Anyhow... onto frugal accomplishments.
1. Writing: I've been spending a lot of time editing and coming up with marketing materials for my next book. 🙂 🙂 I took a rather long break from writing after Baby was born, and it feels good to have another project nearing the finish line. I'm hoping it will be published by the end of this year.
2. Cooking: I made a pumpkin roll, cookies and chili for Baby's little birthday party. We had some other things as well that were not homemade, and I made her a tiny birthday cake. I used half a 10 lb. roll of ground beef for the chili, so I used the other 5 lbs. to make a double batch of meatloaf and freeze several pounds of cooked burger. I figure if you have to repackage and freeze the meat anyway, you might as well cook it or mix it in with other things and make it a "freezer meal".
3. FREE BOOKS! While we were on a bike ride, I stopped by the side of the road to dig through a trailer pile of free stuff. Most of the time we just come home with empty beer/soda cans, but this time I brought home nine books!!! Some of the books were in fair or poor condition, but to me a free book is a free book. "The Prize Winner's Handbook", "The Art of Italian Cooking" "The Bicentennial Cookbook" and "Everything You Want to Know About Feet" were some of my finds. I also got a little book about how to save money on groceries (which included no less than 18 hot dog recipes) and three homemaking humor books.
My favorite finds were two vintage magazine-style books. One was a McCall's Cookie Collection book from 1965. The second was a "Learn How Book" with instructions for knitting, embroidery, crochet, and tatting from 1941. I wanted to learn crochet on my birthday, and the book provided some good tips. I have another book with crochet instructions, and I've watched various Youtube videos, but have only slightly got the hang of it. The hook and yarn are still clumsy in my hands, and my work doesn't look consistent. I think I'd benefit from having an in-person lesson.
4. Birthday: I picked up a free personal-sized pizza for my birthday. I also received some mums and an orchid as birthday gifts. Two gifts that keep on giving! My grandparents also got me a cinnamon broom—something I'd never seen before. It makes our house smell wonderful!
5. Cloth diapers: As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we've been battling smelly diapers and diaper rash for awhile now. Rash is not uncommon when cloth diapered babies transition from exclusive breast milk to solids, but it's certainly not pleasant. I invested in some buffalo/Native American polar fleece to make larger fleece liners to use with her diapers. The other roll of fleece in the clearance bin was printed with the presidential seal... I had to chuckle to myself at the thought of using it for diaper liners. Out of respect for the current President and all that came before him, I left that roll for someone else.
In addition to adding fleece liners to the diapers, I increased the temperature of our wash water and started changing Baby more frequently; every two hours or so. While the additional changes are annoying, they do cut down on diaper rash. Unfortunately it meant I had to buy some more diapers to stretch the stash.
Since I needed some extra inserts anyway, bought a pack of flour sack towels from Walmart to try as boosters for our Alva pocket diapers. I really like them. The cotton doesn't hold stink like microfiber does, and the flats are so, so fast and easy to dry. If nothing else, the flour sack towels will give me an extra day to dry the other inserts. When we first started cloth diapering, I purchased what I thought were "bamboo" inserts at $2.00 a piece. Last week I cut one of the inserts open and discovered that they're actually three layers of microfiber sandwiched between two layers of bamboo. No wonder ALL of the inserts stank! I'm going to stop using those for a while and instead use the flour sack towels as boosters. If I can do without the "bamboo" inserts, I'll try selling them. There's no reason to keep around a bunch of additional, stink-holding microfiber inserts if I have perfectly good hemp and cotton inserts to use.
I think that's about it for the week's accomplishments! I hope you are all having a lovely September.