A Year of Savings: 2013

Nov 16:  Shabbat for us. I know we'll be traveling tomorrow and wanted to reduce our expenses as much as possible before hand.  I left an easy to heat meal of homemade chili in the fridge.  Savings $10.

We took advantage of free time to rest well in preparation for the trip tomorrow.

Nov 17:  We packed our bags which included a bottle of milk I'd frozen last night (savings $1.49), several bottles of water (savings $10), and snacks (savings $5).

There's a lovely little Dairy Queen on our travel route that has a big oak tree in the parking lot, roses surrounding the building and it's just a clean, beautiful little spot to stop that is half way along to Kingsland...We always stop there for a rest break, and yes, we generally make a small purchase as a courtesy.  Today we opted for coffee.  Nice here's where the value of the coffee increased: the place was closed when we arrived (there were other customers awaiting opening hour), and one of the employees came out to her vehicle next to ours, planning to run an errand.  She asked how we were, asked if we wanted anything special when we got indoors.  John told her coffee.  She told him, "When I get back, I'll go ahead and start a pot, so you won't have to wait while it makes once we open."  And she did!  The coffee was brewed and waiting. That's why it's worth every penny we spend to make that particular stop.

We arrived a little earlier than we'd planned.  I thought check in at the hotel was 3p but John asked if we couldn't just go by the hotel and see if we could check in early.  It was 1:30p.  We're regulars at this hotel and the clerk noted that.  Check in was actually at 2p...When I said we'd likely be checking out around 9a the next morning, she made sure the room was cleaned and ready, allowed us to check in without any extra charge.  I guess as John says, "It doesn't hurt to ask," and in this case it didn't cost us anything to ask either.

Nov 18:  We took advantage of the hotel breakfast bar and skipped stopping to eat breakfast on our way home. Savings $7.

I had a meal plan in place for our dinner at the house, but Lori sent home leftovers with us.  She filled a cooler with ice from her fridge to pack the food in.  We put the food and ice in an insulated bag and then set the bag in the cooler.  The ice didn't melt a bit overnight.  We added more ice while at  the hotel (savings $1.00) the next morning and made it home with icy cold foods.

Washed a full load of clothes when we came in.

It takes a full tank of gas to go down and back home again.  Our savings comes in the increased mileage on the longer road trip so that we can actually go a little further for the money we spend on gasoline.  We average about 9 miles more per gallon.  Savings about about 2 gallons of gas ($6.20).

Nov 19:  Washed a full load of dishes.

Refilled our water bottles for the fridge.

Made a 'Chinese Takeout' dish for our dinner, Chicken and Broccoli.  This used up some of the broccoli in the fridge, as well as a soy sauce dipping sauce I'd made for egg rolls.  The sauce contained the same ingredients as those listed in the recipe.

Most of this day was spent in rest and recovery from the trip.  Not a whole lot happening...and NO spending.

Nov 20:  My day out with Mama.  She had a doctor's appointment and it was her turn to pay for dinner.  My portion covered ice cream for dessert and the tip, which I paid out of my allowance.  NO spending this day.

Mama gifted me about a pound of red seedless grapes, a package of English Muffins, a stack of her gently read magazines and all the coupon inserts from her last two weeks of newspapers.

Picked up the mail.  A couple of weeks ago I noted that we were running out of address labels...I don't order mine but take them from the many solicitation mailings we get from groups we support or have supported in the past.  Today's mail netted us 3 sheets of address labels, a dozen Christmas cards with envelopes, an ink pen, a fridge magnet,  two sheets of Christmas seals for cards, 2 note pads, and a sturdy little gift bag.  Lest you think it wrong of me to accumulate and use these items, think again.  I have contacted these groups in the past and asked to be removed from mailing lists of those we no longer support.  It does no good.  I've sent letters.  I finally began to mark 'Return to Sender' on the items and put them in the box for pick-up,  until my postal carrier informed me it did no good.  The companies that send these items out have a reduced rate of postage for bulk mailings and the post office is instructed to dump any that is marked return to sender!  These things would have ended up in the trash...I'd much rather USE them than have them go completely to waste. 

When I walked in the door today, John noted I was carrying a shopping bag..."What's all that?" he asked.  "Free," I replied.  Then I hauled out all the goodies Mama gave me, and the mail I'd picked up with all the goodies inside.

Shopped at home today and got a bag of coffee from the pantry.

John's dinner today was a frozen entree from the freezer that I thawed in the fridge overnight.  Heat and eat was all he had to do.  This worked out nicely for me since there were no leftovers in the fridge after our time away from home.

I thawed and ate beef stew that I'd packed up last month for my supper.

Nov 21:  Made McCheney Muffins for our morning meal.  Our cost was ridiculously low on these as the eggs were bought for $.39/dozen as a loss leader, the muffins were free, I made the sausage from scratch.  Our biggest expense was the slice of cheese I melted over the muffins and that was bought at half the price we've been paying for cheese!  Savings over the 'real thing', $5.

Cleared off and cleaned up my desk.  The stuff that needs to be shredded is gathered in a manila envelope.  We have to buy a new shredder.  My reserve shredder ran about two minutes and quit, sigh, so no savings there!

Inventoried and tagged a batch of things for the flea market booth.  I used my handmade tags and raffia for price tags.

Made Swedish meatballs for dinner.  The recipe stretched my package of ground beef so far that I put 12 meatballs in the freezer for a future meal. This recipe also used up a partial can of evaporated milk that was in the fridge leftover from another recipe  savings $.42

Made my own fresh bread crumbs from a loaf of bread that got badly squished on our way home from the grocery.  I froze it to use for just this purpose.  Why use perfectly good slices when I have bread we can't use for toast or sandwiches?  Savings $2.59.

Thawed a roll of cookie dough and baked cookies this afternoon.

Shopped at home for a gallon of milk, the roll of cookie dough, a bag of flour.

Toasted almonds and pecan halves (from freezer) to add to some leftover cashews.  I'm making my own 'mixed' nuts.

Made a batch of biscuits.  I'll use some for breakfast over the weekend and some to wrap our hotdogs for Pigs in Blankets.  Savings $3, the cost of two cans of biscuits.

Made a pan of cornbread for stuffing next week.

Made two pie crusts from scratch.  Savings $1.50 (cost of refrigerated pre-rolled crusts in this week's sales).

Washed a full load of sheets and towels.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Nov 22:  Used up the last of a can of pumpkin to make Pumpkin Muffins for breakfast and snacking.  savings $.50

Went into town to check over my booth and add new items.  I have done rather well with sales thus far this month!  I was pleased to note that the money I set aside for rent wouldn't be necessary so I rolled that back into my funds and went off thrifting with it.  That means my allowance this pay period is MINE once again.  The booth is at least keeping itself running these past two months.

Went thrifting.  I tried to find 'new' stores and today I stopped in two new to me spots.  Not sure I'll return to one of them, but it was worth a try.

I'd meant to do pre-holiday grocery shopping today...but my husband requested I wait until payday.  I loathe shopping in holiday weeks and my grocery day actually falls on Thanksgiving this next week.  I'll go on my own Tuesday.  In the meantime, I stayed out of the grocery entirely.

Total: $ 53.00


Lena said...

McCheney Muffins :) Cute! Do you have a recipe for your Swedish meatballs?

Anonymous said...

Questions, how do you make your own sausage? and How do you make your pigs in a blanket?

I'm in the process of making a sweet potato pie this afternoon for a Thanksgiving meal at church tomorrow. I've never had one before but I've heard they are pretty good. Guess I'll find out soon.


Anonymous said...

I am interested in the sausage recipe too. I too feel bad at times using the labels and such we get in the mail but no matter what you do they keep coming. Actually I usually cut off our name on them as when we send say a credit card bill in the mail. The return envelope can be identified as a credit card bill by most. With our name on it too that is another way to let others know we have a credit card with that company and our name. That may not be good and when I can avoid it I do. I don't know if the labels can be ordered with only an address on it but with the amount of labels we get free I may never find out! Sarah

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