Thrifty Thursday

Our new 9cu.ft. freezer (almost full!) and the two food grade food buckets I store flour and sugars in...

Friday:  I was pretty sure John would want me to sell my other little freezer with the purchase of the new one.  Not at all!  I am truly excited over having the new freezer and the old one too!  However, we do have to consider electric circuits in the kitchen.  Clever husband!  He remembered seeing a pan to go under a washing machine at Lowe's and suggested we get one to go under the smaller of the two freezers, put that one in the guest room closet with the pan under it.  We have plenty of space to run a cord under the door and around to the outlet on the bedroom wall.

One of my greatest joys is what I call 'piddling' about the house.  This week I created a table setting from a quilt, a beautiful blue bowl filled with nuts, pretty Ruby crown glasses used as votive holders and thrift store linen napkins.  It's a pretty table, in a homey comfortable way.  With these colder temperatures there is no complaining about having the edges of the quilt draped over chilly knees either, lol.

I didn't know we were going out today and so I was, as said, piddling about the house.  When John mentioned we had plans I had to rush to dress and leave.  I didn't get so rushed I forgot to turn that heater down to 60F though.

We guarded ourselves against impulses today.  I bought spinach seeds and John had me buy a few seeds for Spring/Summer planting though I kept telling him we could buy those later, lol.  He is getting into my "growing" obsession.  Good thing too.  We had a very nice salad today with our mix of greens and some ice berg lettuce I bought last pay period, our radishes and a handful of carrots, red cabbage and celery from the grocers.

Saturday:  We had a hard frost last night.  It was COLD this  morning too, about 30F.  Which means the heat pump just couldn't handle it.  It went into defrost mode and the temperature barely climbed above 60F indoors (which is where it was set last night).  So I turned on the propane heater for the first time this year.  That little heater soon had it up to 65F.  I set the thermostat lower on the heat pump so it wouldn't come on at all just after I turned on the propane heater.

Took back those items I purchased last week.  While in the store I scanned the clearance racks and gained three new tops, a necklace and earrings. I am pleased and convinced that these are suited to the life I really lead instead of the one I sometimes wish I had.

Stopped for a very late lunch.  Value menu cheeseburger and a bottle of water.  Less than $3.

Stopped at Mama's and found myself happy recipient of several items, 1/4 of a rotisserie chicken, 1 head of broccoli, 1/2 head of cauliflower, 1/2 a cake.  And all I had for her was two recipes!

Sunday:  The new freezer was due to arrive this morning.  I moved the little older freezer and found it had left rust spots on the vinyl.  I had only baking soda on hand and a scrub brush, but figured it was worth trying.  It got almost all the discoloration up.  I was pretty pleased about that.

As I moved things from one freezer to the other this afternoon, I don't mind saying I noted a tendency to fill space with things I like but seldom take time to prepare, as well as this and that I've 'saved' rather than toss.  Truth is I need to toss some food items out in the trash and I need to stop buying others altogether unless I am positive we'll eat it when I buy it.  32 years I've been shopping and preparing meals in my own kitchen and I still learn things.

Sat down at noon today and went through the Home Keeping notebook.  I want to get it set up for a fresh start to go into the New Year.  One thing I'm doing is reviewing some of the inventory charts for foods, ideas I jotted down as I thought of them each month etc.  I am sure there are things I want to carry forward into the New Year and plan to DO instead of just thinking of them.  I want to make notes about what things worked very nicely that I want to keep repeating, what didn't work at all.  I am sure this will save me time and money in the year ahead.

While I was messing about in the freezer, I removed a small sirloin tip roast and put in the crock pot with a potato, a carrot and half an onion.  That was just enough for a pot roast meal for me, and enough roast left to make a couple of days worth of sandwiches.

Worked about two and half hours this afternoon on coupons.  I clipped, sorted, filed, then pulled those that matched my shopping list for this coming pay period.  This is just my preliminary list.  I'll make another more comprehensive list, sort through sales to see which are the best value for us.  I have to keep in  mind this time around that I must make an early Thanksgiving meal here at home for John, and have our usual holiday breakfast ingredients on hand.

Monday:  Crazy sort of day.  Here's where I saved today.  I had to make a return, so bought gas in that town where it was $.20/gallon less than here at home.

The return too was a savings.  A pair of jeans that fit but I realized I just didn't need another pair right now.

Picked up pecans.  I've decided that I'll take them to be shelled this year or at least price having them shelled.  I figure it ought to be cheaper than pecans are this year anyway ($10/pound).  And it saves me spending countless hours picking out pecans, which is a tedious task.

Tuesday:  Went over the grocery list again and deleted several sales items I'd thought I would buy.

Stopped at six different stores today in my quest for bargains.  I started at CVS.  I paid $1.27 for 3 jars of peanut butter and one air freshener.  I had ECB to use.

Stopped at Walmart.  I didn't need but one item, however, I always check the fabrics at this particular store.  I found two pieces on the clearance items that were under $2 a yard.  I also noted their burlap was marked $2.99 a yard, $1 less than at Hobby Lobby.  When I got to the register one of my items rang up $3 higher than the shelf tag had declared it would cost.  It took a bit of convincing but the clerk finally called a manager who over rode the price, corrected it to the shelf tag price.

At Walgreen's I was disappointed that the Deerfield butter was not in stock.  At $1.99 a pound it was a great buy!  I mentioned how disappointed I was when I got to the register and the clerk told me they were substituting Nice! brand.  I went right back and got my limit of 3 pounds of butter.

Double checking the sales sheet I noted that buying three 8 ounce blocks of Kraft cheese earned a free box of Ritz crackers. I'd missed the little balloon announcing that special the four times I'd gone through the ad.  This is why I check again and again.   I had cheese on my list and Ritz crackers on the list.

The dollar store has the best price on pet foods and soda in our area.  I bought dog food today but noticed the bag I'd picked up was torn.  I was so tired at this point, lol.  It was my sixth stop for the day and I still had to unload.  I asked the clerk if she'd discount the torn bag, rather than my going to the back of the store again and replacing it.  She said she would.  She took off half the price, and I had a coupon.  14 pounds of dog food (name brand at that) for $3.  And then she taped the tear shut so I wouldn't lose any of the dog food.

I really don't want to talk about how much food has gone in the trash this week. More than I've tossed in months and months.  Why?  It seems I seldom get an opportunity to cook the meals I've planned because my schedule keeps changing.  As well I've not been regularly checking the refrigerator.  Nor have I been on top of moving things into the freezer, since the freezer has been FULL for months now.  Well, now I have two freezers, freezer space is not a problem.

Wednesday:  I didn't have a thing to do with it, but we've had rain and rain and more rain over the last twelve hours or so.  We needed it very badly and the plants on the porch and deck have benefited from it saving me the need of watering for at least a day or three.

Last pay period I bought a half dozen green bell peppers because they were so well priced. Today I made stuffed peppers for our dinner.  I stuffed four and put two in the freezer for a future meal.  I diced the other two peppers and put them in the freezer.

Our supper tonight was two sandwiches John didn't eat the other day for his lunch.  I know he keeps his meals refrigerated and the two sandwiches were good.

Thursday:  Someone asked about buying a piece of equipment we have here.  John named his price...and suggested a trade would work in lieu of some of the cash.  Don't know what the outcome of that will be (it might all just be male talk) but I liked the buy or trade idea very well.

Did I mention we have a truck?  Well it's been ours several times...and our son has had it, too several times.  It's ours again.  John and I laughed.  We'd just been praying for a truck never realizing that Samuel would be giving this truck to us once again.  He has a company car and a personal car and felt he was asking a bit much to take up four spaces for one person.  I can't fault FREE, it's a good truck and an answered prayer.

  • We were out today doing some tasks and ate a late Chinese dinner.  I told John I'd definitely have a cereal supper, a habit I've taken up when I've had a big late meal during the day.


Rhonda said...

I like all your post and your Thrifty posts are my very favorites. Somehow I missed this one until just now- crazy life I currently have.

You did especially good with your shopping add ons and discounts.

BelleDiabolique said...

I keep telling myself I am going to start couponing. But, I am so disorganized and scatter brained about that half the time.

I've actually got a monthly recipe thingy I put up on the wall in my kitchen. I picked out a bunch of recipes (mostly new ones that B hasn't tried before), and made a little spread sheet with tentative dates and corresponding sides. I used the recipes to make my shopping list. That was two months ago. I spent more than my $300/mo grocery limit that month ($400), but we're still using the same month's plan. I only spent $120 on groceries this month, and that was primarily Thanksgiving stuff and high turn around stuff (milk, bread, eggs, lunch meat). Turns out the meals were a lot larger than I thought they would be, so we have leftovers that I can reinvent for days. I also keep a running inventory of the meals I stash in the freezer, so I know what I have to fall back on for a night I either don't have time or don't feel like cooking.

I used to have a dry erase board, but you could use a dry erase marker on the side of the freezer, too. The stuff wipes right off. Every time I put something in the freezer, I would write it on the board. If it was already on the board, I would add tic marks next to it. When I pulled something out of the freezer, I'd erase it, or erase a tic. It's about the only way I can keep track.

Our freezer is about to explode with all the stuff in it. Groceries for the month, and Thanksgiving goodies. It's a small freezer. Normally it's plenty of room for just me, Bryan, and Pup, but with the holidays coming up and all the requisite goodies to make, I'm begging people to eat leftovers so I can clear it out a bit.

BelleDiabolique said...

Oh, I forgot to finish the thought about the monthly recipe plan. I don't make weekly menus. I look at what I am prepared to make (inventory wise), flip through the recipes I've planned on for the particular month, and decide what I feel like making or what I have time to make based on that. I find it works out better than a hard fast menu. I never know what our schedule is going to do from day to day, so I like to be flexible.

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