Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monthly Frugal Update

So...anyone miss me?

Just joking, life has been busy and I lost my memory about November 9th. I can't seem to remember anything. I have this wonderful tool called a smart phone and I need to it to remind me of things to remember. Like putting out a blog post before I hit the land of Nod.

I need an organizational system. One that is incredibly cheap a.k.a free. So if you have a wall or desktop sized calendar that you don't want, call me. I will be right over to get it. I need one place to write down everything in our house that is out in the open for me to see.

I have been cleaning and decluttering even more. Amazing what you think you needed a year ago that you don't need now. I do keep a lot of stuff because I am very frugal and don't like to throw out anything. However, I have a lot of stuff that the kids have grown out of that needs to go.

As for the frugality of the household this month, the goal has been to not spend any unnecessary money. None. We are not doing it to save money, but because we are broke and not trying to get to completely destitute. I have been hit with some expenses that have been very staggering to our budget in addition to Christmas that is rapidly approaching.

Good thing, I am creative and have some Christmas presents made for the kids already. I can't tell you what they are because two of those kiddos randomly read this blog. After Christmas, I will fill you in.

Honestly, I enjoy the challenge of the spending the least amount of money on Christmas that I possibly can while getting the most bang for my buck. I enjoy that challenge with our budget throughout the year. This year, however, the challenge is getting to me. I am getting wore out from it, but with faith I shall make it through this too.

We have not eaten out this month as a family. Not at all. Truthfully, I am starting to enjoy my own cooking more than eating at a restaurant. I like the creativity of cooking and make a lot of different foods. Except for spaghetti, it is rare for us to have two of the same dishes in one month. We eat very well.

I experimented with some "cheap" foods that I had on hand or were on sale. We tried lentils with mixed reviews - I think if they weren't the featured food in a dish, they would be better accepted. We also tried cabbage in a few recipes with excellent results. We tried an unstuffed cabbage roll recipe that was the bomb! Delish! I also experiment with more recipes by switching out the more expensive ground beef with ground turkey. Also very good results! We also made bread, baked soaked oatmeal, and MYO oatmeal packets (recipe in the recipe section).

Earlier in the month, we had gleaned some tomatoes from a good friend's garden. We picked a few that were not ripe yet and ripen them ourselves. I was able to can 11.5 pints of pizza sauce from those tomatoes.

I used the leftover canning water to clean house since it was already hot! I used some of the water and liquid castile soap to scrub the kitchen floor. I used the rest for dish water. I saved money by reusing hot water and not having to run the hot water heater.

We did have to break down and get haircuts for Dane, Paige, and myself. I don't like my son to have long hair or look shaggy so he gets them very regularly. Shali and I have tried to cut his hair with not a lot of success! Paige is growing her hair and bangs out so she just gets them every 3-4 months. I was tired of fighting the knots and split ends so I just got a little trim. Those cuts cost us $16.00 a person which I don't consider too bad.

I started playing volleyball on Monday nights again. I haven't played in 13 years so I am little rusty! I am borrowing Jordan's volleyball shoes instead of buying a new pair of shoes to play in. I love having daughters who wear the same size shoe as me!

Paige is growing out of clothes very quickly right now. Gotta love preteen growth spurts! Fortunately, Shali left a lot of clothes home when she went to college and Jordan weeded through her clothes. Paige has been reaping those benefits greatly with new clothes! One of her sisters also had a pair of basketball shoes for her to use until she grows out of them. I have been going through Paige's outgrown clothes and saving the school t-shirts and gym shorts for Dane. A win-win for everyone!

I have been using Swagbucks and getting points for taking polls and surveys as well as watching videos. I cashed in a bunch of points recently for Amazon gift cards. A little time invested is worth it for making gift shopping easier!

I have received several freebies in the mail that will help with filling the stockings as well as fun things to try! I also downloaded some free eBooks and some books on the Kindle.

Thanks for reading!
Erica

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