What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, May 09, 2014

FOF: Week 1 of the Use It Up Challenge

This week was not at all frugal.  Matt and I were able to have a weekend getaway sans children which required a hotel room and eating out (oh, drat.  So disappointing!  NOT.)  I loved it.  Every minute of it.  But it certainly didn't make me a good spokesperson for Finances on Friday.  It made me a Frugal Fraud~ with a few additional pounds packed on and a huge grin across my face.

Nevertheless~ here are a few things I did throughout this week, after our amazing weekend away:

* dehydrated banana slices and apple slices to make snacks for the car ride.  (I did this before the trip and took them with us.)

* sent eggs, bread and banana cinnamon rolls along with the children to their grandparents house.  I used up the two TOO RIPE bananas I had, mashed with cinnamon and sugar and chocolate chips for the cinnamon-swirl part of the cinnamon rolls to use them up before they were a total waste.  A brilliant idea, if I do say so myself.  (Did this before the trip too, come to think of it.)

*  hung all laundry on clothesline to dry

* called the phone company to get an online bill paying account and spoke with a woman who, though it wasn't what I called for, got my monthly rate lowered by around $30.00 with 30 free minutes of long distance (no long distance before), 10c a minute after that (.18c long distance before) and caller id/call waiting (welcome to the 21st century).  This, after just last month calling to see what they could do for me and being told "nothing-but here is a $60.00 credit for your time!").  Interesting what talking to a different person will do!  Ended up with the credit AND the discount!  Cha-ching

* Went to the craft store to get one particular thing and discovered in the clearance section huge one pound yarn skeins for $3.97.  Original price is $10-$12 so even with a 40% off coupon, I couldn't match it.  I got three in a beautiful shade of light gray and one in purple.  I think I already know what I would like to do with the gray.

* Used a Lane Bryant $15.00 off a $15.00 coupon mailed to me to buy a new pair of sunglasses.  Out of pocket: $2.03

* Had to get work gloves at Harbor Freight and used three no-purchase-necessary HF coupons to get free screwdrivers, a free light and a free tape measure.

* Went to the library and got a bag of books from the book barn for $3.00.  While there, the librarian asked if I wanted to have their set of Encyclopedias for free (in brand new condition because they were never taken out of the library and only bought five years ago!)  Corynn, especially, has been hoping for a set of encyclopedias.

* filled out the paperwork and mailed the leftover pesos to be exchanged for dollars that we had laying around from our honeymoon. a-hem 11 years ago.

* spent several hours outside doing garden things like putting a light layer of hay over the asparagus patch and mulching flower beds, etc.

* canned 5 1/2 qts bone broth from several bags of frozen beef bones from the butcher (to work toward emptying that freezer!)

* used the leftover boiled vegetables to make stew for dinner.

* dried the bones for RubyDog

And here was the menu for the week:
(My goal is to clear space for this years' harvest by the end of the month so I am focusing on using up some of the freezer and canning cupboard goodies.)

Note: sandwiches for lunch unless otherwise stated.  In blue= from freezer, In Red= from canning cupboard

(Out of town Sat/Sun)

Sunday dinner was homemade Mac and Cheese, peas, bananas.  (We had just come home and were ready to get the kids to bed so it had to be fast and easy.) (peas)

    breakfast: huckleberry scones (huckleberries)
    dinner: Taco/Burrito Night in honor of Cinco de Mayo! And pickles, since Matt wanted them. (ground beef, venison, salsa, a few jalapenos)

   breakfast: leftover scones and cottage cheese
   dinner: eggs, bacon, toast, potato/zucchini/cheese hashbrown casserole (2 pkgs frozen shredded zucchini, bacon)

   breakfast: oatmeal and raisins
   dinner: Beef Stew using the leftover veggies and meat remnants from bones from making beef bone broth all day from frozen soup bones.  (As an aside: I never understand why people boil veggies for broth and then throw them away and for myself, consider it almost sacrilegious.) Also used leftover chili broth from freezer and leftover taco meat from Monday night in the stew.  Also had cornbread and strawberries.

    breakfast: Flourless zucchini breakfast bread with added coconut thrown in for good measure, since I had a bit leftover in a bag in the cupboard.  Used that up.  A slice of cheese. (shredded zucchini)
    dinner:  Pesto sauce with Chicken, Kielbasa and Cherry Tomatoes over Whole Wheat Angel Hair.  Used up the last of the cherry tomatoes that were too wrinkly to be appetizing on my lunch salads.  Applesauce.  (pesto, kielbasa)

    breakfast: A slice of toast. Smoothies (bananas, huckleberries, peaches)
    dinner: Pizza Night!  (I'm thinking BBQ chicken and Pepperoni and Onion pizzas.) Carrot sticks.

How did you do this week??


Amanda said...

Wow! I soooo need to do this but I don't even know where to begin! I'm cooking for just two but I feel like I have SO much food in the house that it is wasteful to keep buying more groceries without using what I have. I need to get in gear!

Terri said...

This week wasn't particularly frugal for me but I have started the challenge as well. I'm glad you enjoyed your weekend away!

Rain said...

Looks like you had a great frugal week! I think that all the money we save with the daily details of life is what makes the more expensive (but very needed) weekends possible.

Courtney said...

Yay that you got to take a trip with your husband! Times like that don't come around often, but we can be frugal any old time. :)

Alyssa Corley said...

I hardly ever have anything to use up except pasta and flour :) I feel like I'm doing a good job being mindful of where we are spending our money but rather lousy at SAVING anything.

Miranda Hupp said...

Ok so what kind of sandwiches do you make for lunch? As you know, I am trying to save money. I LOVE seeing your menu. I always run out of ideas for lunch.

Terri Cheney said...

Sounds like a lovely week to me. John is prone to ask now and then "What are we saving for?" Mind you he's the big savings person but he often is also the one to encourage a nice splurge like your weekend away. I am sure it did you a world of good and the lasting effects will spur you on to greater savings.

Renata said...

Hi Rebecca
I really enjoy these posts even though I am the world's worst commenter. I do read each and every one :). I have a quick question: have you got the recipe for your salsa that you freeze anywhere? I love the idea of making my own salsa and being able to freeze it is a bonus!
Have a wonderful Mothers Day and week ahead!

Rebecca said...

Renata~ I made a mistake and colored the word salsa for "freezer" and not for "canning cupboard". Oops. That said- any recipe for salsa should freeze just fine. I often make my salsas according to our tastes and according to what I have to use up- tossing in a bunch of onions, garlic, peppers, cilantro, lemon juice and salt. I've even added things like cucumbers and corn or black beans. I know there are plenty of good recipes in Balls Blue Book of canning to get you started. Just, instead of canning- freeze it! Hope this helps!

Rebecca said...

Miranda- I am so NOT interesting when it comes to lunch. There is just too much going on during the school day to be creative at lunchtime (for me). I am talking BASIC sandwiches here- peanut butter and jelly/ apple butter/ banana or tuna or cheese. I make sandwiches for the children and eat leftovers or salads myself (I ate too many sandwiches growing up, I guess.)

The kids are small enough now that they don't complain but I know I won't get away with it forever.


Debbie in Florida said...

Hello! I found you through your posts on the Prudent Homemaker Frugal Accomplishments a few weeks ago and have been poking around your blog. I can't wait to try your Flourless Zucchini Breakfast Bread. I've already have a glut of zucchini and am looking for ways to use it up. I also need to join you in your use it up challenge as I still have a glut of peppers in the freezer from the last year.

Abigail said...

I usually don't comment on these posts because there's not much to say, but reading through them all in one go is killing me. I've been knocking things of the To Do list for a couple of weeks now, but trying to finish up h'learning for the year and indoor tasks have sucked every minute dry, and I haven't done anything more than some weeding in the vegetable garden (and not even enough of that). Don't even ask about the poor flowerbeds and the seedlings and bulbs that are waiting to be put in. Reading of all the GARDEN things you've done is killing me! I'm hoping for a couple more hard frosts up here on the hill to justify the delay. That always helps. C'mon, arctic freeze! I'm waiting for you! :)

Abigail said...

p.s. In the midst of all that whining, did you hear a resounding, "Good job, Rebecca?!" It's there! If not, here's a "GOOD JOB, REBECCA!" sincerely bellowed by yours truly.

Rebecca said...

All except the most important things ahem...seedlings. :-)