Saturday, September 29, 2012

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments

It's been a hot week, requiring us to still run the a/c both day and night (I tried turning it off and opening the windows at night, but it was 81º in the house at 10:30 p.m. and it was just a bit too hot, even under the fan). However, it made for a pleasant, warm evening after dark for us on Friday night, when we enjoyed an al fresco dinner on the patio. I put out a tablecloth on our outside table and we had a wonderful meal.


I canned 27 quarts of pears, 3 pints of pear butter, and 6 half-pints of pear butter from the 72 pounds of pears that I picked up last week for .49 a pound (the children did eat some of the pears).

I picked Armenian cucumbers from the garden and I canned 20 pints of dill pickles from them. You can see my caning totals for this year on my website.

I picked zinnias from the garden and put them on the kitchen table.

I used coupons to get free spray gel and free packaging tape.

My husband bought a used scooter for $180. It will take a little more money (maybe $200) and a little work to make it work better and look better. This will help us to put off buying a car for longer, as our family does not currently fit into our car. We usually only go to church as a family (which is not very far), so my husband can take the scooter and the rest of us can fit in the car. This will make it possible for us to delay buying a larger vehicle for a year or more. As an added bonus, the scooter does not require registration or insurance, so it does not have the extra expenses that would come with a motorcycle or another car. In addition, it gets over 50 miles per gallon, which is much better than our current vehicle. This will save us money in gas. Currently we fill our only car with gasoline every 2 weeks. I am interested in how this will change, as my husband should be able to take the scooter to work most days.

I watched two free shows on Hulu.

I listened to free music on Pandora. I found out that you can type specfic songs in (not just types of music) and get those songs, including movie soundtracks.

I sprayed my grapes for grey mold with an organic fixed copper spray that I got for free earlier this year using a $25 off $25 coupon.

In addition to the cucumbers I mentioned above, I harvested Swiss chard, green onions, basil, and 2 zucchini from the garden! (Finally!) I'm hoping that the zucchini aren't too hard to eat. I've had very few this year (fewer than my usual few) and the ones that have grown were too hard (like rocks), even after cooking. If these are good then we'll have some fried zucchini this next week.

I mended a dress for my daughter.

I picked up books from the library that I had requested (some for the chidren for school and two for me) and I read one.

What have you done this past week to save money and enjoy life?





Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sometimes You're Wrong


No one want to hear that they're wrong, but it happens to all of us. We find out what we once believed simply isn't, and it's not always easy to let go.

Finding out that you're wrong and graciously accepting it, however, has the potential to save you a lot of money.

I've had 3 occasions in the last three weeks where I've learned I was wrong, and I embraced the opportunity to change my ways.

The first was when I mentioned that I have stopped buying ground beef to a friend of mine. I don't buy meat over $2 a pound, and I haven't seen in in the last year and a half for less than $2.49 a pound, so I haven't bought any.

My friend said that Fresh N Easy has had ground beef for $1.99 a pound throughout the last year.

I had no idea.

I tend to stick to the stores where I know certain prices occur, and most loss leaders are on the front and back pages of the grocery ads. I had never bought ground beef at this particular store; in fact, I bought very little at this particular store (apart from the occasional loss leaders), because I had thought they were overpriced in some areas.

My friend emailed me last week to tell me that this store had ground beef on sale for $1.99 a pound again. I had looked at the ad and had even been to that store that week (to get the .64 a pound chickens that were on sale) . I couldn't believe I had missed it. I pulled out my ad, and went looking. In the middle of the ad, I saw it. I had completely overlooked the sale, primarily because of it's location.

I checked my email and found a coupon from the same store for $4 off $20 (which was better than the $3 off $30 coupon that was in the ad). I also was able to redeem my triple points from last year (which, it turns out, expire at the end of September) to get $8 worth of store credit. I went back to the store for 6 pounds ($12) worth of free ground beef, plus a few more pounds that I gladly purchased.

(It has been so long since I had purchased ground beef that when I said that I was going to the store to get ground beef, my 7 1/2-year-old son asked me, "What's ground beef?")

The best prices and sales aren't always where you're used to finding them.

Perhaps you've noticed that the place where you normally buy something has a new, higher price for that item. Make sure that when you're at another store that carries that item, that you check out their price, too. It might just be that the store carries the same item for cheaper.

A local reader (Marie) pointed out to me the other day that Walmart carries tuna fish for .50 a can all the time. That sure beats buying it on case-lot sale for .69 a can. I knew the case-lot sale price had gone up, but I hadn't compared it to other places. (Years ago I learned on my own that Walmart's regular price for 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes was cheaper than buying 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes on the case-lot sale).

My husband was at Sam's Club looking for a few things for his office last week, and he checked out a brand of toilet paper (in a box) that he had never seen before. Now, my husband has priced toilet paper out wonderfully. He always compares it by the total length so that we know we're getting the best deal. It was because of him that I switched to buying Target brand toilet paper years ago, after comparing every brand with a calculator. Their price went up last year, and though I've been using coupons from their website to bring it back down a little, it's still higher than I used to pay.

The regular plastic covered package of toilet paper (by the way, we are a two-ply only kind of family) from Sam's Club--the Sam's Club brand, in fact--was still about $5 more than the toilet paper from Target (again, we're comparing length). But the brand in the box turned out to be cheaper.

It looks like we'll be switching.

One of the many ways that we continue to cut our expenses despite inflation is by comparing prices, and reconsidering other options.

A few more things that I've changed in the last few years:

I started buying both mine and my husband's deodorant at the grocery store. I never would have thought that the grocery store would be cheaper for toiletries; in fact, I thought just the opposite. I've come to see that the buy 10 mix and match sales have included deodorant, and the price as been just $1.49. That's a far cry from the $3.99 I've seen at Walmart and Target for the same exact product. And of course, I don't mind stocking up when it's such a great price.

I changed brands of pasta. I found that I could buy another brand of pasta for .50 a pound instead of $1 a pound on sale.

I changed brands of toothpaste to get my toothpaste free or close to it with sales and coupons (and I've been open to the fact that the best sales are usually at the grocery store). I found out that I actually prefer the new brand of toothpaste. I also started giving this toothpaste to my children who are old enough to use fluoride toothpaste, rather than buying a children's toothpaste that contains fluoride.

I started getting a whole bag of limes at the .99 store. 2 lbs of limes for .99 is a better price than I've seen anywhere else

I've found that Target puts several items that I usually buy on sale, whereas Walmart just has a regular price. As a bonus, Target also has coupons on their website that I can stack with a manufacturer's coupon, or sometimes just a Target coupon that I can combine with a sale. Both stores are super close (across the street from one another). I've started watching for sales and coupons to stack for items that I buy, such as baby lotion.

So the next time your friend, a blogger, or a stranger tells you that there's a better deal out there than what you currently know, admit you're wrong about getting the best price, and listen up. You might just end up richer.

This is post is dedicated to my friend April, who is always willing to compare prices and tell me when I'm wrong. Thanks April!


What have you learned that you could get for less from someone else?



Monday, September 24, 2012

This Week's Goals

Completed pillow from last week's goals is on the left. The pillow was made from unbleached muslin that I got for free from my grandmother's stash. The stuffing was part of an old bed pillow. The pillow cover was made from drop cloth, and I hand-embroidered a red "S" on it. I printed out the "S" first at 200% in Edwardian Script and traced it onto the fabric. (Yes, I did make the baby's dress [for another daughter] and bow [the bow belongs to my 6-year-old).

You can always tell how smoothly naptime/quiet time went each week at my house my how much/how little sewing I get done. I still haven't had a chance to get back to sewing my daughter's green dress. I was able to work on some hand-sewing projects at night while watching a few shows with my husband, and a quick pillow (quick projects always yield a sense of accomplishment!), but the dress is still eluding me. She needs new clothes, though, so I keep trying. I'm going to try to finish a quick skirt for her this week just for everyday wear, too.

Last Week's Goals

1. Continue to prune trees and grape vines. The trash man comes twice a week here. My goal is to have the cans filled each time with cuttings (in addition to any trash that we have).  I pruned some grape vines, some trees, and all of the hedges in the garden. I filled the trashcans for last Monday, Thursday, and today.

2. Cage tomato. I had 2 tomatoes left that grew from seeds that self-seeded in my garden, long after the other tomatoes were growing. These 2 small plants were sprawling on the ground, and one of them seems to have escaped the caterpillars. I caged that one last week. The other one is still doing well. I will cage that one this week and carefully look for caterpillars. These plants are still small and will hopefully give us a fall crop of yellow pear tomatoes. There were actually 2 tomato plants that had grown from self-seeding. I caged both of them.

3. Edit new photos and remeasure for the new recipe for the website. Get recipe up on the website.

4. Continue to work on reorganizing the laundry room, by doing some each day. I worked on this last week, but not every day, and I didn't finish.

5. Finish counterchange smocking on dress.


6. Sew pillow and pillow cover for the living room. This is the cover that I embroidered last week. You can see the pillow in the photos.

7. Finish Winter's green dress--somehow! Nope.

8. Finish embroidering handkerchief. Start embroidering another handkerchief for a Christmas gift.

9. Start planting fall garden. I planted arugula, leeks, beets, onions (from seed) and several varieties of lettuce.


This Week's Goals

1. Can pears. I purchased 72 pounds of pears last week for $35.28, thanks to a gift card that my husband received from a friend (this is also how I purchased the 100 pounds of potatoes for $8.80). If this is the only thing that happens this week, that's okay, because the pears won't wait! I intend to can some as baby food (pear sauce).

2. Continue pruning trees and vines. Fill up trash cans each time this week before the trash man comes. I have a lot of trees that need to be topped, and it's going to take a long time to get the trees to where I can reach the fruit next year.

3. Work on green dress for Winter!

4. Finish embroidering handkerchief from last week. I'll work on this at night while watching something free on Hulu.

5. Spread manure in the garden.

6. Plant more Swiss chard in the garden to replace the seedlings that were eaten by bugs.

7. Spray the grape vines with an organic spray for fungus.

8.  Make waistband and finsh skirt for Winter.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments and a winner


I made pickles this week using the Armenian cucumbers from my garden. No, they're not a "pickling" type of cucumber, but I used them anyway. They're rather long; some were 18-22"! The seed cavity is large. I scooped out the seeds and gave them to a friend of mine who has chickens, along with some arugula from our garden that had self-seeded, but was way too hot to eat, having grown during the summer.

I made a pillow and pillow cover for my living room. The pillow was made from unbleached muslin that I got for free from my grandmother's stash. The stuffing was part of an old bed pillow. The pillow cover was made from drop cloth, and I hand-embroidered a red "S" on it (I printed out the "S" first at 200% in Edwardian Script and traced it.)

I planted seeds in my garden for fall. These are seeds that I already had.

I made homemade salad dressing.

I made homemade hair detangler with half of a packet of a free conditioner sample.

I used a $10 off $10 Kohl's card that came in the mail to purchase a shirt for my oldest daughter in a larger size (they were out of her current size) for $1.08. I'll put it aside for when she is older.


My family dressed up for Talk Like a Pirate Day and went to Kripsy Kreme's, where we each received a dozen donuts for free for dressing up. All of these dress-up clothes were given to us (some were garage sale purchases from my mother, and some were from my brother). On our way home, we ran errands (that were directly on our path home), saving gas and time. The strangest part of all of this was walking into other stores while dressed like pirates.

One of those errands was to get a new float for the toilet. My husband fixed the toilet, stopping the water leak into the bowl.

I took 2 free days of Photoshop classes online at CreativeLIVE. I learned how to do a few things that I've always wondered how to do, and I learned about some tools that I hadn't really used before.

I watched free shows on Hulu.


I harvested Swiss chard and cucumbers from the garden. (The variety I grow is Fordhook; it grows very large leaves).

I renewed library books online, and requested several books online as well.


We have a winner for the sun oven giveaway! The winner is Kristie Mc Nealy! Congratulations, Kristie! Please email your address to Heather heather (at) teamshelfreliance (dot) com so that she can send you your prize!


What have you done to save money this week?




Monday, September 17, 2012

This Week's Goals


I went out to my garden on Monday night, and found evidence of hornworm caterpillars on the tomatoes and I saw grape-leaf skeletonizers on the grapes. I decided to take care of this problem first, instead of pruning the trees first. By the time I was done ripping out the tomato plants (I had been considering ripping them out anyway) and cutting back any damaged and invested grape vines that I could find, I had filled up all of the trash cans. I borrowed an extra-large can from my mom (who lives next door) and filled it with tree branches. It looks like I'll have several more weeks of pruning grape vines and tree branches.

I spread out 3 cubic feet of manure in the garden where the tomatoes have been. I also sprinkled some fertilizer in this area, and I mixed it in by hand. I repinned the water lines down on top of the dirt. I pulled several weeds as well.

I also found 3 caterpillars on my peppers. It has cooled just enough (94º in the day but in the 70's at night!) that they are starting to flower again. It looks like they will have open flowers in a few weeks, so I may finally harvest some peppers. I have not had any peppers yet this year, as it has been too hot.

I ended up going shopping last week, on three separate days! Thankfully all but one place were very close. Nevertheless, the time it took really cut into my sewing plans for the week, but I was able to stock up on some needed items. I bought 100 pound of potatoes for $8.80. I went to the case-lot sale and bought canned corn and green beans for .50 each, as well as a few other things. I also went to our local LDS cannery and bought a year's worth of oats ($15.35 for a 25 pound bag; we eat 75 pounds a year) and stocked up on pinto beans ($18.55 for 25 pounds), white beans, and black beans. We eat a lot more beans now, and I hope that by buying now, I'm avoiding any higher prices in the future. In addition, we were low on beans.

I can certainly see how being home is the key to accomplishing things on my list each week!


Last Week's Goals

1. Finish sewing Winter's green dress. Sadly, I still didn't get to this.

2. Continue to work on having breakfast at 7:30. This will continue to be a goal, but I won't be putting it on the list anymore.

3. Continue to work on having reading lessons with my 7-year-old and 5-year-old right after breakfast. This has gone okay. We will continue to do this each day.

4. Spray the squash bugs. I ended up going out and squishing all that I could find, throwing out one dead plant, and ripping off any leaves that contained eggs. I did not spray.

5. Do a summer pruning to the fruit trees. I got started, but I still have more to do.

6. Cut out and sew one dress for one daughter. I knew that accomplishing this was probably stretching it, but I decided to try anyway. I cut out the dress and began smocking it. I'm doing counterchange smocking for the first time. I made good progress, but I still have more to do.

7. Sew piping for another project. Didn't even go there.

8. Make item and photograph tutorial for the website. I ended up shopping instead.

9. Edit photos and get another recipe up on the website. I had to rephotograph the recipe this week instead.

10. Straighten laundry room. What I thought would be a little project turned out to be a major one, after I ended up emptying cabinets and going through and straightening them. My original plan was just to clean off the counter! Right now the room is torn apart, but when it's done all of the space will be better used.

11. Cut out and embroider a baby bib. Not only did I do this, but I also cut out and embroidered a cover for a new pillow for the living room. I also started embroidering a handkerchief for a daughter for Christmas.



This Week's Goals
 

1. Continue to prune trees and grape vines. The trash man comes twice a week here. My goal is to have the cans filled each time with cuttings (in addition to any trash that we have).

2. Cage tomato. I had 2 tomatoes left that grew from seeds that self-seeded in my garden, long after the other tomatoes were growing. These 2 small plants were sprawling on the ground, and one of them seems to have escaped the caterpillars. I caged that one last week. The other one is still doing well. I will cage that one this week and carefully look for caterpillars. These plants are still small and will hopefully give us a fall crop of yellow pear tomatoes.

3. Edit new photos and remeasure for the new recipe for the website. Get recipe up on the website.

4.  Continue to work on reorganizing the laundry room, by doing some each day.

5. Finish counterchange smocking on dress.

6. Sew pillow and pillow cover for the living room. This is the cover that I embroidered last week.

7. Finish Winter's green dress--somehow!

8. Finish embroidering handkerchief. Start embroidering another handkerchief for a Christmas gift.

9. Start planting fall garden.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments


I picked a few zinnias from the garden for our table this week. (My seeds are from Wildseed Farms).

I made a bottle of homemade hair detangler with the leftovers from a free sample of conditioner.

I made laundry detergent this week.

I made yogurt and granola this week.

I watched several shows for free on Hulu this week.

I used the water from cooking Swiss chard to pour on my potted plants.

I harvested Swiss chard, cucumbers, pears, grapes (about half a bunch that decided to double crop!) , some green beans, the last of the tomatoes (before I ripped out the plants) and basil this week.

I planted Swiss chard and more zinnias this week.

I used coupons to get free candy, free ibuprofen, free face wash, and free canning lids. I am saving the candy for Christmas stockings.

I printed free coloring pages from the Dover sampler for the children.

I accepted a free mattress.

I mended a dress.

It was cool enough at night to turn off the a/c at night if I opened the windows, so I did. It was 94º during the day still, though.

I cooked a ham for our meat this week. We used the ham in several meals. We also had some bologna from the pound I bought for .20 and froze. The rest of our meals were meatless.

I started making a Christmas gift for one daughter and I also embroidered the fabric for one pillow for our living room. I also worked on a dress using material that was part of my grandmother's stash (so, free fabric).

My husband found a way to watch football online for free on espn3 (espn.go.com). He was able to see the BYU/UofU game live.


What have you done this week to save money?



Sun Oven Giveaway

When I redesigned my website in January, I set it up so that I could include sponsored advertising. When I posted on my Facebook page that I was going to do this, and asked if anyone was interested, Heather was the first one to speak up. She's been a sponsor for my site since February. Since I now have a blog, I have the opportunity to do a giveaway from her! She's giving away a Sun Oven!

I'll let her tell you about it:


Hi this is Heather from Cooking with my Food Storage.com.  I’ve been following Brandy here at The Prudent Homemaker for years and the advice and experiences she has shared has blessed my life. 


About two years ago when my family was in a difficult situation I was introduced to Shelf Reliance.  After much thought and a very encouraging husband I became a consultant.    
Being a Shelf Reliance Consultant has truly been a blessing in my life.  I get to stay at home with my kids, contribute substantially to my family's financial stability, and become more self-reliant.  
 

You can find out more about being a consultant:


One of the things that I love about Shelf Reliance is it gives me an opportunity to be charitable.  I earn a lot of free and ½ price products and I like to give it away.  


Over the past summer I have been cooking in my sun oven a lot, and every time I read a post from Brandy talking about how she is saving money on her utilities I think  “She needs a sun oven. Then she could do all her baking and a lot of her other cooking outside.”  That would eliminate the energy used to heat up her oven and the energy used to cool her house back down.  
 

Do you like surprises?   

I do and this week I have one for Brandy.  This week I’ll be donating the host benefit from all the orders that come through my Shelf Reliance online store to buy Brandy a sun oven.  Because let’s all be honest: it is perfect for her.  If you have been thinking about stocking up on some food storage or emergency supplies and would like a portion of your purchase to help buy Brandy's family a sun oven you can purchase online here:http://homeparties.shelfreliance.com/homeparties

Now that Brandy is taken care of, I think there are probably some others out there who would really love to win a sun oven.  I thought I’d give one away.

The Great Sun Oven Giveaway Rules: 
Choose one or do all three.
 
1.   Check out my blog: http://www.cookingwithmyfoodstorage.com.  Leave a comment somewhere on my site. Come back to this post and tell me that you left a comment.  For example you might say,  “I checked out Cooking With My Food Storage and left a comment on the post about Mango Lime No Bake Cookies.”  It would be nice if you included the link to the post you liked but you don’t have to. 

2.   Check out what it is like to be a Shelf Reliance Consultant. Come back and leave us a comment telling us what you like best about being a consultant. For example you might say something like,  “I really love that as a consultant I can build up my food storage without spending a lot of money”
Here are the links again; you can visit any one of them or all three.
If you decide you would like to become a consultant I would love to have you on my team.

3.     For an extra entry you can tell a friend about the giveaway through Facebook, etc.   When you do that come back to this post and leave an comment like “I shared this giveaway on Facebook.”
 
Remember: 
  •    I can’t give away anything to “Anonymous.” If your comments are showing up as anonymous, be sure to leave your name in your comment.
  •   If you choose to enter all three ways,  then leave a separate comment for each entry.
  •   I can only ship to the continental US.  Sorry to all the international readers. 
  •  This giveaway ends on September 21st at 10:00 p.m PST.
  •  Brandy will choose the winner and announce it here and on her Facebook page.  If the winner does not step forward to claim their prize in a timely fashion, then Brandy will  choose a new winner. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sewing For Less: Thread and more



I mention on my Sewing for Less page that I have bought thread from Atlanta Thread for an amazing price. My mother-in-law introduced me to this company. I couldn't believe how low their prices were on thread! I really liked Atlanta Thread.

Atlanta Thread was bought out earlier this year by Wawak.

Wawak has thread and other sewing supplies, much like Atlanta Thread. They also carry Gutermann thread. One spool is 1,094 yards, and their price is $2.49 a spool. If you buy 10 or more, they're $2.42 a spool.

Every month they have a different item (or items) on special. This month, through the 28th, they have Gutermann thread for $1.86 a spool (1, 094 yards each).

The other specials this month are nylon YKK zippers buy 2 get 1 free (same size and color). The price this month for their zippers is anywhere from .20 each for a 5" zipper, up to .58 for a 24" zipper (they also carry 36 and 80" zippers as well). That sure beats Joann's sales!

They have seam rippers buy 1 get one free (of the same type) as well. The 5" seam rippers are on sale for .65 and the 2 1/2" ones are .59. The one I have in the picture above is one of the 5" ones.



They carry scissors, including the stork scissors like I have for embroidery, for $8.95 a pair.

They also have great prices on needles.

If you need sewing supplies, or want to order some supplies to make a sewing and/or embroidery kit for someone, this is a great way to do it.

They carry a ton more stuff as well, such as buttons by the gross. These button prices beat out the prices I told you about at the Joann's sale. There are a variety of choices and prices, but shirt buttons are around $3.75 for 144 (one gross) of buttons.

They have the Mark-B-Gone blue pen (that disappears with water) for $2.35. I use these for drawing my embroidery designs. After I am done sewing, I mist it with water or rinse it, and the pen is gone. They have chalk pencils ($1.68) and tailor's chalk, too.

They carry drapery cord and piping cord, as well as all sorts of supplies for curtains.

In addition, they have a code for first-time customers that is valid through 9/28 for $10 off of a $50 order. This code is one per customer, valid only on your first order. The code is WNC912.
Shipping is free for orders over $100, or $4.95 for orders under $100. It costs me more than $4.95 in gas to drive to the fabric store, so even if I pay shipping, this helps me to cut costs as well.

This is not a sponsored post. I just love sewing and getting a good deal on sewing supplies. I know a lot of you are making clothing and gifts for your children.
 


Monday, September 10, 2012

New Recipe: Rosemary Fig Gelato

 
I was visiting with a sister from church the other day, and we were talking about all of the ways in which I use rosemary. I have one plant, that has become huge over the years. I make so many things with rosemary, including rosemary potatoes, rosemary olive oil bread, rosemary white bean soup, pasta e fagioli ,fig sauce (which also has rosemary) and fig jam with rosemary. The fig and rosemary jam was my inspiration to make this gelato with mission figs and rosemary from my garden.
 
Click over to the website for the recipe.

This Week's Goals


I spent a lot of time last week holding sick little ones. Most of my goals for the week didn't happen.

Last Week's Goals:

1. Finish sewing pajamas for Liberty.

2. Finish sewing headband and barrettes for Liberty.

3. Make 3 (or more, depending on time) other gifts for Liberty this week. Any gifts from my birthday list that I don't complete for her will be moved to my Christmas list for her. I did not complete this many gifts, but I think she will enjoy what she is getting.

4. Continue to work on having breakfast at 7:30.

5. Continue to work on having reading lessons with my 7-year-old and 5-year-old right after breakfast.

6. Plant more Swiss chard seeds, 3 tomato plants, and zinnia seeds in the garden.

7. Spray the squash bugs. It didn't happen. Amazingly, my plants are still alive. Hopefully they will make it until I spray!

8. Finish sewing Winter's green dress. I didn't even touch the dress.

9. Do science experiment on Friday. I ended up doing some emergency babysitting for a friend during this same time period while she took her daughters to the hospital. I've decided to move the science experiments to next week because of this week's heavy school load.

10. Finish boxing up outgrown children's clothing into the correct boxes. Just in time for the fall changeout of clothes in a couple of months!

11. Take pictures of 2 recipes this week for the website. Get at least one up on the website. These were planned for Friday afternoon as well, but did not happen. However, they will be up very soon!



This Week's Goals

1. Finish sewing Winter's green dress.

2. Continue to work on having breakfast at 7:30.

3. Continue to work on having reading lessons with my 7-year-old and 5-year-old right after breakfast.

4. Spray the squash bugs.

5. Do a summer pruning to the fruit trees. (Yes. it's still summer here! It's 107º out most days).

6. Cut out and sew one dress for one daughter.

7. Sew piping for another project.

8. Make item and photograph tutorial for the website.

9. Edit photos and get another recipe up on the website.

10. Straighten laundry room.

11. Cut out and embroider a baby bib. I'll do the embroidery work while watching a show on Hulu, most likely.





Sunday, September 9, 2012

This Week's Frugal Acomplishments


I received a bag of fabric this week from my mom's friend. There is some fabric in there that looks to be enough to make a Christmas dress, a skirt for a child, and possibly another dress.

From the same person, I also received 4 doll shirts that I will use for Christmas gifts for my girls.

I made homemade crackers, yogurt, and steak sauce.

I harvested basil, rosemary, a cucumber, and a few green beans.

I received a free razor in the mail (I signed up for this a few weeks ago).

I cut my son's hair.

I signed up for a free $5 Amazon MP3 credit.

I made a few birthday presents for my daughter using items I have on hand, including sheets and pillowcases from my grandmother's fabric stash.

I mended a dress.

I cut the buttons off of a dress that was beyond repair to use on another dress.

I watched 2 free shows on Hulu.

Most of our meals were meatless this week. Our meat this week was a can of beef and some leftover turkey from the previous week that I had froze and pulled out of the freezer. We had bean burritos, black bean burgers, and several other meatless meals.

What have you done to save money this week?

Monday, September 3, 2012

This Week's Goals

 
Last Week's Goals:

1. Change the school schedule slightly so that my 5-year-old and 7-year-old have reading with me first thing in the morning, with 5-year-old first and 7-year-old after he is done doing his after-breakfast chores.  This worked well 4 of the 5 days last week. I will be continuing this one this week until it becomes habit.

2. Have breakfast on time at 7:30. Everything gets delayed and moved when I have a new baby. I'd like to get things back to where they should be. Close, but not quite. I will be working towards earlier mornings and more breakfasts on time.

3. Finish sewing green church dress for Winter.

4. Hem blue dress for Winter. I thought it was done and then I realized I had forgotten to hem it!

5. Cut out and sew pajamas for Liberty from a sheet that came from Grandma's house. This will be one of her birthday gifts. I started these, but did not finish them.

6. Make a flowered headband and some flowered barrettes for Liberty for her birthday. Started this when I had a chance to do some hand sewing.

7. Take care of some paperwork that needs to be handled right away (this is actually a goal for Monday).

8. If I have more time for sewing, start another one of Liberty's gifts.

9. Plant Swiss chard seeds in the garden.

10. Pull weeds in the garden for 10 minute stretches on several days this week. I spent a lot of time in the garden this week pulling weeds. It's not weed-free, but it ended up superseding other goals, and that's okay with me--it really needed to be done.

11. Do one science experiment this week on Friday. I ended up with a chance to run some errands on Friday, so this didn't happen.

12. Take photos of a new recipe for the website and get it up!

13. Put away all outgrown clothing (that is currently in my room) in the proper boxes. I was able to put away one size of clothing only.

14. Take pictures for another tutorial for the website. I'm going to move this to next week so that I can spend more time this week making birthday gifts.



This Week's Goals:

1. Finish sewing pajamas for Liberty.

2. Finish sewing headband and barrettes for Liberty.

3. Make 3 (or more, depending on time) other gifts for Liberty this week. Any gifts from my birthday list that I don't complete for her will be moved to my Christmas list for her.

4. Continue to work on having breakfast at 7:30.

5. Continue to work on having reading lessons with my 7-year-old and 5-year-old right after breakfast.

6. Plant more Swiss chard seeds, 3 tomato plants, and zinnia seeds in the garden.

7. Spray the squash bugs.

8. Finish sewing Winter's green dress.

9. Do science experiment on Friday.

10. Finish boxing up outgrown children's clothing into the correct boxes.

11. Take pictures of 2 recipes this week for the website. Get at least one up on the website.





Sunday, September 2, 2012

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments



I picked up a small succulent at Sam's Club and divided it into 5 plants. Using pots I already had that were not being used, I replanted it into several pots and arranged the pots by my front door. Eventually they will spread and fill the pot, and fortunately, they prefer it when you only water them every few days, so if I forget a day, they won't die.

I bought 2 dwarf periwinkle plants and divided both of them into 2 plants so that I could put them in 4 pots. The periwinkle spreads like mint, rooting where it touches, so it should fill the bottom of the pots.

Harvested a fistful of green beans, a few small tomatoes, and basil this week.

Planted Swiss chard seeds that were free to me (from a reader who attended my garden tour last year).

Dug up and divided paperwhite (narcissus ziva) bulbs. I will replant them in new places in the garden next week.

I hand pollinated a butternut squash flower and a cucumber flower. Those were the only female flowers I saw all week. My cucumbers are covered in hundreds of flowers--male flowers.

I made Greek yogurt and used the leftover whey to make crepes.

Printed out 2 Buy 2 Get 1 free canning lid coupons on Smartsource.com.

I signed up for a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine.

Watched 5 free shows on Hulu.

I used coupons to get some candy for free. I put it aside to use in Christmas stockings.

I worked on birthday gifts for my daughter using items I had on hand.

I cooked a turkey and we used it for meat this week. I also froze some to use another time. In between that, we had plenty of meatless meals, including bean burritos.

What have you done to save money this week?