Friday, July 29, 2016

Frugal Friday: Frugal Fitness Training Camp Week Five

Yummy fried green tomatoes were on the menu last week...I do love them but the silly green tomatoes cost more than ripe ones if you must purchase.   Oddly when you grow your own they all cost the same... Thanks to Mama who provided this one for us.

Saturday:  Today marks the beginning of week five of boot camp. Two more weeks to go and honestly I'm tired but I'm pushing forward.  This is for my own good...

Turned of ceiling fans and fans before leaving home today.

Packed bottles of water and packets of crackers for snacks on the road.

Remember my plans to save $20 a week?  I said I'd save all my fives to cover that and this week I put $35 in my savings from my pocket money.  That's only $5 more needed to cover next week's $20 as well.  It means I have a lot less pocket money than I'd planned but I am very serious about saving the $20 to fund other home projects.

I also set $40 aside in our account, which will cover two weeks. That will be vacation funds! It may not always be possible to put that much aside but I'm going to do what I can.  Nothing saved, nothing gained, right?

I received my free bra today.  It's a nice bra.  I plan to wear it a few times and see how it feels but if it's as comfortable as it feels at the moment, I plan to order some of these.  I'll share details later.  I've already looked up where to buy and costs.  It's very reasonable while on sale.

Sunday:  We had to refill the car today after our trip yesterday.  I have money set aside for gas for trips and we'll use that to cover this expense.

John and I went into Publix.  I'd meant to buy a 12 pack of canned drinks but 6 packs of bottles were $1 less, with $1off coupons on them and were also buy one get one.  Obviously a much better purchase.

Stuck to my list while in the store.  My only 'splurge' was to get a packet of buns to make the sandwiches for our dinner today.

Purchased a Sunday paper.  And picked up the Publix coupon flyers while we were in the store, too.

I haven't been feeling well, so we kept meals very simple.  I picked up deli roasted turkey and we had sandwiches from that.  Not something I'd normally do but necessary today.


Monday:  We had an early appointment this morning.  John and I had a sketchy breakfast so we stopped to eat something a little later.  We paid out of pocket money.

Made a return and that money went into the bill box to be used next pay period.

While John went to his appointment, I stayed busy.  I brainstormed various methods and means of saving, asked myself a lot of questions.  8 pages later...I'll share some of these thoughts soon.

We comparison shopped on a big ticket item.  We found a bargain that was almost 25% less than any of the rest we'd priced.  So we made a big ticket purchase today, using cash we'd saved.  It is a new shed, since John's shed is storage for the mower and prevents his getting in for his tools.  As well, we find we're often the free storage facility or children prefer when they are moving (five times thus far) and since the two sheds are now full of other we really needed this extra space.  It does seem the more I declutter the more storage we find we need which is odd.   However, again I most note that we've three closets in the house.  One is filled with John's collectible and music things, one is our clothes closet and one is the pantry/linen closet.  We still laugh that we chose a home with fewer closets than the one we'd lived in for years...

Came home and had a quick lunch.

Sorted out one of the many files in the file cabinet and thinned it considerably.  I took a half hour and filed all the loose papers.  I'll sort out another file tomorrow.  This is in an effort to get fully organized and rid ourselves of still more 'stuff' that prevents us finding the necessary and continually requires us to add still more spaces to stash things.  Thinning means we can fit more in what we already have.

Leftovers for supper tonight.

Organized the fridge today.  I froze salsa that we weren't eating quickly enough.  I have enough to make a recipe or two.    Also froze some horseradish in recipe sized portions using an old ice tray.  When solid, I'll pop into a jar and keep that in the freezer.

Tuesday:  I made pancakes for breakfast this morning.  I put the leftovers into the freezer.

Cooked the last two sausages in the box (extra over our breakfast sausages) and put them in the fridge.  I will use those on pizzas for dinner one night or on cheese toast for breakfast.

Sprayed some stains and left the items to soak for 24 hours.

Sorted out another section of files. 

We had a lighter lunch than planned.  I was unprepared to have the oven heat up the house today.

Pulled curtains on sunny sides of house.

Used natural light as much as I could to work by today.

Saved another juice bottle to fill with water for under the counter storage of emergency water.  I've found the rectangular bottles allow me to fit more under there than using round jugs.

I added a diced peach to the orange segments I took from the freezer.  This made a very tasty fruit salad to go with our meal.

Called and cancelled a service that was 'renewed' but had previously been free.  I saved $300 by paying attention to billing.

Finished another book for Boot Camp.

Wednesday:  I started the day on a run.  I'd planned last night to use up two rather shriveled (but still lovely) peaches in making oatmeal.  It was delicious. 

As soon as I finished, John was ready to go outdoors to mow.  I knew I needed to water my poor plants.  I used the hose today but later in the day I used some water from boiled eggs, mixed with the egg shells and coffee grounds to water both the hanging baskets of petunias and the hydrangea.  This should bolster those plants nicely.

Came indoors and did a quick job of the housework, then settled to work in the kitchen.

I thawed about a pound and half of ground beef last night.  I made burgers for supper last night and today I made meatloaf with the rest of the meat (about 1 pound of meat).  I added grated onion and carrot, a few end pieces of bread soaked in a little milk, the last bits of pico de gallo (minus the juice). 

I cut up the last four potatoes and put them on to boil.  I set more than half of them aside for hash browns one morning.

I boiled eggs.  Some will likely end up being egg salad but some will be snacks for John.

I made tuna pasta salad for dinner for tomorrow when I know we'll be out until right about dinner time.

I made extra coleslaw so I'd have some for slaw dogs later.

I rinsed dishes over the dishpan.  I used the water with soap added to wash the few dishes I needed to wash by hand.  I then dumped that water over some of the plants outdoors.

I took an hour to cut coupons and organize them, to scan sales papers and determine where I might get the best price on several items I was considering buying. I also edited my list to take some items off.

Mindful of Tamar Adler's and M.F.K. Fisher's kitchen hints, I saved both the drippings from the meatloaf (broth and fat) and the liquid from the can of green beans in a jar.  I'll use this to make a soup for supper one night this week or weekend.  The jar is in the fridge so that I'm mindful of my intent.

I also started saving compost today.  I partially cut away the top of a milk jug and dumped in all the vegetable leavings plus coffee grounds, egg shells and paper towel.  Yep, paper towel.  I dumped this outdoors where there is a spot of bare earth, so I can mix the compost and the dirt.

Thursday:   Started out the day fighting an ant infestation.  Not in the food cabinets but parading across the counters and stove.  It's especially frustrating when I have been watching for scouts and having seen them, tried hard to track where they were coming in  from.  I also took extra care to clean very well.  Lots of spray used this morning and a powder killer as well.  Ugh.  Then the house was vacuumed very well indeed to gather any more that might be scouting.    John will spray about outside the house, which seemed to help a lot last summer when they started moving in.

Cleared files and organized contents of folders.  Realized as I sorted through financial papers how abysmally unaware I am of what we have...I shall be stepping atop that a little bit as it's foolish to not know what assets you have!

Overall a very quiet day of work.  I cleared the booth space this morning.  The owner of the store offered to let me continue through the paid period of end of month to see how I might do in sales but at this point it just meant the stress of clearing booth would fall next week when I've other plans and a possible prorated amount of rent to pay as well. 

John wisely suggested I take along our two big suitcases and pack things in them.  I took saved newspapers with me and wrapped items and then cushioned things with folded sheets from our linens trunk.  This worked extremely well.  While they were indeed heavy they held the stuff in a contained way so no tumbles occurred and to my knowledge nothing broke in transportation.  I confess it was far too hot to unpack and stow so I'm not positive on that last point but we didn't hear any breakage occur.

John took the shelving from the shop and set up in his shed, which allows him to now start moving things to the new work shed and not merely pile stuff on the floor.

He offered to pick up lunch in town but I happily informed him that I'd prepared a tuna pasta salad yesterday for the express purpose of eating when we were done with the booth work.

Organized the laundry area using what I had.  It looks much neater.  Not as pretty as those nicely matched pieces do, but neater goes a long way to improving a space.

Found gift bag and tissue paper in my stash for the baby shower gift.  Also found a card to put in the bag with the gift.

Brought home the cutest little favors, just perfect in size.  They were small pieces of cake packed into 4 ounce jars.

Friday:  Made a quick breakfast from frozen pancakes saved from a meal earlier this week.

Dumped water from water bottles into a container to use later to water plants.  Heat is fierce here just now and lots of wind which is even more drying on the plants.

Started a second mess of composting materials.  While clearing files I've a lot of paper that are printed on both sides I mean to shred.  This will end up in compost, too.

I am saving pages with blank backs to print out items that won't be leaving house (no sensitive information going out) but that I need to print in order to clear Internet files.

Sometimes in saving money I have to ask myself a pertinent question:  Which store is the least dangerous?  Danger in this case means, what store is least likely to tempt me to spend more than I'd planned to spend?  Some items are indeed cheaper at the dollar store but I seldom stick to my list hard there because there are a plethora of cute and pretty little things that don't cost much but attract the impulse buys.  Sometimes the higher priced local grocery store is the best place to purchase things.

When I went into town today to buy peaches and pick up a couple of needed items at the grocery, I was so tempted to stop and pick up something for lunch.  I knew John would enjoy it...But I stopped to think of what I had at home: leftover tuna pasta salad, plenty for another meal and some leftover meatloaf that we might also eat.  I came home and we had leftover salad for our midday meal.

I purchased a big bag of peaches and a bag of tomatoes.  Plans are to share with Katie if she comes to visit as planned.  If not I'll put the peaches up in the freezer to share with her and Bess another time.  Besides I need to put by a few bags for cobblers over winter.  I can always make up more of the marinara sauce from the tomatoes.

We've had some nice wind the past two days.  It's made drying laundry a breeze...

I am going to stop here today and go plan out weekend meals so I'm not tempted to spend money I oughtn't over the weekend.

What did you do to save this week?

6 comments:

Lana said...

You had a great week!

We had our windows cleaned by a window cleaning company to keep hubby off the ladder doing windows by hand. After they left we were disappointed to see that there were many places that were missed so hubby had to go behind and clean those places. I received an email asking for feedback on the job and told them honestly how we felt. They called and told me that they were shredding our check and there was no charge. What a blessing to encounter an honest company!

Neighbors who moved in a couple of months ago offered us their moving boxes and new packages of packing paper that they had not used. I did not know you could buy packages of paper to pack with. Anyway, we hauled home a lot of free boxes so that we can begin to pack. They also had a lot of diaper boxes perfect for books.

Had lunch and supper out on hubby's birthday on Tuesday. For lunch we used a Living Social deal for a coffee shop that we love. They have such a lovely place and play soft jazz and the food is so good. Supper was much more but we did have a $5 off coupon. Per his request I made chocolate cupcakes.

We keep going back and forth on whether we should keep composting or just let it go since the new owners won't care one bit about that pile of gold out there. Or maybe they will. I do prefer to not send all that stuff to the landfill.

Last night I sat down and made menus for several weeks. Determined that I did not want anything to use the 3 peppers in the fridge so I cut them up and froze them this morning. I am trying to let things run down here since I will have to move it and there is less storage at the new house. I made egg salad this week for inexpensive sandwiches and baked bread twice. Also made green tea and limeade from a 49 cent bag of limes. I spent $4.13 on bananas and grape tomatoes but knew we did not need anything else. I still have $75 of my $250 grocery budget for July.

The last few days have been a few degrees cooler but I hate to think what our utility bill will be since the A/C is running so much. I am so thankful for it though no matter what the bill is this month.

Lana said...

Here I go again! I bet John is over the moon about his new man cave! It is wonderful that you were able to move the shelves right in there too!.My hubby wanted the house we are buying because of the detached workshop. :)

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

We've been battling ants here, too, for the last couple of weeks. The teeniest-tiniest little ants I have ever seen. They started around the sink and counter, then the stove, then inside the microwave!!, and then finally they started appearing on the table. Just seeing them makes my skin crawl. I cleaned with detergent and water and made sure everything was closed up so they couldn't get into anything. I don't like to use bug spray in the house because we have a little dog who might get into it. I read on line that ants are repelled by mint. I had some mint extract in the cabinet, so I went back and cleaned everything with Windex and mint extract. That got rid of them from the microwave for good (I hope). I had the mintiest fresh house in the neighborhood. For a couple of days the ants stayed away from the rest of the places, but then returned. At one point I put some listerine in a small spray bottle with some mint extract and if I sprayed the ants directly with that it killed them immediately, but it didn't work to get rid of them. The last straw was when I put one part of our meal on the table and turned around to get something out of the fridge, then turned back around to the table, and there were two ants running toward the meal I had just sat down. They acted like dogs or cats running for their food bowl.

My husband sprayed all around the outside foundation of the house and found their ant trail coming in. He sprayed that area really well. The inside ants then disappeared for a couple of days, and then just when I started to feel relaxed again, they were baaaack.

I then went to the hardware store and bought Combat Ant Bait. They are little plastic discs with an attractant bait in them. I put them around where the problems were worst, and holy cow! the ants came running to them. I could barely keep myself from just squashing them, but the baits work by getting the poison on the ants and they take bits of the bait back to their nests and it poisons the other ants. I was hoping and praying that they worked well after having what looked like all of the ants for miles around attracted to my kitchen. The ants continued, but lessened each day, for a couple of days. Then they were gone. They've been gone now for two days. I read online that there could be another re-infestation after the eggs that were in the nest hatch. I've still got some more ant baits left, and bug spray for outside, and mint extract. If all of that fails, I may be in the market for a pet ant eater.

Susie


Anonymous said...

We get those tiniest ants in the world too on our counters and sometimes around the stove which is close.
I wonder if they live in the wood that is under our very old kitchen tile counters? We see them off and on all year. Then this June we got black larger ants. They came and left through a crack in the wall under the sink. I put a Terro inside liquid ant trap off the side of the counter. We have no children visiting and no pets right now. The trap was in an area that was high and it could sit undisturbed. Wow did the ants start coming and coming and coming here too. In the trap and back under to that crack. All day and night for a week. Then less then none. None now for 3 weeks. I am glad though I have extra traps in the package as I looked and all the stores we were at were out of them. Seems this is ant season! My son said he read that March is the month the pantry moths start and may or June ants inside. So now I will make sure I am prepared. Terro ant dust in the can like canister works great over ant hills in the yards. It is not always easy to find in stores. They also have ant flakes in a bigger shake Bag. It is for shaking all around your foundations then watering some. We only need the powder for the grass areas. It works better than anything else for us. Most cans now for ant killer {not the spray ones} are flake like stuff not dust and the dust works best. When we put it down we put a clay flower pot over the area. Little ants still get in and out but any stray cats leave it alone. Best to be safe. I wondered about the new eggs in nets that had the rest killed. Thanks for the info. I hope they don't return !! :-)
I HAVE to make sure I freeze meals ahead. The house today is so humid I feel like I am breathing water and so really Need to have meals made ahead. I want to make a cobbler but can't sue the stove for sure.
We can't eat out to get cool all the time. You have encouraged me i can do this. I know even my brain feels slowed when it is so hot and humid so a list of meals and sides to use all ready would help a lot! lol
I used to depend on the many good fresh fruit to add to our meals and now with hubbies diabetes this is not as good. Time to rethink again. I have been adding more veggies instead. I will go over the diabetic meal instructions again too to help my own frugal boot camp. Hubbies numbers were up for two days which is totally unusual for him and he is worried about tomorrows numbers. We keep a list of all he eats and can't see where he ate differently. You show where you eat more fruit and snacks than he does. l know everyone is different. I am missing something so on to some study. ....and a sit in front of a fan!! LOL Sara

Anonymous said...

Saving $ this week? Went to Aldi and bought 0. Oh I saw lots I wanted...like cookies but really Needed nothing they had .:)) Looked at the summer and extra things they have in the store and ditto on them. Our Aldi is in a big strip mall area. Is that where they often settle? They put it in a store that went out of business years ago. It is odd to be there. This is in an area with a Home Depot and Pet Smart etc but also on our big restaurant lane. ninety percent all restaurants. No grocery stores within miles. Since Aldi is small its parking area is too..and too tight. Many say they don't go cause it is so out of the way..and odd there. They are not shopping when in that area then going home. They don't want to buy perusable things then stay in town a while. I hope they are getting enough business to stay open. Do the Aldi's in your areas take over old stores like this and in odd areas? I know stores do a lot of research when planning to come to areas but??? Our other Aldi it is a better area for groceries. Just wondering? Sarah

jill said...

Hi Terri and Sarah,

Terri it is good to be back. I have not been here in ages. I always love reading your blog and I am still enjoying the Victoria magazines I bought from you.

We here in CA. finally had an Aldi's open up in the next town. It too has a small parking lot...right next to Starbucks. Getting in and out is crazy. Anyway, my overall thoughts on Aldi is it will not do well here in Southern CA. Fresh and Easy which sold pretty much their brand of food, etc. and I believe was similar to Aldi's all but went out of business. I think the one in San Diego/Point Loma is still open.

At Aldi's I found the fresh produce section is small and although we are not big on name brands getting ones eggs from someplace in Illinois is not OK with us. I believe one saves 'so much' at Aldi's because much of what we saw was prepackaged food. That is almost always lower in price. On our one and only trip there...after not knowing one needs a quarter...no big deal unless one does not have a quarter. There is a long story behind that that involved the cashier and another customer...too funny. Anyway, we also did not know we needed to bring our own bags. Long story short, we spent $53 getting half of the items on our list. Zipped to our local grocer and spent $54 on the other half of the list. Even though I do not believe their slogan of being 'the low price leader' we decided we would just stick with Staters as their selection of food items is much, much better. No quarters or your own bags needed.

Another store we shop at is Food 4 Less. They are owned by Kroger. Basically like Aldi's warehouse style but much larger. You bag your own but they provide bags and no quarters needed. Last trip there we spend $223 dollars for a month's worth of food...minus extra milk, eggs, bread that may be needed. I also think their selection of food items is better than Staters. Their produce section we feel is out of this world.

I keep driving myself nuts trying to decide which store to shop at. Staters, Food 4 Less or the neighborhood Wal Mart in Loma Linda. Loma Linda is a Seventh Day Adventist town...very health conscious so this particular Wal Mart caters to that. Great selection on healthier food items. Our average monthly shopping there is about $250. I still hate driving here and there to pick up this or that. Just not worth the time spent in traffic and what I feel is a waste of gasoline. Currently holding at 2.99 a gallon for the cheap stuff. As my husband has recently been told he is borderline diabetic we are eating far more fresh food. His/my doctor suggested a Mediterranean diet. I love it, he is getting use to it, lol. I do miss the biscuits and gravy though. I thought it would be a much higher cost for us but so far it is much less. We use to spend $300 -$400 a month plus more for any extra milk etc.

I hear you Terri on the dollar store. Although I have not shopped at the Dollar Store I do like going into the .99 Cent Store. Often it is hit and miss there and yes, their cute and pretty things are a distraction too.

Hope you all have a wonderful week coming up.
blessings, jill