Frugal Accomplishments // 1

>> Monday, August 7, 2017

I’ve run into many accounts of “frugal accomplishments” by different bloggers. I always enjoy reading what other families are doing to save money and avoid consumption. And I thought I might like to start making my own lists on this space from time to time. I’ll try to keep them to just five bullet items. Maybe these things will help inspire you like they do for me. It’s always nice to get a nudge in the frugal direction, especially if you find yourself struggling.

There are always areas to improve upon, right?

#1: Added to our homemade pantry

We’ve been beefing up our homemade pantry with more goods we’ve made from CSA ingredients and otherwise. This weekend, Stephen and I both made a batch of jarred jalapeños and some pickled zucchini noodles. Both seem to be tasty so far, and they should last in the fridge for a good month (though we’ll surely eat them before this date!). For the brine, we followed the directions on this recipe. All the produce came from our CSA, though we should have a good showing of zucchinis in our backyard garden soon enough.

Along with these foods, I have started testing out recipes for a sandwich bread I hope to replace store-bought bread with. My first two attempts were tasty, but not quite the right texture. Stay tuned on that one. Stephen has also started up his yearly batch of pickles. He’s also brewing more kombucha. And while we’re at it and thinking of bread, I should probably try to get another sourdough starter going. I cannot seem to keep it alive long enough. Any tips on that?

#2: Started back-to-school shopping

I have made my rounds at the local thrift shops to start Ada’s school wardrobe for this fall. I cannot believe it’s almost time for classes to start back up! Anyway, I was lucky enough to find a lot (4) of Hanna Andersson dresses for $2.99 each in her size (well, the one that she’s currently growing into). I ask found a like-new pair of Hanna Andersson clogs for $8 at Once Upon a Child, where I had a 15% off coupon, making the total $6.80! Ada actually has quite a good number of clothes that stuff fit her well from last year, so we’ll resist buying new and go with what we have.

Side note: I really like Hanna Andersson because these clothes hold up very well. Ada has many more dresses in other sizes that should be in near-perfect condition for Eloise when she’s bigger. Gotta love being a girl-mom. Hand-me-downs!

#3: Scouted out a new thrift shop

Along with my school clothes shopping, I also found a new second-hand store that’s less than a mile from my house. It isn’t in the most desirable location, but everything in the store is $2 or less. I pawed my way through everything and was able to find a couple like-new Cat + Jack pieces for Ada’s school wardrobe. I also found a tank + cardigan set -- a SET -- of FLAX (here’s why I love FLAX) for $2! So, that means each piece was just $1. It’s my new favorite thrift spot based on price alone. Can’t beat it.

I’ll be adding this place to my regular rotation, though I don’t think it has as many treasures as my beloved Thrifty Shopper up the road.

#4: Visited the library

I always have the best intentions to check out materials from the library versus buying them on-demand. So, I set out in August with a new intention to think ahead and really use my library card versus ordering books for instant gratification. The library can be such a treasure trove for free entertainment, especially in the colder months. I have a hold on Ariel Levy’s memoir The Rules Do Not Apply. I also need to head back to examine some of the local calendars for different classes/groups that meet there.

I’ll be returning at the end of the month to sign up Eloise for the September story hour group that meets once a week.

#5: Found a new playground 

File this one under free entertainment. We spend a lot of time in our own backyard. But Eloise doesn’t have a lot of age-appropriate toys to ram around on now that’s she’s in full toddler mode. When I was out for my long run this week (8 miles -- yahoo!), I happened to do a lap around a nearby elementary school. To my pleasure, there was a small playground in the back for younger children with all sorts of toddler toys scattered about. We headed there last night with Eloise and Ada to play, and it’s basically the perfect setup. Ada is a fan of monkey bars these days, so she had at it on those. Eloise crawled around in the tunnels, play house, and went down the tiny slide. We even found some of those painted rocks everyone has been talking about.

I will be relying more and more on free places to go and things to do as cross country season heats up. What kind of places do you like to take your little ones for some free things to do?

What are some of your own recent frugal accomplishments?

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