Thursday, October 20, 2011
Homemade cookies...Just one way to save...
Friday: I had to make a meal for Oneg for Saturday and a meal for our dinner as well. Everything I had that was a possible meal was frozen solid. No matter. I just cooked frozen meats. I put a 7bone chuck roast into one pan, covered with mushroom soup from a can and since I didn't have onion soup mix made up a similar taste using one crushed beef bouillon cube and 1 tbsp of dehydrated onion flakes. These were on my pantry shelf for future seasoning but there's no need like present need is there? Covered the roast with foil and popped it into the oven on the bottom shelf.
Chicken wings were a solid block as well. Mixed a few tablespoons of Apricot preserves with the last portion of a bottle of French dressing. Poured over, covered with foil, put into oven on top shelf. Cooked both at 350F for 2 1/2 hours. Thawed, cooked through.
Wings for lunch along with rice (odd that rice was. It took forever to cook...never had it act like that before), butter beans that I'd cooked and frozen after another meal. Still had butter beans leftover. Froze those again.
Leftover rice and wings went into fridge.
Boned roast and cut away fat....What a sorry sight that little bit of meat was! I told John worriedly that it would never do for a meal for church. And what was I to do? Well, roast beef hash is well liked in my household and I'm finding over and over again that the simpler meals are the most highly favored at synagogue. I cooked potatoes and onions, added in roast and onions and poured it all into a casserole.
We drove to Macon to pick up Samuel and arrived an hour before he did. We were meant to all be going out for supper but it was so late we skipped it. We settled for a piece of toast each when we got home.
Samuel filled our car with gasoline in exchange for the trips we'd made up to Macon to take him to courier, pick him up and to feed the cats.
Saturday: Oneg Dinner: Roast beef hash (told you all about that above), pear salad, and took 1 liter Cokes (I'd had a coupon for b1g1 and had no clue what we'd use a 1 liter bottle of soda for...perfect size for our small group at synagogue). We only needed 1 1/2 bottles since someone else brought tea. John and I had the last of the soda with our supper that night.
Dinner was leftover wings.
Sunday: No need to feed cats this weekend with Samuel at home.
We'd been very careful with our money over the past week. I asked if we could go to Subway for our dinner. Specials had all regular foot longs for $5 and who can beat that for 'dinner out'? Actually we brought our sandwich home to share. Picked up a paper and carried off trash while we were going out anyway.
Monday: We needed a few of the usual to get us through until Harvest for the week and grocery day. John had arranged to have his paycheck mailed to us, saving the trip down and back. We knew we wouldn't get it on Monday so we made our a short list of home needs and grocery needs. Off we went.
John treated me to breakfast. I read over the menu and everything sounded delicious, but the truth is I didn't feel I could handle a big meal. I asked if I might order just what I wanted: Sausage biscuit and a small bowl of grits. I'm not sure we saved money doing that but we didn't WASTE money on food not eaten.
We wandered around the gift shop (that is the fun part of breakfast at Cracker Barrel in my opinion). Found a pretty glass bead bracelet in the clearance section. John bought it for me. It was very very well priced and I was very very happy.
Walmart...It seemed the best choice for us combining both groceries, my need for heavy duty denim sewing needles and John's list of home improvement items. Why drive further and visit three stores when one will do? We did very well staying on target, found bargains...
John wanted to hang 'nicer looking' towel bars in our guest bath. Admittedly the one we had was cheap and not pretty. We looked and found two lovely nickle towel rings for just $5 each and I think in honesty that's what we paid for that not so nice looking one.
It was John who insisted on looking in the section where light dimmer switches and doorbells and such were for a motion sensor bulb I've been looking for almost a year. We found a bulb that was a name brand item, not the one I'd been looking for (which was $35), for $14. That's a great savings and I now have a motion activated bulb in my pantry closet in the back room.
We bought the groceries we had on our list (eggs, bread, cheese) and then bought store brand ice cream (just $.10 more for a half gallon of store brand over the price of a pint of our usual brand!). While going through the deli I suggested a roasted deli chicken for our dinner meal. Knowing we'd get more than one meal from it seemed a good buy. As well we wandered down the meat aisle and found a package of boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.32 a pound. I counted and found there were nine breasts in the package I picked up. For $7 we'll get at least 5 meals from that package and possibly more.
Meal one from the rotisserie chicken: 1/2 breast each along with salad and bread.
Tuesday: Mama called and was invited to come to lunch. A fast meal made of a thin white sauce, deli roasted chicken and a bag of whole wheat noodles, Waldorf salad served on HOMEGROWN lettuce, and the last of the chocolate chip cookies. Nice meal, good company and I was some proud having my own lettuce on the table.
Washed a full load of clothes.
Watered plants with saved water.
Planted the last of the pansies and Kale that Mama and I bought a few weeks ago. Nicely filled two baskets to hang on the front porch.
Rain came in the afternoon and watered all the plants very nicely. Thank the Lord for his blessings. The lettuce, beets and radishes loved it and a few carrot seeds decided to give life a try.
The paycheck arrived. We had our Harvest afternoon. What a joy to see that steadily saving a little every pay period meant we'd have enough money to pay our property taxes six weeks early.
Since the pay check was in, I though it a good idea to look at the online grocery ad and see if there were sales items I wanted to take advantage of. There were. I made note of them.
We had leftover casserole mixture, leftover casserole and the chicken carcass at the end of the day. I boiled the chicken carcass and added the leftover casserole mix to the broth. Oh and I tried that tip about boiling the carcass in a steamer insert with water filling the rest of the pot. Lifted that carcass right out and had no need to strain the mixture at all. Beautiful! Chicken Noodle soup in next to no time.
Leftover veg soup that wouldn't fit in the freezer last week, was fed to the dogs.
Wednesday: Our annual vacation trip to the grocery north of us. This trip is a little more distant than our usual shopping area, but well worth the extra distance in views along. We oohed and ahhed our way along the highway.
We did our shopping with care. I didn't get cash at the bank before going to the grocery. Instead I was counting on instinct, experience, a shorter than usual list, and a knowledge of how quickly too many impulses can run up a grocery bill. We did very well. I spent right at my usual bi-weekly amount with enough to spare for pet food and bread later in the pay period.
We bought cubed steaks which were decently priced for family package. 8 large cubed steaks packaged up in two piece packets for us meant we get 4 meals from that package of meat.
John suggested several other purchases but some were just too pricey and some I guesstimated I'd have no freezer room for. I was right on the last count. Packaging the cubed steak put me right back to a full freezer once more (well that and an extra gallon of milk).
We only need half a package of hot dogs for ourselves anymore, so I split the package and froze half. The other half made up our supper along with baked beans.
Had leftover beans...I added to the leftover butter beans from earlier in the week and emptied the last ounce or so of ketchup in with the two. What will I do with them? I'm thinking of making chili with a mix of beans.
Bypassed a magazine I've been wanting, have looked diligently for over the last few weeks. It's an annual issue and I admit I was tempted but ultimately I decided I really didn't need it. Saved $10.
And spent that money saved on a new mop, which I DO need. My old cotton mop was literally falling to pieces. This mop is a Libman Wonder Mop and came highly recommended by Virginia and Katie both. When Katie reminded me that Granny had one like it (and I do remember that she did) that cinched the deal for me.
Covered the vegetable pots with plastic. Cold weather forecasted. Found Trudy trying to fit her big form in the dishpan I planted lettuce in. Why? I have no idea! However, seeing that she was determined (caught her three times just as she put a paw in the pan) I decided that it would help to raise it above floor level. That put an end to her desire to sleep on the lettuce.
Thursday: Uncovered the vegetables as soon as I got up. Apparently the plants like that treatment. I promise you everything grew overnight! I harvested two radishes today. One was marble sized, the other a little bigger. I won't pull anymore for another few days and will let them get a little larger. But gracious goodness the tiny one was good!
Hung my two new hanging baskets on the front porch (they had drained enough water at this point after Tuesday and Wednesday's rain).
We just pulled on extra clothes in the cold house this morning. I do find a pair of fuzzy slippers makes the rest of me seem a bit warmer than running about barefoot.
We were out at lunchtime today, but dinner was to be had all the same. A medium pizza from Dominos was ordered and delivered for under $8. Fed three very nicely.
Tonight's supper: Chicken soup. I combined the leftover casserole, and the soup we had the other night and a spoonful of extra seasonings to make a pan of thick chicken noodle soup. It was very good.
Found the leftover hash from Saturday's dinner in the fridge. It smelled find, looked fine, but I decided I'd rather not have us eat it. The dogs appreciated it though!
I know these last couple of weeks have been heavier on kitchen savings. There's good reason for that of course, as meals are about the only time we've been home! We've been too busy having fun to do housework or home repairs. We've one more week to go, so bear with me if next week is kitchen heavy too. I promise you we'll soon be back on our regular schedule of work and savings.