Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Day in the Life of Our Frugal Family

Today it struck me just how much our frugal ways permeate every aspect of our daily lives. I thought I'd share a quick snapshot of what a typical day looks like around here. No two days are quite the same, but today is as good a day as any other of illustrating our frugal lifestyle.

I started the day by checking on our batch of yogurt that had incubated overnight. It was successfully brewed up, so I poured it into individual serving containers and stuck it in the fridge. I wasn't sure if the yogurt would work out or not, as I'd invented a new incubation method on the fly. Our yogurt maker died and I didn't realize it until I had a batch in progress (I'll share more about my method in another post soon). Once I had the yogurt taken care of, I pulled the bowl of Refrigerator Bread Dough that I'd made last night out of the fridge, and got two loaves of bread rising (the rest of the dough went back in the fridge to be used later this week). I then started a load of laundry (in my freecycled-to-me machine, using homemade laundry detergent) and hopped on my (15 years old and still going strong) bike for a 4o minute spin along the Waterfront Trail.

Once I got back home, I had a Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin for breakfast, along with a cup of coffee made in our yard sale purchased $1.00 coffee perker. I got the bread in the oven, dealt with some household administrative tasks, had a quick shower, and got dressed in my thrift store and yard saled (and still looking nearly new) clothes. While I was doing all that, my hubby rode his (also many years old) bike over to the CAA office (a couple of kilometres away) to get his driver's license and license plate renewed.

Once hubby returned home, we planned out the rest of our day while we sorted out what was going to be on the lunch menu. He works a lot of evenings and weekends (he's a Realtor), so often he will take most of a day off one day during the week. This day usually ends up being an errand-running and household chore day, and that's how it turned out today. Our kids are homeschooled, so on these days they either help us out with whatever we're doing, or work on a project on their own.

Lunch was the last of our Sunday dinner roast chicken (bought on a buy-one-get-one-free sale), diced up and turned into a sandwich filling with red peppers, green onions and mayo, all on fresh-from-the-oven bread. I topped my sandwich off with avocado slices as there was half an avocado in the fridge that needed to be used up. All of the produce we used was purchased on sale as well, most of it for half price or less.

After lunch hubby and I ran out to do a couple of errands in the van (our only family vehicle) that were too far away to get to by bike, but located close to one another. I stocked up on sale-priced decent quality underwear for myself, and we picked up some paperwork my husband needed for work.

The errands took about an hour. Once we got back home, my husband taught my 10 year old son how to cut the grass (which desperately needed cutting!) My son is planning to do some lawn cutting this summer to earn extra money, so his dad is teaching him how to do a really good job so he'll have satisfied customers. While they were doing that, I hung the load of laundry out on the line, did a bit of yard cleanup and checked on my arugula seedlings to see how they were doing. My older son went down the street to pick up a perfectly good toboggan that had been left on the curb by one of our neighbours. A couple of our toboggans bit the dust this winter after years of use so a "new" one will come in handy for next winter. We've taught our kids to always check with homeowners first before taking stuff from the curb to make sure it's okay. It's a very common practice for people in our neighbourhood to put anything they no longer want on the curb, and no one looks askance at whoever decides to pick it up and drag it home!

The boys went back in the house to "do their own thing" for a while, and my husband then rode his bike over to the office to do a couple of hours of work there. I planted some spinach seeds in our raised vegetable bed and finished cleaning up the yard.

Now I'm sitting here taking a coffee break and writing a blog post. Soon I'll start our dinner of Pasta with Creamy Peanut Sauce, Broccoli and Carrots, with all of the ingredients having been purchased on sale (the recipe will be coming to the blog soon!)

After dinner we'll take the dog for a stroll. The kids will play outside with their neighbourhood friends. We'll probably read a bit of our library copy of Stormbreaker (from the Alex Rider series) together, then watch a Battlestar Galactica DVD (also from the library). If we feel like a snack, we'll make some air-popped popcorn and hot chocolate made from homemade mix.

We'll head off to bed well fed and fulfilled from another day of living life on our own terms, eager to see what the day brings tomorrow!


  1. What an inspiring post and your meals for the day sound scrumptious even though frugal!!

  2. Thanks Margo! I had to go back through the post to see what we'd eaten as I'd written it so long ago. I now have the pasta recipe on the blog if you want to try it:


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