Friday, March 18, 2016
Assigning Value to What I Do: Prettying My Nest
Mar. 12: Used up some strawberries and made a cobbler. I decreased proportions so that my cobbler was just right for us. It wasn't a lot of strawberries but about a pint, not one of which went to waste. Savings $.60.
I made Tuna Pasta salad for today's meal. I packaged up a portion to go into John's work lunch and there's plenty left for a supper one night this next week. It's such an inexpensive meal to make, even using whole wheat pasta. I used up the last of the jar of Tapenade in the dish since I often add chopped olives anyway. That was a savings right there as I had nearly half a jar left! Savings $1.50. The whole wheat pasta in this dish was bought off the clearance shelf at Publix and cost just $.75 for a pound box. I used vegetables that were in my fridge, including a red bell pepper that was getting rather worn looking, so another savings there of $1.
I forgot to share on Thursday but when I bought the carnations at the grocery this past week, I had several stems that were far too short for the regular bouquet. I made up a little bouquet to put on my bedside table from those and filled in the spaces with a bit of the leafy stems. Rosemary would work as well for greenery.
It's not quite time yet, but I've set ahead all the clocks except the one in the music room and the guest room and cars. It will save a hassle later and while I'm wide awake is the best time to reset clocks not when I'm half asleep. I want to be sure it's correct since John has to work tomorrow and certainly would be rightly upset to be LATE!
I've been easing up the thermostat on the air conditioner all week long. It's now set at 75F. I'll attempt to go up to 76F but we never made it past that mark last year as John complained that it was too stuffy indoors.
We went nowhere today. No gasoline used nor money spent shopping.
Made a batch of pimento cheese for sandwiches. Used leftover bits of various sorts of cheeses.
Mar. 13: Packed John's lunch and barely was able to close his bag. He's working another extra 12 hour shift and I had to pack more food to accommodate the extra meals he'd be away.
Worked on Swagbucks since I was up during the time when Bonus time is running on the satellite connection (from 2am until 8am). I didn't make goal because I limited myself to the one hour. My Swag earnings will likely be reduced which I'm sorry for but I can't really afford to pay out extra money just to do something that produces only a small amount of money for the household.
I have some food I need to work at 'salvaging'. I've got a full day planned today and won't be home tomorrow, but I've put all the food together on a shelf in the fridge so I can easily find it and prepare it for the freezer on Tuesday.
Worked on bills. Balanced check book. Tomorrow is Harvest and John will make the deposit while he's working, a small savings in gasoline of about 2 gallons.
I followed advice from Dee and redid the wall of pictures in the bedroom. I like it so much better and it looks pulled together and cohesive. I love free advice that also proves to be GOOD advice!
Watched PBS most of the evening hours. First Anne of Green Gables was on, then a rerun of Downton Abby's final episode. It was lovely to 'visit' with them and proved to be a restful evening for me after a day of housekeeping.
Made dinner for myself. I ended up cooking a Mushroom Swiss topped burger and had that and a salad for my dinner, then the second burger on bread for supper. Very good and far less expensive than any take out options. I'll have my saved chicken livers another day when I'm alone.
I didn't leave home at all today. Another day of gasoline savings. No shopping either.
Mar 14: Up early-ish...I fed the animals half portions since I couldn't stay home late enough to put away their bowls when they were done. No ants getting free meals here!
Took off trash, returned a library book, carried along bills to mail out and a deposit slip plus blank checks. Well prepared to tend to all Harvest today while I was out of the house.
Mama gifted me two large bottles of a favorite lotion that she'd found in her bath, plus 20 bars of Camay soap. I've still got 8 bars of the soap that came from Granny's 5 years ago and now I've 20 more bars. I was happy to receive the lotion and the soap. The lotion alone is a savings of $12 on sale. I haven't priced Camay soap in so long I've no idea how much that represents.
I accepted a gently read magazine from Mama.
Mama had some things tossed on a bed in her back room that she no longer wanted. I found a nightgown that I could use and was very grateful for finding it, too.
Today I paid off the loan we took out to pay medical bills last July. I don't know how to figure the savings on the interest as it was variable rate but at the rate of repayment the bank had set I saved roughly 62 months of interest and payments.
I was able to move money into savings today. Saved $1100. It isn't often we can pull off that much savings at once but I am very grateful to have it to set aside this time.
I was paying off a medical bill I received a couple of weeks ago, one that was already greatly reduced by the insurance company, but since it was not deductibles, I called the billing service and asked if I could get a discount for paying in full. I received a 10% discount. Savings $28.
We shopped at Walmart today. I had need of both house as well as wardrobe items for warmer weather. I found pretty pastel t-shirts today for about $4 each and bought 5. I will wear them out and about until I can buy nicer quality shirts then move these to the house clothes drawer. The only item left on my list for summer is a couple of pairs of shorts to wear at home.
Stopped on my way through town on my way home and dropped off bills at the post office. I picked up mail on my way in the driveway.
Mar 15: I swear my heart is lighter knowing we are once again out of debt, even if it turns out to be a temporary thing, it's a lovely feeling. Happy sighs here.
I had a menu planned for dinner today but John wanted fried chicken from the diner in town. He said he'd go pick it up and he'd pay for it. I said "Okay, fine. We'll have fried rice for supper tonight." It all works out just fine in the end. It was nice to have a take out meal. It was even nicer to have the leftovers to pack up for another meal.
I spent the afternoon working on the living room and managed to neaten several areas. I couldn't quite bring myself to cull books but it's still on my list. I have to truly see if there are any books I might pass on. I've a good cause as The Women's Club Book sale is coming up in about a month and I can donate to them. I did cull three books from my chair side bookcase and put them in the pile to donate.
After the living room was cleaned nicely and straightened up, I went to work on making the ottoman cover. I used the previous one as my pattern of sorts. I did a bang-up job on this. I love it when sewing works out perfectly and everything goes just so. It's a wonderful thing! By the way, that slip cover I made saved me $34.99.
Made fried rice for supper. Out of curiosity I looked up take away menu prices. A serving (which we all know is generous) in a Chinese restaurant goes for $6.95. So making mine at home saved us $13.90. I doubt I had more than $.75 tops in this and that would have been mostly for the seasonings (ginger, garlic, sherry and soy sauce). The vegetables were hardy inexpensive ones (carrots, onions, a red bell pepper, celery) and I used up leftover green beans, leftover broccoli, leftover brown rice, and leftover chicken as the rest of my ingredients.
Fed Maddie and the cat the chicken skin I removed from the chicken. Yes, I do normally save for broth but I felt they could use a little fat in their diets.
Mar. 16: I pulled bread sacks with odd and end pieces out last night. I determined several slices were a good size for French toast. Breakfast menu this morning was French Toast of course. I scrambled the leftover egg/milk mixture to go alongside.
Today was grocery day. We carried off trash and picked up mail while we were out.
I found both concentrated beef and chicken stock at Aldi today. I have been using bouillon cubes for convenience sake and will get some more when I find them but in the meantime this will be nice to have on hand and shall be long lasting.
I realized as I paid for groceries that I had not taken nearly enough money out of bank this pay period. I recall how distracted I was trying to work out my figures and I regret not taking more time to really think. I had two choices. Pay cash for my next lot of groceries or go without allowance. Past history has proven that allowance will never be gotten if I mean to replace it. I opted to pay with debit card at Publix and of course, I ended going a little over. My 'extras' this pay period were a corned beef brisket and blue cheese dressing. I'd meant to buy the corned beef at Aldi but there was NONE and the blue cheese dressing was a forgotten item I'd failed to put on my list.
John wanted to eat out today following the shopping and again paid out of pocket with it. It's lovely to eat out but honestly? I'm a bit ready to eat my own cooking right here at home.
John has been so sweet this week to 'treat' me that I decided to bake the last 1 dozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls from the freezer for him. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I noted in the bakery that a dozen cookies were going for quite a hefty price. Savings: $5.99.
We received a senior discount at Publix today, Savings $5.52
John went in to buy coffee, but was given it Free. Savings $2.38.
Gathered and made items for John's work lunch for tomorrow. Just a regular shift this time around and that is quite all right with me.
Mar. 17: Made John breakfast, packed his lunch.
No Irish feasting today, but possibly on Saturday..That's our day to enjoy the corned beef, cabbage and soda bread. In the meantime? Leftover chicken for dinner. Maddie got a treat of the skin off the chicken. There are leftovers to choose from for supper as well.
Used up almost all the mushrooms that were sort of going over the edge in my omelet this morning. I threw away 5 that were truly little button sized mushrooms, didn't feel at all bad about that.
Washed two loads of clothes. I hung several items to dry but quite a few went through the dryer. It's too yellow outdoors to even consider hanging out clothes to dry.
Turned the fan on those clothes hung to dry so they'd dry a little quicker.
Turned the AC up one more degree. It's doubtful I'll ever get it higher than 76F but I am very comfortable with it at that temperature.
Cut up two large carrots which turned out to be too much for me to eat. I realized this before I cooked them. I put some of the carrot sticks into a jar for snacking.
While I was making a salad using strawberries today, I recalled reading on Pinterest that strawberries stored in the fridge in a glass jar last longer than those stored in the plastic container from the store. I put my strawberries in a glass jar and put them back in the fridge.
Mar. 18: Up early this morning, well before 8am. I ran Swagbucks videos since it was before 8am and wasn't cutting into our daytime data usage. I'm not even trying to make goal anymore but just to get in a solid hour of earnings. It all adds up in the end.
John called to set up an appointment to have the septic tank pumped. This is something that should be done every 3-5 years depending upon size of household. While they have the lid off, they can check seals and the flow of the drain field and such and be sure that all is in working order. All is well. The bank account is a little lighter but we don't have to do this again for five more years.
I inadvertently got involved in what might be considered Spring cleaning in the kitchen this morning. I ran late working and then had to run to town to get funds for the septic cleaning fee. I just wasn't up to coming back to make a huge dinner. Change of menu plan: I made a small batch of sloppy joes and heated frozen fries.
I'm calling it a day early on. Tomorrow's dinner will be easily prepped and put in the crock pot in the morning.
This week's total: 1205.88