My Frugal Week, Living Well

Saturday:  I made dinner from leftovers.  I had roast beef sliced in gravy and served that with mashed potatoes and a big salad.  There's still enough roast left for another meal for one.

We traveled to see our daughter wed.  I took along a thermal glass of iced water and extra water.

Though my clothes for the wedding were new they were not purchased just for the wedding.  I wanted to purchase new costume jewelry to go with, but in the end, I decided to use what I had.

Gave myself a manicure here at home.

Though initially my husband meant to take an alternate route  home, he decided to just follow the same route we'd taken earlier in the day.  It was a time saver and a savings of gasoline as well.

Sunday:  Up early to go to church.  Carried along a bottle of water with me.

We came home for dinner.  The main dish stretched unexpectedly far.

Washed a full load of dishes.

John washed a small load of clothes on a shorter wash cycle with less water.  He hung most of the clothes to dry.

I had yogurt for supper since we had such a very late dinner.

Monday:  Packed John's lunch for work.  Made him breakfast.

Meant to buy bras today but the store had only one and it was a garish color that would show through my tops.  I decided to bypass and wait until my size was better stocked.

I looked about the store, especially at clearance racks but nothing appealed or seemed to fill a gap in my wardrobe.  I left the store empty handed.

My turn to buy lunch.  Paid for it from my allowance.

Stayed in the car when Mama went into another store.

At home once more, I washed a full load of clothes.

I put $16 in change aside in my desk.  I'm saving money to buy better quality blinds for the house.

I don't bother overmuch with a supper when John's not home.  I had crackers and cheese, a plum, and a glass of milk later in the evening.  I had a nice lunch with plenty of vegetables and protein, too, so a light supper suited me perfectly.

Tuesday:  I spent the bulk of my 'saving' time in the kitchen today and still I am not quite finished.

For breakfast I made waffles.  I added 1/2 cup leftover cooked rice to the batter.  It was an idea I found in my old favorite cookbook and added a nice heft to the light waffles.

Shopped at home in the pantry for maple syrup, coffee, a box of pancake mix.

John had two eggs with his waffles...That's one reason I like to use pancake mix.  I can just mix with water and save the eggs for John to have with his breakfast.  I only do this on mornings after he's worked his shift.

 I planned to try a new recipe.  I'd meant to use up some about to expire cranberry sauce from the pantry but used some frozen homemade cranberry relish instead.  I cut the recipe ingredients considerably not just because I wanted to serve two instead of four but because it seemed a bit wasteful to use all the ingredients as the recipe was written.  I don't think the flavor was compromised at all.

I had plenty of sauce left when the chicken was cooked.  It was well over a cupful!  I saved it and put in the freezer and will use it again to cook more chicken at a later time.

Determined we didn't need all the Brussels Sprouts in the container.  I counted and decided we could get two meals from that batch.

I halved the recipe for a side dish of corn pudding.  Since I had 15 ounce cans of corn, I went ahead and mixed the cream and whole kernel corn leftovers and put in the freezer.  I made sure to label that this was for corn pudding.

I noticed this morning that the oranges and lemons were looking the worse for wear.  I juiced the lemons. After I strained the juice I added it to the reconstituted lemon juice in the fridge.  I figured it would help preserve my fresh juice and brighten the flavor of the reconstituted stuff.

I peeled and sectioned the oranges and put the sections in the freezer.

Washed a full load of dishes at end of the day.

Wednesday:  John offered to work a half shift today.  I didn't make him breakfast.  I didn't pack his lunch.  I slept.  Fortunately he did make his breakfast and I had his lunch made and ready to pack so he did that, too.  Me?  I'm going to avoid drinking so much iced tea midday from here on out.  Seems it makes me a night owl.

Planned to go out today and have fun as well as run errands.  Well the sales are abysmal so why shop?  And the fun would only prove costly, too.  There's so much to do here at home that I decided to stay in.  I can't say I did anything at all, but doing nothing at home is a lot less expensive than doing something outside the house.

Washed a load of rugs and towels and hung all to dry.

The armadillo is sneaking up into the yard again.  I sprinkled more of the stinky RepelAll that keeps him away all around the outside of the house.

Sat down today and looked hard at facts and figures, namely those related to the booth at flea market.  With shelving and purchases and rent I'm running a slight negative figure when averaged out.  On the one hand, I have enough stock on hand to 'feed' the booth for several months, at least until end of year and perhaps just beyond.  I have items on hand that I'm pretty sure I can sale on eBay at less expense and earning a higher return.  And I am staying within my promised 'no more than my allowance'.  In fact, I have allowance to spare each month despite my losses.  On the other hand, I cannot see going out to shop for more items when I'm not making money enough to break even or be profitable at present.  So it's time to stop and really think about what I want to do, if and how I can remedy this, etc.

Had an avocado I needed to use up.  I'd eaten half on a salad earlier this week but the rest needed to finished.  I made a decent avocado dressing to go on salad today.  I don't know I'd do it again, but it wasn't bad.

I ate the last of the dressing as a dip for chicken nuggets this evening.

Thursday:  John asked if I'd go to the grocery and get a frozen pizza for dinner.  Now honestly for less I can make a lovely pizza but I didn't feel particularly well today.  Just a bit of seasonal allergies but enough to make me feel unwell.  I agreed and he paid.

I figured if I was going to town...yep, as usual I had to make that gasoline count.  I stopped at the booth and dropped off some new items, picked up some of the older ones.  Gave myself permission to 'own' one or two that I'd especially liked when I bought them a year ago.  Since they haven't sold, I guess they can be mine for a little while.

Picked up a few needed items while in store:  salad for John's work lunch tomorrow, shortening, Worcestershire sauce.  I haven't been able to purchase these last two items at Aldi.

I added mushrooms, olives and onions to the plain cheese pizza before popping in the oven.  It was a good use for the vegetables which needed to be used up.

Made John's lunch.  At the grocery today, I picked up another of those $1 baskets.  I find them so handy.  I have one for leftovers, one for dairy products and now one to hold John's lunch items.  This prevents my forgetting something I meant to put in his lunch bag if I have the foods all together.

Friday:  Up early this morning to see the man of the house off to work.  I made him breakfast and packed his lunch.

It was cool and pleasant this morning.  Turned on the whole house fan and let the house cool without using AC.

Decided to tackle housework early and get it out of the way, leaving the day free for other projects.

Took off the trash, picked up mail.

Washed a full load of clothes.  Hung all to dry.

The bulk of the full load was the matelasse spread and shams I bought at beginning of the year.  I decided it was high time to freshen them.  I read the label which stated commercial front load washer only...phooey.  We bought a large capacity washer years ago and it's a top loader.  I knew it would fit with room to spare and it did!  I washed on gentle in cold water as instructed and then I hung on the line to dry, though it specifically said dry on low.  I knew it would take forever to dry that heavy spread on low heat.  It dried just fine and smells fantastic.  Can't beat that air dried aroma of fresh laundry, can you?

Used two ripe bananas to make a banana cake for dessert this weekend.

Made Cape Cod oatmeal cookies for the cookie jar.  I used half an apple that wasn't being eaten to add moisture to the cookie mix and amp up the nutritional value.

Funny what you can do a few minutes time.  I chopped vegetables for tomorrow's roasted veg dish.  And put up a bag of squash in the freezer for future squash casserole.  I also grated two large zucchini and packed them flat in zippered bags for future zucchini bread.  It only took 11 minutes to do all that.  The work was accomplished while one batch of cookies baked.

In the next 11 minute time frame, I washed up dishes, loaded the dishwasher and wiped counters.

And in the fourth time frame, I put items away, folded a load of clothes and put them away.  33 minutes to accomplish over half the items on my list!

While researching genealogy leads this afternoon, I've worked on gaining swagbucks to reach first goal.  that's my goal each day is to reach the first goal.  It's too time consuming to try for both goals daily but in two weeks I can earn enough for a gift card if I make first goals every day.

Living Well

I've slipped outdoors a few times this week.  There's the subtle change in light, the shadows shifting just a bit, and lengthening as they shift.  Seasonal signs showing everywhere, not the least of which is the bloom of morning glory.  I know it's a weed, it's a pest, it's invasive...but I love it anyway.

Years ago there was a house backed up to the grocery store parking lot.  I often wondered how that poor woman stood having her backyard so public and if it bothered her to look out at cars.  Only for a bit of the year.  In the late summer and early autumn months before frost, her fences were covered with the most beautiful deep purple morning glory I've ever seen.

When we moved here I was gungho for planting flowers of all sorts.  I had a 13 year old son with the back to shovel and dig and rake.  We had the loveliest little flower beds here and there.  My most favorite however was the Blue Heaven Morning Glory.  The flowers are truly blue and when I first planted them the blooms were the size of my hand.  I swooned over them.  I thought they were the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.  Well the birds did their bit at scattering seeds and now we have patches of blue morning glory here and there but mostly around the two porches.

It's not a long lasting flower, and doesn't do well at all as a picked flower, but it pleases me every bit as much as hay bales, roses, kittens...So even if it doesn't last as a flower, it makes me happy to see them glowing in the morning.  Life is short.  It's good to look for simple happy things, don't you agree?


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I plan on making the cranberry chicken that you have written about. I will probably tweak the recipe a bit for our tastes, but you gave me a good idea for something a little different to fix for dinner one night. Thanks for the new "chicken fixin" idea.

The heavenly blue morning glories are beautiful. One year I had the most beautiful vine just full of blooms. I have been planting seeds ever since and have had no luck. This year the seeds have finally at least made a good vine up the porch awning support. Every day I check for signs of flower buds on it. No buds so far. It needs to hurry up or it won't bloom before the frosts come. Today, while out watering, I, too, was noticing how the light is changing now.

Anonymous said...

Finally, I'm able to leave a comment. Yeah!

I agree ... simple happy things are what we need to look for because life is short. I look back over my 37 years of marriage and wonder where those years went! I'm such a blessed woman!

You asked how my July challenge went ... it went great. Thanks for asking.

The wheat and oat harvest are done. It's good. I was a busy woman carting harvest meals out to the crew but the weather here has been so nice. We only had a few hot days but those days were graced with a nice wind that had just a touch of cool to it.

The garden is bearing very well ... except for tomatoes. No one around here is getting tomatoes. I think the summer has been way too cool, but ummm, cooler weather or tomatoes? I'll take the cooler weather! ; 0) My freezer is filling up with yummy goodness for the long winter. Very thankful.

I so enjoy your writing. Thanks for keeping on keeping on.


Tammy said...

I love morning glories and the blue ones are my favorite. Years ago I had a partial fence in the backyard and they covered the lattice on that fence. They didn't bloom until the beginning of the school year and it was time to go back to work for me, but what a joy to see them each morning as I walked to the driveway. I always drove away with a smile.

Anonymous said...

My neighbor gave me seeds of her Morning glory 15 or more years ago. I have had some ever since. I usually let one grow up a garden trellis here or there. Where it is it helps shade some veggies during the hottest month of the year. I take them down before the seeds open. Naturally doe get away though. It makes a trash can full of plant material! I don't want to compost it and have thousands of seeds delivered to the whole yard! They are too tough to compost I think! :) I don't know the name of mine but it is a medium dark blue.
We are still marching on slowly..too slowly using up the excess freer stuff. I use some up then also put some new stuff in! When I put in that extra casserole or whatever I think I am going backwards in my clean out effort!!
We are still hot here and even hotter this weekend. I too am totally amazed at what can be accomplished in a short period of time. Just start and get to it!! :) We went to a grocery store we get to seldom. They cary a lot of good bulk things and other essentials. We did a short stock up on the things we use often. Our house never gets that cool during the summer and down right hot if we are gone out of it as we do not have a thermostat. When we are gone the sun does its best to fire up this house. So any pantry things also can get warmer than best for long term keeping. Forget chocolate chips unless it is refrigerated. Don't ask me how I found out! :-) Have you ever tried shaving a whole block of chocolate chips so you can use it? Or hammering it! LOL Well it is on to having fun around here... Sarah

Deanna said...

I wondered if anyone else had noticed the change in light. I have also seen a couple of leaves flutter to the ground. I'm not ready for summer to be over, though.

Alyssa Corley said...

Wow, so inspiring to read about someone REALLY thinking about where their cash flow is going! I'm trying to do better at this- I guess my big change is just trying to buy things second hand and also make a weekly menu.
My daughter loves Morning Glory flowers - such a fun surprise in the mornings to seem them all open towards the sun

Avalon said...

It's funny - all one has to do is say, "I love morning glories!" and here come the cries of, "They're weeds!" "They're parasites!" "They're invasive!" And yet, here we all are saying, "Yes...we know...but have you noticed how beautiful they are in the morning light...?" Thank you!

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