Home Sweet Frugal Home #5

Home Sweet Frugal Home@ A Cultivated Nest

Are your dollars not stretching as far as they used to? Everyone has different reasons for wanting or needing to cut back and we are all at different stages in life.  I thought I’d start sharing some frugal things that we do as a way to not only encourage myself to stay on tract, but maybe give someone with similar goals some ideas.

green pepper & green beans @ A Cultivated Nest

***harvested beans and green peppers despite having 4 freeze warnings (love those row covers I installed). I’ve been bringing my potted basil inside every night to try to keep it going. The rosemary and thyme are still doing well outside. Also got a few radishes, lettuce, & kale leaves. My goal is to be able to harvest something every week.

homemade pumpkin dog treats

***made our own pumpkin dog treats from the recipe here.  These are made with rice flour so they are great for dogs with wheat allergies. Some people made these with potato flakes for pets that are grain free. They are so much healthier than store bought ones and they literally just take minutes to mix and you can get as fancy as you want with them or not. I rolled some out like Snausages and on some I used my leaf cookie cutters.


Corey loves them!!  I’m holding one in my hand – look how fixated he is on that treat :)  He said he especially like the leaf shaped ones because they are tasty AND pretty! You wouldn’t think he notices such things with the way he snatches them out of your hand and gobbles them down…but he obviously is a lover of beautiful things……or maybe pumpkin.   Please check out this news article about treats manufactured in China and the dog deaths that have occurred.  WSBTV.com

***Worked on planning not only meals but snacks too. That way we have some ready to eat snack foods (besides popcorn, fruit & nuts).  That’s why,  although I try to do a lot of scratch cooking, I always have a few boxed mixes on hand. I buy them when they’re on sale. That way anyone can make a sheet cake or muffins or brownies etc. and do it quickly (without any input from me).

sunflowers via A Cultivated Nest

***I bought some pretty sunflowers on clearance (post here) and found out flowers are marked down every Friday at my local grocery store.  Sometimes they’re not a good deal because they look like they have maybe a day of life left and sometimes they look really fresh. I only buy them if they’re fresh and will last at least a week. I use my faux flowers freely and without shame :) if fresh are not available.

***I redeemed gift cards from various programs. I  redeemed a $25 Amex Gift Card through our American Express rewards points (they seem to be on sale right now) to use for Christmas Gifts. Redeemed some Amazon Gift Cards through Swagbucks  and 1 from Bing also for Christmas and redeemed a$25 Applebees  gift card through MyPoints (I only do the emails and surveys so I only average about 1 GC a year from them).

Green Giant Canned Corn

***I decided to not buy any meat for two weeks  and use what I had in my freezer or make meals featuring beans so I could stock up on canned vegetables when Green Giant vegetables were 49 cents a can at Kroger a few weeks ago – did you get any?  As far as I know Green Giant does not use Monsanto GMO  seed so I always buy that brand and stock up when it’s on sale. If you use Cream of soups they were probably the lowest price we’ll  see this year at 69 cents each (you can make your own btw).  I’m hoping to get some ham on clearance after Thanksgiving (we’re not big turkey eaters – once a year is fine for us).

Well those are just some of the highlights of my recent frugal activities. Be sure to read the comments section of this and previous posts  for more frugal tips:





I love reading all the frugal things everyone does each week so please leave a comment and let me know what you’ve been up to!


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  1. says

    Hello, I always enjoy your pretty picture posts but the frugal living ones encourage me even more. Rising prices on everything are really making me nervous and keeping me on my toes stretching our dollars.

    Eating at home is one the biggest things. Even on busy days when the grands have kept me so busy, I’ve managed to have meals at home. The only times we’ve ate out in 2 months are when we did our big grocery shop in OKCity and we ate at our favorite place there.

    I finally got started on Christmas shopping last night- used that Amazon $5 off $25 deal and some swagbucks and ordered 3 gifts that will be delivered tomorrow.

    I’ve made or exceeded the daily goal on Swagbucks every day, since Oct 3rd or so, since you told about the Swagbuckstv app for the Kindle Fire. Thank you!

    We are hosting 10-14 family members for Thanksgiving and some will stay a while. I’ve planned menus and been baking ahead with things in the freezer.

    We are having thrifty weather. Most days we don’t need to run any heat or AC at all.

    Staying home as much as possible- gas prices have gone down but it is still so expensive.

    hope you and your family have a very happy Thanksgiving

    • Manuela says

      Gas prices have gone down quite a bit here. We got gas at the Kroger station using our Kroger points for under $3! Quite amazing considering the price of gas this summer. But it goes down, it goes up, it never lasts!

      You’re quite welcome. I’m glad the Swagbucks app is help to you. I use it almost every day. Every now and then I have to delete it and re-install it but mostly it works great.

      This is the hottest winter yet. We’re in the 70’s for the next few days. Which is crazeee weather for November!

  2. says

    Lots of great ideas! I agree 100 percent! Faux works perfect! Just not seeing many real bargains in fresh flowers in the markets these days. :( Packaged up several containers of leftovers from this last weekend and put in the freezer for future meals. Need to figure out how to freeze a certain cheese dip – don’t think that is going to happen. :/
    Have a great week!

  3. says

    I will have to try your doggie treat recipe! Our beagle is quite the spoiled animal and loves things like peanut butter and pumpkin. I have some fresh pumpkin left so this will be perfect for him! My frugal move of the season has been to decorate with pumpkins that are perfect for cooking. When I notice that they might be beginning to soften, I slice and seed them, then bake and puree to use for pies, pumpkin butter, pancakes, oatmeal or anything else my heart desires.

    Thank you for sharing all of your tips … they are so useful!

  4. Debbie says

    I admit that I got all hungry for those treats before I realized they were doggie treats. They looked like cookies to me. LOL

    I agree so much on the planning of snacking but wouldn’t have thought of it before you said it. When the girls were growing up, I was so much more organized about stuff like that. Now, I usually just buy or make some snack items when the girls are coming home. For me here alone, I don’t “plan” a thing.
    Hmmm…. I think snack planning would be good for the waistline as well as the wallet.

    • Manuela says

      Ha Ha, yes I said to myself people will think I made cookies. Savanna tried one she said it’s not tasty (well it doesn’t have any sugar in it since it’s for dogs). Corey just loves them! It will help with the treat budget for him. She has him on that expensive Blue Buffalo dog food and treats.

      I get hungry around 3 or 4 so I always have to have something to eat! We don’t eat dinner until around 7-7:30 so I need something to keep me going!

  5. says

    I have a pantry full of those cans too:) I use them so much more when I have a good stock! Thanks for continuing to give us tips! I am enjoying learning from you! Have a blessed day, HUGS!

  6. says

    I thought the framed picture at the beginning said Home Sweet FUNERAL Home! I thought WHAT?! Then I re-read it. I am always misreading things!

    We use a discover card and we use all the bonus money on Amazon–It has provided us with lots of books and gifts for free.

  7. says

    Good Morning, Manuela,
    What a great post. I am smitten with your pumpkin doggie treats. I love finding new ways to use up the pumpkins from my front porch at the end of November. It’s nice to know that Green Giant doesn’t use GMO. I will be paying close attention for the next sale. We have Fred Meyer where I live which I think is part of Kroger.
    Thank you for your visit and kind comment on my blog. I have enjoyed getting to know you through your amazing posts and always look forward to seeing what you are up to.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend!

  8. says

    Thanks for the tip about Green Giant vegetables, good to know!

    Also that recipe for dog treats looks like a winner! We’ll be mixing up a batch this evening hopefully!

    These are fun posts!

  9. says

    Your green beans look yummy. I am definitely planting more green beans this spring. I only got enough for maybe two meals. Good to know about Green Giant. I buy a lot of their frozen veggies. I just recently starting reading labels and was amazed at the canned goods that came from other countries.

  10. Shirlee says

    One of my favourite frugal tips is using vinegar for a multitude of things. I put it in the dishwasher as a rinse agent and it also helps with combating hard water deposits. I also use it in the washing machine to soften clothes and cut down on static cling, wash out the kitty litter box and I keep a bottle of half water, half vinegar by the kitchen sink for clean ups and spritzing pots prior to washing.

  11. says

    Lovely posts for this past week. I did the only bit of shopping I meant to do on Thursday at CVS. I spent $25 and got $26 ECB back. I mean to do more coupon work once again but I am planning to keep it healthy. Now that our routine is finally back to normal I’m going to be busy, busy, lol.