Frugality this week

projects this week

Frugality during the Christmas season can be challenging.  Obviously most of us are spending much more on gifts than is usual in the average month.  But I find that because I am eager to have gift money, I am often more motivated to spend less on groceries. I didn’t do so great on food in November because I was finishing my book project and had less time (and energy) to cook.  But here are some of the frugal things I did in the past couple weeks.

  • Served lentils and rice for a couple meals last week.
  • Added the last bit of lentils and rice to ground beef on taco night to stretch the beef a bit more.  This actually worked so well that we had tacos last night too.
  • Colored my hair with a box of color I found for 25 cents on the clearance rack at the grocery store.  Crazy, right? Turned out fine– not thrilling, but fine. I’m planning to go to the hair salon next month for the highlights that I LOVE, but this month I went budget.
  • Served fish sticks instead of grabbing fast food tacos on a night that I really needed an easy meal.
  • Stocked up on butter at WalMart this week when it was an insanely low $1.69/lb.  It is never that low.
  • Made a big pot of potato chowder for dinner one night, adding in broccoli and cheese.  Yum!
  • Got a few things on good sales over the weekend and filled out rebate forms to get some of the money back to make them an even better deal.  Standing in line at a sale I overheard one lady telling another that rebates are way too much hassle, and she never got ONE of them back when she mailed them in.  That made me wonder how many rebates she’s actually submitted. Granted, it is a bit of hassle to meet all the requirements, but I can’t think of a time when I didn’t get the money back.
  • Sold a book back on amazon after finding out that amazon actually PAYS for you to ship your books to them.  (Unlike paperback swap, where you pay shipping.)
  • Listed a few books on PaperBackSwap that amazon didn’t want to buy, and promptly had requests for them, which means I have more credits to spend on other books.  I also checked to see if any of the books my kids requested for Christmas were available on paperback swap.  Often you have to wait for popular items, but it’s always worth checking.  No luck this week, but I will keep checking.
  • Dug out my fabric stash and began some sewing projects for Christmas gifts.  I am making some diapers for one of our granddaughters (shown above) and also plan to make some small tote bags.
  • Sorted out some fabric to give to my 11 year old daughter to make a quilt as a gift.  She was thrilled!

What about you?  I’d love to hear your frugal victories this week.



  1. We’ve had sub zero temps all week. We heat with our wood stove all winter and I’ve recently begun hanging clothes on racks near the fire to dry. Our dryer hasn’t run all week long! With the laundry of 9 people this has proven to be a huge savings to us!

    • Awesome, and thanks for the reminder. In the winter we usually dry one load of laundry by the wood stove each evening, but I haven’t started doing that yet this winter.

  2. Got tons of newspapers from our local offices to make paper mache with grandkids this weekend. All that paper free just had to buy glue.
    Just saw an amazing candy tree to make. Buy the pine tree foams and using pins or tape (with little ones in the house) attach small candy canes or small candy bars. These are amazing and cheap and kids love them during the holidays.
    Using all the newly fallen snow to make snow ice cream. Neighbor saw us in the yard and wanted to know what we were doing and was quite flabbergasted when I told him. Put in a bunch of sugar, food coloring and flavoring and the cheapest and best ice cream in the winter and outside fun to boot.
    Made homemade pasties with leftover turkey, and all the fixings–these are great for school lunches with a carton of milk. If miners could survive on them- so can a school kids.
    Instead of ordering The Benedict Society books for my grandson I contacted their library (had gotten his number) and ordered the books for him to pick up on the 23rd of the month. He is going to be super excited to find these books there for him.

  3. Butter deals around the holidays are my favorite! A store here had butter buy one get one free, and then I had coupons off the total grocery bill. I figure between the sale and coupons I spent about $1.30/lb on butter. I am still trilled! Anything less than $2/;b makes me happy We use so much butter for baking at Christmas, it’s nice to get a steal on it. Plus, I try to buy enough when it’s rock-bottom to get me through until Easter, when the next good butter deals can be expected.

  4. I think this simple list is perhaps my favorite post ever on your blog. It’s rather like brainstorming, jump-starting my own brain to think of the “little” steps I can take. Thank you for posting!

  5. I really loved this post, too. I can’t seem to think of anything too wonderful that I did this past week, but I love the ideas and keep checking back to see if any more have chimed in their ideas. Thank you!

  6. Thrift store! I know that’s an obvious one, but I’m so grateful to have found a new with tags ($350) leather jacket in Large Tall for my 6’4″ 14yo. $35 is more than I’d normally spend for a jacket but it’s Christmas!

  7. Our fridge died.
    It is -30 and snowy here.
    Decided to put freezer food outside
    and bring containers of snow inside the fridge to keep fridge food cool (there is no meat).
    My goal is to have a few days to think instead of deciding what to do next in a rush.