A Year of Savings: 2013

Feb. 25:  We spent the day watching it rain...and doing very little else.  I read that Sunday paper that we bought the day before, made dinner and watched it rain.  There doesn't seem to be any savings in a day like this but there was.  We RESTED.  Rest is very underrated.  It boosts the immune system, it relieves stress, and it allows the body to go into deep sleep at night.  I could buy vitamins and supplements and energy drinks and take them day and night but nothing restores energy like rest.

Feb. 26:  I doubled up today and planned two meals from one.  I had a corned beef in the freezer that I put in the crockpot and then I doubled the amount of potatoes.  That's one corned beef dinner and one meal later in the week of Reubens and Potato Soup for the weekend ahead.  I'm willing to wager that we get two meals off the second meal.  The corned beef dinner cost us about $10 which some non-frugal sorts might think is pretty good, since it's still less than take-out for two, but getting three meals  means we're down to $3 per meal.  That suits my frugal self very well.  Savings of two future meals: $16

I wanted a simple dessert.  John and I discovered our apples were no longer crisp but leaning toward the soft/mushy side.  I know he won't touch them when they get to that stage of ripeness, so I cut one of the apples in half and cored it.  Filled the center with a pat of butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar and then used wonton wrappers from the fridge (using what I had) to wrap the apples.  I put in a dish and poured a 1/2 cup of apple cider around the 'dumplings' and baked them in the oven.  They were soooo good and the whole amount of sugar and fat was minimal.  I'd priced apple dumplings in the freezer section a few weeks ago and decided not to purchase.  My homemade version used what I had on hand and made good on an item that might well have ended up being wasted.  I think my version might have cost $1 to make.  Compare that to $4 for two.  Savings: $3

After last month's electric bill hike I was determined it would go no higher.We used the dryer a little less, used the propane heat a little more, cut off any unnecessary lights no matter how dull and gray it was outdoors.  All to the good.  The last bill decreased, a savings of $25.

Feb. 27:  Mama and I skipped the usual shopping part of our day out, but I can't say I saved money today either.  It was my turn to buy lunch.

Feb. 28:  I started planning for the new month today and began work on the inventory of the pantry and freezer.  I 'found' a whole chicken I didn't know I had, plus a pint of homemade chili and a big container of chicken broth with vegetables and meat bits suitable for a future chicken dumpling day.  That was the good side of the day.  The bad: I had some expired items. Namely one bottle off cheap syrup and 1 can of baked beans.  They weren't recently expired items either, like the box of macaroni that we will use tomorrow to make chili mac.  Losses today: -$2.25

I organized things while I was in the back pantry and put them in order of need to use.  I thought about it all afternoon long and decided what I need is a package of bright colored round labels.  I can put a label on each item that needs to be used FIRST. 

I made a good dinner today of leftover fried chicken, hashbrown casserole and peas.  Cooked the peas in the oven, letting them steam alongside the chicken and casserole.    

We didn't need all the casserole recipe for one meal, so I put up three smaller casseroles for future meals.  I like having these sorts of things in the freezer for future use.  You can buy these little side dishes in catering and cafeteria type restaurants already frozen but gracious goodness it cost next to nothing to make it here at home.

Decided to rework the budget based on a no overtime/no holiday pay/increase in taxes took all of our raise basis.  It's a tight budget, what is known as a Zero balance budget, meaning every single penny is accounted for, but it's do-able.  I'll have to toe the line with my grocery budget that's for sure. 

When we were at the hotel this past weekend, they put out single serve pod packs of coffee for our use.  As we left Sunday morning, I picked up the decaf packs (just two) and put in my food bag.  I thought they might come in handy and so they did.   John wanted a cup of coffee late in the afternoon, after I'd emptied the big carafe.  I used one of those courtesy pod packs to make him a cup of coffee.  Savings: $.25

Savings: $42.00

Total February 2013: $ 1,580.85

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