, so I don’t think the quality/ability to stretch is top-notch.
    You are right about teen driver in$urance– getting Honor Roll grades makes it less costly. Our middle son never did want to get a license, nor to purchase a car. He got very inventive with bicycle trips, city bus (our town college students ride free), and having friends pick him up if he paid for fuel. Now he lives and has a job in a city with a great train commuter system.

  10. I don’t even want to imagine how much your auto insurance bill must be. Talk about small fortunes! I was somewhat thankful my son was not at all in a hurry to get his license. Simply adding him as a 19yo male to the policy as an additional driver to my 10yo car, no separate car for him, was a 150% increase in my policy price. I’m glad I never checked the rates when he was 16 as I’d probably have had a heart attack right then and there.

  11. Melinda Valenzuela says:

    I just found your blog and face page. Both are wonderful. I saw you were asking for a cheap place to buy the little Go to and search rubber bands. They have them in colors in bags of 500. You have to order a case (36) which of course is a total of $36 but you will have 18,000 bands. She can make all your Christmas gifts this year. 🙂

  12. Melinda Valenzuela says:

    If this is a duplicate I am sorry, my computer blinked out.
    You can find rubber bands at They come in bags of 500 and are a dollar for each bag.
    Love your blog and face page. Keep the ideas coming.