Frugal Endeavors and a reminder that I am fortunate

The scratch and dent shelf at work.

November 1 to November 7, 2016

The weather continues to be rainy, but that did not damped our frugality.

I brought a sorry looking pumpkin home from work (for free) and saved what I could. I only got 7 cups of pumpkin puree for the freezer. No where the 18 cups or so I got from last year’s pumpkin but I will take it.  The deer got a treat as we deposited the parts of the pumpkin that could not be salvaged up by the barn.

I used some of the apples we picked last week to make apple crisp and more apple sauce to the pantry. I needed to make more room in my deep freeze so I defrosted all the scraps left over from canning peaches earlier this summer and made six  jars of Peach Scrap Jelly for the pantry.

This is some of the prettiest jelly I have ever made.
This is the pattern I used for my new garment bag.

I made 5 new dish clothes using some terry cloth left over from an old towel and some cotton scraps from “the stash.” This project allowed me to practice sewing bias tape and getting nice neat mitered corners.  I also cut up a couple of old sheets, found a zipper in my stash, and used an old thrifted pattern to make a garment bag to keep my summer clothes dust free.

Part of my stash is a pile of fabric that lives in the middle of my sewing room. It is driving me crazy. I think I have to make it a priority to use it up as I have run out of storage space. Both sheets came from that pile as did the fabric for the dish clothes. I will consider this the start of my stash busting project.

Our neighbours are also on a decluttering mission. They were clearing the construction debris from their basement and thought that they would offer us the few sheets of drywall they had left over instead of taking them to the land fill. We were happy to accept and now we have enough dry wall to finish our kitchen ceiling and they avoided a trip to the dump and tipping fees.

I accepted an online gig. This should top off our grocery fund. I have a dream that it will be enough to see us to the end of the year.

This week I spent a lot of time of time wondering the aisles at work trying to figure out how I would feed myself for $2.50 a day.  “Why only $2.50 a day,” you ask. Well I read an article online regarding the “Raise the Rates” challenge in BC. If you receive Social Assistance in my province, you are allotted $18.00 a week for groceries. This works out to about $2.50 a day for food. To put this in perspective for my American readers, this is about 56% of the $4.40 per day allotted to food stamp recipients, or at least food stamp challenge participants. To make matters worse, in my neck-of-the woods, the price of some grocery staples can be 30% to 50% higher than they are in the States.

I suppose I mention this because, I think that in the back of our minds is the thought that if things get really rough, we could rely on the Social Safety Net. In tough times, I am sure I would be grateful for every penny but it would be almost impossible to feed myself on $2.50 a day. For example, the cheap eggs work out to $0.30 each and the store bread (which is remarkably good) works out to $0.15 a slice. A teaspoon of generic mayonnaise is another $0.05. A single banana is roughly as much as an egg. This means that an egg salad sandwich, a frugal standby, would cost you $0.65 and if you added a banana for dessert, you would have spent almost half your day’s food budget. I’m not a big person, but this would not be enough to keep me going until dinner time, especially if I had to walk to the grocery store (BC does not provide a budget for transportation).

Thankfully, I have more than $2.50 a day to feed myself but this exercise made me even more grateful for the blessings that have come our way this year. I get enough hours at work to pay our bills, our pantry is full of the abundance provided by our fruit trees, forest, and garden, and our freezer if full of meat.  So far, things are going to be okay.

How about you? What frugal steps did you take this week? And one other question, what do you consider to be your most frugal meal?


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