Saturday, December 7, 2013
A Year of Savings - 2013
Nov 30: We skipped eating out on the way home from synagogue today. Instead we came home and had leftover Turkey in sandwiches. Savings $16.
Filled up my car for the first time since our trip down to Kingsland two weeks ago. I'd been especially careful and used only 1/2 tank. Savings $32.
Dec 1: Made breakfast sandwiches at home for our breakfast. Our homemade version of fast food saves $4.
We were gone all day long today. I stopped to buy my favorite apples on the way home. Not cheap but goodness, two of those pretty babies could make a pie!
We could have stopped for supper but didn't. Came home and made sandwiches instead, cut one of those fresh apples. Lovely. Savings $5 (for NOT buying the Subway).
Dec 2: It was a catch up day of work today. I worked steadily all morning long. John encouraged me to nap that afternoon. I must have been far more tired than I realized. I woke about an hour and a half later and I was still sleepy!
I hadn't planned meals...always a failure. I did a freezer inventory this morning and happened to know just exactly what was in my big freezer. I came up with a quick to fix meal idea that used frozen beef sausage. I didn't use the whole package of sausage. I set aside a portion for breakfast one morning. Small savings $1.25.
I tossed several items from the freezer. Things I know full well have been on my inventory list for upwards of 18 months, odd bits and pieces of things I could no longer identify. It wasn't too great an amount thankfully.
I added two pans of dressing and added sliced turkey to one of those for an easy freezer entree on a busy forgetful day. Frozen entrees can be bought fairly reasonably if you look for sales and coupon combos, but my homemade? Tastes much much better and saves at least $4 for every entree.
Inventory done of the big pantry shelves. I was worried I would find a lot of expired items. Didn't. I am pretty safe overall, most of the foods in our stock don't expire until 2015 or 2016. I made sure to put this list in a notebook where it will not get lost!
Washed a full load of clothes. Most were hung to dry.
John offered me a year long gift subscription to a genealogy site. We researched and determined that Archives.com was the best choice for me as far as what I'd get and what was affordable. I ordered the subscription this evening.
Dec 3: We had a full day out planned today. We planned our routes and carried along a list. Stop one was credit union for Christmas cash. John said he'd been saving this all year long. Yea John! I was worried about how we'd manage but I shouldn't have worried. He'd covered it. I won't count as savings as we used it on Christmas gifts right away but it was like having 'free' money and I mean that sincerely!
Stop three: oil change and maintenance check for my car. Again, money we'd been saving a bit along. Stop four: Christmas shopping. I bought all but three gifts today. We came in under budget. We had enough extra in the house fund to purchase a new shredder, some storage boxes for John's shed and a new Christmas tree. All were purchased using funds already saved for just these purchases.
Stop five: I bought dinner for us from a portion of my allowance. Stops six, seven, eight and nine: making deposit to bank account to cover the Christmas spending, mailing off birthday gifts, dropping off bills. It was a long day. John said he'd love to buy a cup of coffee. I told him all we had to do when we got home was push the button the coffee maker, it was set up and ready to brew. Savings $2.
My Archives confirmation email never showed up in my inbox. I called my credit card company to see if charge was processed and they had a phone number for Archives. I called the group and soon had my confirmation email. They even adjusted my start date so I didn't lose a day. I am really impressed with their customer service!
Failure: didn't really plan for supper, nor thaw anything. Bomb bomb bomb. We ate a bagel but were hungry again in an hour, snacked again an hour after that. Noted. I will PLAN to have my menu plan handy and make sure we have foods ready to prepare!
Dec 4: Made a household executive decision this morning to not eat all of a can of corned beef hash. I decided to divide into two portions. Savings $1.35.
Shopped at home: milk, bread, tomatoes, shelf stable tortellini, canned mushrooms, and 1 gallon of milk. Oh yes, and one pound bag of coffee. I love these little 'shopping trips' right in my own home that save in so many areas at once!
Divided our dinner entree and put half in the freezer. I'd already reduced costs of this meal by halving the pasta, beef, and cheese called for in the recipe. I added the can of mushrooms to extend the meat. I realized looking at my halved recipe that it was still far too much for two. I put half of the unbaked item into a freezer pan and froze for a future meal. Savings: $2.
We ran out of Chanukah candles early in the season. I thought I had an extra box and I didn't. We substituted tea lights on a pretty tray to make our own Menorah and it's worked just fine. Tonight is the last night of Chanukah. Katie gave us eight star or David tealights a couple of years ago and we used those for our eighth night lights. It was lovely. And there's proof positive that you can 'make do' and still have something lovely!
Brought in some of my Christmas things from the shed. Also snooped around a bit and pulled together a few new items to introduce to the booth. I don't expect I'll get out to go thrifting but one more time this year and it won't be this week! Savings $12 using what I have to restock the booth.
I bought a bag of Christmas 'things' that appeared to be mostly greenery at a yard sale for about $.50. Today I finally opened the bag and discovered there were easily 12 or more floral picks. Some of the beaded fruit I love to use for dining table centerpiece, some jingle bells that will be fun on a wreath (can't you hear it jingling each time the door opens?), and just all sorts of others. I spent $.50 but I feel safe saying I bought at least $12 worth of floral picks (based on after Christmas sales prices). Savings $11.50.
Dec 5: Mouse in the house. Fortunately we had mouse traps and poison from last year's invasion. Now to just catch the sorry thing.
Slow cooked a roast on the stove top. I set half aside along with some gravy for another meal. I had extra gravy that I put in the freezer. With a little sour cream added it will be perfect over my second batch of Swedish Meatballs. Small savings add up to bigger savings and when I can't always calculate what those savings are, I remind myself of this.
Dec 6: Warm weather the latter part of this week. The AC has been running the past two days. I decided we needed to see savings in other areas if the AC must run. I made sure to cut out the lights, open the curtains to let in sunlight, combined errands when I ran into town, and even left off all unnecessary lights this evening.
I went into town to work on the booth. On my way, I dropped off trash, carried along a package to mail off, planned to go by Mama's and the grocery.
At the grocery, I noted 15 ounce cans of brand tomato sauce were on sale for $.99. I noted the store brand on the shelf was just $.59/ a can. I took the additional savings: $1.20.
I picked up a few extra items. Yes, I splurged a little. I made good profit at the flea market this month and decided nachos cooked in the microwave would make a quick, economical dish. I had all on hand except chips.
I was given a check for a Christmas gift. I went right to the bank and put in my savings account. I knew if I cashed the check, I'd spend on unnecessary things. I will plan my spending and not fritter the money away.