Thrifty Thursday

Friday:  I was tired after yesterday's round of fall cleaning, too.  I meant to have fun, but never got time to have fun, lol.  However, this day has been slower paced and while things have been accomplished I had less to do than yesterday.

Pulled out that pretty butter yellow tablecloth Virginia gave me when she last visited.  I also found a tray, candles, napkins that just set that cloth right off.  What a pretty Shabat table it made!

Hung the picture I framed the day before.  I'd meant to paint the frame cream and hang the picture in my bedroom but the gold made the autumn colors in the old picture stand out so nicely that I felt I just had to hang it in the living room, right near my chair where I can look at it often.  That frame was from the thrift shop and came complete with a mat that just fit my old picture.  Love thrift store finds and frames that are sturdy are always a good thing to have laying about.

Played farmer girl this morning.  I don't have money or labor handy to make the raised beds I wanted to prepare YET, but I do have a variety of pots, seeds and some potting soil.  So I took the last of the bag of potting mix bought in the Spring and planted cilantro and lettuces and those mums I bought.  I've got more pots and I'll buy another bag of soil here next week and plant the rest of my seeds.

The coleus I asked to break off the phone company's huge plant?  Rooted and got planted in with the mums.  It was really quick to root.  With luck, I should be able to root coleus, geranium and impatiens to have next year and if I'm careful I ought to be able to harvest petunia and portulaca seeds to start new plants, too.

After discovering that 'lost' jar of yogurt from my previous batch in the fridge, I went over the refrigerator with a fine tooth comb to be sure I used up just every little thing about to expire.  Now I'm satisfied I've taken care of all but one item and I'll use it this weekend for one of my meals.

John has to work late tonight and won't have a chance to have his evening snack here at home.  So I packed extra in his work lunch.  Now he won't have to spend out of pocket for pricey convenience store or vending machine options.

Yesterday's three pints of yogurt turned out nice and thick.  I'm so happy when everything works just right with my yogurt making.  Incidentally, I had about two tablespoons left in the container, so I froze it immediately after getting the yogurt in the jars yesterday.

Had windows open this morning to bring in all those lovely cool breezes.  I had to close them along about 12:30p but the air conditioner hasn't run as it did yesterday.  The cooler air and cloudiness are a big help.

Saturday:  Up late last night, up early this morning.  It was chilly cool.  I turned the AC a little higher than usual, then turned on the whole house fan and let that cool the house while I was gone to synagogue.

I had meant to start a roast in the crock pot before leaving home but didn't even think about it until I was seated in synagogue.  I was contemplating my options as I drove through town and had just made up my mind to stop in our town for chicken, when I saw the KFC sign ahead on the road.  Two piece dark meat snack boxes were just $2.49 (that's two pieces of chicken and a biscuit).  I ordered one plus a side of slaw for my dinner (under $4 for a meal) and a snack box for John to have a treat when he came in from work (or to put in his lunch if he happened to be very late).  I still came out for under $10 which I doubt I could have done here in our hometown.

Came in and found the AC hadn't even turned on yet.  The house was comfortable, but starting to feel a little stuffy.  I turned off the house fan and just let the AC come on as it normally would.

Sunday:  Drove to Macon to pick up Samuel and take to the coach service for airport.  I stopped in town and bought a newspaper before heading back down the interstate.

Put that roast beef in the oven as soon as I walked indoors.  No excuses today for not cooking that meat even if it meant a late dinner/early supper for me.  Added potatoes and carrots to the pan later in the resting period.  It was a one dish oven meal!

I opened windows when I came in, too.  I knew it would likely turn off sunny and warm as it has every day this weekend but for a little while at least, it was fresh air cooling the house.

Washed a load of sheets.  I dried until just barely dry and then left them in the dryer to finish drying in the heated drum.

Noticed that the tomatoes were at the perfect stage of ripeness, so ate one with my dinner.

Watered the plants and planters with 'leftover' water from glasses and bottles.

John keeps his lunch in the refrigerator and so when he brought home leftovers last night they were well chilled. We shared a cheese sandwich from the lunchbox as our late supper together.  Ther rest of the food I put into his lunch basket for the next day.

I'd had plenty of coffee so I skipped the usual afternoon cup.

Monday:   Used last 2 slices of bread for John's breakfast sandwich.  Instead of going to town to buy more I made my own.  Two loaves were cooling on counter by dinner time today.

Opened windows to let house air and gather cool morning air.  Shut them again just as soon as I noticed the temperature was 1 degree below AC thermostat setting.

Later in the evening, I turned on the whole house fan which brings in cooler air for the evening and night.

Planned menus.  I need only two items to complete five days of food.  I am sure that this will be a good time to start my pantry freezer challenge.

Continued to try to find a fall look for the guest/craft room out of the things I have.  It's just not happening.  I have a bedcover but no curtains to match, or a set of curtains with no bedcover to match.  At least I see where I might get by with just the purchase of one or the other instead of a whole new bedding set and a set of curtains too.

I'd contemplated cancelling my Netflix account...received an email this morning from company stating that fees would remain the same, only name will change.  Glad I didn't unsubscribe!

Meant to make cookies, but am very short on butter at the moment.  Decided to thaw one of the pound cakes I made weekend before last.

Replenished coffee canisters from pantry supply.  I mixed the good German coffee with a less expensive but good tasting brand.  We get twice the amount of great tasting coffee.

Wanted corn dogs for dinner.  I had no corn muffin mix on hand.  I had cornmeal and half a packet of turkey hot dogs.  I mixed up my own batter and dipped in the hot dogs.  Then I oven baked.  Not a superlative effort but at least it sort of resembled my usual recipe and suited my taste.

Use a sampler of moisturizer this morning that came in a magazine.  It was enough to work with for one application.

Just moments before John comes home each evening I go about the house and turn on a few lights here and there, especially now that the sun is setting along about the time he's coming in. I'll have on the kitchen light a lamp in the living room and lamp in our bedroom.  As soon as he comes in and changes clothes,  I slowly make my through the house and cut off all but the absolutely necessary, usually the one between our two chairs.  I think the warmth of the light indoors makes home seem more welcoming.

We follow a method in paying our bills that I've explained before.  We are paid every two weeks.  We have a list of all our bills and monthly fees and we set aside half each pay period.  This means we seldom get caught empty handed when a bill comes due.  Now and then we might have one that is a little more, but we almost always need to come up with only half the amount to pay a bill in full every month.

Now having said all that, a few months ago we took money from savings to pay six months of car insurance at once.  For the past three months however, we've set aside 1/12 of the six month amount and marked it car insurance.  Tonight for some reason John asked why we were setting aside that money if we had no bill.  I explained.  "Was it worthwhile to do it this way?"  "We're saving about $150 every six months."  He raised his eyebrows.  "That's worth it!"  What other bills do we split in payments even though we normally pay them in full annually?  Property taxes, car tags, auto club fees...

Tuesday:  Grocery day.  I did my usual bit of looking over the list, scratching off items, adding items I remembered overnight.  This appears to be a habit these days.

My first stop was CVS.  I looked over the sales paper again before I went in.  Glad I did, too.  I needed deodorant for myself.  I noted one brand on sale for a very good price and recalled I had a coupon as well.  I dug out the coupon and happily switched brands for the sake of the savings I made.

I was so disappointed to find the selection very limited on the special sale priced candy, but I stocked up on what I could get.  $2.50 for fun sized candy bars is a great price these days on anything that contains chocolate.  Added incentive was the extra cash bucks CVS offered as well, bringing the price down to$1.50, yes $1.50!, per bag.  I bought the limit and put some of the bags away for later.

Stop 2: Lowe's.  I bought a big bag of potting mix.  I meant to buy more of the $.50 mums but they were not looking as good as they did last week.  I decided to just skip that purchase.

Stop 3: The only grocery store I stopped at today.  I'd checked the other store's flyer and frankly was uninspired.  I was careful in this store and it paid off. I came in on budget and had everything on my must have list in the buggy.

Ground beef was on the list and the store had ground round on sale.  But this particular chain store has very good beef, not overly fatty, so I felt safe buying the ground chuck which was at least $1 a pound cheaper. At another store, I wouldn't have made the switch regardless of savings.

Filled my car as I started home.  I didn't mind a bit going to a town near the interstate on my way home to save an additional $.01 a gallon.  Small change adds up. I should know.  We've vacationed on the change we save many and many a year now.

Wednesday:  Our plans changed.  Suddenly my husband had a free day and he was primed to do something, anything, but stay at home.  We decided, spur of the moment, to go visit a museum at Ft. Benning that interested us.  We knew that since it was a military museum, the entry fees would be moderate donations only.

We packed a quickly thrown together picnic bag.  I mean literally thrown together! lol.  We grabbed items from the fridge and snack cabinet and tossed in the bag, along  with chilled bottles of water and ice packs from the freezer.

We spent about 4 hours at the museum and missed a bit  more than half of the exhibits.  We also found a second museum we'd like to visit when we return.

Our picnic lunch was in the car and we'd signed up for a tour of a WWII base replica that started in fifteen minutes time.  John spied a sign near the Imax theater offering all beef hot dogs for $.99 each.  Two of those and cold drink were under $6 for the two of us, which we deemed reasonable.  We were happy to not have the long trek to the car and back and possibly missing the special tour (only offered once a day).

When we did get back to our car, we were quite happy to raid our picnic bag for cold drinks and a light snack.

Supper was John's special treat.  We stopped to get a burger at a favorite place and shared that on our way home.

We spent less than $25 and used about 1/2 tank of gas for our day trip but I deem it worth every single penny spent.  John and I both commented often through out the afternoon and even in the evening hours at home about how nice the day had been.  We enjoyed it greatly and vow to do this more often.

Thursday:  Washed a full load of dishes and let air dry.

John did laundry today, a full load.  One thing he did to boost our savings this day:  He got a big splotch of grease on his shirt yesterday while we were eating that special burger.  He treated the stain right away with Dawn dish detergent and let it sit overnight.  No stain, no need to move the shirt to the house drawer.

Planted radishes, carrots, beets today in my galvanized tubs.  I spied six green sprouts in my tub of head lettuce.

I didn't have enough red or green cabbage to make a side I just mixed the two together.  We had plenty for two servings.

On our way home this evening, John voiced a desire for breakfast for supper.  I agreed readily.  It was less expensive than other options I'd paraded through my mind as he practiced music for Saturday.

That winds up another week of savings...


Rebecca said...

I come often to visit and see how your life is going. I enjoy the attention you pay to the "little things" in life that add up. Somehow, the detailing of it all gives it the dignity that it deserves...

We "mix" our coffees, too. The cost of coffee just seems to keep adding up! Your "museum day" sounded wonderful. Hope you can return for the second half sometime soon :)

Heidi said...

I have never made my own yogurt but found a French blog where she makes all kinds of flavored yogurts that sound sooooo good. I keep thinking I will give it a try. Today however, I baked a chocolate French gateau that Jos loves. Can't wait for time for dessert tonight. :-)

Hugs from Holland ~

Grandma D said...

One of our chain grocery stores posts their prices for each store on the internet. They will even do a grocery list and have it arranged by aisle for you. I agree that grocery prices seem to be going up and up. My surprise this week was the price of eggs. I pre-pay my insurance to, not as much savings as yours but it all adds up, and with the interest at practically zero you are not losing anything in your checking account by pre-paying. Fun to hear about you starting to plant, instead of getting the gardens ready for bed for the winter!! Grandma D.

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