Friday, January 18, 2013

Frugal Friday: How I saved money this week

I made a lot of progress in my yard this week. It has been SO cold but there were a few really nice days where I was able to get outside and start working on my Square Foot Gardening area. My backyard looks bare right now because we have torn out a lot of plants to make room for our vegetable garden along with the brick patio. If I'm going to pay money for water then I want to use it towards plants that will feed us. I can't believe how the price of groceries continue to rise.

Here are a few things I did this week to save money in my home:

1. I'm still saving scraps of meat and veggies to make my next batch of dog food. I may freeze the next batch so I can add noodles to the recipe since my dog LOVES them. We mix the homemade dog food in with the dry dog food and add some water.

2. I found a rubber band on the ground and saved it. I haven't had to buy rubber bands for years.

3.  I raked leaves in exchange for 2 large tubs of walnuts that need to be cracked plus a small bag of pecans.

4. My daughter in love brought  horse manure and a free bale of hay for my garden. My goal is to not purchase compost or fertilizer for my garden. Instead I use leaves, grass clippings, newspaper, kitchen scraps and now horse manure and hay.

5. I planted broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, red cabbage, cauliflower and walla walla onion seeds this week in my toilet paper rolls (that I've been saving for months). Spinach is planted in the egg carton flat. A plant light is hung in the garage and I'm checking every day for those first sprouts. I'll plant another batch in 2 weeks and then another 2 weeks, etc. so I can have a continual harvest.

6. My girls and I drove to get free thornless blackberries and raspberry plants from a family member. They are planted and I can't wait for those first berries! These are just a few of the plants alongside the back of the garage.

7.  I worked some of my homemade compost into the vegetable garden's dirt this week.

8. I have a LOT of cleaners in the garage that I've been trying to use up. Tonight I was going to add 'room freshener' to my shopping list but decided to check my cleaning supplies first. Sure enough.. I had some powdered carpet deodorizer that will work perfectly. Once my cleaners are gone then I will make my own homemade cleaners but until then I'm determined to USE IT UP. 

9. I am working on a new plan to keep a tighter watch on my grocery budget. I wish I remembered where I saw this idea but unfortunately I didn't write it down. The lady divided a page into 4 weeks (or 5 depending on the month) and then divided the total amount of grocery money into each square. She put a line down the middle of the paper and used the other side of the paper for the household grocery money. If she went over on her grocery money then she pulled it out of the household account. I'm not going to do that but instead I'll just deduct the extra from the following week. This week I was only supposed to spend $50 but spent $69 instead. So, next week I'll have $30 to spend for groceries. I wrote down each receipt total into this week's square. I like it. This new plan gives me a nice visual to see where I am in my budget.

10. My old dog's bed has lost its fluffiness and her old bones were not happy. I would love to buy a new dog bed but they are $30. I thought about it and realized that if I put a folded blanket under the bed it would help soften the blow on her bones from the hard floor. I went through my blankets and found an old one that is working just fine. She is very happy.

So how about you? How did you save money this week in your home? I love to read your ideas!



  1. I am VERY frugal...and have to I save money by NOT leaving my house. I know that sounds odd, I am retired...and I know that every time I leave the house I spend money on something...even if it is just gas, or remembering that I wanted something from the store, or fast food because I've been out half the day. STAY HOME! :) I also use up what I have and don't try to dream up things that take investments.

  2. A few years ago, I planted sprouted onions in the backyard and I always have fresh green onions, year round. I just go out cut what I need and in two weeks they grow back again.
    Also, we shop the local Fresh & Easy, where they discount the foods that are on their "sell by" date up to 85% before closing. Many times we find the items still on the shelf and nicely ask the manager to mark them down for us. We save a ton this way.

  3. I didn't save money well, but am so challenged to do what you do--like the discipline of dieting, this takes a big mind-set change. Your journey to live frugally is so smart and adventurous.

    Had to hire someone to finish a project that two men with Alzheimer's couldn't finish, but am so pleased with the results. The result, however, is a safer "coffee table" with my husband's DVDs. Sometimes it is worth it to spend money on safety, ya think?

    What are "cleaners"?

    Dogs are great and I bet yours is so happy with the bed and with the people food.

    I am no longer able to post pictures on my Google blog and wasted money by giving them $2.49 per month and still cannot post from my computer. They say:
    "You can upload JPG, GIF or PNG file
    From this blog
    From your phone
    From your webcam
    From a URL"

    So much for free blogging now.

  4. You did a lot! I need to start making plans for my spring garden. I am still harvesting broccoli and cabbage from the winter garden!

    We don't buy dog beds either. They are expensive and our dog is big--so we'd have to buy a big bed! LOL His first bed was 2 older bed pillows that I sewed together(opened one end on each and added extra stuffing which I had) then covered with an old fleece throw that I made into a pillowcase/slipcover; he loved it! Now he has a $2 yard sale bed with a huge old chenille bedspread folded on top--it is thick and fluffy--we call it his pillow top mattress!

  5. My pooch has several layers of blankets for her bed. We can't afford to buy her an actual doggy bed, and the layers of blankets she sleeps on are machine washable.

    Have you ever added glucosamine to your pup's food? It really does help with their arthritis. Google it to find out the dosage, it's based on the dog's weight.

  6. You are always so very inspiring! Your attitude is so wonderful! You did awesome with saving $$ over the last week! :)

  7. I have to agree with Cathy. I find that staying home saves money. If I am out and about, I tend to buy an iced tea or a coffee, and if it is around lunch, maybe a hamburger as well. Then there is always something you see while window shopping that you just have to have.

    Tried to save some money by baking my grandson a birthday cake. Publix charges a little over $20.00 for a 1/4 sheet cake, and even though my daughter was going to make the cake, she ran out of time. He wanted an angry bird cake, so I knew I could buy the little plastic toppers from the Publix bakery, I figured a couple of dollars. Well, she had one set left, and she put $7.00 on it!! So by the time I bought the cake mix, frosting, and an aluminum pan for it, I spent $17.00! (My 9
    x `13 cake pan somehow disappeared). So it was not too much of a money saving venture. I even stopped at Dollar tree on the way home and looked for some small angry bird toys, but didn't find any. I could have returned the $7.oo ones to Publix.

    We ate all of out meals at home. I am using the crock pot quite a bit these days. And we have been watching movies on Netflix. Our son who lives with us opened an account to stream the movies at home for $8 a month, so we are just going to split that cost with him, plus the internet cost each month, so the two together will be $25 per month. We do not have cable t.v. Thought about picking some oranges from my neighbors tree and making orange marmalade, but no one in the family but me will eat it, so I figured it was not worth the cost of the jars, sugar and time. Also, I am working my way through a stack of library books. A library card at our city library is free if you live in the city limits.

  8. Hi Georgene! Thank you for another post, motivating me to try even harder to stretch our dollars and cents. This week, my husband, 8 1/2 yr old son, and I began drinking water at every meal. No more sweet tea! So no more buying sugar and tea bags. We were drinking way too much of that. I do have milk available for my son when he requests it but he loves water so asks for that most of the time. We also cut out sugar completely, for that matter. We've also been buying our groceries at Aldi for the past couple of months and have saved a great deal of money compared to shopping at Kroger and WalMart. I also ordered some needed items from instead of going to WalMart, where I always end up spending more than I plan to. My items were cheaper at with their sales and online coupons plus I got free shipping, and didn't have to spend gas money. I've also been incorporating our fresh eggs from our free-range chickens into our meals more often so that is like free food. I also called our insurance company this week and went over our auto & home policies with an agent. We were able to find a small monthly savings with those changes. We also changed our Dish Network tv package to the lowest one offered that they don't advertise, so we went from 34.99 per month to 14.99 per month, with the customer service rep giving us a $10 credit too. Several weeks ago we also began tracking every penny that leaves our house, using an Excel spreadsheet. I have it set up to automatically total in the various categories when an entry is made so we can keep up with expenses from week to week or month to month. Every penny really does add up!

  9. First of all...I just LOVE the experession daughter-in-love...if I ever am lucky enough to get one I will certainly use!...they say coffee grounds are good for compost so...I am saving money this week by taking my debit card out of my wallet!!...I have money in the account but just too easy to spend!

  10. Hi, I answered your questions on my blog, but I'm basically just trying to get back to a very low carb diet one step at a time. My focus right now is no starch and more vegs. I haven't been testing.

  11. You impress and inspire me so much!!!! I need and want to do better...... I'm trying!


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