Saturday, March 19, 2016

Feeling Frugal

 So here is another week where I failed to get a Frugal Friday post written. I thought I would get it done this week but the company that we had over for supper last night stayed until 9 pm (which was great fun!) and then I needed to get my seed order done which took longer than I thought and then I was falling asleep at the computer and I decided that I would have to skip it yet again. Oh well.

   But as I have been having fun thinking about the various ways we have been frugal in the time since I last wrote about it I thought I would share some of those things today anyway (when I finally had time to blog after taking care of Homeschool co-op business and letting my kids have their turn on the computer working on a skit for our homeschool co-op).

~ I have had some fun with chalkboard paint recently. The chalk board paint was leftover from my door project so that didn't cost anything and all the things I painted were things we had on hand. I made:

  • 10 Slates for a general store at our homeschool co-op.
  • Chalkboard vases using old olive oil bottles. I painted them and put twine around their neck. I used them for decoration at the Bridal show and also sold two to a bride for her wedding.
  • I make chalkboards out of some wood slices which I used for decorations at the Bridal Show and will also sell some.
  • I also fixed up my little lunch box which is my flower fixing kit by painting it with chalkboard paint.

 I have really been enjoying chalkboard paint.

~I cut the boys hair (I know I say this often, but truly I am excited about how much money we have saved through the years by doing home haircuts.)

~I have been using water instead of milk a lot in recipes as it often doesn't change it much and it is much cheaper.

~I have been using beef tallow that I processed instead of oil sometimes in recipes and for frying.

 ~I made curtains for our bathroom (a much needed addition!) using fabric that I already had on hand. I had thought I had already bought a suspension rod but I haven't been able to find it (I think I must have just looked at them -not actually bought one) but I didn't want to go out and buy one in case I did have it somewhere so I cut a piece of wood (a poplar tree that Jonathan had stripped the bark off of and dried) to size and then to make it fit firmly without scratching up the window frame I cut some styrafoam from an egg carton and hot glued those circles onto the ends. It works perfectly.

~Mara needed new jeans and I was able to find some nice ones at the thrift store for 50 cents each. Score! I also found her another pair of pants that will work well when we go back packing this summer for $1 and another pair of cords for free.

~While at the thrift store I was able to pick up a few neat books and a couple (of dirty but cleanable) vases in the free section.

~I needed vases for an event I was taking flowers to and I found what I need for 50 cents each. That is much cheaper than buying from the wholesaler and you can't tell that they were used.

~The girls and I went with a friend this morning to a neighboring town to a fabric outlet. I am helping my friend to make valances for her house. She got fabric for valances for 4 windows and some beautiful heavy upholstery fabric to recover a chair for just $35. I am planning on helping her recover the chair as well which will save her tons of money. She was quoted $700 to have it done. I think maybe I should go into that business! The girls and I found some deals too. We got some pretty fabric for curtains for Mara's bedroom windows, fabric for the windows in our master bedroom (I think I ended up with over 10 yards on that bolt so I have way more than I need), fabric for my office curtains and some other remnants that I just thought looked nice to have on hand. That came to under $25. All of the flat fold fabric that you see (and some of it is pieces that are over 2 yards long) came out of the free bin. We have all sorts of fun stuff to make bags, costumes, pillows and such with. It was a fun trip. We did splurge then by eating out because some of our party (everybody but me) was very hungry.

~I have been having fun making a bunch of jump ropes for our general store using old t-shirts which I cut in strips and then braid together.

~I also made some doggy toys for Kitchi from t-shirt scraps. He has really enjoyed them. I tried to get a picture of him actually playing with one but he was terribly wiggly so they turned out blurry. :-)

~I bartered a some music lessons to a family for them to take Aaron to his air rifle/air pistol practice each week. It saves me 45 minutes each week plus gas but it isn't that far out of the way for them as they are leaving my house anyway (I teach 4 kids in that family) and so it was a win for both of us.

~I ordered seeds from Fedco Seeds last night. They are the best place I know for having good seeds that don't cost an arm and a leg. We should be amply paid back for this cost in veggies a little later this year. Also I ordered seeds for quite a lot of flowering herbs that we want to use heavily in our landscaping around the house. This saves a lot of money over buying shrubs and such.

~I used Ebates for a recent Amazon purchase so that I can earn cash back.

~Friends gave us some hand-me-downs and in them we found some jeans for Jonathan (who just keeps on growing!) and Aaron and some "new" snowpants for me (mine were getting holey). There were also not so nice pants in there that we could use to cut into strips for our rug.

~I got free holey and stained jeans at the thrift store for my rug. We had used up all we had on hand for that.

How have you saved money recently? Isn't it amazing how well God provides?


Nola said...

I love hearing all the ways you save money! Its very inspiring.

The only thing I can think of lately is that we went on a trip and on the way there we brought our own supper in a cooler instead of eating out. We also froze our own ice in re-used plastic yogurt containers we froze ahead of time.

Other than that we haven't been saving much lately rather we've been spending on our new floor. The tiling is almost done and the wood flooring is about 1/3 way done.

Oh I also cut 2 of my girls' hair lately. I don't cut my husband's hair since I tried once and it looked terrible and I cut myself but I do the girls' hair since its just trimming and my husband does mine also just trimming since its all long hair. I'm sure that saves a lot over the years even though my husband goes to a barber.

Amy and Mark said...

I love your wooden curtain rod much better than anything I have seen in stores! It also fits your house perfectly.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Wow, you have had a busy, and resourceful week! I love what you did with the chalkboard paint and olive oil bottles. And how awesome to create your own sign out of a repurposed lunch box, I love it! Hope you have another wonderful creative and repurpose-ful week! Have a great day :)

Abbi said...

Nola, It was fun to hear about your savings too. So often I don't easily think of how we have saved money either because most of the things that we do are now normal to me but then I kind of force myself to think harder and recognize the things that seem normal to me but may not to everybody. The first time I cut a man's hair (my brother's) the result wasn't very good either! But Ken was willing for me to try again when we got married and though I am no professional it works. :-)

Amy, Thanks so much for the encouragement on my curtain rod. I am kind of happy that that is what we ended up with too.

Spicing up Idaho, The chalk board stuff was a lot of fun. It is such an easy project (though a bit messy ) and the result is quite fun.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I have a bunch of old jeans from Dustin that you could have if you like. He puts holes in all the pockets and other places till he can't use them anymore. :) Tracy

Abbi said...

Tracy, I would be glad to have Dustin's old jeans if you don't want them for anything. :-) Thanks for offering!

Anonymous said...

Sounds good. I will get them to you sometime before next year! :)


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