Friday, May 16, 2014
My Frugal Week: May 10-16
Saturday: Anticipating our morning out, I prepared dinner ahead on Friday and put in the fridge. Tuna pasta salad is easy, inexpensive and very hearty. John introduced me to this recipe years ago when we were employing every possible money saving food stretching idea we could.
This week the pasta salad included: chopped green olives, red bell pepper, vidalia onion, home grown carrots as well as a single can of tuna, mayonnaise and mustard, salt and pepper.
The carrots were a surprise. I was cleaning out flower pots and went to pull up the carrot tops that I'd left in the pot all winter long. Here's what I found when I pulled them up:
I also added in fresh chopped parsley to my pasta salad. That is the same parsley I purchased for Passover Seder plate. I've kept it in the fridge, in water, covered with a plastic baggie (not closed, just covered) and it's as fresh and green and appealing as it was the day I bought it. So is the cilantro.
This dish ready made, saved us picking up take out for lunch. We literally walked into the house and fixed plates.
Washed a full load of dishes after our dinner.
Sunday: Packed John's lunch, made him breakfast.
Leftovers for my lunch.
Made out a list of needs/projects/wants/ideas starting at back door and working my way around and through the house and back out to patio. I found some ready solutions in things I had in the house already, just re-purposing them elsewhere.
Dug through what I have on hand (which is plenty!) and found several items to put into flea market booth this week.
Monday: I made our home version of stir fry today. I used all the fresh vegetables I had on hand and some frozen chicken breast pieces that John found at Aldi to make my dish. It was so beautiful with all the colors.
Even though we had a lot of vegetables in our main dish, I served up the leftover salad from John's work lunch.
Doubled the rice for a second meal. It was meant to be fried rice dish, but we didn't have the expected leftovers of the stir fry dish to add in. I've got broccoli leftovers and will make broccoli rice which John likes a lot.
We had to drive down to John's work place to pick up his paycheck. I bagged up trash, gathered a couple of items we could mail right away, made out a deposit slip so that we could go to the bank in his work town.
John washed a load of clothes on low water levels, then hung all to dry outdoors.
John asked if I'd made any plans for supper. I had thawed half a turkey breast to slice for sandwiches.
Fed Maddie some pieces of turkey skin John removed from the breast meat as he made sandwiches.
We had Harvest after we got back from our errand. Setting aside extra money last pay period paved the way for a much smoother Harvest this time around. The wiggle room was welcome and if I can do this each month it will make our life a little less tense.
John noticed a hole in his work pants pocket. It was a fortunate thing we went down to pick up his check. His boss mentioned that uniform budgets would be lower next fiscal year (which starts in June). John happened to think of his pants and asked if there were still funds in his account for THIS year. There was and so he will be ordering new pants before those funds are 'dissolved'.
Placed an order with Walmart.com. It's less tempting to me to order what I need from them every 4-6 weeks and get just those items than to wander up and down tempting aisles. I go through Swagbucks Shop and Earn and get double points for every dollar spent. I've learned to wait until I have enough items on my list that I get free shipping, too, another savings.
Tuesday: Grocery Day. I got up early this morning and made out my list. It was a short list, items I knew we absolutely were out of, and a few to replace items I took from my pantry this week.
Splurge of the day was deli luncheon meats. I don't have time this week to cook larger cuts of beef or another turkey breast to use as sandwich meats. I prefer to buy deli, which is pricey, if I can't have my own home cooked sandwich meats. I buy just half a pound of two or three types and then split it up into servings when I get it home and freeze. Deli meat is not meant to be kept more than 3 days in the fridge.
We dropped bills in the mailbox in town on our way to shop.
A very late lunch meant we both wanted a light supper. I have my idea of what light is and John has his so we each made our own plates.
I bought apricots today. I so love apricots when they are in season but find them very very pricey. I buy just one or two at a time each pay period, which keeps them more affordable for my budget. Fingers crossed I'll find more when I go next time I shop.
As a paramedic, John has been given many pairs of medical scissors. These things are tough as can be, cut whatever needs to be cut and have a nice blunt nose. They are sharp, too! You wouldn't want children playing with them. I use a pair as kitchen shears, a pair in my sewing area for fabrics and most recently started using them to clip Maddie's knots in her fur. I don't have to worry I'll puncture her if she turns suddenly. These scissors are available through Galls for about $5 a pair. I haven't yet needed to have a pair sharpened even after years of usage.
Wednesday: Finished cleaning the patio and getting it set up to look nice this morning. I've decided that the mismatched pots are just not giving me the look I want and make it appear overly chaotic. Now I've determined the problem, I think the solution will be to paint them, since I can't afford to replace all my pots at one time.
Used the last of the quart of strawberries in pancake batter this morning.
Made the broccoli rice casserole I mentioned making from leftover rice. It isn't savings until you really do it, is it?
I steamed the stem ends of the broccoli (and one small portion of the crown) for the rice casserole. I think the stems hold up better in the casserole dish than the crowns.
Poured the cooled broccoli water over the Orchid. My flowering plants love egg and unsalted vegetable water.
Didn't use the 'can of cream of soup' recipe. I made my own white sauce to go in the casserole instead. It takes only a moment and is so good.
Made a pie crust from scratch. Again it took only moments (I made it while dinner cooked and had it filled and in the oven before dinner was done!).
Repaired the hold in John's work pants.
We figured out a solution to keep his suspenders from digging into and tearing the fabric of the waistband on his newer pair of pants. I had some small 1 1/2 by 3 iron on patches that I ironed onto the waistband, folding them over the waistband and into the inside. To keep the teeth from slipping off the patch, we sewed a small button near the top of the patch. I also sewed the edges down with my machine. We'll see how this holds up.
Hung two loads of clothes to dry today.
Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher. I didn't have my heat dry on, which has been a problem for us, but I hate having them dry for 20 minutes which seems silly. I let the dishwasher sit for an hour or so then went in and turned the dial so they dried for about 10 minutes instead.
Thursday: Not feeling well. I have relied on what I had prepared in the freezer for meals.
I meant to go out today to tend to an errand but decided to just stay home. This saved me a good bit of money as I'd have undoubtedly ate out, would have splurged while shopping and since I was so undecided about where I'd go, I'd have wasted gasoline as well.
John splurged and got me a six pack of orange soda. I'm drinking just half a bottle each day (16 ounce bottles) to stretch them out.
I have Challah bread rising. I plan to make three smaller loaves this week since we seem to have a problem eating all of a loaf each week when I halve the dough.
Recently ordered two books from the bookclub. Both will be long time favorites on my shelf and were far less than they'd have been in the bookstore.
The temperature outdoors dropped this evening. I turned off the AC and turned on the house fan, opened two windows just a bit and let the house air out and cool off. Lovely! We don't get too many days from May through September that we can turn off the AC, especially towards evening. I feel like I've won a lottery!
Friday: I was preheating the oven to make toast this morning, so I put the turkey sausage I planned to cook in the oven. It took just a few minutes more than the pre-heat timing to cook.
Used a couple of potatoes I'd scrubbed and cut ends off of earlier in the week to make hash browns this morning.
Opened windows and kept them open until about 2:30 when the AC kicked on. I think by 6 or 7pm we'll be able to open windows and use house fan once more, but it would be too stuffy later tonight if the AC didn't run this afternoon.
Made Shish Kebab for dinner today. I marinated the meat and veg in a dried tomato vinaigrette dressing we didn't much like on salad. It's pretty good as a marinade!
Added enough lettuce to John's leftover bagged salad to make enough salad for dinner today.
Made turkey salad for supper using the last of the turkey breast and one of several eggs I boiled Wednesday evening.
Made egg salad. This will be our sandwich fillers for the weekend. The deli meat bought Tuesday went into freezer to take on a road trip in a couple of weeks or so.
Decided I simply could not wait a moment longer for flowers to fill my pots on the patio. So I dug about in my small seed stash and planted seeds of cosmos, zinnia, cleome, and coleus. Fingers crossed...we'll see how they do.
Fed Maddie a handful of scraps from our plates today. I always decrease her dry food by about the same amount I feed her of scraps.
That's my frugal week...How as yours?