1. We bought a vacuum cleaner. This will help us keep our rugs and carpets clean easily. I feel like we are at the point financially to where buying more expensive tools (that will a) last a long time and b) save money long term) is something we can do without being unwise. Listening to this podcast kind of confirmed our decision to spend money in that way. I really like the our new vacuum cleaner!
Another thing we bought with the vacuum cleaner was a combination dish soap/scrubbie holder for the sink. It looks a lot nicer than my oversized Ajax bottle, toothbrush and scrubbies all in a pile.
2. I defrosted the freezer. I had been putting it off for a long time, but finally I just decided to get it over with. It took several hours, lots of wet, cold towels and handling of frozen items. Which was pretty miserable. But The freezer was much more cleaned and organized when I got done. This will help me find- and use- freezer items with more efficiency.
3. I found some random containers of quick breads and cookie dough in the freezer. I baked these in muffin tins and then put them back into the freezer. I'm hoping to use them as easy grab-n-go or road trip food. Using up these containers freed up a lot of space for other items.
I also worked on a little home deco job involving the freezer. There is some more work to finish it, but I'm hoping to post an update next week. :)
4. Used free grass clippings, fallen leaves and chicken litter to top off my raised bed gardens. This year we added two new raised beds, which had to be filled up completely. The others just needed a few alternating layers of grass, leaves and manure to top them off with.
As I was cleaning things up, I harvested the very last of the tomatoes and peppers from the garden. I also harvested "pumpkin-on-a-stick" fruits to use for home decorating.
6. Sold 1 dozen eggs.
7. Sold a box of crafting stuff on Ebay.
8. Used a cake mix and homemade applesauce to make brownies. To one box of cake mix, I added one cup of applesauce and 1/2 cup water. By using the applesauce, I was able to eliminate the cost of oil and egg. I've also noticed that cake mixes are cheaper at the bent 'n' dent stores than brownie or cookie mix. In that way, it's more frugal to make boxed dessert out of cake mix than anything else. The applesauce brownies turned out very good. I wish I wouldn't have used spiced applesauce, though, because I noticed a hint of cloves/cinnamon in the chocolate that didn't quite belong there. Total cost for the brownies was $0.75 and it lasted us all week.
9. Processed one of my ducks! I've been wanting to put one of my drakes (male ducks) in the freezer for a long time. Finally on Saturday we got around to doing it! Processing ducks is a little different than chickens, and I was nervous because it was our first time doing it. But everything worked out great, and it felt so rewarding to put such a large bird in the freezer. I am super, SUPER excited about cooking our duck, saving the fat, etc. I'm hoping to have it with our Christmas or Thanksgiving meal.
10. Follow up on the free Snapfish softcover 5" x 7" photo book: I finally got my farm photo book in the mail. Here is how it looks compared to my Shutterfly hardcover book.
In the future, I don't think I'll be ordering softcover photo books from ANY of the companies. Out of Walgreens, Snapfish and Shutterfly, Shutterfly was the most user-friendly and produced the most attractive, high-quality photo book out of all three companies. I don't think I will order any more Walgreens books because of the quality. I might try a hardcover Snapfish book if they have a "free" promotion going on, but Shutterfly is still my favorite.
What frugal things did you do this week?