Friday’s Frugal Five

If you haven’t visited the Non-Consumer Advocate site, you should.  Katy is the creator of Five Frugal Things and is my inspiration for Friday’s Frugal Five.

I have a confession to make.  While the MMGC is going well and I’m staying within my budget, albeit by the skin of my teeth,  I have to tell you that I have been spending in others areas as if I had won the lottery or something.  In the past few weeks I have carried new item after new item into the house.  To the point where I have a guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Let me explain… for a while now I’ve been trying to switch out my (old) teflon cookware for stainless steel and cast iron, so about a week ago I purchased a new set of stainless steel cookware.  But, I did get it at 60% off, so that’s good.  Also, I have limited cabinet space in my kitchen and had been wanting to get a hanging pot rack to help with storage.  I found one that was 40% off, so I bought that.  Last fall when we processed our hog, I cured and smoked about 60lbs of pork belly into bacon, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not slice the meat thin enough to get a bacon texture.  So, I bought a meat slicer and I also got 25% off of that.  Hoping for a solution to my cabinet storage situation I purchased 8 large jars with $1 off of each to store things like grains and beans instead of just having bags laying in the cabinets.  I bought some half gallon mason jars and large mouth plastic lids for better storage also.  I bought seeds for our garden starters, instead of waiting and starting the gardens with established plants from the nursery.  Admittedly in the past we have not done well starting our own seedlings, and also admittedly these seeds were not cheap as I chose organic heirloom seeds.  I could go on I’m sure, but you get the idea.  The point I suppose is that I have been talking out of both sides of my mouth about being frugal.  Being frugal includes more than just what you spend on groceries.  Well, it absolutely should anyway, and in that regard I have failed.

I could give a suitable explanation for all of my purchases about having the right tools for the jobs (the slicer) or about trying to get away from toxic teflon (the cookware) or perhaps because I spend 75% of my home life in the kitchen and would like it to be better organized (the hanging pot rack and storage jars) and even the seeds in hopes that they will be successful (meaning not die) this year and will provide us with seeds for several years and in turn save money.

So, no more!  No more of the spending with out at least trying to find a suitable solution first.  Make do or do without.  Luckily I have not gone into debt for these purchases (thanks to the pickle jar).  I believe to some degree perhaps I’ve been treating myself with these purchases for quitting smoking.  Anyway…. full disclosure, clearly I’ve still got a long way to go in the frugal department.  Thanks for letting me share.  Now on to Friday’s Frugal Five…

  1.  With my new eating plan to kick the omeprazole (generic for prilosec) that I posted about earlier this week. I can’t have caffeine.  This doesn’t really rattle me too much because I’m not one of those die hard coffee drinkers some people are (not judging at all, the Z Man loves his coffee too) I do enjoy 1 or 2 cups of hot tea in the morning and some iced tea from time to time.  Why is this frugal?  I returned an unopened huge box of tea bags to the grocery store.  I also returned a bag of organic onions that were half rotten, limes that were hard as rocks and a couple other things which netted me $23 in returns.
  2. I returned an unopened bottle of agave sweetener because a friend told me that it could flare up my indigestion and heartburn more than just a small amount of unpasteurized honey, which I already have.  I’m not counting this in the MMGC because it was purchased for medicinal purposes along with the supplements.
  3. Bartered again this week with my friend which will get me some lovely dairy and grass fed beef.
  4. Made some yogurt this past weekend which not only is quite cheaper than buying yogurt, it taste so much better.  I also cooked and canned 15 quarts of homemade chicken stock.  Returned my book on cd to the library and picked up a couple more.  Checked out several books on kicking the omeprazole and healing the gut.  Interesting but not shocking how it basically boils down to no one diet fits all and so far, being early on in my research, I am finding a strong consensus of managing portion control, which makes perfect sense when trying to prevent GERD.  (more on all this later)
  5. The Z Man stopped and asked about a few trees that he has seen down in someone’s yard for quite a while.  He offered to clear it away for them, they are happy to have it gone and we are happy to have the wood.  He also used a $20 coupon at Advance Auto to get the break parts to make repairs to our truck.  Yea, he’s handy like that.  I’m such a lucky girl 🙂

We’ve been eating leftovers for lunches, making meals from freezer and pantry items, hanging clothes on the clothes line to dry, driving the speed limit to save on gas, combining errands with work schedule to avoid unnecessary driving.

As for the MMGC I bought some fresh veggies this week spending $28, but I did get the grocery store to price match the Aldi price for avocados for 59¢ instead of 98¢ each.  So, with my returns and the $10.50 I had left over from last week that leaves me with $5.50 left for the month.

Most frugal of all, we are still breathing fresh air from quitting smoking, and adding that money to my pickle jar each week.

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter.  Thank you GOD for loving us!

Till Next Time,


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