Thrifty Thursday

My little potted garden...

Just a wee bit late this week and I do apologize.  I was under the weather with a sudden onset of cold symptoms which took me by surprise. I haven't been ill in almost 3 years with a cold or flu.  This has succumbed rather readily to a 24 hour regime of rest, lots of Vitamin C and zinc and tylenol.  I took two naps today of an hour's duration each and slept in this morning.  And I am ready for bed now and it just 9:30pm. 

Looking back over the past week I had quite a number of money savers...

Friday:  I had to run an errand for John and in the interest of that I decided to go on and do a few other tasks as well.  I took trash off.  Stopped to pick up a prescription.  Initially I went to the drive thru window as I find too many temptations in CVS...But the drive thru line was so long and slow that I went in.  I didn't pick up any extras just the prescription.

I left there to try to get the pecans shelled...Only I earned $15 instead because the guy thought I said I wanted to SELL...Well, hey, that will work too, lol!

Went by the car wash to vacuum and clean the car.  $3.50 to 'detail' the car isn't a bad price. Took about 30 minutes, car looks great.

Went by local grocery to pick up the best of the sales items.  I'd been longing for fish and chips.  I had frozen fries at home and frozen fish fillets were on sale for less than a fish and chip dinner at the take out place.  Fish and chips at home, with enough leftovers for a meal for two later.

I always cruise down the meat aisle of our local store.  They have great meats and good markdowns on them.  Today I picked up chicken tenders, cubed steak and two boneless chuck roast.  These meats might be going into the freezer (as were the few canned items I bought) but the foods are not meant to be eaten this month (except the fish fillets I had for my dinner).  I just don't see by passing a great sale on any item that will boost the pantry and freezer for next month.

Saturday:  After synagogue I spoke with John.  He needed my car for the next day.  I needed pet foods so I went to the dollar store,which has the best prices around on the name brand foods my pets eat.   I also picked up Rexall brand vitamins, also less expensive there for a good reliable name brand product.

Headed home and had a meal of leftovers.

Sunday:  Rain rain rain.  The plants could use the water anyway so I set out the houseplants to get a good drink.

I set meat out to thaw to prep meals ahead but it didn't thaw in time for my dinner.  Thankfully I had an alternative choice in the freezer: frozen chicken pot pie.  I served with a red cabbage salad.

Asked John to bring home a paper if he possibly could.  He did and I'm glad.  It was a good week for coupons.

Monday:  Three boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 1/4 pound ground beef =s 6 meals.  How so?
1 breast: baked under foil cover to steam for chicken enchiladas ( I might get 2 meals from this but am counting as only 1 at present).  1 breast, split into two lengthwise and oven fried became Chicken Parmigiana for two.  1 breast cut into chunks and stir fried with onion, celery and carrots in a light soy sauce becomes Almond Chicken for four.
The ground meat is mixed with bread crumbs, onions and salsa.  I formed 1/2 pound into a little meat loaf (served one person two meals) and the rest was mixed with 1/2 cup raw rice to make porcupine meatballs (I'll get two meals from these for sure).

The beauty of the above meals was that they not only stretched meat they used up a variety of leftover items: 1/2 cup salsa, the remainder of an onion, the less than pretty stalks of celery, the last carrot from a pound bag, 1/3 cup pizza sauce.

I chopped vegetables for the Almond Chicken on Sunday.  Looking at the vegetables I decided I really needed more carrot.  Half a carrot was sufficient for the extra, which left me with half.  I shredded that and made a carrot raisin salad.

Saying goodbye to John this morning, I had to go to the front porch as it was another damp morning.  I found all my lovely beets had been uprooted and the pan dug in by a certain doggy...Rather than completely lose my crop, I gathered the plants and cooked the beet greens as a side dish.  They were very good!

Since I was on a roll, I made Tapioca pudding using some milk that had hit it's expire date rather than pour it out.

There was a third pay period at the end of November...over the six weeks following we've found we've had a bit extra money in some area or other.  This week it was electricity and phone.  The money was already set aside and we didn't need to put anymore aside.  But we did...we added those usual amounts to the car payment and paid extra on that loan.  One more step nearer that pay off I mean to happen this year!

Moved money into savings account.  If we put it in savings we don't spend it unless it's an emergency or hard need.

Tuesday:  Out shopping but not for a big shop.  I looked over sales at the grocery, checked my list of must haves for the pantry freezer challenge week ahead and noted what sales filled empty spots on my pantry shelves for next month.  Shopping took a whole hour and half including the trip over and back to the store.

Had dinner at home: a toasted tuna sandwich and frozen fries heated in the oven.

I went a bit over my grocery budget for the week but I wasn't frivolous.  My 'extras' were pantry staples that were well priced and unadvertised specials.

Wednesday: We had 'extra' money this pay period and knowing we'd been generous in putting money into savings, that bills were paid and we still had a bit more besides...well we felt we a date was called for.  We had dinner out, but John noted a special on Wednesdays...which just happened to be what we had decided to order.  We saved $6 because of his quick eye.

From there to the Christian bookstore.  I noted that there were plenty of the newsletters with coupon codes on the back on the rack.  I grabbed one.  Then John and I separated and browsed.  I found four books, 1 on sale, three 50% off and specially priced as a buy two get one free.  We spent a good bit of money but saved almost as much as we paid.

When we got home I looked at John and said, "You know my throat is sort of burning..."  John looked at me and said "Go on and start taking the Vitamin C and Zinc..."  He'd just had the same ailments earlier in the week.  I made sure to drink lots of water too.  Rehydrating dry throats and nasal passages is always a help.

Thursday:  Didn't feel up to much today at all.  Vitamin C and Zinc are always in our home, as are peppermint or 'cough' drops.  Read on the package.  Most 'cough' drops are medicated but not just for coughs they are also meant to open nasal passages and soothe sore throats.  Water and rest are inexpensive treatments as well.  I took liberal amounts of all.  By late afternoon, following several doses of Vitamin C and Zinc, two long naps and lots of water, I was feeling somewhat better.

It didn't hurt a bit to have cooked food on hand ready to reheat and serve today.  And the lack of dirty dishes (other than our dinner plates) was a tremendous bonus!

John had practice this evening...He insisted I come along though I really really wanted to be home.  However, I went, took along my computer and managed to get the majority of the Power Point for worship service done while I was there.

He stopped for takeout on the way home (I had food I could prepare easily but he wanted to make it easy for me).  He ordered takeout at the Chinese place and got double entrees.  There was a misunderstanding between him and the girl at the place.  She's a sweet heart but I can't order over the phone with her, so know what he was up against.  No harm done however.  I just slipped that extra entree and rice right into the freezer.  We'll 'heat and eat' next month.

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