Monday, October 14, 2013

Ways I saved

A few months ago, I found The Prudent Homemaker blog. My favorite post is a weekly post called Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments. It's so inspiring and makes me so very much more aware of the way we spend.

I must say, I enjoy posting on this blog, but the Ways I Saved weekly post definitely has the potential to be the most satisfying post of every week.  Even if you don't post it for anyone else to see, you should try tracking your thriftiness one week.

Little Gal started dance class this week.  It's a ballet/tap class.  My husband and I discussed whether this would cost too much with the different shoes, and the possibility of two costumes for performances.  We decided to go ahead with the class as it was really the best option.  When we went to register, the gal behind the counter informed me that there was a table in the back with free items.  After I perused the table, I found exactly the right size for my daughter.  They were scuffed a little bit, and there were no laces.  I colored them (yes, I did!) with a black sharpie where the patent leather had been scraped up, and I'll be putting my old tap shoe laces on them.  Voila!  My sweet sister-in-law also gave her some ballet shoes that had been her cousins.  Free ballet and tap shoes, and a very happy little girl.

I made wheat dough one morning.  It made two loaves of bread (I used THIS RECIPE) that lasted us all week, as well as one batch of rolls that we ate with soup.  I was happy to not spend money on bread this week.

I made French Bread that we used for two dinners, gave a loaf to a neighbor, and my husband and I had a fun at-home-date turning one into some Cheesy Party Bread.  I'll be posting about that bread later this week!

We made Popcorn several times this week.  I also cut up apples, bananas and carrots for snacks.

It was a busy week in the garden.  We shopped a local nursery for half price plants.  I got a rosemary plant for about $1, a very large pot of beautiful fall mums for $2, and we purchased plants that our children picked out for their garden beds that my husband built out of free materials.  We also purchased cement blocks and dirt and built a new garden bed where the old Tomato bed was.  I purchased a few new seed packets and will be planting that bed tomorrow for our fall/winter garden bed.

I saved the roots and bottom inch of several green onions and planted them in the garden.  They grow back quickly.  Also, our radishes have been growing quite well.

I was very careful to turn lights out and the space heater off when not needed.  

I wrote on all of the top sides of paper in my to-do notepad.  I flipped it over, and will now be using the back sides of paper instead of tossing it.  My husband teased me that I was being "Extra Frugal" (ha!) but I don't care.  It's one less thing I have to buy.  A to-do pad is essential to my attempts at success.

I stayed within my grocery budget very carefully this week.  I usually spend a larger amount the first week of the month, and then leave a certain weekly allowance.  I sometimes "borrow" from the following week, leaving a pretty skimpy last week of the month, however, I'm REALLY trying to not do that this month.

I made Seasoned Mayo Sandwich Spread and Simple Yellow Rice this week.

We went to Story Time at the library.  The kids had fun, and we've been enjoying the friends we're making there.

We took a craft to our home school group this week.  It's just a little co-op of three families, really, but we enjoy it so much!  I didn't purchase anything extra for the craft, only using things we had on hand.

Broccoli has been quite expensive here, lately.  I love broccoli, so this has been a little sad for me.  I plunged into the depths of my freezer and found several packages that have held me over quite nicely this week.

We ate leftovers for one lunch and one dinner this week.  I've been trying to keep food waste down, so this was a successful week for us.

We all have been actively composting!  I've been asking the kids to take out little bits of food here and there.  They think it's great fun, and I'm happy they're learning.

The tomatoes are continuing to ripen on my counter and I was able to throw some more in my freezer.  I will probably be making some sauce in the coming week or so.

I cut both of the kid's hair.

We took another look at our budget this last week, made a few cuts to make enough room for the extra dirt purchased, and came up with a new system for keeping track of budgets that are slowly withdrawn from.  We're liking it so far!

How did you save this week?  Did you try anything new?


  1. Our dance teacher keeps a bin of used ballet and tap shoes that you can trade from. She keeps matching pairs tied together with a rubber band and everyone is welcome to take one and leave one for free, or just take one for $5. We have always been able to find a pair that fits eventually, even if it means going barefoot for a few weeks.

  2. That's such a good idea! I'm going to be checking that table more frequently, that's for sure.

  3. Hi! New to your post...found you through The Prudent Homemaker, and I am liking what I've seen so far! My husband and I would like to know about your statement in your last paragraph: "came up with a new system for keeping track of budgets that are slowly withdrawn from". What system is that? Is it in Excel? Would love to know how you use this as that is what we are struggling with! Thank you so for any help you can give! Cheeryshirley

  4. Hello Shirley and welcome to Life Lived Intentionally!

    My husband and I have been budgeting for many years of our marriage, but after trying a lot of budgeting tools on and off of the computer, we have finally found a system that works for us, and that would be a composition book and a mini composition book! We've been using this method for about 15 months now (though we just added in the mini composition book two months ago) and we've stayed within our budget better than we did using any other system.

    I know it sounds humble, but it really works for us. I believe that is because we can customize it to our needs.

    You are one step ahead of me here, though! I'd photographed our budget book and was planning on posting pictures of it tomorrow. So check back tomorrow, and it should be up. I hope it helps! Budgeting can be stressful.