Friday, April 20, 2012
Thrifty Thursday - Pantry Freezer Challenge Week 3
Chinese Takeout...Terri style. Homemade Chicken Fried Rice and Egg rolls...I figured I made 20 egg rolls for about $3.
Friday: I meant to stay out of town today and certainly didn't mean to spend any money at all, but I did and I'm not the least bit sorry!
It all started with CVS who called to say our prescriptions were ready. I'd have put off going but I knew I'd forget entirely by Sunday which would be my next opportunity to go. I went to the drive thru window at CVS to avoid temptation.
Washed and vacuumed the car at the car wash in town. It cost me $5 but for that price I also got the interior cleaned up. That doesn't happen when I go through the automated wash at the gas station even if I choose the 'extras' package. I also sprayed on wax to protect the car.
Went by another store in town and got two rose bushes for $5. This seemed a reasonable expense for roses and I do enjoy them so much. I think I'll pick up two more next week.
Found a comforter for our master bedroom. It was reasonably priced, bed in a bag and will match our current drapes in that room.
Stopped at the local flea market. I found the buffet I've been dreaming of ever since we moved the dining table into the proper dining area. It was part of a set of furniture but I asked if they'd consider separating. It took a phone call to the shop owner but she readily agreed. And the asking price was low $75, $65 if I paid for it today. I looked up similar ones online when I got home and I truly got a HUGE bargain on this piece of solid wood furniture. John and I will pick it up on Thursday.
Made homemade corn dogs for our meal. Since we use a premium hot dog brand (I like Nathan's) my savings isn't huge on this but I do control exactly what is in my hot dog this way. Made enough for two meals.
Saturday: Katie came home and offered to treat me to dinner out. Even as hungry as I was, I couldn't finish my entree. I brought home half my sandwich for John's work lunch.
Didn't stick hard to my budget while in Target but I did have cash to pay for most of the items bought. I bought a bulk pack of bath tissue that was very well priced this week. I figure I got about 1 1/2 packages free at this price.
Sunday: Buyer's remorse? Maybe so. I took the comforter from the bag today and tossed over my bed. It's going back. Why? Because I settled. It was 'good enough'. The truth is I have plenty of good enough. I want to really really like my next comforter. So I folded it nicely and put it back in the bag. I have the receipt taped to the top.
Made the egg rolls today and chicken fried rice for my dinner. I put 16 egg rolls into the freezer after I made John a work lunch.
Yesterday morning I picked up a book on my kitchen desk and began to read...and even though it was published in 1924 I've learned a thing or two from it already. Like not keeping your bulk storage items in the kitchen. The reasoning is that if you see the bulk amount you'll be tempted to be a little more extravagant whereas if you have only a canister or jar full you'll be more prone to follow proper measurements.
Opened the windows this morning and let the cool fresh air waft through the house. I think fresh air energizes the interior air.
Hung my Cathedral Window quilt to dry outdoors.
Made sure to take clothes out of dryer when the timer went off.
Monday: Open windows again today. The morning air is so much cooler than the house is when we get up. It's refreshing to have that cooler morning air in the house and it keeps the AC from coming on until later, usually around 2pm.
Carefully went over the refrigerator contents to be sure nothing was pushed aside, hidden, etc and waiting to spoil. I moved a couple of items to the freezer after packing John's lunch.
Didn't much feel like work today but pushed ahead anyway. I find it's always a good idea to know about what I think I'm going to buy at the grocery.
Sorted coupons and clipped and organized.
Two days in a row now, I've gone nowhere at all. Nice savings on gasoline. I have the same tank of gas we put in Sunday of last week.
Tuesday: Ran errands. Took back the comforter I'd bought Friday. Took off trash. Stopped at Mama's to pick up my yeast and give her the items she'd wanted from the grocery.
Some of the items Mama wanted were in my pantry and freezer and I saw no need to go buy them. She often buys and shares foods with me. It was nice to be able to do the same for her in return.
Happened to catch the store owners in town working at unloading sale items. I was able to arrange an alternate time to pick up my buffet.
A treat we enjoy is the occasional purchase of KFC chicken. I usually opt for the 2 pc dark meat snack, which is priced well under $5 in our area and is just enough chicken for us.
Wednesday: Grocery day. Checked to see what was on sale at Publix before leaving home. Had a short list of items that would fill holes in my pantry.
We shopped at both Publix and Aldis today. John and I had a talk later after shopping at Aldi's. Without fail we have liked the majority of the items we buy. I don't care for the cheese flavored tortilla chips but every single item we've bought otherwise has been as good or better than the name brand comparison items and almost without fail are considerably less than the same item at the standard grocery. John suggested I shop exclusively at Aldis and just use Publix/Kroger/CVS to fill in holes, instead of vice versa. I think this might well be a good idea and mean to give it a try.
We bought one of the pizzas at Aldi. It was so big that we cut into quarters and froze half of them.
Put a turkey breast into the crock pot to cook all afternoon long. I'll make sandwiches for a packed lunch from some of this meat.
Froze several bottles of water and a bottle of milk for a short trip we'll be making this week.
Thursday: We packed an overnight bag and left home this morning. We ate breakfast at home, and stopped mid-afternoon to eat our home packed lunch. I packed enough food and water for the return trip home, too.
We booked a hotel room online, getting a very nice discount. It's a no frills sort of place but nice enough for us to plan to return here when the kids move cross country.
Noted that there is a free continental breakfast here. And free coffee and cookies in the evening. We'll be taking advantage of those things.
We'd meant to have supper at a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel but found it closed. John and I chose an alternate place that has a modest price and would allow us to get vegetables for a balanced diet.
There's a specialty coffee place within walking distance too..but at least for tonight we opted for coffee here in the hotel. I think we'll stop by there on our way out tomorrow morning though. I haven't had my monthly coffee treat yet this month.
We skipped dessert at the restaurant. Complimentary coffee and chocolate chip cookies at the hotel sounded nice to us and we had the pleasure of seeing a pot of coffee made just for us.
Friday: We slept very well indeed considering we were away from home. I am convinced by this hotel's down alternative comforter and pillows that they are worthwhile investments.
We had breakfast at the hotel, complimentary continental style breakfast. It was lavish enough to suit the fussiest and we aren't even fussy. Good food, good coffee, nice carb/protein mix for us.
We filled a zippered bag with ice from the ice machine to keep our foodstuff cold. I packed enough sandwiches and fruit for us to have a picnic lunch on our way home.
I did buy bottled water on our way out of town. I think while I'm perfectly happy to bottle our own tap water that I shall consider buying a 12 pack of water to carry with us next time for the following day. We could easily chill them ourselves. It would definitely cost less than buying individual bottles. I don't care to reuse bottles I've had a drink from unless they are washed in the dishwasher, so that is why I didn't refill them there.
We stopped at a rest stop and had a lovely picnic meal accompanied by a chorus of hungry finches who shared our Cheetos and bread crusts. John was much amused by the 'baby' bird who was as big as parent and hopped along side opening mouth wide so he would be fed.
I was curious and looked about. The majority of the folks eating lunch were older people, much older than John and I. I wondered at first if that was because it's a weekday and they were retired (while this is our 'off' week) but watching other cars, I noted that those with teens or adults our age were using the vending machines for snacks. And I recalled how many families had been walking into or out of the fast food places near the exits where we stopped. Maybe we just have a mindset that is more similar to the older folks despite our age.
We made a side trip on our way home, taking a short cut across a couple of counties to go to that wonderful meat market we went to in February for the first time. I bought several cuts of meat but assured John as he watched worriedly that I had a budget in mind and would stop when I reached that point. I not only stopped short of the budget limit, I had plenty of room to buy steaks for his dinner tonight. Which he cooked since I budgeted them in, lol. I love when we have an exchange of mutual fondness, lol. Couldn't help but note that our two steaks were less than our modest dinner last night...
We washed a full load of clothes when we got home.
Enjoyed our week of savings...Can't wait to see how I can save next week!