Saturday, November 15, 2014
Living Frugal Living Well
Saturday: Company this morning for us. I made a quick cabbage salad and had a small amount leftover. I sent it home with Bess and Sam at the end of the day. We are traveling tomorrow and the salad will be a mushy mess by time I could use it up.
An easy dip for corn chips was made mixing an 8 ounce package of cream cheese and half a jar of salsa. The cream cheese was bought on sale.
We like hot dogs but we like a premium beef brand. I don't buy them often as they are very pricey per pound...unless I can get them when they are buy one get one, as they were this week. Then they are quite reasonable and we consider them a great treat. I served hot dogs today to keep kitchen work at a minimum.
Washed a full load of dishes at end of day.
Set milk to thaw in the fridge while we were gone.
Packed a bag of snack foods.
Sunday: Made Butterscotch oatmeal for breakfast. It is filling and just plain good. I cut up a banana and added in. I knew it would be over ripe when we returned.
John turned off all ceiling fans before we left.
We turned the heater down to around 60F. No need to heat house to 68F while we were gone.
Poured 16 ounces of milk into a bottle to carry with me. This saves purchasing milk later this evening and allows me to have milk for my coffee at the hotel, as well as my night time glass full.
Packed water bottles and soda on ice (along with the milk) in an insulated bag. We had a bag of ice in the freezer that I used in the bag.
John chose an alternate route to start our trip. I figured mileage and we neither saved or lost time or mileage. There was less traffic which was nice.
John picked up a Sunday paper at our first break in the trip.
At our second break, I ordered water to go with our burgers for lunch. Yes, I had water in the car, but I knew that John disliked drinking from the big bottles and I forgot to pack a smaller glass for him. It was a free item at the restaurant and John drank every drop.
We went to check in at hotel when we arrived in town. I was five minutes early but the clerk recognized me from previous visits and allowed us to check in. We set the insulated bag with ice in the tub after we put drinks in the mini fridge. The tub is the coolest place in the room and always keeps our stuff cold if there is no fridge.
We had another lovely day with family and enjoyed every moment of it.
Monday: Time to head home. We had half a bag of ice still, so simply packed up our drinks in the bag.
Triple checked room to be sure we left nothing behind. It's costly to have to pay shipping for an item that has been left behind, at least so I'm told...Because John and I both check three times we've never left anything behind to date.
We stopped for coffee and breakfast. John complained over cost of the biscuits he'd bought. I looked over receipt and gasped. We had chicken and egg biscuits and typically the chicken biscuit is just a couple of dollars each (turkey sausage or bacon is unheard of in the fast food restaurants where we stop). The 'egg' was $1.19 for each sandwich! I told John we could have purchased 18 eggs for that amount at the store and I'd have thought that pricey, even so. 1.19 per egg is ridiculous. We vowed we'd not make the error twice.
I got coffee for free using a gift card given us.
When we came back to our area we drove to John's work place. It was a savings of about 40 miles for us. It was pay day and to drive down tomorrow would have meant a 60 mile round trip. We drove only a little out of our way before heading home.
Knowing banks would be closed, we deposited the check and got cash before we headed home.
I put together a quick meal using a frozen entree after we got in. I put half the sauce packet in a jar in the fridge.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung to dry.
Tuesday: Paid bills. I couldn't believe how the money seemed to stretch this morning and made sure to give thanks for that very fact!
Made out a quick grocery list. John wanted to get this task done. He also wanted to get a hair cut while we were in the area.
I did very well with the grocery money this time. I am over budget for the month but this month has three grocery shops in and that is part of the overage. I have been very careful about what we purchase this month due to the extra grocery period and the expected overage.
Saved enough of the money out of the grocery cash to pay for dog food and soda at the other grocery. John came out bearing strawberries. I'd never buy strawberries this time of year but I knew full well I'd never given him enough cash to buy them, so accepted them as the great surprise and gift they were meant to be. They are lovely ripe berries and I enjoyed some of them with my supper tonight.
He also bought a sandwich and ice cream for our lunch. Bless the man!
Put away groceries as soon as we got home, then sat down with a cup of coffee to enjoy the feeling of plenty that ensues when fridge and cupboards are restocked.
I bought grapes at Aldi. I wash and cut into serving portions and place in a bowl in the fridge where they are handy to grab.
Wednesday: So happy to have a full day at home today! I worked in the guest room hanging pictures at long last. It feels good to have that project so nearly complete for phase I. Phase II involves finishing the quilt top I'm making, finding a headboard and painting furnishings but it's quite presentable at present phase.
Washed a load of sheets and towels. Hung on line to dry.
Went over goals for the month and noted where I need to correct my path.
Put grocery amounts down on my sheet and noted where I am budget wise.
Updated meat inventory lists and counted to see if I could manage to make it to late December or early January before next meat purchase. I'm not sure I can but I'll strain towards that goal anyway. I haven't counted in buying a turkey next pay period which will help.
Cooked from freezer for dinner: beef sausage and Brussels sprouts.
Made mashed potatoes from scratch using four scrawny wrinkly potatoes. You know what they taste like when they look that way? Good! Seriously there is no difference in flavor and I used ALL of the last bag of potatoes by using up those four.
Washed a full load of dishes.
Opened windows to let in some cooler air. It was a little stuffy towards evening but we held off until dark before shutting windows and turning on AC briefly to temper the humidity and stuffiness.
Thursday: Set several meats out to thaw last night, meant for the next few days. I put them in the sink, covered with a dishpan and found them icy cold (partially thawed) this morning.
Made chicken biscuits here at home. We've been nowhere near the only store that sells turkey sausage in our area and I needed an alternative to eggs for morning protein. 1 of the frozen breaded chicken breast pieces was cooked and then split three ways to fill the leftover biscuits from yesterday morning.
The temperature began a steady drop after we got up this morning. We put on jackets as we went about our morning duties.
Decided today was a perfect day to make soup. I decided to try my inspiration idea of Beef Stroganoff Soup. It turned out very well. It's not the most economical soup but it is considerably less per serving than Beef Stroganoff.
Spent the afternoon clearing up the craft area of the guest/craft room. Now the room truly looks presentable.
Got items ready to take into booth. Spent time looking up pricing on several items. Glad I did. I was surprised at what some of the items can sell for. It definitely changes my pricing ideas.
I didn't eat supper this evening. I was quite satisfied still from our dinner soup.
We put on socks/slippers this afternoon as the temperatures continued to drop.
Friday: John had plans for a morning out. When we left home we packed up trash to carry off and took to the dumpsters.
Our errand included a stop at the bookstore. John wanted to buy me a songbook so that I could play the piano more often. None of the music stores sell songbooks though they sell all manner of instruments and accessories. Silly isn't it? The bookstore had several books and I chose one that suited me best.
Put back a Suduko book after I realized it cost $14.99. Seriously? I opted to buy a new book at CVS for $3.99. And for $15 per the subscription info I can get 6 of these for a year. Humph. Doesn't take me long to figure out which is the better purchase.
We stopped at CVS on our way home. I had a $5 ECB, a coupon for 25% off any purchase in store, a $1 coupon for 2 bags of Hershey kisses, a kiosk coupon for 1 free pack of gum with the purchase of 2, a kiosk coupon for $2 off any candy purchase of $10, and a kiosk coupon for a free roll of paper towels. I needed batteries for my camera and had a $1 off coupon on that purchase. I saved $20 on my purchases and earned an extra cash buck of $2.
We kept the heat low all day long, at just 66F, but come evening we turned it up 2 degrees. It was just chilly
even with socks and robes. I turned it back down for the night. I'd rather have an extra quilt on the bed.
We've done a good bit of road travel this week. We went down to spend time with our Kingsland children. All along the way the brilliance of color on the trees thrilled me. I have learned to appreciate all seasons over the years, but autumn still remains my most favorite of all.
John thinks October is the best month of all, but I've decided that November is mine. October was lovely, but the color was scarce. Here and there one brightly colored redhead could be found peering out from between two trees still fully green. It reminded me of photos of the beautiful best friend with two of her lovely but not so charismatic girlfriends. In summer perhaps none are less beautiful or remarkable but suddenly this one comes into her full beauty and the others pale beside her.
In November we begin to see consistently cooler temperatures, frosts, and the color of the leave deepen and intensify. More and more trees show their 'true colors' and what a lovely array. Deep maroon, flame orange, golden yellow, tobacco, lime, red...It's a lovely array and drives anywhere really do become more about the scenery and less about the destination.
Yesterday on our way home we came to the top of the hill. Overlooking the river valley there was a patchwork of color spread before us for miles and miles. It was beautiful enough to stun the most jaded of souls and mine is not jaded. It brought tears to my eyes.
That's when I told John, "I think November has to be my most favorite of months." And so it is.