Friday, March 16, 2012
Thrifty Thursday-Late Like Everything Else This Week!
Friday: Tried a hint I found online. Take a bunch of bananas, break away two or three and put the rest of the bunch in a plastic baggie (I used a produce bag), and seal it. Theory is the bananas outside the bag will ripen while those in the bag will remain green. We'll see how this works. Worse comes I'll have more ripe bananas than I'd planned on, right? This much I know thus far. The three we left out were almost ripe today. The three in the bag look about as they did two days ago. ***We took these out of the bag this Tuesday and they were just ripe. I will do this again in future. However, I must buy smaller bunches...I now have three ripe bananas that no one seems to want to eat!***
My meal plan for tomorrow included strawberry shortcake. I decided to make a plain yellow cake as the base. I used the same recipe I made in February for our baby birthday cakes. It was so good plain that I figured it would be equally as delicious as my shortcake base. I usually prefer a real shortcake (sort of an overgrown sweet biscuit) but the truth is it's a bit messy to cut and serve. The yellow cake will cut nicely and if there are leftovers I can frost the rest of the cake for our own use.
John asked I make beef stew. The day dawned rainy and cooler, perfect weather for stew in my opinion. The package of beef was more than we required for stew, so I put half in the freezer for shish kebab later next month.
John loves dumplings with stew. I surprised him and made some. I just dropped them into the crock pot and then clamped on the lid for 20 minutes. That's the trick with the thick fluffy type of dumplings. Putting on the lid and NOT lifting it for the full 20 minutes. No peeking allowed!
Noticed the cookie jar was empty. I had one last roll of cookie dough in the freezer. Too tired to cut and bake, I patted into a 7 X 11 pan and baked alongside the cake for the last 15 minutes, making good use of the oven temperature and time.
My skin has been especially dry of late. I find that showering every other day has been a help. I've been using Granny's method of bathing at the sink (she called it 'polka dot' bathing) and even washing my hair at the sink. I can't believe how much less water is required. I expect I'll keep it up until the warmer days come along.
I have a bottle of perfumed lotion that is just too strong to use on it's own. I bought an unscented lotion at the dollar store and mix just one pump of the perfumed lotion with two of the less expensive stuff. It 'dilutes' the perfumed lotion nicely and my skin appreciates the additional moisture.
A much needed reminder from a BH&G 1932 magazine: plan meals twice a week. The author recommends Tuesdays and Fridays, using leftovers from previous days in the menus. Her reasoning was that it was hard to plan for the unexpected, especially on weekends. I confess I used to do this and found I had a lot less waste in my kitchen. About three months ago I started using this method once more. Again there is far less waste and it's a good reminder to move to the freezer items I just can't use in a timely manner Just looked over my fridge and now my meals are re-planned through Monday... I've even made tentative plans for using up any leftovers after Oneg.
Despite the rain there's plenty of light in the house. We opened curtains and shades and are using the natural light to work by.
Set the houseplants on the back deck to get a nice spring shower.
Saturday: We need a hearty breakfast but not too heavy on Shabat mornings. That's a hard one for me to figure out usually. This morning we had Cheese grits and toast, a good mix of carbs with protein. It seemed to do the trick. Not too heavy so John isn't uncomfortable singing and not so light that we end up lightheaded and grumpy after our usual service time.
I thought to take out hamburger to thaw last night, knowing we'd want something for our supper this evening.
Sunday: We started out early today. We put the AC up to 75 and left the house fan running so the house wouldn't be too stuffy. We took off trash, filled the car and headed off to see the kids. We packed soda and water and crackers for a snack since the ride was a long one.
It was a lovely day for a drive. The redbud and other trees were blooming in earnest in the woods, the grass green, the air just cool enough and the roadways free of traffic. For what it cost us to go up and back (about 1/2 tank of gasoline) it was well worth the ride. The kids treated us to dinner and conversation. Daylight savings time kicked in last night which meant we could stay an hour longer this afternoon visiting.
Home again, and we debated supper choices. We opted for leftovers from Shabat dinner.
Monday: Prepared a meal here at home.
Washed a full load of clothes. No hanging to dry as indoor air was too heavy with humidity and pollen rampant outdoors.
I have three sets of sheets for our bed and cycle them so that we prevent wearing out so quickly. Works for our towels as well. I put out fresh sets of both to use today.
Called Mama. Was able to save a trip over there for two days more when I carry her to the doctor.
Had fun researching family history. I found many sites offer the same info as the paid registry sites for free. Lucky me, I found a cousin's complete history online which included many of my own relatives information (we shared great grandparents). It's been a pursuit that engrosses me for hours I'm afraid. I shall have to limit myself on this.
Tuesday: Chicken didn't thaw overnight as expected, so I put into the crock pot frozen. It works rather well just don't lift the lid and be sure to add some moisture.
Made bar cookies. Took note of the comments and decreased flour by 1/3 cup. The bars are very tasty.
Put leftovers away right away. Asparagus will go into quiche. Chicken for chicken salad.
Bagged chicken bones, skin, broth for use later when making broth.
Funny. I bought some el cheapo noodles that are pre-seasoned for pennies a package a few months ago with a good sale/coupon combo. Used a package today as a side dish. John loved them! I'll definitely get a few packs more since he finds them so tasty.
Washed a full load of dishes.
Caught water in a larger container and washed dishes in that. When it came time to soak the crock pot I put the water into the crock pot rather than just pour it out.
Wednesday: Turned up AC to a higher temp since no one was going to be home today.
Scooped up the pet food when both dogs turned up their nose at the idea of breakfast.
Watered plants this evening with saved water.
Put dollar bills from change given to me today into the vacation fund. It's $4 happier.
Used a volumizing spray and perfume that Katie didn't care for herself. She gave them to me on Sunday.
My supper: leftovers.
Thursday: Off to do grocery shopping for Mama today. Seemed a good time to scan my own list of needs and see what I should pick up for the weekend. Went over sales sheets too to see if there were special sales I should take advantage of this week.
Restrained myself from overbuying at the grocery store but one impulse purchase went into my buggy: the Spring 2012 issue of Country Home magazine. I love this magazine! I looked in vain for a winter issue, after finding the Autumn one. It was worth every penny of the splurge for me. This is why I work to save money. So I can indulge myself now and again with things I really like.
What I didn't buy today: overpriced bulbs in bloom in pots, plants that I have had no luck with whatsoever in the past, and herbs that I knew it was too early to put out in pots, no matter how hot the weather is just now or how determined to be Spring. Too many chances yet of frost. I'll just wait until the season is right and save my money.
Joy: finding my petunias that overwintered on the front porch in bloom this evening. They scented the air around me.
Mixed my well loved German decaf coffee with a less expensive but good decaf coffee to stretch it out. Little difference in flavor and it makes the good stuff go a lot further.
When I took Mama's groceries by her home to put away, I discovered that she already had yogurt in the fridge. One cup expired in January (tossed that), one expired four days ago and one expired today. I took those two home with me because I knew she'd toss them. I left her six cups of yogurt with further expiration dates that I'd just bought.
While at Mama's I 'worked ahead' and took care of some tasks that she had mentioned would need to be done when she got home. It was just a matter of minutes work but will save me leg work later on when I'm more tired.
Hurried home and had lunch of leftovers for my dinner. No stopping for fast food or picking up deli items. I spent the money I'd have paid for takeout on two items that John considers a treat. They were on a good sale and I'd rather have a stash of snacks than have to turn around and pay full price next week when the sale is over.