Friday, April 25, 2014

My Frugal Week - April 19 - 25



Saturday:    I had menus for the weekend all worked out. The best laid plans of mice and women who think they should have a plan...Before Friday evening had finished up my husband announced his desire to have steak.  Which was not part of my planned menu.  So I rearranged my menu and settled happily back thinking I had a great alternate plan.  And then I got a text from my youngest son saying he would be down to visit on Sunday which changed my plan for that day.  Never mind.  I rose to that challenge, too.

Breakfast was easy and simple.  Warm coffee cake, cubes of cheddar cheese, and half a banana.  John brought the banana home Friday.  He said he'd bought two Thursday while he was at work and ate only one.   I considered it a happy bonus addition to my foodstuffs this week.



I have become tired of always finding my coffee gone cold in my cup before I get a chance to drink it.  I've been using the many thermal cups we have on hand, some gifted to John, some that came with the coffee maker.   It's been awfully nice to have hot coffee even if I do let myself get temporarily distracted while preparing food for breakfast.  I can even remove a few of the mugs from the cabinet now that I seldom use them.

My menu for today used those potatoes I sliced and put into the fridge in cold water on Friday.  I made Pub fries from them, frying them after they'd been drained and dried.  I salt and peppered and sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley.  I wished I'd had some malt vinegar to splash on them.  They were perfect with our pan fried steaks with mushrooms.

Slicing and cooking the mushrooms used those up nicely.  I added a sprinkle of Thyme to the mushrooms.  It really does something to them.

I extended the last of the bag of salad John brought in from his lunch with fresh cut lettuces.  I do not like bagged salads but John does.  It is convenient for him to have at work, but I find that a day or two after the bag is opened the salad quickly spoils even though he keeps the salad in the fridge at work and in an insulated bag on his drive to and from home.  I was glad to be able to use this salad up before it hit that spoilage point.

John was not happy to discover we had no more peanut butter...nor was I.  I was pretty sure I had at least two small jars on the shelf but no, I didn't.  We used a rubber spatula to scraped peanut butter from the jar in the cabinet.  There was enough to smear across his matzah cracker.

I was not happy with the way my chair's slipcover always looked so messy.  It had a great deal to do with the cushion in the chair, so I removed the seat cushion and tucked the slipcover in neatly all around.  That left me with an uncovered seat cushion.  I dug about in my mending bag and found a cream colored sheet that I'd meant to make into a fitted sheet.  I wrapped the cushion with that and put it back on the chair.  It looks so neat and nice now and you can't tell the sheet is different from the cotton duck slipcover unless you stand right over it and look at it intently.

Gave myself an at home mani/pedi.

Sunday:  We haven't done anything on Easter Sunday in a number of years...so when John announced last night that he wanted to attend service today I froze for a moment.  I thought of all those pretty Easter dresses and my lack of anything save that new skirt.  And it was chilly and raining outdoors, too!  This morning wasn't much different when it came to the weather.  I found my 'new outfit' without looking too hard.  A blouse I've never worn though it is over a year old and a pair of neat looking lightweight gray trousers that are dressy.  It all came together very nicely. Not spring like colors exactly but I felt I polished up nicely.

We were supposed to stop on our way home and pick up a bag of salad for John's lunch tomorrow.  He even offered to purchase dinner since Sam and Bess were at the house (planned visit) and he knew I hadn't cooked prior to leaving home.  I had my resources.  A thawed rump roast in the fridge, a planned menu and the knowledge that while dinner might end being a little late it would be a good meal, worth waiting for.

When John decided he didn't want to stop to buy salad, I told him no worries.  We had plenty of lettuce at home, which I washed and cut and bagged  to go into his work lunch.  He'll pick up some deli roasted chicken for his meal tomorrow, but the snacks, salad and salad dressing are packed and ready as well as some mac n cheese he can heat in the microwave.

I didn't want to take time from visiting with my company to make dessert, too. I opted to serve the Cocoa Ripple Coffee Cake I made Friday with a scoop of ice cream.  Yummy compliments to each other since the ice cream was fudge ripple.

Big late dinner, light supper of cereal.

John washed a small load of clothes on  small load setting. I washed a full load of dishes on normal setting.

Monday:  Packed the majority of John's lunch.  I asked him to visit a deli and buy meat to go with his salad, since I had no time for planning and thawing.  I made him breakfast to eat before he had to leave.

Lots of work planned today. I started by mixing the shower cleaner: 1 part dish detergent to 2 parts vinegar.  This is a deviation.  Previously I've mixed equal parts of each but this stretches the dish detergent and there's no noticeable change in cleaning ability.

I had to wash water bottles and didn't want to put them in the dishwasher.  Since I was unsure which my son drank from and which were clean, I decided to soak them in soapy hot water with a couple of tablespoons of bleach added.  I let them sit for a bit while I did another task.

I thawed a single serving of Creamed Hamburger for my dinner and served over a baked potato.

Took a small freezer inventory of meats on hand and double checked my menu to be sure I had all I needed on hand.

I wanted to run an errand today but decided it can wait until tomorrow when I'm leaving home for an appointment. Same amount of gas to use but doubling the bang of my mileage.

I could pick up take out tomorrow while I'm out but instead I've worked ahead and prepared a meal to serve.

Brewed a single cup of coffee for myself.

I wanted a little something sweet so I spread lemon curd between gingersnaps and made little lemon ginger sandwich cookies.

Chopped some of the fresh parsley bought last week to use over my potato.  It's keeping very well in the fridge.  I put in a glass of water with a plastic zip bag over top to keep the moisture and humidity up.  It and the cilantro are vibrant and crisp.

Refilled water bottles and put in fridge to chill.  John will drink water if I can keep it cool and handy for easy pouring.

Tuesday:  Not a work day for us, as it was the final day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  I kept meals easy.  I made a substantial breakfast for John, since he was coming in from work.

I heated thawed Brunswick Stew, stirred in some leftover rice.  I made coleslaw and we had fruit.

I had to go into town for a hair cut.  I went into the local grocery to purchase bread (bought the sale loaves) and picked up the last two sale priced turkey breasts in the store.

I needed milk and eggs but they were very pricey locally and the lettuce looked horrible.  John mentioned going to do a personal errand in an area with better priced groceries.  I planned to stop at a store in that area.

Wednesday:   John and I gathered trash to take off when we went out.

John decided we needed to go ahead and make our meat purchase.  We took off trash, stopped at the post office to post a bill, and then went to fill up with gasoline.  Glad we did.  John discovered his wallet was still in his other pants.  We headed right back home to pick it up.

He stopped by a grocery where milk and eggs were far better priced than at our local store.

We purchased enough meat to last us another four months more or less. I often buy a little here and there (such as those turkey breasts) to help extend our beef purchases.  I noted that prices had not risen since January when we last purchased meats.  I was very happy to see that!  I also bought four chickens and had them cut into pieces.  I divided these when we got home, into what I believe are servings for us.

I typically buy sirloin steaks as steak for us.  Usually half  a steak is sufficient for two.  I noted yesterday that both steaks I'd chosen had a natural division down one edge that was smaller than we'd normally eat.  I had the butcher cut those pieces off and package them separately. These will be used for shish kebab.  The remaining pieces of steak are actually 3 servings each.  I'll make plans to remove one third before they are completely thawed  and use for stir fry or fajitas.

We normally buy bulk frozen vegetables as well as french fries at the meat market.  After using the fresh potatoes to make french fries  here at home, I've decided to continue to do just that.  Soaking in cold water (I put them in the fridge) and then dried in a dishtowel, they did not turn brown and crisped nicely.  By the way this is the Pub Fries on my menu plan earlier this week.  I sprinkled with sea salt, cracked black pepper and freshly minced parsley.  Malt Vinegar would have finished them off in an authentic manner but we had only apple cider vinegar.

We actually briefly considered stopping on our way home for a burger from a special place that we like...and then it hit us:  we had ten pounds of freshly ground beef on ice in the trunk of our car!  Guess who came home and cooked burgers?

Dried a load of clothes on the line.

Thursday:  Spent the morning working in the yard so little done inside this day.

Made new tags to put on a batch of items for the booth.

Planned to go into town today but I want to go out tomorrow so I'll let that one trip suffice.

John was so intent on the first mow of the season that he wanted to get right at it after dinner.  That meant a light lunch really, so we had sandwiches, fruit, chips and he got busy.

Later in the afternoon he checked tire pressure on both cars while before he came indoors, while the compressor was still out.  His tires were a little low and needed air.  I'm glad he checked as that is the car that gets the most use in mileage.  It will help save on gasoline.

BFS( breakfast for supper).  Made pancakes using the just add water mix.  Set a half cup of the batter aside to use in making onion rings later in the weekend.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Friday:  Up early.  Packed John a work lunch and made him breakfast.

Made myself a good breakfast.  I had a work day in my booth ahead and I didn't want to be hungry before the job was finished.

Carried along a bottle of water.

Dusted, rearranged, inventoried and restocked.  I can't get another thing in that booth until something sells.  Noted a few items had sold this month, likely not enough yet to make rent, but fingers crossed this festival weekend will help.  Noted that people were drifting into the shop all morning long while I worked, so the traffic is good already.

I bought a piece from another booth owner this morning. I put it on lay away.  It's a solid oak desk chair, the sort the teachers and libraries used for years upon years. I'll put in the kitchen at my desk there, move the rolling chair to my sewing machine table in the craft room.  It was only $30 and if it had been allowance day I'd have brought it home today.

The shop owner came over to peek at what I was putting in the booth.  She felt I'd priced one item too low and pulled it up online to prove it.  She was right!  I increased the price on the item.

I meant to go thrifting today, but the booth was full, I still have items here at home to put in, so I decided instead I'd go get lunch and then ride by to look at the discount grocery flowering plants.  After lunch I found myself broke, lol.  I had less cash than I'd thought.  Not a bad thing.  It made me turn around and come right back home and postpone plant buying for this weekend at least.  Maybe next week...

Brought a portion of my lunch home in a take out box.

Made two loaves of Challah.

Made up a batch of chocolate chip cookies from freezer dough.

Washed a full load of clothes and hung most of them to dry.  Those that went into the dryer were timed to be sure I didn't let them run for too long.

John got a call from the pharmacy saying he had a prescription ready...only it was the wrong time of the month.  Before making a trip to the next town, I called.  No prescription.  Must have been a glitch in their automated system.

My supper tonight was peanut butter crackers and a soda.  I wasn't terribly hungry and didn't want the lunch leftovers (they'll do for tomorrow night).

That's my frugal week...How was yours?






5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love it when you describe your cooking method like you did on the french fries! Many times I am left wondering how you cooked or prepared some of your dishes. And the idea to use the bit of pan cake batter for onion rings!!! So smart!! Thanks! Our week so far is very good. Our favorite treat is on sale this week at the grocers. It only goes that low a few times a year. We also decided to buy a few meats since the other store had them again on the lowest price. With just the 2 of us we too don't eat that much. So a package of chops or whatever makes quite a few meals. One nice size chop is a meal for the two of us. Between that and low meat meals it goes pretty far. So far our meat prices are higher than ever but it makes me challenge my ingenuity to come up with way to use the cheapest but nicest cuts. Just in case prices keep rising I am trying to learn more recipes and ways to cut down. As of now many cuts and that includes steaks are out for us. Yet there are still extra good sales off and on and marked down meats if you get to the store in time that is!! :-) Only one store Target, had eggs on sale recently. I would have usually jumped on that sale! I had decided though to buy ours from now on from our friend who raises chickens. This is part of her income and the eggs being so fresh too are worth the excess we think.
I do have a question. When you make your cookie rolls for the freezer do you use any special recipe? Do you use any regular chocolate chip recipe adding the chips before freezing? I remember I used to make refrigerator cookie rolls using certain recipes which I can't find right now. I don't know if you need any certain type recipe to do that or just these recipes I had mentioned using them this way. I used to make the dough and roll it cookie size and then freeze them. Take them out, defrost and cut the cookies and place on a cookie sheet to bake. I want to make some for us and some to give my daughter for her family. Till next time.... Sarah

Rebecca said...

You always have so much information on your posts. Golly! I find myself scratching my brain on Friday morning trying to think back on what (if anything) I might have done! ;-)

Happy weekend!

Kathy said...

Sounds like a very frugal week! Thanks for sharing with us!

Your pub fries sound delicious too. I'm going to have to try soaking the potatoes in cold water before frying. Thanks!

lisa mickey said...

Terri,

I just noticed your front porch pic.. it looks almost like mine :-)
same railing & ceiling :-)
almost the same chairs too..

funny that.

lisa

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

The pub fries sound good! When I read ice cream I had to get up and get myself a small bowl :)