Saturday, May 7, 2016

Frugal Activities Lately

We are still working at living frugally around here. Here are a few things that we have done lately. Maybe it will inspire you to live more frugally as well. I would also love to hear the ways that you have lived frugally lately too.

- One of my favorite frugal activities lately was fixing up a watch for myself. The deal is, I like to wear a watch. I like to know what time it is and sometimes (like when teaching music lessons) I really need to be able to easily keep track of the time. My dining room clock recently stopped so that made my watch even more important - but.... It decided to quit.

I was preparing to find a time to go shopping soon but then I happened to look around and found this old watch face of mine (with a broken band) that was still working. Hooray - at least for the time being I could carry it in my pocket and keep track of time. But then I figured I could make a band for it too.

I decided to do something a little different and I used the stretchy thread (that looks like fishing line) and threaded beads on it to make a band.

I have always been rather in love with the color blue and this watch just makes me kind of happy. I am fully enjoying it. I also love that I now have a "new" watch but I spent absolutely nothing for it.
 ~Another recent frugal activity was making underwear from old t-shirts and on 3 of them I used old underwear elastic too so they are mostly all re-purposed stuff which made them very inexpensive. They don't take that long to make either and I like them better so I doubt I will ever buy underwear again.

 ~I am trying to finish up a rag rug (with completely free materials) that I am making for my nursery classroom at church. We wanted a little rug for them to play with toys on when we get down from our seats. I work on this rug mostly in the mornings when I am having my quiet time.

~ Last Sunday was May Day and so we had fun making some baskets to share. We took some to friends, sent some to the nursing home and then Megan had fun delivering them to most of our neighborhood.
 We used things that we already had on hand to make the baskets and then fill them too. No money was spent but hopefully days were brightened.
 ~The other day we cleaned up a bunch of sticks in our yard and then made a fire which I cooked our supper over. Less electricity was used plus we cleaned up the yard. Hooray!
 ~I have started using the clothesline again (I do take a break for the winter  :-) ) . I enjoy the fresh air plus knowing that we saved some money.
 ~Jonathan made a cute chuck wagon for homeschool event using wood scraps that we had on hand. Again - no money was used but it worked great. I was so proud of his skills and willingness to work on this. The wooden wheels impressed me the most.

~Ken tilled my garden for me. I think gardening saves us quite a bit on our food bill each year. Today the boys and I added some chicken manure mixed with leaves to the garden and then they tilled it again. It is looking pretty good. I was able to planted onions, peas and potatoes so far. It is exciting to get going on things so early in the season for us.

~We washed zip lock and bread bags and re-used them.
~ I used rags instead of paper towels.
~I don't use any dryer sheets in my dryer. I don't have much trouble with static either so I don't miss them.
~I made and gave some homemade gifts.
~I wanted to read a certain book but instead of purchasing it I ordered it through the library.
~We drink water between meals and for some meals as well. No pop at our house (except on rare special occasion) or koolaid or other sugary drinks. Very little juice as well. We drink water, milk (and we are blessed with my parents giving us a lot of raw goats milk lately), yogurt smoothies (from yogurt that I make), herbal tea and coffee (Ken).
~I made yogurt and cheese from the excess milk from my parents.
~I saved the whey from the cheese making and have used it for soaking grains and other baking.

What frugal activities have you done lately?


Jennifer said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

Nola said...

I went to some yard sales nearby lately. I got some needed things cheaply. We really needed a new shower curtain, and I don't like the plastic-y ones so I was holding out for a nice one. I found two at a yard sale for 50 cents each and they are like-new. They also go nicely in my bathroom which is great since we have 1960's blue tiling all over. I also bought my kids some more legos for cheaply (they are so expensive new!) and they were thrilled. I also found a few other things like Corelle mugs that are in great shape that match our dishes, some placemats (we use them every day and we needed more), some crocks for my oldest daughter who likes to wear them in the garden, and a few other little things. I like going to yard sales when they are close to home (no or little gas used) and when they have good prices. I spent very little and much cheaper than the same things at our local thrift stores. I also started using a clothesline again and that has been nice. I also planted a few cold weather things in the garden. We've had weather all over lately from summery to snow falling again! And back again. Oh and I discovered we have a lot of rhubarb growing in our new yard. A row about 10 feet long and then another patch of plants in another spot. So that was a nice surprise. Do you have any ways you like to use it? Do you have any ways that use less sugar? I also recently planted asparagus for the first time. I hope it works out. Once established its supposed to last a long time so that could be frugal if it works out compared to buying it at the store. I spent $20 in crowns and shipping so its not a huge investment. Have you ever planted it?

Sheila said...

How did you make the underwear? Not so much a pattern, but how did you make the edging and attach the elastic at the top. You did really a great job on those!

Abbi said...

Nola, That is so nice that you were able to find good deals on used stuff that you actually wanted. That is always so fun! Sometimes that happens to me too and then sometimes it seems that no garage sale that I go to actually has anything that we need.
That is so exciting about a big patch of rhubarb!!! We have some started here and it is looking good but I won't be able to harvest much for a couple years anyway. One nice way to use less sugar with rhubarb is to add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to what you are making (like a crisp or a pie)and then cut your sugar in half. The soda neutralizes the acid I believe which makes it so you don't need as much sugar. You can also mix the rhubarb with apples and then you don't need so much sugar. I like rhubarb in muffins or made into sauce (which you can eat over biscuits).

I hope your asparagus works well. A friend did give us an asparagus plant last year and then we tried starting some from seed too. I haven't seen them come up yet this year though so I am not sure if they made it through the winter or not. Today we stopped by a vacant lot where Mara had spied dried asparagus greens from last year and we found a nice bit of shoots. That was fun.

Abbi said...

To make the underwear I took an old pair that was worn out and cut it up for a pattern. To put on the elastic along the top I simply use a band of elastic that is the right length (I repurpose it from an old pair if possible. and then I pull it out to match the length of the fabric as I zig-zag it on.
For the legs I used to use elastic too but sometimes that isn't very comfortable. I have found that using a strip of the t-shirt fabric and stretching out as much as possible as I sew it on with zig-zag and that then will gather it up a little. I sew the strip on once with right sides together and then I fold the strip around the raw edges and sew once more with zig-zag again.

I also find describing things like that without showing you very difficult. I hope that it makes some since though.

Abbi said...

I mean "sense" not "since". :-)

Greg and Donna said...

We are back to using our clothes line too! I love it! Because of allergies, we have to avoid the high pollen weeks in the spring and fall, a couple of good rains took care of the problem this spring. We don't use it in the winter because of the rain here in the south...with the combination of cold wind and rainy days, its just easier to use the electric dryer! donna

Carmen N said...

I like how your watch turned out; it makes it uniquely you!

Making your own underwear sounds like a great idea; I don't like how most brands now fall apart too easily. I'm just not sure my sewing skills would be up to trying it (yet).

Abbi said...

Greg and Donna and Carmen - thanks so much for leaving a note and sharing your thoughts!


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