Friday, January 30, 2009

Frugal Fridays: Frugality In My Home

Today for Frugal Fridays, I thought I'd share a few ways that we've exercised frugality or resourcefulness in the past few weeks. Two of these have to do with pet care, which is an area in which we are trying to learn to save more money.

1) We've been enjoying the boxes of clementines that are in season right now. Instead of throwing away the little wooden box they come in, I repurposed it to hold vitamins and supplements. It fits right in the cabinet. I still have another one of these boxes to use. I wonder where that will be?

2) We've been wanting a pillow for our dog to lie on when he's in the house. He used to have a blanket but kept trying to rip it up. So we were not about to spend approximately $30-$50 or more for a fancy dog bed. We've haven't spent that much money on most of our own furniture! One evening I had an idea and brought out 2 old bed pillows. A few days later, I opened one side of each pillow, fluffed up the batting and added a bit more stuffing to fill out the center. I then sewed the two pillows together to make one large pillow. I used an extra fleece throw that we had around the house to sew a cover for it.I made the back with two pieces of fabric overlapping in the middle for easy washing. This took me 1 hour to finish and saved quite a bit of money. Rock loves his bed!

Here you can see what the dog bed looks like. Normally he sleeps on it curled in a ball like a normal dog. We're not sure what was up with his legs in the air! But it was funny so we took a picture.:-)

3)We bathed our dog ourselves for the first time. Rock is a short-haired dog and doesn't require a lot of maintenance when it comes to grooming,thankfully! He does, however, need a bath every so often. When we first got him, we had absolutely no idea what to do with him and bathing a very active dog certainly wasn't in our line of expertise. Last year, we had him bathed several times while he was at the kennel when we were away. They do a great job there and he always looked and smelled so nice when we picked him up. It was definitely worth the $30 for his bath and "grooming". But now that he is growing up and we're more comfortable with handling him, we decided to give it a shot ourselves. Getting him into the shower was the hardest part. We'll probably bathe him ourselves mostly from here on. Another option for a little less expensive pet bath are those"do-it-yourself" groomers where they supply everything needed for the bath and you just bring the dog and do the bathing!We have at least one of those in our areas; I think the cost is around $15.

4)I cooked a turkey last week. This provided us with 4 meals, plus a couple ziploc bags full of chopped turkey for the freezer. I threw the bones and carcass into the crockpot with some onion, carrots and celery. I filled it up with water and let that cook on low for 24 hours. I got about 10 cups of broth from those bones. The part that I hate about making broth is the straining and picking the bits of meat out that are still on the bones. It is just gross to me. I don't like to waste, though, and sometimes that means doing something that you don't really like!I spent about 30 minutes picking out the meat and was surprised to get almost 4 more cups of turkey! I measured it into one cup increments and froze it in bags to use for soups.

5)This one involved spending a bit more money. Last week when we were at our local health food store, one of the employees informed us that on the next Thursday, everything in the store would be 20% off. We immediately made plans to return on that day. Considering that most of the items that I buy there do not usually go on sale or are items that I have coupons for, 20% off was pretty good for stocking up. I wrote out a list of items that I could stock up on such as raw honey, dried beans, brown rice, maple syrup, RealSalt, etc. and purchased those things at a reduced price. Although these things were definitely not free, I'm thankful to have gotten them at a better price than I would normally pay and to have my pantry stocked with staple items! Frugality is not just about getting items for free but about knowing what is important to you and what is a good price for those things.

What frugal things have you been up to? Please share!

Thanks to Crystal for hosting Frugal Fridays!

1 comment:

Mom2fur said...

Wow, you sure did a lot of frugal stuff this week. I think the dog bed idea is brilliant, and Rock is adorable. I think my dog Shadow, who is a chihuahua, is probably about as big as Rock's head, LOL!
I don't like picking meat off bones either--yuck. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
When I strain soup, I fit a wide-mouthed funnel (like you use for canning) in the top of a jar and put the strainer in that. It's just the right size. I don't even do canning, but that funnel is one of the smartest things I ever bought.
Hmmm...frugal this week. Well, I got my library books taken back today. Not very frugal since they were overdue $4, but at least I won't make any more debt there. I have some homemade blueberry muffins in the oven right now--got the recipe from Smockety Frocks today. (It's #39, I think, on the Frugal Friday list). Making hamburgers for dinner with meat bought on sale--cheaper than going out! And I bought extra meat to brown up for tacos and spaghetti.
I picked up a loaf of Italian bread from the day-old shelf. It's in the freezer now and will either be turned into pizza or maybe bruschetta.
I made homemade pizza last night. Well, partly homemade. I don't like the way I make the crust, so we buy dough from the pizza parlor. It's just better that way, and still (even with cheese and sauce) cheaper than buying pizza already made.
I did a few other things, but there's some of it!