Friday, July 11, 2014
My Frugal Week: July 5 -11
July 5: We had an easy breakfast of bagels with cream cheese this morning. I knew we would have a nice meal at dinner and since we were eating late, the lighter meal seemed more than sufficient.
Baked Chicken and reheated Peach Berry Crisp in the oven alongside to save electricity usage.
I wanted something different for a salad. I mixed up a batch of counter-top pasta sauce yesterday and tossed a few tablespoons of that with a can of drained chickpeas. That was it, super simple and equally tasted if heated or served at room temperature.
We went nowhere at all today, so we spent Nothing Extra...a great way to stay on challenge!
July 6: Ran a full load of dishes this morning. I heated the water for the dishwasher start up when I was rinsing dishes to put in the machine.
Went out with Mama today. It was her week to buy dinner, mine to buy dessert and leave the tip. I used my allowance to cover my portion.
We went into one of my favorite clothing stores. I am looking for jeans, but alas they are not yet in season in the South. Perhaps next month. I struggled with my Nothing Extra challenge today. I bought three shirts. Two will definitely be going back. I am keeping the third one because it will be multi use for me and multi-seasonal as well. I will count it towards my winter clothing purchases, but it is still something extra isn't it?
Ate a simple light supper: a packet of peanut butter crackers and a glass of milk. I was still plenty full form our dinner out.
July 7: John in from work this morning looking for a breakfast fit for a man who'd worked 24 hours. I made hash-browns from some frozen french fries that were in the freezer. I didn't have any potatoes. I fried two eggs for him and just one for me. With toast and sweet rolls it was sufficient.
John washed a full load of clothes, hung most all of them to dry.
We had a meatless meal today for our dinner.
John and I went down to pick up his paycheck and deposit in the bank. He'd been antsy to do something all day long but each time he'd ask I'd tell him there was nothing I cared to leave home to do. He drove back home by a different route. It was not any further than we'd have driven if we'd taken the usual route. It was a nice change and welcome. It fitted perfectly with my Nothing Extra this month.
I'd cleaned house this morning really well, taking time to vacuum the oscillating fan motor housing and dusting blades on ceiling and oscillating fans in the living room. This will keep them in good working order.
We've just come out of a birthday and event heavy month and I found myself with two new invitationsin hand and an announcement that makes me pretty sure we can expect another heavy such month. John said it was time to have a discussion about such things and he and I came to an agreement about how we will handle in the future after these two events. We'll be cutting back in a big way...spending the same amount for Christmas but distributing it differently and cutting way down in other areas. We are both satisfied with what we have planned.
John decided to 'fix' supper. He took out the meatloaf I'd put away for another meal and made sandwiches. They were tasty and it was nice not to have to prepare a meal. I can easily come up with another menu idea for my week.
Spent the evening playing with my genealogy research. I still find the best resource is just a simple search from a search engine. I've stumbled upon more information via searches.
July 8: I have been fighting off migraine pain for the past four days. I stayed abed this morning, hoping the extra sleep would help offset the symptoms. Not so much...but it was worth the try. The over the counter migraine meds are worsening the tummy woes so I decided to mix my own concoction: Tylenol and baby aspirin in a smaller amount than the commercial product. That seemed to help.
I knew I needed to buy supplements this week but decided to check bottles and see how many doses I had left. I could postpone purchasing two of those needed until next pay period.
Reading labels, I realized that I get more than enough Vitamin D from two other supplements, so I decided to leave off the Vitamin D entirely.
Today we had Harvest. Yes it was a day late but John was quite tired when we returned yesterday from our outing to pick up his check and it seemed the gentler route to put off until morning what could be put off.
I went out after we'd had Harvest and ran a few short errands, going to pay electric and phone bills, dropping off other bills at the post office and finally, going to the bank. This all took quite a bit of time, but I tried to be efficient in my route.
Meant to run into the local grocery for an item yesterday but decided to check out that single item at Aldi first. I discovered that my Aldi store does not carry it. Next time it's on sale, I will stock up, but waiting isn't going to hurt me nor anyone else right now.
Though I was tempted by a cute dustpan/broom combo, I decided after all that I just needed my usual type of broom (I purchase one every couple of years) and could make do with the perfectly good dustpan I had at home.
John asked me to pick up lunch while I was out. I bought chips at the dollar store and got a submarine sandwich at the sandwich shop next door. I had them pile on the vegetables (costs no extra), so we had a substantial sandwich dinner for $5.
Put away the pan of food Maddie didn't eat this morning.
July 9: Felt like singing this morning when I awoke headache free!
I decided to use up those last cinnamon blueberry rolls I'd made last week before it was too late. I set them on the counter next to the stove last night (in an airtight container), so I wouldn't forget my intent.
We'd meant to leave early this morning but I was a little slower in getting going than I'd meant to be. I skipped bagging up trash before we left or looking for any other errands we could tend to on our way. I just wanted to get the shopping done before it got so hot we melted.
Our freezers all have full or partial bags of ice in them. John usually gets a bag nearly every time we go out shopping for groceries. He calls it insurance. I decided today that really I had no room left for any more insurance in my freezer space. I took a full bag along with us. We still have half a bag left. And fun! I introduced Maddie to ice cubes today. She really seemed to enjoy picking it up and feeling the coolness in her mouth. I might treat her to those a couple times daily during the heated part of the day.
John shopped for Daniel's birthday present. He did very well, came in under budget. We've three more children's birthdays this year and then we are instituting a change. We'll be lowering our limit and giving them cash or online gift cards with a birthday card mailed to them to honor the day.
At Aldi, I looked hard at my needs and filled a few gaps in my pantry but overall we did very well. I lowered our total there a bit today and hope to keep that up. I am dead on target budget wise this pay period. Now to hold that line!
We came home without stopping to purchase a drink or dinner which we've done many times in the past. I bought an item we like well at Aldi that I cooked when we got home (a breaded chicken breast), along with the fries I'd planned to go with the meatloaf sandwiches and a can of cold 3Bean Salad from the fridge. It was all ready by the time I got groceries unpacked and put away. The breasts are not cooked...I put the fries in the oven with the breasts and everything came out at the same time.
I've been making tea once or twice a week. When I do, I double the amount needed and set half aside in the fridge in a glass jar. It does get awfully cloudy looking but I find that heating for less than a minute in the microwave clears that up right away, and warms the tea just enough to melt the sugar I add to it. Then I add cool water and we have tea all over again with a bit of savings in time and electricity and gas.
July 10: This morning I packed John's lunch and made his breakfast.
I washed a full load of clothes this morning and hung all to dry.
I watered the plants on the back porch. Yesterday when we came home from shopping, I emptied the loose ice into my watering can. This morning, the melted ice was water for my plants.
Earlier this week I took the basil seedlings up and transplanted into the flower pots on the porch. They are ALL thriving quite well. Something has been eating the blooms of my petunias. I suspect some sort of moth. I am hoping the basil will keep that beast at bay so my petunias will flourish and fill the baskets they are in.
I didn't have leftover one in the house today at dinner time. I dug about in the freezer and combined two dishes that were single serving leftovers and had the same tomato/onion base. It was a thick chicken stew of sorts and quite tasty with a piece of fried corn bread. As I told John, it was good and served well, but it's not something I'd look to do twice, lol.
Have tried to use as little electric as possible today, which has meant only one light on (to read by in the living room during rain), little water run beyond the morning hours. It hasn't been hard or felt like a rigorous thing at all. It rained and cooled things off so nicely that the AC is now in evening mode. It will be a savings day for sure.
Dinner was just late enough and just heavy enough that a light supper suited me. I had a soda and crackers. I got saltines at Aldi and they are the lightest, crispiest saltines I've ever had.
Friday: Made a big breakfast for John this morning. Pancakes, bacon (1 slice each finished off the package), sausage (1 each) and eggs for him. It's one of those BIG breakfasts like you'd get at the Pancake houses, only it cost a whole lot less to make at home.
Combined errands this morning: picked up yesterday's mail, took off trash, stopped by booth and swapped out a few older items with newer ones, stopped at post office to mail off a package, went by the peach shed to buy peaches, dropped by Mama's.
She gave me a magazine she'd just read, half a cantaloupe and some yellow squash. I love summer produce an am thankful she buys so much she shares with me. I shared some peaches with Mama.
I meant, truly, to stop at the diner and purchase fried chicken for today's dinner but it was so packed that I came on home and put a frozen entree in the oven. We'll eat with salad and bread.
Postal options were crazy in variance today. $129.96 for the first estimate, $69 for the second and the option I chose $11.55. Any guesses as to which rate I chose? Seriously...Flat rate priority boxes are the way to go I think when mailing off items. It's a 70 pound limit for under $15 for all their larger sizes. I just had a box I was recycling from an order we had this week, but picked up two or three of the priority mail boxes (free) for future mailings.
I can't think of a thing to write this week. So I'm going to do what I do in real life. I'm going to tell you what I was most grateful for this week:
The pure unadulterated pleasure of reading a book on a rainy summer afternoon.
Sitting on the back porch one morning with a cup of coffee, sunshine and a cool breeze.
Maddie's enjoyment of an ice cube.
The funny little dog of my brother's whose come to breakfast twice this week. The first morning he 'thanked me' by coming near enough for me to rub his back with my foot, something he's especially fond of.
Watching the graceful leaps of the deer.
The scent of petunias in the sun.
While reading a passage in the Bible I remember, and correctly, a passage in another portion that speaks of the same thing...and can find it!