Oh my. It's September! And I for one am happy to see this month. It brings Autumn a little nearer. I saw the forecast for next week and we're supposed to see temperatures about 10-15 degrees lower next week. Ask anyone who has seen 100F temperatures how much cooler a ten degree drop feels, lol. It's like air conditioning is working outdoors!
Air conditioning outdoors...That's something I wouldn't like to do. But you know we did it almost all of one summer? No kidding. I'll have to tell you that story one day. But not today. Today, let's talk about savings made during the week.
Thursday evening we went to practice for worship service. John carried along our gas can so we could stop and get mower gas on our way home. That saved us an extra trip into town. He offered to buy our supper but I had plenty of edibles at home in the fridge. There was no need for that and I assured him coming home to eat would work just fine.
Friday we went up to see Samuel and take care of some business as well. I stopped in the next town to mail packages to our two girls. Gracious but postage is awfully high these days. One package was quite reasonable but the other was pricey. However the $.30 difference in costs for sending parcel post and media mail seemed silly. I sent it parcel post. Amie should have received it by now, a whole 7 days earlier than media mail would have gotten it to her.
Our business was cell phone business. My husband decided it was time for us to break free from the family plans we were on and have our own cell phone contract. He was able to keep his present number and his relatively new phone. I had to sacrifice my number and buy a new phone. We looked at all the fancy schmancy phones and the basic phones and I decided that a basic phone was really all I needed. We'd already determined which plan would best suit us. We also knew just how we'd finagle the money in our budget to cover the costs. We definitely didn't go in with a sort of idea of how we'd manage. We KNEW.
My phone was fair priced but also had a very good rebate offer. I filled that rebate out the moment we got home and put it right in the mail. For me that is the best way to handle a rebate: immediately. I have everything I need right at hand to send off for it. If I waited I might well lose key forms or keys required to qualify.
Because our only costs that day were the cost of my phone we decided how we'd use that rebate when it arrived. That will go towards our Christmas funding.
John took us out to eat. We all looked over the menu and determined that the burger which came with fries, slaw and a drink was equal to the cost of what we'd paid if we'd gone through the drive thru at a fast food place and ordered a burger, fries and soda. The food was very good and the opportunity to sit and talk was nice. I won't even mention the pleasure of being inside an air conditioned building on a rather hot and very humid afternoon!
John wanted to stop on Saturday afternoon and buy steaks. I agreed readily and told him I'd bought corn on the cob during my shopping trip earlier which we would have as one of our sides. I bought a gallon of milk while in the grocery because I knew ours was over half gone. I was pleased to find a good buy on a pair of steaks for our dinner.
Sunday we stopped for a paper on our way back home from a church service. We also picked up his prescriptions and ran another short errand before heading home.
Monday I prepared a pot of chicken stew with fluffy dumplings for John. I know it was still pretty warm outdoors (very warm) but that stew was very good. And so economical. I'd boiled a deli chicken carcass and picked the meat from the bones, saved the broth and froze it altogether. Added in a single bag of frozen mixed vegetables ($.88 for a pound bag and the equivalent of three cans of vegetables at $.60 each) and made my dumplings from scratch. Enough for a big meal and two lunches for myself was the result.
Grapes that looked a bit wrinkly went into the freezer for future jelly making day.
I just love having my little pantry areas. It's so nice to go into the closet in the craft room or look in the closet in the laundry area and see that we've two or three more of whatever I just ran out of in the kitchen. Gracious do you realize how often I'm saved a trip into town courtesy of those pantries of mine?
I knew dog food was running low but didn't want to make a special trip into town on Tuesday for just dog food. Especially when I knew I was going to be shopping with Mama yesterday. I stretched their food out with a few table scraps, a scoop of cat food and they could have cared less. They ate it right up. I bought dog food yesterday and will buy another bag next week just so I can have the extra on hand.
I also bought bread while I was out. We were shopping at Target and though ours is hardly not a super Target they have enough of the basics on hand that I could do a one stop shop yesterday. That was nice.
Found two new shirts for my Fall/Winter wardrobe on the clearance rack. Total cost for two: $13. A nice bonus for my wardrobe, too. I can layer them or wear them separately, combine them with several others already in my wardrobe, use under a jacket...There will be lots of mileage for my money from those two pieces.
Got up this morning with big plans. Budget sheet in the works (proof that our figuring for cell phone would indeed work) was finished. We're good for the rest of the third quarter and for the fourth quarter of this year now. We know just where we stand and what we can afford and what we can't. I don't like restrictions but I'd lots rather know my budget balanced than to look up at the end of the year and see my savings had shrunk!
I looked over my Zone work and projects list for the house. So often it seems I focus on those tasks that require me to spend money to accomplish them rather than the ones I might accomplish with what I have on hand. Today I painted a shelf at the backdoor, touched up paint on another little bookshelf, and the chifforobe in the breakfast area and painted the frame of a picture that I liked but which didn't go with my decor. I as so paint splotched after the first project, I figured I had nothing to lose adding in three more! I have more paint projects coming up in the week, too.
I made out a list of things Samuel can do for me when he comes by and asks if he can work. Samuel says he likes the physical work I have (like digging holes for plants and cutting trees and such). He says it makes him sleep better at night. It makes me sleep better, too. I get things done a lot faster when he comes along to help than if I had to do them all by myself, lol. Because I feel satisfied with all that's being accomplished, I sleep well and dream of new projects for him to work on, lol.
We haven't had 'bought' cookies in over two weeks. You know what? Haven't missed them at all. The homemade things I've had for us are so good and we actually eat less of it because we're satisfied. I see no reason to return to store bought sweet treats. I have a whole list of old favorites and new recipes to try for the first time to keep our sweet teeth satisfied.
When we've left home this week the AC went up to 80F. Why spend that extra energy cooling it down further when we aren't home to enjoy it?
Washed full loads of dishes twice last week.
Saved water from partial glasses and water bottles left after meals or a road trip. I had nearly a gallon to use on plants last week. That was 1 gallon I didn't have to from our well.
I had a spot of poison on my arm and only a little bit of a remedy in the bottle. I thought I'd have to buy more but decided instead to try using the camphophenique we keep on hand for ticks on the dogs. Do you know that is the second time I've used that product and it's cleared a problem right up? I used it on a burn a few weeks ago and found it very soothing and these past two weeks on the poison on my arm. It dried it right up and stopped the itching. I remember Granny used it for cold sores. For the money spent that's a great little product to have on hand!
Well I've tried shopping in various ways over the last two months, with a list and without. With multiple stops and one shop. For my money the multiple stop/loss leader with coupon sales works best. I do think I'll try to shop weekly from now on, if only to cut down on how heavy duty the Big Shop is each pay period, but I'll definitely be going back to my lists and multi stops w/coupons for my plan.