Friday, March 31, 2017
Frugal Friday: SPROING!
Friday: I lost track of time on Friday and didn't get to do my usual end post for last week. I wish I could tell you now why I was so busy, but I can't. I wasn't spring cleaning at the time...Oh yes, I recall now how I spent that day!
I packed John's work lunch and made him breakfast. Sent him off to work with a cup of coffee.
I worked on Swagbucks until 7am. I opted to do a survey that pays out later. I have to test a product and complete the follow-up survey. I've done this sort of thing for other survey groups and there IS a free product for me in it.
I did some light routine housework and then ran a full load of dishes.
I wrote out checks for bills on Harvest Day next week and balanced the checkbook.
I set aside 1/3 of the money needed to pay the car insurance again in July. Two more pay periods and this sub-account will be full. Then I'll begin on the house insurance sub-fund!
I washed a load of clothes at John's request and hung most of them to dry. I always say 'most' because we always put our underwear in the dryer. This helps the elastic threads to spring back. If we don't, I usually end up with sneaky drawers that want to fall off me. Not fun!
I made Challah bread. I made three mini loaves and used the last quarter of the dough to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast. This worked so well I might do it more often. I really liked the Challah dough as my sweet roll dough.
I had a single slice of lasagna for my midday meal which I took from the freezer and thawed in the microwave. I had a big salad, too.
I had a small group meeting tonight at church. I grabbed half a small Challah loaf (after an early Shabat!) and two cheese slices on my way out of the door.
I stopped and turned around and came back into the house because I'd said I'd bring paper plates with me. And spoons. There were no plastic spoons under the counter. When I got to town I went into out local grocery and bought spoons. And napkins. Both were on sale and both were very well priced. I think I spent $3.
Enjoyed getting to know the two girls who came in for the group meeting. The leader brought in a light supper of fruit salad and chicken salad with crackers.
Saturday: I thawed chicken breasts overnight in the fridge. I had made no meal plan or prep for the day so I had that to attend to this morning. Also made omelet to go with our cinnamon rolls.
John brought in some leftovers from his meal and put them into the fridge right away. He snacked on them later in the morning and ate some of it for his supper later this evening.
I decided to make Parmesan Chicken tenders. I used yogurt instead of mayonnaise which is higher in fat. I fixed potatoes and green beans and a big salad, too. It was all easily put together and tasted so good. I cooked the green beans in the oven right along with my oven fried tenders and potato wedges.
I spent some time on Pinterest looking at all sorts of things. I reworked my boards a little. I also deleted a load of pictures off the computer files that I don't need to keep.
About evening, John got a message that a shift was open on Sunday. He talked it over with me and then offered to take a 12 hour (half) shift for the day.
We have odds and ends for supper. I realize that since I returned from south Georgia in February, we've had absolutely no plan at all for suppers. It's always scratch about and find what we have or resort to peanut butter and jelly. I must remedy this!
Made John a work lunch.
Sunday: Packed John's work lunch, fed him breakfast and sent him off to work with a to go cup of coffee.
Worked on Swagbucks until 7am.
Normally we'd have gone to church today but I find it expedient to get in all the work days I can just now. I did listen to 8 hours of sermons as I worked in the room today and I enjoyed them very much. By 1pm I was feeling fully grounded and at peace.
I spring cleaned the main living space of our home. I worked my way from one side of the room to the other and round again.
I washed three full loads of laundry and dried two loads in the dryer and hung one on the lines which filled them full.
I broke my toe. It as a stupid accident on my part and not much to be done for it except endure the pain until it stopped hurting. I couldn't bear anything to touch my toe at all, not even barely touch, so no ice. I did force myself to sit with an ice bag held on it but honestly it was beyond painful. I took some anti-inflammatories. The orthopedic doctor I worked with always gave patients mega doses of ibuprofen, which I find I can't do at all, but he also recommended they take Tylenol in between doses of ibuprofen. I'll tell you right not that this is not to be taken lightly and most certainly not often as it can damage your liver, BUT it does work for pain. I took ONE ibuprofen and two acetaminophen. One dose was all it took to reduce the pain to a twinge and that was a HUGE improvement.
I spent the rest of the afternoon reading or playing games and admiring my fresh living area.
I had a frozen entrée of chicken livers in the freezer and baked a potato in the microwave. I was going to make a second vegetable and a salad as well, but then I broke that toe and I could have cared less about a balanced meal. What I really wanted was to just sit and moan and eat chocolates. Instead, I had some fruit, a potato and the livers. And a big tall glass of unsweetened tea and a big mug of coffee.
John had wanted me to have supper for him when he came in but alas he got none. Fortunately he had leftovers from his work lunch and he ate those. I did have hot coffee waiting on him.
Went to bed and slept like a dead woman. All. Night. Long. Tiredness and trauma seem to work really well for this semi-insomniac, lol.
Monday: My toe felt somewhat better, but was badly swollen. I took more ibuprofen.
Made pancakes and sausage for breakfast.
John washed a load of clothes. Later he washed another smaller load of towels and dish rags and such. He hung clothes on the line to dry.
I made Chicken Fried Rice for dinner. It was quick and easy and required little work on my part. I pulled out the stuff to make it from my big deep freezer, as I took a freezer inventory. Instead of chopping a bunch of vegetables as I'd normally do, I used some of the frozen mixed vegetables, the same sort you'd put in soup or pot pie. Y'all! This was GOOD and something I will do again in the future as it added a lot of different vegetables to my fried rice dish.
I only had one orange. I segmented that and then mixed it with three slices of pineapple that I cut into chunks. This made a great ambrosia. To make it more dessert like, I added in some mini marshmallows that have been ignored in the cabinet. Yum!
Worked on the bills again, since John brought in some things from Saturday's mail. Since John is working again tomorrow, we'll save the trip to pick up his check. He will do it while he's already at work.
Put aside some Leftover Fried Rice for his work lunch. Used the last of the bread to make his work supper sandwiches. I'm scraping along here but we don't mean to grocery shop until Friday. John likes to grocery shop and he wants to go with me and that's the day that works best for us.
I set out frozen soups for our supper. John opts to make a can of lima beans instead as his 'soup'. I don't mind. I'm happy with my Butternut Squash soup.
Set up oatmeal for morning meal.
Put finishing touches on his work lunch/supper.
Tuesday: Made oatmeal. Packed his work meals. Sent him off to work with a cup of coffee.
Worked on Swagbucks. Completed a survey that didn't credit. Quit in disgust. It still hasn't credited. UGH.
Did very light housework.
Fed the dog and cat some more of the leftover items I culled from the freezer that we simply didn't want to eat. This is my third day adding to their food which is good since the reserves are getting low. Here's hoping there is a sale starting on Wednesday.
Put together a new to me outfit.
John called with figures from his check. I finished off the work of writing checks, totting up the checkbooks, etc. I set aside a little money for vacation, a little money to cover a charge he made on my credit card and a little more money in savings. It's nice to have a check with overtime so that I can do these extra things. It's also discouraging to see that nearly the same amount of our short check each month was paid in taxes on this bigger check. John is determined to get a few more days through April though, since a co-worker will be out with surgery.
I ran to the bank in Butler. I could have done banking anywhere, but I needed to return some items to our safety deposit box. Took off trash and posted mail, too while I was in that town.
Scrapped all my extra shopping plans and headed to Publix to buy the BOGOs that were on my list which ended today. These are items we routinely use and were very well priced. VERY gratifying to watch as my savings and my total came up to very nearly one and the same. I saved $55 and spent $63.
I repaid the loan I took from the cleaning fund from my pocket money for the pay period.
I bought some cleaning supplies. Here my total did indeed equal the savings as they were all wonderfully sale priced items. I spent $18 of the cleaning fund. I have $13 left to spend and I'll call that bit of stocking up done for now. I'd like to buy paper towels and toilet paper with that remaining money.
Spent $4 on a small bunch of white and yellow daisy mums.
I stopped for a $5 lunch at Dairy Queen.
Came home and organized my new cleaning supplies in the cupboard.
Put away my shopping.
Boiled a half dozen eggs. The eggs will become egg salad and a boiled egg for chicken salad. I'm determined to have some supper options besides pbjs.
Wednesday: I was so disappointed this morning. I pulled out the turkey bacon to make for breakfast and discovered it was the oddest shade of green. I looked at the date on the package and it was a good three weeks before it's sell by date. Ugh. Add that to the 'waste' list for this quarter.
Made breakfast sandwiches for us this morning. John seemed glad to have a hot sandwich for breakfast even if it was warm-ish outdoors already when he came in.
Washed a full load of dishes.
I don't know what got into me but I went all off menu today. I'd taken out some chicken legs last night to thaw thinking I'd fry them for John. This served us dinner, and will be out dinner's tomorrow too. We'll each have leftover potato salad and leftover peach cobbler. Pretty good dinner even if it was off menu.
I made chicken salad using two breasts I'd thawed last night. I also made pimento cheese and egg salad. I'm done with the haphazard lack of planning for suppers. I mean to look for a few more inspirations in that department but this is a good start.
John raved over that meal. I've not fried chicken in a very long time. Legs cook so much more quickly and evenly than breasts or thighs and often are cheap. I thought about how much it costs to buy an 8 piece box of fried chicken and how much those 8 legs cost. I do believe it was less than $1.50 for all 8 legs and they weren't tiny things, either. I could fry 48 legs for what one box of deli fried chicken on sale costs. Anyway, I shall certainly do this again and not wait so long between times.
This morning before I worked in the kitchen, I did an inventory of the back pantry. I noted a few low items but overall was rather pleased with what we have on hand. Not by any means the year's worth that John has requested I work towards but we're doing pretty well overall. I shall make it a point to focus on the pantry more.
We had talked over where we'd like to go for vacation and John had even found two rooms that were suitable. I went online to look at them on Monday and got kicked off the website and couldn't get back in. I should have looked yesterday but kept forgetting when I was on the computer. When John sat down this morning he looked up the two rooms and they were no longer available. As well, the prices had jumped, corrected to the peak season prices. He was so disappointed and I was sorry as could be I hadn't made more of an effort the other day to look. Oh well. While he napped this afternoon I went on various websites and noted that a number of rooms were available at the same condos through private owners. On a whim, I went back to the website and discovered that by decreasing the status of the rooms we'd consider, that there were several which were quite nice at a lower tier price. This meant that we could stay 4 nights instead of the 3 he'd planned to stay and it was still well within our pre-planned budget for room. I showed him the best of the offerings at that price range when he woke up and we booked for a stay later in the season. Lovely! I love having that extra night since the first day is usually straight travel and we really don't get to enjoy being there. It's basically an 'Oh we're here..." sigh and fall into bed to sleep like the dead first day of vacation. Now we'll be able to enjoy a full three days of being in our favorite place.
I've been invited to a virtual tea party. It's really quite interesting the things I've learned this week about all the different types of tea and how long to steep the different types, etc. Did you know that if you have loose teas, you can steep up to three times before discarding your tea leaves? I had no idea! Katie gave me samples of several lovely discontinued Teavana loose teas she was given and now I know that I can reuse those leaves to really enjoy quite a lot of cups of tea.
There is no chocolate in my house. I repeat. There is no chocolates in my house. Frozen chocolate chips to the rescue. Yes, I ate frozen chocolate chips. John did suggest that if I'd made cookie dough to surround the chips and baked them they might be more tasty. Wonder if that is a hint?
Set up oatmeal and coffee for morning.
Thursday: John working another half shift today. I made oatmeal and packed his lunch Sent him off with a cup of coffee in the cup he recycled from a coffee purchase.
I sat here this morning and dreamed. I dreamed of moving to Florida, namely St. Augustine and actually looked at real estate. Prices are not too high for the sort of place we'd like. Never mind where the money might come from or when we'd go. I realized as I sat here that it's fun to look at different areas but I don't want to be any further from my family and while I'd be closer to Sam and Bess, I'd be a very long way from Katie and Matt. Nope. I'll stay in the middle where I am, thank you. And that's how we 'saved' about $160,000 this morning...huh.
Went out to finish raking and realized that while I've bought pricey mulch in the past and put around the trees I might just as well rake up the leaves and pile them about the roots as well. After all it's an all natural mulch and the leaves are already partially decayed from rain and warm weather over
I looked about the yard this morning and across the field to the tree line and realized that spring has sprung. There are leaves on ALL the trees in some stage of development from budding open to fully leaved.
Weeded flower beds. All of them. Ouch my aching back, but it's done. I knew now was a good time because they were not running rampant just yet and we'd just had rain. The morning had been foggy earlier and that helped hold the pollen counts down. I filled my little wagon full of weeds but it's all done!
Why do weeds grow so much better than flowers?
Why does Maddie only dig up flowers and never weeds?
Gathered all the various pots of flowers and bulbs and put them on the back porch. It's time to empty and replant and having them central to my work area will make it easier. Now I need soil and plants.
Removed the protective coverings from the faucets and refilled doggie water pans. I won't put these back on until winter freezes start up again. We are safely past that stage for now. I cleaned the buckets and refilled the pets' water supply.
Re-heated leftovers for my dinner today. Used the last two slices of bread in the package for my supper sandwich. For supper, I also finished off the strawberries and a half cup of yogurt left in the jar. Was surprised to find I've still got 2 1 pint jars of yogurt in the fridge.
Friday: John and I had planned a longer day out today which included an errand (that we completely forgot about until we were home) and haircuts. My haircut today cost me $11. I was blessed to get the one stylist I was sure would be able to give me a good cut based on her own style. She did a nice job. John asked if it was a $50 haircut and I shook my head but it's a nice cut and will do. He asked the difference. I explained that instead of being rushed out of the jar in 15 minutes I would usually be in the chair for about $45. I also got a shampoo, deep conditioning and styling for my money. I know he doesn't believe there's a big difference in those in/out salons and a stylist taking up real time with a client but there is. However, I am satisfied I can work with this girl to get the hair cut I want even if the frills are gone.
I paid for my haircut from our account. John paid out of pocket for his. He asked why I would take mine from the personal account while he paid out of his allowance. I explained, "I've always told you to pay for it from the account but you refuse. But it all balances in the end. I get my hair done and it comes from the account. I buy all of my clothes from my personal allowance. All of your clothes come from the account, but you pay for all your haircuts from your personal allowance." He thought about it and said "I guess it does balance out." I didn't add that he gets a haircut every three weeks and I get one every 8 or 9 weeks, which also makes a difference.
We bought a bag of ice. This is a seasonal thing for us and we will reuse the bag several times over for our grocery purchases now that the weather is warming up. I hate giving up the space in the freezer but it is necessary and I refuse to buy a fresh bag every time just to dump it once we get home. Thankfully, since I took time to 'declutter' the freezer a couple of months ago, the ice will fit.
At Aldi we spent a good bit more than usual. I bought 3 6 inch pots of herbs that were just lovely: basil, sage and oregano. I've never seen such beautiful oregano! The aroma went with us all about the store and into the car, too, which was just lovely. Those pots accounted for $10 more than usual of our spending. No regrets.
I don't know just where the rest of the overage came in. We did purchase two packages of meats which we normally don't do at Aldi but we'd decided to give the beef a try. I bought a sirloin steak and a round roast. That accounts for about another $20 of the overage. No regrets there either.
Where the rest of that overage came from, I have no idea. We skipped buying just lots of things because I'd just done an inventory and knew we were okay in that area. We didn't buy a lot of extra items to splurge on either. John picked up things like milk and cheese and eggs and some of the produce we purchased which meant I never saw the prices. Not that I wasn't going to buy those things but I'd have been more conscious of spending if I had seen the cost. I seem to have a built-in calculator and I tweak here and there and we generally spend just about the usual amount. I am sure that costs must have been up on many of the usual basic items. I noticed that while Aldi is still the least expensive of the groceries, their prices have risen on many items.
We stopped to eat at a favorite pizza place. That was our treat to us this week, not coming out of the allowance. We got a salad and a slice of pizza. Any further eating out is strictly from our pocket monies and since we've cut back on allowance neither of us is over anxious to splurge, lol.
Went into Kroger to pick up the free items. I was able to find ONE.
I bought dog and cat food while in that store. I'd looked for sales at all the stores prior to doing this and no one had the particular pet food on sale. Maddie has been eating the same food for years upon years and won't eat any other except the cat's food now and then. The cat gets a hairball control formula food, but we switch brands per what's on sale. SHE is not a bit picky. However, none of the pet foods were on sale and we were out so pet foods were bought.
Gelato is my new thing. It's richer than ice cream and not quite as sweet. I was going to get it at Publix where it was a BOGO but John wasn't going back to Publix, even though we were passing one on the way home, so I paid full price for two little jars of gelato. I was walking past an end case and noted clearance freezer items which included a flavor of the same gelato I was purchasing for half the price. I switched one out for the sale jar.
John washed a load of clothes this morning and hung them to dry on the line. We were told all week long that we'd have nothing but rain today all day long. Not a drop. Nary a cloud. We wondered if we were tempting it to come by leaving clothes on the line but decided we could always put them in the dryer if they did get wet. Perfectly dry and fully solar powered.
John stopped to fill up my car on the way home. He last filled my car two weeks ago. I had only used 1/4 tank in that time.
John had me order another yard tool on Wednesday. I went through Swagbucks and used Shop and Earn and got notice today they are crediting my account $14 for every $1 I spent. I can't wait until that hits my account at the end of next month!
Well that's my week...How was yours?