Friday, August 11, 2017

Frugal Friday

I've been reflecting back and trying to figure out when my love for simple things came about, but I can't remember a time when I wasn't like this.  I do remember working as a public relations director for a company where I had to go to these large conferences and attend black-tie affairs. I would go with a friend and purchase fancy dresses and jewelry and while I was at these events, I totally felt like a fish out of water.  It was so far out of my comfort zone that I didn't really enjoy myself.

When we lived in the inner city, I gardened and hung my clothes to dry and made all my own breads and desserts and lived very simply.  I was always drawn to people who did the same.  I had a friend from Germany who lived in the city and we would have steaming cups of tea while our children played together and we chatted about household things.  My landlady at the time was from Yugoslavia and from her I learned things about gardening and housekeeping and baking.  I look back on those times with such fond memories.

So simplicity has always been part of me and that just naturally flowed into being frugal.  I don't need a lot.  I'm happy with using things up, wearing things out, making do and doing without.  It's a challenge for me. And in this day and age of technology, I keep motivated by reading about others who do the same.  Which is why I do this Frugal Friday post every so often; to encourage others who want to do the same.

This week I've saved in the following ways:

$ I've been going to the regional market each week and this week I spent $56 on the following: a block of muenster-jack cheese from a friend's booth (his parents own a cheese store and he is always at the market), 2 basil plants, 1 very large bunch of kale, 1 basket of lettuce, 1/4 lb. baby spinach, 1 bulb of fennel, 4 large onion, 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, 15 small tomatoes, 1 quart blueberries, 1 basket green beans, 2 bunches (about 20 stalks) of rhubarb, 3 bunches of carrots, 2 cucumbers.

$ I didn't waste the carrot tops and have been feeding them to Emily's rabbit this week.  The greens are great for rabbits, but on a side note, rabbits should not eat a lot of carrots.  The sugar content is too high so give them sparingly to them. 

$ I knew I wasn't going to use all that kale up this week so some went into last night's dinner and the rest was cut into bite size pieces and I put it in a freezer bag and into the freezer.  It will go into soups and stews.

$ I took blackberries to my neighbor the other night and they ended up giving me a quart of blueberries in return.  They then told me to come and pick their blueberries the next day as their freezer was full and the plants were still producing.  I went over on Monday afternoon and picked 3 quarts which I froze in 4 cup portions for pies and other goodies.

$ The blackberry bushes are producing nicely this year and I've been picking, freezing and sharing.  I have about 5 quarts in the freezer at the moment.

$ We had roast chicken one night and I turned the leftover chicken into chicken with gravy over biscuits.  I then took the carcass and made 4 quarts of chicken broth.

$ As I mentioned yesterday, I've had to change my plans for the fall.  Because I dropped out of the class I will be getting that initial payment back.  

$ Emily and I went to get her some clothes for college. Clothes shopping is one of the worst things for me!  I hate the mall, but one of the stores we've discovered is a consignment shop there that has name brand clothing for a fraction of the cost. It's great quality stuff. She was able to get 4 tops there for $18.  She also found a Coach bag there for $17.

That's it this week.  Today, I'm going to be making a batch of laundry detergent and a batch of soap.  I also need to come up with a plan for dinner that will use up some of the veggies I have in there.  I'm thinking stir-fry.  

How have you saved this week?