My Frugal Week: April 5-11

Saturday:  Shabat at home this week.  I prepped dinner on Friday, needed only to cook today.  Quiet, easy day at home, getting much needed rest.

John walked down to get mail.  We got our latest dvd from Netflix.  Watched that and will send back tomorrow.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Turned on fan instead of turning AC down.

Rinsed out a soap bottle to make enough soapy water for hand-washing.

Filled the lid to the pie keeper with soapy water and washed the dishes in that instead of filling the sink.

Sunday:  Packed John's lunch, made his breakfast.

Rainy morning.  Worked on various things about house.  We've had no need of AC running today, as it is quite cool.  I didn't turn on heat either.  I put on a jacket instead when not working.

Was going to sew valances, remembered I needed to wash fabric first.  Not enough to make a full load of clothes, so let will let it wait until tomorrow when John comes in.  He'll have a full load with his uniform and linens from work.

Noted John had opened a new bottle of laundry detergent.  I turned old bottle upside down to drain into new. When it was empty, I moved the cap from old bottle to new one.  The old cap is marked with small/medium/large amounts in red nail polish (doesn't wash off as the permanent marker used to do) so we do overuse the detergent.

Leftovers reheated for my dinner.  I used the last sleeve of saltines to make Sweet 'n' Saltines.  I baked the cookies in the same oven while my food was reheating.

Used the 1 stick of butter variation for the crackers instead of the 2 stick variation.  I like the texture of the toffee like base better and appreciate the savings of using 1 stick of butter instead of 2.

My bras were hand washed and hung to dry.

Spent afternoon playing with genealogy.

Washed zippered baggies, refilled water bottles, inventoried fridge for items that I needed to use up and noted those that I must toss tomorrow.

Made a single cup of coffee for the afternoon brew.

Monday:  Used leftover Challah to make French Toast.

Topped and sliced strawberries, cooked with a little sugar on stove top to make a yummy strawberry syrup to go over the French Toast.

Saved the milk/egg mixture leftover to use in muffins or pancakes later this week.

Planned week's meals.

Went through both freezers and cleared them of all foods that should be gone by next week.  Glad I did.  I found at least three items I had no idea were in the freezers.

Gathered all the bones I've saved for broth making.  I have at least 16 jars of broth in the freezer at present.  I don't really need to give up the space to all those bones.  I have the bones in a grocery bag, ready to go off to dump with me.  Not counting these as waste.  I should have tossed instead of saving.  The waste comes in having them in the freezer taking up valuable space.

waste:  1 cup cooked chicken, 1 pie pan with chicken/veg/gravy in it dated September '13, a very badly freezer burned bit of smoked turkey breast, 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (fridge).

Used leftover roast beef, a packet of gravy, the old potatoes I'd diced and boiled Friday, to make roast beef hash for dinner today.

Straightened pantry and have a better idea of what I have on hand, even without the written inventory.

Shopped at home:  mustard, a packet of matches, grape juice and olive oil from pantry to restock kitchen.

Recalled a good tip I read in a vintage magazine: the author suggested a pantry away from the kitchen is more economical because if we only see a limited amount of food in the kitchen area we are less prone to be too generous with our ingredients.  I confess that is why I keep butter in the little freezer in the pantry closet and chocolate chips, too.  If I don't see them I'm less inclined to over use.

Rinsed out a second dish detergent bottle to make soapy water to wash up after dinner.  

Didn't fill sink to wash the handful of dishes I had to wash.  I just filled the biggest pan and washed the smaller items in that before washing the pan itself.

Moved some dried fruits from packages to jars so I can see them...seeing equals using in my world.

waste: 1 bag of dried apricots.  They were dark when I opened the package but it was the moisture collected in the bottom made me go ahead and toss them despite the expiration date being well within limits.

John washed a full load of laundry.  Pollen so heavy right now we are using dryer, but a few items were hung to dry.  When one item didn't dry completely in the dryer, it was draped over a chair to finish off near a sunny window.  This reduced the amount of time the dryer had to run overall.

Tuesday:  We planned a morning of errands.  We're never in a hurry to leave the house any more.  As John is wont to say "We don't have any schedules to keep."  To our detriment sometimes, he's right.  We don't have any schedule to keep.  But meal time comes around all the same, doesn't it?  Can't cook it if I'm not home, failure to plan ahead is not easy when you live with someone who insists he be allowed freedom to be spontaneous...So we cope.  I had allowance and offered to buy chicken at the local place for dinner.  We added a leftover bit of his bagged salads that he carries to work lunch and homemade cookies with homemade coffee.  I set up the pot before we leave so all that is necessary is to push the start button to begin brewing when we come in from our day.

Errands: a long list of things to do today.  Gathered trash to take off.  This included some stuff from John's music room as well as the excess bones from the freezer and all the household trash we could gather prior to leaving.

Post office.  I mailed off packages to three folks.  I carried along some of my own postage and used that, and let the clerk determine what more was needed.  I spent $6.53 today to mail off those three packages, a sort of bargain these days with postage what it is.  No need to send any of it priority or flat rate.  I chose the least expensive options.

We took the phone and electric bills into town with us and dropped them off.  Both offices are local and we generally do this when we're in town anyway.

Banking done.  Hardware store.  I asked John to do a couple of home repairs this month.  He knocked them both out this week. We have a light fixture at the back door that was never wired up for some reason.  This should have been done at factory and wasn't.  We have no clue why. We've had repairmen look at it and there's nothing can be done without fishing wires and a whole lot of trouble and expense. The naked fixture just glared at me the other day and I realized it was so unnecessary.  We have extra covers that were in the house when it was delivered.  I asked John to put a cover over the fixture. I figure it will look more appropriate even if it doesn't work.  There was no cap to go over the screw so he found a package of washers at the hardware store for $1.29.  One held the glass cover on and the whole looks far better than it has in almost twenty years.  Silly we waited so long to do something so simple and inexpensive, isn't it?

John priced buying lawn mower blades in bulk, but the shipping offset any discount given.  The truth is the local place, which might out price larger hardware stores in many areas has the very best price already on mower blades.  We'll just buy a couple of pairs of them here and there.

CVS.  I went in with John who drove over to pick up filled prescriptions.  I picked up a sales sheet and scanned my card to get coupons.  I've looked over the sales sheet pretty thoroughly and I think there are one or two items I ought to go buy.  I would like to do a mega deal of sorts, but it isn't going to happen. I don't have the extra cash nor coupons enough to make them.  But if I go out later this week, I might well stop by and buy a smaller quantity of items that will better fit my budget and boost my current supplies.

We asked to return a prescription that was supposed to be removed from auto refill last month.  It is a savings of $12 for us.  We have an ample supply on hand should we need the item and it seems silly to get a brand new bottle every month for a medication to be taken as needed.

Our lunch left us filling full, and since we ate late we had a cereal supper.  This was a good thing because we used up the last  but one banana from the bunch bought last week on grocery day.  I'll put that banana to good use tomorrow.

Washed a full load of dishes.  Skipped hand washing as I only had two items in the sink.

I'd had ENOUGH of a problematic browser on my computer refusing to open pages, stalling, freezing, etc. I asked advice on Facebook amongst my friends as to what they used.  The replies were the same: Google Chrome which is compatible with many operating systems including my little obsolete dinosaur program.  I downloaded free from the Google site and have found the computer is operating much better overall.

Wednesday:  Packed John's work lunch.  Made him breakfast before sending him off to work.

Used up an item in the fridge to make my own breakfast.

I had more dishes in the sink this morning.  I filled the deepest dish in the sink with water and used that as my wash bowl to clean other items.

Stripped bed and washed sheets with items in the laundry basket to make a full load.  Dried sheets and underthings in the dryer and made sure to set timer so I wouldn't forget them.  (Our timer on the dryer rusted out within a year of purchase but the dryer works fine otherwise).  Hung a few things to dry.

Put the clean sheets right back on the bed.  Normally I try to rotate but I was busy between stripping bed and finishing laundry and didn't put another set on.  It seemed silly to waste time folding up one set only to unfold another.

Mama has mentioned wanting to go shopping for clothing next week.  I know where we'll be going and thought I'd look over my own wardrobe to remind myself of what I have.  Not saying I won't buy anything new, but I certainly will know just what will work with what I have and how much I don't need overall.

Ate leftovers for dinner. I did a Leftover Makeover but failed to do anything about a post...Leftover homemade bbq sauce was turned into homemade Teriyaki.  I poured that over leftover fried chicken and baked in the oven to heat all of that.  I put leftover yellow rice in the bottom of my pan before I put the chicken in the pan.  I cut a carrot, celery and onion and stir fried with ginger and garlic as my vegetables and had a big navel orange for dessert.  Economical, 'special', and tasty.

Crafted two wreaths for the front and back door from old wreaths and other items I had on hand.  No special items purchased to make either one.

Stayed home all day, even though I'd sort of planned to go out.

Thursday:  It was quite chilly this morning.  Cool enough to warrant running the heat for a little while.  I set it lower than usual and put on a jacket.

Afternoon came along and we needed the AC.  Love Spring weather! I set the thermostat a wee bit higher than we've had it.

Made two loaves of Challah.  Used the very last of the yeast from my jar.

These next few days we're in 'use it up' mode.  Dinner, though not what I planned, was burgers on hamburger buns (from freezer) and supper will be boxed mac and cheese.

Made a loaf of Apple Cinnamon Bread which took care of an apple that was no longer crisp.

Also made a half dozen strawberry banana muffins (used up the last of the berries/last banana).

John washed a load of clothes earlier today on a lowered water level which he hung to dry.  I discovered a few items that had to be washed today as well.  Since it was towels and rugs, I wouldn't have wanted him to wash with his load due to getting lint all over work clothes, so a second medium load got washed.  Second load is on the line outdoors.

Thursday:  I'm taking advantage of these cool mornings...this morning was a little chilly, too, like yesterday morning.  I made oatmeal for breakfast.  We don't each much of this when the weather is really warm, but when it's cool it's just the thing.

John had an engagement to play for the Feed 'n' Seed at noon today.  We did all housework before we left home.

When we left home, we took off trash, picked up mail.  After Feed 'n' Seed we ran an errand, and went by thrift store and got gasoline all on our way home.

CVS shopping today was sweet and simple.  Two bottles of All detergent, 1 bottle of 7Up soda, $3.54 out of pocket.  I had coupons and ECB.  I added the All detergent to my current stash.  That's 5 bottles bought this year, all for $1.25 or under.

Thrift store shopping today was really for booth but I tend to try and just keep my eye open in general.  So I have a new pair of sandals for summer for $2, a pair of shorts for Missy Pooh granddaughter for $1.  Best buys in my opinion were a music CD with many many songs by Allman Brothers for 50 cents.


Anonymous said...

Your bread and muffin ideas sound good. I should try and look up such recipes. Our weather has been extra hot. With so many activities outside of the house this week the garden is being neglected. Things need planting! Many other things need rearranged or fertilized and such. Hopefully we will have a respite of activities and some cooler weather so I can get more garden chores completed. I have seen some nice sales on meats but since I have not been cooking as much recently the freezer is full. It would have been better if I had cooked more at home and used up some of this older meat. That way while the costs are down I could restock. You live and learn. I was waiting for some of the items we needed to go on sale but the stores seem to have changed some sales rotations. I finally had to buy a bit hoping for later sales. for restocking more. That is unusual. Seems so much of the grocery ads now are full of snack foods and the back page full of wines and alcohol drinks. Not much basic cooking items are shown. They can play their games but it will not stop us from finding good buys!!! :-) Husbands work so hard to put food on the table. Working hard to find the best buy for that money is the least I can do. :) It is like a game of chess with the stores making a move and us making one back. The prices go up and we rethink and make another good move. Maybe we don't even move that week as we shop from our pantry and avoid even shopping! Next week they may advertise higher prices on the beef we had planned to buy so we get the chicken instead that we have a good recipe for that uses only a bit but goes a long way. It's always a hit! One of their moves we can usually use a counter move to keep our budgets in balance. Experience has taught us that. We can do this!! :-)
Hopefully I am going to start pressure canning broth soon. I too have more freezer space than I want taken up with it. There is always something new to learn! I am so happily surprised by the younger women who have given me so many new hints and technics that have been such a help! They have really learned so much in their short lives! Wonderful! We keep all our snack items out of eye range for sure! That helps keep them out of our minds!! I love alternative recipes that use less of one item or substitutes some. It helps when I am out of something to go to the other recipe. Sarah

Terri said...

You did a great job this week. Love the wreathes!

Rebecca said...

Looks like a productive week!

Lovely wreaths! Just the right amount of SPRING to make a person happy, huh?

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

The wreaths are so pretty! I have managed to decorate our house the past 5 years by just moving around what we have to a different location.

Courtney said...

What pretty wreaths! Perfect for spring. I used to love to do CVS deals, but I just can't justify the time it takes me right now to try. By the time I've figured out what I've needed, figured out which kids' turn it is to go with me to the store, and then try to figure out the exact things I need when I get there with the kids trying to "help", it just ends up being too much. lol

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