Frugality: Trying to Save While Not Existing on Just Ramen Noodles

I have always tried to be a frugal person.  I admit, it isn’t easy.  I come from a military family-my dad was in the navy and was often out to sea for months at a time, not to mention we moved frequently.  My Mom was a stay at home mom-therefore we didn’t have a lot of money.  We always pinched pennies and it was a lifestyle that we just always knew.  My wonderful husband also hails from a family that never had a ton of dough, but alas, does not get the whole “frugal thing”.

So I bet you know where I’m going with this.  We have been through several job losses and then through my husband returning to school full-time during the last thirteen years.  He graduated at the end of last year, and accepted an internship which last week became a full time engineering position.  Yay!  Buuuuuuuuuut-we are also trying to get back on our feet after having been working either part-time and/or not at all the last couple of years.  And lately it has really gotten tight.  Not a ramen noodle every night type of thing (HAHAHA-what is THAT from.  *ahem*  I watch too much TV).  But I am being a lot more diligent about cracking down on our grocery spending.  We are not extravagant people.  But when I am standing in the grocery aisle I would MUCH rather purchase the frozen stir fry mix as opposed to making my own from scratch.  Did I mention I don’t exactly cook like Martha Stewart?  Or any good cook for that matter.  I do make a mean taco soup (if tacos are a secret ingredient and I ever get to compete on Iron Chef let me tell you I am SET!)  I also love diet pop and sugar free frozen treats like nothing else.

Giving up the pop is not going well, but we did set out this past week to make our own pudding pops.  For some reason I have accumulated many packages of sugar free pudding.  Maybe there was a sale.  Or maybe I just really wanted pudding.  Either way, I looked up recipes and decided that it was waaaaaaaaaaay cheaper to make my own.  So I did.  And they were pretty good.  I have some tupperware mickey mouse ear popsicle molds I bought at a rummage sale years ago.  This was back when I could still GO to rummage sales (that’s a story for another post).  I found a recipe that I found and modified a bit.  Now this is really complicated, you might want to get a pen with a lot of ink and then follow this recipe EXACTLY or you will screw it up:

Frugal Pudding Pops (not Bill Cosby Approved)

1 pkg pudding (we used chocolate)

1 cup milk

1 cup cool whip

Directions:  Mix together and put in molds.  Freeze.  Eat.

See what I did there? That was hard…  My son would not get that because he’s sarcasm impaired.

We decided that maybe we could make more than one kind since we really like frozen stuff and wanted variety, so when we went grocery shopping we looked for molds.  These were $1 at Wal-Mart.  There were ones at Target for $5, so I figured DAMN that’s a GREAT deal!  Then I realized that it may be hard to get the frozen stuff out of the mold. Was it?  I dont know because I have not been motivated to make more yet.  Hey, it’s been a busy week!

I’ve also been toying with the idea of making homemade laundry detergent and fabric softener.  The idea has become more and more appealing to me.  I actually put the ingredients on my shopping list, but we’ll see if it actually happens.  I see all of these things online-I WANT to be more natural and organic and all that jazz.  I must admit putting stuff like that when I see it on Pinterest sure gets me a lot of repins!