Frugal Friday

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It’s Frugal Friday again, time to talk about what went well (and not-so-well) in the finance department around here.

On my couch this week

This week I made a concerted effort to use what’s in the freezer. At the moment both of our outside freezers are plugged in and two thirds  full.  I’d like to get things cleaned out a bit so I can defrost one of the freezers and turn it off for awhile– at least until it’s time to butcher the cow this spring.  In the freezers I have lots of on-sale butter, as well as ground beef and chicken that I’ve bought on sale in the past few months.  But the biggest space hogs were definitely the turkeys– two of them.  So Saturday evening we had turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner.  On Sunday I made a turkey soup with Thai flavorings and coconut milk that was quite good.  Then Monday we had turkey sandwiches for lunch, and that about finished off that turkey.

GF noodles Another time this week for dinner I jazzed up ramen noodle soup  for the kids by adding meatballs and chopped spinach.  Since I try to limit my own intake of wheat and didn’t happen to have any GF noodles at the moment, in my version of the soup I added broken-up sheets of spring roll wrappers, the kind made from rice flour.   The rice wraps cooked practically instantly in the hot broth and acted a lot like egg noodles in my soup.  Quick and yummy.  I am writing the idea here hoping that I will remember it for another day.  It was so easy and good.

Had an odd thing happen with bananas this past week.  I bought a bunch quite green, because there wasn’t much selection in the grocery store at the moment, and they never ripened.  Not a bit.  How can that happen?  I was going to return them to the store to get my money back, but ended up being too lazy to go, and just threw them away.  Ah well.

I feel like I almost always focus on food in my frugality efforts– or at least when I write here.  I’m going to try to think more about what I do to save money that doesn’t involve food. I had several days this week that I went nowhere.  Which I love.  Monday I almost hit the clothing clearance sales at Fred Meyers — hello, 50% off lowest-marked prices.  But then I realized we didn’t truly NEED anything clothing-wise, so I opted to stay home –and save 100% instead.  Yay, me!  Staying home bores some of the kids, but thankfully the quickest-bored ones now have their own licenses and vehicles, so now they can drive themselves places (and waste their own gas.)

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.I requested a book from PaperbackSwap.com this week instead of automatically going to amazon.  In case you don’t know, PaperbackSwap.com lets you list books, send them to others for credit, and then use those credits to request other books.  Sometimes you have to wait awhile to get newer books, and they don’t have every book.  But when I’ve got a few credits built up, it’s a great way to lay my hands on other books that I want for just the cost of shipping.  Speaking of credit, if you sign up and list 10 books, mark me (owlhaven) down as the person who referred you, and I will get a credit.  Then if you like the service, you can refer other friends and earn credits that way too.

 

How did your frugality efforts go this week?  I’d love to hear about them!

 

 

{ 14 Comments }

  1. 1. Transferred a prescription refill to RiteAid and got $25 Store Reward. My cost for Rx was $3.61. I will use part of it to pay for mustache/ beard trimmer for son’s birthday gift.
    2. Found bags of Christmas Reese’s bells mixed in with Valentine candy when I was picking up my prescription. They marked them to $1 and I used a $1/2 coupon to get them for 50 cents each. Happy guys at my house!
    3. I ordered 4 pairs of shoes on Saturday. I love Oka B shoes and all sale shoes were an additional $10 off through Sunday. On Monday, before they shipped, I get an email that sale shoes are now $12 off. Since my order hadn’t even shipped I called and they credited me the $8. It pays to ask! Four pairs of spring/summer shoes for $47 shipped. Come on warm weather!
    4. Turned some apples going soft into apple crisp and made banana bread from overripe bananas. Baked them at the same time to save electricity.
    5. Got rid of a unopened bag of aquarium gravel, bean bag beans and some books on freecycle. Picked up 12 printer cartridges for my printer and an iron for my son to take to college in the fall from another freecycler.

  2. 1. Transferred a prescription refill to RiteAid and got $25 Store Reward. My cost for Rx was $3.61. I will use part of it to pay for mustache/ beard trimmer for son’s birthday gift.
    2. Found bags of Christmas Reese’s bells mixed in with Valentine candy when I was picking up my prescription. They marked them to $1 and I used a $1/2 coupon to get them for 50 cents each. Happy guys at my house!
    3. I ordered 4 pairs of Oka B shoes on Saturday. All sale shoes(discontinued colors) were an additional $10 off through Sunday. On Monday, before they shipped, I get an email that sale shoes are now $12 off. Since my order hadn’t shipped I called and they credited me the $8. It pays to ask! I love Oka B shoes and I’m truly impressed with their service. Four pairs of spring/summer shoes for $47 shipped that are made in USA.
    4. Made apple crisp from some soft apples and banana bread from overripe bananas. Baked them at the same time to save electricity.
    5. Got rid of a unopened bag of aquarium gravel, bean bag beans and some books on freecycle. Picked up 12 printer cartridges for my printer, a quart of chalkboard paint and an iron for my son to take to college in the fall from another freecycler.

  3. Love paperback swap! Didn’t know about the referral process though. We are traveling again which is never cheap but our family stopped in at a upick farm yesterday and picked 3 five gal. Buckets and a cooler full of tomatoes for EIGHT DOLLARS. TOTAL. Picked strawberries too for the novelty of it, but they were grocery store prices so we didn’t pick many. Got to get home to re-read your book re: canning those tomatoes. Will probably give many of them away too.

  4. ginny jolin says:

    I love paperbackswap. Been a member for over five years and 99% of the books I’ve received are in perfect condition. I’ve even given a lot of the as gifts!

  5. 1. Transferred a prescription refill to RiteAid and got $25 Store Reward. My cost for Rx was $3.61. I will use part of it to pay for mustache/ beard trimmer for son’s birthday gift.
    2. Found bags of Christmas Reese’s bells mixed in with Valentine candy when I was picking up my prescription. They marked them to $1 and I used a $1/2 coupon to get them for 50 cents each. Happy guys at my house!
    3. I ordered 4 pairs of spring/summer shoes on Saturday. I love Oka B shoes and I decided to take advantage of a great promotion since all sale shoes were an additional $10 off through Sunday. On Monday, before they shipped, I get an email that sale shoes are now $12 off. Since my order hadn’t even shipped I called and they credited me the $8. It pays to ask! Great shoes and great service and 4 prs.of shoes for $47 shipped That are made in the US! No slave labor!
    4. Turned some apples going soft into apple crisp and made banana bread from overripe bananas. Baked them at the same time to save electricity.
    5. Got rid of a unopened bag of aquarium gravel, bean bag beans and some books on Freecycle. Picked up 12 printer cartridges for my printer, a quart of chalkboard paint and an iron for my son to take to college in the fall from another Freecycler. Even after 10 years of being a member I love Freecycle!

  6. Sorry for the double post!

  7. I’m not sure how much I saved so much as I simply did not go out to spend any.
    1. Doing a bit of a pantry challenge, which has not gone as successfully as I would like, but the groceries for the month have only been half the usual budget, and that includes some frivolities the kid bought with his own money, so I guess I’m doing better than I’m thinking I’m doing.
    2. I would love some new clothes but haven’t bought any. Fighting the urge since it is a want not a need even though I’m tired of what I have. I’ve heard of a few thrift stores that might be worth checking out since Goodwill is not living up to its name any longer.
    3. Need to seriously toss almost every pair of shoes in the closet – worn out, soles snapped off the heel, etc, but I don’t want to see the reality of having only work (read: comfy support not even remotely fashionable) shoes and a couple of flip flops left. Even the work shoes were only replaced at Christmas because they were wearing through on the bottom. Tossing out those that need to go will force me to go shopping, which I don’t want to do. Apparently I have weird feet that are really hard to fit without getting expensive shoes. It’s quite a frustrating experience that always takes hours and multiple stores and ends with me being grumpy. Thus, I’m playing ostrich…
    4. Found out Turbo Tax Deluxe will not work for me this year as it has for the last umpteen years. Thankfully my sister informed me prior to me opening it, so I returned it. I’m taking H&R Block up on their offer for a free return from them this year so I can try out their software and see if I like it. That saved $45.

  8. Jennie C. says:

    We had semi annual dental cleanings for our 3 biggest kiddos. I inadvertently misplaced my brain when I made the appts. and had them scheduled for over lunch time, and had all 5 children alone…ahem… : ) I was kind of putting off thinking about what I was going to do and thought I could just ‘wing it’….10 minutes before we left, my brain came back to me and I realized we couldn’t just wing it, we needed a plan! : ) I quickly slapped some pb and j’s, carrots and raisins into some stackable trays I have and we were off. We have used these trays so many times, they work great for lunches on the go…Taking the 5 minutes or less to make some quick lunch, saved us 10-15 bucks that we likely would have ended up paying on fast food.

    Here are the containers:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J2EEIQM/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_9?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2VQXIM2JPD946

    Also, we stopped at Gordon Food Service, they sell larger portions of food, often at cheaper prices than a grocery store. My total ended up being higher than expected, when we found some apples at a good price. I had my oldest run out to the van and grab a store flyer in the van for $5 off the higher amount. That quick 30 seconds saved us a quick $5. I’ll take it!

    We also LOVE Paperback Swap!!! I have found that if I have posted books and they languish for awhile, if I take them out of the system and re-enter them, then they appear in the ‘recently posted books’ area. People seem more likely to notice them there and request them.

  9. Quick tip about ripening bananas: separate them form the bunch and they will ripen faster. I’ve done this even with a very green bunch that wouldn’t ripen and it worked!

  10. May be somebody kept plantains in the bunch of bananas and that’s why they never ripened. You can boil plantains with skin on then and then either panfry them and add sugar or mash the boiled plantains and herbs etc and use them instead of mashed potatoes

  11. Another banana tip: I’ve gotten some through Bountiful Baskets before that I thought were never going to ripen. You can put them in a paper bag and they’ll ripen faster. But I’ve also noticed, that sometimes when they’re really green, they won’t ever turn, but they will ripen on the inside. So before you give up – peel one and see what you think.

  12. Gina Comer says:

    I have a friend from Panama that makes wonderful food from green bananas and plantains. Google up some recipes!