Friday, May 9, 2014
My Frugal Week: May 3-16
Saturday: Kept the breakfast meal simple and easy to serve, which also happens to be fairly frugal. Peanut butter toast and bagels with cream cheese served up with a yogurt smoothie for the children and good hot coffee for the adults. This meal not only a frugal breakfast but an energy saver. I had company (hence the children) and was expecting still more and needed to prepare a meal.
My intentions had been to purchase take out fried chicken from the local diner and make the side dishes. My budget was a wee bit snug and due to get downright tight so I decided last night to thaw ground beef and make a meat loaf. It extends nicely. I used end pieces of frozen bread that I grated as bread crumbs in the meat mixture.
Two members of the family do not care for mayonnaise and yet I wanted to make squash casserole. I found another recipe that called for a cup of sour cream and a can of cream of anything soup as well as a bag of herbed stuffing mix. I happened to have some sour cream (not quite a cup), a can of cream of soup and a box of stove top type stuffing. Good enough. Happens it extended the squash nicely into a bigger casserole, which meant everyone got a serving. And it wasn't bad tasting either.
Used peaches frozen last summer to make a big pan of cobbler for our dessert.
It was a pleasant weekend and good thing. Children (adult ones and little ones alike) kept walking in and out and leaving doors ajar. Fortunately with the coolness outdoors the AC wasn't coming on until very very late afternoon hours. At that point the kids were pretty much settling inside.
We stayed on that new back porch for HOURS yesterday evening and today as well. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
I forgot to mention that my daughter in law Lori brought me the chair and ottoman she'd offered me late last winter. It went into the old breakfast area as seating (and boy has it proven to be a lovely place to sit, and to have visitors sit, while I'm cooking, etc). The old rocker went onto the back porch. Nice spots to take a seat in both areas.
As the afternoon progressed I realized I had no plan for supper...And a house full of folks who were bound to get hungry again because we always do, don't we? I had about 1/3 of the meatloaf leftover. I mixed up a homemade pizza dough (no recipe just sort of toss ingredients into a bowl). I had enough dough for two big cookie sheets. I made one cheese pizza and one meat and veggie pizza (meatloaf, orange bell peppers and onions). It was just the right amount of pizza for six adults and three children. There was leftover cobbler and the cake pops Lori made for our 'sweet' following the meal.
Washed a full load of dishes.
John did a full load of clothes. He used the dryer
I scraped plates after both meals and fed the pets some of the food scraps. There's enough food for tomorrow, too.
Sunday: Packed John's lunch and made his breakfast before he went off to work.
Another morning of simple breakfasts. Yogurt, strawberries and toast. I like for the children to have what we eat on their plates. I am very careful to not pile it on though. One large strawberry each suited them just fine. One piece of toast. Half a container of yogurt.
Had leftovers for my midday meal after the kids left to return home. Meatloaf, the last bit of the squash casserole, a little peach cobbler.
I spent the afternoon cleaning house and doing laundry. I hung a load of towels on the line to dry in the breeze and sunshine. I picked up a few clothing items to add to the towels so there was a full load of clothes.
Supper was a smoothie, made with the last of the strawberries, some yogurt and ice cubes.
Fed the pets the last of the food scraps from Saturday's meal. I put them in the fridge so they wouldn't spoil.
Monday: John, thankfully noted that two of his 'as needed' prescriptions expired mid-May. He still had plenty of both but a new prescription necessitates a doctor's visit and he's not due another visit until much later in the year. We called and had the prescriptions refilled. That should last him until his next doctor visit.
Fortunate that we called those in to be refilled. We got a call a bit later that his monthly prescriptions had been filled. When we went over to pick up the prescriptions we got all of them, saving a trip later in the week.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung to dry on line. I helped him make up a full load by adding in the clothes I'd worn the day before, hand towels, dish towels, etc.
Made beef stew today using a portion of chuck roast I cut into cubes myself. It was $.50 a pound less than buying stew beef at the meat market.
We took today pretty easy over all. Neither of us planned to work too hard today.
Tuesday: John wanted to get a haircut today. I usually go in the grocery in that shopping center to pick up a turkey breakfast sausage I can't buy at other groceries we visit. Today we found six packages, on sale for $1 a package less than usual price and bought them all. The money I spent will come from the money set aside for next pay period. Many of the items picked up were on next week's list.
While in store I gathered the items on my short list of needed items.
John treated us to lunch at the drive in. He paid from his allowance.
We came home to watch our latest Netflix movie.
We made a decision about vacation and booked the place. Best part is that it took only 2/3 of the money we set aside for our time away. The remainder will be used to pay for a stay during our grandson's birthday in July and the rest will go towards our next vacation.
Gave myself a pedicure.
I couldn't find primer last week when I went to shop for it. I'd squeezed the tube until nothing came out. I cut the end off it and discovered there was still a small amount of product in it. Enough for several applications.
Wednesday: Packed John's lunch. Made him breakfast.
Washed a load of sheets. I purposely waited to strip the guest bed today so that I could do both sets at one time. I hung them to dry.
Repaired two necklaces today.
A day out with Mama. We didn't shop today, just went for a very long ride.
My dinner this evening, leftovers. Naturally. I'm trying really really hard to have little to zero foodwaste these days. I still miss a few things but for the most part, we're using them up.
Took advantage of email offers to sample three different magazines. Not a full subscription but three free issues coming my way.
Brewed a single cup of coffee.
Thursday: After doing light housework, I went outdoors to clean the porch and patio. The patio is clean. I remembered I had a spray bottle of bleach cleaner (diluted bleach) bought on sale. The spray bottle it was in didn't work, but I had an empty bottle I could use. This cleaned the algae off the siding. It cost $165 to have the back porch end of the house power washed. My spray bottle and water hose with a regulator to control the water stream cost me $0 and about an hour and half of time.
Happy discovery: the bleach solution cleaned the porch railings so well that they look sparkling white once more. That means I won't have to paint them this year, just clean them.
The last of the meatloaf was made into open faced hot sandwiches for our dinner. I had planned another meal but I was outdoors working longer than I'd planned.
Made up a batch of tuna pasta salad for tomorrow's meal.
Made a batch of cupcakes for snacks.
Saved the oil drained off the tuna for the cat. I usually buy a hairball control formula pet food for her this time of year when she's shedding so much but the store was out the other day. The oil from the tuna will be beneficial to her as well as tasting good to her.
John ordered a half dozen t-shirts that were clearance priced today...that netted him free shipping.
The Ac works hard on these days when the temperature goes to 90F and higher. I make sure to pay attention to whether it's running constantly or turning on and off. When it's running constantly, I will 'help' by turning it off periodically. I usually need do this only once each afternoon and it's usually off only about 20-25 minutes. This allows the compressor to rest and reset itself. I also increase the thermostat temperature a couple of degrees.
John washed a load of clothes. He set water levels on half load and hung the clothes to dry.
John mowed lawn this afternoon. We set aside money for gasoline and blades each month that we must mow, so this expense is spread out over several weeks.
Friday: Washed a small load of clothes.
Made my own barbeque sauce for chicken today. I cooked two breasts (these are normal sized chickens, lol) and a few wings I'd saved in the freezer. The wings will be a nice lunch for me later this week.
Used up the last of the homemade ranch dressing in a Potatoes au Gratin dish. I mixed with a little milk to clean the jar and poured over my potatoes, onions and cheese.
Cooked my entire meal in the oven: chicken, potatoes and asparagus.
Shopped at home from my pantry: tuna, mayonnaise, coffee, decaf coffee, crackers, olives, pineapple.
I have always loathed plastic place mats. It's just me...I can't abide the feel of them. Until I found some marked down woven plastic mats at the grocery. I love that they don't shrink, they don't unravel and they are virtually stain resistant and completely washable. I was reminded of how much I like them this morning, when I changed the place mat that I put on the side table between mine and John's chair. Where one new fabric mat had covered the table top nicely, I had to put down two of them after they shrank in the wash. Not a tragedy but a reminder that sometimes what I think I dislike can be rather nice after all.
Got up very very early this morning when the house seemed a bit stuffy and turned on the whole house fan rather than lower the thermostat to make the AC come on. I turned that fan off when the AC came on later in the morning.
Organized a storage area in my craft space. I found 5 pairs of scissors...Now they are all in one spot and not in various places. Very helpful. And a savings because I no longer need consider buying two more pairs of scissors...I have plenty!
That's my frugal week...how was yours?