“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Or something like that. Gratitude is hard to come by these days, but I’m working on looking for the good. Especially as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder and wetter, 2020 feels extra bleak.

Here’s to hoping things look brighter soon, but it’s sure been a long year. Our family is doing well personally, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t hard now. But let’s see if I can focus on the gratitude for the good and here’s to hoping 2021 looks a bit different.

October is definitely pretty

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. I picked up a box of tomato seconds at the farmer’s market over the weekend and turned them into fifteen pints of canned pizza sauce. Along with homemade crust, I love making my own pizza sauce, but having jars ready to go on the shelf makes the long process a bit faster. That, and this way I was able to use in season produce that we’ll be able to eat year round.

My husband mentioned that I probably could have paid less for the box of heirloom tomatoes when I was talking to a friend about our use of coupons and looking for a good deal, but I’ve never considered that when it comes to the farmers market. I value local food and local farms, and I will never begrudge them their prices. I’ll look for coupons and savings when shopping at the big chain grocery store near our house, but not when I’m buying direct from a farmer.

2. We picked up the kiddo’s Halloween costume from Costco for twenty dollars. While I don’t love fast fashion or cheap clothing, as is noted by my ongoing clothes buying ban, something I always wanted as a child was to have a store bought costume. Silly, perhaps, and I very much appreciate the fact as an adult that my parents had us be creative with our costumes, but I do love that I can buy the kiddo his costume.

That said, so far he has had a costume last at least two Halloweens and as dress up throughout the year, so I feel better about purchasing him one. If he wore it just the one night and then cast it off, I think I’d be much more inclined to go the path of my parents. For the four of us growing up, I think they made the right choice – I’ve just made a different one for our family.

And so kindergarten revolves around knights this week

3. The husband purchased some new tools and cleaned our chimney by himself this past weekend. We haven’t used the fireplace for some time because it wasn’t cleaned, but we hadn’t paid someone else to do it either. While I might gripe with his endless supply of tools, he does save us money in the long run by doing a lot of the housing maintenance himself.

4. It may be more than halfway through October, but we’re still eating quite a bit of produce out of the garden. We made tacos on Tuesday night using the ground beef from our quarter cow purchase along with delicata squash, zucchini, carrots, kale, broccoli leaves, garlic, and green onions from the garden, rounded out with onions and poblano peppers from the farmers market.

Those leftovers were added to rice for a “kitchen sink” casserole Thursday night along with my homemade attempt at Mama Lil’s peppers. Eating out of the garden is great, and turning homemade meals into multiple delicious weeknight dinners is even better.

Lots of greens!

5. I may not have had a Monday post here on TLRE this week, but I did finally write a post over on Ecofrugals! I’d started a post about ecofrugal camping after our trip in July, but it took me too long to finish it up. If there are other ecofrugal topics you’d like me to tackle, please do let me know! I’m in love with the joint project I’ve started with Kristine, but it sure wasn’t excellent timing to start a new website mid February 2020.

Exercise Update

Friday was a day off for me since I switched the weekday I normally have with my husband since I had time sensitive work to get done. Since I had the day off, the kiddo and I went for a run in the morning. Sunday was a hike through the soggy woods; it was wet and gray, but I find that getting outside helps a lot with my mood no matter what the weather looks like.

Monday was a run by myself as well as sets of lunges throughout the day, enough for me to feel my legs a bit the next morning. Tuesday was a longer walk and some stair walking. Wednesday was again a lot of walking including during the work day. Thursday the kiddo and I met up with a friend for a masked run/walk during her work break. I’m definitely getting more exercise these days, and it’s a bright spot for sure, as is the fact that the kiddo is running with me more often.

Tell me something good about your October.

14 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (COVID-19 Week 34)

  1. Gratitude is extra hard to come by these days…and I don’t usually struggle with gratitude. One thing that has helped me some in that particular area are your occasional tweets asking people to share positive stuff (something you are proud of, something good, etc). So BIG THANK YOU for that, friend!

    1. Those tweets help me too! This year isn’t all bad, even if it feels like that sometimes.

  2. Something good about my October: crafts! I am not normally very crafty, but in October I am. I love halloween and so far have painted a pumpkin, made a canvas painting of more pumpkins, and painted my nails orange with little spiders on them. I’m doing pumpkin carving this weekend as a fundraiser for a local tool library. I love fall! Definitely is brightening my mood.

    1. How fun!! Yeah I don’t get around to crafts much but love seeing other people’s creations.

  3. Aw, the kiddo’s costume is great and well worth the $20! Kids love costumes, so this is definitely a good indulgence. My mom made a number of out costumes too – ours were always far better made than anything store bought and she still has several that have survived at least 3 kids (my brothers, me, and my niece). That said, there is something fun about store bought ones too.

    Enjoy the tomatoes and pizza!! YUM!

  4. I had to look up tomato seconds! I’ve made pizza sauce once, back in April, and it was delicious. I definitely plan to try again when work eases up and I have more time to bake and create in the kitchen. I’m impressed by how much you made!

    Last night my family decided to have a costumed, in-character cocktail sushi party. We just used what we had around the house for costumes, and nothing was very elaborate, but it was still fun to get dressed up – though I realized that, for me at least, role-playing and improv-ing for a good amount of time is exhausting! Still, that was a good thing to happen in October 🙂

    1. Seconds are a great way to spend less and to make sure that the produce gets purchased and used! When it goes into sauce anyway, they don’t need to be pretty.

  5. absolutely love the veggie garden and the amount your pulling out of it. I found growing a veggie garden was a great way to cut my food bills down and keep my cost of living low (even in a sydney city balcony – I just use lots of pots!)

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