My Frugal Week/Living Well: July 19-25

                                        Back to our little canning gal for summer time savings...

Saturday:  Mama, Ashley, and I were traveling today to Katie's bridal shower. I had breakfast here at home.  I took along a bottle of water with me.  I knew I'd want something to drink at some point along the way and I didn't really want to have to stop unless it was necessary.

It rained all the way up...glad we brought along umbrellas!

We had a lovely time at the shower and Katie got some nice practical things (all she asked for were practical things).

We stopped in the next town on our way home and Mama went into grocery to buy a treat for herself that is a specialty of that grocery.  She also bought some of the pastry for Ashley and I and a rotisserie chicken each for our suppers.  I had already planned mine and John's dinner but was happy to have the chicken for Sunday dinner.

It was awfully nice to get home and put on my pajamas and rest after all that rainy drive!  John had coffee made and a pizza in the oven for our supper.

Sunday:  We bought a Sunday paper on our way home from church.  I found some really good buys in the sales sheets. I made out a list for later in the week.

I reheated the rotisserie chicken and cooked squash and baked potatoes as sides.  I made a salad and we called that a very good meal.

John washed a full load of clothes and hung most to dry.

Washed a full load of dishes.

John took a call asking him to come in to work a half shift tomorrow.  I packed his lunch after he agreed.

Monday:   Made John breakfast and packed his work lunch.  This was an extra shift.  We will be glad of the additional money on the next pay period which is shorter in hours.

I made a smoothie for my breakfast: frozen strawberries, blueberries, a little oatmeal and flax seed, some milk.  It was so good and filling, too.

Brought some wet things in off the line and dried them.  It appeared we were in for another rainy day (as Sunday had also been) and I felt those things just needed to be dried.  It only took about 20 minutes.

I deep cleaned the refrigerator today and rearranged it as I put things back in.  Happy to report NO foodwaste, wonder of wonders since it's been a while  since I cleaned it.

Mopped kitchen floors with the dishwasher detergent.  This has generated a bit of conversation about how I do it, etc.  I use Palmolive DishWASHER detergent.  I fill up a dishpan with hot water and squirt in about as much as I'd put in the two soap dispensers in my dishwasher, so maybe 1/4 cup.  Because this product has bleach in it already it's perfect for my white linoleum floors which get both ground in dirt and a slight greasy film it seems.  This cleaner just takes it all right up with a minimum of effort on my part.  I don't think it has affected the polish on the floor, but I can't say for sure. After all my floors are 18 years old!  Since it's not enough soap to suds up I don't rinse, just mop with hot water mixture.

 I didn't have any leftovers to choose from for my meal today.  I'd thought I'd run to town to do a few things but decided not to which cut down my options even more, so I cooked.

Went through the sales sheets and made out a grocery list.  I plan to make several stops the day we grocery shop.

I decided to use my game machine to play games once more.  I haven't done so in about a year and it's a nice way to have fun time.

Tuesday:  Cleaned the fans in the kitchen sitting area.  We have a ceiling fan and an oscillating fan in that space.  The oscillating fan helps keep the kitchen cooler during the early morning hours or when I'm washing dishes by hand.

Tidied the linen chest and 'found' the missing pillow case I looked for last week when making my bed.  Now it's all organized, I shouldn't have any troubles finding matching pieces.

I had a vintage pillowcase that ripped along one seam.   I'd just seen a neat little cover for a stand mixer on Pinterest.  I just used the pillowcase which works beautifully and looks kind of nice with the vintage canisters.

Hemmed two pairs of pants for myself.  Set a pair of jeans that are a little too short aside to make jean shorts next summer.

Cooked a corned beef brisket to slice for sandwich meat.

Shredded extra cheese while I was making our dinner to use as pimento cheese for sandwich filling.

Wednesday:  We were out of bread this morning, but John had purchased some sale priced Honey buns a couple of weeks ago. I put some in the freezer and some in the cookie jar.  We had one of those each for our breakfast this morning.

I checked the grocery list over and double checked sales sheets.  I noted on my list that Rhonda had said she'd gotten a free shopping bag at CVS.

Checked one of the grocery ads online.

We stopped at Publix first.  I had a short list and pretty much stuck to it.  We added two items: one package of kosher Hot Dogs which were not in the sales ad and a spice John wanted that was low priced.

I managed to keep my Aldi total today close to $100.  That is my goal for that store for now.

Went to Office Depot to purchase two reams of printer paper.  They were $7.29 a package with an extra 125 sheets in each package.  A ream of paper is 500 sheets.  So with two packages, I got 1/2 package free.  There is a rebate for the paper, up to two transactions, which will give me all but $1 back on each package.

Stopped at CVS and got the free paper towel.  I grabbed the shopping bag which was 'free'.  Turns out that it was only free if you bought a CVS product that was not on sale.  The clerk was very helpful and pointed out the CVS candy was $.99 a package which would make the bag free.  I saved 30% off my purchases in picking up the bag.  I was blessed further when the clerk produced a $.50 off two sodas coupon.  I paid $3 OOP.

We didn't eat out today.  Came home and made dinner as I unpacked groceries.

Skipped supper.  John was gone to a class, I stayed home and picked up around the house.

John brought home ice cream from the gas station on his way home.  He paid for it from his allowance.  Sweet supper...

Thursday:  We were off to visit our youngest grandson today.  We had a lovely day for travel.  It's been our habit to stop about 45 minutes from home and purchase a chicken biscuit.  We really like those chicken biscuits when we travel! lol...I purchase a breaded, ready to cook Southern Friday Chicken breast from Aldi that is frozen.  That's what I cooked for our dinner yesterday and chopped to go over salad. I cooked an extra one and put it aside for this morning.  Leftover biscuits slightly warmed, the chicken breast well heated and cut into three servings pieces made three chicken biscuits for us.  I can tell you we saved about $2.49 each biscuit.  And we ate them home, so there are no crumbs in the car.  John assured me they were every bit as good as his favorite take away travel breakfast.

We carried along bottles of water with us as we traveled.  I also put crackers in my purse which were nice when we got a little hungry on the way back home, though Bess did give us a quite good lunch as we visited the boy.

John suggested we stop in the town just before home this evening and have supper at the Subway shop there.  This is normally not an expensive meal out for us, but today it was.  We got chips and sodas and cookies to go with the sandwich.  Not necessary but it made a complete meal and was satisfying for us.  We've not snacked all evening long here at home with that nice filling meal.  We ate outside at the restaurant under the covered patio.  This is one example of time we spent money and ENJOYED it which is important when you're always saving.

Friday:  We were both up very early this morning with our backs aching.  I suspect mine had to do with three long rides in a short week of time.  John didn't tell me why his ached.  I do love the early morning time.  By 7:30 we had finished the 2nd load of laundry and had everything hanging up to dry.

John made breakfast.  We meant to buy hash-browns at Aldi but the ones on sale were not available.  John made hash-browns this morning from scratch. I daresay ours cost less than $.10 to make for the two of us while the 'bought' ones would have been nearer $.80/for two servings.

Maddie was not feeling up to par for eating this morning.  I put her food back in the can and will give it to her again tomorrow.  She was feeling better this afternoon, as she begged John for a biscuit.

I cooked a couple of small chicken breasts with the carcass of the rotisserie chicken today.  It was my first opportunity to do that.  I picked over the bones and have enough chicken for our dinner tomorrow and a little more which will likely turn into Chicken Noodles for a meal next week.

I made Calzones for our dinner.  I pulled out a package of frozen spinach and thawed it.  After squeezing dry, I mixed with a little grated Parmesan, mozzarella and 3 ounces of cream cheese as well as the last of the cottage cheese I'd put in the freezer and thawed.  With Italian sausage (turkey), onions and garlic to season.  It was a thick mixture and held up well to baking in my homemade pizza dough.  These were huge calzone, one each was our meal and I put two up in the fridge for Sunday dinners for the two of us.

Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.  I handwashed the remaining dishes first, so the water would be really hot when the dishwasher started.

Gave myself a full pedicure today.

Saved the water drained from the spinach to pour over the geranium.  It has bloomed it's heart out and I felt it probably needed the additional nutrients in that spinach juice.

Living Well

I was so late last week sending out this post that I completely forgot about Living Well.  I was so weary, and I mean that sincerely.   It was very difficult drive back from the Bridal shower with the weather and the roads holding water.  It was a different world going up and coming back this week when John made his trek to see the youngest grandson.

I guess I am just truly a country girl born and bred.  I do love the little towns along the way but I love most of all the rolling fields, the neat rows of crops, the sight of a white farmhouse tucked high upon a green hill, a church steeple peeking over the top of another.  I get refreshment just seeing the deep green ponds sprinkled here and there, and my heart, as I've shared before, goes pitty pat over hay bales in a field that's just been mown and baled.

I admire neat little graveyards that are well tended in the middle of a pasture in the middle of nowhere at all and old stone chimneys that mark where a house once stood.  I gaze at vast expanses of blue sky and white clouds and green fields beneath.  I peer hard into deep stretches of forest and stretch hard to see the water running beneath the cement bridges.  My soul unbends and relaxes and calm descends upon me...I am definitely a country girl.

Here at home, I watch for changes in seasons (golden rod is tall now and here and there are red leaves on the sassafras in the field) and admire the sleek brown rabbits that hop about morning and evening and sometimes stretch out on a cool patch of grass to ward off the heat.  Birds call and I listen to hear the red winged black bird, the tapping of a woodpecker, the soft trill of a blue bird, the quail who sing out for "Bob,Bob, Bob White" and the cardinal who constantly says "Pretty pretty pretty!"  The chortle of the turkey in the brush beyond the lawn, the blue jay who screeches "Thief, thief!"...Country Girl.  That's me.

I lived in town and never felt 1/10th the satisfaction I feel living here.  I couldn't see the sun rise nor set.  The neighbors were too close, good neighbors though they might have been.  I like sitting on my front porch and the voices I hear are babbling voices, not clearly understood.  I like hearing the sound of a tractor in the field with it's slow putt putt as it moves along or the distant sound of a mower at one of the neighbor's on the next hill, across two fields.

I'm just a country girl.

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