Monday, February 5, 2007

Frugal Victories 1/29-2/4/07

I apologize to those of you who read at AW, as I am going to c/p some of this from last week's thread. I'm adding new stuff too!.

I made banana muffins and banana bread. The bananas had been sitting there, overripe, for days (our house is so cold this time of year that they don't go rancid quickly), and I just didn't feel like making muffins. For one thing, I don't like the vegan GF muffins with egg replacer, which is all I had. Well, right after dinner Papa was cleaning up and I decided to just get it done. Voila! Snacks for last night and today, as well as this morning's breakfast.

Trying the muffin batter in a loaf pan was a successful experiment. I wanted to see if it would work so that we can use the banana bread for sandwiches. I also cut the sugar with no complaints.

We a soup night, as usual, but I didn't make corn bread because I was out of rice milk, and I didn't have any cooked rice to make rice milk out of. J-Baby was unhappy (but the muffins later made up for it), Papa and I don't need the bread, and T-Guy just filled his tummy with 3 bowls of soup and was as happy as could be.

The boys and I dropped off 2 bags and 1 box of decluttered items at Goodwill, dutifully collecting our receipt for next year's taxes (I stop collecting receipts once I figure we've donated close to $500 in goods).

We went to the Assistance League thrift shop. They didn't have the things we had on our list (pants for J-Baby, a good backpack for Papa, etc.) , however the did have some things that we collect year 'round. We bought:

a great basket for a quarter
a nice heart-shaped basket (pink) for 75 cents
(We use these for packaging homemade gifts.)
a pack of 16 big red heart doilies for 25 cents (Hallmark NIP but so old the original price was 59 cents and it didn't have a barcode)
(We'll use these to make valentines.)
a skein of vintage Shetland wool (from England) for $1
a package of unopened twill rug binding for 50 cents
a Biosta Sprouting Kit (it appears to be NIP) for $2. That link says it isn't for larger seeds/beans, however their are instructions for larger seeds with the kit, so we'll at least give sunflower seeds a try.

It obviously isn't non-buying; we spent $5 and put $1 in the donation box. However, everything we've bought helps us stick to saving money and Compacting.

I attempted vegan/GF pancakes again, using ingredients we had at home. They were okay, not spectacular but better that some of our previous attempts. The boys really liked them. J-Baby used the leftovers to make PB sandwiches for lunch.

I participated in a tea swap at AW, and was able to send a nice package and only spend $4 for the treat and $7 postage (both out of my personal allowance). I had a nice unopened bag of specialty tea that my BIL gave me for Christmas; unfortunately I am allergic to the flavor. I bought a decadent cookie treat. For reading material I passed on a book I read recently. The gift is a surprise (just in case my partner reads here); let's just say I had something fantastic in my gift box. Finally, J-Baby and I rolled a nice beeswax candle to include in the box.

I finished knitting the warm hat for my nephew, and we were able to send it to Belgium for $10 using Global Priority Mail. Our last attempt at sending a birthday gift to Belgium ended up costing $30, using Amazon France (and a friend to translate for us). The hat took only my time; I already had the loom and the yarn in my stash (leftover from another project).

Another nephew had a party Saturday. I had a couple of small things in my gift box, but nothing really suitable, so we gave him one of the Barnes and Noble gift cards we got with our Yahoo! points. It wasn't ideal, however we didn't have to spend any money buying him something new. One goal this year is to make a lot of gifts ahead of time; his birthday hit just as I was making the hat for my other nephew (which was time consuming), as well as other gifts for Valentine's Day. Hopefully by next year I'll have a better stash ready to go!

My boys received $20 Target cards as belated birthday gifts. Of course, they wanted to spend them right away. Since T-Guy's bike helmet is nowhere to be found the boys decided to buy T-Guy a new helmet, and to get a Lego set to share. This will seem unusual to a lot of people, but my boys don't have a strong concept of mine. Yes, we could have bought the new helmet for T-Guy, but everyone was happy with this arrangement.

At Target I finally returned the pants I bought for J-Baby last December (they were too big in the waist). I received a $20 credit. We spent $9 on a new filter for the central air/furnace unit. We went more than 6 weeks without shopping at Target.

Papa and the boys biked to the grocery store and TJs again this week, saving gas and reducing carbon emissions. All library and post office trips have been made on foot.

We filed our taxes. We're getting a smaller refund than less year, which is a good thing because it means we loaned less of our money to government at 0%. The income from the returns is earmarked for our spring vacation.

My dad gave us an empty Lionel popcorn tin to use as a trash can in our train room.

Bedwetter pants appear to be a success.

I'm sure there were more, but I'll stop there. I have one more post I want to write this morning before I turn off the computer for several hours.

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