Each week Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker shares her frugal accomplishments from the previous week. There is so much inspiration and encouragement in her posts and the many comments from her readers. Here’s a little run down of our frugal happenings for the past week:
It has gotten slightly cooler in our area, so I’m excited to say that I was able to open the doors/windows 2 mornings and 3 evenings last week. Sunday night I was able to get the house down to 73F and it only went up 1 degree overnight. My daughter has a class in another town, which keeps us out of the house most of the day – we got home yesterday afternoon and the thermostat read 77F. I keep it set at 79F, so the AC didn’t run the entire time we were gone. Woohoo!
Received our “bill” from our Housing utility company – we came in under everyone else’s usage again, so we will receive a rebate of the difference ($23) in a couple of weeks. I usually put the rebates straight into savings; yesterday I decided that I will save them up for a Sun Oven. Since our stove is natural gas, being able to switch to a Sun Oven or other outdoor cooking option would mean I would use even less than our neighbors (and get more back on the utility “bill”) each month. All the better if I can pay for it with the rebates themselves, plus it is something I’ve wanted for years for our family preparedness efforts – to be able to use one anytime would be better.
Took an acquaintance to the city for a medical appointment – she has a hard time driving that far and staying awake. That city has the closest Barnes & Noble, which I’ve wanted to go check out but am unwilling to use the diesel just for “fun”. Instead we had a big outing where our kids (and we moms) got some time to visit during the commute, I helped her with childcare during the appointment, and we popped by the bookstore afterward. My son and I chose a few items and received 20% off with the member card my parents have. I did have an extra expense – we got home much later than expected and I was exhausted, so I ordered pizza delivery. I did, however, make sure to use coupons on the website, paid cash from our “kitty”, and got points toward a free pizza in the future.
My husband has continued riding his bike to work, saving gas in his car and getting plenty of exercise thanks to the hills between our house and his work building.
Clipped the dog’s nails at home. Normally I take her to the vet for this. While it is a fairly small charge, it is stressful for her no matter who does it – might as well save the cash and earn a skill for myself to boot.
Attended a free tour of a local ranch with my family, hosted by the local food co-op. We have purchased meats from this rancher at the farmers market and were delighted to have this opportunity to visit their ranch and learn about their wind & solar systems and their desert-hardy animals (Criollo cattle and Navajo churro sheep). We toured their 100+ year old adobe home and learned about how they heat and cool without an HVAC system and thoroughly enjoyed their work shed, where they spin and weave wool from their sheep into rugs, blankets, and more. The representative from the food co-op supplied snacks and water; when she learned we had to get back on the road (the tour went over), she gave us an entire big bottle of water and bowls of food to share as a family. The ranchers graciously allowed us to take photos during the tour, which will serve us well as we plan to incorporate many of these passive and active solar options when my husband retires from the military and we own our own home. Our only expense was the diesel to get there in our truck.
Borrowed multiple books from several libraries via Overdrive. One library purchased a book I recommended, based on a recommendation to buy it by a family member; they automatically placed a hold on it for me. I was able to download the book within days of their purchase, saving myself the cash ($12.99 for the ebook or $17.70 for hardcover per Amazon).
Participated in a free preparedness challenge, which helped me assess our family’s needs for this new area (we’ve only been here 4 months) and where I need to save up to stock up.
Meals were cooked from the pantry and fridge (except the big city trip day), stretching out our need to go to the commissary several more days.
Ordered some herbal “teas” online from a company that offers free shipping on all orders and reward points to save toward future purchase.
Ordered some household cleaning and personal hygiene items online that the commissary here doesn’t carry – discounted off retail and free shipping.
When we went to the food co-op the prior weekend to sign up for the ranch tour, I picked up vitamins and supplements and used our monthly 5% member coupon on them. (Normally I go during their military discount day, but we were all sick then, so we missed it.)
Had cold and allergy medicine on hand, so with all 4 family members sniffling, didn’t “have to” go buy any medicines. I did choose to restock one cold syrup that was getting low, as I’d hate to be without if we need it again, but bought the store generic version for several dollars less than the name brand.
Taught a parent-tot yoga class for our homeschool group while my kids participated in the PE class for older kids. Free class for everyone and I got a good workout too!