Friday, August 8, 2014

Frugal Victories

My frugal victory posts contain a lot of minutiae. Read at your own risk (of boredom).


I gathered up my courage and returned a purchase to a grocery store because when I got home I found out it wasn't exactly that I wanted.

We had to drive to the orthodontist's other office, which is 20 minutes from here, so we combined it with two returns that we needed to make.

A friend wanted to get together, and suggested the local bookstore. While it would have been nice to sit in their much cooler space, I invited her to come to my house instead. I feel a little uneasy spending hours hanging out in a business if I don't want to buy anything, and I also think it best not to put my boys in a position where they want me to buy them something. (A lesson learned a long time ago: never take a child into a toy store to look.)


The guys competed in a bicycle race; I sent them with homemade chia pudding, peanut butter sandwiches, and banana muffins. As a bonus they each got a free t-shirt that they weren't expecting (they were among the first 50 registrants but we didn't know that until they got there), and they are very nice shirts as well.

Our evening's entertainment was playing guitar (Papa and T) and singing. Then we listened to a few new artists via their YouTube channels.


I enjoyed a previously baked and frozen cinnamon roll as my Sunday pastry :)

I used leftover bread to make a vegan french toast casserole for supper. It wasn't an unqualified success, but it was good enough.

Papa and T fixed my ceiling fan; the pull chain wasn't completely pulled out, just snapped off, so we can return the component we bought to fix it.

We had a freak thunderstorm wich resulted in over an hour of pouring rain. My front garden beds flooded, so I won't have to deep water them this week.

Our evening's entertainment consisted of putting on records and playing a game.


I turned off the sprinklers today since we got such a nice rain Sunday evening.

We ate leftover french toast casserole for breakfast rather than eating homemade granola (which will keep).

The boys and I did seven (!) different errands in one run. Combining errands saves both time and gasoline (money). Today was a Save Power Day so we did our errands from 2 - 4PM, thus being away from home for two of the four hours that we needed to reduce our electricity consumption. Before we left we unplugged everything that we could, made sure all power strips were also off, and turned the A/C all the way to OFF.

I read two articles in the current Real Simple magazine while the boys looked for books. This is a magazine I used to buy and was even a subscriber to for several years. I always forget that I can get my magazine fix for free at the library, and can sit in a comfy chair in the sun room or out in the rose garden while I do. As it was a Save Power Day I really enjoyed the library air conditioning while we were there.

The children's librarian offered each boy a free t-shirt leftover from the teen summer reading program. T didn't want one (he said he didn't need another shirt), but J was happy to get it. It has a science theme and says Spark a Reaction.

At the other library I picked up a book I had placed on hold.

We went to the 99¢ store because I had a coupon, and ended up finding a less expensive source for piloncillo. I found out that this store now has at least twice as many groceries as they used to. (I received another coupon in Tuesday's mail, so we'll be going back soon.)

Papa and I remembered to take the truck when we went to Costco so we could fill up for 8¢ less per gallon. He only needed 10 gallons, but that was still 80¢ saved.

Papa saw a small folding table at Costco that he thought might be nice to have at the races we attend that don't have picnic tables (pretty much every venue except the one that we do a summer series at). When I gently reminded him that we were trying really hard not to spend unnecessary money he remembered that we have a similar table we store in the trailer because it is our camping table. It will work perfectly! Now we can set up our own support Pit Zone at races using our camping table, our park day chairs, the Quick Shade tent we bought several years ago for baseball, and a 3 gallon igloo water dispenser that my dad gave us (he dumpster dived a case of these about a decade ago, with permission of the business owner). T is competing in a 6 hour race at the end of the month so we really wanted to get this figured out.


The morning was cooler than usual so I opened all the windows, ran the A/C fan (not the compressor, just the fan), and cooled the house by 5°.

We walked to dogs to the groomer instead of driving, combining our morning exercise with some environmental and monetary savings.

I planned to make five minute bread, which requires a lengthy oven preheat, so I decided to make muffins as well and use some of that preheat time more productively. Because I had been able to cool the house in the morning the use of the oven didn't heat the house to the place where the A/C would come on.

I noticed a change in the base grooming price for one dog, asked about it, and after some sleuthing the clerk found out it was an error based on someone's bad handwriting.

I made a gallon of sun tea using a recycled bottle.

Because I had set up my ice cream maker in the laundry room I was able to make a quick cantaloupe sorbet using a just past ripe cantaloupe that I had tossed into the refrigerator a few days ago. I used honey crystals as the sweetener and it was really good.


Another cool morning, and I was up at 5:12, so I opened the windows again to cool down the house.

I made burger/sandwich buns for the first time with the Bread Becker's bread recipe, and they turned out fantastic! Previously I have tried making them with einkorn sourdough and with chebe, but these were real honey wheat burger buns. Delicious!

I remembered to check the avocados and refrigerated the five that were ripe.

I individually wrapped the frozen muffins from the batch I made yesterday. I also realized that made with home ground einkorn flour these muffins have a denser, banana bread texture versus a lighter muffin consistency, so I am renaming them banana bread muffins. The next batch I will bake in loaf pans; banana bread is such a great gift and potluck food that having a few loaves tucked away in the freezer is a good idea.


It has been unseasonably cool. By opening the windows in the morning and evening I was able to leave the A/C off all day.

I made dinner from leftovers rather than making a fresh pot of beans.

I picked up a held book from library, and because we were going there I batched in two other errands.

We went to the thrift store and bought two packages of adhesive hooks (4 in each), an adjustable measuring spoon (for my yeast jar), and an unopened package of Art Emboss Pewter foil, all for $4.82.  Full price at Joann the pewter sheet is $17.99, so I give it an actual value of $9.

I'd forgotten onions when we did the big shop, so we stopped at the grocery store and bought onions (50¢ per pound), and took advantage of the new sales to buy 9# of new crop Fuji apples at 99¢ per pound, 10# of green seedless grapes at 99¢ per pound, 2 large cantaloupes at 99¢ each, and a bulk bag of frozen corn for $4.99

We spent the evening hanging out at the pool, and already paid for expense. The more often we go, the better value the pool membership is (this is a summer only pool).

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