Thursday, August 30, 2012
Friday: We traveled to see the kids. I made my reservations earlier in the week using Priceline and saved a couple of dollars over the hotel's website prices.
Froze bottles of water, a bottle of milk and a bottle of grape juice. These did double duty. The frozen bottles kept our insulated bag nice and cold,, replacing the need of taking ice with us. The milk and juice were a planned ahead savings. Last trip we had to buy juice for our Shabat kiddush. I thought it unnecessary when we had a big bottle at home. I just refilled a well washed soda bottle. Milk, ditto. I like milk at night before bed. Why go out and buy milk when I had to pour milk from the jug I was about to freeze? I just poured into a well washed re-used soda bottle and froze.
Packed a lunch and snacks for the road trip.
We plotted a new route we hoped would save time if not miles. I think we did very well, since the new route avoided the one big city we had to drive through with multiple red lights and turns.
Checked into hotel room when we arrived in town, planning to turn on AC and allow the room to cool. I unpacked the insulated bag and put the water bottles in the room fridge. Those frozen bottles remained frozen!
Our first trip to view the kid's home, we were down on a Friday evening. I made up a portable Shabat kit: votive candles, a small box of matches, a sherry glass, and napkin to cover our bread. It's all kept in a 3x5 box and easy to pack up.
Saturday: Water bottles were still frozen. We repacked the insulated bag with the same bottles, knowing they would thaw on the way home so we'd have ready water to drink.
My smart daughter in law sent home a portable highchair, and potty seat with us. She picked them up at thrift stores. I'm proud my family thinks the way we do.
We headed home after lunch. Another alternate route was attempted. I loved this one as it went across coastal waterways and marshland for the first part of the journey. We made really good time and will likely use that route from now on.
John stopped for supper just before we arrived home. We'd talked about getting pizza and opted for small ones from Subway. Did you know that you can choose whatever toppings you'd like? I opted for chicken, spinach, bell peppers and red onions. Cost of that personalized pizza was $5 each (we ordered two).
We ate only half the pizzas and stored leftovers right away.
When we left home we'd turned the AC up to 80F.
Sunday: John washed a full load of clothes and hung to dry.
We bought fried chicken Thursday while we were out shopping. Meal two was a mix of dark meat peices, potato salad, green peas and corn muffins. I like to make potato salad at home rather than buy it from the deli. I cooked all six of the potatoes I had in my produce basket, but set aside half for later use.
Washed by hand (using a shampoo I didn't find suitable for my hair) several bras and hung to dry in the guest bath shower.
Planned the month ahead, since August is fading fast. This included setting up a calendar sheet of known events, personal and household goals. I'll take time towards the end of the week to plan a month of menus. I'm going to jot down some ideas for supper and breakfasts as well.
Monday: Errand day for us. John wanted to clean the car after our trip. We'd run into mating love bugs in the southern portion of the state and the front of the car looked fuzzy. We used the same car wash with the free vacuum that we like so well.
John went for a hair cut and I went into the grocery next door. We haven't visited this particular area in several weeks. I like Honeysuckle White Turkey Breakfast Sausage. Along about October it is nearly impossible to find. That's because the holidays are coming up. I bought ten rolls of sausage to store in the freezer.
Splurged on a $4 clearance bouquet. Lovely pink and green combo that lifted my spirits mightily (due to the overcast skies).
Spent the last of my gift card on Starbucks coffee. It's not a once a month treat any longer (more like once every two- three months lately) but I sure did enjoy that coffee.
John had offered to take me by Aldi to finish my interrupted grocery shopping trip from last Thursday but I decided against that extra trip. I bought dog food and fruit, cheese and sausage at the one grocery and felt that was sufficient spending.
We were out rather late that day. However, after we bought gasoline, I looked at the checkbook balance and warned John we were done for the pay period. We each checked our wallets and put ourselves on a self-imposed money diet. We'll limit spending to gasoline.
Hungry as we were, late as it was, home we went. It was tempting to stop for takeout but we didn't.
Watered the basil with saved water from hand washing and rinsing dishes.
Once home, I transformed a leftover into a meal.
While I was occupied with preparing a meal, John was attempting to fix a problem with our car: he'd discovered while vacuuming that a plug was missing from the trunk. We'd gone by the dealership to buy a replacement but they would have had to special order. A home grown fix that worked for us: a flat pop off cap from a gallon milk jug and a piece of foil tape.
Supper for this evening was leftover pizza.
Tuesday: I was ready to work this morning. I bought bell peppers last week on sale at the local grocery. A half pound of ground beef, mixed with rice, onion, seasonings and tomato soup filled the four peppers nicely. I made a divided pan from a foil pie pan and aluminum foil, put two peppers on each side and then slipped the whole thing into a freezer bag. I put that into the freezer for two future meals.
The last piece of fried chicken (one very large breast half), half a jar of pizza sauce, a couple of other items from the fridge were used to make a meal for dinner.
I put a bunch of fruit from the fridge on to boil with sugar for jam...and burnt it badly! No savings there and my pan was horribly burned, too. I put it to soak with dryer sheets.
Contemplated doing a load of dishes but there were two spots where I could put something else. I decided to wait until the dishwasher was completely full.
Fed the dogs a meal of food scraps and skipped dog food.
Wednesday: John did a small load of laundry on a short cycle and hung clothes to dry.
Loaded and ran a full load of dishes.
Off to spend the day with Mama. After stopping at a friend's home for Mama to get a free facial, we went out to eat at a favorite Mexican restaurant. I knew I'd never eat all the food in my order so I made up three burritos using a portion of the foods and asked for a to go box before I started to eat. That food served John and I supper this evening.
Mama had to go into the grocery. I knew I was on a self-imposed money diet but...No, no big splurges but I did allow myself a $20 (what I had in my purse) 'spree'. I picked up some things I like a lot but seldom indulge in: croissants, orange marmalade (store brand), plain yogurt (to use as starter) and a couple of sales items (one to put up for the twins when they visit next weekend. Cabot's Vermont Seriously Sharp cheddar blocks for us). My total was $21. I think I did very well and I avoided the obvious impulse purchases (cookies, candies, junk foods and overpriced magazines).
Thanked Mama for the magazines she'd set aside for me.
Packed John a work supper of leftovers.
Thursday: 'Shopped the pantry' and brought out coffee, bread and milk from the pantry/freezer in the craft room closet.
Took a friend's advice and tried the baking soda and simmering water method of reviving my burnt pan. It worked beautifully! I was so pleased to not have to toss that pan.
Refilled washed soda bottles with water.
Although I baked two potatoes for our dinner, they were so very large that I felt one halved was more than enough for this meal. I'll make twice baked potatoes with the other one.
Put a small roast into the oven to bake in a covered casserole. Placed potatoes in oven alongside. It is so much cooler that having the oven on was no hardship at all.
Made a salad and decided to warm the leftover Garden peas from Sunday's dinner to use in the salad. I thought it would be a fun twist on peas and carrots to put them both in the salad.
Made homemade dressing to go on the salad.
With the potatoes and salad I found we only needed about 1/3 of that roast (about 1 1/4 pounds before cooking) each. I'll make another meal from the leftover portion...Another leftover makeover to feature!
Fashioned a dessert from graham crackers, the lone banana, a box of vanilla pudding mix and some of the homemade chocolate fudge sauce. I called it Banana Sundae pie. It was very tasty and we've enough for two more servings tomorrow.
John showed me a trick this afternoon that made my task (cleaning out the broom/trash closet) easier. At some point gum had gotten stuck to the floor and I'd ignored it forever, but couldn't stand it any longer. John sprayed the hardened gum with WD40 and I let it sit for about a half hour. Then I went back and used a putty knife to scrape it up. Wonderful! It saved a lot of labor on my part.
Just a quick glance as I walked past a kitchen counter and I saw the beginnings of an ant infestation. I looked hard enough to note their point of entry and sprayed the area down. I find the natural stuff we bought requires a couple of applications to really work. I went back about two hours later and sprayed it again and yes there were a few ants there again. I'll check again before going to bed tonight.
Stripped the bed and flipped the mattress. I marked my mattress with permanent marker when we got it so I'd know just which side was "UP" every three months. I figure two days away from September is not a bad time to flip to the September position.
Washed the mattress pad. Made sure to set the timer on the microwave so I wouldn't forget I'd put it in. Why the microwave? Because our timer broke on the dryer a long time ago...and because I can hear that microwave go off just about anywhere in the house, making doubly sure I don't forget I've got an item in the dryer. I couldn't hang outdoors to dry due to the heavy humidity and occasional sprinkles this evening.