In an effort to share more of our day-to-day frugality (like many of you requested in my reader survey), I started on a new Friday series: Frugal Feats, Flops, and Funnies. You can hop back and read last week’s edition if you missed it.
I would love for this to become an opportunity for you to share your own frugal wins from the week so we can all learn from your mad money-saving skills! You can share your frugal failures and funnies too so we can laugh together.
Frugal Feats of the week
We had a wild week with some fun successes! Here are two that come to mind:
We discovered wild grapes!
Last Saturday we went on a family bike ride on a beautiful trail that goes around a lake. The trail was totally new to us, so we took a couple of wrong turns, but eventually found our way all the way around and back to our car (about 16 miles total). We stopped several times for blackberries along the trail, but around here, there are wild blackberries everywhere, so that’s not especially notable.
As we were heading back to our car, my son found what looked like grapes! Now I’m not someone to go eating random wild plants I don’t know anything about, but my husband, who is much more confident in his botanical knowledge and plant identification skills, is.
He and the kids started eating them and eventually I joined in. They have seeds, and they’re smaller than the grapes you’d buy in the store, but they taste just as good. The kids picked a whole grocery bag full and brought it home with us. Hooray for free grapes!
Freeezer cooking was a wild success!
On our way home from biking on Saturday, we stopped by Winco to pick up the food I was going to need for making our freezer meals. I was so glad to have a shopping list prepared for me so I didn’t have to think. The kids were super helpful in peeling and chopping lots of veggies for me.
I’m glad that I gave freezer cooking a chance because I it’s already a game-changer around here. Simplifying dinner planning and prep is making a huge difference so far. By the time the kids get home from school, there isn’t very much time to get in homework, chores, dinner, and a little bit of playing. It’s so nice to not be stuck in the kitchen for the few hours my kids have free. Less dinnertime stress makes for a less grumpy mommy, for sure!
Frugal Flop of the week
Months ago we got the DMV registration renewal notice for my husband’s car. At the time something was acting up with his car (I know, big surprise when you’ve got a car with 240,000+ miles on it), so we decided to wait a few months (until the renewal was due) to sumbit the payment. It would be pretty frustrating to pay registration early and then have the car not even survive the prior registration period.
You probably see where this is going.
In remembered and made a mental not of the month the registration was due. I figured we had until the end of that month. Well, that wasn’t the case. As we got near the end of last month, I looked at the paper and saw we were already past due! Ahh! We already owed the first tier of late fees, but we still had to get the car smogged before we could register it.
We chalked that one up as a loss and planned on getting the smog check and registration done before the second tier of late fees kicked in. Would you believe we missed that one, too?! We thought we had until the 8th, but it turns out the deadline was August 7th (a Sunday, which is really odd).
The third time’s the charm right? Well, after being stuck in traffic as he was leaving work today, he pulled up to the smog place just as their garage bay doors were rolling closed.
I guess the joke is on us. We could have done all of this months ago, but we didn’t want to risk losing the registration money if his car gave out before it was due. That attempt at frugality ended up costing us an extra fifty dollars in late fees!
Frugal Funny of the week
So this isn’t pee-your-pants funny or anything, but it’ll have to do for this week.
Our friends invited us over for homemade pizza last weekend and said to bring our favorite pizza toppings. Sounds simple, but we are (I am) super boring when it comes to pizza toppings. Knowing that our standard of pineapple tidbits would be a meager offering, I volunteered to make the dough as well (I made a quadruple batch of this recipe).
While I knew pineapple was a lame contribution, I had no idea just how lame until our friends introduced their toppings. They must have had twenty different toppings. I kid you not! There were at least three different kinds of sausage alone, along with several sauces, other meats, veggies, and cheeses.
No one made fun of our pineapple, but our “favorite” (well “default” is more like it) looked kind of funny compared to their smorgasboard of favorites. And, wowee! There toppings were good! I think I gained five pounds from trying all of the delicious new combinations!
It’s your turn!
That’s all I’ve got this week, friends. I would love to hear about your week!
- What were your frugal successes and failures?
- Any funny frugal moments?
- Would you eat wild grapes you found growing on the side of the road?