Friday, November 13, 2015
In My Home This Week: Time and Money Saved
Saturday: Last night before sundown I pulled all the bread sacks with one or two pieces in them from the freezer. First I found two perfectly nice Hawaiian rolls. One of those made a Shabat 'loaf' for one. I combined all the pieces into one sack. I had so much more bread than I'd thought. Again these are those end pieces, or the last couple of pieces that got a little too dry to be tasty. I typically make bread crumbs and croutons from them but I can't make that many croutons! I decided to make a breakfast Strata casserole. I cut up too many bread cubes and so I ended freezing half the meat/veg/bread cubes/cheese mixture for a future casserole. I'll just mix up milk and eggs when I get ready to make that casserole.
Today's dinner is leftovers from the week past. I added a freshly prepared salad, and a Pineapple cobbler. This was sort of makeover of a 1950's recipe I had sometime ago. I made this cobbler using juice packed fruit and making a cheddar streusel sort of topping rather than a full pastry crust. Pineapple is good for coughs and colds. I drank the juice leftover from the cubes.
Rinsed and stacked dishes.
The only medication we have in house to help alleviate coughs and make them more productive happens to dry me out horribly. As John took his pill this evening, I noted that they were scored...I took half a pill, which seems to be the right dosage for me. It brought relief from the unrelenting cough and wheezing.
John received a statement from his insurance related to the doctor visit he'd just had. The doctor he's seeing is not covered but...after reading his statement and realizing how very much his deductible out of pocket amount is for doctors within the network...I told him he may as well see the doctor of choice. We're going to pay out less for him to see him now and then than we will to try and meet that deductible!
Sunday: Miserable, miserable night. We tried to sleep. I woke drenched and then woke again chilled to the bone. I wandered about in the dark more than twice. This morning I declared war on germs. I got up and opened windows, even though rain blew in the east facing windows. I let this house air out for a good hour or two. I sprayed doorknobs and faucets and handles and light switches, remotes and keyboards with disinfectant. I've had enough.
I let our bed air out very well this morning before making it.
John washed and dried a full load of clothes. It poured rain all day long and is meant to rain most all week, so he did the job now rather than postpone.
Put green beans and Brussels Sprouts in the freezer. I bought these this pay period and we're obviously not going to eat them right away. I can use as we want them from the freezer and keep them safe from spoiling.
Squash success at last. Every autumn I buy one acorn squash and prepare it. John doesn't like it and doesn't recognize it from year to year. I end up with a ton of leftovers. This year I deviated and bought a butternut squash. I pared it, seeded and cubed it, then roasted in the oven with a drizzle of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of butter cubed. Then I salted it, a step I've always skipped in the past. John was dubious. He suggested I 'go easy' when I was fixing his plate. Boy was I a proud woman when he told me it was good. I told him there was plenty more. He went in for seconds. Fist pump! I have found a winter squash my man will eat. We'll be getting another this next pay period, I think.
My secret to buying squash (spaghetti, butter nut, acorn) is to buy the smallest I can purchase. At Aldi it's true that they all cost the same, but if I'm uncertain how to use leftovers or John is reluctant to 'test' taste, then why buy the biggest available? In the end, I have no waste. Today's squash had just 1/4 cup leftover.
Monday: Had to turn on the heater briefly this morning. Then I switched on the kettle on the stove to add a little humidity to the air and help make the place feel warmer without running heat to high.
Put on socks and sweaters. No running about in shorts and thin t-shirts and cranking up the heat for us. Nope. We dress for the season we're in, and while you won't see us bundled up in winter coats indoors, a sweater or sweat jacket is appropriate and appreciated.
Went out for a walk with the dogs. We walked to the mailbox and back. I was hopeful it would help start to break up my chest congestion. I wasn't sorry I went, despite the dampness and cold creeping through my clothing. I saw deer track and evidence that Blossom has been keeping an armadillo from encroaching on the lawn or getting near the house. I saw woodland ferns, a lovely golden moss and the oddest mushrooms ever.
Worked on bills this morning and have them ready to go out tomorrow when I run errands.
Moved money into savings. I figured about what I think we should have left from the check and it will be snug. I was tempted to keep the money over just in case, but we've been hit with enough 'just in case' of late that I decided to make a faith step and put it in savings. It felt good to do that.
Made up a nice beef stew to go in crock pot early this morning. It sure did smell nice cooking all morning long.
Made a bigger than usual pan of cornbread. I have a tiny little cast iron pan that holds just about 1 cup of batter, which is sufficient for two people. BUT, I knew I had no cornbread leftovers in the freezer and I'd need it to make dressing/stuffing come holidays. May as well get it made now instead of having that on my to do list later in the month.
Used the last fresh pear to make pear salad for our salad today. Helpful in using up the fruit and in making the lettuce go a bit further. End of pay period always sees us low on bread, lettuce and fruits.
Shut down the coffee pot after pouring our after dinner cups. John sometimes appreciates an evening cup of coffee and I can reheat in the microwave if I don't let it sit and 'stew' until bitter.
For supper tonight we share leftovers from a late meal from last week.
Opened junk mail. I always do anyway but sometimes I find nice surprises. Today I found a sturdy laminated book mark and a bundle of coupons.
Tuesday: Made breakfast for John, packed his lunch for work.
Stripped our bed and left the mattress bare all day long. I was hoping for the promised sunshine to come out but it was late afternoon before I saw even a glimmer. By then I'd given up and made the bed.
Hung my pillow and a pair of pajamas on the line to dry. Oddly they both came in wetter than when they went out. I put them in the dryer. Warm toasty pajamas is a whole other treat I could get accustomed to very quickly.
Went to town...and picked up mail, posted bills, took off trash, went by the bank and stopped at CVS.
Spent ECBs at CVS. Earned $7 more in ECBs.
Picked up a 2 pc fish and fries for my lunch with an unsweetened tea. I find I crave fish of late and John is loathe to eat it. Anyway, not the best lunch but I keep it as reasonable as I can by eating less than 1/3 the fries and putting only malt vinegar on my fish pieces. Today I ate just one piece of fish and saved the second for supper. I was hungry for a fish taco and I knew I had one low carb corn tortilla in my fridge...Yummy times two.
Funded anew the cash maintenance fund for the house. I did so creatively from a couple of sub funds, a pay back for a purchase I made went into the envelope instead of into the bank (it will remain a debit on our account) and a little extra I scrounged up.
I am slowly decreasing medication. Tonight when I began to cough, I stopped to assess why. I determined my legs were cold. I put Vapor Rub on the soles of my feet and put on my socks, before
I wrapped my legs in a warm coverlet. I soon stopped coughing.
Wednesday: I know that when John comes in from work, he wants that big breakfast, especially after being up for hours without so much as a snack to tide him over. This morning, I made breakfast sandwiches and cooked hashbrowns. I used a couple of potatoes I'd washed extra potatoes when I was making stew this week. I went ahead and diced and put in water in the fridge.
I thawed chicken for dinner. I discoverd instead of two breasts I had four thighs and one breast. Its one or the other in our house. I made homemade teriyaki sauce and poured over the thighs and breast. Because the breast was so large, I wrapped it in foil, so it steam-bake at the same time the thighs roasted.
Steamed more broccoli than I thought we might eat...I have a plan.
Cooked 1 cup brown rice which makes roughly six servings for us. I packed in 1/2 cup servings for the freezer (KFC sides containers again. Love those little things!). This allows me to pull just one or two servings when wanted rather than have to cook another batch right away. These freeze just fine. I usually thaw and then reheat for a minute or so in the microwave.
Made my own individual healthy freezer meal. I packed 1/2 cup rice, leftover steamed broccoli, and a portion of breast meat. I spooned a bit of Teriyaki sauce on the breast meat. Popped in the freezer after labeling contents/date on the lid.
John washed and dried a full load of clothes. Sunshine made air drying super easy today.
The windows have been open since morning. I set the AC to come on at 75F. If it doesn't come on, we won't be turning it on no matter how 'warm' we think we feel.
When I mentioned being out of Vapor Rub, John checked his bag and found he had two new containers. I happily scratched that item off my shopping list.
Went over sales ads this morning to make out my shopping list. I have to think ahead to the holiday now, this pay period because next pay period is not only our short one but in Thanksgiving Week, too. I don't like to go shop during a holiday week.
Thursday: We were low on bread last night. I told John no worries, we'll have pancakes. Made him happy. So I made pancakes this morning.
Ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
Gathered trash to take off when we left home this morning.
Picked up dog bowls and put foods away when the dogs decided a morning walk was more thrilling to Kibbles n Bits.
Went to get lab work done while in neighborhood of Aldi.
Stuck to my list rather hard. Good thing. I was still over what I'd budgeted but the 'nothing extra' was just that, nothing extra. I didn't even get all the stuff I had on my list!
We stopped and cleaned up the car at the car wash. Boy did it need it! It's been months since we last cleaned our car. My Windex Wipes had dried out entirely but they did work fine with a little dampness on them, enough to wipe up dust and that dirty film about the door edges.
John made me a pineapple juice drink this evening. It will play heck with my blood sugar but should do my lungs and sinuses good.
Friday: We really are much bettter overall but I did have to take a cold tablet last night in the middle of the wee hours. Ah well. It was well over 24 hours between dosages which is a good thing, I think and a real sign of how much better we are overall.
We both had a cup of pineapple juice this morning. Sometimes the benefits just have to be adjusted in to the carbohydrates!
John made breakfast this morning and I was right glad. My short night of sleep didn't leave me feeling perky...and this thing has set my appetite aside. I get plenty hungry but until that moment I'm hungry I could care less what we have to eat.
Made dinner from leftover chicken today. I purchased a really good whole grain tortilla chip from Aldi yesterday and they were sort of the inspiration. I made a Southwestern Salad for our meal with chips on the side and salsa as dressing.
As I cleared up the guest room I stumbled across a sugar bowl I'd forgotten, a milk glass one that belonged to my great grandmother. I shall see if Katie would like that one, too. If not I'll keep it but if she does I shall stop feeling guilty over the broken creamer that is meant to go with it.
Dug about in the freezer and found a big beef rump roast I'd forgotten we had. It will be excellent roasted with rosemary and garlic tomorrow. I've a gracious plenty of vegetables to choose from to go with it. It is a large enough roast that should anyone require further feeding after the wedding (my niece's), then they can make sandwiches if they choose. Prep work for tomorrow's meal isn't done but a meal plan is almost as good as.
We had windows open most of the afternoon until nearly sunset.
We seem to never eat our Shabat bread and I for one am tired of finding them molded halfway through the week or shoved in the back of the freezer. Even the good homemade bread is seldom eaten which frustrates me a bit. I bought a single roll yesterday to use for tonight's Shabat bread and I think in future when I make up my bread I shall make roll sized pieces and freeze them. So much better than waste in my opinion.
Gave myself a pedicure.
Save the skin from the chicken breasts as a snack for the pets this evening.
Found corned beef and chicken soup in the freezer. I brought them out to thaw. I know John will want a sandwich, while I shall appreciate the soup, for my supper.
And that about wraps up another week in my home. What did you do to save time and or money?