Sunday, September 7, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments - September 1st through 7th

I've been reading the blog The Prudent Homemaker for a couple of years now.  She posts, among other things, a weekly list of her frugal accomplishments.  Since I'm the type of person who needs to have a record of accomplishments in order to stay motivated, I'm going to try to keep a record of the little things that we do to keep our expenses down.

-Cooked up bacon and saved the grease for future cooking.  One pound of bacon yielded one cup of grease, which will keep us at least a month.  The bacon was local and nitrate free bacon that we picked up at the farmer's market.

-Cut herbs from our front yard: oregano, chives, sage, thyme, winter savory.  Chives and some thyme were put in vinegar.  Everything else is hanging to dry.

-Cleaned and re-seasoned a new-to-me cast iron chicken fryer.  It needed to be done, but it also served as practice before I re-season a rare waffle maker that my dad found for me at a flea market.  I've started re-seasoning the collar of the waffle maker as well.

-Made cloth diaper detergent for the first time.  With two in cloth, Rockin' Green (at $15 a bag) got to be too expensive.  I wish I would have looked for a recipe sooner! It seems to be working really well.  It's just 1 cup of borax, 1 cup of washing soda, and 1/2 cup of OxiClean Free.  That small amount of ingredients that I happened to have on hand will wash 20-40 loads of diapers.  Woo hoo for not leaving the house AND not spending any extra money!

-Gleaned 25 pounds of apples from my grandfather's yard.

-Gleaned 18 Bartlett pears and 5 Asian pears from my dad's yard.

-Received one honeydew melon from my mom's yard.

-Used a rotisserie chicken carcass and garlic papers to make chicken stock.

-Stored 1/3 of a loaf of bread that accidentally got left out and went stale to use later as bread crumbs.

-Foraged a handful of grapes from a local park. We missed the season this year :-(

-Changed our cell phone plans so that we save approximately $30 per month.

-Harvested five jalapenos, two pumpkins, and three figs.  There is one more mostly ripe fig and a few unripe ones on the tree.  This is our first year with this tree - not a bad haul.

-Found a 2 year old boneless chuck roast in the freezer (oops) and cooked enough pot roast for dinner, 2 lunches for Mr. B, and 2 pints of meat for other meals.

-Cooked down 1 bushel of Roma tomatoes for spaghetti/pizza sauce.  The herbs and some of the garlic used in the sauce were collected from our front yard.  We canned 11 pints so far with more on the stove right now.

-Inventoried the pantry.  I need to find a system that works for us that allows me to see how much we actually eat.  There are some things (creamed corn) that have been there forever, and some things (jam) that we ration because I'm afraid of running out.  If I know how much of things we eat, I can buy more or less when it's on sale, and we'll end up saving money.

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