My Frugal Week: March 8-14

Saturday:  I didn't make a fuss of breakfast for my visiting family.  I am assured each time they visit that they don't really eat a meal that time of day.  I set out a variety of cold boxed cereal, peanut butter, loaf bread, cream cheese and bagels, Pop Tarts (my guilty secret.  I buy pop tarts for ME, eat just one a week.  I will share with the grandchildren, lol).  Everyone was satisfied and happy and I was far more relaxed.

The parents took Daniel on a special museum visit and out to lunch. That left John, the twins and I for a meal here.  I had taken 2 pounds of hamburger from the freezer to thaw.  I used one pound to make burgers for the four of us.  I got three regular sized burgers and two toddler sized burgers from that.  The third burger was put into John's work lunch for tomorrow.

I bought burger buns, but the toddlers hardly need a big bun for a tiny burger. I used a biscuit cutter to cut loaf bread rounds that were just the size of their burger.

Used a big potato to make homemade oven fries.

I had a package arrive the other day and inside to pad the items was brown kraft paper that was torn off in a great big long bunch.  Examining it I discovered that it was scored to tear off in sheets.  I tore it into sheets and set it aside for the grandchildren to draw on.  After dinner I gave the twins a big piece of sidewalk chalk and a piece of paper and set them to 'draw'.  It earned me enough time to clear up the kitchen and prepare John's work lunch for tomorrow.

Used the second pound of ground beef to make a pasta dish for dinner tonight.  With green beans, salad and bread and butter it made for an inexpensive meal.  Despite serving 7 (five hearty appetites...Zach ate almost an adult sized portion!), I had enough leftovers to make another meal for John and I later in the coming week.

I subbed a can of tomato sauce, a little flour, a spoonful of sugar for condensed tomato soup; subbed pesto (I keep in the freezer and spoon out what I need) for fresh basil; subbed frozen cheese tortellini for the fresh ravioli called for in the recipe.

Shopped at home: salad dressings, coffee from pantry stores.

John and I took cake and coffee out on the back porch when the twins went to sleep at nap-time.

Sunday:  Ack on Daylight Savings Time!  Got up far far too early and made John breakfast before he went off to work.  Packed the lunch I'd put together the day before.

Kept breakfast just as simple as the day before for myself and guests.  Suited everyone perfectly.

After family left, I did very light household tasks and then went off to have lunch out with Mama.  I took off trash when I went out.

Picked up John's prescriptions while I was out.  I asked the pharmacist about not picking up one that he doesn't take daily.  We have a good supply on hand if it's needed (with a long expire date, too) and it seems foolish to continue to get this particular medicine each month if it's not needed.  The pharmacy agreed and took off the prescription from instant refill.  It will save us about $96 this year.

Mama gifted me her just read magazines and a stack of coupon inserts from her newspapers.

Didn't spend much over $5.  It was my week to treat for dessert.  We opted for ice creams at the local Dairy Queen.

Ate leftovers for supper.

Monday:  John washed two full loads of clothes and hung the bulk of them to dry indoors and out.  The weather has warmed so nicely and the sun shone so brightly, the wind blowing so briskly, he doubled the sheets on the line and they all dried in record time.

Used leftover chicken from Friday night's meal to make a big dish of chicken salad for sandwiches this week.  Also made up a big dish of pimento cheese for sandwiches.

Used more leftover chicken to make Chicken Crescent bundles for our dinner today.  Recipe made enough for four and we only ate two.  More leftovers for another meal.

Roasted Asparagus alongside the Chicken bundles.

Made a fruit salad from two slices of leftover pineapple, a handful of strawberries and a banana.

Topped remaining strawberries and put in freezer to use to make smoothies and pies.

Ran a full load of dishes on a short cycle this evening.

waste:  2 tbsps of egg salad from last week's sandwich fillings.

Tuesday:  An easy enough day overall.  John wanted to run an errand and go out to eat.  I asked to tend to an errand near the restaurant he mentioned.  We took off trash, dropped off mail to go out, picked up mail and did our errands before going to eat.

One of the errands was to make a return of a couple of items that didn't fit our need.  I always try to make returns in a timely manner.  It's such a waste of money to keep things that don't work for you!

Note I said we went out to eat.  We typically will pick up a sandwich fast food meal most grocery shopping weeks and try to keep that meal to $10 or under.  Here in the last couple of months we've gone out for a real restaurant meal about once a month.  John paid for this meal today from his allowance.  It is a real treat to go out to eat in a sit down place.  We try to go places that serve quality food and have a nice atmosphere.  We make it an event, not something we just do without thinking.

Came home and made coffee and ate our own homemade cake for dessert.  Small savings, but I do find that no matter how high quality the restaurant, few of them serve a really good dessert (exception being The Bullock House which prepares homemade items from scratch using old recipes).  That's why Mama and I usually opt for an ice cream cone when we go out to eat and why John and I usually prefer to come home to have our dessert.

Prepared his lunch for tomorrow.  While digging about I noted the items that were 'leftover' which we need to use or freeze right.  Made a short to do list for tomorrow to include going through fridge and gathering those items.

We skipped supper.  Snacks suited us throughout the evening far more than eating another meal.  Our dinner was very good and very satisfying and we just didn't get hungry at supper time.

Wednesday:  Made John breakfast and packed a work lunch for him to take with him to work today.  

Colored my hair using just half the ingredients in the box.  I keep a bottle especially for mixing the toner and dye so that I can mix up just half.  That means I get to color my hair twice from every box of hair color I purchase.

Took up the new rugs and removed the new towels from the area before I mixed.  Stepped into the shower to apply the haircolor.  This worked very well at containing the mess.  No matter how careful there's always a dibble or drop to be found somewhere on some item or surface after the color is applied to hair.

Decluttering an area is almost as good as redecorating an area.  I removed some excess items from my desk and dresser this morning.  Found three more frames as I worked on the desk.  I didn't even realize those frames were there!

I've collected white/cream frames over the past three or four years and have a variety of landscape prints in them all.  They are hung in a collection on my wall.  I'll find some more pictures to put in these either printing off from the computer or some from a collection of prints I've saved over the years and add those frames to the wall as well.

Recalled a pair of sheer textured cream colored panels I bought a couple of years ago from a clearance rack and thought they might look very well in the master bath at that window.  With the panels doubled at that tiny window it would considerably filter the light.  I tried and they look very nice.  Of course, today is not sunny as usual, so we'll see the effect on a sunny day before making a final vote.

Stripped the guest bed to wash sheets and decided to refresh the look of that room using what I have.  I must find where I've packed the seersucker drapes that go so well with that spread. (found and hung and discovered the Ralph Lauren Pillow Shams I picked up at thrift shop last year to go with this set).

Organized linens in that room's closet.

Ate leftovers for dinner.

Planned meals for rest of the week from what needs to be used up in fridge.  I will be bumping several items off my menu for this week and push them to next week's menu because of the extras I have to use up.

Watched two tv programs but then shut off the tv rather than let it run for back ground noise only.

I got very warm while working on house this afternoon.  I could have turned the AC temperature down but decided it was best to use one of the oscillating fans  in the room where I chose to do quiet work.  It cooled me off just fine (along with a glass of iced water) and costs so much less to operate than the AC.

Thursday:  Planned to make oatmeal for breakfast but John was very late coming in.  I packaged the dry oatmeal and brown sugar up to save.  I'd put an egg in the milk already.  As it happened it was the right amount of milk and egg needed for the banana bread.  I used up three ripe bananas in the bread.

I had a bit of a broccoli crown (uncooked) and 3 cups of cooked rice to use up.  I decided to make a broccoli and rice casserole with those items.  I made one small casserole for our meal and two individual casseroles to go in the freezer.  I used some cheese sauce I'd made instead of Cheese Whiz (which I don't buy) to moisten the mixture.  It was very good and I discovered that John really likes Broccoli Rice Casserole.

Gathered items I wasn't planning to use right away and put in the freezer.  This included some bread pieces, a pint of chicken broth.

Cooked a small rump roast and sliced thin for sandwich meat.  It tastes so much better than store bought stuff and costs less, too.  Maddie was happy recipient of the cooked fat from the bottom of the meat.

Cut up a small chuck roast for stew beef.  Trimmed a lot of fat from it.  I put the fat back in the freezer.  I'll melt it later to use for suet to make bird feeders this next winter.

Made two loaves of Challah.

Remembered last night that I had some light khaki colored drapes and material I could use for a bedskirt for our room.  Found them this morning and John and I hung them after he got home.  That will complete that 'new' look for the bedroom.

Washed and hung out to dry two loads of clothes today.  John wanted to wash his work things and I tossed the drapes that I'd hanging in our room into the wash as well to make up a full load.

My brother finished the last of the work here at the house.  We wrote him a check.  I have already set aside a 'payment' to repay our account.

Friday:  This morning we had our oatmeal breakfast.  It was frosty out, the perfect morning for a hearty oatmeal.

I worked hard the past two days so that I'd be free today to go to the Peaches to Beaches yard sale.  I had only to put ingredients for beef stew into the crock-pot for our dinner when we returned.

We only traveled about 20 miles of the yard sale but that was enough. I spent about $20 and came home with some nice things for my booth and only one book for myself (not for lack of looking mind you).

We ate our prepared meal.  And that was all we did today besides nap this afternoon. 

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