A Year of Savings: 2013

August 22:  We shopped only at Aldi today.  I came in under budget this week, by about $40.  Yep, and I'm counting it as a savings $40 because this week I actually held on to it and didn't plan to spend the 'extra' anywhere.

I set aside a certain amount of my allowance to cover the expenses of my booth rent, tags, and  a ledger book to keep track of my expenses and income from the flea market. This venture of mine is not coming out of the checking or savings account.  It's solely mine to thrive or fail with.  I don't want to tax our budget with an additional expense.

August 23:  Bought a corned beef yesterday.  Cooked the whole thing today and then sliced it thinly.  We had a portion for our dinner today and the rest went into the fridge for sandwiches this coming week.  The brisket cost $10.  We had enough meat for 1 meal and 6 sandwiches, which works out to about 4 meals worth of meat total.

Washed a full load of laundry.

Washed a full load of dishes.

August 24:  We priced parts needed for my car locally.  The price was okay but they weren't in stock.  John decided today to check with an auto parts store in another town on our way home.  Saved $13.

August 25:  Roasted a whole chicken.  We had enough for our company meal, and supper sandwiches.  I have about 2 cups of chicken left for chicken salad for work lunch sandwiches this week too.  My chicken cost us $.89/pound and weighed about 4 pounds.  I figure that at $.30 a serving.  Savings $3.59 for a package of sandwich meat.

August 26:  Went into town with John who promised me an ice cream if I'd ride along (yeah, I'm easy like that, lol).  He pointed out when we got in town that we could buy a half gallon of ice cream for the same price.  He was so right.  Why settle for one ice cream treat when we could eat ice cream as we wanted over the month.  There IS a savings here, but it's NOT in calories.  $3.99 ice cream on sale vs. $1.89 each for two items at the station.  We'll get somewhere nearer 12-14 servings from that half gallon for just a little more in cost.    

Opened a can of tomato paste today.  After I'd used what I needed for my recipe, I cut the remaining into 2 tablespoon sized portions and flash froze them.  I put them in a freezer container after they were fully frozen.
Savings:  .$30 the cost of the remaining portion of paste.

August 27:  Stocking my booth has been easy enough for this month.  I've just pulled out a lot of the extra items I've been storing for quite some time and don't really want to use or keep anymore.

Today is my oldest grandson's birthday.  I sure would love to meet that little fellow who started school today, too.  I ordered his gift last week and had it sent directly to him.  It's a small savings over the store's postage and what it would cost me to send through the post office.  Enough to allow me to buy a slightly nicer gift, so I can't call it a savings exactly but it was a nice swap in my opinion.

August 28:  Went into Target to get dog food.  I walked around the end caps looking for clearance items.  Not much out there this week.  I did come away with two new tops to see me through the last of the warm weather.  I spent $17 and saved $17 over original prices.

Skipped a take out supper yet again...I chose to head on home and have a cup of milk and a half sandwich instead.  Savings $5

August 29:  I got caught up in my own thoughts and plans this morning and forgot all about dinner.  Thank Goodness for my freezer and my occasional 'gifts' of a doubled recipe or leftover makeover.  I found two Calzone in the freezer today and was quite happy about it.  Heat and serve, perfect for my forgetfulness today.

Yesterday when Mama and I ate out I ordered cornbread with my meal but they brought Garlic bread instead.  The waitress corrected the error but left the garlic bread.  I brought it home and today I used it to make croutons for our salad.  I made enough croutons for two salads, so we'll have the leftovers tomorrow if John stays out of them.  Does your family like to snack on homemade croutons like mine does?  Saving $.99

Washed a very full load of dishes today.

Made a batch of biscuits for breakfast this evening.  Savings $1.59

Made 2 loaves of Challah.  Savings $3.99.

Shopped at home: bbq sauce, loaf of bread, milk, coffee, butter...oh lovely pantry that saves us so much money!

August 30:  Yesterday the call came in: my booth space was ready and I could set up at any time.  Well my hubby was just in from work and tired.  I didn't want to spring it on him that we had work to do in town that morning so I asked him nicely if he'd mind planning to go in with me today to put the shelves together.  Of course, he said he would.  Hence the bread baking last night.

Sitting on the porch this morning, I looked out at the patio and stared in puzzlement at my tomato plants...sticks...Whoa!  There were leaves, blossoms just last evening when I looked out the window.  What goes on here?  Horned worms!  I picked the six little tomatoes I'd been waiting patiently to get to the ripe stage and killed the worm. I was so disappointed!  At least I got my six little tomatoes off those two plants that volunteered to come up.

Knowing I'd be out today during my usual meal prep hours, I dug about in the back freezer for my next to last frozen made ahead entree (guess what I'll be doing next week?).  Turkey Tetrazzini went into the crock pot to heat while we were out.  I made a salad and left in the fridge.  Dinner done.  Savings: $10 at local diner.  I didn't want to spend that money today knowing I was planning to stop in tomorrow.

Carefully avoided looking at the other new vendor booths...I knew whatever I bought would only end up in my boothspace as I had no personal cash to spend on frivolities.  I purposely left my money at home! Savings: Incalculable!

When we came in from the market, I went right to work painting two items and fashioning them into something 'new'.  Well it so happens I looked down and realized I still had my wedding rings on, and a new shirt as well...I called John to come out and bring me an OLD shirt and had him remove the one I was wearing and put the other on me (my hands were already coated with paint).  I slipped off my wedding rings and put them in my jeans pocket.  Savings $11 the cost of the shirt I had been wearing when I started painting.  By the way, shortly after the quick change I was using spray paint and coated my entire left hand in a thick heavy coat of Dover White, sigh.  Paint magnet.  That's me.  

Accidental discovery:  I came indoors and scrubbed off as much paint as possible.  It didn't go well.  However, I was trying to clean a vintage tin that was well coated with old kitchen goop ( aka sticky oil residue) and nothing I used worked on it.  Not straight dish detergent, baking soda, bleach water, or straight pine sol (which is usually decent).  In desperation I grabbed the bottle of liquid dishwasher detergent, put a squirt of the stuff on my cloth, wiped the tin and voila!  The section was free of residue.  I cleaned up the tin and was rinsing it well when I realized that I had no more paint on my hand.  A double victory!  Now I can sell the tin and my hands are paint free! Not yet an earner but potential Savings $5 (difference in clean and nice tin vs. gunky tin price).

August 31:  Yesterday while I was in the market putting out my few things, one of the other booth holders was checking out my stuff...and asked if I had more to put out.  I told her I didn't have anything for right away but hoped to bring in a few more items this next week as I cleaned and priced a few more things.  But I told her, "I just don't have much at the moment...I've had to cull a lot during the past three years since I put my name down for a booth.  We needed the storage space for other things."  She told me about an estate sale in town today.  Since I was going to be in town to pick up fried chicken for dinner anyway, I told John I guessed I'd just go in extra early and run by there. I was one of the first folks to drop by this morning. I found three or four items I will be putting in the booth and two items for me (I KNOW...but really I had both items on my personal shopping list!). 

Not nice surprise: the local diner was closed for the holiday weekend.  No chicken.  I debated driving to a grocery deli and picking up some but could I get it so early in the morning (just after 8am)?  In the end, I opted to go into the local grocery, buy uncooked chicken and fry it myself.  I am so silly...Do you know how we do something over and over until it's a habit and then we stop thinking about why we do it and just do it?  That's me and fried chicken.  Here's the deal.  I bought two whole country style cut up fryers (that means that there are ten pieces of chicken in the package.  The additional pieces are the trimmed but meaty portion of the back and the wishbone).  Two chickens equals 20 pieces.  It cost me $8.50 for the two packages...Do you know how much we pay locally for 8 pieces of fried chicken?  $11.  I used half a bottle of cooking oil to fry the meat and seasoned and floured here at home, so let's say I added an extra dollar to my cost.  I put 10 pieces of chicken in the freezer (backs. legs and wings).  That will make a second big meal for us in the future.  I cooked my ten pieces: thighs, breasts, wishbones (all premium pieces by the way which would have cost me extra) in under thirty minutes.  My Savings: $8.50 and let us not forget I have another meal from that original purchase which I didn't include in the savings.

Going by the grocery store proved beneficial twice.  I noticed an unadvertised yard sale across the street from the grocery.  Off I went, and added two more items to my marketable purchases.  Cost me a whole $1 each.

Washed a full load of dishes after dinner today.

I never had time for coffee this afternoon when I'd made it, so after the house was all nice and empty this evening and I was all alone, I took advantage of that 'Brew single' feature on my coffee pot and made myself a cup.  I sat in the rocker in the breakfast area and rocked and sipped and thoroughly enjoyed my quiet time.

And so ends another week and another month.  The savings overall might be small but every little bit counts...

Total for week: $109.96

Total for month: $285.01


Rhonda said...

I've never heard of buying a country cut up chicken but I would like them that way,
And yes, my family does like homemade croutons, I also sued to make huge batches of croutons with old or squashed bread for the fraternity boys. I used plenty of butter-margarine on theirs and they gobbled them up.

Cheapchick said...

I completely agree with your hubby, so much cheaper to buy icecream and eat at home versus out - but definitely doesn't help in the calorie area lol (but you have to live a little!)

Karla Neese said...

It sounds like you are well on your way to getting your booth space filled up and bringing in money. Praying for cheap/free finds for you and buyers for your booth!

I have a confession - I have never made fried chicken. My mom used to attempt it and she failed miserably every time. UGH! I hated it so much that I think that's why I don't try. But I know I am a much better cook than she was (not being prideful just reality) but we don't really eat fried chicken so I guess that's why I've never tried it. LOL

Can't wait to hear about profits made from your booth!

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