Late But Still Thrifty!

I meant to do this post yesterday but time got away from me.  I put in a good day's work, sat down to rest and poof! Time disappeared and it was time for us to head out to John's worship practice.  It had been rumbling thunder all afternoon long at the time we left.  Not a drop of rain to show for all the noise though.

We had a neat thing happen and of course, I had no camera with me to capture it.  We tend to use a little dirt road to sort of short cut into the main highway in front of the church where we synagogue.  This is actually far safer than the harum scarum intersection.  The road 500 or so feet in front of us looked odd and I mentioned it to John.  As we got a little nearer we realized that probably 100 feet or so of road was covered with a thousand little brown birds.  As the car came nearer still they rose, one row at a time before us...It almost looked like one of those 'wave' things at a stadium!  It was so cool and words hardly express the wonder of it but my camera was at home, so a great photo op was missed yet again.  One day I'll make good on my promise to start taking that camera with me every where I go.

The week has flown past.  I was busy busy all week long, John has been fairly busy these past three days.  We've accomplished a lot between us and it feels good to look back at the week and see how productive it's been.

So thrifty week in review:  Saturday we had Oneg after service.  I knew one of my friends meant to make biscuits following service and I offered to bring a bottle of honey.  She brought jam and butter.  A young man who attends always brings dessert and I felt sure we'd have plenty of sweets.  We did.

Sunday when I went into town to get the paper, I went into the local store to pick up the specials.  Our little store isn't my primary choice for shopping, but they do have some decent loss leader specials and very good meats, as well as some good mark down prices.  I bought a pound of hamburger for $1.99 that was freshly ground that morning.

Monday I used the hamburger to make taco meat.  I have been 'winging' it without menus lately...Tacos sounded good that day so tacos it was.  I didn't have taco shells, but I decided I'd used corn tortillas I'd bought to make my own.  It was soooo good!  I'll never spend money on store bought stale taco shells ever again.  Awesome.  Plenty of taco meat leftover.  I used some on Wednesday to make Burritos for our dinner, adding a can of drained, rinsed kidney beans to the meat before heating up.  I used those leftovers and leftover corn tortillas plus shredded cheese to make a casserole for today.  I shredded too much cheese...So I took a jar of roasted red peppers from my pantry and made a cheese spread for sandwiches using some of the pepper and the last of the shredded cheese.

As if the hamburger story weren't savings enough for a week, I bought a deli rotisserie chicken.  Dinner Tuesday, a snack Tuesday night.  On Thursday I made a new to me recipe (with substitutions using what I had on hand) and tonight we had club sandwiches.  There's still a portion of the chicken meat left and the carcass.  I plan to boil tomorrow and pick over then make chicken and noodles for dinner on Sunday.

I went out yesterday morning to work on the back deck.  First up was trimming back the petunias really hard.  I pulled seed pods off the stems I cut and popped them open over the pot.  I'm hoping that the trimmed back petunias will put out fresh leaves and flowers in the next couple of weeks and that the seeds will start a bevy of new plants that will keep me in petunias until late autumn.

I painted the cafe set.  I finally decided on a color only to find after three stores that the color I had in mind wasn't available. I bought khaki colored paint in the end, which works perfectly with the mosaic on the set.  It was a happy second choice.  For the cost of 1 1/2 cans paint I have a cafe set that looks as good as when new.

Used rain water we caught in one of the buckets to water plants.

I've spent a month shopping as I chose, not bothering over much with coupons, not making menu plans and just generally ignoring my usual hard and fast rules.  The break was nice but...I'm ready to jump back on the savings train.  Figured my grocery spending this past week and found I was over by 1/4 again as much.  It wasn't due to recklessness but a sudden outage on high cost items for personal care (pain relievers, vitamins, deodorant, etc).  Partly due to a lack of diligence in keeping up with my inventory, partly just one of those seasons that occur when I knew I was running low, was waiting on a good sale and ran out before the sales came on.  It happens that way now and then.  I will be more careful about monitoring my inventory in the future though, you can be assured of that.

Going back to Sunday...I find Dollar General has the best price by far on the dog food brand my dogs like.  Maddie is a very picky eater.  Change brands and she won't eat.  She won't touch people food at all.  I just can't beat the dollar store price.  The trouble with the dollar store is the temptation to wander the aisles. Normally I make a primary point of doing just that but not this week.  I splurged and spent a little over $5 on a few items.  One: The New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew ($5) and four packets of cool weather seeds for $.17 ea.  Radishes, carrots, lettuce and cauliflower can be grown in containers this fall while I work on building my garden beds in the cooler months.

We hung clothes to dry four days this week.  I did have to bring in sheets and towels Monday to run through the dryer.  The humidity was so ridiculously high that they just couldn't get dry (I hung them out on Sunday!).   I noticed John did the same with a few things on Wednesday, too.  Still it's only 20 minutes to lift the last moisture from the items instead of a bit over an hour to dry.

I took time out on Wednesday to cut the dryer sheets into thirds.  I've been meaning to do this for quite a bit, but didn't feel pressured until I noticed John had started using them.  That was incentive enough for me, lol. 

Washed a full load of dishes twice this week.

Used the last sheets of matzah from Passover to make a cookie recipe, substituting for the saltines called for in the recipe.

Extended my bouquet of flowers from last week with a pack of mixed greenery.

Filled my car while in the town where I shopped on Tuesday.  It's about $.20 gallon cheaper there than our hometown places.

Household savings rather than my personal savings:  John had a list of clothing items he meant to replace.  Today he cleaned out his dresser and closet and found he had NEW and like new items buried deep in the drawer and closet.  He told me he was happy to discover he wasn't going to have to buy anything.

I made a savings too.  I bought some material last year to dress up a comforter.  I couldn't find it anywhere this Spring when I changed the guest room bedding.  Cleaning out the closet in the craft/guestroom this week I found the material buried in a pile of things that had been tossed in a corner. 

We kept the AC a little higher than usual at night.  That meant it ran a little less and we didn't really need it with the cooler night temperatures anyway.

And that was our week of savings here in The Blue House on the Hill...

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