Friday, October 7, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Friday : Worked in the shed this morning after I did housework.  I found brand new Fall decor items I'd bought last year after the season was over.  Welcome mats, place mats and some floral picks.  I'd forgotten I bought those items.

 Cleaning the shed brought to light a few ideas.  I saw a few of my old items with new eyes.  They'll be great for future projects.

I discovered the lid to a 5 gallon bucket.  They were on opposite sides of the shed.  I didn't realize I even had the lid.  I brought the bucket indoors.  Next time I buy dog food, I'll be sure and use that bucket for storage.  At least if we still have mice at that point there will be no temptation from my dog food.




Saturday:  Listen my children and you shall hear how this frugal homemaker didn't stick to her own rules. First I'll share what I did right:  I dressed warmly because it was a little cool outdoors and our synagogue would be especially chilly.  Layering worked nicely to keep chill at bay.

I ate a big hearty breakfast fairly late (around 9am).  I can't do this when John is home because we must leave well before 9am for him to get to synagogue int time to test sound equipment, tune up etc.  And he doesn't like a heavy breakfast because he must sing.  But to eat late meant I wouldn't be lightheaded and famished at 1pm.  Good thing too, because we didn't get out until 2:30pm that day.  And yes, I was lightheaded and famished.  This is where the budget broke.

With nothing ready to eat at home, I  was on the borderline of low blood sugar.  I could have opted for takeout somewhere but thinking over all the options it seemed I'd come out better picking up something quick cooking at the grocery.  $25 later I walked out with frozen pizza,luncheon meat, chips, ice cream and a small box of wings...I broke the golden rule: never go into the grocery store hungry.  It would have been far less expensive (at least half the amount spent) to go for takeout and that would have netted John and I both a meal!  Sigh...Lesson learned.

I realized after I got home that we'd never eat a whole pizza, so cut it in half.  We got two meals off that pizza.  Small savings but savings of something.

Discovered that we had plenty of sandwich worthy items on hand in the fridge.  Put the just purchased package into the freezer.  That too will save for a future meal.


Took my last vitamin just before I left home this morning and no time to write it on my list. I sat the empty bottle by my chair as a clear reminder that I was out.

Picked up the mail.  Our annual house insurance bill arrived.  It went up just a little bit again this year, as it did last year.  I'll be calling our agent to see if we can't get a better rate.  If not, I'll check with other providers.

Followed the weather report and decided to cover the pots of vegetables on the back deck.  It was going down to such a low temperature I was worried about losing my harvest before it had grown big enough to give me one.

Sunday:    Ate breakfast before leaving home.  I meant to be on budget patrol far better than yesterday!  I stopped to fill up with gasoline at the station near Samuel's apartment.  It was a good $.15/gallon less expensive than in our town.  I got a paper while I was there at the station.  Being in the city meant I got more coupons than buying the same paper locally, too.

I minded myself and didn't stop off for lunch anywhere even though I was hungry.  Nope.  Came home and ate here.

I've been craving homemade brownies, but I'm trying to not use as much butter.  I decided to make half a recipe.  Less butter, less brownies to eat so my clothing continues to fit just fine, less money spent!  See how well that worked out?

Noticed the sun had shifted and the back deck was now not getting any sun until 2pm.  I moved my garden to the front patio where they could get sunlight from 8am until 2:30pm which is sufficient.

Covered the vegetable pots last night to protect the plants.

No need of AC for 24 full hours.  That's a record after months of having it on.

Monday:  I didn't get my First of the Week routine done yesterday so I had plenty to do this morning.  I worked until I remembered I'd had no breakfast.  I had a cup of pancake batter and half an apple left from the end of last week.  Apple pancakes on a chilly morning seemed just the thing.

Planted half the pansies and one of the ornamental kale in the strawberry pot this morning.  I transplanted the cilantro that had come up in another pot.

One of the coleus I'd rooted just wasn't growing well.  Mama and I stopped for an ice cream last week and I saved my Sundae cup with the lid.  I thought it would make a great little mini greenhouse.  Just the thing for that coleus and a cutting from the geranium, too.

I'd meant to have chicken for my dinner but one look at the huge breasts in the package and I knew I'd never eat a whole one by myself.  I cooked both breasts, cut one in half for my meal and set the rest aside for two entrees later in this week.

A saving of time. I stripped my bed this morning and laundered the sheets.  I dried in the dryer since it was so cold and damp outdoors.  I'd meant to remake the bed right away but got caught up in the potting of pansies and the sheets were dry when I came indoors.  As the morning stretched into the afternoon it made sense to remake the bed using the clean sheets.  I prefer to rotate and normally do, but now and then cutting out one job and saving the time to do another task is the better savings.

Put down seasonal welcome mats inside both doors.  I put the rug from the back entry next to our bed rather than store it away.  I so like it there that I'm seriously thinking of picking up another to put on the other side of the bed.  It just suits the colors perfectly.

Went back into the shed this morning and looked a bit further.  I found one funkin (no clue what happened to the other one), and brought it indoors.  I'll have one of those pretty funkins a la Country Living Magazine before the week is over!

The AC came on this afternoon.  I was still wearing a light jacket and slippers to keep my feet warm!  I shut it off and let the breezes continue to blow through the windows.  I'm going to see if leaving the windows open well into the evening will allow me to forgo AC.

Tuesday:  Took time this morning to go over the grocery list.  It was relatively small since I did shopping last Thursday while good sales were on at one of the stores.  I didn't want to shop until tomorrow when I can get a better buy on some items at a special sale.  I stuck to the dollar store today where I get the best price on dog food.  I'll save the rest of my money for good sales and special treats for my vacationing husband.

I love looking through my old vintage magazines.  Look at what I found in the September 1953 Ladies Home Journal:
  Click on the picture to open a larger image of this recipe for homemade Brownie Mix.

Wednesday:  Up early-ish this morning.  I put two small potatoes to bake in the microwave while I went out to feed the animals.  I find it an easy way to make hash browns really quickly.  I just cube the mostly baked potatoes and fry in oil with a little onion, salt and pepper.  John especially enjoyed the crispy potatoes with his eggs.

Our dinner today was an economical meal.  I made fried rice using a cup of cubed cooked chicken breast, 2 cups leftover rice and a handful of vegetables from the fridge.  It's always surprising to me that simple ingredients can combine to make a very good meal.  Served simply with a Pineapple salad on the side and homemade Gingerbread.

The Gingerbread recipe was an economical one.  It called for just four tbsps of shortening instead of butter, 1/2 cup of water instead of milk and 1/2 cup of honey in place of most of the sugar...It makes a light colored, light cake that is very tasty.

Washed a full load of dishes this afternoon after lunch.

Thursday:  Grocery shopping was necessary today.  We meant to pick up milk and sodas on a special 4-day sale which started yesterday.  I had a short list of other purchases to make and made sure to bring along my list with me.

On my list were face wash and moisturizer.  I find the grocery can sometimes be the very place to make these purchases.  Certainly was today.  The store brand (which appeared to be Cetaphil produced) cost less than half the price of the name brand.  I was very happy with that.

We'll chalk one up for cell phones. It was while we were in the grocery that John remembered he needed to make a call.  While on the phone we received an invite to a pot luck dinner for Friday evening.  And being in the grocery made it a breeze to pick up the ingredients needed for the requested dishes.

We brought ourselves home for a lunch meal of sandwiches made from deli purchased meat and dollar store purchased chips.

The sale on soda at the grocery really was a good sale.  However, while in the dollar store earlier this week I noted their 'regular' price on the 8 pack 12ounce bottles of soda we prefer was quite good, $.50 less than most 'sales' at the grocery and a full $1 less than full price.  I'm keeping that in mind for these winter months when there aren't good sales on sodas.

We were out late last night and I was so weary that John declined a supper invitation and we came home where he prepared our meal: Fried Egg Sandwiches.  With an apple and gingerbread to follow it was food for a queen as far as I am concerned.  And economical, too.  I bought eggs on sale .

Friday:  I'm late sending this out...There's been savings today too, so I thought I'd jump ahead and share them as well.

Cooked a light breakfast since I knew we'd be eating lunch in a few hours.  I'd slept in a little this morning.   Told you I was weary last night.

As soon as the housework was done, I hurried into the kitchen.  First order of business was to plan what dessert I'd carry tonight to the pot luck dinner.  I looked over many recipes and had ingredients for most all of them but it kept coming back to apple pie...I decided to chance it and attempt the pastry crust that was printed next to the pie recipe.  It turned out awfully nice.  Fingers crossed that it proves a tasty and tender crust.

While paring and coring apples, I set aside those to freeze.  I have a recipe for apple peel jelly, which extracts the flavor left in peels and cores by stewing first to make a tasty jelly.  I'll be tackling that jelly making before this season is over.  I have blackberries and grapes and apple peels and cores in the freezer waiting for a nice rainy cold autumn day to make jelly.

Cooked macaroni to make Mac and Cheese for our supper tomorrow night.  I measured out what I wanted of the macaroni and found I had only about 1 1/3 cups left.  I just dumped it all in the pot and then gathered my ingredients to make Mac and cheese and realized I had half a jar of pizza sauce and some cottage cheese that needed to be finished up.  Click!  I had an idea for using up some of that extra macaroni I'd cooked, Pizzaroni casserole.  This recipe was something I found years upon years ago who knows where, but my kids loved it.  Having all the ingredients on hand now... I just made it right up and popped it in the freezer.  It will be a nice meal with a salad and breadsticks one day when I'm pushed for time.

Thawed frozen soup to make for our lunch while all the other cooking was going on.

Used water I'd 'saved' to give the garden pots a drink.  The carrots wilted away to nothing but the lettuce, beets and radishes and cilantro are coming along just grand.

When the dogs failed to eat this morning, I popped their pans right into the lidded bin we keep the food in.  They can eat that food this evening if they feel so inclined.

2 comments:

Iris said...

In one of my magazines this month they said to hot glue birdseed to the spring mouse traps. Mice get caught every time trying to get the birdseed off.

Rebecca said...

So have you tried the brownie mix? I'm waiting to hear what you think...

And funkins. I'm clueless! What ARE they?

(I cook the way you do - throwing in that extra macaroni and fixing/freezing an extra meal.)

I enjoy coming to the Blue House on the Hill!