Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thrifty Thursday -Pantry Freezer Challenge Month


The work done in my kitchen today...

Friday:  Up early and worked hard so I could have fun time today.  I chose to go shopping.  Nothing much on the clearance racks except a jar of raspberry jam.  I bought it.  I've been wanting raspberry bars again and boy are those jars of jam pricey.  This was well under $2 for a good organic brand.

Retail therapy for me today.  I haven't shopped anywhere except grocery and dollar store in about three months.  I bought sunglasses from the bargain rack, and new nail polish and a thin t-shirt to wear over camisoles in my closet.  And two hand towels for the guest bath in a pattern I fell in love with last year which I paired with bargain priced white bath towels.  Also two lampshades in the perfect size/color/shape for my lamps here at home.  I've been looking for shades such as these for over a year.  I knew better than to turn away from them though I wished the price were a tad lower. 

I kept lunch out to under $5 and came home to make pizza for supper which was less expensive than any take out option I could think of and just as much of a treat. 


Came home and put pizza dough on to rise, while I dressed my bath in it's new finery: a clearance priced shower curtain bought last year, the new towels, etc.  And had a thought while I was doing so.  This shower curtain is a lovely silvery gray color and just the perfect size for my single window in the guest room.  I only paid about $5 for it last year and it's a very nice heavy cotton.  I'll keep my eyes open for another equally as well priced in future in a pretty color or pattern.  The bath looked great.  I need to paint a couple items in the room and purchase at least two more towels and a runner type rug, but all in all, I'm very happy with it.  Not a bad makeover for under $25.

Saturday:  A stay at home day for me.  I felt I needed the rest time after fighting migraine for two weeks and not sleeping well. 

Turned on house fan in the early morning hours to bring in cool outdoors air.  That always keeps the house cool longer.

Good thing I was home this morning.  We had a storm that was heavy on lightning.  I unplugged the two laptops.  Everything else is on a surge protector.

Dinner was leftovers from the previous week as was supper.

Fed the dogs some items we'd not eaten that were in the freezer.  I let them thaw in the fridge and then put them out in the evening when it was warmer.  They seemed glad of the cool food and ate every  bite.

Packed John a work lunch of leftover pizza from Friday night's supper.

Sunday:  Washed a full load of sheets and towels and a handful of clothing.

Mama called and asked if I'd like to have dinner with her. We went to the next town over to buy chicken.  I needed to buy milk and picked it up while we were there.  We used her car for the trip since it sits a little higher than mine and is easier for her to get in and out of.

Mama kindly sent home leftovers from dinner today home with me as well as her Sunday paper which she'd already read.    I was given all the coupons  as well. What a blessing!

Made cookies.  I mixed up and baked Raspberry bars, using that bargain  priced jar of preserves.  I also mixed up a batch of shortbread.  The directions called for the dough to be chilled then patted out.  Since it's a buttery dough I knew it would be difficult to work with once chilled, so I gently patted out onto waxed paper and put in a plastic bag to chill overnight.  All I need do tomorrow is prick with a fork and bake.

The 'waxed paper' I used wasn't waxed paper at all.  It was a cut up cereal bag saved from one of our boxes of cereal.  Much sturdier than waxed paper for jobs such as this.  I use these sheets to wrap dough for the freezer, stack between hamburger patties that I make up to freeze, to top rising dough, and more.  I can wash and reuse several times over.  (Of course, I toss the squares used between hamburgers).

While out on the porch, I noted that the back of one of the petunias that had overwintered on the front porch had a lot of dead leaves.  As I stripped them away the tip with the flowers and fresh leaves broke off.  I stripped the stem back a little and planted that portion.  I did this the other day with two others and they seem to have 'taken', look as green and healthy as the rest of the plants.


  
Spent the afternoon trying to make an idea work.  I had all the materials for my project on hand and even though it turned out to be a failure it cost me nothing to TRY.  Now I know better what I need to make this work, I can look at thrift stores for the items.

I'd washed clothes before leaving home.  When I got back I dried them in two batches, the lighter clothes first and then the heavier items.  




Monday:  For all that yesterday didn't go the way I'd planned, things went along swimmingly this morning.  I was done with housework well before noon and so I settled to work with the coupons, getting them sorted and tossing expired ones. At the same time, I set aside those I knew could possibly be used for shopping on Wednesday.


Finally got around to doing what I'd meant to do two weeks ago: making asparagus soup from the ends I'd snapped from our asparagus.  I started by steaming them after cutting away the heavily woody ends.  I pureed in the blender with a bit of broth and strained into a pan where I'd cooked an onion until tender, then blended in flour and cooked to thicken.  I finished by adding chicken broth (homemade from the freezer) and about a cup of whole milk.  The soup wasn't as pretty as Campbell's soup in color but it was surely more tasty!


While in the kitchen, I washed well and then boiled a pound of chicken livers to make up Mock Pate.  I like this as a sandwich or cracker spread on occasion.  The broth that the livers cooked in went over the pet food.  My dogs ate every bite of their food today.


Pulled the curtains on the sunny side of the house to keep the heat out and the cool air cool.


Mopped this morning.  I don't pour my mop water down the drain.  Since I use a mild cleaner, I pour the mop water over my plants.  They  don't mind the cleaner one bit and it's a nice bonus drink for them.

John needed a fresh shirt for work tomorrow, so I washed a small load on a short cycle.  I hung everything to dry outdoors.  The pollen has pretty much died down so we can use the clothesline once more.

Washed a full load of dishes on the shortest cycle. 


Balanced checkbook.  Discovered an error from last bill paying cycle.  Thankfully it wasn't a bad mistake but it's good to know that I'm able to catch things like this.


While paying bills we added a bit extra to the car payment.  Electricity costs haven't yet risen, and we won't be buying more propane until September.  I asked John to use the amount we'd normally pay for propane to add to the car payment amount.

Tuesday:  Worked on shopping list and coupon matches.

Had to go to bank for grocery and allowance cash.  After looking over sales papers carefully I saw no need to go into local stores for anything.  I gathered trash and dropped that off on the way over to town.  I also made sure to take the shortcut which happens to be dirt roads.

John brought home a sandwich that he'd not had time to eat last night.  That became my dinner today and I ate more leftovers for supper.

Decided I really wanted a new look in my bathroom.  I hung some fabric over the rod to see how I liked the effect, took out the paint and painted a decorative item I keep on the counter.  While the paint brush was in use, I touched up the curtain rods in the dining room.

Didn't like the fabrics in the bathroom after all, but have a better idea of what I'd like to use now.  Glad I didn't sew before trying, something I have done in the past and regretted.

Changed the air filter in the AC today.

Wednesday:  Since the dogs aren't finishing off this bag of food any time soon, I bought cat food and added to the bucket to mix.  Less expensive than dog food and I'm sure they will eat now.

John and I shopped for groceries today. Not every item on my list made it's way into my buggy.  The website I'd used to match coupons and to create my lists was not completely correct on prices/coupons available in my area.  I bought those items that did match and netted me the best savings.  How did I do?  At Publix, I spent $117 and saved $72.  They didn't pay me to buy anything as they did the young lady two weeks ago, but I very nearly doubled my spending power so I was happy.

We bought lunch out but kept to a budget even so.  Sonic has a brown bag special meant for two that was under $10 including drinks and fries with the sandwiches.

We bought a bag of ice to split between our cold bags and insure that the cold items stayed cold.  I saved the rest of the bag of ice and we'll use that to take with us next grocery shopping trip.

Bought a turkey ham for under $3 a pound.  The end piece was put in the freezer to use as seasoning.  I'll have several packages worth of meat to use for sandwiches, once I slice it.  I had to buy sandwich meats for Mama today and I spent a lot more than $3 a pound for the packages she wanted.  


Told John I felt the AC wasn't working the way it ought.  He looked up trouble shooting guides online, washed off the coils and turned off the AC entirely allowing it to reset itself.  It seemed to work better throughout the evening.


Made sure to add all we bought for the pantry to that recently made up inventory sheet.  We added over half the items bought today to the pantry. 

Thursday:  A busy day in the kitchen.  I baked a dozen fruit muffins, a batch of biscuits.  

We hadn't eaten the oranges in a timely manner, and I didn't want to end up tossing them.  I did something I've done in the past: peeled and then sectioned.  These sections freeze nicely and make a very refreshing salad or dessert.  I've also used these orange segments mixed with peaches to make a cobbler which is very tasty too.

While processing the oranges, I decided to take care of the lemons I bought yesterday.  I zested them and juiced some, while slicing others to freeze.  the zest and juice will be used in baking and cooking, while the frozen lemon slices will be added to iced tea or water or soda.  I'll do the same with limes later today.
  
Dinner today was from the freezer, heated in the oven while biscuits and muffins baked. 

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Terri, I learn so many frugal tips from your thrifty posts! Thank you for being my thrifty inspiration. :)