Frugal Endeavors

A work still life. Making bread while I make bread.

January 3- 9, 2017

So cold! We worked hard this week to stay warm and save money.

It was unusually cold in my neck of the woods this week. One night it reached -29°C, which is unheard in this area. Our pipes did freeze, but The Man thawed them out by attaching the hose for the shop vacuum to the “blowing” end rather than the “sucking” end. He worked diligently through the ensuing days to make sure the fire was feed every couple of hours and that the water kept flowing. Our wood stores suffered but at least our plumbing made it through the cold snap.

The cold weather made me very grateful for the quilt I made last year for our bed. In my mind, a quilt pieced from scrap fabric is not only beautiful but also warm and practical.

When the weather warmed up enough to leave the fire for a while, we ventured into town. I dropped off a bag at the thrift store (and bought very little) and visited the library to borrow a book and a dvd.

I continued working on decreasing my fabric stash. I pieced a few quilt blocks for another quilt and I made a small bolster pillow using and old beat up towel for the pillow form.

My new pillow. It fits perfectly into the small of my back.

In the kitchen, we saved money by using what we had in the freezer and the pantry. I took left overs from my lunches at work and home baked goodies for my snacks. I also took my own refillable water bottle.

I need to work on decreasing our food spending even more. So far, we have spent almost $100 this month. I have been hearing so many news reports of how the price of everything will rise 2017. I did a quick calculation based on the figures from one news report. The predicted price increases will cost me about 10 days wages. Time to restock my pantry. Last year, I attempted to add at least $5.00 worth of food to our pantry. I was fairly successful, but I kind of lost interest at some point in the year. This year, I will focus on adding something every week, working on some kind of an inventory system, and attempt to keep my pantry tidy and well organized so I can find what I need. As part of this goal, I am participating in the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge to motivate myself to learn new skills. Part of my grocery bill went to supplies for this challenge ($10.00) and some of my grocery spending was to add 4kg of rice and a jar of curry paste to our pantry ($21.50).

That’s it for this week. Leave a comment and tell me how you remained frugal this week and any tips for controlling your food budget. I always love hearing from you and I value your comments!


  1. January: thrift month for me, reducing pantry and freezer contents before renewal. So far Jan 13 I have spent below $25. for milk, eggs etc . out with the old~!! today was a big pot of spaghetti sauce, using up the older ground beef and tomato paste. there may be some fun dinners before months end!! Ann Lee S (cooking for one)


  2. Dang, hit that send button too soon. I’m glad to hear you survived the bad cold snap. Did you make notes so you can prepare for a longer cold snap if it should happen in the future?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are getting better at being proactive by doing things such as keeping a tap running and using extra heaters close to the walls were the pipes are at risk. yes, we are very careful as space heaters are not risk free. We also fill up several containers with water and do any dishes/laundry before bed, just in case. The poor man bears the brunt as he gets up every two hours to stoke the fire and check the water. I could do it without him. Glad he is sticking around cause another cold snap is expected tonight. There is not too much else to do unless we win the lottery as we would have to dig up the water main and reposition it. Thankfully, it is rarely this cold here.


  3. I have a pretty empty pantry this month due to making several pies as holiday gifts and missing a food bank day. I also gave meat from the freezer as gifts. Empty pantry gives me a chance to do some cleaning before stocking up again.


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