Friday, February 14, 2014

My Frugal Week- Feb 8-14


Saturday:  We had to leave extra early for Shabat.  I put a frozen entree in the freezer last night to thaw and reheat when we get in today.

We didn't stop for sodas, just brought water from home and got fresh bottles at synagogue and drank that.

Stopped at CVS on the way home to pick up prescriptions.  I stayed in the car and asked John to purchase the one other item I needed.  Since my grocery budget was spent, I didn't  look for sales to see if other items were tempting.



Came home and put dinner to heat in the oven.  Made a salad and a side dish and decided I wanted gravy.  I made it quick and simple: 1 cup hot water with a bouillon cube dissolved in then a little flour and pepper and heated in the microwave until thick.  Perfect, easy, cheap.

Skipped supper since we had a very late dinner...John went to sleep just before dinner was ready and when he woke an hour later he wasn't really awake yet.  He went right back to sleep after telling me he didn't want dinner (that's how I knew he wasn't really awake, lol).  He'd had a hard week and rest was needed so I kept dinner warm in the oven and let him sleep.

We turned heat down before leaving this morning and I didn't turn it up when we got home since the indoor temperature was 65F.  I even opened windows for a little.  We didn't turn heat up before going to bed either.

We used a lot of gasoline this week with lots of extra traveling but I still had about half a tank.  John offered to fill it up but I knew my only planned trip at present was to go into town to Mama's tomorrow.  I didn't see any reason why we should refill at that point and it can easily wait until next pay period when we'd normally fill up again.

Sunday:  Got up in the wee hours of the morning and turned heat to 67F as John had to rise extra early for work and I wanted the house to be a little warm for him.

Made him breakfast and packed a lunch for him to take with him.

Saved end pieces of bread to use to make a breakfast casserole for us one morning.

Divided the meat we purchased on grocery day, my first opportunity to tackle it.  The chicken breasts I bought were HUGE.  I put just one in each package.  I divided the ground turkey into 1/2 pound portions so I can use to make turkey sausage.  Put Italian Turkey sausages into individual bags, as one is plenty to flavor most entrees we'd make with them and I can thaw only as many as needed if we decide to have sausage dogs.

Mama gifted me with several items: 5 big Honeybell oranges, 1/2 a poundcake, 4 large pieces of fudge, half a bag of mini bagels.  The cake and bagels went into freezer.  The fudge has been halved into smaller portions.  The Honeybells are so large we'll likely only eat half each when we have them.

Mama and I spent the day out riding far and wide.  It was her turn to treat for lunch.  She refused to allow me to pay even the tip today.  We were in her car, so no extra gas usage for me.

I decided to skip buying a newspaper.  Mama always gives me her coupons and I just brought home a huge stack.  If I go out later this week for anything I'll see if I can buy a discounted Sunday paper if the coupons prove to be really good.

Monday:  John brought a portion of his lunch back home.  I told him to count it as tonight's supper and he agreed to do so.

Thawed the meats and proteins I'll be using this week.

Made out a two week meal plan using the items we have on hand at present.

Cut one chicken breast into four nice fillets.  We should have one dinner and two sandwiches from those.

Used one chicken breast to make our dinner entree.  There was enough sauce left over to make a second meal.  I put that in the freezer today.

Waste:  1 cup yellow rice I failed to put in the freezer last week.

Instead of cooking fresh spaghetti, I thawed and reheated some I'd frozen which I found while I was digging about in the freezer the other day.

Filed our taxes today.  We  paid the filing fees using our tags/taxes fund.  After tags this past week and the filing fees, that fund is now at $0, but that's why it's there.  Next pay period we'll be putting money aside in that fund and start building it once more.

It warmed up nicely.  I lowered the heat to 63 and opened the windows to let the house air.

Cleaning out my bedside cabinet today, I found some of my dad's file folders.  Glory be!  There was a wealth of family genealogy info there!

Tuesday:  Made up a batch of waffles.  I had a few leftover so put them in the freezer.

Made Valentines and sent them off to the kids.  I didn't have the right sized envelopes but used manila ones we've had for years.

We'd planned to go out today, but the weather turned off rainy and cold.  I took the Valentines down to our mailbox and let the carrier pick them up.

Macaroni and Cheese for dinner today.  I put half into two individual casserole dishes to freeze for another meal.

Used half an apple, some of the older grapes to make a fruit salad.

Made up a recipe of the Dinette cake.  I put a little melted butter (melted for the cheese sauce) and brown sugar in the bottom of two cups of my muffin tin, along with 1 tsp packed brown sugar.  I added 1 slice pineapple and some batter.  The rest of the batter was divided among the remaining ten cups of the muffin pan to make cupcakes for the rest of the week (Boston Cream Cakes).

We used propane heat rather than heat pump to keep the house cozy.

Wednesday:  Weather was miserable today.  I kept the curtains pulled and wore a pullover sweater over my usual t-shirt and tank.  I also put a kettle of water on the stove to add moisture to the air. I stayed cozy all day without raising the temperature of  the Heat pump.

John left for work early to avoid any ice on the roadway.  I made myself a simple breakfast of cereal later in the morning.

With inclement weather predicted, I ran some water in the tub for flushing and washing purposes should electric go out.

Some people run to the grocery store.  Me?  I do laundry and dishes.  I washed a full load of each today.

Spent some time doing an inventory of the back pantry and freezer and then updated my 'must use now' list, so that I can plan those items into my future menu plans.

Shopped at home: milk from freezer, mayonnaise, coffee.

Cold weather and a cold breakfast made me long for a hot meal midday.  All my plans were out the window for the day anyway with the weather, so I decided to spend time in my kitchen.  I made a little meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans for my dinner.

I filled my pan full of potatoes when I was cooking potatoes this noon.  I set aside 2 cups of cooked diced potatoes for hash browns for breakfast one morning soon.  I made extra mashed potatoes to go atop my hamburger pie I plan to make later this week, too.

Work done for the day I tackled some fun stuff: genealogy entries from my notebook full of notes I've made over the past year.

Made myself a single cup of coffee this afternoon.

Made two loaves of Challah bread this afternoon.

Went out to check on animals, put out fresh food.  The rain had soaked the bedding in their houses.  After shifting the houses to be away from the wind direction, I scrounged up some rags and old towels to make dry bedding for them.

As evening came in, I made myself a hot sandwich from the last of my little meatloaf.  A clementine rounded out that meal and I took one of the plain cupcakes and put a spoonful of lemon curd atop and popped it into the microwave for 20 seconds.  Then a dollop of whipped cream went on top of that.  Yummy, and perfect portion control.

Nothing worth watching on TV so I switched it off.

Plugged in pump house light before dark to keep the pump from freezing.

Went off to bed early and read a couple of chapters in my current book, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Thursday: When I woke the heat pump was struggling to keep the house up to temperature.  It had done a fair job but the bottom of the machine was caked with ice.  I turned on the propane heater, turned on the kettle of water to offset the dry air that creates.  The house soon was up to our usual temperature.

Made that yummy Butterscotch oatmeal this morning and served with peanut butter Toast.  There were snow flurries in the air when I went out to feed and water Maddie and Misu.  That oatmeal surely was good coming in from the cold!

I clipped coupons this morning and sorted out my files.  I set aside a few coupons for Katie and Sam to send to  them of products I know they use and I don't.

Watched the thermostat so I'd know when to cut down the propane heater.

Just before I was going to start dinner, John came into the kitchen and asked what I'd planned to make.  I told him and he said he was thinking of Pizza.  I try hard to be flexible, since he seldom interferes with my meal plans.  He offered to buy, but I know a trip into town means extra spending if I go into the grocery.  I offered to make a homemade pizza.  I had plenty of time to set pizza dough to rise and while it was working I shredded cheese, chopped vegetables and thawed the cooked Italian sausage I'd put in the freezer a couple of weeks ago.  It felt good to know I was giving him a meal he really wanted, had all required items on hand and could pull it off in about an hour's time.

I made up a batch of instant vanilla pudding and a 1/2 of chocolate ganache (so easy to make: melted chocolate chips and a little bit of milk beaten until smooth and fluffy) and made up the Boston Cream Cupcakes.

Shopped at home:  canned mushrooms and tomato sauce for the pizza were both in the pantry, as were julienne sun-dried tomatoes which boosted the Vitamin C and lycopene in the pizza.

I had leftover mushrooms. Mindful of my promise to stop wasting food, I put an address label on top of the jar lid with the date I put them in the fridge.  A helpful reminder and a good preventative method.

John washed a smaller load of clothing and hung all to dry.

Cut off lights once the wind blew away the clouds and opened the curtains to let in all that free natural light.

As temperature indoors continued to go up, I turned off the propane and let the heat pump keep the temperature level.  I really like my propane heater but if I have opportunity to buy another I plan to get one one with a thermostat setting so it doesn't just keep heating when the desired temperature is reached.

Turned the thermostat down to 64F for the night.   

Friday: We didn't turn the thermostat up until this afternoon when we returned home.  I set it at 67F then.  We used the propane heater this morning.

We combined errands when we left home today.  Trash, pick up mail, drop off some items at Mama's, get a hair cut and attend to John's music ministry commitment.

We were given a meal at the ministry where John played today.  He sang for our dinner!

Got free Starbucks coffees when we went into grocery.  It was their birthday gift to us.

Had to pick up cat food at grocery today.  I stocked up on turkey sausage which wasn't on sale this week but I get it when I get to the store, since we seldom go to that store.  I also walked down the vegetable aisle and found the pimentos.  I really like pimento cheese and very seldom have any pimento on hand.  I priced the jars. Temptation was to buy the 2 ounce jars (cost 99cents) but 5 ounce jars were $1.59, 7 ounce jars were $2.09.  I bought the larger jars since they were the best price per ounce.  I can freeze the pimento in ice cube trays.

Checked the kitchenware aisle in the store (Kroger) while I was there.  Just after Christmas I bought some woven plastic placemats that I really really like.  Number one they don't look plastic and number two I can wash them in the dishwasher (top rack) or sink with and they dry fairly quickly so they can go right back on the table.  I told John I meant to look for more and today I did.  I chose another color this time and got four of them, still marked down.  

Some kind soul placed two coupons atop the cat food brand I use.  I saved $1.75 courtesy that customer and I deeply appreciated it as I've seen no such coupons in my flyers of late.

We filled up the car on our way home.  We've done a lot of traveling in the past week and half, 450 miles in my car.  I shouldn't have to refill again for the next two weeks though, as all our travel will be routine trips and not special ones such as we had this past two weeks

John wanted ice cream.  He stopped at our local store and bought a half gallon.  That cost about the same as two sundaes from the local ice cream place and will net him ice cream far more often.

Picked up pet food when they didn't finish eating this morning so that ants would not get into it.

John washed a very small load of clothes this afternoon and hung to dry.

John's coffee got cold on the way home so he didn't finish it.  He asked if I would make him a single cup when we got home (after eating his ice cream, I think he got chilly, lol) so I did.  I set up the pot for tomorrow morning while brewing the cup.

We had leftover pizza from yesterday for our supper tonight.

We're about to usher in Shabat so this will end my Frugal week.

linking to Renaissance Frugal on Friday post and to Prudent Homemaker

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Banging my head on the desk! Why didn't I ever think of making 2 or 3 kinds of cupcakes out of one mix by putting them into muffin tins. Love the pineapple upside down idea and also the boston cream pie idea. Happy Valentine's day to you and your sweetie! Gramma D.

Anonymous said...

growing up my Mom would put planters with only water in them on top of the floor heat vents. She put gauze or net on top to I suppose keep bugs out of the water? :-) That way the water evaporated and naturally helped humidify the house in winter. She also set out wet wash rags on the bathroom towel bars. And also placed some other containers of water through out the house. Pretty planters or colored bottles look nice and no one knows what they are bring used for. Would that help your lack of humid problem without using fuel? Even drying clothes indoors hanging them on hangers on the shower rod would add humidity. Hope this helps. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I forgot to ask? Do you make your own sausages from the ground meat? Have you ever given us the recipe if you do? I don't remember. Ground turkey used to sell for a dollar a pound on sale and now it costs more than hamburger! Seems that every time a cut of meat gets popular up goes the price! Flap meat , London broil, organ meats, chicken wings, ground turkey and chicken + more. Still we can smile and keep on trying to put food on the table and be happy we can. We might have to change our menus and adjust and readjust. Yet in so many countries and homes in the U.S. too they wish they had to only adjust to eat.
Did you notice the robot words they give you to write in today? ...all Valentine related words!! silly :) Sarah

Melonie said...

I do the same thing when bad weather is in the forecast - wash the clothes and the dishes and linens and I'm a happy camper!

Rebecca said...

What a week!

When you said one chicken breast would last a meal and two sandwiches I about choked on my tea. Ahhhhh- those were the days! :-)

Good job packing water instead of stopping for sodas. I've been doing that too and it is surprising how tempting it can be to stop when you've gotten used to it!

Courtney said...

That was a great week. Boston cream cupcakes? Oh my. Yum!

MJ said...

what an awesome week you had.

amanda emerson said...

Looks like you had a wonderful week! I love your detailed list. I have been trying to boil water to add moisture to the air in our home. Do you have any idea how long I should boil it or how much water I should use? I have my list of frugal accomplishments here on my blog: http://lifeasmrsemerson.blogspot.com/2014/02/frugal-things-i-did-last-week_14.html