Since I have been trying to not buy anything “new” this year, my kids have found that between the thrift store, yard sales, and the occasional treat from a grandparent, this whole buying things used idea has its perks. One of the things that my son has been wanting since last Christmas was a Imaginext Batman playset. I explained to him that I was challenging myself to only buying used items for the entire year and that if we could not find one at the thrift store or yard sales, he could get a new one for his birthday or Christmas. Well after searching at the thrift store for the past 10 months, we found one for $3!!! To say that he was excited would be an understatement, he kept telling everyone that he hit the jackpot:)
**Ben also found a WWE wrestling ring ($3) and two Star Wars action figures ($2) on this trip as well…so maybe he really did hit the jackpot.
My daughter is playing Aunt Tilly in It’s a Wonderful Life this December and needed two 1930’s era outfits appropriate for a middle aged lady. The director strongly urged everyone to search at the thrift stores because they usually have tons of antique clothing for great prices. We had a relatively easy time in coming up with two outfits that would work for my daughter. We found a dark dress that will work for a wedding/funeral scene and a frilly blouse matched with a conservative skirt to wear for all of the other scenes. **Both costumes were less than $10 each, so we were very happy to pay that price:)
We have been enjoying our local library a lot these past few weeks and we love that they try to keep up with all of the most popular new releases that have come out lately. Two new releases that I was excited to find at the library this past week were Deborah Harkness’s Time’s Convert and the new Bess Crawford mystery, A Forgotten Place. **If you enjoyed the Twilight series, then you must read Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy beginning with A Discovery of Witches. If you enjoy historical mysteries, the Bess Crawford mystery series will be right up your alley:)
4. Essential Oils
FYI: If you mix your own essential oils blends, you will save a ton of money! This week we have been using thieves oil to treat a cold and a new blend that I mixed together to inspire tranquility and lower anxiety. **Both seem to be working well, so we are coughing less and more peaceful this week. I used clary sage, lavender, lemon, and geranium in the tranquility blend and this is the easiest recipe that I have found for thieves oil.
5. Repaired a zipper
Last week my zipper on my wallet came undone and I thought it was a lost cause until my daughter said that it looked like it just needed to be zipped back on, so after a little wrestling, they zipper zipped back on and it is as good as new….Thanks Emma:)
What did you do to save money this week??
1. Walk at least 500 miles this year (395 down and 105 to go)
We finally had fall temperatures in North Alabama this week, so I took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked all 11 miles outside.
2. Read two non-fiction books each month
I have four books picked out to borrow from the library this week, so hopefully two of them will be keepers. **I sincerely believe that life is too short to read crappy books, so if a book does not strike my fancy by Chapter 3…I move on:)
3. Eat low carb each day
This was probably my worse low carb week ever (well at least since I started eating a low carb diet three years ago)…..I think I only ate low carb-ish 4 days this week.
4. Have two family game nights each month
This week we played Clue and Hi-Ho Cherry-o. Emma won Hi-Ho Cherry-o and Ben and I won Clue. **In case you were wondering it was Ms. White with the wrench in the Dining Room.
5. Have two date nights each month
This week we went out to a local bar and grill and then watched a few Blacklist episodes at home on Netflix.
I got zero work done on this goal this week!! **I did sell a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets study guide though, so that is something:)
7. Have one no spend week each month
8. Try to buy nothing new this year
Nothing new was bought this week…however we found amazing deals at the thrift store this week, so stay tuned for my frugal things post for that update.
9. $5 Weekly Challenge
This week, I bought pancake mix and syrup to add to my food bank stash.
I had written this recipe down years ago and recently it has made its way back into my monthly meal rotation (mainly due to all of the cubed steak that I have leftover from the 1/4 beef we bought from my dad in July) The marinade is really forgiving, sometimes I use more or less soy sauce and it always turns out fine. We like to serve it over cauliflower rice, but I am sure zoodles or regular rice would be just fine too.
2 lbs cubed steak
For the Marinade:
8 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of chopped green onions
2 Tablespoons of sesame oil
1-1/2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over the cubed steak (I usually coat the meat with my hands to make sure all sides of the meat get coated…its a little messy but worth it!)
2. Let the steak marinade for at least two hours or more in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat a grill on low to medium heat.
4. Grill the steak on both sides for 3-5 min. (This cooks really quickly due to how thin the steak so watch it closely….it tastes best when it is slightly underdone)
5. Serve by itself or on top of zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice. If you are not counting carbs, I am sure normal rice is awesome:) **When I make the cauliflower rice I always add a little butter and salt to jazz it up a bit before I put the beef on top.
1. Walk 500 miles this year (384 down and 116 to go)
I am getting close to the 400 mile mark!! This week I walked 10 miles and suffered through the delightful (not!) 90+ degree Fall weather that we have been having lately in Alabama…
2. Eat low carb each day
I did this for six days.
3. Read two non-fiction books each month
4. Have two date nights each month
5. Have two family game nights each month
6. Have one no spend week each month
7. Add six new products to my Teachers pay Teachers store (4 down and 2 to go)
I am still working on a Mansfield Park study guide.
8. Buy nothing new this year
Nothing new was bought.
9. $5 Weekly Challenge
I bought three boxes of cereal to add to my food bank stash for the month of October.
1. Thrift Store finds
We had a pretty good week for finding things at the thrift store. Ben “hit the jackpot” as he likes to say:) He found two full size action figures for $1.99 each, a Phineas and Ferb t-shirt for $1.99, and an Avengers t-shirt for $1.49. Emma found three hardback books in a series that she enjoys for $1.50 each. I found a copy of Mansfield Park to use for a unit in our High School English class next semester for $1.
2. Kroger finds
Kroger had a lot of great deals this week again. I stocked up on ribs and pork loins for $1.39/lb and one pound blocks of cheese for just $2.50 each.
3. Repaired clothes
I mended a pair of shorts for my husband and took in the sides of a shirt for myself.
4. Halloween decorations
My children decorated for Halloween with items we reuse each year and we watched Hocus Pocus to get in the spirit:)
5. Canned goods
I used home canned pumpkin to bake pumpkin bread for a bake sale….this is the recipe I always use….the only substitution I make is to use brown sugar instead of the suggested white sugar. This recipe always gets a lot of compliments!
What did you do to save money last week??