My Frugal Week: September 6 - 12

Saturday:  Bananas were ripe right now.   It was obvious they were at the point where we'd eat them today or not at all.  We had oatmeal (just plain old cooked oatmeal, not the fancy custard type) for breakfast and topped each bowl with a sliced ripe banana.

I put the last three bananas into the freezer, peeling them and breaking them into 1 in pieces first.

I warmed dinner in the oven.  I meant to make salad, but looking through the fridge I discovered a serving of  romaine in a zippered bag and enough salad in John's leftover purchased bag for another serving.  No making salads necessary, just eat what is on hand and not let it spoil.

I served packets of taco sauce from takeout purchases with our burritos today.

Supper was the rest of the pizza we purchased Tuesday while out grocery shopping.  I'd put in the freezer but it was quickly thawed and heated this evening.   It was handy to have a quick meal.  I'd spent time out this afternoon at my niece's baby Sprinkle.

Played about on Pinterest this evening. I found a quote that really struck home from a blogger regarding couponing:  It's about spending less, not saving more.  There's a blog post of inspiration in that phrase...

Sunday:  I didn't really have time to sit and wait on Maddie to decide to eat this morning, so I left her on the porch with her food.  I made sure to leave the front door open...that's a visual reminder to myself that the food bowls are still out and need to be put away.  Since we were going to church, I knew we'd have to shut that door.  It worked beautifully as a reminder to put away food bowls.

I had a casserole ready to heat when we got home, but our breakfast did not hold us at all.  We had to stop by grocery for fresh bagged salads for John's work days this week.  Not a good scenario.  To get to produce we had to walk past the deli...A box of chicken, a container of macaroni salad, bagged salads, grape tomatoes later, I told John we needed to get out of that area!  The casserole will be dinner on Tuesday (he works tomorrow).  Two thoughts on this today:  We must have a more substantial breakfast before church and a crockpot meal would be better than anticipating baking a casserole when we get home!  I shall be sure to correct both these items next time we head to church!

John needed new cologne.  We debated department store, but decided against it.  Drugstore was option two but hunger driven man vs. slow clerks and need to unlock scent cases made that an option we quickly ditched.  We checked at the grocery to see what scents they had on the shelf.  We were pleasantly spurprised at the small but impressive offerings and we definitely paid considerably less than department store or drug store prices.

Part of the chicken purchased today went into John's work lunch for tomorrow, as did the leftovers of the macaroni salad.

I took the last three deviled egg halves and chopped to make egg salad for a sandwich to add to the lunch bag.  John eats two meals and two snacks at work during his 24 hour shift so I try to pack enough food to cover all his needs without  purchased snacks.

I noted, while packing his dinner  that the grapes I purchased are fast approaching the stage where they are wrinkling. I urged John to choose those as his fruit for today, but John won't eat them all.   I'll be sure to put that item on my list of things to 'harvest' tomorrow so that I don't lose the money we invested in them.  In the past I've frozen them, but failed to use them so I'm going to attempt to make a small batch of juice, or perhaps a jar of jelly from them.

We bought a newspaper today.  I always look through every section of paper even if I don't read it.  I'm looking for unexpected coupons.   I started doing this after stumbling upon a $5 off turkey purchase coupon in the Sports section one holiday season.  Today I found one in the Parade magazine.

I had cheese and crackers for my supper tonight.  I just didn't want anything heavier.

Monday:  Had a hard time sleeping last night/early this morning. I got up and wrote out all the thoughts in my mind, then settled in the kitchen sitting chair with a cup of warm vanilla milk and my Bible.    

Washed a full load of clothes.

Packed John's work lunch and made him breakfast.

Ran errands.  Skipped the project purchase and trip to GoodWill, as I was just too tired to go further afield.  Saved gas and money with that move.

Ate leftovers for my dinner and my supper.

Mixed up pimento cheese spread for sandwiches this week.

Meant to switch some linens into my closet but found there were too many to move to the smaller closet in our room.  I settled for neatening things up.

Worked on Swag bucks first goal as I ate my dinner and supper today.  I surpassed my point requirements and stayed with in my time frame for working on this task.

Made a single cup of coffee using the special feature on my coffeemaker.

Tuesday:  Made breakfast this morning, using potatoes I'd set aside last week for hash browns.

Worked in my closet this morning for about two hours.  I culled a few tops that I haven't worn.  One to the house drawer, the rest to be given away.  They are too nice to wear around the house.

I discovered that even though I have only a few pieces in my closet I can get a lot of mileage from those few pieces.  I didn't even finish the work, just got tired of it!  I'm convinced I need very little for fall/winter wear.

My purse and necklace from Kohl's came today.  I've already shared the savings but I have to repeat what a great deal I got.  Merchandise totaled $50 (that was clearance prices, original was $73) and I paid $6.15 for both pieces.

Frustrated with the stall in my work on the guest area/craft room, I decided to see what I could do.  I found artwork for the future room among my own files.  And put together a story board of ideas/fabric samples/etc and put it on the wall to remind me of what I'm working towards.  Now I need to do the same for the craft are of the room.

Easy dinner today, just heat the casserole and eat.  I used the last of John's bagged salad for our meal.

We ate the last pear with our supper.  It was so ripe and juicy, but even one more day and it would have been past it's prime.

Wednesday:  Made French toast for breakfast and scrambled the last of the egg/milk mixture with the last whole egg from the carton.

Today's dinner included the last of the Brussels Sprouts and 2 apples that were getting a bit soft. I baked the apples and served them with a topping of whipped cream as our dessert.  Yum!  I always feel like I'm getting something decadent when I eat a warm baked apple.

I used the last piece of Sunday's fried chicken (a thigh) to add a little meat to the leftover chicken soup base I made a few weeks ago and froze.  I made chicken noodle soup this evening for our supper.  I have enough for a soup supper Friday evening.

I looked online for a bedspread to go in the guest room. I found one I like pretty well, that is within my budget but I am putting off ordering for a week or so.  I want to make sure it's just what I want before I spend money.

Thursday:  Frugal day?  Well...Yes and No.  We left home this morning to price a piano.  We found instead a good name brand full-size keyboard with a stand, and a piano bench (thrown in for free, savings of $64).  John and I are going halves on it and calling it Christmas (and Fall vacation) to each other.  It cost a good chunk of money but not more than we had in our personal accounts.  And honestly?  I'm over the top about it.

What convinced us to buy?  The price of the keyboard was about 1/3 what we thought we might pay for a used piano.  It has multiple sound settings, which appealed to John more than it does to me.  As the dealer pointed out (and this was a big point for me) it never has to be tuned, unlike a piano.  I can hook up earphones and play for my own enjoyment and not disturb John at all.  And as we stood about thinking over this purchase, the guy, wanting to sweeten the deal, offered us a piano bench for half price and when we still weren't biting, he offered it for FREE.  John and I talked it over between ourselves and decided how we'd pay for it, and then we agreed to get it.

The plan is to take piano lessons...There's also one free lesson with the purchase, and I thought John might like to take that one, but we want to find a local teacher who will work with adults.

It was late when we headed home once more.  I hadn't taken a thing out to thaw and there wasn't enough leftovers to feed us.  I offered up my allowance to buy burgers at the local diner.

Prepared John's lunch for work tomorrow.

Poured John a second cup of coffee this evening and reheated in the microwave. I saved that coffee from our afternoon pot of coffee.

Friday:  Up early to see John off.  Made him breakfast, packed his lunch.

Had a light breakfast of honey bun and a cheese cube.  The honey buns I found in the freezer and I'm glad I did as I've yet to make any sort of sweet snack this week.  John got one in his lunch today, too.

Mama and I were wandering today, and had dinner.  That dinner was paid for from my allowance.

While wandering we had a tire start to go flat.  We had enough pressure in it (that's what the computer told us in Mama's fancy car) to make it to a convenience store where we waited for AAA repair service to come change it for us.  I don't have to use it often, but boy is it nice when I do call AAA!

We headed right to the tire repair place and had the tire fixed.  Mama paid for that and it was less than $20.

Headed home where I dealt with house things.  It was mighty hot today but the house felt cool.  I did turn on the ceiling fans once more to help circulate air.

Was going to take the cardboard boxes from the piano and stool and piano stand to the dumpster but decided to keep them to use under mulch in those flower beds where I don't mean to plant flowers but need heavy weed mat.  After all, it's FREE and will last a little while.

Living Wells

When we moved here 18 years ago, I had to sell my lovely old Tiger Stripe Oak antique upright piano.  We couldn't move it ourselves and couldn't afford to hire the truck to move.   It needed a ton of work: new felts, new ivory on several keys, new wires, even a new hammer or two.   In the end, we sold to an antiques store who came and picked it up. I wept and wept over that piano.

It had been mine since I was six years old.  I still remember the day Mama bought it from a man's mechanic shop, an old brick building with a concrete floor.  It's truly a wonder it wasn't warped from damp but it wasn't.  It was out of tune though, which was hardly surprising either, but near enough in tune that it suited me perfectly.  Daddy showed me the middle C and wrote the notes on the ten keys with pencil.  It came with a few primary song books from another era entirely and Daddy wrote the notes above the music score and I started playing.  I took lessons for three years in elementary school and played for years.  Not great playing, certainly no wunderkind, but I so loved playing that piano.

Growing up life could be pretty tough at times and I often caught the brunt of a lot of the tough stuff, but when I went to the living room and sat down to play the piano, no one came near me.  Mama didn't ask me to do chores, the boys left me be, Daddy sat in his chair and listened without complaining.  It wasn't pleasant in the living room, nicely furnished as it was.  It was neither heated nor cooled.  I used a metal milk can as my piano stool and that got a bit hard at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing, skimming through my old books, some from the turn of the century, some newer, but all old books.

When I married, the piano stayed with Mama.  It wasn't until Amie was about 4 that Mama offered me the piano.  I had it moved to our home and played as often as I could. In all those years that poor piano was never tuned though Mama moved it three times and I moved it twice...

And so we're back to the day we were moving here.   John promised me at the time that he'd buy me another piano.  Money was very tight and while I missed having a piano, I knew we just couldn't really afford to replace it. I stopped thinking about it after a bit.  John bought a small keyboard and I attempted to play it at the dining room table but it was awkward and there was no place to prop my music.  I gave up in frustration after awhile and we gave that keyboard away.   I sold all my music books.  Every now and then I'd think with longing of how lovely it would be to sit down and just play but mostly I didn't.

Funnily enough early this summer while I was decluttering, I came across an old ivory that had come unglued from one of my old piano's key.  I'd given the dealer all the ivories, but he handed that one back to me and said, "You should keep this one for sentiment."  I'd turned it over in my hand and seen the faint outline in a 'C' shape written on it.  It was enough to make me feel a pang in my heart, sincere regret over losing that outlet I'd so enjoyed.

We've talked over this purchase for a couple of  months now.  John told me this evening, "We could have waited, but there would always be another reason why we wouldn't do it, and we'd never have done it for the right reason: because it was our heart's desire..."

It's lovely to have a piano in the house once again.  It's going to take a lot of practice to get back to playing level once again, but oh the pleasure of walking into the music room, sitting down and pecking out a song or ten!


Anonymous said...

We had my Mother's family piano in our home growing up. Music of one kind or another was always a huge part of our daily lives. I find myself 'playing' on tables and such moving my fingers and remembering the tunes. I never did play well. The rest of the family did though and it was wonderful to hear the piano being played.! :-) Now the piano sound comes from piano CDs but the memories are real.
We have put a set of sheets under our mattes thus having enough room for the rest of the linens in our closet. Would that help you? We also put the extra sheets for the guest bed under it's mattress. Out of the way but handy when needed!! They can be put in plastic bags if you want.
Not only is it to stay hot but we are to set new record highs in the next few days!! :((( I think I will start on putting out my outside fall decorations..just to make myself Think Cool! I wash my clothes very late in the day {when it has cooled down..sometimes even after dark} on hot days and hang it out over night. Go out and take it down first thing in the morning before the heat gets so bad. Kinda makes me feel too like I have a head start on my chores! :-) Speaking of that I have a load to hang out now... bye. Sarah

Kathy said...

So glad you have a piano again! I hope that playing brings you much happiness. I need to remind my boy to practice today. ;)

Laura said...

Yay for the piano! Thank you for posting at my blog so I could come visit yours! :D
-Laura at Quiet Country Life

Anonymous said...

From experience, your piano playing will come back and fairly quickly if you play often. It's like riding a bike, you just don't forget how.

I have an heirloom piano ... my hubby's grandmother's piano she received for her 16th birthday. It's still a lovely piano.

My favorite piano playing is for evening church. It's a lot more relaxed than Sunday morning, and I can play to my heart's content. I'm not a good music reader ... I play more by feel using chords.

So glad you have a piano again ... enjoy playing again.

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