Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 15 Oct 2017

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:

Did some shopping for groceries and hygiene items at Target instead of the commissary. Shopped from the list and also spotted some items on sale that I know we will need in the nearish future, and used a peelie coupon that was on an item for $1 off. Total savings $23.76, plus Continue reading

Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 8 Oct 2017

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:

Shopped for meat (from a local ranch) and maple syrup at the food co-op on military discount day – 10% off outweighs our 5% member coupon that can be used once a month. Continue reading

Frugal Accomplishments ~ Week Ending 1 Oct 2017

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:

Opened windows/doors as soon as the sun went down each evening to let cooler breezes in; opened house up several mornings before the sun came around to side of the house that heats up as well. Kept AC set to 79F and manually turned it up further to 80F whenever possible. We use ceiling fans to move the air in the room we are in and turn them off when not in a room.

Husband rode bike to work all week, saving on gas for his car.

Groomed dog at home using supplies we already own; my husband was able to help so we got her back toenails cut and trimmed more off the front (my hands are not strong enough to do them quickly, so I only got half done the first time). With his help I was also able to use her shampoo spray to give her a good cleaning in addition to her brush-out.

Meals were cooked from the pantry, using a menu plan. I purposely accounted for one slow cooker meal I didn’t have supplies for, the ingredients for which I purchased as the commissary this week. It will give us leftovers for a second meal.

Several of the dinners I planned for purposely created leftovers, some of which were eaten for lunches and one (baked ziti) served as two dinners and several small lunch servings for my family members.

Made (and used!) a list for our commissary trip. Included on this list were items specifically for lunch & snacks for the day that we are in another town for a homeschool program; this is much less costly than buying them at the campus store as we’ve done the last few weeks.

Used my rewards card at the local drug store when I restocked our feminine and first aid kit supplies – earned 3,000 “points” toward a future purchase. Right now I am over a $10 reward; I am saving up for a bigger one so I can combine with coupons and sales to really hit a trip out of the park. 😉

Inspired by the free preparedness challenge I participated in, I made time to inventory my food storage and get it all completely organized. (It was in our rotating racks since our move, but not “truly” organized.) Now I know what we have plenty of, and what we are running low on, and can adjust accordingly in my monthly rotation use and new purchases.

My son borrowed documentaries on DVD from the library, all on subjects he and his dad are interested in. We call these DVDs our weekend “edutainment” – they are all educational, but we find them entertaining as well.

Purchased a case of small propane containers at the feed store – I hope to use our Mr. Buddy heater to take the chill off our main room come winter, rather than using the furnace. Since I’m usually the first to get cold, I make use of wool socks, good layers, heavy blankets, and hot cocoa or herbal tea in my favorite mugs to try to warm up, but I do have a harder time staying warm (and keeping my joint pain lower) in the low humidity of the desert.

Purchased topical flea & tick protection for the dog at the feed store. We had been using an oral prescription medication for her, but it only protected against fleas and was costly. We decided to go back to what we used to use to give her better protection without the cost of a vet visit/prescription.

Walked several evenings once the temperatures dropped. Two nights we did bigger walks (more free exercise); one night I weighed my emergency bag and got the dog into hers, to test how far we could walk in an evacuation. Full disclosure: I only did 0.13 mi with my 20# pack – I’m not proud to say we did such a short loop, but it’s a start, at least. I also learned that the dog didn’t remember her bag from hiking in 2016, and had to be given treats to get walking. That would be VERY unhelpful in an emergency; I’m really glad to have learned it in a test situation so we can start training with it more frequently again! (And now I know to add some treats to *my* waist strap just in case.)

Baked brownies and cookies at home for snacks.

Embracing Austerity

A few years ago (and a few blog locations ago), I really enjoyed joining in the collective attempts of the blogosphere in the “Riot for Austerity”. As soon as I saw Wendy’s recent post about it, I knew I’d have to join in. Over the fall of 2016, I backed off on a few frugal and homestead habits, but have been feeling the need to get back to them. The new “riot” is a welcome reminder to help get on track while we are still in our current home, and to find resources that will help us continue to stay on our path in our new one. I’m quite happy to join in and to have found the new-to-me blog of the new riot’s hostess.

The first thing I’ll be tackling in our utility usage. In our case, living in military housing means we don’t receive any information about our water usage, whatever it may be – my family simply uses good water conservation practices and assumes the best. We do, however, receive a monthly statement of our electric and natural gas usage, and with an electric water heater, our hot water usage does affect our electricity bill. In our case, the statement often comes with a rebate check; our monthly rent prepays for the house and utilities, which are figured into a neighborhood average. Those under the baseline amount receive a refund while those over the baseline are charged for the extra they use.

Since I happen to have recently received our electric & gas statement, Continue reading