Thrifty Thursday

I've shown the new freezer before, but this photo contains two other 'frugal' things.  One is the blue and white cooler: John's lunch box in which he takes his work week lunches.  We also use that box on roadtrips to hold bottled water and soda.

The other frugal items are the two buckets stacked next to that lunchbox.  Those are food safe sealable plastic buckets, where I keep my supply of  flour and sugar.  Each will hold 5 5lb bags.  I might find it holds even more if I just dumped it in there, but I haven't.  The sugar buckets usually will hold a couple bags each of brown sugar and confectioner sugar as well as the bags of regular sugar.

 Friday:  John offered to buy me breakfast this morning and I turned him down...I know it doesn't sound like me at all does it?  Actually I drove him into work since we left his car there last night.  He offered me money for a biscuit and coffee breakfast but I thanked him and declined and headed back home.  I wanted some of our own good coffee and a piece of raisin bread toast.

Started a full load of dishes after I got in the house.

I'd promised John I'd wash clothes, too.  I went about the house looking for any little thing I could add to the load to fill the machine.  Placemats and napkins, my favorite non-skid sock slippers, pajamas...Managed to fill the load nicely.

Twice this week I looked at magazine cookbooks and hard back cookbooks based upon cookie recipes.  I talked myself out of all of them...but no loss.  I was looking through my vintage magazines.  I had one for this month from 1989 (I think Granny gave it to me) and it was just filled with cookie recipes.  I felt like I'd hit the jackpot.  That magazine is going in the kitchen with the cookbooks, too many good recipes to sit on the bookshelf.

Saturday:  A few weeks ago canned chili was on sale.  It was a good quality brand, I had coupons, cans of chili ended up being about $0.20 a can.  After a long morning at synagogue, I came home and wanted a quick lunch.  Nachos sounded good, using a bit of chili, a bit of grated cheese and salsa.  Lunch took a whole 2 minutes to heat in the microwave and about that long to prepare.  Fast food never was that fast!
 I added bagged salad mix to the top.

That 'bagged salad mix' is not what I prefer to have in the house, but John likes it and that was what he wanted to take to the EMS dinner so I bought it.  I got  the BIG bag and not only did it serve EMS with our supper, leftovers made salad for my dinner on Friday, a salad for John's work lunch and for the nacho salad I had today.

Sunday:  Nice windy day.  A great day to hang sheets and towels to dry on the line!  I got them out early.
All this wind is supposed to bring in rain.

Went into town to do the usual errands.  Carried trash to the dumpster.  Stopped by local grocery to pick up best sales items.  At the dollar store, I bought mascara, vitamins and pet foods.  These are always better priced and lately the dollar store has carried Lancome makeup products.  Far less expensive to buy there than at the drugstore.  Got the Sunday paper while in town.  Oh yes, I also filled the car with gasoline too.  I don't normally fill up in town but I was pretty low on gas and didn't want to drive to the next town.

Spent afternoon clipping coupons and sorting through the ones I had on hand.  Tomorrow I'll get them all organized.

Scanned online sales ads for grocery purchases.

Monday:  Cleaned the refrigerator.  I have baskets I use to keep cheese, other dairy and John's lunch items in one are.  I plan to buy one more basket, this one for items that need to be used up.  If they are all gathered I won't have strays that need to be tossed.

Tally for tosses today:  1 jar of salsa (not the salsa I used on Saturday).  1 jar of a special sauce that a friend makes.  We 'saved' it this time and it spoiled. And 1 container of plain yogurt meant to be starter for homemade.  I thought that was a pretty good tally considering I haven't cleaned the fridge in at least a month this time.

Had heat on nearly all day today.  It was COLD! I wore an extra sweater, indoors and had to put on my coat outdoors.

Pulled coupons for shopping, refined my list, checked pantry to see if sales matched gaps on the shelves.

Made cubed steaks and biscuits for dinner.  I had plenty of extra biscuits and filled them with the cubed steak and some cooked turkey sausage.  All were well wrapped and put in the freezer for future breakfasts.

Tuesday:  After all the work yesterday I narrowed shopping to just two stores.  I consider that a bonus.  I checked my list and double checked it to be sure I didn't buy unnecessary items.

Found a bottle of Grade B real Maple syrup for $4.78 I think.  I can't find my receipt to confirm that just now.  I do know it was almost a dollar less than I've been buying the syrup for.  Nice to know something is going DOWN in price for a change isn't it?  And no, I have to say that maple syrup wasn't on my list of buys but I know better than to turn down a good sale when I find one!

Another item I found today: 2 bags 2 pounds each in weight, of onions, red and green bell peppers, already diced and frozen for $2.  I don't normally go for convenience items as a rule but when they are that well priced (like the canned chili) I most definitely will take the convenience and thank the good Lord for helping me to see the great sale!

I meant to skip the second store entirely but John called before I left town, so I went back to pick up an item he wanted.  I went on and bought the best of the sales while I was there.

Used change I'd tossed in the dash pocket to vacuum the inside of the car at the car wash.

Didn't mean to eat out this day but the second store pushed me to a very late hour...and I'd eaten breakfast extra early.  I opted for a stop at a place on my way home for a sandwich.  Since it was so late, I didn't eat supper, I just let my dessert be my supper.

Dessert: coconut cream pie.  I couldn't make a pie as inexpensively as I bought this one today.  It was a frozen brand name pie.  I know because I priced ingredients.

Wednesday:  Red Beans for lunch.  I wanted a meatless meal but also wanted to season the beans nicely.  I used 1 ounce of  smoked beef sausage diced into the pan, along with about 1/2 cup of those onions and peppers I bought,  and a little celery.  Then I added some chicken broth (from the freezer) and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.  Good eatin'!  And inexpensive eating, too.  Enough leftovers for me one day next week, I put that right in the freezer.

John accepted an extra steak and baked potato last week after the EMS dinner.  I put them in the freezer, then thawed yesterday.  This morning, I served my husband steak and eggs with hash browns for breakfast. It sure was delicious.

John washed a full load of clothes today.

Weather very nice once more, so we opened windows and turned on the whole house fan to keep things pleasant indoors.

So nice, when I run out of something, to just walk into the pantry areas and get the items needed.  Today, I pulled a jar of mayonnaise, a box of grits (for breakfast tomorrow morning), a bag of dog food to refill the lidded plastic bin I keep on the porch for them and the cat's little food bucket as well. 

Thursday:    And here we are at the end of another week.  I washed a full load of dishes this morning.

Today's meal of chicken and dumplings made enough for planned overs for Sunday night's supper.

Open windows again this afternoon.

The very best thing I've done this week is to plan out all three meals for each day.  That has been a huge time and money saver.  Usually I follow the work week pattern of planning dinner and winging it for breakfast and supper but that has not been working very well for me lately.

I know I just shopped on Tuesday but a few outages came to my attention over the past couple of days.  One of these is a 'repeat'.  I noticed the vinegar I use for cleaning was low last pay period and forgot to put it on my list twice.  Today I started a new shopping list for next pay period.  You can bet vinegar is top of the list.

I don't often get a free pocket of time alone during John's off week but I was granted an unexpected one today.  I stayed home and cleaned ahead for tomorrow.  Glad I did.  John came home telling me he had an errand or two to run tomorrow.  Nice to start out ahead and not behind.

Spent a little time looking over the budget for the coming year.  Not quite ready to tot up all the figures yet, but I did make notes on  several items to increase/decrease/figure differently.

And that ends this week.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead!

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