Frugal Week Feb. 22 - Feb. 28
Saturday: My favorite old fashioned alarm clock is acting up. Sad face. It is a non-electric/battery, old fashioned wind up alarm clock. I've been babying it along until I can find another one similar to it. Frankly we've had our new electric clock/radio/Cd player for months now and we've yet to figure out how to set the alarm. No instructions in the manual which tells you how to turn the thing on and off. Maybe they couldn't figure out how to make it work either.
Easy breakfast of bagels. I don't buy the whipped cream cheese, though it is easier to spread. I bought the block of cream cheese which was about half the cost of whipped cheese.
John felt the heater was coming on too much this morning. It was set at 67F but he cut it back to 65F. We didn't turn it up when we started feeling cool. We put on a sweater. We didn't turn it back up this evening.
We went out today to pick up a birthday gift. I priced a few things that we need at home. We will be budgeting for these items now that we know about what we're going to spend.
John took me out to dinner. He paid for it out of his pocket.
We stopped in town and filled up my car with gasoline. I don't expect to go anywhere in the next week so this will be gasoline for next pay period.
Shopped at home: milk, bread, sausage from the freezer, dog food from the pantry.
Found an awesome bunch of YouTube videos that are funny, have music and recipes. Kraft Hall of Fame. The program this evening was from 1948.
Sunday: The heat didn't come on all night, since we had the thermostat set to 65F. I turned up to 67F for about an hour to knock the chill off the house while we showered and got dressed for church.
Used the loaf of Challah to make French Toast. I had two small pieces of toast left and I dredged it in the oil from frying the turkey sausage and fed to Maddie, decreasing the need for dog food.
Saved the egg/milk mixture that was leftover. I've found this works quite well in other baked goods as part of the liquid required.
For years now I've used plastic scrubbies for about half the scrub work when doing dishes. It's tough enough to remove hard baked on or dried on foods and doesn't scratch dishes. I haven't bought one of the scrubbies in years upon years. I just save the occasional netting bag from onions or oranges or the occasional turkey breast and bunch it up to use, cutting away any staples or metal fasteners at the ends. These things last forever and cost me nothing. An added bonus use these things make cute bows for presents. You can twirl them into roses, tie them into bowtie shapes, or cut into long strips to use as ribbon, etc.
We came home from church and reheated thawed frozen lasagna, made garlic toast and a salad.
We bought the Sunday paper. One coupon flyer but more than enough useable coupons to pay for the purchase cost.
It got humid and stuffy this afternoon. I was tempted to turn on the AC but one look at the thermometer decided me against that. I knew it was stuffy outdoors too, so opening windows or running the whole house fan would do no good. We opted to just turn on an oscillating fan in the room.
Late dinner, light supper is one of our rules. We had a bowl of cereal for supper. I added strawberries to mine, John opted for toast as a side with his.
He washed a full load of clothes. Most were hung to dry, except some fabric that needed to be pre-shrunk.
I washed a full load of dishes.
I did my kitchen clean-up this afternoon. I had an inspiration to reuse a piece that has seen better days but is too lovely to not keep. I keep an Inspirations list for just such ideas.
While sitting on the front porch feeding Maddie and Misu, I planned my porch revamp and then made a list of items needed to pull the look together, mostly paint. The list is necessary or I'll forget, which is very frustrating. It also helps me to look for things I want when it's on sale or the right colors
Made John's work lunch for tomorrow.
Monday: Made breakfast for John before he left for work.
John combined an errand with his lunch break.
I stayed home until late afternoon. I redid the top of the big bookcases (not quite done), the gun cabinet which has been the same for about 15 years(!) and stripped the short bookcase and buffet tops with plans to re-work those. I am playing with the mantle, as well. Lots to do yet in that room but so far the costs have been $0. The room's also getting a good cleaning. Despite the use of the extendable wand Swiffer duster, the top of the big bookcase was literally coated with rolls of dust. How awful! And how surprised I am that 6'3" son of mine never once mentioned how dirty it was!
Worked all day long at one thing or another. Made my usual daily goal (with a few points to spare) on Swagbucks, as well as working on housework, revamping things, setting aside items for booth, working on getting books listed on Half.com.
Today's dinner was stuffed peppers from freezer. I was just that tired that I decided to count the two pepper halves as a single entree/vegetable/starch all in one and called it good enough.
Made a single cup of coffee with the special feature on my coffeemaker.
Was going to toss the poundcake Mama gave us as it seemed super heavy but I found that a slice without any topping was fine, so it's still in the house for now.
Had windows/curtains open until later in the day when it got too warm and AC had to come on for a little while. It wasn't needed in the evening. I slept without heat or AC on.
Went into town mid-afternoon to mail a package. I also dropped off trash and went to the dollar store while out.
At the dollar store, I picked up the items on my short list: vitamin supplements and a birthday card. I decided to check out the bath section to see if I could find rugs for the master bath. I found perfect matches to go with the new color theme and spent for 3 rugs what ONE cost at other stores.
Tuesday: Made breakfast sandwiches for our meal this morning. I like to do this because one sausage patty, one egg and 1 ounce of cheese equals a protein packed breakfast that holds off hunger for hours but saves money, too, as it feels like a bigger breakfast.
The day finally arrived. Our back deck is being made into a back porch. We've waited months for the weather, my carpenter brother's schedule and our finances to coincide. That day finally arrived. When he left this evening the roof was framed up, there's a new wide generous set of steps at the end. Advantage to my brother doing the task? He patiently dug up my Knockout rose and rosemary bush that sat to one side of the old steps and potted them up for me. He's nice like that.
I trimmed the rose bush back to main stock and cut the huge lantana back. That's about 1/3 the pruning work that needs to be done. Glad to have it tackled.
I cooked a turkey breast for dinner today, and made extra potatoes and broccoli (for further meals). I sliced and chunked turkey immediately after dinner and put the carcass in the freezer for future broth.
Used last of the strawberries in a cobbler. I made a small 4 serving cobbler rather than a big one.
Spent quiet work time looking over cookbooks for breakfast ideas. I have two books devoted solely to breakfast foods. I found lots of recipes in one and felt 'meh' about the recipes in the other book. I'll sell that book since I obviously won't be using it.
Finally made up my list of purchase. I had an order in my Target shopping basket. I decided to check to see if I could earn Swagbucks for my shopping and sure enough it paid two Swagbucks for every dollar spent. I was very happy to make my purchases with that bonus.
One item ordered was something I've wanted to purchase for a long time but just couldn't afford. It was a Matelasse spread. This one was clearance priced and cost 1/3 what I've seen it go for in many other places. Very happy!
Windows open most of day but AC did come on towards end of day for a couple of hours. When it stopped running due to temperature dropping we didn't lower the thermostat.
Waste: 1/2 serving of a casserole dish I meant to eat Monday and forgot.
Wednesday: Woke to the sounds of rain outdoors. It was also obviously cooler, very much snuggling weather. The heat was still off when we got up but I turned it on, set it at 66F.
Made a big breakfast as we had planned a morning out. John decided to hold off on going out due to the rain.
When the rain did let up it was late, after 11am and nearing dinner time. I was glad I'd made such a substantial breakfast because we decided to go ahead to do our shopping trip. As always we combined this errand with another one and we used the ride to discuss at length several matters that required decisions. Very productive bit of time!
John did his bit of shopping and I did mine. My goal: find two new bras to replace some of the old ones I'd discarded. They were buy one get one 50% off. I found two right away (very very unusual!) and left the store without making another purchase, though I did a quick scan to see if anything caught my interest.
We stopped on the way home when I requested a soda (I didn't purchase any last pay period and mine were all gone). I haven't purchased any soda in a month or more. John bought a 12 pack for me.
Came home and I hurried to the freezer to find a frozen entree to heat for dinner. I have two left I think and really must start putting some more aside. We decided to have the entree for supper so I heated it at a lower temperature.
I've been looking for cotton duck slipcovers for three years and just couldn't afford them. A magazine blurb caught my eye about slipcovers at Overstock being under $50. I looked and found two for that price, as well as a slipcover for my ottoman. I spent less on all three items than I had priced ONE for when I last looked years ago for my last slipcover. Oh and I got free shipping!
I am now at my spending limit for the year on household items but feel I've done very well. I came across a blog post about saving money and the phrase used was spot on. The blogger referred to having money set aside before you need to spend as "Pre-funding". I like that a lot. That's what I did. I pre-funded my home decorating. Now I need to build my fund up once again.
I had some clementines and Honey Bells that weren't being eaten in a timely manner. Rather than watch the fruit spoil, I peeled and sectioned and put in the freezer.
Waste: one pimento cheese sandwich I knew John brought home last week but I couldn't find despite looking at it for a week, sigh.
Thursday: Lesson learned. Unless there's a rush on, have at least 1/2 cup of coffee before making breakfast. I doubled the amount of oatmeal while I was trying to make breakfast. Dump it out? Not on your life! I doubled the rest of the ingredients and put the leftovers in the fridge. I've already planned what morning we'll eat the extra.
Washed sheets, mattress pad, towels today as well as any other items I could scrounge up. That made up two full loads of clothes. I hung towels and sheets to dry. The mattress pad went into the dryer as I was out of line space and it's too bulky to dry indoors.
Shopped at home, a lot, today. Mayonnaise, pickle relish, evaporated milk, oatmeal, fordhook lima beans and dove into the freezer for a fresh box of sausage patties, a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. Whew! If I'd had to go to the grocery for all of that I'd have paid out a nice chunk of money.
Brought home two retro food tins from the flea market booth last week that hadn't sold. I decided to use them to store foods in my kitchen. This freed a clear canister that will hold 5 pounds of corn meal, which I really needed.
Two of the buckets I'd used to store dog/cat food were no longer necessary. I brought them both indoors, cleaned them well and will use them to store dry goods such as pastas
When I made our dinner today, I had to brown sausages to put atop the casserole. I put water in the skillet after I'd cooked them to scrape up the browned bits and put that over Maddie's evening meal.
I made turkey salad from the turkey bits.
Boiled eggs: one for the turkey salad, the rest for egg salad sandwiches for the first part of the next week.
We had the back door open (storm door closed) so that my brother could come in if necessary. It was awfully cool indoors but it seemed a terrible waste to have heat on. We opted to put on slippers, and light jackets and even snuggled under blankets a little after dinner. When he left we shut the door and the western sun came in the windows and warmed the house up to the point where the thermostat was set. So no heat this afternoon/evening either.
Friday: Made John's breakfast before he went off to work. Packed his lunch as well.
Electric heat was running when we got up at 5am. John turned on the propane heater and that helped raise the temperature so the heat pump went off.
Grabbed a bottle of water on my way out of the door this morning.
Stopped at a new to me Goodwill store this morning. I had a limit to spend for new items for the flea market and spent half there.
Went to a fabric store, looking for shade and bench material. Found a piece of fabric that I felt would work really well for the bench. It was a remnant and cost me a whole $2.58.
Hobby Lobby next to look for shade material. I was looking at upholstery/drape grade fabrics but boy were they pricey and the selection really was limited. I walked over to the main fabric section and found a nice woven material of decent weight to make the shade and valances I need. Cost was $18.
Totaled my expenditures for my master bath revamp. When we first painted I had to use what I had and money was in short supply until this year. I took my time, bought what I wanted while it was on sale and have spent less than $100.
Walked over to the baskets area and found two that were half price to hold toiletries on the counter top in the bath. I recalled that I needed candles for Shabat evenings and headed over to choose a half dozen before going to the cash register. I avoided 'just looking'.
Went to grocery and picked up items on my list that were good buys for this weekend and next pay period.
Stopped in at a second thrift shop to check items. Spent the other half of my pre-budget and immediately headed home.
Though I was hungry and had been for a couple of hours, I waited to eat dinner at home.
Cleaned up items purchase for flea booth while dinner was in the oven. Amazing how things improve when the dust and grime are washed away.
Sat down after dinner and figured how my six months at flea market have gone. I've earned something all but the first two months. I'm not making a full profit yet. I am spending about 1/3 of my allowance each month as average which is good. I haven't touched our joint account for anything. I did not count money John gave me to help start up the booth, as income. This helped me determine that right now is not the time to think of expanding nor to buy any more display shelving but I'm close enough to making profit each month that I feel very comfortable continuing this venue and learning all I can as I go. I plan to do a complete emptying out of the space, revamp it, and put in all fresh items this next week. I have all the 'new' items on hand at present so no further expenditures for that.
That's my frugal week....How was yours?