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Okay, people, let's get (or get back to!) freaky this week. Looks like a bunch of us (myself included) have not been super-frugal lately. I say we get back to the fundamentals this week!<br><br>
I'm going to do the following this week - all as I prepare for dd's birthday party next Sunday - so who wants to join me in any of them?<br><br>
1. I will spend no money this week on <i>anything</i> other than groceries - and that's just going to be a small (under $60) replenishment run to BJs. (The co-ops I'm in already and have to make payment for don't count, but no new ones!)<br><br>
2. I am going to bake bread (pulled it off last week - will post about it soon!), plan meals for the month and update my kitchen inventory so I can live out of the pantry/freezer as much as possible this month.<br><br>
3. I am going to make sure dh has lunches this week so that he doesn't eat out at work.<br><br>
Sounds like I'm getting back to the kitchen...<br><br>
Just got in from a trip...I have a mouthful (fingersful?) - but am too tired - will try to post soon.<br><br>
How about everyone else?<br><br>
Jude
 

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*shy wave*<br><br>
I think I'mm be lurking here for a while - we really need to get back into the frugal swing of things.....<br><br>
Here's a starter question - me & DH were having a 'discussion' - he wants to get a vacuum foodsaver type thing for long term freezer storage of food, and I'm resisting it because I think that it will be wasteful/unenvironmentally aware to keep trimming and throwing away bits of the bags - but I also couldn't come up with anything BETTER to store stuff in.<br><br>
Any ideas? Suggestions? What do ya'll use?
 

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My mom has that bag thing and it works great. You can take stuff out use it, then reuse the bag, which I didn't realize.<br><br>
I have not been frugal. We got a tax refund and I really need to sock in away before I spend any more! I have bought a few things I had been waiting and waiting for - new sheets for the bed, a carseat for DS- britax decatholon (got if for $240 new!).<br><br>
Also, May is extra paycheck month so discussions on how to use/save that are starting. What do those of you who get the 2x a year extra pay check do with it?<br><br>
Can't wait for my kitchen remodel to be done. I'm sick of eating out and prepared foods, nevermind the cost.
 

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1. the only groceries i am buying until the weekend are a produce run on monday...<br>
2. i am going to inventory the pantry and go from there<br>
3. no more eating out this week... we have a stock of groceries<br>
4. no clothes shopping, i must stay out of thrift stores as well ;(<br><br>
5. I am allowed to buy diapers ( luvs) wipes etc... and use WIC checks<br><br>
6. I am also going to inventory our bathroom supplies shampoo toothpaste e tc...
 

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i've been lurking, but i'm ready to introduce myself...i'm a SAHM to my 29 month old ds and have another ds on the way in june. i actually DO WOHM 4-8 hours per week as a nurse, but mostly, i'm home.<br><br>
i am an addicted money saver and groceries are my only issue right now. i'd love to get my bill smaller than the 350 a month i'm currently spending (which in addition to the family of humans, feeds a huge dog and 4 cats). no matter how hard i try, i can't cut it any more, and there are times that i feel like i'm serving repetitious, boring meals for the sake of savings <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
i plan dinners by the month and used to do once per month shopping (except for dairy and produce), but that got too hard once i got further along in pregnancy and didn't want to lug so much into the house by myself.<br><br>
for the PP who mentioned the "extra paycheck" - i act like it didn't happen and "hide it". i have a "hidden" amount of money in checking. we keep 2000 at all times as a buffer. i then filter in money two ways: planned annual spending (car maintenance, heating oil, car insurance - all the stuff you budget for but don't pay every month - i add it up and divide by twelve and "hide" that amount every month. then, all money beyond set bills goes hidden for "savings" which is actually now being diverted to paying off my student loan. we also still live off dh's salary 2 raises ago, so the money beyond his raises goes hidden as well. this drives dh crazy b/c it looks like we have less than we do and he doesn't understand why i go to the trouble of "hiding" the money within the account, but to me it's not there and is therefore "unspendable".
 

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We went to a restaurant for brunch today, which was completely unfrugal and ruined our long period of no-eating-out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
But it was really, really good food, the waitress was very sweet, DS was very well-behaved, so much so that the patrons of the table nearby complimented us, and we had a great time, so while I'm not happy about the unfrugality, I'm glad we did it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I definitely want to avoid getting in the habit of eating out, though.<br><br>
I did make a great soup in my slow cooker that used up some chicken and pork my mom had given me that I wasn't sure how to prepare, so I'm glad it was used and not wasted. It was really delicious. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy"><br><br>
I wish there was a Frugal Freaks smiley for my sig!
 

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I'm going to try my best to just buy groceries on Friday. I need big shopping at Costco, so it will run alot. We had 3 family birthdays and 1 birthday party of a good friend this month, spent alot of extra money. I also had to put 2 new tires on my car.<br><br>
I haven't made a monthly meal plan, so I'm going to work on it this week and shop of Friday. DH and I are trying to loose weight, so that should help our $ amount on food and the calendar should help. I might have to pick up Milk before then though.<br><br>
I'm going to start logging all my spending. Carry a notebook around and write everything down as I purchase it to see where I can cut. I did start cutting my children's (3 of them) hair, so that is saving us.<br><br>
I have 3/4 tank of gas in my car, so I'm going to try to make it last until next Saturday. I've been getting out alot and with the price of gas going up, I need to plan outings better.
 

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I'm not feeling frugal lately! We've done a few things on the cheap - doesn't feel totally frugal since we are still spending to accomplish them.<br><br>
We spent several hundred on getting both cars new brakes, also needed I think rotors and calipers replaced - fortunately, dh knows how to do the work so we save by not paying for labor. We had one totally unfrugal day when we spent an afternoon with dh's family and that took some gas we wouldn't have otherwise needed, plus food while out because I totally failed to prepare and fill a cooler with our own stuff.... and I splurged on a couple thrift store finds to the tune of $12.00...<br><br>
but I did manage to make successful bread, freeze a bunch of eggs purchased in bulk, and I noticed we are only using a couple of rolls of paper towels a week instead of 6! I'll stock the freezer this week with basil puree, and beef bone broth reduction. Also a small thing, we resisted going out to dinner tonight even though we were out running errands we came home and cooked.<br><br>
We have managed to avoid turning on the A/C even though it's reaching the low 80's inside, by using fans and opening things up in the evening to start the next morning nice and cool.<br><br>
This weekend dh installed a new irrigation system into our raised vegetable beds for only $23 - it was going to be around 50 but he figured out a way to design it that reduced the amount of materials we needed. He and ds1 completed the assembly today. I hope by next week I can get some of these seeds in, it's getting really warm here. Before, we had sprinklers that were wasting a lot of water through evaporation and overspray - and we pay for every gallon, so those had to go.<br><br>
I need quinoa and kashi mix, so I decided that when I go to the co-op to get quinoa I'll buy the grains to make my own kashi-type blend of grains - it'll cost less than half the price per pound that the brand name does.<br><br>
Ending on a note that makes me feel better, I have not spent a penny this pregnancy on maternity clothes!! Having friends with young babies helps, lol.
 

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This weekend we planted our onions (32 sq ft) and potatoes (64 sq ft). We also bought three blueberry plants and moved the roses.<br><br>
I've been feeling moved to add in more edible plantings to our landscaping and wanting to utilize all of our growing space to produce food. I suspect it won't be long before all of our flower beds are garden space in addition to the back yard!<br><br>
Earlier in the week I dug out some old flowers and move my echinacea and sage up to the front of the house.<br><br>
Now we've got the blueberries on the south side flower bed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
While the activities (other than moving my herbs which were already established plants) do involve an investment on the front end, the goal is long term food production.<br><br>
We also went to several garage sales and scored some very cheap canning supplies to add in our food storage as the garden produces. We managed to get 36 canning jars for only $4.50. They would have cost us $27 if we bought them new.<br><br>
To the PP asking about vacu-sealing - we do have a food saver and limit its use to storing foods we can't really adequately store long-term in other containers. We use it for meats (we like to buy in bulk and re-package in meal size amounts), and the occasional loaf of bread that I bake and want to freeze.<br><br>
For short term storage of pantry items (a year or less) I use mason jars (glass canning jars) with lids. For refrigerator storage (a week or less) I use pyrex dishes or the mason jars. I also wash and save glass jars and lids that foods come in and will use them to store leftovers or pantry items.<br><br>
We buy in bulk and repackage a lot of our staples.<br><br>
I tend not to freeze most items other than meat because DH is a hunter and the small chest freezer we have tends to be taken up with venison and turkey.
 

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Yardsaling on Saturday.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Anyhow, a neighbor has started an internet auction business and I'm going to get rid of some stuff.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KariM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7990623"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To the PP asking about vacu-sealing - we do have a food saver and limit its use to storing foods we can't really adequately store long-term in other containers. We use it for meats (we like to buy in bulk and re-package in meal size amounts), and the occasional loaf of bread that I bake and want to freeze.<br><br>
For short term storage of pantry items (a year or less) I use mason jars (glass canning jars) with lids. For refrigerator storage (a week or less) I use pyrex dishes or the mason jars. I also wash and save glass jars and lids that foods come in and will use them to store leftovers or pantry items.<br><br>
We buy in bulk and repackage a lot of our staples.<br><br>
I tend not to freeze most items other than meat because DH is a hunter and the small chest freezer we have tends to be taken up with venison and turkey.</div>
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Thank you! I thought of the glass jars, but it was the bulk meat that I was stumped on....<br><br>
I REALLY have to get better at being more frugal - I work fulltime, as does DH, and we have no little ones so far - though we are working on that! We don't have time to be as frugal as we SHOULD be - esp. DH.... *sigh* Hopefully, once our kitchen is put back together, we'll get more on track with food....
 

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we were unintentionally frugal--one of dd's teeth became infected so she had 5 teeth extracted today at an oral surgeons office instead of next month with her dentist in the hospital. it was actually faster for her and will cost us about half.<br><br>
i'm going to push myself to get the pantry inventory done this week also. i've been putting that off. i did finally remember that i can get 10% off at the co-op instead of 3% by ordering by the case so i'm going to start doing that too.<br><br>
sarah
 

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I'm staring down the barrel of a difficult month frugal-wise. We're having houseguests next week for five days (which could send the grocery bill to the moon if I'm not mindful), my work schedule promises to be heavy (which leads to exhaustion and can, therefore, lead to eating out), we've got several family birthdays. I went through my closet this morning as I was getting dressed for work and came to the realization that I couldn't go another spring season without purchasing some new shirts. Every shirt I pulled out was either stained, bagged out of shape, pilled . . . and I'm in management, so I have to look neat and at least somewhat professional most days.<br><br>
So I went shopping today and bought six new shirts. But I also plan to take one more stab at washing a few of the ones in my closet--anyone got any great ideas for removing deodorant/perspiration stains?<br><br>
On a more frugal note . . . I made hamburger buns last night. They were awesome! So good, and dirt cheap.
 

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Today was a frugal day. I did laundry, made bread, and stayed home except to pick up my sister from school. I have to drive for that because it's 4 miles each way and not on a safe walking route, anyway. But that's all the driving I did! Yay!<br><br>
Really, this week is just about staying caught up on cleaning, diapers, etc. . . so I don't think of using disposable items.
 

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Frugal moves this week?<br><br>
1. We're picking up our bulk order from Azure Standard in about and hour so I'll be putting our new food pantry (under the stairs) together and plan on cooking heavily out of that for the month.<br><br>
2. Trying to be super organized this month and go to Costco ONLY ONCE. We'll see how that goes since I get our organic brown eggs there...I figure I"ll get 2 18/packs and see how long they last...I've always heard that brown eggs keep way longer...anyone else heard that?<br><br>
3. The library is REALLY far from our house (20-30 min) so I'm going to try to pare that down to twice a month instead of every week.<br><br>
Hmmmm....that's all I can think of for now...Judegirl...thanks for the frugal reminder! Time to buckle down again!
 

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If being frugal means spending no money, then I don't belong here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: I se eit as spending with thought and trying to limit as much as needed for the current circumstances. I have done no-spending months for fun and politics and it was great and while I do things like fix broken pens, buy garage sale clothes and housewares, use vinegar for cleaning and have my hair cut at a men's barber shop for $15 as a few examples, I still spend money and I don't regret it. But in that spending, which is usually not totally spendthrifty or out of control anyways, I do trim costs where I can. We only pay cash or cash equivelent (no credit debt) and we try and buy wisely so we don't have to keep replacing stuff.<br><br>
My frugal move of the week is, on having my Corolla start to die, buying a low mileage gently used 4 cylinder Camry with side curtain airbags for a few thousand less than typical. I pay for it this afternoon, unless our mechanic say STOP. Is it frugal to buy a new car? No. But I have to drive, at least some miles, for work during the day (even when we start our walking commute after we move- the car will stay garaged at my office to facilitate this walking play and then we can take it home on the weekends ot whatever if needed). And we bought the best car for the least money with no financing. So while not entirely frugal, my frugal side showed through on the purchase. The Corolla, which is a fine car, if 9 years old, will be donated to a non-profit I collaborate with that will fix it up and sell it for a tiny amount to a family in need of reliable transportation so I feel ok with giving it away rather than selling it.<br><br>
I bought my son's b-day present for June from a Craigslist ad, NIB, and saved a bundle so that is good.<br><br>
I am about to do the pre birthday pare down of my son's junk. He was born end of June so every May and November (before birthday and Christmas) we do a serious weeding out, in additon to the regular weeding we try to do. That away he has room for all the new clothes and toys and his room stays cleanable. We sometimes sell his stuff but often we just give it away, either way I consider it frugal in the end.
 

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I definitely don't see frugality as equal to "no spending." I see it as equal to "thoughtful spending."<br><br>
I think there is a point where frugality isn't thoughtful and may be counterproductive. One of the goals of frugality for me is to keep an awareness of the financial health of the family, and that means choosing our spending wisely.<br><br>
For instance, every six months we pay a company $75 to come to our house and wash our windows (our house is a small two-story row house). On the surface that's not frugal and honestly, it does seem a little wasteful to me whenever I think about it. However, I am scared of heights and my DH has an inner ear problem that makes it risky for him to do things like climb ladders. So in fact, it's more frugal to pay somebody to wash the windows, because it's a risky behavior for us that would cost us a lot more if it went wrong. We like having clear windows as it makes our home more pleasant and therefore we spend more time in the home (which is cheaper than going out). So, for our family, it is a kind of frugality.
 

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Ooh. I think that you ladies have just defined the real difference between 'frugal' and 'cheap'.<br><br>
My mom and I were having a conversation, and she mentioned that she was offended because a casual accquaintance called her 'cheap'. And really, my mom is CHEAP. But, she countered that she felt better about being considered FRUGAL.<br><br>
But really, cheap means that you HATE spending money. Frugal just means that you consider and value every dime that you spend...<br><br>
Does it matter to you mamas? Do you refer to yourself/your habits interchangably as cheap or frugal, or are you offended by the implication that you are cheap?
 

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I like the term "frugal." I think the implications there are about being mindful and considered with your spending, while cheap seems to have overtones of stinginess, stiffing the waiter, etc. "Being frugal" makes me feel like I'm taking the high road..."being cheap" just feels...tacky. On the other hand, I can see the "a rose is a rose" argument, too. Am I just being over-sensitive?<br><br>
On a frugal note, I made my own seitan this weekend. In case anyone is not familiar with this food, it's a mock meat (we're vegetarian) made from wheat gluten, and it's REALLY expensive...like, $4 for an 8 oz. package (compare this to tofu, at $1.37 for 14 oz, or beans, .65 a pound!) Consequently, I almost never buy it. However, the $6 bag of wheat gluten I purchased makes the equivalent of $40 worth of seitan! The time investment wasn't too bad, either...I let the bread machine mix/knead it, so 10 minutes there, and after shaping/cutting it up, it had to simmer in a faux "chicken" stock for an hour, but I cleaned the kitchen and cooked some other stuff while keeping an eye on it, so it didn't take up an inordinate amount of time.<br><br>
We ate it tonight, and it was yummy!<br><br>
Holly
 

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I like being called frugal and I don't like being called cheap. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 
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