Make, Do and Mend

The cyber-diary of what this homemaker makes, does and sometimes mends.
My motto is "if you do stuff, stuff gets done"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frugal October - day 1

Seed Harvesting
zinnias in my yard- grown from seed saved from 2011 zinnias
Black Eye Susans and another wild flower that is red and yellow
These are growing in a flower bed at the library in my town.
Can you see all the dried brown ones mixed in with the still blooming ones?

Well,  I saw them,  and when I tugged on a dead head,  it came right up.
So I pulled up a few of them and decided to save them for their seeds.

I should add that I live in a friendly green town and knew I would not get in trouble for pulling off a few dead flowers from a city lot.
This bed is in some need of tending to anyway.  
the library flowers,  in a shopping bag hanging in the garage to make sure they good and dry.
I had previously saved a few zinnias from my yard to harvest the seeds from them too.  
so today,  I was more than sure all my seed heads were dry.
I put them over sheets of waxed paper and harvested the seeds.  

Then I bagged them and labeled them and put them in with my other seed collection in a bigger bag, sealed them up tight, and put them in the freezer until next spring.

Much cheaper than buying those tiny seed packets.  

 In the Kitchen 
 I really want to lower my grocery spending but I also want to keep my kitchen as stocked as possible- I am not sure exactly how it will work out but I think I can.  
My goal in October is to spend $400 or less on groceries,  I've been spending a lot more so this will be a stretch but I am going to keep track and will post how I do.  

I did a little shopping today,  mostly for salad ingredients and for some pork that was on sale.
I got 3 large pork loins on sale for $1.69 a pound.  Each loin was about $14.  Total was just about $50.  
When my husband got home, he helped me deal with them.  He got out his knives and cut them.  He also fired up his electric smoker and cooked part of them  

the yield was ......

4 big roasts that I plan to cook for big family meals
3 meals worth of chops- we had 4 chops for our supper tonight
1 package of trimmings with plenty of meat on them that I will cook for our dog
6 meals of smoked loin, sliced

I think 13 big meals from $50 of meat worked out pretty well.  

The meat that went in the freezer was double wrapped- first in freezer paper and then in zipper freezer bags. It may be stored in the freezer for a while.  If meat prices go up like experts are predicting,  we will eat the meat stockpiled in my freezer slowly and enjoy even more lower meat or meatless meals.  But I am trying to stock up on as much lower cost meat right now as possible.  

I finally bought more milk today too.  There were 2 cups of milk still  in the fridge that were not spoiled but just getting to that turn point.  So I got out my Betty Crocker cookbook and made one batch of chocolate pudding with that milk.  It was delicious and very low cost- just used 1/2 c sugar, 1/3 c cocoa, 2 T cornstarch, 2 egg yolks and a little bit of butter and vanilla.  

Frugal Shopping 
I wish I could just shop at one store in my town and get the best deals and quality at one store but I can't.
Thankfully my town is small so I don't drive all that much to visit multiple stores. 
If you are trying to find the lowest prices,  you really just have to check out the stores you can shop it,  shopping is different everywhere.  

For me,  I found some great and low priced onions, bananas, frozen peas,sour cream and milk at IGA.
I got very fresh looking romaine and leaf lettuce at Crepe Myrtle,  a small Asian market.
At Walmart,  I found cereal on sale and got 10 bags as it is my husbands favorite and was just $1 a bag,  2 packs of Johnsonsville Italian sausage with $2 internet coupons and some hot dogs for our dog.  

Yes,  I know our dog does not eat like other dogs.  
He does eat dog food but he is old and has kidney disease and he prefers meat to anything else.  
He is not frugal but we love him.  

The Nester  is a very big-time blogger and she is hosting a series about 
31 days on whatever topic.  There are already over 900 bloggers linked up to her on a huge array of topics, everything from meal planning,  toddler activities, gardening, arts- the list goes on and on.  
If you have a topic you are wanting to explore,  you might check out her list for some inspiration.  

For me,  I'll be talking about frugal things all month 
as well as homemaking and taking care of my family.  

hope I don't bore you all......


  1. Rhonda, you are never boring! :)

  2. Yea! You're doing the 31 days too! I love reading your thrifty and frugal tips and look forward to seeing more.

  3. I love reading your thrifty tips! You got a great deal on the pork loins. Don't worry about being boring - that is highly unlikely! :-)

  4. Those are the reason I come!!! Angela

  5. oh blogger!

    The red and yellow flower is Gaillardia and will come back year after year if your husband doesn't mow them down...Ask me how I know, lol.

    Second attempt the charm?

  6. I love your ideas. We spend SO much on groceries but a family of 6 and sometimes we feed 7. lol. But I still love the challenge of finding the discounts and planning meals around what's on clearance. I have come to love the grocery's scratch and dent corner. I buy up everything I can...who cares if there is a dent in the can? They mark them 75% off!

    All of your pork sounds wonderful. I'd say you got a great deal there. I love having meat all stocked up in the freezer....among other things. I love that feeling of being prepared, using what you have and all of that. I did pretty well with my garden stuff, baking, etc.

    Love that you even has scraps for the dog. haha. I do that with our kitties...nothing goes to waste that way!

    ok...I've talked enough...lol...


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