Monday, October 21, 2013

Ways I Saved

We had another good week of saving!

We started swim lessons again, and it has become very clear how worn Little Gal's bathing suit is. I had looked at a couple of stores for summer clearance swimsuits without luck, but on a whim, went wandering into a store after Story Time at the library. I happened to find the last swimsuit in her size for 75% off! It's nicely lined and should last until next summer. I also went through our box of clothes that my sisters have passed down (thanks, sisters!) and found several swim trunks for Little Guy. Between the free dance shoes, and the inexpensive or free swim suits, we're set for their extra activities. Woohoo!

I continued to cook in the crockpot this week. I made Vegetable Barley Soup one night, and we had it for two lunches to finish it off. I was pleased with how well it lasted, and that nobody complained about the leftovers.

I also made Simple Yellow Rice in my pressure cooker, and Roasted Potatoes in the Crockpot. I have a bit leftover from each of those, so I'll be turning them into a casserole for dinner tonight.  I also made Wheat Pancakes, Popcorn, and used up nuts and raisins for snacks when I'd purchased them for a good price.

I ran out of high gluten flour (horrors!!), out of which I primarily make pizza dough, wheat bread (no, its not 100% whole wheat) and French Bread. I was going to wait until November to buy a 50 pound bag, but some money was freed up in our budget and I went to Cash and Carry (kind of like a Smart & Final) with it. It was fabulous to shop there! I need to go more frequently.  I was able to stock up on popcorn, black beans, high gluten flour, chocolate and vanilla pudding (I think the bags are 26 oz?), bananas (I'll be freezing what we don't eat before it gets too ripe), straws (my kids think straws are amazing, and they had a 400 count box of neon colors that are very sturdy for less than $4), and a fun new thing.  Flavored syrups!  I'd been wanting to purchase some to make Italian Cream Sodas for quite a while (and to flavor hot chocolate and apple cider), but I just hadn't gotten around to it.  While we were there, I price checked them, then fit them into the budget.  We got Raspberry and also Vanilla.  I want to go pick one out as a family (they were $3.87 at my store) and make milkshakes one night.  So far, we've used them in the Italian Sodas, and a Raspberry milkshake.  Yummy!!  The bottles are large and will last a long time.  We think it's a good investment in fun!

I had a baking/cooking day.  I made a Carrot Cake (without the frosting--I wanted a simple treat for us), French Bread, and I cooked a batch of dry black beans in my pressure cooker.

I made and canned applesauce and Apple Pie Filling.  I had purchased the apples for a pretty good price.  I'm probably going to order a box to keep for the rest of the fall/winter.

My husband built shelves for me!!!  I can't tell you how excited I am!  The kiddo's room has been very unorganized for a couple of months, even when it's all cleaned up.  So I told my husband what I wanted a few weeks ago, and he built it for me over the weekend.  We have some more to do, but I can put all of their school stuff on the shelves and free up quite a bit of space on the shelf where it was in my laundry/pantry room.  It cost money to buy the supplies, but we got what we wanted for a much better price than buying the shelves pre-made.

I sowed more seeds out in the garden.  My garden had some very rough spots this past week.  First, my greenhouse blew over, then my cat got into the new cement block bed (it was covered, but I found out she was getting through the netting on the side) and dug up all of the seeds that had been in the ground.  She proceeded to do this three times total.  Ahhh!  My husband helped me take care of it over the weekend, and now there is a bird netting fortress of doom there.  She has not disturbed the bed since, we stabilized the greenhouse, and things are doing much better now.

Almost all of my Green Tomatoes have ripened, and I was able to put another Gallon bag into the freezer.

We went to our Home School Group, and to Story Time at the library.

We played in the backyard a LOT this week.  The kids helped me plant things, watered their little garden boxes, dug in the dirt and played on the swing.

I stayed within my grocery budget last week, and we had a budget meeting to make sure things were on track.  I love those little budget meetings with my husband.  They work really well for us.

These are some ways we saved.  How about you?  What did you do to save money this past week?


  1. Is that the same kind of syrup for adding to coffee? I have several coupons for a Toroni brand syrup but have yet to use them as not sure how they would be.

    We have no great grocery store here like that. The only places that sell bulk like that are the Amish groceries (not real close by) or the Hmong ones (don't sell flour in bulk) . Well, Sam's club does too, but I do not like the choices there quite often.

    I have for years just bought vital wheat gluten separate and added to my white or wheat all purpose as needed. Now my grocer has stopped carrying gluten because to quote the stock boy " no one wants gluten anymore". Really??

  2. Yes, it's similar to the Torani brand. My Cash and Carry had both brands, but the DaVinci was cheaper by about $.50. The syrups can be added to coffee, hot chocolate, hot apple cider (this was how I was first introduced to them), milkshakes, Italian Cream Sodas, etc., though I only have experience with the last three. You should try one if you have the opportunity! We've found them delightful and will be purchasing more.

    That is rough to not live near a bulk foods place that carries what you like. Costco is pretty far from me, and we don't have a Sam's, but at least I have Cash and Carry and Winco to get my bulk foods at good prices.

    What a shame that your grocer stopped carrying it! Have you tried Amazon or an online order? It might be cheaper than travelling somewhere for it.