Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Friday

Happy First Day of Spring, Dear Readers,
I hope it is springing wherever you are (ok- falling into Autumn for any "down-under." )

In the Prairie Garden:
Plants are popping up all over on the Farm. Iris, day lilies, Surprise Lilies (which really are a surprise, because I thought they died last winter!), chives and leaves on some of the trees.
When the weather forecasters start saying "thunderstorms" instead of blizzards, I get hopeful. But I haven't heard the peeper frogs yet, so it's not really Spring to me.

In the Farm Barnyard:
There are still baby calves being born here. Another heifer just 2 days ago and 4 new mamas in a temporary pen by the south barn are very close. They are sequestered off from the rest until after they calve, to avoid injury while everyone reestablishes the herd pecking order. And to keep an eye on them when they calve. Since they are new to us, we want to be sure they do alright and have an easy time during delivery.

In the Farm Kitchen
There have been a lot of good sales & discontinued bargains in the past several weeks.

Last week I went to the thrift store, the farm store and took advantage of sales on kitchen staples.

My latest Thrift Store finds. (See the photo above.)
  • 2 long-sleeved work shirts for Farmer-dear. 50% tag price: $1.50 & $1
  • 3 name brand-tops for me: $1.75, $3, $2.50
  • 1 Modular Mate Tuppeware™ container with a pour spout lid: $1 (apprx. $11 new)!
  • 1 dvd "A Prairie Home Companion": $2.50
  • 4 zippers (for making more Humbug Bags): 40¢
  • 1 woven leather purse: $3.50
Total: $17.25 before tax. (savings: $21 on just the things I knew the original prices or the percentage off at the thrift store. I'm not sure what the original price would have been on the tops for me & the purse, so the savings should be even more.)

City Grocery Store Sales
  • 2 packages of discontinued coffee pods $2 from $4.89
  • 2 packages Farmland Bacon, $2.50 each, normally over $4
  • 3 each of Mozzarella, Cheddar & Parmesan store-brand, 8oz Shredded Cheese, .99!!! Typical sale price is around $1.69. Even the parmesan was on sale. I have never seen that variety on this kind of sale. :o)
  • 4 avocados .99 each, normally $1.34
  • Store-brand face cleanser on clearance for $2, normal price $3.58 and national brand over $6. I bought all 5 on the shelf.
Total: $29 (savings: $22.58)

From there it was to Wal-mart to price match and I found some clearance bargains.

  • 3 twill pillows on clearance for the front porch chairs: $2 each (were $7)
  • 2 tops for me, on clearence: $3 & $4 (notice this is about what I paid at the thrift store; original prices were $11 and $8)
  • 2 Shout Color Catchers (clearance) $3.50 ea (were $4.32 ea, saving 82¢ x 2)
  • 4- 2 litre bottles, Pepsi products: 88¢ each (were $1.48, savings 60¢ x 4)
  • 1- 1/2-gal milk: 99¢, (apprx savings - 50¢)
  • 1 Barefoot wine: $3.99 (apprx savings $2.)
Total: $28.50 (savings $33.54)

Then to the local Farm Store where they were having 13% off everything in the store to "celebrate" Friday the 13th, in addition to their in-store sale of 20%-off seeds.
I got my early Spring garden seeds:
  • 2 kinds of radishes,
  • 2 kinds of lettuce,
  • 2 Swiss chard and
  • 2 spinach.
Total: $12.46 (savings: $4.74)

Other stocking-up sales at the City Grocery Store were:
  • Name brand Sour Cream: 98¢ (2)
  • Name brand Butter: $1.48 (4)
  • Store brand soda: $2.50 (2)
Total: $12.88 (~savings: $5.40)

And at our local Grocery Store:
  • Store brand Half & half: 79¢ (2)
  • Store brand Whipped Topping: 59¢ (1 case - 18 ct)
  • Store brand Chili Beans & Kidney Beans: 60¢ (9 total)
  • Scallions: 2 bunches/79¢
  • Bagged Radishes: 99¢
  • Frozen French Fries: $1.79 (2)
Total: $25.29 (~savings: $15.)

Yesterday's bargains were nothing to scoff at either:

These were all price matched at Wal-mart as I don't get to Walgreens, CVS, Pamida or Target all that often. It means an extra trip to the city for me. I don't like Wal-mart, but I do like their price-matching. (hypocritical, isn't it? lol)
  • Yoplait yogurt: 50¢ (20- 10 for a friend)
  • Pantene Expressions Shampoo & Conditioner: $4.50 each (1 each) & $1.00-off coupon
  • Bic Soleil Razors 4-pack: 2/$8 (2 packs) & $2.00-off coupon
  • Opti-Free Replenish Contact Solution: 2/$14 (2 packages) & $1.00-off coupon
  • Neosporin Ointment: $3.50 (1) & $1.00-off coupon
  • Band-aids: $3.50 (1) & $1.00-off coupon
Total: $58 (~savings: $14.50 with coupons)

Total so far for the month: $183.38 (~savings: $116.77) Wow!! I didn't realize it was so much!

I'm sure some of you are looking at that list and wondering why in the world I need 18 containers of whipped topping or 10+ Yoplait yogurts or 4 pounds of butter (& actually I bought more in the last month, that isn't recorded here.)

One reason, I live in the country. 10 miles from the nearest grocery store &/or Wal-mart. If I run out an ingredient in the middle of a recipe, I have to make-do or borrow from a neighbor. My mother-in-law taught me the wisdom in keeping a well-stocked pantry & freezer.

Another reason, it just makes good economic sense. I would much rather spend a bit and stock up on sale items, than have to pay full-price later on.
I watch and compare prices on tolietries & first aid items; cheese, butter, yogurt; canned goods; flour, sugar & spices; bacon and produce. These are all on my regular grocery list. I don't have a comparison price book like some do. I know 8oz of cheese is a good sale at $1.60 or less and that yogurt goes to 50¢ each quite often. I also know that there will be case-lot sales on canned veggies & fruits, twice a year; spring and fall and that baking items will go on a deep price reduction right before Thanksgiving.

With all these sales, and with butchering a beef & hog in the next 2 months; we should not have to buy much for staples until late summer. I'm keeping my eyes open for pasta sales and some summer salad ingredients. Also, I'll be buying organic chickens again in either June or September.
That leaves just weekly dairy and produce specials to watch (mostly fruit once my garden starts producing). It's going to be interesting to see how low my food totals can go.

And another 6 weeks and we won't have anymore propane fills. I'll be able to calculate how much our infrared heater saved us in propane costs and compare that to the difference in our electric bills from last year.

Every extra penny saved helps in these tough times. We are so blessed here on the Prairie Farm.

How is your grocery buying being affected these days? What are some of your recent savings? I'd love to hear about them. Leave me a comment about that or anything you are doing to be frugal.

And now I'm off to find some breakfast,

** "With rushing winds and gloomy skies;

The dark and stubborn Winter dies.

Far-off, unseen, Spring faintly cries;

Bidding her earliest child arise;

~~ Bayard Taylor


  1. "Another reason, it just makes good economic sense. I would much rather spend a bit and stock up on sale items, than have to pay full-price later on."

    Yup! You have to look at this stuff long term and not just what you spend in one day.

    "Name brand Butter: $1.48"

    Yippie! I still have about ten pounds in the freezer, but when I see butter for less than $2 a lb I get so excited.

    Have a good weekend!! :)

  2. Welcome Hairball! I get that same excitement over butter. I probably have 10-12 pounds in my freezer now too. But with making cakes & other baked goods from scratch lately, I'll be using it up.

  3. I saw some green grass today for the first time this year. It was leftover buried greenery but still pretty great for the first day of spring.

  4. My daffodils are up and ready to open - even though we had a touch of snow on the first day of Spring ! So - is this where I should be checking for regular updates for you and the girlies (and all the little Jerzy's?)

    Miss you lots !

  5. Yes, Yes, YES Jerzy-dear! This is "the place." I'm on FB and here and very rarely on X anymore. Xanga doesn't like to play nice with my ISP/Mac.

    miss you too!

  6. my spring peepers were out here in east central Missouri yesterday evening. (it is raining cats and dogs and very cold this morning...hope you haven't gotten a blizzard up there.) Love your bargains..We are Prairie home companion fans too

  7. If the peepers were in EC MO, then they should be here in about 3 weeks? We didn't get any snow or rain, but boy-howdy! It's cold out there!! 38° at 4 p.m. It's been that way for 3 days. I'm sick of it.
    I need to go thrifting again. Need some spring decor items. Reading blogs gets me inspired. :o)

  8. Frugal thoughts? I make my own laundry soap. two ice cream pails costs me less than $2. We're been eating a lot of the "other white meat" lately because it's been cheap. I made my own "shake n bake" the other day, very good! I also buy ahead and stock up. I can lots of things. I will plant a garden again this year, not a big variety of plants, but do love tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, and my rhubarb.

  9. oh dear, I worked so hard getting my account recognized, it lost my comment!

    I make my own laundry soap--two ice cream pails costs less than $2.