Friday, September 1, 2017

Frugal Friday

Beautiful Peaches in a Row

A Farmer's Market Haul

Homemade Bierocks (Meat Buns)

Challah Bread

The Beautiful Scent of Lavender (Even the leaves smell gorgeous)

I find such beauty in simplicity.  And I do think that is the key to actually enjoying being frugal.  I find great enjoyment in working to make our money stretch.  I like being able to use up what I have on hand to make delicious meals.  I take pleasure is the simple things in life.  So I very rarely feel dissatisfied with what we have.  And that is a good thing.

I love sitting on my deck in the mornings as I read and pray and breathing in the aroma of lavender.  I enjoy seeing the fruit of my labor as I look at the rows of canning jars, filled with goodies.  I like the challenge of coming up with tasty meals from ingredients I have on hand. And I love getting a good deal at the market when I go.

The past two weeks I've been able to save in the following ways:

$ We had to get Emily some towels for college and I saw that J.C. Penny was having a sale.  I was able to get her a towel set (bath, hand and washcloth) for $6.  They were good quality and while I was there I did pick up a set for Stephen and a couple of sets for us.  I haven't bought towels in about 8 years and ours are looking pretty sad.

$  It's funny when your children have to start spending their own money and begin to realize the cost of things.  Emily texted me about how expensive a book was for her class.  I was able to look for a used book for her and instead of paying $60, she spent $5.

$ The last time I went to the market (2 weeks ago), I got the above amount of produce for $79.  I got a bushel of corn, a peck of peaches, a peck of peppers, a peck of tomatoes, 2 egg plant, a bunch of celery, 2 large, candy onions, a bunch of parsley, 8 pickling cucumbers, a quart of heirloom cherry tomatoes, a large size basket of lettuce and 2 biscotti.  I'm glad I waited for the prices to come down. A week ago earlier a peck of tomatoes was $20 and I got it for $12. Two weeks earlier a peck of peaches was $20-$25 and I bought them for $10.  Sometimes it's good to wait if you know prices are going to come down.

$ I had a group of ladies over the other day and I wasn't sure what to serve.  I wanted to use what I had on hand and yet, one of the ladies has a gluten allergy.  So what I ended up serving was crustless quiche - spinach, mushroom, onion and bacon with Colby jack cheese in the one and tomato, onion and basil with mozzarella and asagio cheese in the other.  I served it with a salad and homemade challah bread (for those who could eat gluten).  I made peach crisp with homemade whip cream for dessert.  I just left out the flour.  To thicken the peaches, I used fruit pectin instead.  I stayed out of the stores but came up with a delicious meal plan.

$ The whipped cream I made is so easy.  I took a pint of heavy cream that I got at Aldi for $1.89 and add about a tablespoon of sugar.  Then I whip it with my electric beaters until it's the right consistency.  It was used for 8 ladies, plus a few days past that on different things.  Delicious and inexpensive without the chemicals!

$ When I purchase a large quantity of fruit or vegetables at the regional market, I make sure I take care of it right away.  There is nothing worse than purchasing it and then letting it sit and begin to spoil.  So even though it was a lot of work and I didn't always feel like doing it, I processed the tomatoes, peaches, and corn.  I also made sure that we used up the rest in meals throughout the week.

$ A friend had a treadmill she was getting rid of and asked me if I wanted it.  While I'm not necessarily thrilled with the space it takes up, I took it so I have a way to exercise this winter.  Winters are bad here and I usually end up just sitting most of it, so my plan is to walk on this each day.  Besides, after last winter's leg breaking incident, I kind of don't want to go anywhere! ;-)

$ I made a big pot of black beans the other day.  I buy dried beans because they are cheaper, and then cook them and freeze some.  I froze half the cooked beans and then used the rest in enchiladas.  

$ I'm going to try my hand at homemade ravioli for dinner tonight.  I'll let you know how that turns out but it certainly is cheaper than store bought.

Those are the main ways I've saved this week.  How are you doing?