frugality this week

Time for frugal Friday again! We’ve had a busy week.

One of my sons (Josh) started soccer practice this week and had two-a-day practices ALL week long, so I deliberately avoided most activities besides that, but I still had at least a couple days wheresoccer practice I probably drove 80-100 miles in one day alone. Thankfully I was able to drive John’s tiny car a few times, which helped decrease our gas use a bit. Josh has been hunting for a good used car to buy for when he gets his license in September, but hasn’t had too much luck yet.  I guess we’ll keep looking.

When uniform shopping with my daughter who’s doing a dental assisting program this fall, after buying the required scrubs, we checked the thrift store for the required white leather work shoes.  Found a very nice lightly worn pair for $6.  She then was fortunate enough to be given another scrub top for free by a student who’d finished the program.  Hooray!

From the garden we got at least 30 cucumbers,  a dozen zucchini, several dozen tomatoes, a cabbage, and about 12 cups of plums.  For lunch I made this pasta salad with long thin shreds of zucchini as some of the ‘noodles’. We are definitely moving into the season of garden abundance, and I need to get serious about using those veggies!  Today I canned 7 quarts of pickle spears using this recipe and still have a heap of about 15 cukes to use.  I also have a huge bowl of tomatoes sitting waiting to be canned.

One day this week I bought two chickens for $1/lb, and roasted them in the turkey roaster on the back patio so that the house would stay cool.  $9 of meat gave us two different dinners for 8 people:  one of roast chicken, and the other being a very hearty chicken noodle soup, complete with zucchini, carrots, garlic, cilantro, ginger, and lime– yum.

Today I spent awhile talking with the banker at our newly merged bank about checking account options for our young adults.  It seems the only option for folks who don’t keep at least $750 in their checking account is one that charges a $6.50 service charge each month.  The good news  (according to the bank) is that for every time you use your debit card in a month, 25 cents is taken off that service charge.  So if you use your card almost every day, you don’t pay a service charge.  That might be an okay option for me– I probably use my card almost that much.  But it’s not so great for my daughter who uses her card maybe 3 times a month.  So we may be bank shopping.

How did the frugality adventure go this week at your house?




  1. I know when I got a bank account (granted this was a few years ago) usbank had an option for students that was really good!

  2. Check out local credit unions – they are a co-operative and usually have no fee options : )

  3. Were any of your parents or grandparents in the military? There “Youth Checking Account” sounds like what you’re looking for — no minimum balance, no monthly fees, they pay for other bank’s ATM fee for you.

    Disclaimer: Not employeed by USAA; just a 20-year Army brat.

  4. Find a bank with a student option or try a credit union. We did some school supply shopping for my oldest kids which is always pricey with the supply lists (we don’t homeschool) and thanks to my reward/ink reward bucks, coupled with a 20 percent off coupon to stuff a bag, my bill went down a more comfortable amount. Also used a 20 percent off deal this week with my son who had saved as well as finished some goals we outlined this summer to purchase his long coveted penny board. He was impressed with how much the discount cut the price of something he has been anticipating for two months now which was a nice little score for our “it is worth it to wait” message to try and counter his impulsive purchasing mentality. Also although not frugal it was nice that the high schooler who assisted us was reading a book when we came in (it’s a small local business) -I have a non reader so love opportunities for him to see “cool” kids do read! On the negative side took my kids to a hibachi restaurant as a summer treat after a long walk/bike/skateboard/run session but we missed the lunch window and had to do dinner mid afternoon which was more costly…dang. good thing we do it very very rarely and they saw how much that half hour or so impacted the bill…but I think I should have just said let’s come back another day and not miss the window for lunch!

    • Well, it sounds like both experiences were good chances for your kids to learn about saving money– even tho the second involved you NOT saving money. 🙂

  5. I agree with the comments about checking out credit unions if you have them. I switched from a regular bank with checking fees to a credit union when I moved in 1998. It has treated me very well over the years. My husband now banks with the same credit union (having switched from another credit union around the time we bought our first house). No complaints!

  6. Your frugal Friday posts are my favorite! I ordered your cookbook today and am excited to learn some new tips for saving money on groceries.

  7. I would love to have your chicken noodle soup recipe, if there is one. 🙂