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#1 of 26 Old 03-18-2014, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Every now and then, I surprise myself by doing something really frugal and cool. I need a place to brag, and I would love to hear what others have done.

 

So here is my latest cheap accomplishment:

 

I have a 6 month old puppy who needs to chew. At the store, bags of rawhide chewies or bones in the pet supplies department were $12! Cally is a St. Bernard/Pointer mix - this girl goes through some bones! So I went to the meat department, and bought a whole bunch of beef marrow bones for $5. Roasted them first, simmered them for 6 hours, and made 4 quarts of beef stock for the free*er. I also added a bag of fro*en veggie scraps I have been saving (onion skins, green bean ends, carrot butts - stuff like that). The stock came out great. And I ended up a mess of yummy bones for the dog!

 

So what have y'all done?

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#2 of 26 Old 03-18-2014, 10:03 PM
 
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Thanks awesome! Thanks for sharing. It feels good to be frugal.
The other day I decided I would buy my son some bubbles for a bday gift. One had three bottles and another package had only one bottle for a bit less. Well, I read the ounces on the package and it was a better bargain to buy the one bottle:)
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#3 of 26 Old 03-19-2014, 07:39 AM
 
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We have a surprise #3 on the way (due Sept 2nd) so I am trying to be more frugal. I tried my hand at couponing last night, got 6 bottles of laundry detergent for $8.14! I was so excited! Normally I make my own detergent but this was cheaper per load than making it myself so I couldn't say no!

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#4 of 26 Old 03-19-2014, 09:47 AM
 
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We are a family of six and our grocery budget has been spiraling higher and higher.  I have not been pantry building, we simply eat everything that I bring home.  Our grocery budget includes all food, alcohol, pet supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, essentially anything we consume.

 

I started itemizing in February and we had an immediate decrease in our grocery spending:

 

January -- 1220.21

February -- 821.70

March -- on track to be a bit under 800.00

 

$400!!!!!!   I am saving $400 each month.  Holy smokes!  And we are eating just fine.  Lots of veggies, fruit, meat, some whole grains, nuts and seeds, I even bought some junky granola bars that the kids like so much. 

 

And I have lost 5 pounds in this time which was a good move for my body.  Frugal and healthy!

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#5 of 26 Old 03-19-2014, 06:10 PM
 
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You guys are awesome!  Well done!!!

 

 

I made my own almond butter tonight.  It was delicious.  It's currently sitting in my fridge tempting me.  I bought a lb of raw almonds and roasted them and put them in the food processor with some salt and just sat there babysitting it as it ran and after about 15 minutes, I had delicious almond butter.  Much cheaper than $7.99 for a single jar.  I think I paid $5.99 for the lb of almonds and it came to almost 2 jars' worth.


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#6 of 26 Old 03-21-2014, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooh! Almond butter sounds great! I am going to try that, next paycheck. Thanks!


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#7 of 26 Old 03-21-2014, 10:54 PM
 
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I find the marrow bones so cheap and awesome for my dog. I don't buy them often but I have a big chewer in a little dog. Plus the pet store bones are so expensive!

But I'd caution against giving cooked bones to dogs. They are more prone to causing issues and a sick dog isn't frugal at all. I always give the bones raw (I freeze them so they last a long time) as it's healthier and less likely to cause issues. Bone marrow is a great addition to a dogs diet as well.

My friend pointed out the cheap packs of grocery store bones instead of the expensive ones and it really is so much cheaper!
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#8 of 26 Old 03-22-2014, 07:07 AM
 
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But I'd caution against giving cooked bones to dogs.

Agreed. Cooked bones become brittle and can splinter, causing internal injury to dogs. Raw marrow bones are great for dogs -- they get nice clean teeth from chewing on them!

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#9 of 26 Old 03-22-2014, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahhh, thank you. I didn't know that about cooked bones. No more cooked bones for these girls!


Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#10 of 26 Old 03-31-2014, 08:45 PM
 
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We got briskets: 65 lbs at $2.25/lbs. They come in 13lbs hunks, untrimmed. So I taught myself how to trim them. Then, I couldn't stand the idea of throwing away 3lbs of fat, so I learned how to make tallow. We are keeping the crispies (beef bacon, as we call it) left over for flavoring soups and we are going to try them on an alfredo pizza. We are using some of the brisket to make jerky, and I am dehydrating some fruit as well. We are going to make pemmican (dried meat, dried fruit & tallow) for when we go camping. So we are getting a bunch of food for cheap.

 

Then we found a used smoker (with charcoal and 3 bags of wood) for $150.


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#11 of 26 Old 03-31-2014, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha ha! I just was given a dehydrator, and bought a beef brisket (on sale, $2.99/lb), and made a whole mess of beef jerky! Never tried that before, and it came out pretty good. Looking forward to learning more about dehydrating as fruit comes in season this year.


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#12 of 26 Old 03-31-2014, 11:47 PM
 
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Wow, 7.99 for almond butter? Check aldi, justmama. I found some for only a couple bucks this past week. I have nothing to brag about but thought that might help someone.
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#13 of 26 Old 04-01-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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I made my own almond butter the other day after seeing just mamas post. I got 10 boxes of pasta today for .20 (for all 10) after taxes and coupons.


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#14 of 26 Old 04-01-2014, 09:51 AM
 
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Thanks happyhats.  I can't find it under that amt.  I haven't seen it at Aldi's yet but I'll be on the lookout.  6 months ago we had only one or two organic things in the entire store.  Now they have TONS so it's worth a shot.


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#15 of 26 Old 04-08-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Inspired by the "beef bacon" comment above:

 

When I made that jerky last week, I had cut off and frozen the excess fat - no idea what to do with it, but I couldn't just throw it out (LOL). 

 

So last night for dinner, we had braised chard - cooked in that grease, with some onions, garlic, beef stock and wine. Over steamed brown rice, it was amazing and filling and really cheap - maybe $4 total for 3 huge plates full.


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#16 of 26 Old 04-08-2014, 02:15 PM
 
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Well done Rhu! Very good usage of your food! I'm digging in the freezer for food this week trying to avoid the grocery store. These kids are so expensive to feed. Dinner will be some sort of tempeh, peppers, celery, onion, tomato.......sautee.......thing. it's going to be mexican-ish I think.

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#17 of 26 Old 04-08-2014, 04:20 PM
 
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Well now Im price comparing almonds too. Dh is drinking the occasional glass of almond milk plus we are loving on the almond butter. Iasked on freecycle if anyone had some fishing poles for my kids and yay, someone did! So sometimes ask and you shall recieve!
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#18 of 26 Old 04-10-2014, 11:37 AM
 
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If you have chicken broth or stock and like brown rice, try cooking the rice in the stock instead of water. Add a teaspoon of crab boil if you like spicy things. So yummy!

 

We were having chicken, yet again, last night and I really wanted a new way to cook it. I remembered that my FIL had brought us a huge bag of lemons. I found a recipe for chicken piccata and I had all the ingredients! It was so simple and good. I love when I can try something new without spending a dime for ingredients.

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#19 of 26 Old 04-13-2014, 05:53 PM
 
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I actually have a grugal brag! My mom gave me a ten for ten coupon for kohls, plus I had a five dollar gc from target from an earlier promo. We were already up near the city that has both stores due to an inexpensive outing with the kiddos. So I took my gcs and got easter goodies! For less than three dollars I got-
4 pk playdough
easter egg playdough
playdough stampers in chick and egg shape
frisbee
jumprope
pack of glow bracelets
pair of novelty socks for ds, who has a new obsession with colorful socks
two pk of scotch tape for dd, who for some reason is now obsessed with scotch tape lol

easter is actually costing me very little oop this yr. My parents are supplying the ham. My sister had a ton of sides in her pantry. We are buying two dozen eggs for deviled.eggs and potato salad, and a bag of potatos. We also grabbed disposables at dollar tree and made a basket for our grandfather. We spent abt ten dollars on candy for both kids at aldi last week. So maybe about twenty bucks? Huge departure from holidays past with sil who would supply little to nothing
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#20 of 26 Old 04-17-2014, 03:02 PM
 
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Something my husband's grandpa got me started doing.. I get whole chickens, boil them then shred the chicken. The cooking liquid then becomes my chicken broth (I either freeze it or keep it in the fridge if Im using it quickly). I got 4 free range chickens from the store for about a dollar a pound so I have shredded chicken and broth for the rest of the month.

 

We don't use a lot of mayo, so it was continually going bad even with us getting the littlest jar, so I found a recipe for homemade mayo. It comes out to around 60 cents per batch and its the perfect size for my husband (only one who eats it!) to use before it goes bad in the fridge.


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#21 of 26 Old 04-17-2014, 07:31 PM
 
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If you have chicken broth or stock and like brown rice, try cooking the rice in the stock instead of water. Add a teaspoon of crab boil if you like spicy things. So yummy!

 

This reminds me of something I used to cook all the time in college when I was broke - baked rice. Cook rice in stock with lots of herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley - what you have on hand), add in some diced scallions and a tiny bit of meat if you have it (I used to buy the ham steak slices and stretch one of those for a week by dicing it and putting little bits in several meals) and then bake it so it gets a little bit of a crispy crust on top. Surprisingly good! 


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#22 of 26 Old 04-21-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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I was going to buy an egg dying kit for Easter, but I think at $4 a box, they were woefully overpriced.  I looked in the grocery store for a box of liquid food dye; however, all that I found was the gel kind.  I have bought the gel food coloring before and basically the product charges twice as much for half as much product.  Happened to find some of the liquid dye in another store for $2.50.  Used it to color Easter eggs.  It made more colors with the instructions for the color mixing, cost less to start with, and we didn't even use half of the liquid in the bottles.  Plenty left for next year.  A small frugal score.

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#23 of 26 Old 04-21-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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Oy, where are you that Easter egg dye kits cost $4.00!!!? They're $1.50 here, so I wait until the day after Easter and buy a few for $0.75 each at 50% off. :-) But your liquid dye score sounds awesome, as I imagine you can use the dye for other things as well?


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#24 of 26 Old 04-22-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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Yup, $4.  Could not believe it myself.  Even at half off, I still think they are overpriced!  And yes, I could use the food dye for dying whatever elae I wanted, such as frosting.  I am not a big fan if eating food dyes, though, so I won't really be using it that often.  But for Easter eggs, I think I am set for a few years, really.  And mixing the colors was more fun for my older kids than just plucking in the disc.  And I think I will be having egg salad for a while to use up all those hard boiled eggs!

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#25 of 26 Old 04-22-2014, 05:19 PM
 
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Yup, $4.  Could not believe it myself.  Even at half off, I still think they are overpriced!  And yes, I could use the food dye for dying whatever elae I wanted, such as frosting.  I am not a big fan if eating food dyes, though, so I won't really be using it that often.  But for Easter eggs, I think I am set for a few years, really.  And mixing the colors was more fun for my older kids than just plucking in the disc.  And I think I will be having egg salad for a while to use up all those hard boiled eggs!

 

That is seriously crazy pricing! If you're looking for another cool thing to do with the dyes, "stained glass" artwork is pretty neat - you take a coffee filter or heavy construction paper and you can paint the dyes on it. It kind of bleeds a bit on the edges, and looks really pretty. 


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#26 of 26 Old 04-22-2014, 06:38 PM
 
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We are a family of six and our grocery budget has been spiraling higher and higher.  I have not been pantry building, we simply eat everything that I bring home.  Our grocery budget includes all food, alcohol, pet supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies, laundry soap, essentially anything we consume.

 

I started itemizing in February and we had an immediate decrease in our grocery spending:

 

January -- 1220.21

February -- 821.70

March -- on track to be a bit under 800.00

 

Tell me more about itemizing, please.  I'm so impressed with your progress!

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