April 2020 might go down as the most frugal month of my lifetime. With the global pandemic and the decline of our small business, I have flexed frugal muscles that I didn’t know I have. LOL!
Operation Frugal Living is in full swing at my house. We’ve always been a frugal household by being intentional with our money, but we have been affected financially by the pandemic, so we need to stretch our dollars even further. So we’re doubling down on our frugalness and we’ve set into motion some strategies to prepare for the unstable economy and any lost income ahead.
Frugal Kitchen in April:
Free Ham? Yes, please!
Before Easter, Giant of PA had a promotion for a free ham if you spent $400 in the four weeks leading up to the holiday. Not hard to do for my family, so I scored 11 pound spiral ham for FREE! Eleven pounds of ham made a delicious Easter dinner with plenty of leftovers for another dinner, a breakfast casserole, and lots of ham sandwiches. I also put quite a bit in the freezer for later use and made ham stock from the bone for homemade ham and bean soup.
More frugal shenanigans!
- I took advantage of a great sale on chicken tenders for $1/lb with a minimum purchase of 10 pounds. I froze 8-9 tenders per container. I’ll grill them for our Salad Bar nights and also make my Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenders.
- I also took advantage of ground turkey and turkey sausage sale, batch cooked the meat and froze in 2 cup portions.
- We love bacon and when we cook it in my cast iron pan, I let it cool and then drain the bacon fat into a glass jar that I keep in the refrigerator. We use the bacon fat in place of butter or oil for eggs and sauteed dishes.
- I planted parsley last year and forgot about it after the growing season was over. When I went out to start cleaning my garden to prepare for this year, I found a beautiful parsley plant. I’ve never had this happen. We had a very mild winter, so I’m guessing it never completely died. I cleaned and chopped up the parsley to store in the freezer for soups and casseroles.
- We took advantage of a sale on rotisserie chicken and made homemade chicken stock from the bones.
- One Pan Dinners are so simple and I threw this together impulsively with food in my fridge and freezer. I had a few potatoes, some cauliflower, and kielbasa. I drizzled with olive oil, seasoned, and roasted at 400 degrees until done. So easy and yummy.
- My husband and I LOVE unsweetened iced tea, so instead of spending $3 for a gallon, I make my own with 8 green tea bags and 2 flavored Celestial Tea bags. So much cheaper and we love the taste
- Ripe bananas rarely go to waste in my house. My favorite way to use them is #7 on this list: 20 Recipes for Ripe Bananas
For more frugal ideas, follow Family Balance Sheet on Instagram and look for the hashtag that I try to share weekly: #TodaysFrugalWin
How were you frugal in April? Share in the comments.
Jennifer Brown says
We have also seen our income reduced by the recent ( bad word). This month I made 89 out of 90 meals at home. We picked up curbside pickup from one small business for 1 dinner.
I bartered some extra veggie starts and herbs for some large flat stepping stones to complete a walkway. I followed up on a rebate for switching our internet services, to ensure the $100 GC was shipped. I reduced our cell phone plan down to the smallest plan. I replanted when seeds didn’t germinate inside and in the garden. I only used older seeds this year, from either open pollination plants of my own or last year’s seed leftovers. I built a trellis for cucumbers using things we had on hand. I participated in a no contact clothes round Robin, where 2 of my daughters and I all received several items of clothes for free. You tube videoed my way through a kitchen sink repair. I paid my 16 yro son $25 to diagnose and repair our pressure washer (done and works great). I hope everyone has a happy, healthy & frugal May.
Jennifer, thanks for sharing! These are such stellar examples of frugality! The round robin sounds like a great idea! I wish you and your family and happy and frugal May as well!
Love this! And for what it’s worth, I’ve subbed ham broth for chicken broth in various recipes and the difference in flavor was barely noticeable. The biggest thing to remember is to not add any or very little salt to the recipe since the ham broth will be quite a bit saltier than chicken broth. Just thought I’d mention this in case you want another use for all that broth! 🙂
Hi Lydia, Hope all is well with you and your family! Thanks for the tip about subbing ham broth. I didn’t think about that and I always seem to run out of chicken broth.