Thursday, September 29, 2011
I'd made plans for Wednesday and Thursday because John was supposed to be at class, but that was cancelled. I simply moved all my plans over to Friday when he agreed to work.
Spent about an hour and half organizing the food cupboards, writing down an inventory of what we have and noting what needed to be used right away. I also jotted down a few menu ideas as I looked over the goods and thought of future meals. I organized the items so that the expiration dates were in order of need to use.
I was still struggling with making my guest room suit me for autumn. But while flipping through a magazine I saw a photo that inspired me to use what I have to cozy up my living room. There were some decorative pillows I'd used in the guest room last year that perfectly suited the current decor and definitely added a comfort factor.
While in the closet I found some solid color pillo shams that matched the Cathedral window quilt in my bedroom.
A quick lunch that was filling and energy giving: A baked potato with a beef pot pie spooned over it. I cooked both in the microwave. I am a huge pot pie fan and these inexpensive frozen pies that go on sale for $.75 each are good enough for a fast lunch. I usually keep four or so in the freezer since I'm so inclined to forget about eating when I'm involved in projects.
Electric bill came this day. We dropped nearly $25 over last month's usage. I am a little surprised since the cool weather didn't really come in until after this cycle finished up. Guess turning that AC up right away each morning has really paid off.
I cooked a roast earlier in the week. I sliced it super thin and used a portion to make Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches which I wrapped in foil and set aside for the weekend. I had two packets of thinly sliced meat and a nice piece that will be perfect cubed for soup when it turns cooler.
Emptied a bottle of grape juice this evening. I checked the bottom and it was marked PETE which means it is safe to reuse for water storage. I find that rinsing well and then turning it upside down to dry usually is enough to free the bottle of any remaining scent from the juice.
Saturday: We waited until we were back in town this afternoon to fill up the car. Usually gasoline is anywhere from $.10-$.20 a gallon more but current prices were just $.06 more. We felt it was low enough to warrant giving the local place our business. We try to stop locally for gas at least once a month.
No need for supper since we'd had a nice late dinner with the business committee from synagogue.
Sunday: We had to go feed Sam's cats (we're the weekend relief crew) while he's out of town. We planned to stop in the small town between his home and ours for mouse traps, steel wool and a Sunday paper. Yes, we have a mouse. Hopefully he is a temporary resident.
I knew we'd be gone from home this morning, so it seemed a good day to have our Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. I made home fries to go with the sandwiches. I cut up the last of the Yukon Gold potatoes and cooked on a cast iron griddle in the oven. I heated the sandwiches alongside.
Although I'd tried to sow seeds carefully, I noted that I had two beets and two lettuce in some of the areas where I'd planted, so I thinned plants. Since I've planted so few I want to make sure to give the plants all the extra room they need to grow strong and well.
Monday: John planned to get the oil changed in our car today. We've been setting aside a little money each pay period towards this and had enough money to do an oil change and get tires rotated.
We hadn't planned to replace the brakes but the technician called John out to the garage and showed him our front brakes. We counted our blessings and moved money from our savings account to cover that cost.
We were very late heading home, well past lunch, but we stopped at the local diner and picked up chicken plates. I paid for the dinners out of my pocket money. John did well buying the plates. He spent less money than I do just buying chicken and a side.
Due to the late hour we ate our dinner, I wanted no supper and John was satisfied to have a snack only.
Tuesday: Used 'saved' water to water some of the front porch plants.
Boiled a half dozen of the older eggs in the fridge to use for egg salad for our supper tonight.
Made extra rice when cooking dinner. I'll use later in this week for muffins or fried rice or to extend a ground beef dish. Not sure for what yet, but if I haven't got an idea before end of the week I'll move it to the freezer.
Used leftover homemade bread and two donuts from freezer for crumbs in our Apple Brown Betty. The bread had gotten just a little dry and crumbly for use in sandwiches and toast, so I put in the freezer Saturday morning. I used it all today in this dish, no waste.
That Apple Brown Betty made good use of the ripest of the two pears on the fruit plate as well. I have no problem with mixing autumn fruits in dessert dishes.
Cleared out the chifforobe in the dining room. Decided that at least a few items might well become eBay listings, organized the vitamins I've stocked by expiration date so we'll be sure to use the oldest first.
Noted the paint in the 'craft' side of the cabinet would be rather pretty for the furniture in my craft/guest room.
I packed John's work lunch while I made supper. It took only moments to make a couple of extra sandwiches, bag up some chips.
Wednesday: I saved loads of money today...No, really I did! You see I was out with Mama and I was almost tempted by a quilt I liked...and it cost $95 on sale. I did take time to stop and think about it, looked it over really well and I decided that for something I liked and didn't love, that was a lot of money.
Went to a country store in the Mennonite community to purchase a few bulk items. Sliced almonds, anise seed, soup mix were all much less expensive there than in the grocery.
We had a very nice dinner and I felt perfectly full until about 7pm. I opted to have a light supper of yogurt with cereal, cranberries and some sliced almonds as toppings.
Bought peas and leaf lettuce to plant while out today. I'll get them in the pots in the morning. I'm feeling so good about my little pot garden!
Mama and I found a nine pack of ornamental kale. I suggested we share the cost of it. For $3 we each had plenty. In fact, I brought home only 3 of them, suggesting she share with a friend as well.
Thursday: I planned a day out for myself today. I had all of my allowance from this past pay period in my pocket. A thrift shop plunder seemed just the ticket. I love seeing how much I can get for my pocket money there. I had a great time. Best buy today was a pair of full length seersucker blue and white stripe drapes for the guest room. They are PERFECT with a quilt I already own. It will surely work for spring/ summer season of next year.
I found two books for myself as well. For just $1 each for hardback books, I can't beat Goodwill prices. I brought home one old friend and one new to me book that just sounded good.
I hadn't planned to eat lunch out but time sort of slipped away while I was in Goodwill and I was downright hungry. I still had to go to the grocery store, and I do not like to go in hungry there. I went over to Burger King and found they have a great Jr. Whopper value meal: Jr. Whopper, fries (large not small) medium drink and a free ice cream for under $4.
Walgreens had a great deal on Sugar this week. With the store coupon, you could get 4 pound bags of Domino sugar for $2.49. I had $.50/1 coupons. That brought the cost of the sugar down to a little less than $.50 a pound which is a decent price these days. I bought the limit of three bags. I have a nice stock of sugar now.
I shopped carefully at the grocery today. I meant to 'buy ahead' for items I knew I'd buy next week, as well as pick up the top sales items. I shall be able to skip that store next week, saving gas and time as well as money.
Planted the peas and leaf lettuce this morning before I left home. I spied my first carrots this afternoon when I came back home. They are tiny little sprigs but they are appearing at last.
That mouse is STILL in the house. We found where he came in and stuffed it full of steel wool. I just wish he'd been OUT when we found the hole. But he is not. He's thumbed his nose at me and left evidence of his being in the house on the kitchen counter, in a drawer and on the dining table. I am not happy. I put out an old fashioned snap 'em trap this morning, all traps are baited with peanut butter and now it's just wait and hope he slips up.
Knowing the mouse is in the house, I made sure to put boxed items in either zip lock bags or tin cans to store them. I've no desire to find the mouse has helped himself to my blueberry pop tarts before I do.