Friday, March 25, 2016

Frugal Friday

 Did you have a good week of saving money? We did much of the time but we also spent some as well. But that is how life goes.

  I ordered my bees for the year and spent more on them than I ever have before but I am hoping that it will help me to save money in the long run as I got a different kind of bees - ones that are supposed to be hardier and people have reported better success at keeping them alive through the winter around here. So if that works I should save a lot of money in future years. So far in my bee keeping experience I have always kept Italian bees and any time I have tried to over winter them I have been unsuccessful. This time I am getting Carniolan bees. Just for interest sake - I am spending $260 on bees (for 2 hives) this year and am getting packages. Before I have always gotten NUCS and when I started I paid I believe $85 per hive. This year I would have been spending $250 for both hives as they have gone up to $125 each. I do generally get around 300 lbs a honey a year so it is still pretty inexpensive honey but it is a lot of money to shell out at one time. Anyway - I imagine I will write a "bee post" when I actually pick them up but I will get back to my more general money saving topics now....

One of our fun frugal activities this week was playing a game. Game playing is a nice frugal fun family activity but that isn't why I called this one frugal. This one was frugal because we wanted to play a game we had learned but instead of buying the game we figured out ways to use things we already had to play it instead.

   The game that we had learned when a bunch of family was here last month is called "Telestrations". It is basically a combination of the old game "telephone" and drawing pictures. It is fun, causes you to be creative and can get very funny.

 When you play the game each player gets a little dry erase "notepad". A friend had recently given us a bunch of scrap paper notepads about the size of the dry erase pads from the game and so we used those instead. You also get a writing instrument and you get a card that tells you what to draw. For our frugal game we used cards from "Taboo" a game that we already owned. You need to be timed when you are drawing so we pulled out the Boggle timer - that did end up being to long so Ken used his phone timer instead. We did also consider using a teeth brushing timer. Everybody puts there name on the front of their notepad.
  Then everybody picks a card and writes the word on it into the front page of their notepad. The next step is for them to draw a picture of that word. The photo above and below shows the progress of one word from our game (one that we found rather funny). Mara had the word "Convention" so she wrote that on the first page and then on the next page drew a picture. It was of a guy giving a speech and there is a picture of an Elephant (we are Republicans here and that is the type of convention we go to so it makes sense). After drawing the first picture everybody passes their notebook on to the next person and they look at the picture you drew but not the word you wrote and then write what they think your picture is. Jonathan's conclusion on Mara's picture was "guy giving a speech about his African safari".

Ken got the tablet next and he gets to look at Jonathan's conclusion but nothing else and then draw a picture of that. He draws the picture in the top left which was obviously somebody giving a speech but I didn't recognize his Elephant, lion and Africa so when I got it next and looked at the picture my conclusion was "Giving a speech about germs or monsters". Megan got it next and read what I wrote and then drew the bottom left picture to which Aaron decided that it must be "A weird guy".

  Anyway - we had fun (though we have found the game to be even more fun with more than 6 players. 10 or so generally causes things to get quite mixed up and then sometimes they can even make it somewhat back again.

Other frugal things....
Creamed Eggs on Toast.

  • I had company for lunch and also served lunch today at a church activity and made soup (chili on Monday and split pea and chicken noodle today) both times. Soup is both an inexpensive, easy and well received luncheon meal to make.
  • I organized an event today where we organized and fixed up one of the classrooms at the church building. We are (I have to finish tomorrow as the paint was still drying) putting up new shelves that are painted a pretty light blue green, adding a toybox and a rug for playtime, have nice fabric covered boxes for Sunday School supplies and I repainted a little chair to match the shelves. I spent less that $20 for the fix up (for shelves and brackets) as I had everything else we needed. I had been given paint and fabric. I had hot glue on hand and various people saved boxes for us to use. I am making the rug from fabric scraps and we could just use a lot of things that we already had on hand. Hooray for re-purposing and for having neater classrooms!
  • We have been getting a lot of eggs so it has been fun using them a little more heavily in our meals. We can save money on meat that way. Mara made some yummy creamed eggs (a white sauce with boiled eggs cut in) over toast earlier this week and this evening I made an omelet of sorts with eggs, rice, veggies and a little meat. 
  • Megan was needing a new spelling book. I was able to look through things passed down to me from my mom and find one that would work for her. I am amazed at how little we can spend on school books and supplies.
  • We have saved a lot of scrap paper from things leftover from caucus and then from going through shelves today at the church building. We will save anything that has a blank back and that works perfectly for the kids to use for scrap paper for working on their math also it works great for all of Megan's drawing.
  • I washed aluminum foil to repurpose it.
  • I used old spaghetti sauce, salsa and jam jars to can our maple syrup in.

I would love to hear about any frugal things you did this week!


Mrs Shoestring said...

This week I did a stocktake in the pantry and instead of using the money off coupon for the store and spending quite a bit I only bought what we needed.

I also searched through the clothes store and found a white shirt for my son so did not need to go and buy one, quite a saving !

We also stayed home a lot which saves on petrol.

Keeping bees sounds great, you certainly got a lot of honey !

Happy Easter for tomorrow !

JoannaTopazT said...

We enjoy playing Telestrations, too! (We have the game, which we won in a giveaway.) We play it that the first person writes the clue, then they pass it to someone who draws a picture from that, then the next person guesses -- the first person doesn't draw their own clue. My daughter recently said my drawing that was supposed to be a bust of "Ludwig von Beethoven" (that was the clue) looked like an Easter Peeps candy.

SpicingUpIdaho said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful week! I loved the way you made up the Telestrations game yourself, and had so much fun too! I reuse tinfoil too, lol! I love making sure nothing goes to waste if possible around the home! Have a blessed week!

Nola said...

I would love to hear how you did the fabric covered boxes. I want to do that for my daughter's room under her bed to store some clothes. She doesn't want a dresser/chest of drawers in her room as her room is small and she wants a desk in there. So I was trying to think of what could work. I had already thought of this idea but I'd like to hear how you did it. I still have lots of boxes from moving and also I have lots of fabric. So that would be saving money!

Today I made a soup from a few things I had leftover in the fridge. Some noodles that were left over from something else, some celery that was limp and past its prime, and a tiny bit of chicken stock that was leftover from something else. Plus I added a can of chick peas (would have been cheaper to use cooked but this was on hand) and spices and a carrot. It was enough for each of us to have a bowl for lunch and it tasted good. Otherwise no one wanted to eat those noodles or celery.

Abbi said...

Thanks to all of you for stopping by! I love your visits and our "conversations".

It is fun to hear about different ways that you saved money too.

Joanna, That is neat that you enjoy "telestrations" as well. When we were playing the official game we were told that if you have an even number the first person both writes the word and draws but if their is an odd number of people playing then they would only write the word.

Nola, I will try to do a post on how we covered the boxes. Basically we just used hot glue and folded and cut as necessary to get it on and then glued it in place. I remember doing fabric covered boxes years ago (I think when I only had 2 kids) to use for a dresser as well. We finally threw them out after this last move so they lasted quite some time.


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