A Year of Savings: 2013

August 8:   Grocery day.  I was very careful to keep to the new lower budget amount this pay period.  Most of our needs centered around restocking the pantry items. I could have increased with the extra pay but I refused to do so.  I mean to master this budget and then I mean to take it down another notch.  I went over by $8 and I paid for that from my allowance because I'd picked up makeup at CVS. loss -$1

At CVS I went in to pick up a foundation.  I found the brand I've been using and walked down the aisle to head to the pharmacy to pick up another item.  I glanced at a shelf on my way and noticed that another brand of a similar formula cost about $15...$1 more than the foundation I was buying...but it had a $7 ECB reward.  Essentially the same formula for $8 as the end cost?  I switched brands.  Savings $7. Because I was in a hurry I didn't split up my purchase as I'd normally do, part to debit card and part cash.

At Kroger, I looked longingly at the flowers. I'd given myself permission to buy some flowers if I could get them for $4 or less.  The only offering that fit my budget were some rather pitiful looking gladioli.  I decided to pass.  Won't count it as savings because this week Aldi had  lovely bargain priced bunches of flowers, very unusual as they normally look beyond dead.  They cost $3.99 just as I'd budgeted.

John bought lunch out.  We kept it to our usual $10 limit and enjoyed it very well.  The best part today was the icy cold drinks, worth every single penny we paid for them.  It was HOT!

August 9:  John called to work for a meeting.  We'll appreciate the extra time on the next check.

Washed a full load of clothes.  For the first time in months I was able to hang clothes to dry outdoors and actually get them dry thanks to the decreased humidity/no rain.

Made lunch in the oven.  I was cooking a roast and added in corn on cob, reheated potatoes, too.  That's three meals from those two large potatoes I started with last week.  Potatoes are cheap but stretching them that far is still a small savings $.40

Sliced roast and divided into two meals with a third very small portion to go on the potato pizza.

Used remainder of Calzone dough to make the pizza.  I set aside in the freezer.  It didn't rise much but had a nice flavor and made a good thin crust pizza.  Topped pizza dough with pieces of roast (about 1/4), leftover potatoes, caramelized onions and cheeses.  Homemade pizza nets savings $7.99 cost of frozen pizza.

We headed into town to get gasoline for the mower.  We couldn't buy it locally...No clue why they had none but headed over to the next town to get it.  John filled up his car while we were there, since we'd driver over and beyond what we'd normally do.  We also carried off trash while we were out and picked up the mail, too.

Set AC to 78 which is a temperature that keeps it fairly cool and at the same time allows the AC to rest periodically, at least until late afternoon.

August 10:  Savings, savings, where's the savings?  John stopped and bought us lunch from his allowance.  I assured him we could easily use debit to pay for the food but he said this was his treat and if he needed cash later he'd get it then.

We took a different route home than the one we took to synagogue.  It was lovely to ride along the old state highway.  No extra gas usage, the mileage was the same as our usual route.

I pulled up YouTube and watched loads of 1940's and 1950's home ec videos.  Enjoyed every minute of it and it cost me absolutely nothing.  Stumbled upon two series that I had been wanting to see and bookmarked those for later: Victorian Kitchen Garden and another whose title I can't remember at the moment.

We ate leftover roast beef in sandwiches for supper.

John wanted a treat this afternoon after we got home, to have with coffee.  I bought a pastry this week and put in the freezer since we had other items on hand.  It was nice to go to the freezer and pull out that pastry. I cut two servings, heated in microwave for 30 seconds and it was warm and tasty.  I put the rest of the pastry back into the freezer.  

August 11:  Washed a full load of laundry this morning.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Dinner was leftovers from this past week.  Now we've got a clear start for meals the rest of the week. (Savings $4).

Pulled shades on sunnyside of house.  Did I mention that we finally went over 100F for the first time this summer yesterday?  The AC works well but runs a lot in this sort of weather.  Any extra cooling I can provide inside is a savings for us.

Watered plants with water saved from bottles and dinner glasses.

We skipped going into town for the paper (savings $2).

Pulled watermelon to the front of the fridge shelf to encourage eating.  Worked very well as John helped himself to it.  I pushed the grapes, plums and apples to the back of the shelf.  The watermelon won't keep much longer.  The grapes and plums are the next most perishable and the apples will keep awhile.  It pays to try and rotate foods like that.  I noted that we need to eat zucchini and sugar snap peas early this week, too.

August 12:   Hung pillows out to air.

Washed a full load of clothes.

Hung sheets outdoors to dry.  I'm getting that seasonal urge to start washing and airing quilts, especially now the sun is shining so.  I love the smell of air dried laundry!

Made three sandwiches from the Italian Pepper Steak mixture which was one more than I thought I would get.  I wrapped and set aside for work lunches this week.  Savings $1.

Used water saved from water bottles and glasses to water houseplants.

It's been very hot.  I increased the thermostat temperature to 78F so the AC wouldn't run so much.

August 13:   We've been talking for months about getting our back deck redone and turn it into a porch.  And over those months of discussion we'd decided about what we'd be willing to pay for it.  So we talked to a contractor and got a quote.  It was under our budgeted amount so we'll be getting a new porch in a few weeks.  John said that means no more little trips nor a vacation come fall...Well that's life isn't it?  I suspect we'll appreciate that porch a good deal more over the coming years than a single vacation.

John decided we'd best have a 'last fling' now that the budget is zipped up tight once the work on the porch begins.  We went out for a movie date.  Matinee prices by the way which saved $ I know but I can't tell you how much because we never go to anything but the matinee on the rare occasions we go.

August 14:   Prepared John's work lunch before I left this morning.  I have a busy busy day ahead of me.

Watered front porch plants with saved water.

Out with Mama.  I need a couple of tops to finish out the warm weather season.  I figured about now something should be on clearance.  I bought two tops and a tank to layer with in the winter.  I got the tank and one of the tops from the clearance racks which saved me enough to buy the second top.  So no real savings perhaps but certainly a stretching of what I'd planned to spend.

We opted to order a smaller lunch plate.  Savings $4.

Mama gifted me a great tall stack of her magazines and a big pile of coupons inserts from her papers.

Didn't eat supper before I left for the Bible study.  I had all sorts of ideas about what fast food I'd stop and purchase but it was raining and I just wanted to get home.  I had a cup of cereal when I got in.  Savings $6 (cost of fast food meal).

Total for the week:  $31.39  Not a lot perhaps but every little bit helps.

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