Also, I finished up April's giveaway, and I'll be sending out my newsletter tomorrow. Make sure you're signed up if you want to win the giveaway prize!
1. Groceries: We shopped the pantry again this week. I did spend $3.88 on some stuff at Walmart. I bought a package of cream cheese ($1.62 for a 2-pack) and three packs of Walmart brand Little Debbies ($0.92 each). The nutty bars were good, but the knock-off brownies were not. I also snagged a free single-serving of Greek yogurt with an Ibotta rebate.
2. Cooking: Made garlic salt, cheese, and baked beans. I brought home a whole pile of overripe avocados for free. Over half of them were too ripe to use, but I was able to freeze 8 cups' worth. That's a lot of avocado fruit! I did save all of the pits for making body scrub. Which I've never done before, but there's a first time for everything. Other than that, I just worked on using up the pantry groceries from last week.
You can see what I made from last week's "$0.00 Pantry Haul" below:
I also repotted some houseplants in dire need of more soil; a peace lily, some African violets, and an orchid plant. We bought potting soil for the houseplants, and I got a special bag of orchid potting medium for my orchids. One of my orchids is budding out! In the past, all of my orchids have lost their buds early due to bud blast. I put this last plant in the bathroom when it started to bud out, and two weeks later the buds are still forming. I'm EXTREMELY excited about the prospect of orchid blooms after four years of owning orchids with no blooming success. Hubs helped me build an "orchid shelf" for the bathroom. I love it. The shelf and plant add a lot of class to our rather humble, small bathroom.
4. Household savings: Made a home recycling system. For a while now, I've felt like we were creating a lot of trash and going through trash bags rather quickly. The last trash bags we bought were direly needed, so I didn't bother looking for a deal; they ended up costing $0.20 each. That's not a lot per bag, but I also use the trash bags for storing aluminum cans, so our $8.00 roll of trash bags is disappearing quickly. As I was researching ways to cut down trash, I stumbled into the rabbit hole of the zero waste movement.
For those who aren't in the know, zero waste is where followers eliminate so much trash that they can fit a year's worth into a quart size mason jar. These people only shop at bulk food stores where they bring their own bags and containers for things like shampoo and beans, so they can avoid creating trash. They buy bamboo toothbrushes and stainless steel straws. A lot of zero waste practices run parallel to frugal practices, but some of the things left me thinking, that's a little weird. Like buying peanut butter based on the fact that it's in a glass container as opposed to a plastic one. As you all know, I shop for savings and not as a way to eliminate trash.
BUT, as I've learned with cloth diapers, there are real benefits to creating less trash. First off, you're wasting less money. Most of the time more waste = more spending. Second, you're eliminating the work it takes to store and take care of what is mostly junk (free plastic pens, free coffee cups, free frisbees, etc.) and won't survive the test of time. Lastly, you're saving money on trash bags! In the past, I've rushed to keep everything that I could possibly use, especially if it's free. But cutting out plastic junk, like cutting out Facebook, could save time and mental energy. This movement has some good points that I'd love to explore further.
5. Cleared out some clutter. I'm working on cleaning out our storage/miscellaneous room. This room can go from clean and organized to a disaster in a few days. Right now it's a disaster. While our apartment isn't small, it doesn't have a lot of storage space. The storage room is our catch-all for extra clothes, extra books, momentos, CDs (which we never use... not sure why we still have CDs??), farmers market stuff, sewing supplies, soap-making and crafting supplies, baby stuff, seasonal things like Christmas decorations and humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Also in the storage room are unused musical instruments, health-related items like herbal and non-herbal medicines, weight training equipment, baby's nebulizer, etc. Also, if there's a project I'm working on or item that I want to disappear, it goes in the storage room (which is how it can become a disaster in a few days).
Slowly, my hobby items are being tossed, given away or sold to make room for Baby's stuff. This makes me kind of sad, but the reality is that most of my things aren't being used and won't be used for a while. They're just taking up space and creating clutter for me to pick up and organize time after time. I guess that's part of being a parent. Thankfully, most of the stuff can be easily acquired again at garage sales or thrift stores so it's not a big loss.
I think that's about it for frugal accomplishments. Don't forget to sign up for my email list if you want to win this month's giveaway!
Til next time,