Monday, June 9, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments

This past week has been pretty great in the way of frugal accomplishments!
 Friday my mother in law insisted on taking my son for an overnight so my husband and I had a surprise date night friday night. We went for dinner at our favorite chinese place and then hit the store to use some coupons for an awesome Perdue chicken nugget deal. We buy chicken nuggets regularly for our son and the deal paired with coupons brought each pack to 15 cents! Awesome! I know they are not the healthiest way to eat chicken but sometimes its ok to keep it easy.
Other coupon deals this week included pasta sauce, soup and mens 3 in 1 body wash/shampoo/conditioner. We rounded out this weeks coupon deals with a watermelon and don't plan on going back to the store for groceries until next week. There is plenty of stuff in our freezer/pantry for meals for the next week. We had a great deal on the sauce and the soup was free with coupons so we spent less than $18 dollars this week. I am so happy about that. I don't want to grocery shop again until next wednesday.....the challenge is on!
While I'm on the subject of food I made a batch of bagels that we are still enjoying, a batch of large banana muffins, a batch of mini banana muffins and two batches of cookies that we sent on playdates and had as dessert a few nights. I am really enjoying being in the kitchen and that brings me to my next accomplishment.....the flea market
We have had a running list of items we need/want for the house and just this past week I added mini muffin tins, a bunt cake pan, and silicone molds. Other items on our list are an outdoor coffee table, an indoor coffee table, a bistro patio set, and a new blender as mine is dying a slow death. Saturday morning we woke up and decided to go to the flea market. We are planning to go in two weeks but because we had our freebie date night we got to go this weekend too. We are keeping an eye out for christmas gifts as well as items on our list. I found mini muffin tins, the cake pan and a vintage jello mold for a dollar! I wasn't going to take the jello mold as none of us eat jello but the guy told me I could just have it since I took the other pans! My girlfriend was over saturday night and gave me an idea to make cookie bowls for ice cream.....maybe we'll do that for fathers day!
My husband decided he was going to build coffee tables for us and started the outdoor one. I can't wait to see how it comes out! His last building project was the bar in our basement which he built out of old pallets. It looks awesome so I can only imagine how great the coffee tables will look! I am thankful to have such a creative and handy husband.
While at the flea market I found a christmas gift for my inlaws, some gifts for my son and a gift for my sister. Each item cost $1 except for this great star wars darth maul figure. That will be a main gift this year for my son and I am so excited as it only cost $5. Our christmas budget is $750 for for 10 people, a tree, food for the dinners we host (a party and christmas eve) and grab gifts. I want to come in well under $750 and the only way to do that is to start now. I have my eyes open for great gifts at great prices and I think we did awesome this weekend.
I had a wonderful week last week and a great weekend. Our date night was so much fun and the rest of the weekend we hung out at home just enjoying each others company. Looking forward to more frugal accomplishments in the week ahead!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

Last week we did much better meal planning. We created a plan, made a list and for the first time in a long time we stuck to it! We are budgeting $400 a month for food which comes out to $100 a week. I expect this to include toiletries like diapers, wipes and tp too. This week we came in at less than $85 which I was so excited about!
One night last week we wanted take out and decided to order a pizza. At the last minute I said I would run to the store. I got a store brand Freschetta type pizza for 4 dollars! Way less than delivery would have been....still not as frugal as eating our planned meal but we just didn't want it that night.
I got 2 packages of turkey bacon (the only bacon we eat) for free after a sale and coupons.
I made a batch of bagels for breakfasts and some lunches for the next two weeks. My husband made awesome pancakes for breakfast on sunday and made extras for us to have throughout the week as well.
My son and I made from scratch chocolate chip cookies and they are awesome! We never buy cookies or cookie dough unless its around the holidays. With this recipe we used up the last of a few ingredients and once we taste tested the cookies we were blown away! So yummy! These are a way better tasting treat than munchkins or the gingerbread guys at the store bakery.....and way cheaper too. I wonder if they freeze well?
I finished planting all my seedlings. I am worried that my tomatoes may not make it....its been a cooler spring here in new england. If they don't grow we will have to purchase some from the nursery but I'm hoping to hold out for a sale.
My husband finished the rest of the deck boxes (they were my mothers day present) and I filled them in with dirt leftover from the garden. The boxes total 12 feet long by 4 inches wide and the dirt was already on awesome is that?
I had a bunch of hosta plants growing in a very sunny spot in my long garden. I decided to move them to one side of the back deck. They'll be happier in the shadier area and once they fill in a little they'll make a great border there. I'm slowly thinning out my long garden and moving plants around. We rent this house and will only be here another 2 to 3 years so I don't want to really invest any money in this yard. When we buy a house of our own I hope to have fruit trees and berry bushes and a much bigger garden but for now, I am very happy with the way things are coming along out there.

Room for Improvement:
This week I want to stick to our meal plan./ I'm so happy we were $15 under budget for the week and I don't want to waste that by getting lazy and ordering take out.

We have a list of items we would like for our deck and also some items we need such as clothes for my son and some shirts for my husband. I don't want to spend a fortune so I'm going to be looking for some good deals and also checking out some yard sales and the flea market for the outdoor stuff. This is sort of a preemptive room for improvement measure!