5 Frugal Things To Save Money This Week

by Texas Homesteader ~

I think it’s a beautiful thing that when I take steps to save money it almost always also has a positive environmental effect.  But it was a busy week for us and sometimes when life gets hectic I take shortcuts, which can have a negative effect on my environmental awareness as well as our budget.  But I think I did very well staying true to my environmental self as well as to our budget.  C’mon & see 5 things we did to save money (and the environment!) this week.

Sometimes when life gets hectic, shortcuts can have a negative effect on our budget. Come see what we did to save money this week! #TexasHomesteader

  • We were invited to a birthday party for a family member.  Several of us were gathering at a restaurant out in ‘the big city’ to celebrate.  On the way in we noticed that the restaurant had several specials, including a 1/2 price entree when another entree and two drinks were purchased.  Although I typically just order water with lemon when we go out to eat, I ordered a glass of unsweetened tea this time and my meal was half price!
  • We were invited to another gathering of friends & family at a local-ish winery & bistro.  Now I love this brand of wine, but neither RancherMan nor I am fond of their food, OR their prices!  Since we had some errands to run in this town (as we always do when we are traveling in a nearby town) we discovered that Taco Bueno had Muchacos on a one-day special for $0.99 each.  I *LOVE* their Muchacos anyway so when we drove by we swung in and ordered two for each of us and a cup of iced water to share.  Lunch for 2 – only $4!  And I hate to use those little plastic cups while at the condiment bar so instead we unwrapped the Muchacos and doctored them directly – no plastic cups used and thrown away.  Now fully satiated with food we actually loved we were able to enjoy the gathering without needing to buy an overpriced meal.
  • We host our family reunion here at the ranch every year, the event was held last weekend.  During RanchFest, we provide the main dish and each family brings their favorite side or dessert to share.  Although there were lots of guests coming I hated to buy paper plates, especially since Disposable = FRUSTRATION for me.  The heavy-duty paper plates are expensive, the cheap lightweight paper plates would never hold up to one of the hefty meals we had in store and styrofoam plates weren’t even an option!  So instead I used my real plates – most of them are Corelle so they’re dang-near unbreakable.  We requested that food brought to the event be finger foods so no utensils were even needed (smoked brisket sandwiches, chips & dips, hummus & crackers, raw fruit and/or veggie platters, stuffed jalapenos, sausage/cheese/cracker trays, cookies or sliced cold watermelon for dessert)  It worked out beautifully – there was no serving ware to buy and throw in the trash and since our new energy-star dishwasher uses precious little water yet works so well it wasn’t even a problem with cleanup: I simply scraped any leftover food bits into my compost bucket, loaded the dishwasher and pushed the button.  BOOM!
  • During this family reunion gathering we also set out two large empty 200-lb capacity cattle-protein buckets with signs that read “aluminum” for any empty aluminum cans and “Glass/Plastic” for glass bottles, plastic water bottles, etc.  After the reunion the aluminum cans were crushed and added to RancherMan’s metal recycling stash – we’ll make a little cash next time we happen to drive by the recycling center in a nearby town.  The recyclable items in the other bucket were taken home by a family member to be added with their own weekly recycling.
  • A while back while raising one of the large windows in our living room I heard “PING” and a small part came flying out. The window was a little tighter to open was somewhat cockeyed when raised but I was just careful to raise/lower it slowly. But this week RancherMan researched the window repair procedure, pulled the window, took it to his shop, repaired it, and reinstalled it. In past days I’d have just called someone to come repair the window, but it’s that fix-it-yourself mindset that keeps our living requirements low enough to be able to live & work here at a place that speaks to our hearts. Thank you RancherMan for all you do!

So there ya go, 5 things we did this week to save money.  Even with not one but TWO  dining-out obligations we worked it out where we saved some cash and still enjoyed the company of family & friends during special occasions.  Heck, just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you can’t (within your budget of course) enjoy gatherings that nurture those important relationships!

What did you do this week to save a little cold, hard cash?  C’mon & crow about it a little, we can all learn from each other!

~TxH~

 

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26 thoughts on “5 Frugal Things To Save Money This Week

  1. Lou Ann Henwood

    What brand of dishwasher do you have . We are looking to purchase new appliances soon, including dishwasher . Would love your input.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We put in a cheap, crappy Whirlpool dishwasher when we moved here. Lesson learned! I washed the dishes BEFORE, during and AFTER the dishwasher – grrrrrrr… We finally replaced that loud, no-washing dishwasher with a Maytag we bought on sale. It’s quiet, it’s energy efficient, and DANG it washes the dishes! All our other appliances are Frigidaire, I would definitely NOT recommend them for appliances, we’ve had nothing but trouble with our Frigidaire microwave and overly-expensive counter-depth refrigerator and their customer service recommends to just buy another one. Wow. We have a Maytag front-loader washing machine that rocks my world – energy star (of course), quiet and a workhorse even with heavy denim fabric at removing tough ranch-related stains like manure or blood. We have a dryer too but it hasn’t been turned on in years since I much prefer to line dry our clothes. I couldn’t even tell you who made our dryer – lol. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Judith C

    My daughter attended a party while living in St. John (US Virgin Islands) long ago. In the islands they are very mindful of trash because they have no where to put it. People attending the party were told to bring their own plate, napkin and utensils. Seems this is a common occurrence. Since the party was on the beach, my daughter used an old Girl Scout method of washing dishes. After eating she walked down to the water’s edge, dipped her plate and utensils, scrubbed them with a little sand, put them in a mesh bag that she had brought and gave them a dunk. Set everything to dry beside her backpack (no one in the islands carries a purse) and at the end of the evening everything was dry enough to go back into her backpack. People were talking about her all night, she told them her mom was a Girl Scout leader….

    Reply
  3. Leigh

    I love your list and appreciate your party tips, perhaps because I’m addicted to dishes and any excuse to buy more works for me! 😉
    Blessings, Leigh

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      …anything I can do to help, Leigh! LOL It’s funny because when I use my own dishes at large gatherings, many people gasp and ask about the chore of cleanup. I always smile and say “All I do is scrape the plates, I have a magical machine that does all the washing, what wonderful times we live in!” LOL Even if I were handwashing the dishes, heck it doesn’t take very long to wash plates! ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      The reunion was awesome Katie, we look forward to it every year. I did drive the hayride a little too close to the fence & popped the tpost clips from one of the tposts (oops!) Hey, if excitement is what the RanchFest-goers are after, I’ll give the people what they want. LOL ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. Kathryn Grace

    Terrific solutions! I’ve done that before–eaten a good meal before attending a gathering at an expensive restaurant. It’s one sure way to save on those out-of-pocket expenses that can break a tight budget. Yesterday, I made almond butter. It’s so easy here at home with a food processor, tastes better than the stuff that comes in commercial jars, and I don’t have to worry about additives. With the California drought, where most of the nation’s almonds are produced, they’re mega expensive this year, so I buy in bulk at the Farmer’s Market whenever I can, then make up my own nut butter and nut milk. One way we save.

    Reply
  5. Ginger Williams

    Took the floor length living room drapes down to wash, and after they were dried, it was obvious the kittens had had great fun jumping and climbing, since there were little slashes all over the upper third of each panel, which laundering let ‘open’ so light showed through. Seems the kits like to take off from ground level, jump, then dash to the top. I stitched new channels in the (previous) hem ends, and rehung upside down. Now the parts with the slashes are against solid wall or behind furniture, with no light shining through to reveal the slashes. When I have more time (yeah, I know!), and certainly before I launder them again, I’ll get out the needle and thread and mend at least the worst of the lot, but for now, I have clean, presentable drapes, in the color I searched everywhere for (dark denim blue), for only a little outlay of time and without buying new drapes. This should last me for at least another year or more, especially since the kittens are outgrowing the need for these gymnastics!

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      OMGosh Ginger – brilliant! There will be time to make repairs down the road but for the time being the kitties’ mischievousness is hidden. You’re so clever! ~TMH~

      Reply
  6. Patty

    My husband lives in a different state (due to our work situations, it won’t be forever, thank goodness!) and I have needed a variety of small repairs done. Thanks to the internet and YouTube, I have been able to do many of them myself. I had 3 leaking faucets at one time – it amazed me that I could fix them for just a few dollars! It is gratifying and empowering to learn how to ‘do stuff’ for oneself, not to mention much more frugal 🙂

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      GOOD FOR YOU, Patty!! How empowered it feels to tackle a repair and do it yourself! I know RancherMan uses the internet & YouTube many times to research the repairs he wants to make. YouTube offers the visual assistance that makes it so much easier to actually see what you’ll be seeing. Good for you for doing it yourself – you GO girl!! ~TMH~

      Reply
  7. Jessica [Havok]

    Corelle dishes are amazing. I know some of their newer stuff doesn’t hold up to snuff, but older bits? They could last through anything, I think! And brilliant to have everyone bring finger foods to the reunion – everyone likes those foods, anyway, and less mess! 😀

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      With the Correlle, these babies are old Jessica. Some of them were purchased for me as part of my high-school graduation (now THAT’S been a few years ago) and some were purchased as Christmas gifts when I was in my younger 20’s. LOL They’ve been through four rambunctious children and only one saucer has ever been broken – & I marveled at it at the time. HA! The finger foods theme worked beautifully for us with this gathering – yea! ~TMH~

      Reply
  8. tonia conner

    I had the meat at Wed evening church dinner this week. Getting out of the mind set turkey was only for Thanksgiving, I had bought a turkey on sale the previous week. I bought day old bread for the dressing which helped and a double package of celery on sale. Using the extra celery for my snacking with your hummus recipe for my new healthy lifestyle. Put carrots and celery on the bottom of the pan to rest the bird on when baking then used the broth after baking the bird for a turkey hash for another meal. Enough meat was left for yet another meal or maybe two. I really stretched that turkey.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Love it Tonia – you’ve really thought outside the box and saved some serious cash. And I’m so glad the hummus recipe is working for you. It’s one of my faves! ~TMH~

      Reply

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