Thrifty Thursday

The pillow shams I made last week...

I know it's been a couple of weeks since I posted a Thrifty Thursday, but I did try to keep things frugal in our household.  Most of the money saving came out of the kitchen, but I managed to do a few things in other areas as well.

Friday:  Last year I bought some daffodil bulbs. This fall I bought more and muscari bulbs, too.  I know these are good value when they are planted....and there's the key!  They got planted this week, courtesy Samuel's willingness to do odd jobs during his long visit.  Last year's bulbs, this year's bulbs, every last one went into a hole in the ground this day.  Now...Fall, Winter and Spring, do your stuff!   These bulbs should not only bloom but multiply and give me more and more plants for my money.  Fingers crossed.

The turkey carcass and a pan of stuffing (just enough for us to have with chicken somewhere around January) went into the freezer.  John requested soup from the turkey bones.  As if he had to ask!  Isn't that one of the most thrifty dishes ever for a cook?  It's a bonus meal after the holiday meal.

Boiled eggs and made egg salad for John's lunch.  Before I put the carcass in the freezer, I cut off a bit of the remaining meat to make John a small batch of turkey salad.  Both salads will be perfect for work lunches this week.

Worked in the shed and discovered that I had still more trash, more stuff to donate and more things to sell.  I'm only counting the sell pile as thrifty.  A couple of years ago, the stuff we donated netted enough credit on taxes to make that thrifty too, but no more.  

Did find a rather nice binder notebook amongst the stuff in the corner of the shed.  I brought it indoors and will use it for something.  I've got plenty of papers and such that could use a bit of organizing.

Samuel and I were rummaging about in the kitchen, both of us looking for something sweet.  Well goodness me, don't I know how to make brownies in no time at all?  Warm and fresh out of the oven there's nothing better with a tall cold glass of milk. The brownies cost no more to make than bought cookies but go a lot farther and taste so much better.  

Harvested enough lettuce to make two salads.

Saturday:  I really thought we had too few leftovers.  It seemed that turkey breast didn't stretch nearly so far as I'd have liked...No sighing here.  Friends invited me home to help them eat their leftovers!  Yes!  Somebody has leftovers and boy were they tasty.  Didn't hurt  a bit to share a meal with friends, either.

I should have gone to the store, but felt splurge-y.  I might not have needed much, but I felt that restless 'wanting' much inside.  I decided to just go on home and wait until Sunday when I was going into town for the paper.  Less temptation when there are only three stores open: the grocery, the dollar store and the local gas station/convenience store!

Cured my 'wanting things' fix and spent the afternoon scrolling around eBay.  Didn't buy a thing, but looked and looked to my heart's content.  Satisfied that urge to splurge.

Nice dinner, light supper, that's my theory anyway.  Cheese and crackers and coffee...Just perfect.

Since I didn't go buy dog food this day, I fed the dogs some scraps from the fridge and a scoop or two of cat food.  Cat food for dogs is like brownies are for humans.  At least my dogs are convinced that it is!

Sunday:  Woke with a powerful urge to clean this morning!  Stripped the bed, gathered up the towels and started a load of clothes right away.  The wind was blowing something brisk outdoors and I hauled everything out to hang on the line.  That wind snapped that laundry enough to make a real racket but things dried in no time at all and were so soft for all that pounding by the wind.

Colored my hair.  It takes just 1/2 box of coloring to do the job since my hair is fine and thin and somewhat short.

Mopped floors using nothing more than hot water, pine sol and that new mop of mine, which I like very well.  Let me tell you, nothing smells better than a house with the clean good scent of pine oil and fresh line dried laundry permeating it!

Went to town just before lunch time with a clear idea of what I meant to buy.  At the grocery I gathered a loaf of bread, a bag of chips and a dozen eggs.  I walked down the meat aisle and spied lean ground beef 1 1/2 pound packages for just $1.99.  I bought four of those and split them into 3/4 pound packages and popped into the freezer.

Also noted how very very hungry I was while in the grocery.  Frozen rising crust pizzas were just $4.99 and that will do us for two meals easily.  Brought it home and popped in the oven while I hung out clothes, loaded dishwasher and made my homegrown salad.  Nice lunch in twenty minutes.

Dollar store stop netted me pet foods and a couple of over the counter medicines that we needed.  I was a bit stunned to realize I'd spent a good chunk of change.  Fortunately most of it is coming out of this week's grocery allowance.

Clipped coupons and checked the other sections of paper for any 'extras' that might be found.  No luck this week on that score.  Made out a grocery list while things were fresh on my mind. from the sales sheets.

Decided that I needed to return to my former habit of 'living like no one is home'.  That limits me, to be sure.  Why there's no usage of electricity or water and lowered use of heat and air if no one at all is home.  I'm not too strict.  I do have a pitcher of water to make coffee and to drink, a good battery for my laptop and and plenty of natural lighting to see by.  I might use the crockpot to make dinner and if I find myself a little bit cool, I get up and do some work to warm up again.. 

I used water saved from water bottles, glasses and cooking to water the lettuce and peas. The water I boiled eggs in watered the rose bush along with feeding it the egg shells.  Also used mop water to water the rose bush next to the back steps. 

Monday:  Got my beef stew started right away this morning so it could go in the oven and cook slowly.  Rainy weather in late November is just the time to have the first pot of stew.  I made good use of my oven time.  I put in toast for breakfast, added an apple and some corn muffins to bake a little later.  Enough stew and corn muffins left for another meal.  Set those aside for later in this week.

Getting my goals written down for December was on my list of things to do today.  I decided to do some preliminary figuring towards our 2012 budget as well.  Careful as we are of gasoline usage I found we were running $30 more now than I'd planned for last year.  Our insurances are higher also.  Looks like it's going to take some real thinking to get this budget in line this next quarter! 

Looked over bill box and my little notebook where I keep track of what we need to pay each pay period.  Noted that we didn't have to set money aside for the cable bill since we had a third pay period this month.  We added that amount to the money we're putting aside for the car payment.  We're big believers in every little bit extra helps.

The top portion of my Christmas tree won't light.  I think a strand of new lights could be put on the tree and it would do well enough for another year.

Tuesday:  Went over grocery list again before leaving home.  I truly don't need too many things and in an effort to stay in my budget, struck a few 'sales' from my list.  I decided to concentrate on the things we normally keep on hand and forgo the extra items.

Dogs got a nice meal of turkey carcass and vegetables used to flavor the broth.  They ate it right up.

One good buy today: a combination meal of two sides, four rolls and a whole rotisserie chicken or 8 pc fried chicken.  I know I've been craving fried chicken for a couple of weeks and I know too that this amount of food will make two meals and two snacks for us.  Decided to buy the 'deal' instead of my usual lunchtime stop.

That was the best advertised special.  The best unadvertised special was on milk products.  1/2 gallons of 2% were $1.25 each.  1/2 gallon of pumpkin Eggnog was $1.  All have sell by dates of Dec 2.  I froze the milk, am using the pumpkin eggnog as a very inexpensive coffee creamer...A good one, too!

Got a haircut today.  Went to a new salon and while not thrilled, it is 'safe' enough to be okay until I can locate a new stylist that really pleases me.  Saved $10 over my former salon.

Combined errands in the same general area.  Banking, hair cut, groceries, filled up car with gasoline and then headed home.  Took an alternate route along a back road.  I'd used the main highway last time and clocked mileage then trying to see if there was a savings.  Both routes were the same number of miles to the same point.  At least now I know I'm not splurging when I take the scenic route!

Kept heat at 66F even after I arrived home..Yes it was a bit cool to suit me but I found slippers and a heavier sweater took the edge off.

Put the turkey carcass on to simmer with onion root ends and tops, celery that was not optimal raw eating and the odd carrot or two.  John has requested a pot of soup and he shall have it.  Since I know he plans to run a few necessary errands tomorrow (in different areas than I went today) I figure we'll have a meal of one sort or another when we arrive home.  There's the fried chicken dinner, stew and corn muffins, and possibly turkey rice soup if I get it strained and cooled enough to pick over the bones this evening.

Wednesday:  Plans today were to run errands, so after a leisurely breakfast and a light bit of housekeeping we were off.  I can't recall a more pleasant day out.  The sun shone, the conversation was genial and there were was nothing to spoil the day.  Not even when we discovered the credit union had moved across town to a new location, nor when we got lost on our way there, lol. 

We looked at Christmas trees, with thoughts of replacing ours but I held steady to my plea to  "let's just buy a string of lights and restring the top."  Thankfully my husband has a frugal nature as well and it was easy to win when he priced trees and priced lights.  Less than 10% of the cost of a very cheap tree were the lights.  We might well end up with a new tree next year or two, as ours is looking a bit worn after ten years of use, but we can take the time to find one we really like rather than just buying one because it's cheap and settling for something we neither of us are happy with.

We made a stop at the grocery.  I was pleased that I remembered my list, got all the final things we need for the pay period.  I still came in a bit over budget but I'm satisfied it wasn't splurges this time, just plain shopping.

We were out so late that mid afternoon we decided to stop and buy off of the value menu at Burger King for lunch.  We kept it a light meal.  Easy enough when I could assure John we had a nice chicken dinner waiting in the fridge for our supper.

We were out Christmas shopping and didn't spend all the money we'd taken from savings.  John is putting back the rest.  Sadly, past experience has taught us that even if we set aside here in the house, we'll borrow from it here and there (we call it nickel and dime-ing) and spend it on things we can't even recall buying.  We'd rather make our savings spending count towards memory makers or to pay unexpected bills.

Dinner was very good to me.  I think because we hadn't eaten so much at lunchtime today and so we were hungry at suppertime.  I reheated the chicken in the oven, put the rolls on the stove top to gently warm them, and 'dressed up' the macaroni salad.  I added some green and black sliced olives and a little grated cheese to the plain old mac salad from the deli. 

Thursday:  John wanted hash browns for breakfast. I stopped buying frozen or prepped hashbrowns from the grocery sometime ago.  I take a potato or two, scrub well, pierce with a knife and pop in the microwave for 3 minutes or so until just barely cooked through.  Then I dice, toss in skillet with a bit of onion and crisp up the pieces of potato. 

John mentioned last night (usually around the same time of night, I really ought to take the hint!) that he'd sure like a cookie or two.  Of course, we had brownies but they are very rich for a late night snack.  I had a packet of coupon/sale priced chocolate chip mix in the cabinet and mixed it up this morning, adding 1/2 cup of peanut butter.  I was busy this morning, so patted the dough into a small pan and made a bar cookie from it.

Dinner today was economical and delicious: Turkey Rice Soup and a peach salad.  John doesn't care for cooked carrots, but I think turkey and chicken broth tastes a bit flat without carrot added in.  I decided to grate the carrot into the broth instead of slicing.  Happy accident: it made the broth turn a rich yellow color which was visually appealing in the  soup.  John didn't mind the carrots either   I'll keep that in mind for future reference on both scores.

I love Lysol toilet bowl cleaner (which worked remarkably well on soap scum in the shower) but the price increases on most everything have me rethinking what products I use in my home.  Comet, my former favorite all purpose bathroom cleaner was just $.58, a savings of nearly $2 over the price of Lysol...I'll save the money and apply  the extra elbow grease required.  That fortunately costs nothing but a little of my time and energy.

We have to go to practice this evening.  That trip will be combined with errands: taking off trash, picking up a prescription, dropping off an item or two in the mail.

1 comment:

Susan in SC said...

The pillow shams are beautiful!

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