We went without for so long that now that we don't have to I have a big fear of blowing all our money on things we have come to realize we don't need. Maintaining frugal practices even though they are no longer a necessity is important to me and I hope to hold myself accountable here. Every week on Mondays (well, today is Tuesday but yesterday was a holiday!!) I want to recap what frugal practices we engaged in the week before and where there is room for improvement.
Last week I made bagels with a recipe from http://theprudenthomemakerblog.blogspot.com/ and they came out INCREDIBLE! My husband is an incredible cook and is usually the one in the kitchen. Now that he is back working full time it is a goal of mine to do more in the kitchen. I like to bake because I need directions to follow and I was so happy with how the bagels turned out. The recipe made a HUGE batch and I have been eating a bagel for breakfast every day this week. My son loved them too and my husband.....and I know if my husband likes it its good because he is a really critical taste tester. Because we have been eating bagels for breakfast all week we have saved having to buy waffles and have saved on bread for toast. I definitely need to do more "from scratch" cooking!
I made laundry detergent and have been hang drying clothes. I'm not that happy with our laundry soap and plan on tweaking it with some essential oils.
I made dishwasher soap that works better than any commercial soap we have ever used. I am so impressed with it I wish I had made it years ago!
We used cloths instead of paper towels. I bought two packs of face cloths at Walmart a few months ago for $4 a pack. We have not bought paper towels since!
We made homemade popsicles by freezing our homemade smoothies into popsicle molds.By doing this we eat super healthy popsicles and save our produce by freezing leftover smoothies instead of tossing them. This is a good way to use up any produce about to go bad too!
Last night we shopped around for car insurance and found an agency that will save us combined $250 a month! That is incredible and I am so happy about it!
I sold a few things on ebay. All of our money from selling things on ebay goes to our credit card debt. We have $2500 in credit card debt from using credit cards for regular living expenses in the time my husband was out of work. Our credit card debt and some other debt we have haunts me as mistakes we made during our difficult financial times. I know we have learned from these mistakes but the time its taking to pay off the credit cards it driving me crazy. I know the debt will be gone soon enough and we won't be in this place again. I just need to keep reminding myself of that!
We checked out books and movies from the library for FREE.....who doesn't love the library? I think it is one of the best places in the whole world. They lend you everything for free and trust you to return it! When my son is a little older there are some awesome programs we can participate in through the library that are free as well.
We accepted a gently used full size mattress and box spring from our friends. I had just said to my husband that I wanted a full size bed for our son's room and the very next day my friend told me they were switching her sons bed out and would we want it? Its only two years old and in great shape! I used to be so snobby about accepting freebies. When I was pregnant this same family gave us so much of their kids hand me downs that we didn't have to register for anything but clothes and diapers! Being so low on money and being pregnant changed my mind about hand me downs. I saw them as wonderful blessings to be grateful for and now I understand that second hand is also a greener choice. There is nothing wrong with second hand....or third or fourth hand! We are so grateful for all our hand me downs!
I started planting our garden over the long weekend. We found a great sale on dirt and saved over $30 from what I had budgeted for dirt! I filled in my garden, filled three boxes, my two huge deck boxes, and several pots for $25. I had budgeted $60! I also found a super memorial day deal on a hanging plant for the front porch. There has been a hanger out there since we moved in that has been empty. I found a hanging plant for $5 that I saw at another store for $25! I had the cashier check the price before I bought it because I couldn't believe it was such a great deal....but it was!
Much of what is planted in the garden was grown from seed. We have peas growing from seed, spinach, tomatos, zuccinni, cucumber and basil all from seed. I hope everything grows well! We also started marigold seeds but they aren't growing just yet.
I was able to spread out alot of my flower garden just because everything has been growing so big. When we first moved here we were gifted plant clippings and they have taken over the flower beds! I was able to fill in my side bed that was empty without having to buy a thing!
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:
We took A to Chuckee Cheese over the weekend and should have looked for a coupon first. We didn't eat there, just played games and played in the playground. He loves the playground there because its all up above the ground.
We ordered dinner out twice last week because we didn't plan well. This all goes back to me wanting to be better in the kitchen!! We did make a meal plan for this week so the goal is to stick to it!!
We ordered the lego movie for $15 from our cable provider. If we had waited we could have got it from the library but we were too excited. We do not go to the movies because 1. IT IS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE and 2. both myself and my son have sound sensitivities and are uncomfortable watching movies at the theatre.
I hope this week finds us with lots more frugal accomplishments!!