Wednesday, May 21, 2014
My Frugal Week - May 17- 23
Saturday: Whoo boy! Save a little, spend a lot. That's the way it goes at times isn't it? Well never mind. We've got money to cover the spending part of the day just fine with no harm done to our account.
Received a free magazine in the mail.
Was able to turn off AC again late yesterday evening. It was so cool, I got up and got a quilt!
Last week's savings but forgot to mention it: While we waited on John's check to arrive at office, he was able to wash our car. The crew keeps a bucket set up to wash the ambulances and the crew often knocks dust off their own vehicles. In our case it was strictly pollen and took less than 5 minutes to clean off. A nice savings over our usual stop at the car wash.
Today we were off to home improvement center. We dropped a small pot load of money there on various things, most all of them money savers in their own ways:
John got a folding hand truck, bungee cords and a plastic bin with lid to cart his music equipment in and out of buildings. Huge savings on back aches and strained muscles. The folding handtruck was half the cost of the big furniture type handtrucks which was far more than we needed, saving us about $30.
I bought three cans of paint for $10. Three pretty shades to paint the miscellaneous plant pots. I can't buy one decent pot for that price so another huge savings.
Found a pre-made table top round to transform a useless antique piano stool into an occasional table. The table top round was $8.
Bought a new faucet for the kitchen sink. Mine is not only leaking from the spout/water pipe joint, it's decided to do the occasional squirt as well. Not cool. We asked one essential question. Seems that all the Pfister and Aquaworks faucets are made by Delta. Aquaworks is just their line exclusively for Lowe's and they all come with a 1 year guarantee.
I don't need a sprayer attachment but this faucet came with one (I have the spot for it just don't use it). The salesman suggested a soap dispenser instead but that would have added another $20 to my purchase since the sets with a soap dispenser instead of sprayer were not in stock. I skipped that and asked about a cap to go on my own sink. Included in the faucet set for free. Deal.
Went into the plant department to look for six packs. Not the grandest selection even though we were shopping at the bigger Lowe's in that city. Still, I came away with what I went in for: 1 6-pack moss rose, 1 rose colored geranium, 1 deep purple petunia (12 pack) and 2 pink (with one bonus white plant) petunias in 6 packs. ALL of these plants together were less than one hanging basket.
All in all the trip was costly, but every bit of it was purchased with an eye towards saving as much as we could.
Not a savings but just plain nice: we went out to eat. John and I spent roughly what we might have at a burger joint for a nicer restaurant's burgers, not including drinks. We had a nice dinner. I paid for it myself out of pocket money.
John installed the new faucet himself.
Sunday: Busy day for us. We were up early, planned to go to church, had to come back home to meet up with Mama and then go to Macon for a baby shower. Hectic pace between church letting out and the two long drives. I made an easy fresh tomato sauce that requires no cooking, cooked pasta which I tossed with a little olive oil and left in pan so I could reheat when we came in. When we got home I microwaved some chicken nuggets (Aldi's store brand and really good tasting). It took about 5 minutes to put dinner on the table, 5 minutes to eat and head back out the door.
My son's bride to be requested books as part of her shower gifts. I found some on my own bookshelves that were inscribed to Sam from Granny and some that were John's as a boy. I think it will be sweet for a grandson to have books from his great great Granny and grandpa don't you?
On our way home, Mama offered to buy us a Subway sandwich for supper. The 'cost' to us was that I had to go in to purchase them and that was no big deal. It was nice to have a ready supper when we came in.
Monday: Made John's work lunch last night. Packed it this morning. Made him breakfast and sent him off to work.
I've been dealing with dry skin for the past few years, since that 'change' of life period. Fish oil capsules have helped some, but not quite enough. This morning I decided to try a new, also natural approach, after reading a blog where the writer said she'd been using just a little olive oil to moisturize after her shower, before drying off. I always have olive oil in the house, so I'm giving it a try. I used perhaps a teaspoon or so and then gently dabbed my skin dry.
A day out with Mama today and my turn to pay for lunch as well. Took a thermal glass of water over ice with me to keep myself hydrated.
Mama wanted to go by Target to get a few things. I had in mind a few items to pick up. Towels to match those I already have (no longer available online), baby powder to help keep me dry and cool looking now that our more typical weather is on it's way, a necklace in a bright coral to finish off an otherwise ordinary looking outfit, a new pair of flip flops for John whose old ones have been going since Katie was about 15. I was very proud of not splurging on anything else, keeping focused and attending strictly to the shopping I meant to be doing.
For dinner, we opted to order appetizers and house salad. Not a huge savings over an entree perhaps but portions were more reasonable.
A stop at my favorite clothing store. Mission: to ask fashion advice about what to do with the skirt I had on. I got some good advice, which I may or may not use, since I was told that the way I'd styled my maxi skirt was very nicely done (and this girl was dead honest with everyone, lol, if it didn't look good she said so and then brought an alternative item to try!). I picked up a handful of pretty inexpensive t-shirts to wear. They will quickly move to the household drawer but I need them there anyway.
Brewed a single cup of coffee this evening.
I tried on a pair of white jeans at the clothing store. I don't NEED white jeans but I thought they would expand my summer clothing options. I have a pair of white jeans here that I've rarely worn because they are just a smidge too snug. I tried them on this evening and I think I can alter them just enough to make them a more comfortable wear for me but losing five pounds would help a bit too.
In for a penny or a pound? I tried on a pair of shorts that were just too small last summer. This summer they fit quite well, so they went back into my home drawer.
My supper tonight was leftovers of yesterday's pasta salad and the last slice of Derby pie. Goodbye pie.
Tuesday: John called as he started home to say that he would like me to be waiting at the back door when he came in and we'd head into town to vote. I had started breakfast, but was waiting on him. A trip into town wasn't really in my plans. However, I saw the wisdom of going to vote while he was wide awake.
I hand washed bras and hung to dry.
Bagged trash and gathered and put on back porch. If I was going to town why not make it really count.
We could drop that off when we left home.
Recalled an errand to pick up an item and decided we'd do that, too while out, since it was across the street from the precinct.
While I was waiting on John to come home, I dipped my bread for french toast and then put into a 400F oven and let the oven cook it all at once. When it was time to turn it over, I did so, then turned off the oven. That made a right good French toast for our breakfast later and it stayed warm until we got home again.
Baked a beef roast and chicken thighs in the same oven.
Went through my fridge today to clean it and to put away the items that I was sure we'd not use up prior to the next week. I wrapped four ears of corn and put in the freezer, sliced some ginger root and flash froze, mixed the last of a bit of bought BBQ sauce with the last of homemade BBQ sauce (served with our chicken at dinner today).
We had dinner out for EMS week. Very good meal and a nice time with people I don't get to see often enough.
Wednesday: I nearly let this day get away from me. I slept until 8:30 this morning! Then I had to push hard to get myself going.
Cleared out a cabinet and removed those items we don't use, put the seldom used items on the top shelf and I still had room to spare. One of the cups I removed from the cabinet went into the flea market basket.
I also removed a pretty set of water glasses to put in the flea market basket. I noted in one of my 1950's magazines that these were formerly peanut butter jars!
Sliced the roast I baked yesterday into thin slices and then made a chef's salad for our dinner. This used up several fresh vegetable items in the fridge, too.
No croutons, so we used Oyster crackers.
Made a cake for snacking/desserts. I baked in two 9 inch layer pans and put one of the baked layers into the freezer. Frosted the 2nd layer with leftover cream cheese frosting I'd refrigerated a bit over a week ago. There was just enough to glaze the top of the cake layer.
John mowed grass and then sprayed about the house for weeds.
I clipped, sorted and organized coupons.
Even though we've no dinner plates, the dishwasher is not full...and I won't wash dishes until it is. Time to see if light globes, vases, decorative items etc can be put into the dishwasher to fill it.
Thursday: We planned well in getting our oil change done on the car this week. The oil change was on special. Pay half price with a tire rotation. Done! We had plenty of money in our car maintenance account to cover a full priced oil change but you know what? Sales are ALWAYS better.
Stopped off at the flea market on the way home and paid the last bit of money on my chair. I looked on the bottom when I got in and there's a furniture makers tag with their name and the date: 1947.
The former desk chair went to the back porch. I have a second chair and a plan...
We picked up chicken tenders at the local diner. These are actually more like whole boneless skinless breasts and to get 4-6 of these is like getting a bonus meal. I made sandwiches for John from leftovers.
We got the electric bill in. I knew it would be higher due to an excessive amount of water running to clean patio as well as the additional warmth we had at the end of April/early May. Diligence with the thermostat seemed to help greatly and our increase was only about $12.
John has slowly been accumulating items to help make his music more portable. What was needed was a bag to hold a few items that are too long to fit in his kit box. I happened to see one on Zulily today that was the right size and less than $10. I had him measure his mike stand and we noted that it ought to fit well so I ordered it.
We wanted something a little different for bread for sandwiches. I found all the 'other' breads were frozen but we did have Bagels. Made a very delicious bread for our supper sandwich.
Washed a full load of dishes.
A little something sweet...that was what we both wanted. I made pudding for John's work lunch earlier in the week and poured into individual containers. I had one remaining in the fridge. I opted to empty out the last of the chocolate syrup into my cup of milk.
Friday: I was up far earlier this morning than normal even on a work day. Ugh. lol. I made John a work lunch and breakfast.
Potted plants this morning. I also separated a Christmas cactus. Discovered there were three smaller plants in with that big one.
Used my old lidless tea pots for front porch pots.
I had forgotten some galvanized wire baskets I'd bought at Goodwill a few years back. Found them in the shed this morning. I thought I'd just buy cocoa mat liners but I had this old burlap bag...and it would hold dirt, so I cut it down and lined my wire basket and filled with potting soil. It looks so cool! We'll see how well it works.
Used an old cocoa mat liner to go in a grapevine basket. I filled with a variety of plants. I think when it 'grows up' a little it will be very pretty indeed.
I guess I've just got a shopping mind...I kept thinking of things to buy: more plants, cocoa mat liners, and last of all a trash can to put the potting soil in so I could keep on the porch. Well right inside the door was an old plastic bucket with a lid that I wouldn't use to keep dog food because the lid was slightly cracked...Didn't make a bit of difference for potting soil if the lid was cracked! Out the door it went and the bag of soil fit perfectly.
Washed a full load of clothes, (sheets, towels) and hung all to dry outdoors. Gosh but they smelled good after a day of sunshine and breezes!
I made up a couple of lists of things I had to do/buy today. I accomplished all on both lists. It was very handy to refer to the shopping list especially as it kept me targeted on what I had to purchase and prevented the desire to look here and there and pick up this and that. My deviations from the list: a 4-pack of gel pens for $1.50, and a bag of frozen chicken potstickers (which will make a perfect 'quick' entree for some evening).
Turned AC up to 78F every afternoon the latter part of this week. It's just high enough to keep the thing from running endlessly and keep it reasonably cool (compared to outdoors). About evening when it's cutting off more regularly and staying off longer we'll lower it 2-4 degrees for night.
Had Harvest this afternoon after John got paid. I wrote out bills, set money aside for groceries for the short pay period (next one) and went and got our cash for allowances and groceries this pay period.
It's nearly time for Shabat so I'm declaring this week DONE...How was your frugal week?