Thursday, July 6, 2017

Are you staying frugal?

Eats lately:
Pecan Crusted Goat Cheese is so good on a thin slice of apple, pear or your cracker choice. Not really a recipe, just crush some nuts with a little spice, then roll and pat your cheese in it. I used 1/4t Penzey's baking spice blend.

Frugal doings lately:
> Bought a favorite brand of coffee that, while pretty expensive compared to my other favorite (Aldi's doughnut shop beans, light roast), will save me lots of $$ that I'd otherwise spend in the coffeehouses. It also happens to be an area roasted one that our little, non-chain coffee shops use.
> Along those lines: I ran out of my favorite sugar-free coffee syrup (Monin) and can't bring myself to pay for the cheaper brand at Sam's as it's just not as good. While my coffee doesn't taste quite the same without the syrup, it's been still pretty darn good with stevia drops (which I bought quite some time ago but found too bitter at the time). Not sure how long I can withstand going without Monin, but worth a try, ha ha!
> Pulled a bag of shrimp from deep down in the freezer. Made a little rice, let it cool, then mixed up a dressing/sauce and combined it with the rice and shrimp for a cold salad. (Recipe from a bottle salad dressing.) Cheap, satisfying dinner that I wouldn't have ever thought to make normally. I'm finding it sort of fun coming up with new ideas to use the "meat" items from deep down in the freezer and love not spending money on meat right now!
> Nearly passed on a two piece swimsuit that a friend offered me. But glad that I took it. Tried it on and found that it fits nicely. I own two others that are getting a bit worn out and this one is in new shape still as this friend likely only wore it a couple of times.
> Finally decided to make use of the wire hanging baskets that I'd picked up from the recycling/reuse center in the nearby city (for free). I did purchase a $5 coconut fiber liner and have to buy a couple of plants. But this is so much cheaper than purchasing a new filled basket from a greenhouse.
> Opened a Roth IRA in my own name so that J and I can each make deposits towards retirement as neither of our employers offer any benefits. Additionally, I influenced my son to make a frugal choice that will serve him well someday, too, as he also opened one for himself.
> Hit a few garage sales where I found a fleece pull-over jacket for J (50cents), a short sleeve and a long sleeve top for myself (50cents total), a nice dress for myself which may be too big but worth a try at $1. I also happened to come upon an electric skillet at the very first sale. It was $4 and in great shape. I had just told J the day before that we needed to replace ours as it's so scratched up. Yay!
> Made too much spaghetti and sauce for supper one night. There was enough left for an entire meal so I froze it. (We're not very good at using up leftovers quickly.) Same thing happened a couple nights later when I made a pork and peppers stir-fry with jasmine rice. These will be great for evenings when I don't feel like cooking.
> Received a coupon for a free bag of cat treats.
> Printed a coupon for a free bag of cat food with any purchase at a pet supplies store. Bought a tub of cat litter for the same price as we typically do.
> Answered a "quiz" on facebook and won 5 coupons for $3 off berries. This amounts to free ones as long as I buy when on sale.
> Received a brochure from which to choose a gift of thanks from my employer. It just so happened that I've been talking to someone recently about wanting an egg cooker and there was one in the brochure!
> While not a frugal doing for me so much, I was able to give a pair of tall, black boots to someone through our area freecycle site. Also, my m-i-l took a couple of bags of things that I was going to donate to Goodwill to go through first and she will drop the leftovers off at Goodwill. I'd rather someone get use of those items for free than having Goodwill sell them.
> I was asked to come in to work a couple of hours early to help out on a busy weekend. Two more hours of pay!
> While this was a spend, it still made my day! I went to Sam's Club to buy another skort as the one I'd bought from there has been so comfortable. They were marked down to half the price I had paid. I bought 3!
> I've had two empty essential oil room spray bottles hanging around for a while. I realized that I actually have lavender, sweet orange and tangerine essential oils. So I combined water and alcohol with a combo of the oils and refilled the bottles. It smells great!
> Made a low-sugar rhubarb freezer jam using rhubarb from the garden and a little sugar, xylitol and jello packets. I'd guess it to be about 2/3rd less sugar than regular. This will be a nice topping for yogurt.

What I've Seen Lately:
Cut a couple of small branches from a rose bush during a storm before all the blooms blew off. (I know, I know... boy, is my lamp dusty. And my bedding doesn't match.) Second pic is of said storm rolling in to our neighborhood. Cut peonies and placed vases of them all around the house for a natural deodorizer.

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