Frugal Week March 1 - 7
Saturday: Turned on the propane heat when I got up since it was so chilly for showering without it. It wasn't long before the propane was off though. It warmed up early today.
Open windows from noon until well after dark. There's a bit of pollen outdoors but no pine trees blooming yet. This is a good thing. I have a slight headache but no real allergy suffering yet. In a week or two we'll no doubt have to keep windows shut for the next two months, so I'm taking advantage of fresh air and natural heating/cooling that comes in the windows.
I did renew our Netflix account after several mentioned they still send out dvd's. They sent me a renewal offer and I get a full month free before the fee kicks in. We received our first movie this week and watched it this morning. It will be sent out tomorrow so the next one can be sent out.
We opened curtains (windows later) and cut off all the lights indoors, using natural light to read by.
Yesterday I picked up two frozen entree items on sale for today's dinner: chicken wings and pizza. It cost $10 for both and there are leftovers enough for a second meal. We couldn't have bought takeout for less than this.
I pulled prepared oatmeal cranberry cookie dough from the freezer and baked them this afternoon. We took the cookies and our fresh coffee out onto the brand new back porch and ate them. Lovely!
Spent the afternoon reading vintage magazines and while I really meant to cull items of interest for the blog as well as new vintage artwork for same purpose, I noted the variety of good economical recipes and decided to copy down a few of the ones I was pretty certain would suit us.
My new bedspread arrived today. I had noted earlier that I needed to buy pillow shams...Nope I don't. I got an even better buy on the spread than I thought. It has two shams included in the package. A Queen spread and two shams for $45 on clearance!
Sunday: John decided we'd go to church this morning, since we didn't go to synagogue after he got off work yesterday morning. I made us a substantial breakfast, which I find reduces the desire to stop for take out.
I hurried about and bagged up all the trash before we left so we could take it to the dumpster on our way.
We stopped and bought a newspaper. John really enjoys working the crossword puzzle and I really enjoy the coupons. There were three inserts in my paper today.
We stopped at Lowe's (also on our way home) and picked up odds and ends for home: an inexpensive horizontal blind to replace the very shabby broken one in the bedroom, two bath plugs, one of those stove/counter space filler thingies...can't think what it's called but it covers the gap between the two, and some caulk tape for the kitchen counter to replace the broken and mildewed stuff we have now. We priced the nicer horizontal blinds (will be buying those in the next few pay periods for the main living areas), and a ceiling fan. We made that stop in the store really count! The handful of items we actually purchased were pre-funded by the house fund where we sock money away for just such things as this.
When we came home, I skipped my dinner plan and pulled out leftovers to reheat in the microwave. We'll just push the rest of the meals forward into this week.
Open windows and fans to cool off the stuffy house for us today. Until the pollen season is in full swing we'll save our electricity.
Ran water in the sink while I rinsed dishes for the dishwasher. I then hand washed pans and zipper bags in the rinse water.
Tried on a new item I'd bought. It doesn't fit. I'll be taking it back to the store. If I can't find the receipt I'll exchange for items of like value.
Ran out of a couple of pharmacy items today but didn't want to venture into CVS or any other store. I came home and ordered the two needed items through Swagbucks Shop and earned 4xs what it cost me to order the items (same price as if I'd bought in store) in Swagbucks which will be credited in about a month. I've decided that for routine shopping such as this, I'll go through Swagbucks and order online, saving gas and time in travel and get the added bonus of gift cards with my earnings.
Monday: We had the leftover oatmeal for breakfast this morning. I wasn't really sure how to reheat it, but decided to add milk and the last of a jar of applesauce to a pan, added in the firm oatmeal and put on low heat with a lid to cover. I was soon able to break up the oatmeal and from that point on I stirred it constantly. It retained that custardy texture we like and it tasted as good as it did the other morning.
I didn't really feel like working hard today but there are certain tasks I do anyway on these sorts of days. I walk through and put away items, neaten and straighten, wipe down counters, load dishes into dishwasher. It took about twenty minutes to do these things and was enough.
Made Italian Pepper Steak today. I realized as I sliced peppers, onions and steak that I had the components of three different meals right there: Oriental pepper steak, the Italian Pepper steak dish I was making (which could easily become Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches) and Fajitas.
I sliced extra onions and peppers to have on hand. Peppers went into the freezer, onions into fridge.
Reading vintage magazines today looking for new Home Ec articles to post and reading the tips columns...I found one item that made the most sense to me. The homemaker stated she checked her fridge every day for foods that needed to be used. Now I try to track mine and do a pretty good job but I do not check every day. I think I will make that part of my routine
Fed cat and dog a handful of leftovers from breakfast and last night's sandwich supper. I decreased pet food accordingly.
Found receipt for the items I need to return. I was glad to discover I'd saved it.
Made the sandwiches to go into John's work lunch tomorrow after dinner today.
We had a baked potato supper which hit the spot with the cold wind pounding the house. I didn't make a salad today at dinner either so we needed that extra serving of vegetable.
Tuesday: What a frustrating day! I won't even go into it all over again, as it's in the Coffee Chat post, but let's just say that I turned around and came home. I did try to combine errands but to no avail. My big savings today seems to have been to be foiled in my attempt to buy a favorite take out dinner which is no longer available. Pffftttt!
Made a single cup of coffee instead of a pot.
Made John's breakfast and packed his work lunch.
Supper of leftover Italian Pepper Steak.
To vent my frustrations I decided to make the pillow case sleeping bag I'd promised my grandson. I only had to rip out one seam, so yes, I did redeem my day.
Took bills with me while I was out and posted them, also went by bank.
I was unable to purchase a much needed couple of items while out. I ordered them online. Less temptation that way anyway. I earned Swagbucks for the purchase.
Wednesday: Made waffles for John this morning. I cleared the fridge of a few leftovers too. John is very hungry when he comes in from work as he's been up for hours when he comes in. I had a little Turkey Spam, a little Turkey bacon, a little sausage.
The temperature was much cooler than reported it would be. I planned a comfort food dinner and used leftovers as sides: Creamed hamburger over toast, reheated mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Had a serving of hamburger leftover so I put it in the freezer for a future dinner for myself on a day alone.
Made two loaves of Challah for Shabbat.
Washed a full load of dishes.
John washed a full load of laundry, hung out to dry in stages.
I worked hard all day long so I decided to play about with my genealogy site. Spent a few enjoyable hours and found new information.
Made out a grocery list. Sorted and organized coupons.
Thursday: I've been looking at corned beef briskets for months now but felt the price was high. I noted in Aldi that brisket points were $1.99 a pound. I planned to buy at least 2 of them.
We have company coming in so a few extra items were needed. We don't buy special stuff, but it's a fact that extra fruit, milk, bread, eggs are generally wanted when they are more people in the house.
Went by another grocery to pick up pet foods that were buy one get one in price. I don't need pet food this pay period, but I will most certainly need it next pay period which will be a short check. Having experienced that last month (it has to do with the way the days fall in the pay period) I knew to go ahead and buy these items.
We had a short list for this store but were within $2 of spending $50. I wanted very much to take part in a special: buy $50 worth of groceries and get a $50 gas card for $40. I picked up 2 packages of gum and got my needed purchases increased to $50. I did not buy the gum just because we needed that extra $2. I had gum on my list, but had forgotten it until we were in line. Fortunately they had gum near the register. Why buy the gas card? We're going to spend money on gasoline anyway. Why not get $50 worth of gas for $40?
Though we spent quite a lot today there were many things we did not purchase: no dessert items, no sweet rolls or doughnuts, no candy or ice cream. John asked what I'd do for snacks and dessert. I told him I'd make something tomorrow.
Chilly! I saw snowflakes while we were out. We stopped for a burger on the way home and ordered coffee to go with it. Boy was that good! I did not make coffee when we got home. Later John wanted coffee and I made a single cup instead of a pot.
Supper was soup from the pantry and cheese toast. It hit the spot on this cold day with gusty winds and drizzly rain and snow mix.
Friday: Up a little early this morning. Lots to do with guests coming in. I barely felt like doing housework, much less the baking I'd planned but I managed with the help of the crock pot to put together pizza for lunch (using tortillas as base and some leftover cooked ground beef), a chicken (crock pot) and a marble cake. From there just doing the basics of housework seemed enough and I conserved energy anticipating guests rather than tire myself out.