Category Archives: Living Green

Living Well on Less

In order to be able to live frugally through the week, I have to do some preparation and planning on the weekend.  It doesn’t take a lot, but I do have to plan. I thought that  I would share the things that I do with you each week.

Since I have more time on the weekend and I like to make food from scratch, I usually cook a lot more.  I try to plan meals that I can use for leftovers to take to work for lunch, or to put some aside in the freezer for a meal during the week. I usually cook a crockpot of dried beans so my husband can make a bean dish for his lunches, and extra beans to be used for various meals during the week. We vary the variety of beans we us from week to week.

I generally do a little baking as well.  This weekend I made scones, which I posted the recipe for on Saturday. I actually made two batches and wrapped and froze the leftovers for something nutritious to grab for breakfast if there isn’t time to eat before work.  Note:  this is also a great idea if you need to take a trip, or want to go for a morning hike.  It is inexpensive  nutricious and handy to take on the road.

On Saturday afternoon I made homemade Garlic Chicken pizza for dinner, which also gave us leftovers to eat for lunches.  I will be posting the recipe this week for you.  And on Sunday I made Southwest Black Beans for dinner, which we rolled up in a flour tortilla with some pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa and other toppings of choice.  We also had some corn on the cob that I picked up at a local store.  I saved the corn husks to dry and use for a future craft project I have in mind for the fall.  I used some of the black beans that I cooked in the crock pot on Friday night for the Southwest Beans.  I was also able to put a couple of quart containers of the Southwest Black Beans into the freezer for a couple of future dinners and my husband took some for a couple of his lunches for the week.  I will post the recipe for the beans this week.

Electricity is expensive here so we are on an electric plan where we have a cut rate from 9 pm to 9 am, and it cost more during the day in peak hours.  Since we both work during the day, we save a lot using most of our electricity during the late night and early morning hours.  The cut rate also applies to holidays and weekends.  Check with your electric company to see if you have a similar plan if you’re gone during the day.   Anyhow, because of this, I do my laundry on the weekend when the cost is less.  I use my homemade laundry detergent.  I cut my dryer sheets in half because it doesn’t really take a whole one do dry a load.  Some loads I use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser instead of the dryer sheets.  I also hang a couple of loads of laundry to dry on a rack in my bedroom.  Especially my work clothes.  It saves on the expense of the electricity and wear and tear on the clothes so my clothes look better, longer.

I also did some cleaning around the house, and I used my homemade window cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner.  I use newspaper to clean windows and mirrors, and then I put the newspaper in the recycling bin.

I repotted some houseplants and trimmed a couple of them back.  I took the trimmings and put them ends into a jar of water to root them.  I will plant them in a few weeks to use for giving to friends and co-workers.  These will be nice gifts for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries to thank someone.  I also transplanted a couple of plants.  I needed a new pot for one of them, so I washed up a clay pot that I had in the garage, and it is waiting to be painted.  I’ll be painting it after work one night this week.

I needed to mail out a parcel, so I looked in my stash of grocery bags for a couple of paper bags to use to wrap it up for mailing.  I generally use canvas bags for the grocery store, but once in awhile we end up with a bag.  I found two that I took apart and used to wrap the package up for mailing.

I also make use of any plastic bags that make it into my house.  I use them to line my small garbage cans in the bedroom, den and bathroom and for when I clean out the cat litter box. I wash out the Ziploc storage and sandwich bags that we may use  and we will reuse them until they split and start to fall apart.

I purchased a couple of vines to cover my back wall Friday night on my way home from work.  The plants will help to keep reflection of the sun from bouncing back in my dining room window.  And of course they add a lot of beauty to the yard with the green vines and blooming flowers.  All of our plants are on a programmed irrigation system, which saves a lot of water here.

I also went through the Sunday paper and cut out the coupons that I think I may use, and looked through the adds for CVS, Walgreens and the fabric store.  There were several coupon supplements in there this weekend.  I was checking to see if there is anything that is on my shopping list on sale.

This is the bulk of what I did this weekend.  Most of these things we do without thinking twice about them.  But it saves us a lot of money,and we live greener and healthier.

The next couple of days I will post the recipes for the Garlic Chicken Pizza and the Southwest Dried Beans.  Please share with me what you do to save money throughout the week!  I’d love to hear from you!