Frugal, not so frugal

How did your frugality endeavors go this week? I think we did okay around here. Since I did a big shopping trip last week, I didn’t need lots of groceries this week. These days with 6 kids home full time (mostly teens), we’re averaging about $650-$700/month. Could be better, could be worse.

Feeding the cow Frugal:  As usual we ate leftovers for several lunches this week.  I also made several vegetarian or almost-vegetarian meals, including beans and rice, and chap chae, a Korean veggie noodle dish made.  I did add a little ground beef to the pasta for more protein.

Frugal: As the days are getting longer, our chickens are increasing production again, which is nice.  However we only have 7 hens now, which isn’t quite enough.  Usually once a month or so I have to buy a few eggs from the store.

Frugal:  I found some cute shoes for one of my daughters who wears an unusual size on clearance at Fred Meyers.  Their winter clearances are really good right now, and the shoes that were usually $40 were marked down to $11.  And she loved them!

Feeding the chickensNot so frugal: Once again, I didn’t buy enough notebooks on back to school sales to last the whole school year. Bah humbug.  Or maybe the kids should be blamed for that– I honestly don’t know how they go through so many notebooks so fast.  So I bought 8 or so more at 79 cents each.  Not terrible, but it just aggravates me since I can buy them for a quarter in August.

Frugal:  Last week I mentioned getting ground beef for $2/lb.  This week I turned some of that ground beef into 3 pans of hamburger enchiladas, a meal of spaghetti sauce,  and three meals of seasoned taco meat. That’s 6 meals that will be that much easier to get to the table because I spent a morning in the kitchen.

StoriesFrugal: This week I sold 5 dozen canning jars, as I had way too many and they were taking way to much space in the shelves in our garage.  After  Refresh next weekend  (so much fun!) I am looking forward to doing more cleaning and sorting, in the garage and in my closet.  The clutter in both places is getting to me.

Frugal/Not so frugal:  We had Dominoes pizza last night for dinner, but there’s a $5.99 sale right now so it wasn’t as spendy as it could have been.

Frugal: I stayed home a lot this week, which means I didn’t use much gas.  Hooray!


PS– Just had to include a few gratuitous baby pictures.  We have so much fun when they come to play!



  1. I love seeing the pictures of those grand babies! They are darling.

    We were snowed in most of the week – with three kids (two teenagers) I found myself cooking more than normal. Used up a lot of food in my freezer and pantry. And just being home more probably saved us a lot of gas money and whatever I might have spent in the stores. Of course i know higher heat bills are coming!

  2. Frugal- Last week our church hosted Winter Relief for 25 homeless individuals My husband and I spent every evening at the church so we ate there every night but 1 so it certainly helped my grocery budget. We also met some wonderful people and had a fabulous time.

    Frugal- There was a lot of food left over after Winter Relief was over so I was given a shopping bag of food to bring home. Open gallon of milk and apple juice, string cheese and slices, 2 packages of hot dog rolls, oj, large package of sandwich meat, some prepackage snacks, Hawaiian rolls, 2 heads of celery, baby carrots. Needless to say my boys thought we hit the food lottery!

    Not so frugal- Since we were at church all week I totally forgot about the package of chicken legs and pork butt that was in my downstairs fridge. They had been marked down when I bought them and unfortunately being forgotten meant they were no good when I remembered them. 🙁

    Frugal- Taking advantage of sales, coupons and rebates to build up my pantry. My sister is trying to get rid of debt so I’ve been showing her how I shop and it’s fun to see her so excited to get so much for so little. I picked up a bag of coupons from a Freecycle friend so free coupons!

    Frugal- Popped into Aldi’s the other night and got 3 lbs. of Cuties for $1.99,2 pkgs. of mushrooms for 79¢/box and Organic non GMO Dark Chocolate Red Berry Crunch granola for 99¢. The granola was with the marked down Valentine merchandise and is delicious. The mushrooms were turned into yummy cream of mushroom soup and the cuties have been snacks.

  3. I have really been enjoying seeing how everyone else does ‘frugal’. We went from 0 to 4 children this past fall (final in a few weeks!!) and my semi-frugal ways were put on a back burner as we just tried to survive for a bit. Now that we are all functioning as a fairly normal family, I am moving back to frugal ways and hope to get a little more discipline in this area so that the next time we grow our family, the frugal habits will be firmly in place.
    Frugal–strawberries at Aldi’s for 1.29/lb. We have been eating these non-stop, sometimes as a simple side, and sometimes as ‘dessert’ with the fancy (not frugal) sprayed whipped cream. We did it first for our family Valentine’s dinner, and just keep using up that can.
    Frugal-resisting the urge to buy fancy adoption-day outfits for the kiddos (all are girls, 2, 3, 3, and 4), and buying simple skirts on clearance to go with already-owned cute ‘best sister ever’ shirts.
    Frugal-in the midst of flu and other sicknesses, and husband changing jobs…instead of eating out or getting take out, have happily assembled some lunches/dinners that only preschoolers could love…just think unassembled sandwiches, cereal bowls with the last of several types of cereal in one bowl….
    Frugal–when I needed just a gallon of milk, I sent my more disciplined husband to the store (without any children distractions) for JUST MILK.
    Not Frugal–as he was walking out the door I quickly threw in ‘and strawberries, too!’…not frugal as they were not from Aldi’s…but he came home with less than I would have added.

  4. I was at Costco to pick up some spring mix greens, bread, and milk, and I came across some tri-tip roasts on markdown from about $7 to just $2.97/lb. The sell-by date was rapidly approaching and they wanted to clear it out. I took them up on it, buying two of them. You can’t even get ground beef for that price, never mind a roast! They also had some hummus marked the same $2.97 for the 32-ounce package. It was one of the few commercial brands of hummus I like, and hummus freezes just fine, so I bought two. One the one hand, spending money I’d not intended to be spending. On the other hand, being a good steward of what I’ve been given…

    My self-imposed challenge this month was to use what I had and keep the grocery purchases to $100 or less. I am at this moment at $100.32, including the aforementioned purchases. As long as I can keep out of stores for the rest of the week, I’m willing to forgive the 32 cents. 🙂 That will be my month-long frugality report. Plus, consciously questioning the need for every grocery purchase has the side effect of making me question every purchase of anything, which results in saving money all the way around.

  5. My frugality has taken a hit over the past year, since our newest daughter came home. She is the most active, energetic child of my four, and her shopping attention span is SHORT. 🙂 So I haven’t done as many Aldi, etc. trips in addition to my regular grocery store.