Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

It was a great week for saving money.  Below is a list of things we did this week to maintain our frugal lifestyle.

  1.  Our youngest is a high school senior, which of course means senior pictures.  My husband has a nice camera and takes really nice pictures.  Since she honestly didn’t care who took her pictures, he did it.  Looks just as good as a professional photographer, in my opinion.IMG_0277
  2. I went to church.  Let me explain.  I go to a Unitarian church, our sermons aren’t typical sermons that you would hear in a traditional Christian church.  Instead, I refer to our sermons as being like TED Talks.  This week’s sermon was on being a people of belonging(s).  While I already try very hard not to put too much attachment into most of my belongings, it was good to hear it again.  There was emphasis on the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle.  I need to remind myself when I am a consumer to ask myself what is the environmental impact of my purchase?  Who is making the product?  Where is it being manufactured?  These questions along with the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra had me invigorated to be a better consumer.
  3. I made homemade shower bombs for cold and flu season.  I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but I can’t.  I found it on the Doterra facebook page.  But it was really easy to make.  It calls for 25 drops breath essential oil, 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup water.  Mix until sandy, put into ice cube trays to dry overnight.  D58E1356-D073-464D-BBF9-1785F63838CA
  4. I made homemade sour cream.  Again this is another super easy thing to make and it saves a plastic container from being purchased.  1 cup heavy whipping cream, 3 tbsp vinegar.  Pour into a mason jar, shake and leave on the countertop for 24 hours to thicken.  Put in refrigerator, it lasts about 2 weeks.
  5. I went to our local apple orchard to buy apples and pears directly from the source.  I actually drive by the orchard on my way to the grocery store that I go to.  They have the best honeycrisp apples out there.   I also get an apple cider donut to reward myself for absolutely no reason.Attachment-1 (1)


What did you do to save money this week?


Stuffed Acorn Squash

Our garden gave us some beautiful acorn squash this year.  I decided that is was the year that I would do more than bake it with butter and brown sugar.  Below is a recipe for acorn squash that I came up with after reading over several recipes for squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

3 squash

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion

1/3 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

4 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Boil 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups broth.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes.  While quinoa is cooking, bake squash halves in oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft.  When quinoa is done, set aside.  Chop onion.  Heat olive oil and saute onion 5-7 minutes.  Add cooked onion, cherries, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to quinoa and stir.  Scoop into squash halves, sprinkle additional parmesan on top and bake another 10 minutes.  I served this with a salad and zucchini bread that I found in my freezer.  Enjoy!





Frugal Living

Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday is back.  My life seems to be returning to some kind of normal.  My job requires I work every third weekend.  Sadly, I have not been able to work my weekend since August 4th.  But, it looks like I will be returning to my normal rotation tomorrow.  I have been home for nearly 3 weeks now without needing to leave for family reasons.  The relief that healing seems to have started is overwhelming.

This week was a return to saving some cash around here.  Here is our Frugal Friday roundup.

  1.  Tonight Eric and I are going out for a much needed date night.  I finally cashed in my OpenTable rewards and received a $20 voucher.  Side note though, it took me 12 years to earn enough points for $20, so it felt like a never ending effort.
  2. We have set our thermostat at 60 degrees from 10pm to 5am.  I know, it seems cold and it is.  But, we are going to give it a try and see if we can handle that over the winter.
  3. My daughter bought a new phone last week, the same one we bought our son for his upcoming birthday.  It isn’t an Iphone (gasp) and cost $140.  I am not tech savvy, but my understanding is that the phone is just fine, even without the Apple logo.
  4. I bought a countertop convection oven/toaster oven.  The initial investment might not be considered frugal, but after reading about ways we can save energy, this recommendation came up frequently.  I no longer need to make bake huge meals for a family of 5, as so often it is just 2 of us.  This oven takes less time for preheating, cooking and takes less energy.  Honestly, I love it.
  5. I got my flu shot, the rest of the family will be getting one as well.  Flu shots are usually free and in my opinion worth it.  I didn’t get the shot for myself, but for my loved ones who are not in a position to catch the flu and fight it without complications.

What have you done this week to save some cash?

IMG_0259.JPGA perfect vegetable pot pie in my new countertop oven.

Family Life

Bumps In The Road

The last several weeks have proven to be difficult.  Without getting into a lot of detail, my family is dealing with a serious medical issue.  I have been away from my home and family a lot the last several weeks.  It has been difficult at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My kids are older and self sufficient.  They don’t need me to be around all the time, so leaving is not a problem.   I am blessed beyond measure that my employer has worked with me every step of the way in making sure that I have all the time off that I have needed, without hesitation.  If you don’t have an employer like that, find one.  It makes a terrible situation just a little bit less terrible.  My husband has been a rock star.  He has taken care of everything at home off and on for the last several weeks.  Thank you.

We need a furnace!  Apparently modern furnaces are expected to last 15 years.  When the HVAC guy said “you need a furnace” my response was “we just got a new furnace.”  No, actually we bought a new furnace 15 years ago.  Proof yet again at how fast time goes by because I had it in my head that the furnace was only 5-7 years old.   I honestly think that those things are set to die on a predetermined date.  It makes no sense to me that in the age we live in a furnace can’t have a longer life.  Regardless, we had days that were actually 26 degrees below 0 last winter, so a new furnace it is.  I will end this by saying furnaces sure are expensive.

We have had A LOT OF RAIN.  Our lawns are completely saturated and what remains has no where else to go.  The gloom is starting to get to me, as I would love to be able to get outside and enjoy autumn.  It starting to feel like that will never happen, there is more rain in the forecast.  When it is this wet outside, it just feels gross to be outside.

I sound like I am complaining a lot and I shouldn’t.  Life is good.  My kids are healthy, I have a great job, a great spouse and not to mention a great dog:) . But sometimes it feels like things are a bit harder than they need to be and I have been that way for a few weeks.  I need a serious attitude adjustment and hope that can happen soon.