Friday: My planned day out. Not a day planned without thought to gasoline use however. Yes, more than one errand found it's way onto a list, but I kept in mind the day was about FUN and not all about homework (and isn't it all homework even if we aren't at home?).
On the spur of the moment, I stopped at Goodwill. I hadn't planned that into my day but the store was just one turn and less than 1/4 of a block off the road to my destination. I'm so glad I went in. I found a frame to fit an odd sized poster I've had for years and hated to pay HUGE bucks for a specially made frame. Cost was $4.04. I also found a small aluminum tote box just the right size for John to carry some of his music equipment in. Similar boxes were running upwards of $80 online. My price was $3.03 and John was very pleased I'd thought of him when I'd seen it.
My destination was to Ross for Less. I looked at every thing. I mean every single thing in the store. Some items went into the buggy and came out again too as I really thought about each purchase. In the end, I was pleased with what I came home with, nothing big or fancy but most certainly useful and beautiful: storage containers for bulk herbs I had in the cabinet, vanilla scented tea light candles (John's favorite scent) and a deep rectangular basket to store potatoes and onions, a new set of dishtowels and terry cloth dishcloths that I am using on my dining table as place mats and napkins. And yes, that was all and I was well pleased with each purchase. I had a great time and spent less than $30.
I'd meant to treat myself to a lunch out, but oh my aching feet! lol Shopping is work too even if you do it for fun. I still had to make a stop at the grocery on my way home, and I do like to 'treat' John to a little something too when I go out on my own. I picked up a couple of items in the deli to share with him, as well as the bread we needed for home. And as an added bonus, I went by Dairy Queen and had a special ice cream treat :-P
Saturday: Even though I didn't make the soup I'd planned , I knew I had foods enough at home to make a quick meal at home after synagogue. Pita bread pizzas was what I made, using a partial jar of spaghetti sauce leftover from a meal last week.
It started to rain after I returned home. I set out houseplants to be watered by nature.
Sunday: More rainy gloomy weather. As the temperature dropped a little during the morning, I thought of that soup I'd been meaning to make for the past two weeks. Today was just the day for it. Easy and inexpensive.
I started by browning a half pound of ground beef with garlic and frozen chopped onions and bell peppers. Then I removed 2/3 of the meat mixture, added in a diced thick slice of roast beef I'd frozen, dumped in a quart of homemade beef stock and added 4 different canned vegetables. All that I needed to do after that was to season to taste and allow it to simmer for a couple of hours. Soooo good! And happily nutritious and healthy as well. There were plenty of leftovers. I'll be freezing portions for future meals.
Even though it was gloomy outdoors, my home is blessed with large windows that allow plenty of light to come in. It wasn't necessary to have lights on in rooms to see with all that natural light pouring into the house.
Washed two full loads of clothes today. Dried them in three loads though. Why? Heavier items take longer to dry than lighter ones. So I dried the lightest load of clothes first (30 minutes) and then put the next heaviest item into the warm dryer (30 minutes) and finished off with the heaviest items last (35 minutes to dry THICK towels). In total I used the dryer for fewer minutes than I would have doing them in two loads.
Half and half is gone, Milk and eggs are low, but decided we'd manage just fine to wait until Tuesday before purchasing any one of these items.
Monday: Washed a full load of dishes.
Made lasagna in the crock pot using the beef I cooked yesterday, cottage cheese that was near expiration date and had been frozen and jarred sauce bought on sale. The frozen cottage cheese has more the texture of ricotta when thawed and is perfect for use in lasagna or cheesecakes.
Mixed up a batch of cookie dough to make homemade goodies to fill our cookie jar.
Divided yesterday's soup into containers for the freezer. I 'harvested' 3 quarts for the freezer.
Needed hot water to hand wash a few dishes. While waiting for the water to heat, I ran the cooler water into our water bottles. When the water was warm, I switched the faucet to run into the sink and fill it.
Used 'saved' water to touch up a few planted pots that didn't get quite enough rain.
Checked the fridge and discovered a few more leftovers that really needed to be used or 'harvested'. I put shredded BBQ chicken into the freezer for sandwiches and set aside an item to have for supper tonight.
Knocked over the African violets as soon as I'd vacuumed last week, so I picked up the broken leaf and allowed it to 'cure' for a day then stuck in water to root. I'll start a new plant from that accident.
Tuesday: John asked me to put off the shopping until tomorrow. He had an errand he also wanted to attend to and I had no problems with waiting...but I'd already been two days without milk and was missing it. I went into our local area store to get a quart of milk, went by the Dollar Store and the bank. That cut down considerably on the number of stops to be made the next day. And good thing. We had an extra errand run to make that took us well out of our way and required a good chunk of time.
I was not up to par today so stopped for a sandwich at Subway. Still one of the most affordable bargains around in my opinion. $5 foot long will serve me and John, so I set aside half for him to enjoy when he came in from work.
Sodas are still the best buy at the Dollar Store, beating all but the most excellent sales at the grocery.
We had two bills arrive this afternoon. As it happened the money for both were sitting in our account. We went ahead and wrote out the checks and put them right into the mail. That feels so good. It's one of the perks of having a habit of setting aside half of the money each pay period.
Wednesday: Off on our shopping/errands day. We stopped at that little country store that sells those awesome breakfast sandwiches. I remembered last time that we couldn't finish our sandwiches and suggested to John we get one and share. Worked out perfectly for us.
John and I discussed the news of rising gasoline costs. I pointed out to him last night that it had been years since we rode around for fun. Every move we make is destination oriented, combining errands, etc. We'll just keep doing what we can, trimming the budget in other areas to offset the rising costs in another. Today we knew we had one less trip to make and so we took advantage of that fact to go a little further in our travels today...It's all about trading off one option for another.
I think Aldi's prices are very good indeed, but there are a couple items I've tried thus far that I don't like. I slipped into the grocery next door to the salon where John got his hair cut and bought those two items. Savings for me means nothing when flavor is missing. I bought both items on sale, both store brands but surpassing flavor of the Aldi store brand.
John wooed me. I've shared often enough that I only indulge in Starbucks once a month, but today my husband asked to treat me and I accepted. We enjoyed our coffee and took a few minutes to people watch before going on with our 'work' of grocery shopping.
I have no complaints about Aldi over all. Most of the items we've bought are excellent and I cannot praise their produce enough. I did buy a few items I might have saved a few cents upon elsewhere, but I also knew that John was winding down after our early morning start. I felt I saved enough in other areas (romaine lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, bread, milk, chocolate) to offset the slightly higher (just a few pennies, but pennies count) cost of sour cream, eggs, half and half.
I am happy to say that thus far I am on budget for the month...I do not foresee spending anymore between now and Wednesday when this month ends. I am not however, counting before the month ends. I have learned too well that things can change.
While cleaning the bathroom cupboard last week I found a bottle of scented hand lotion that was a gift. I decided to use that up before purchasing more lotion. Well I found the scent to have become stronger over the last year or so, almost overwhelmingly so. I think I'll be cutting it with an unscented inexpensive lotion. And I do believe that this scented lotion will substitute nicely for a summer perfume, so will just skip the bottle I'd been thinking of buying.
Thursday: John asked for breakfast for supper last night and I made a sizable meal of it. This morning I opted to pull out cold cereal and fruit and juice as our morning meal, since Lasagna was for dinner.
Allergies are upon us here, so no more open windows for the next few months. When the house grew stuffy this morning, we turned on the AC. Currently it's set for 73F but as temperatures rise so shall the thermostat. I don't mean to move into summer heat with the AC set that low, not at all. I've learned a gradual movement accustoms us to a higher indoor temperature and allows us to decrease our costs before the summer rise in prices.
The propane truck came today and I'll wager it's the last visit we'll have from him until September. Our costs for heating with propane this year were greatly reduced over last year by at least 60% I'd say.
Trimmed the flowers I bought last Friday and tucked in a few sprigs of Ivy from my happy plant that has grown even over winter this year. I'll root these cuttings and start a new pot of ivy.
This past week we indulged in the pure goodness of that excellent coffee we love so well, but I'm too mindful of the cost of it to let that continue. This morning I took time to mix with the less expensive name brand that we'd been drinking. We're still getting an excellent cup of coffee, but at less per cup.
I enjoy trying to solve Suduko puzzles. I bought another book yesterday, but noting the price upon it I have to say a subscription would be a huge money saver. This is my third book this year and yes, I've spent already almost what it will cost to cover the subscription. Just one year's subscription should supply me for two years or so.