Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Year of Savings: 2013

Nov 23:  Electric bill came in. We saved $40 over last month's bill.

Forgot to mention last Wednesday(?) I got an email from MyCokeRewards that the special of the week was a FREE 12 pack of soda coupon for 30 MyCoke points. I grabbed the deal.  That is a savings of $4.99.

Earned $10 gift card with a survey group, earned 2 $5 cards from Swagbucks.  All are being added to my Amazon account for help in purchasing Christmas gifts.



Researched affordable health insurance at Christian ministry sites.  I'm not sure how much more affordable it will be but there will definitely be less government involvement, so it is a possibility.

John worked an extra shift today.  This will nicely boost his check in 3 weeks.  I think we'll be able to manage a Christmas tree purchase!

Put on chicken carcasses to boil.  I've been saving them in the freezer.  I don't need to add anymore broth to the freezer at present but I do want to empty up freezer space. This should net me both broth (which I'll use for soup this week and for Thanksgiving Day foods) and some extra tidbits of meat. *later note:  I got SIX cups of nicey meaty pieces, plus enough skin and not so desirable bits of meat and gristle to feed the dogs and cat one full meal.  Savings: easily $7.   I figure $2 per 2 cup portion of meat and $1 for the pets.

John loves cranberry sauce from a can and so do I...but I really like homemade cranberry relish as well.  It's sooooo good on leftover turkey sandwiches.  I had a bag of cranberries in the freezer.  I'll just make a half batch even though this freezes well.  I'll use rest of the bag of cranberries to make muffins later this week.

Nov 24:  Up early this morning.  After John working a 36 hour shift I wanted to be Terri On the Spot with breakfast and hot coffee! I had time to do Bible study while the sun streamed through the kitchen windows.  That bit of  free time to study the Word is such a blessing to me!

John brought in the newspaper.  We'll save the cost of the paper just in CVS sales this next week alone. Savings $2.

I have a gas stove and though my manual says I can use oven cleaner in it, I'm leery.  Gas, toxic chemicals, BOOM, you know?  I had to clean the broiler.  I used dishwasher detergent which I find removes built up grease very well indeed and is easy to rinse clean.  More importantly, there is no danger of blowing up Terri or house.  Savings: cost of oven cleaner $3.


The broiler has always been ridiculously uncomfortable to use, as it sits at the very bottom of my stove.  After lying down on the floor to clean it today, I decided that not using it is the best option from now on.  I can use the grill if I want to broil anything and it's far easier to clean!  Savings: LOTS of aggravation!

Made Pigs in Blankets today for dinner.  I used homemade biscuits.  I had to mix up more biscuits, as the last batch served us for breakfast and supper over the weekend.  Savings $1.59.

Decided to not serve the potatoes on the menu. It just seemed the meal would be far too heavy.  Savings: two servings of French Fries for another meal.

Boiled a half dozen eggs.  These will make egg salad, serve as my supper and go in turkey salad.

Made egg salad and turkey salad this afternoon.  Savings $7 for lunch meats.

It stayed fairly cold today, not getting over 45 here on our property.  However, the sun coming in the western windows came in bright and strong and warming.  The heat stayed off until the sun went down this evening.  Cozy!  and a savings of electricity as well.

John hung clothes to dry outdoors this morning.  The air was cold but there was just enough breeze and sun to do the job nicely.

Nov 25:  Toasted leftover muffins instead of making toast.  My goal is to cut waaaayyy down on the foods I toss.  Admittedly lately it's more odds and ends of cooked foods and not produce but still...So we ate toasted muffins and they were GOOD!

Made Chicken Rice for dinner.  In our home this is made more as Granny used to make it.  It's inexpensive to make and filling especially on a cold blustery sort of day.  It's essentially a tender moist almost overcooked rice cooked in broth with a bit of celery and onion (I also add garlic and grated carrot for color and extra vitamins) and bits of chicken meat.  It's not soup as it's too thick, but it's also not starchy, sticky or mushy, but wet.  Hard to explain but so delicious and especially nice on a cold day.  I used 1 cup of rice and had about 8 cups of Chicken rice at the end of the cooking period.    It's cheap cheap cheap and I have leftovers after we ate heartily today.  This dish cost about $.50 to make!Savings $2.50

Made a batch of peanut butter cookies using frozen dough from the freezer.

Made out a grocery list.  Then I made out a CVS list and matched coupons to sales.

Put a pot of water on in the kitchen to add moisture to the air since the heat was coming on so often this morning.

Used the propane heater to off set the heat pump coming on so much.

John agreed to work another extra shift.  This is unusual both for him and for the overtime to be available but we will much appreciate the extra in this season.

Nov 26:  Oh grocery day!  A little early this week and not fun, not fun at all with the rain, cold, crowds...Nor prices.  I struck items off my list, I put things back that I'd put in my cart and I still came out over budget.  No savings today!  Well I made one savings.  I opted to not eat supper after a late dinner. Ugh.

Nov 27: Made an apple pie and a pumpkin pie, with homemade crusts.  I noted that frozen pies were on sale this week for $4.99, not a bad buy.  I expect my apple pie was the most expensive one to make and I'd say it cost me about $3.25 to make.  The pumpkin pie was much less expensive, costing me about $2.25.
Savings: $4.50 more or less.

Made sausage cheese balls.  I didn't need a full batch for tomorrow morning, but decided to make up the whole roll of sausage anyway.  I froze the extras, uncooked, and will have on hand for future.

I made stuffing for the turkey this afternoon.  I'd baked a full pan of cornbread but also pulled leftover pieces out of the freezer to add to the mix.  Used the poultry broth I made this week.

Heeded rather sound advice from my husband who told me to just let go of my desire to be perfect and slow down and enjoy the preparations.  He is so right.  Savings: harsh words, bad attitude and tears.  I even took a nap!  I didn't do all I'd thought I would but the house looks nice enough, the table is lovely, the food will be too much altogether and delicious as it is every year.  It was worth the savings!

I've got a problem with a kitchen drain that is a little slow.  I used baking soda and vinegar in it today, running hot tap water behind, used the plunger and allowed a half box of rock salt to run down the drain as well (that kills roots that might cause clogs in the drain lines).  What I didn't do: rush to town to buy a 'bottled plumber', Savings $5.  If it still seems sluggish I'll treat ALL the drains in the house the same way.  I used to do this once a month...

Nov 28:  Thanksgiving Day...And I must say it was a nice one, albeit very quiet.  Just the two of us but lovely in it's own way because we've only ever had about 4 or 5 Thanksgivings together.  When Katie was 2 John became an EMT and two years later a paramedic.  It seems that every single Thanksgiving from that day to this he's worked except two that I'm sure of...

I used homemade broth to make our gravy and stuffing (savings $2), set aside half the Brussels Sprouts(savings $1.69) instead of cooking them all, glazed the acorn squash with maple syrup, made cranberry relish using a half a leftover apple and an orange (savings $1) that was lingering simply because it was the very last one.  Those were savings.  We ate our meal and had leftovers for supper.  That too was a savings.  I carefully put away the leftovers.  Savings.

But today isn't all about savings.  It's about blessings, which can sometimes appear as savings, unexpected and planned, and sometimes it's just realizing the real things are so much more than the stuff that owns us.  The real blessings are spending time or hearing from those we love deeply  and with all our hearts.  It's knowing all is well within our own small world even while our heart aches for those who are saying goodbye for the last time.  

I am a woman who is mightily blessed.  I am foolish.  I don't always see the blessings right before me.  Sometimes I choose to not see them.  But I am indeed mightily blessed and deeply thankful.

Nov 29:  No Black Friday shopping for us.  We stayed home.  We worked hard.  John cleaned his shop and organized it and carted off a truck load of trash.  I worked in the house and added to his truckload.  Working hard has it's own rewards when you can look about you at day's end and see results.  We definitely could see results.

Made pizza for lunch.  I'd planned to make deep dish pizza, but I had some Challah bread that really needed to be used up.  I used it the way I'd have used French bread.  It was just as tasty and prevented a bit of waste.

Made fresh Challah bread, savings $3.59.

Poor planning on my part, I failed to check our supply of Channukah candles.  We ran out on Day 2...sigh which was Black Friday yetI happen to have a mega bag of tea lights.  We set up a pretty platter with tea lights and voila...a unique Channukaniah at no extra expense and without hazards of Black Friday traffic.  Savings $3.

Supper was our own choice. I opted for turkey and dressing with cranberry relish.  John chose cereal.


Total:  $67.86

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah oh! :( Your mentioning the muffins made me realize the marked down English muffins I bought last week at the store never got home. I will look again but know they are not here. I hope that is the only thing missing. I naturally threw out the receipt just yesterday. I too had drain problems and hubby asked if I wanted him to get some drain cleaner. I also said no and used the baking soda and vinegar and hot water. After that a bit of plunging and it worked. I did not do the rock salt though...not sure that would be good in our septic system. {?} . I used our supply of broth so the turkey carcass provided some to replace it. It was a good week here. Sarah

Karla Neese said...

Another tip on the slow drain - I have gotten to where in between baking soda/vinegar treatment once in awhile, I boil extra water in my kettle when making tea and coffee (I have a French press) and dump the boiling water down the drains when I do.