Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some of the Ways We Saved Money Lately

I started this post last Saturday but this week has been a wee bit busy. So here it is today (and maybe my normal  posts will happen later).

I thought it would be fun to share some odds and ends of things that we have done to save some money recently. Here are some of what we have done:

~I cut Ken's hair. I need to do the boys' hair soon as well but it hasn't happened yet.

~Packing meals to eat away from home. Ken and I were able to spend a couple of days and nights away from home this past week. He had some continuing education to go to that was being held at a very nice resort a couple of hours away from here. He was already planning on going (a business expense) and it worked out that I could go too. My going didn't cost any extra gas or room fees but I knew that it could cost extra in food if we ate out all the time. So I pack food. We were able to skip the eating out for 2 breakfasts and both suppers (one of the suppers we didn't buy freezer/ premade food in that town so it wasn't as cheap as normal but still around 1/4 of the cost of eating at the Resort) and I ate food I had packed for one lunch as well. I was happy because if I hadn't gone Ken would have eaten out every time and so it would have cost more for me not to go then to go.

~Cleaning the toilet with baking soda.

~Taking advantage of going to the state park. On Saturday I had to deliver Wedding Flowers to our state park. There is an entrance fee (which the family I was delivering too ended up paying-I wasn't sure how that would work)  but since I had to go anyway I decided we would enjoy the opportunity. Ken was working (to make up for the time that we had to be gone earlier in the week) but the kids and I decided that we would enjoy the bog walk there and the kids wanted to do a little swimming as well. We had a fun afternoon.

~Having Keren cut my hair. I decided to change my hairstyle a bit and it is very nice that my sister does a good job at cutting hair so I could save a lot of money that way.

~Mending socks and mittens. I mended some mittens and socks while Ken and I were on our little vacation. This will extend their life quite a bit - I always enjoy finding ways to do that. (Here is my sock mending method)

~Making new underwear. I'll blog more on this later. I was able to make new underwear for several of us using things that we already had on hand.

~Foraging food and using food from our garden (indoor and out). We have worked to make sure we eat something that we harvested that day each day this month. I didn't do so well with this when I was away from home as we were at a resort where they did spraying (I saw them) and so I was nervous to eat any edible greens. I did chew on a piece of grass on our bike ride but it wasn't very impressive! :-) The kids however who stayed at my parents ate both Morel mushrooms that Mara helped to find in the woods and they ate some day lily shoots.

~Reusing lumber to make our chicken coop and pen. So far all we have purchased is 5 2 x 4s. I am happy with all we have been able to reuse. More on this later.

~Figuring out how to donate to missionaries without using a stamp. This isn't a huge savings but every little bit helps. Our church donates to the missionaries that I also like to donate to personally and the treasurer mentioned that if we gave money designated for a  certain mission then they would just include that amount in the next check. That way I don't have to address an envelope or use a stamp.

~Making homemade gifts. Our latest gifts to make were chocolate covered strawberries for Father's Day.

Ken and I halfway on a 26 mile bike ride.
~Going on bike rides for entertainment. One evening on Ken's and my little "Vacation" we went on a long bike ride for fun on a beautiful trail. On Father's Day afternoon our family plus 3 of my siblings and their families went on a 14 mile bike ride on a trail through some beautiful woods around a lake. We think bike riding is very fun entertainment and it is free (once you have the bike anyway!).

~Picking and enjoying flowers. We love to have bouquets of fresh flowers in our home. It just makes things so beautiful and cheery. There are plenty of fresh bouquets to be had around our place just for the picking.

~Making homemade cards.

~Eating leftovers and not wasting food.

~Fixing our mailbox. The lid had rusted and fallen off and I figured out a way (kind of unique, but it works) to fix it so that we can put off buying a new one for a while longer.

~Making do (except for a special lightbulb) with what we already owned to take care of our new chicks. We figured out how to use a heater lamp that we already had, we "made" a waterer and food containers and a nice temporary box house. For bedding we have been using old t-shirts that were in pretty bad shape. They seem to be doing pretty well.

~Planting our garden.

~Eating Beef Tongue. This is a completely new venture for us but it is part of a cow and we get 1/2 of a beef so I didn't really like the thought of the tongue going to waste. I fixed it and it really tasted very good. I don't know why I put it off so long! It would have been easy to just let this go to waste though which is why I put this in the category of saving money since it was basically a "free" meal.

That is some of the things we have been doing around here. What frugally smart things have you done lately?


JoannaTopazT said...

Is that your new hairstyle in the bike ride picture? Regardless, you look really nice in that photo!

I'm not sure if I could bring myself to eat beef tongue even if it was free.

Lesle said...

we never eat all our leftovers and I always feel it is such a waste! inspired by this post that will be my goal next week, no food waste!

Anonymous said...

Here is one of my fave ways to make beef tongue

Abbi said...

Joanna - in that picture I do have my hair cut but it is rather covered by a hat. Thanks though!
Beef tongue was really quite good. Just the preparing it was challenging.

Lesle - I wish you success in using up leftovers. It really can save time and money.

A- Thanks for the beef tongue recipe tip - that looks wonderful! I have pinned it to try to make the next time we get tongue.

Anna said...

How did you do your beef tongue. It looks like you just roasted it.?

Abbi said...

I boiled the tongue for a few hours and then peeled it and then roasted it with potatoes and carrots. It was quite good but next time I think I would like to try the taco recipe that was shared above - it looks really yummy.


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