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!