A Year of Savings: 2013

Dec 21:  Deeply grateful for the rest of Shabat.  Dinner was prepped yesterday. All I had to do today was prepare pie crust.  Savings: $2.50

Dec 22:  Just didn't feel like much of anything.  How lovely to have a ready made item in the freezer.  I put it in the oven to heat.  While the oven was on, I put in hamburgers to bake to use in John's work lunch.

I've often felt I had a limited repertoire where his lunch meats were concerned, but the other day I realized that we seldom buy any luncheon meats these days.  That good ground beef, made into hamburgers, is far less expensive than a small package of decent luncheon meats.  I'm going to stop looking at the beef and turkey and chicken as something I should 'save' for our bigger meals and use it more often for sandwiches.  It tastes so good and is far less costly.  Savings $4.99

Dinner was so easy, I thought I'd whip up a batch of brownies.  It only takes minutes and they are so tasty.  I made a half batch. No savings in making them from scratch over the cost of a boxed mix, at least not my recipe, but gosh are they good.

Coffee Chat - Past, Present, Future

Oh Hello!  Do come in...Isn't it nice to have a brief respite here during these holidays?  I think so, I do really.   Let's have some coffee...For us, the holidays are over and done.  We seldom do anything for New Year's Eve or Day either one.  Years ago, we had a big dinner on New Year's Day, all the traditional Southern foods that were meant to herald in a prosperous New Year ahead.  I don't mind not doing that and haven't noticed any great lag nor improvement in our usual  prosperity, lol.  John asked me years ago to do something different and have a big Submarine sandwich or something like that.  This year, I'll be going out with Mama on that day while he rests here at home, preparing for his first day back at work.  No celebration, just plain routine and I confess I look forward to it.

Truly Trudy

Sometime after 2000, Katie found herself being escorted from the bus each day by a bird dog.  For lack of knowing to whom she belonged, we called her Tilly.  She only came to the house in the afternoon, walking alongside Katie.  When school let out that year, we saw Tilly rarely.  Then my brother came to us one day and said "Your dog had puppies under my house...."  I was puzzled.  We had no dog.  When he described the dog I told him that she wasn't ours, that we'd only ever seen her in the afternoons, after the bus and never at any other time.

One morning we came out to find upon our front porch a fat puppy, obviously a bird dog, obviously Tilly's.  We later discovered that Tilly had been distributing her puppies to households in the neighborhood.  My brother, we, a house up the road all had puppies on their doorsteps.  John warned me we weren't keeping her, couldn't have a dog and by any means do not feed or pet her.  The puppy wailed and whined and wailed.  I ignored my husband's instructions and when he came in that evening, he found me on the front porch feeding the puppy milk soaked cat food and calling her Daisy.  Daisy wailed all through the night, keeping the household pretty much awake. I checked on her, fed her, petted her and attempted to do what I could of housework the next day.  About mid-morning she stopped crying. I went out to check on her and found that there were two fat puppies.  Daisy never whimpered or cried again.

Weekly Meal Plan - The Party's Over

I don't know what holidays were like in your home, but my menu plan flew right out the window this past week.  Between the back pain (better during the day and improving at night), the impromptu meals, unexpected leftovers, last minute plan changes, not feeling well, feeling too well to stay home one moment longer, company, etc....Well it's been quite a couple of weeks.  The grocery money was spent in a snap last week.  I expect I'm going to be coming up with a little extra to cover milk and bread in the coming week and things are going to be a little snug until next pay period.  Good time to say "Pantry Challenge!"

It's a good time to sort through the stuff in my fridge and figure out how to use the leftovers, the excess ingredients, the forgotten things and to dig into the freezers and pantry for those about to expire items.

Holiday Menu Plan - Fa La Lala la

I'm just this side of Bah Humbug...Pfffttt!  I don't feel well doggone it and it's making the coming holidays a thing of stress when they oughtn't be at all.  I don't dare try to drive even so far as town, as my right leg will go numb or cramp badly.  John has promised to take a bit of time Tuesday morning to drive me.  We'll do banking, stop by the local grocery, the dollar store where I'm desperate to find any sort of gift at all for at least two people on my list and the flea market, though that is more for appearance's sake than anything.  I'll try to take in a handful of items to fill any empty spaces, but I don't feel up to spending lots of time at it and that's a fact.  Bah Humbug!

A Year of Savings: 2013

Dec 14:  We stayed home today, the plan being to go to church tomorrow.  I did 'work ahead' yesterday to insure we had a meal to eat with minimal work on my part today.  As it happened, today has been very wet with heavy rain and thunderstorms.  I'm so glad we didn't make that long drive to synagogue!

My son used to be a barrista (he worked in a coffee shop).  He told me that the rate of the flow of water determines the strength of the coffee (as well as the type of grind you use.  Finer coffee makes a stronger coffee).  I have a feature on my coffee pot that allows me to change the rate of water flow.  I've discovered that I can use just 2 scoops of coffee (4 tablespoons) to six cups of water on the BOLD setting and make a very very good pot of coffee for afternoons.  At night I set the pot up with 8 cups of water, 3 scoops of coffee and the bold setting for good morning cups.  I am using 2-4 tablespoons coffee less with each pot.  I've noted that my decaf stash  has been extended by at least 1 bag a month.  Savings $5.99

Weekly Meal Plan

Well...Decorating is just about done. I have only to put out John's old light-up Santa and our stockings and that will be that.  The wreaths are on the door, the tree is fully done, without a purchase made, though I shall see if I can't find a much larger star to put on  top of the thing. 

I'll be doing some minor holiday baking next week.  Nothing much, just sugar cookies and thumbprints, chocolate cookies,  stove top cookies and perhaps a cake of some sort, something festive like the Williamsburg Orange cake I so enjoyed  a few years ago.  Or a luscious Devil Food with peppermint filling?  Or the German Chocolate Cake I've been wanting to make for the past few months?  Or maybe I'll wait and do a cake for the New Year?  As always I am undecided when it comes to cake.  I think this next year I shall work on my resolution  anew and bake a cake once a month!  And maybe to balance cake, I'll bake a pie a month as well.

Shabat Thoughts: Expecting

A month or two ago, John had come in from work and stomped into the house.  He was agitated, that was clear.  I don't do agitation well first off in the morning, especially without warning, but I'd had my Bible study before he came in and was more at peace and better able to cope quietly that particular morning. 

A Year of Savings: 2013

Dec 7:  We stayed home today.  Cold, rainy, unpleasant weather for traveling long distance...So happy I had a meal prepared. I had only to warm and we ate.

Dec 8:  Still cold.  I got up in the very early morning hours and turned on the propane heater to offset the use of the defrost mode on our central heat pump.

John had plans today.  I didn't have food prepared ahead.  I used my allowance to buy dinner on our way back home.

Questions and Comments and Answers, Oh My!

I really meant to start this before the end of November and then post it closer to December 1...Good intentions and all that.  I should know better because even if you're not really doing anything for the holidays there are many things that come up and cause delays despite it all in November and December both.  I've been busy, evidenced by the lack of posts thus far these days.  So here I am at 10pm, yawning and trying to do what I'd meant to do two weeks ago.

Morning Coffee Chat - All or Nothin'?

Do come in and have coffee with me this morning, won't you?  I've been wanting to visit with you for the longest time now.  The tree, as you can see, is lit but undecorated.  There's not a wrapped gift to go under it, not a bit of baking done, not a bit of decorating in the house ... Oh never mind that,  have some cookies, have a seat. The cookies aren't homemade but they are good, crisp,  buttery, spicy cookies.  Really good, actually, so good, that I bought more when I went back to Aldi this week.

Weekly Meal Plan

Haven't decked the halls with  holly....haven't  finished shopping oh by golly... Fa la lala la la la la la la

That would be my Christmas carol at present.  The tree is up but not decorated, there are a few gifts sent some of which have arrived and some haven't, but not all of them are bought and none of them are wrapped.  The Christmas cards are still tucked in the desk drawer.  There are no wreaths yet upon the doors or any decorating of any sort.  My goal is to get these tasks accomplished this week.

A Year of Savings - 2013

Nov 30:  We skipped eating out on the way home from synagogue today.  Instead we came home and had leftover Turkey in sandwiches.  Savings $16.

Filled up my car for the first time since our trip down to Kingsland  two weeks ago.  I'd been especially careful and used only 1/2 tank. Savings $32.

Weekly Meal Plan - Post Turkey Week

I'm running a tad behind this week.  We had a full day Shabat at synagogue and then traveling.  It was so cold that we came in and put on our jammies for the afternoon/evening.  Personally I like this sort of weather.  I think I napped, I'm pretty sure John napped.  I didn't do menus...

Yesterday we visited with Katie and Sam.  Katie's boyfriend had a birthday yesterday and we had planned early in the past month to be there on his day.  It was a nice visit, and despite the overcast skies, it was a lovely drive.  What made it even lovelier was seeing all the cars with Christmas trees tied to the roof of the car.  I hazard a guess that nearly every other car had a tree on our way into Athens, and quite a few on the way out, when we headed home.  And by the time we were headed home I could peek in windows at all the trees that were already up and decorated.  John and I couldn't help but laugh as we got near home.  One house outside of Roberta had a 10foot tall Santa inflatable.  The yard was just filled with all sorts of lighted lawn ornaments and such.

In My Home This Week: All Routine