Monday, September 9, 2013
A Year of Savings: 2013
September 1: I thought today was going to be my 'rest' day since yesterday wasn't but I'm afraid I got caught up in being busy doing things about the house and I worked all day long! I think it's the time of year, regardless of the heat, I feel rather energetic.
I washed the items I bought at yard sale and estate sale yesterday. It's amazing how much nicer things look without the coat of dust on them. I must say those from the estate sale were nicely cleaned before they put them out for sale. I've found with greasy grime that a dab of dishwasher detergent on my cloth will lift the greasy film. I always test first in an inconspicuous spot to be sure it doesn't bleach out any color, but it seems to be safe on non-cloth items.
Cooked the last piece of steak from the freezer. It's been nice to have steak every couple of weeks all through these summer months and it just took thinking properly about it to do so. We've plenty of beef yet, enough to last all this month I think. I think that puts four months again for shopping, so that is working out to just three times a year at an average of about $30/month for beef. I've looked at steak in other stores, not because I want to buy it but to price it. Do you know that two steaks for us would nearly cost us what we spend on beef for a month?! No wonder we felt we were straining our budget...
Shopped at home: mayonnaise, coffee, soda, baking powder, Powerade, flour, macaroni, spaghetti, tomatoes.
John likes to have pudding in his lunch bag for a snack. I buy a box of instant pudding, mix it up and then pour into glass jars, cap with lids and refrigerate. Since he keeps his bag in a fridge at work, I have no fear of the pudding spoiling and he has a cool treat. Pudding cups cost about $2 at the grocery. My box of pudding and 1 cup of milk comes in at about $.75. Savings: $1.25
Boiled eggs to make eggsalad for tomorrow's work sandwiches. I set aside two boiled eggs for my own supper. At $.10 each, with a slice of toasted bread that's a nutritious, filling supper for about $.21. The egg salad replaces the necessity of purchasing luncheon meat. Savings: $3.29 (cost of luncheon meat minus the $.40 for the eggs).
We had Harvest Morning. John got his check Friday evening due to the holiday but he was so tired Saturday morning that we delayed the work of bill paying. Tomorrow he has a limited window of time at home. Nice to know all our bills are paid for the next two weeks.
I'd meant to do any number of jobs this evening, but electricity went out. At least we saved those kilowatts for 3 hours it was out! The quietness of the house and outdoors just soothed me right into a nap.
September 2: Labor Day and all I've done is labor! John took a half day extra shift. Yea for a bit of overtime! We don't see that much anymore. The extra will be appreciated as a boost to our account.
Made for the freezer today: 1 1/2 quarts chili, Spaghetti Diable casseroles (made 1 recipe, split it for us as it serves 6), 1 Macaroni and Cheese, 1 poundcake. That's five freezer meals for us, convenience foods to heat and eat. Including dinner for tomorrow, I spent about 1 1/2 hours in the kitchen cooking and clearing up. My costs were under $8 including the poundcake for all those entrees. I figure if I'd bought the entrees on sale at $3 I've saved $7 and that included dinner for Tuesday and a cup of chili for my lunch today!
When boiling the macaroni today, I put it in a steamer basket and lowered that into the boiling water. It has handles so I could lift it out when the pasta was just a little more than al dente. Into the still boiling pasta water, I dumped my spaghetti for the casserole dish. So nice not to have to boil water twice and I felt clever as could be.
Looked up prices on pieces for the booth this evening. I did really well on several items based upon value per a variety of sites. I don't simply go buy what these items sell for on eBay. I look at Etsy, collector's valuation sites and more and try to average out the prices but I should make a good profit on a few things when they sell.
Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
Watered plants with water saved from John's water bottles.
Used the water I boiled eggs in to 'feed' the African violets, orchids and the little coleus that came up.
September 3: Spent the morning out running errands and thrifting. I was pretty disgusted with the heat and humidity and the lack of air conditioning overall. I found a few items. One was an especially nice needlepoint with a faded 1990's dusty rose mat. I went into Hobby Lobby and picked up a standard size mat that fit perfectly, freshened the print entirely and cost only $2 in a lovely medium green. I've earmarked that for the booth, so can't call it 'savings' but it amazes me how lovely that piece looks with a new mat for such a small cost.
I wandered Hobby Lobby for only a little while. I had a list and pretty much stuck to it. Every single item I bought has been on my 'needs' list for sometime and every item was on sale for 40-50% off. My savings $15.
Went into the grocery for milk, lettuce and beef breakfast sausage. I discovered an unadvertised sale on our favorite hot dog brand so got two packs. Savings $6.
John and I normally have a take out meal on Harvest Tuesday but I made one of his favorite meals yesterday: Chili Mac while I was batch cooking. He got called back into work (overtime 2 hours), and arrived home just minutes after I did. We ate our home cooked meal. Savings $10.
Spent another afternoon working. I meant to quit after John left for work but didn't until nearly 8:30pm. Oh well, I'm getting loads done.
September 4: Made an old favorite budget meal for our dinner today: Deviled Chicken Legs, Backs, and Wings. I saved these pieces and froze them Saturday when I bought those whole chickens. We'll get two meals from the dish (serves 4 nicely). Have you ever eaten the back piece of a chicken? There's more meat than you'd think on it.
Made my own fresh bread crumbs from rolls I'd stashed in the freezer: savings $.20
Worked all day today mopping, cleaning, changing bed linens, labeling and inventorying latest items to go to booth.
Supper was grilled cheese sandwiches.
September 5: Grocery shopping today. I'm doing very well with my new budget of $350/month (after many many months of struggle to get it to this level). In fact, I had $10 left in my pocket today when we'd finished shopping!
We usually grab a bite to eat from a dollar menu while we're out but today, we skipped and came home to leftovers (Chili Mac, Chicken Diable). Savings $10. Had one serving Chicken Diable left, so I put it right into the freezer for a future fast supper/lunch.
Promised myself that I'd rest this afternoon but John decided to mow the lawn and I decided while he was out of house, I'd get busy and do all the housework I do in preparation for the weekend. I did everything except sweep floors and vacuum.
September 6: Change of menu: I took the hamburger, green beans and potatoes on today's menu plan and turned it into a different meal, using the same components. Bonus: I have leftover meatloaf for sandwiches (savings $3.69 for luncheon meat).
Started to buy marshmallows yesterday but decided to stick with my partial jar of marshmallow cream. I used that today in my dressing for a fruit salad, which was very good, much better than marshmallows! Savings $.99.
My vegetable dish called for Italian dressing. Don't have any except homemade. I added a few pinches of herbs and a little chopped onion to the homemade dressing and poured it into the pan. It worked perfectly, tasted even better than the dish does with the bought dressing. Savings $.99.
September 7: A quiet day of sorts. Synagogue and then out to a proper sit down dinner. John covered this meal so no extra expense to us. We stopped on the way home to do a couple of errands, saving time and gasoline later in the week. All I want to do from this point on is put up my feet and doze... Lovely day of rest!