A slightly boring week in the life of a fairly average couponer (fruit flies, misshapen produce and pantry shopping)

by Melody on October 10, 2012

Each week (each month, each year?) I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

I will even be mentioning those methods that may seem insignificant to you.  I truly feel that anything that saves time is saving money in some form or another.

I know I’ve gotten away from this series and it’s been for several reasons.  As most of you know, we just went through a LONG process of selling our home and purchasing a new one.  The boys and I lived with my parents for about 3 weeks, commuted an hour and a half to preschool and generally threw the budget out the window.  I couldn’t even find my coupons, let alone find the time to make a plan for a shopping trip.  We paid full price for just about everything and I could barely string together the word budget, let alone actually stick to one.

Now that we are started to get settled, I am really trying to get back into the swing of things.  Moving is definitely an emotional and physical process that takes its toll and some things to have to go in the process.

That being said, here were a few things I attempted this week to get back in money-saving mode:

Shopping from the pantry

We were invited to a housewarming party over the weekend and we had friends over for Monday Night Football dinner (friends who don’t care that we don’t have bar stools for them to sit down and still have boxes in the living room).  I feel like I have spent my life at the stores the past few weeks, whether it be grocery or hardware stores, so I didn’t want to make another unnecessary trip.  I did my best to plan around what we already had in the pantry.

I made chili from ground beef we had in the freezer and extra vegetables we got from a neighbor.  I had extra canned pumpkin (who ever has extra of that?) so I made Pumpkin Snickerdoodles for the party and Pumpkin Brownies for our football dinner.  For a side dish for the party, I made this easy Taco Quinoa Salad (minus the chicken) and just added extra veggies we had on hand.

Slightly misshapen produce?

When I went to pick up a few things at Fred Meyer, they had a whole stand of bags of fruit that were blemished or misshapen.  Misshapen?  Seriously.  People won’t buy fruit that is misshapen?  All the bags were $1 each, including a huge bag of limes, a bag of 3 large bell peppers and a bag of about 6 apples.  Short of a few bruises here and there, the produce was in great shape!  And now I get to make these Corona cupcakes with all the limes.  Happy day in the Hansen house.  And for all my husband’s coworkers upon who I foist extra baked goods.

Inexpensive and eco-friendly mass murder

We had a fruit fly infestation this past week.  No joke, it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.  I was desperate and had seen awhile back on The Coupon Project a fool-proof way to get rid of them with items I have in the pantry.  I just used about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap and let it sit in a cup all day.  What ensued was not pretty, but it was effective.  I’ll send you to her site for more details, she should get all the glory for this fabulous tidbit!  I won’t gross you out by showing you a picture either, just know it worked and worked well.

I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week.  What methods do you find are the most efficient and effective?

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