Friday, November 6, 2009

Frugal Friday - Minor musings on money, food and crafts

Well I must say I'm somewhat disappointed in myself. Last week I bought stew meat from Costco. $17.52 worth of stew meat. Typically I'll use a portion of the meat for a meal and then freeze the rest for later. Only I didn't do that. I forgot all about it and the meat went to waste. Not only is this bad financially but also for the environment and the cow. I feel terrible.

This also left me with nothing to make for dinner. So I trudged to the store this morning for ingredients. Now there is a small roast simmering away in the crock pot. The cost wasn't bad - $12.52 cents for the roast, a couple of carrots, a couple sticks of celery and a parsnip. I already had an onion, garlic, potatoes and a bay leaf at home. The roast is stewing in beer that my husband procured from work. I comfort myself with the knowledge that this dinner coupled with the cost of the wasted meat still costs less than dinner out. I'm not sure this information would comfort the cow.

Today, as a means of financial penance, I'm sewing for the holidays. First on the agenda is this adorable rocket ship. I found some great fabric from the thrift store and am anxious to get started. I'd also like to make a couple of these headbands from my fabric scraps.

Just like last year and, it seems all years prior, finances are tight (especially when we throw money out the window!!). And I'm in need of ideas. What budget friendly things do you have planned this holiday season? I'd love to know!



tiffany said...

I, too, feel guilty whenever I have to throw food away. And, I always try to learn not to do it again. It happens.

I love the idea of sewing headbands as gift! I'm definitely going to check this out and give it a shot. I think that anything handmade makes the best gift -- both in terms of cost to the giver and value to the receiver.

Mrs. E said...

I hate when that happens! And especially with meat--so expensive!

This may not work for you, but several years ago our extended families decided that the only "gift" we needed was time together. (So much money spent on things we didn't really need or want.) So now we gather for appetizers and soup at the farm of my childhood. One year we had a hayrack ride (so warm!) and the next year we went sledding behind the 4 wheeler in 6 inches of snow. It lets my dad and stepmom off the hook--on a fixed income they can't afford to buy for our ever growing family. Once everyone got past the idea of feeling guilty about not buying gifts (it didn't take long!), we have had great times. No gift could ever last as long as the memories we're making!

Gayle said...

I have done that, too. It does feel horrible.

We used to have something great and budget friendly set up with my husband's family. We would all get together and so something special, like go to a play or something like that, and not exchange gifts. Somehow that has changed and we're back to giving gifts again. But, it was great while we did it!

Joy! said...

I know... I've done the same thing with fresh fish. :( My new strategy is I buy frozen fish from various places and keep it in the freezer until I can place it on the menu. Then I put the package of fish in the fridge to thaw the evening before I expect to cook it. It's a little thing, but I've not managed to waste any fish since I started it. I think it helps me adjust more quickly to changing cooking schedules. I'm trying to find similar strategies for other kinds of food.

I'm thinking about making a few vintage-y things for family this year - aprons and cute bags, etc. Not sure if I'll find the time. Even less sure if some family members wouldn't sneer at my homemade gift! But I hope to invite my sister and young niece over to decorate cookies again - that's one of my favorite "time gifts."