Sunday, August 3, 2014

Last Weeks Frugal Accomplishments

I made no progress curbing my impulse to dine out but in all other areas I feel as though I have progressed.  The biggest area of improvement for me is simply in the area of mindset, as I believe the longer then usual list of accomplishments illustrates.

*52 Week Savings Plan:  This account is no longer empty (Yay!).  New balance = $20.00.  It's a start!

*Christmas Jar of Change:  I managed to add $7.66 in change to the Christmas fund.  When combined with the previous total of $99.81 I have a new balance of $107.47.  (Yay!  That feels really good!)

*Favorite Frugal Accomplishments:

-I cut sage, marjoram, thyme, two types of oregano and two types of mint from my garden and dried them.

-I also engaged in a bit of wildcrafting.  I foraged some red clover and dried it.

-I used my citrus fruits.  I ate some of them straight up and juiced the rest.  I then dried the orange peels that I will likely use in one of these ways.

-I continued to line dry our clothing.  Sure it is largely out of necessity, due to the fact that the dryer is broken, but I have been managing to get laundry done without going to the laundromat.  The process is slow but as long as I work at it steadily the job gets done.

-I made dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent.  For years I have intended to make these detergents.  I have had the ingredients on hand for at least a year.  I used this recipe for the dishwasher detergent and this one for the laundry detergent.

-I worked hard to use up items in the freezer.  I made lasagna using not only beef from the freezer but also bell peppers and herbs.  I used more ground beef to make this salisbury steak and, in an attempt to utilize some of my frozen strawberries, I made this strawberry ice cream, which just flew out of the house.

-I topped off the gas tank using my fuel reward points for .20 off per gallon.

-We joined some friends for an outing at the tiger sanctuary.  Months ago, at a benefit silent auction, we had won admission for two to the sanctuary paying far less then the regular admission price.  We utilized our prize.

-I cashed my Ebates checks and found a check for returned school books that I also cashed.

-I began the process of familiarizing myself with the Christmas plan that I had created at the beginning of the year and have begun doing some work on Christmas projects.

-I ushered two showings of Once Upon a Mattress at our community theatre so that I could watch Maceo perform without having to buy a ticket.  A friend had an extra ticket and invited me to watch the show with her. I also utilized his complimentary tickets so that I could watch the show twice more.  I only paid for Bishop's ticket. I watched five of his six performances and only paid $6.  Yay! (And, by the way, the show was absolutely, positively fantastic.  It was stellar entertainment!)

-A cool spell moved in to town so I turned the a/c off.

- My grand-niece gifted me sweet corn that she had picked herself.  I boiled 3 ears for dinner this week.  I saved the water used for cooking the corn so as to reheat some the following day for lunch.  I then, after allowing it to cool, used the water to water my herb garden.  This is such a simple and practical way to save on my water bill yet I so rarely do it.  This feels like an accomplishment.

-On the back of our fair tickets was a coupon for .79 2-liter bottles of Coke and Dr. Pepper.  I do not drink soda at all and the kiddos only drink it on occasion but we did utilize these coupons so that we could have some on hand for a special family football event or for when we get invited to a social event and are requested to bring something.  We were able to get three bottles for $2.49.

-Bishop participated in the reading program at the library and received a punch card full of free goodies - ice cream, cupcakes, bowling, local attractions, etc.

*Next weeks goals:

-continue to harvest and dry herbs

-continue trying to get through the fruit in my freezer by making smoothie packs; trying this apple recipe and this strawberry recipe; and starting this Cranberry Vinegar recipe:
1 c. cranberries, crushed
2 pieces fresh orange peel, 1/2 inch wide, 4 inches long
3 three-inch cinnamon sticks
1 qt. white wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients in glass container, cover and set aside for three weeks.  Strain, add 1/8 c. honey, mix well and bottle.  Store in refrigerator.
(Taken from Making Herb Vinegars by Jim Long)

-I received a $10 coupon to Kohl's for my birthday.  I intend to apply it towards a Christmas present.

-I also have a $10 gift card to WalMart that I plan to use this week for a Christmas present.

-Cancel that auto insurance (ugh, I didn't do it last week)

-Update my financial accountability log and utilize this debt reduction calculator.

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