Friday, October 4, 2013

Dollar Stores: What I buy!

I love the dollar stores. I keep finding new items that save money. You have to know your prices though.  Some items are smaller packages and end up costing more per ounce.  I've found that on a small budget it helps provide variety. For instance, my local dollar store offers a long sausage for $1. It's not enough for a dinner meal but makes a nice addition to a pot of soup. It would cost me close to $4-5 dollars to buy a package.  I don't need that much sausage this month so a small amount will add some variety to our lunches without costing a lot.

My son-in-love put up a new antenna on our roof.
Here are a few things I buy at my local dollar store.
  • Fabric Softener ( I only use it for my towels and use half the recommendation). 
  • Flax seed (I grind them at home)
  • Shampoo
  • Sensitive toothpaste
  • Mascara
  • Eye liner
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover
  • Peanuts in indiv. serving packets
  • Coconut milk
  • Chorizo
  • Fake cheese (I can't eat dairy)
  • Bologna
  • Candy (grandkiddos)
  • Birthday cards (2/ $1)
  • Computer paper
  • Solar lights
  • Feminine products
  • Baby wipes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pens
  • Index cards (recipes, scripture memorization cards)
  • Orange and almond extract
  • Hot sauce
  • Eye glasses for reading
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Dill relish
  • Seran wrap, tinfoil
  • Freezer and sandwich bags (I only buy these when I run out of bags I've reused)
  • Paper towels (only used to clean pans with grease)
  • Turkey bacon
  • Fajita frozen veggies
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pork rinds
  • Pepperoni (LC pizza for lunch)
  • Farmer John Maple Sausage
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Spices
  • Minced or whole garlic in a jar
  • Smoked sausage (for soups)
  • Gum
  • Gift wrap and bags
  • Padded envelopes
  • Packaging tape
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Here are a few things I did to stretch our budget this week:

1. Mended socks and a shirt. I put them in a mending basket by my chair.  I used to get on my laptop in the evenings but then I wasted so much time. Now, I set aside the first hour to crochet or mend. I'm really getting a lot done.

2. The stevia has been drying in my garage and it's nice and dry. I put newspapers down on my kitchen table and stripped the leaves from the stem. I probably have around 2 1/2 cups of leaves. I'm going to try grinding it first to see if I can  use the powder in recipes. If not then I'll  make a tincture. If we like it then I hope to buy some seeds to plant next spring.

3.  I tried a new recipe and we liked it.  It's an inexpensive meal, too.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder,  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt,  1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 pound cabbage ( used a bag of Coleslaw)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Frank's hot sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Splenda, liquid equivalent (I used Erythritol)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper, crushed (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Remove ground beef from pan, and set aside. Leave oil in the pan.
  2. Add garlic, sesame oil, and cabbage to pan. Cook until cabbage begins to brown.
Add soy sauce, Frank’s, apple cider vinegar, sucralose, and red pepper to frying pan. Return ground beef to pan, and heat for two minutes.
 
4.   I saved my receipts and posted them in my Price Book.  Prices are changing so fast that I lose track of the price on items I don't buy often.

My grandkiddos love to climb our trees


5.  I pulled up the solar lights in the yard to store away for winter.

6. I made another batch of Spicy Tomato Sauce.  I love this marinara sauce. I can eat it straight from the pot. I throw it in soups and spaghetti sauce. I also like it on my eggs for breakfast. I think I made about 5 batches this summer with our fresh tomatoes.

7. I had enough green beans left in the garden to pressure can 4 jars. I also pressure canned the Spicy Tomato Sauce.

8.  The garlic chives were harvested.  The seeds were saved for next year's planting and I froze the garlic chives. I'll throw them in soups or put them in our eggs. I'll be cutting the last of the oregano this weekend to dry. I also picked some Poblano peppers and made Chile Rellenos. I found an easy way to get the skin off the peppers. I broil them and then wrap them in a wet towel and place in a plastic bag.  The peel comes off easy once the pepper is cool. I've also been throwing some of our hot peppers in my soups and chili.

9. Broccoli has been planted for a fall crop. Beet and sweet pea seeds went into the ground this week, too.



10. Things I didn't throw away this week:
  • Computer paper. One side was used. I flipped it over and put it back in the printer to use the other side. 
  • Carrot peels: (froze it for a batch of homemade dog food)
  • Left over cauliflower: Hubby was tired of it so I disguised it in scrambled eggs.
  • Strings from tea bags  (tie up plants)
  • Egg shells, vegetable peelings, tea bags (composting)
  • Cardboard (T.P. rolls, paper towel rolls) (composting) 
  • Margarine tubs (reused for leftovers) 
  • Banana peels (Buried them next to the rose bushes for fertilizer)
  • Coleslaw bag: washed and reused. 
  • Empty toilet paper roll ( I had leftover binding from a quilt so I rolled it around the roll and used a rubber band to hold it in place)
  • Rubber band from free newspaper thrown weekly in my yard. I haven't had to buy rubber bands for years because I save any that come through my door. 
  • Old jeans (cut up to make a quilt)
I'm trying to get an hour of sewing in daily! I'm working on a Christmas gift and also taking in some clothes. 

So what did you do this week? Do you see anything I missed on my Dollar Store list that you purchase?