Thrifty Thursday

Basil growing in a pot handy to the backdoor...there's peppermint there too and a gnome.

Friday:  I've been preparing a fuller breakfast these days with John home.  I find that breakfast rarely sits so heavy on the stomach that he can't sleep a few hours each morning and will hold him until he can eat a later and lighter dinner, then a sandwich for supper suits him just fine.

Made a Shepherd's Pie from leftover roast beef hash and half a package of frozen mixed vegetables.  Topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. I used the oven to bake the pie so it seemed a good idea to thaw and pat a roll of chocolate chip cookies into a 7x11 pan and make bar cookies too.

Clearing up after lunch, I noted an odd smell under the sink cabinet yesterday and checked potatoes and onions with nothing resulting.  Today I looked a bit harder and discovered a puddle of water under the sink!  Ack!  John's shift change was much much appreciated today as he went to work right away to discover the cause.  We thought it was a fix that could wait until payday, but it proved to be an immediate need.  John went off to town to buy a part while I manned the mop up station.  In the end I got a brand new faucet.  It wasn't the option he went into town for (a cartridge that fit into the faucet handle) but it was a sight better than waiting until he was off on Wednesday to have running water in the kitchen...especially since the dishwasher was full of dirty dishes and so was the sink.  $29.95. Not a pricey faucet but a working one and the problem was all fixed.  Beats calling a plumber, too!

To dry out the cabinet area, I directed a fan to blow under the cabinet.

All this work meant not getting meals for the weekend ready.  I thought we'd buy take out but I sat down with the checkbook today and decided that was not a good idea.  We've plenty of food on hand. I just need to be creative and determine what will take the least effort.

My supper was leftovers from John's work snacks he hadn't eaten this week.

Washed a full load of dishes (ha!) and  washed a full sink full.  I heated the water for the dishwasher while washing the dishes by hand.

Saturday:  Shabat and we'd planned to go to synagogue today, but John was tired and I was too.  We decided to stay at home, but we didn't miss service.  Thank you Livestream and computer!  We sat quiet and listened to the full service.  We saved about an hour of riding time, gasoline and John got a decent enough nap in.

Burgers and fries for dinner seemed easy enough.  Even though it heats up the house, I used the oven to 'fry' the fries.  I don't really care to have the extra calories in frying.  I used the hood vent to pull out the most of the heat and directed the fan to push the warm air towards the back of the house and not into the living room.

I spent time using online search for genealogy searches.  This netted me quite a few Swagbucks.  I was asked what 'sites' I use.  I generally use and mostly.  The FamilySearch data base is run by Church of Latter Day Saints and they have a large database of Federal U.S. and European records that are free.  Some information, most actual images are available through etc.  Most of my info is stumbleupon stuff that I find while looking for one family member.  It's a fun way to spend an afternoon and as of yet, there's been little reason to pay to join any site for info.  Just patience is required, lol.

Sunday:  Cleaned out the refrigerator today while John listened to a local church service on TV.  This was beneficial in two ways.  I had a chance to review leftovers and need to use, as well as getting the refrigerator ship shape once more.

Dinner was leftover Shepherd's Pie, reheated in the microwave, and a salad.  For a 'fancy finish'  I made us a Warm Chocolate Chip Sundae using one of the cookie bars I made the other day (heated in microwave for 10 seconds), a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of the homemade Hot Fudge Sauce.  Oh yum!  A similar dessert (larger true, but ours were more a serving size portion) sells at a restaurant for $5.

We washed and hung to dry a full load of clothes.

Used Swiffer duster to dust walls of a couple of rooms.  The used duster was put in the wash basket.  As long as the duster isn't dried in the dryer it may be used three or four times.

Took vacuum and set it up on a chair to vacuum ceiling fan blades.  This was much neater and nicer than using Swiffer or socks etc.  I didn't have to clean the floor up afterwards and it took just a minute or two to do each fan.

Ate leftovers for supper.

Monday:  Weather much cooler. I decided to make chili for dinner.  I chopped the burgers leftover from Saturday's meal and let them steam with the onions and garlic.  I added a can of tomatoes, a can of kidney beans, my seasonings and  a can of water.  That made enough chili to serve over rice.  I had leftover chili (another meal or two from that) and rice (perhaps fried rice later in the week).

Cleaned the AC intake vent and changed the filter.  I read online that this should be done every three months but I urge you to do it monthly.  It's shocking how much dust accumulates on those filters and I'm convinced the better the intake the better the output.  A blocked filter literally cuts off air from going through the intake vents.

I'd told John I meant to go pick up specials at the store that would benefit our pantry, but I stayed home.  It was raining and  and I just plain hate to  go out in the rain.  After figuring out about how much money I'd spend, I decided it was well worth staying home.  Besides I'm going to have to go out tomorrow to pay bills and do banking.  I can always go by the store then.

Dusted the remaining room walls.  Dropped that Swiffer duster into the wash basket, too.

Used dishwater to water the plants on the front porch, too sheltered to receive benefits of the rain.

Took oscillating fans outdoors to clean in the afternoon when the sun came out.  Dusty!  Gracious goodness they were dirty.  Now ALL the fans, intake vents, etc have been cleaned and all the walls wiped down for dust.

Tuesday:  Harvest Morning after breakfast.  We paid tithes, distributed the money we'd saved for charity over the past month, paid bills.  I got a call from CVS just before leaving that John's prescription was ready to be picked up.  It was easy to look online to see if any sales justified going indoors.  They did.  I spent a portion of the grocery money on laundry detergent, paper towels and vitamins and a hard to find candy bar was on sale, too.  I spent about $40.

I used my allowance to pick up a special treat of KFC for John and my lunch.  I could have used our checking account funds, but I felt that we needed to curb the entertainment fund this week.  I had leftover allowance from last pay period so no hardship for me to use the extra to buy a meal for us.

On my trip out I took off trash, paid two bills in person, dropped bills off at post office, did the banking, picked up prescriptions, bought a few stock up items for the household.  Not bad for a two and half hour trip away from home.  By the way, this was my first time out of the house in 8 days!  No shopping, no rides into town, nothing.  Pleased to see that the gasoline bought 16 days ago was mostly unused in my car.  We'd put only 126 miles on the vehicle in the first part of John's previous week off. 

Spent the afternoon planning my grocery shopping for tomorrow, including the trip to the meat market.

Washed a full load of dishes.  I allowed to air dry overnight with the door propped open.

John did a small wash load of clothes.  They were hung to dry, the fan turned on them to help them dry more quickly.

Wednesday:  Up early to unload dishwasher.  I made breakfast for us.  While I waited on coffee to brew, I looked up the current week ad (started today) for one store.  I never did go by that store during the last sales cycle to pick up sale items for the pantry...That was about a $60 savings.

Our first stop.  I marked off a few items that weren't in stock or were too large a quantity and too near expiration date for us to safely use.  A glance at the clearance shelf netted me a score of 3 24ounce tin cans of Spanish Olive Oil for $3 each.  One of the items I didn't buy the previous week?  16 ounce bottles  of olive oil for the same price.  The tin cans are cute cute cute, a great recyclable to reuse once cans are empty.

In interest of trying to fix the old faucet we stopped by home repair store to  purchase a cartridge.  No luck.  So glad we went ahead and replaced that faucet.  The savings in aggravation alone was well worth it!

To a new butcher shop in the interest of saving mileage.  It was a huge disappointment in quality and price. I opted to buy four cryopack packages of ground beef, a sirloin steak.  I told John later that we'd just plan to go to the meat market this next pay period.  I'd bought bone-in chicken breasts for $.99/pound at Aldi and I felt we had enough meat to last us two weeks with these purchases.

Used ice we'd previously purchased and stored in the smaller freezer to keep our cold things cold.

Bought a new mint plant to replace the one that died out in that pot of basil.

John had urged me to forget budget, but I'd rather not.  I work hard to keep  food costs reasonable and while I appreciated his attempt to relieve pressure on me, I prefer to keep these costs in line.  A little extra this time and a little extra next and before you know it the cost is nipping into any cushion for comfort we've got left.  John offered to go to the regular meat market but it was unnecessary (we had enough) and I was just slightly over budget ($16).  I felt it could wait and I don't regret  saying so.

Thursday:   Made waffles for breakfast.  Leftovers were put into the freezer for a quick meal on a busier morning.

Used mop water to water plants.

Planted the mint just before watering.

John washed a full load of laundry and hung to dry.

John went out to mow yard.  His mower wouldn't run well at all and he stopped to check it out.  He had a fuel filter for another mower that happened to fit the new one.  Savings in using what we had, savings in not having to go to town for another.

I used leftover chili to make Nachos with Everything for our dinner.  It was a quick and easy meal, used the microwave and not the oven.

Put two chicken breasts and  a chicken carcass on to boil.  Used celery, onion tops and carrot from the freezer bag of top/root pieces to season.  These two breasts and the meat from the bones will net me enough meat for at least two meals.

John had  to get mower gasoline.  In my effort to make every trip count, I gathered up trash, a letter we needed to mail out today and headed into town with John.

The dishwasher will be filled after supper tonight.  I'll wash a full load in the evening after the rates drop.

We ran out of peanut butter and bread this afternoon.  Joy joy, just go to the pantry and get a new jar of peanut butter, open the freezer and take bread out to thaw.  So nice to know that we have this stuff  in house!

And that is my thrifty week!

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