Thrifty Thursday


Friday:  Earlier this week I talked to John about a Christmas gift I wanted to give him: an upgraded satellite TV package that included local channels so he could watch football.  Installer came today and we got all new equipment, a new satellite dish and a brand new two year contract agreeing not to change cancel our service with the company...Honestly that isn't a consideration anyway.  We've had far more reliable service with this company than with any other.  The perk of all this upgrading and updating etc was that our bill dropped $1.50/month below what we'd been paying.

Made spaghetti for lunch.  Browned a whole pound of hamburger with onions, bell pepper, and garlic.  Put half in the freezer for chili later.

Used up half a jar of pizza sauce and some spaghetti sauce I'd frozen after making pizza one night in this sauce.

Put 1 quart of sauce into the freezer after we'd eaten.  Set aside a single portion serving to go on the leftover pasta for a 'work lunch' for myself.

Spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying John's last day off.  Clipped a huge stack of coupons while I relaxed.

Saturday:  I am in desperate need of casual wear clothing.  Headed into town after synagogue to see what was on the clearance racks.  Nothing there but I did find two pair on the regular priced racks.  We're watching our budget, so this purchase is coming from my personal savings account.  This was money given to me this past Christmas and birthday that I socked away in a savings account for just such needs.  It makes me feel good to cover my clothing needs and know I'm doing no damage to our account balance.

Harvested radish greens, radishes and lettuce leaves.  Washed and put in the fridge.

Convinced John to let me wash his work shirt and a handful of other items when I wash sheets tomorrow morning.

John reminded me that his prescription needed to be picked up.  I foresee combining errands tomorrow.  I decide to go over the local grocery ad and the CVS ad and make out a list of possible purchases.

Sorted coupons as I rested with my feet up this afternoon.  I went through all the about to expire coupons and noted high value ones that matched sales.

Sunday:  Took off trash, went by car wash to vacuum car, stopped to fill the car with gasoline, went into CVS for prescription and best of the sales, stopped at local grocery and picked up loss leaders there, bought a Sunday paper.  I call that a good day of errands.

CVS purchases (not including prescription) came up to $0.78.  I got four bottles of Dawn detergent, two bottles of Pantene shampoo.  I had high value coupons on the shampoo, plus an extra cash bucks reward that I picked up at the kiosk when I entered the store.

At the grocery I stocked up on sale priced flour.

Put back one item I'd planned to purchase (cake mix) and decided to spend that money on two more bags of flour instead.  The flour was the more versatile item of the two baking products I'd planned to buy.

Made a salad to go with my 'work lunch' of leftover spaghetti.  I used home grown basil, lettuce, radish and radish greens topped with a diced Campari tomato.  Lovely salad.

Washed sheets, the rest of the laundry together.

Washed a full load of dishes.  Emptied the silverware drawer (overflow silverware) into the dishwasher to help fill it. I have little narrow baskets that I sort the silverware into the drawer and when they were emptied I put them in the dishwasher too.   Let dishes air dry when the cycle was completed.

Sanitized the drawers while I was at emptying them.
Monday:   Shopping/lunch day with Mama.  I still needed a few clothing items and so we were off to Macon this time.  Found a pair of pants on clearance rack...shall be returning them.  Not because they don't fit me or my budget but because they don't fill a need at the moment.  They are brown and I have brown pants, two pair in fact.  I have the receipt tucked into the pocket so I can won't misplace it.  Also going back: impulse purchased scarf that goes with NOTHING I own. sigh.  One day I shall learn to completely control that Impulsive purchase streak.

Purchased two bras at another store.  Remembered that I'd received an email that morning from the store which would afford me a 30% discount.  Clerk applied to the purchases which were also on sale.  Double score.  I ended up with two for a little over the full purchase price of one.

Shoes were also on my list.  I found one pair that fit out of five pair I really liked.  I complained to Mama that I'd really meant to buy both black and brown shoes.  She suggested I buy two pair, in each color, of the pair that fit well.  Duh.  Why didn't I think of that?!

Saturday I'd noted the same shoe store in the town where I'd shopped had a buy one get one 50% off sale.  The shoes were on sale, but when the shoes rang up at full price for both pairs, I asked about the sale.  Lo and behold, the girl re-keyed the register and I got the sale price on my second pair of shoes.  Two pairs of shoes for LESS than the cost of one pair suited me perfectly.

Stopped in town and bought dog food.  It's the best price around.


Came home and laid all my new purchases on the bed, then began to pull things from the closet to match separates into outfits.  I did very well, I think.  I purchased three pairs of pants, three tops, one light cardigan sweater.  Combined with the clothes I already have I put items together for 17 NEW to me outfits...and there's more.  I was just too tired to continue at that point and put it all away.

Washed another full load of clothes.  This one consisted of the dishcloths (extras I can't fit into my bowl on the counter) and towels.  The dishcloths were all in a drawer where that silly mouse cavorted about.  I vowed to not touch them until I was certain he was gone (and he is) so emptied the drawer right into the dirty clothes basket yesterday.

As usual after vacation time off, the pay check was a little less than we're accustomed to having.  No problem.  Bills are priority, allowances are not.  John and I both had money left from last pay period's allowances and agreed we'd manage fine on what was in our pocket.  

Made out my grocery list based on sales at two other stores.

Tuesday:  Gathered coupons to match sales, double checked my list, put sales papers, list and coupons in my purse so I wouldn't forget them.

At first store noted there was a well priced sale on coffee.  I also  had high value coupons.  I didn't see any of the coffee anywhere and looked high and low and then back tracked and looked four more times.  I finally found the slot where the coffee would be...if there were any in stock.  Stopped a clerk and asked him if more was in stock.  That guy not only checked the back but went to the truck and got the sole box off the truck and brought it to me!  Awesome customer service agreed?  And  for my part, better to ask, much better than assuming I wouldn't be able to purchase it and leaving that bargain behind.

I am working on a new theorem about purchases.  I ask myself a series of questions: Do I need it?  Can I wait to buy it?  Can I make it?  Can I use the money I'd spend on this to buy something more all purpose?  That was the question I asked myself Saturday which lead to my buying two more bags of flour rather than five boxes of cake mix for the same price.  And the same question I asked myself when I contemplated a bag of cookies and a box of instant soup.  I spent money instead stocking up on brown sugar.

Treated myself to a popular coffee item at Starbucks in the second store.  I've heard for years how good everyone thinks this item is and I succumbed.  Now I know.  In future when I want to treat myself I'll stick to my personal favorite, Cinnamon latte.  Not sorry I tried, (and I did opt for a smaller than usual coffee), but I'll stick to my personal favorite.

Chips are on my list each Big Shop day, but prices have gone up there just as they have everywhere.  I chose to try a new to me brand that was on sale for less than 1/3 the cost of the usual name brand we purchase.  (*note  These chips are called UTZ chips and we tried them tonight (Wed).  They were quite good.)

Briefly considered a few sales priced vegetables but recalled the broccoli, acorn squash, cabbages, lettuce, tomatoes, celery and carrots in the fridge at home...Decided we had plenty of fresh produce and needed no more.

Spent $25 of the grocery money stocking up on food storage items this pay period.  That's about 1/5 what I had to spend overall.  I have another food theorem...IF we should have the equivalent of six-twelve months of our salary in savings for a security net, shouldn't we also have that much food in our freezer/pantry?  Considering that not one but three people I know personally have been unemployed for two years now doesn't it make sense to have a food storage to fall back on as well?  Having just six months worth of food in storage here would mean an extra two months worry free to cover bills if we were to face unemployment or illness.  I've got a little ways to go to have six months, but I think we might manage the better part of three months right now (still needing to purchase dairy and produce and pet foods).  What do you think?  I'm leaning towards a little larger freezer again based on this theorem...

Didn't have enough room in the freezer for all the bread bought so I needed to remove a casserole of Pizzaroni that I'd frozen.  Put in the fridge to thaw.  Guess what's for dinner tomorrow?

Wednesday:  Dumped coffee grounds from the pot into the planter with the rose bush.  Egg shells and coffee grounds are good for roses.  Egg shells are terrific for orchids.  And  coffee grounds are also good for hydrangeas.

Watered the plants on the back deck with water I've saved from water bottles, rinsing cups etc.

John washed a full load of clothes and hung to dry this morning.

While baking the Pizzaroni, I decided to bake the last of the cookie dough I made up last week.  I didn't particularly like the cookie but tried two different ways to make them better.  I made half the dough up into little cookies that I dipped into cinnamon sugar.  The other half I made into balls, stuck my thumb in each and filled with apricot jam before baking.  Then I drizzled with melted chocolate chips.  John declared both very good.

Made croutons from the last couple of slices of Italian bread I'd frozen.

Am out of my favorite bathroom cleaner.  I've gone back to my old homemade make do items: baking soda, 10% bleach solution, vinegar.

Thursday:  We were up early this morning, but rather than run the heat up to 70, we set it at 66F and then dressed in robes, slippers to keep warm.  You know what?  Even though it's a savings, it was sort of cozy.

I cooked grits in the microwave.  It takes six  minutes to make 2 cups of grits.  Much easier too than trying to cook it on the stovetop.

I freeze the leftover cornbread whenever I make a pan full.  Homemade broth too.  And the two combined with a bit of chopped onion and celery and a couple of eggs makes the  most delicious dressing.  My Oneg dinner plans had to be changed.  So chicken and dressing seemed a nice cold weather dish to put together.  I cooked it today while I was baking our dinner, will reheat Saturday morning before leaving.

Washed a full load of dishes, air dried.

When neither of the dogs showed up for breakfast this morning, I put the food back in the container.  They'll be good and hungry this evening. 

1 comment:

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy reading about your days Terri! I'm with you on spending money on the multi~purpose items (i.e., flour vs. cake mix). We don't make a lot of sweets anymore around here as Mike and Rosie don't have a sweet tooth. (I'm off of sugar for the most part and I've come to realize that I'm the one who likes them the most!) But it's always nice to bake on occasion and then share it with neighbors or send it to work with Mike. But I digress. Rosie just woke up so I'm off to spend a bit of time with her.
Love,
Tracey
x0x

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