Friday, May 16, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments - April 2014

free image courtesy of Pixabay.com

I realized yesterday that I didn't do a Frugal Accomplishments post for April. So here ya go! Here are a few things we did over the month to continue on a money-saving, (gluten-free) frugal-living journey! 
  • Cash Only - Continued using cash only for all purchases outside of gas and our monthly Amazon order. This one trick helps us cut extra spending probably more than ANYTHING else we do! If you only have a limited supply of cash, things that you thought you "needed" suddenly don't seem very important anymore. 
  • $1000 Emergency Fund - FINALLY established and we didn't touch it all month. That was a major accomplishment. We technically had it the past several months, but always ended up having expenses that we needed to dip into it for. Thankfully in April we were able to keep it intact and didn't use it. 
  • Frugal Exercise - I finally started exercising again (I've been "fighting" this exercise thing for the past 2 years! lol) But I FINALLY gave in to start walking again, I just wanted too to be honest. I think it was finally the right time. And we had to do this on a budget. I'm wearing the same tennis shoes I've warn for two years, I'm walking outside on days it's not too hot, and I'm using old leslie sansone walking dvd's in the living room on other days. I listen to books on tape when I'm walking outside (I do think my audible subscription is completely worth the money!), and I'm getting lots more fresh air and sunshine. Some days I even do my walk at work around the Duck Pond! :-) 
  • Frugal Exercise Seminar - My work offered free attendance to an online webinar during work hours that was about fitness, why it's important, and the benefits of starting an exercise program. While I didn't really get anything new out of the program, I appreciated that my work offered it to people for free and we could attend it during work hours. It was a nice break and a good reminder why I need to start exercising on a regular basis. 
  • Frugal traveling: SW VIRGINIA GLUTEN-FREE EXPO - This was the 2nd time I've attended this Expo in my hometown of Roanoke, VA and I really enjoyed it. We made the trip frugal by staying with friends for the weekend (instead of a hotel) and we ate lots of frugal meals we packed ourselves and stuck to our cash supply for anything we needed to purchase during the trip. I was given some great gift-cards for speaking at the conference, so we treated ourselves to some gluten-free groceries from Kroger's along with some fun stuff from Amazon. 
  • Re-purposing leftovers - I turned leftover chili into meat for tacos. We added leftover rice and corn to scrambled eggs for breakfast. I saved all leftover pieces of bread or cornbread to make sausage stuffing for a meal later. 
  • Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Work- Several weeks in a row I made 2 loaves of Luce's GF Artisan Bread on Sunday nights. I sliced up the loaves and froze them and we had bread with boiled eggs or mini quiches for breakfast at work. I want to do this again this month! There's something wonderful about simple bread & eggs for breakfast during the week! 
photo from http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/mini_mushroom_sausage_quiches.html

Quick Mini Quiches (No Crust!)
Created by Carrie Forbes of gingerlemongirl.com
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried sundried tomatoes
  • 1-2 teaspoon dried shallots
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
Mixed it all together and then spooned into very well greased muffin pans. (it made 18 mini quiches) baked them for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees until they were puffy and golden brown on top. We have each had two each morning for breakfast with gluten-free bread. Super easy, super tasty! (Photo from eating well.com, but they looked alot like that!!)

  • Pantry/Freezer "Shopping" - For most of our meals over the month of April I FIRST "shopped" in our pantry and freezer before shopping the sales at Food Lion. This really revamped how I made meals for the month and I plan on doing pantry/freezer cooking a lot more often. It definitely kept our grocery bills down. 
  • Essential Oils for Holistic Health - I've been using essential oils for several years, but in the past few months I really "upped' our usage of them to help with headaches, seasonal allergies, and in our aroma diffusers in place of candles in our house. I use several different brands of oils. My favorite "brand" is Doterra, but they are very pricey. I know quality is important in purchasing therapeutic oils, but budget also has to be considered, so I found another brand called Eden's Garden to use especially when I'm diffusing oils and adding them to homemade cleaners, etc... Either way, essential oils are a great tool to use. I've been reading a kindle version of this book to learn more about the best ways to use essential oils: The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

How have you been frugal this month? 


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