Frugal Friday

I missed my Frugal Friday list last week.  I had a good excuse, I spent the day with my sister in law and her kids at Cave of the Mounds in southwestern Wisconsin.  If you live in the area and have never been, put it on your bucket list, it’s an amazing place.  We had a really nice day and it was a welcome break from the overwhelming heat wave we were experiencing.  The caves are 50 degrees, it felt like heaven.  Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at a local brewpub (I bought my husband a growler, which I always do when I go brewpubs) and had a nice conversation and time with her kids.  It felt like a perfect summer day.

The garden is finally showing signs of life.  I think the combination of late spring, torrential rains and then a weird heatwave has those little plants confused.  But, I recently spotted a flower on one of my eggplant and the squash seem like they are ready to do what they do best,  provide more fruit than any family could possibly eat.  It might be a late harvest, but I do believe that we will have a respectable amount of veggies to get us by for several weeks.

We lost a hive due to whatever is getting the world’s poor little honeybees.  Eric harvested that honey and wax.  The honey will not be suitable for sale or for toast or tea.  But, it will do well in baking, beer or mead.  However, the wax is gorgeous.  I am going to be able to make at least 2 candles from it.

Now time for the Frugal Friday list.  I will roll together 2 weeks rather than one this week.

  1. My daughter is able to bring home leftover pastries from her job that have not been purchased.  We have a freezer full of breakfast foods that we have been enjoying a couple days a week.  I am so happy her employer allows them to do this rather than it going straight to a landfill.
  2. My parents gave us a gift card to a local restaurant as a thank you for watching their dog.  We used it last weekend and had a fabulous meal.
  3. My husband and daughter went to another super hero movie, paying for it with a gift card.  I think he has officially used up his movie cards with Avengers now being in the theatre.
  4. I signed up to receive dog food from chewy.com.  They mailed me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  Dog food is so expensive.
  5. We did a little bit of Christmas shopping on Prime Day.  We usually buy holiday gifts from local merchants.  But, there were a couple of electronics that we wanted to purchase.

What did you do this week to save some cash?




Frugal Friday

I can’t believe it’s another Friday and time to go through a list of things we did to save some pennies this week.  Let me start by saying we had an unexpected expense last Friday.  I took my car in for maintenance only to find out that a pothole cracked an axel on my car.  Ouch.  It was not as expensive as I would have thought, so that was a win, I guess.  I like to think it was avoidable, but with the winter we had, I am betting we are far from the only family to be dealing with car issues caused by potholes.

  1.  My son and I went to see Toy Story 4.  He is 21, but we needed to finish that series.  I spent the better part of 3 years listening to Toy Story play in our VCR on a daily basis.  To say that Buzz Lightyear was his hero would be an understatement.  Anyway, we went before 12:00 pm on a Saturday, so tickets were $5.00.
  2. I scored 2 loaves of bread at a bakery for $2.00 per loaf.  They are normally $8.00 per loaf.
  3. My daughter’s birthday was on Tuesday.  The store gave me $20 off for her gift because it was for her birthday.  That was totally unexpected.
  4. A friend gave me 3 absolutely gorgeous houseplants from her mother’s house, free of charge.  She just wanted them to go to a home where they would be taken care of.
  5. I used up the last of my shampoo in a plastic bottle and started using a shampoo bar.  Preliminary results are good.  So far, I like it.

What did you do this week to save some money?  Remember, being frugal doesn’t mean doing without.  It means saving so that you can enjoy the things that really matter without worrying about money.


Our newest plant


Lemon Couscous


Yesterday was another hot one.  We had couscous, cherries, bread and cheese in an effort to keep the house cool.  I have an electric kettle, so I heated the water for the couscous in that and was able to avoid turning on the oven or stove.

Lemon Couscous

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups couscous

1 tbsp olive oil

pinch of salt

12 oz jar marinate artichoke hearts

1 minced garlic clove

1 tbsp chopped dill

fresh mint

2 oz sun dried tomatoes

1 lemon (juiced)

1/4 cup walnuts

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

4 oz feta cheese

Put couscous in a bowl, cover with water.  Fluff with a fork and add olive oil.  Cover the couscous and let sit for 5 minutes.

Once couscous is done, mix in artichoke hearts, garlic, dill, sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, walnuts, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Once mixed add feta on top.  Serve at room temperature.  Perfect for summer nights with a green salad, fruit and bread.




Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

What did you do this week to stick to money saving and frugality?  We had a couple major wins this week that only further my belief that sticking to a budget and saving money is the way to go.

  1.  For my son’s 21st birthday, we bought him a computer.  A few months ago, that computer started to have problems.  He sent the computer back to the company, because it was under warranty for repairs.  They don’t have the necessary part, so he is getting a better model than the original computer.  Don’t forget about your warranties.  I know that I do and probably throw money away without meaning to.
  2. I bought 2 heavy duty fans to help get us through the summer.  I am determined not to rely solely on central air to keep cool this summer.  I don’t have a problem using it. However, there are times when it is so hot that the responsible thing to do is to set the thermostat higher so that there isn’t such a strain on the power company.
  3. Our power was out for almost 24 hours.  Does that count?  24 hours without using electricity has to add up to something, right?
  4. After the power outage, it was so tempting to go out for dinner.  But, we popped a couple frozen pizzas in the oven and added a salad.  We stayed in to watch a movie and considered ourselves lucky to have first world problems like lost power.  It makes you reflect on your overwhelming privilege when you lose amenities that you are used to.
  5. Our electric bill arrived and it went down significantly from the bill we received in May.  A full month of no heating or cooling made a huge difference.

What did you do this week to save money?


A much needed cocktail during a 24 hour period without power


Lemon Dressing

It is a hot night this beautiful Monday, so I am making a simple salad for dinner.  Making your own salad dressing is a great way to save money.  Not only that, homemade tastes so much better.  Below is my recipe for lemony salad dressing.  Since it is lemon juice and olive oil, you know it’s healthy.  Enjoy!

Lemon Dressing

1/4 cup  fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake.