Living Frugal, Living Well
Saturday: John made breakfast this morning. I've determined that once a month I will splurge on a can of his favorite refrigerated biscuits. I make awesome biscuits from scratch but he considers these a real treat. He wanted to make biscuits this morning. I suggested he save three of the uncooked biscuits to use for our supper.
Easy dinner for today: leftover fried chicken, warm potato salad, sliced tomatoes. It was easy, tasty and there were no leftovers.
I boiled three eggs, 1 for the potato salad, 2 to use for salad later this week.
I cooked four potatoes, but put two potatoes worth of cooked cubes in the fridge. This will go in gravy and diced roast beef to make hash.
It was a little cool to us. When the AC came on in the afternoon I turned the temperature up. It came on again later but was starting to feel a little stuffy in the house by then.
Gave myself a pedicure.
Supper was Pigs In Blankets. That finished off a packet of hot dogs and the last three biscuits. We had deli purchased macaroni salad with it.
I prepared John's lunch for work tomorrow.
Worked on a long list of ideas for saving money in my home. If I have a list to refer to, I can read through and be re-inspired.
Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
Sunday: Sometimes I just need to stand back and really think. We've been wishing I had bought three sets of silverware when I got new last year. I pulled out the best set and added it to the basket and that was a help but it still gets slim just before the dishwasher is full. While in the shed the other day I found a stainless pitcher sitting on the floor. It was smack full of the old mismatched silverware...
Double whammy, because I'd been considering purchasing a larger pitcher. I love my old fashioned glass ones but they aren't large enough for a company meal.
I won't use the mismatched silverware everyday but it's in the silverware drawer and available if needed between dishwasher loads.
Washed two full loads of laundry. I hung one load to dry and used the dryer for the other, since the line was full and I needed the mattress pad to remake the bed, I decided to go ahead with the dryer.
After hanging out laundry, I fed the pets. I saved some cooking juices and cooked the turkey gravy packet and set that aside for the pets. They loved that addition to their morning meal.
Came indoors and opened the windows. AC didn't kick on until 5pm. I decided to just cut it off and turn on the whole house fan. That pulled in enough cool air as the sunset to reduce the stuffy feeling from the late afternoon sun.
I was up super early with John this morning. I packed his lunch and made him breakfast before he went off to work.
Was hungry by 6:30 so made my breakfast. By 10:30 I was ready for lunch, lol. I held off until 11:15 and then ate. Mid afternoon I made myself a snack of crackers (free product test item), grapes and cheese with a cup of coffee. That pushed me past supper and into evening, so I opted for milk and cookies for a late supper.
I used a coffee pod to make a single cup of coffee. This is a small additional expense but it's a consistently good cup of coffee which means more to me than the savings. Don't mess with my coffee!
Spray painted frames for the guest room pictures. I couldn't take one of the glasses from the frame. I used a straight razor blade to remove paint from the glass.
Rearranged pictures in my bedroom.
Monday: John was supposed to stay at work for a meeting but he came home in the time between his shift ending and the start of the meeting. I figure the savings on gasoline we'd have had was minimal anyway, so didn't complain. I made him a quick breakfast and then dressed to go back to his work town with him. I have a great book that I'm reading and was happy to have the extra quiet time to do nothing but read.
We combined that trip with one to the town where he likes to get his hair cut. He just changed barbers...that meant I wasn't running into the grocery to pick up sausage, which is good and bad. Good because I think we're eating too much sausage even if it is turkey meat and bad because now I'll have to make a trip into the chaotic store nearer Aldi when I DO need sausage. Good incentive also to want less...
We stopped at the little old 1920-30's gas station/general store where the Mennonite lunch counter is in the back of the store and got burgers. These are real meat with fresh lettuce and tomato burgers and substantial things. Our meals were under $10 with sodas and fries. John paid out of his pocket cash.
We filled his car with gasoline in the next nearest town. Gas is $.20 a gallon cheaper there.
John washed a small load of clothes and hung to dry.
We had to toss his leftover salad after spending the day in the car. It was a smaller bag and he'd eaten most of it, so not a huge loss on that.
I knew John would want a little something sweet, not snacky...I pulled the banana poundcake out of the freezer once again. This time we'll finish it off over the next few days. I am not putting it back into the freezer!
Tuesday: It was chilly in the house this morning. We're holding out a bit on lighting up any heaters...Will we make it to November? We'll see.
Butterscotch oatmeal hit the spot this morning. John told me he was hoping that was exactly what I'd make.
We ate from the freezer today: burritos (low meat) and corn on cob.
We went to vote. While out I made sure to do a couple of errands. We took off trash, voted, went by dollar store and then to the local grocery.
I had a list for the dollar store. I didn't stick to it very well. I bought two more baskets and two small lamps that weren't on my list. The basket replaced two other storage pieces (enamel pots) and neatened up the look of the chiffarobe in the kitchen. I like it much better now that it looks less cluttered and more organized.
The lamps fit the bill for the guest room. I haven't found anything the least bit as suitable or well priced. I knew I had shades at home to go with them. What clinched it? The recommendation was for 13 watt CFL. I knew we had two of those bulbs at home.
Stopped at the grocery to buy vegetarian baked beans on sale. There were none of the brand that was on special. I discovered an alternate brand for just a few cents more per can. I bought them for an upcoming event here and one at John's work place. It's a bonus to have them now at a decent price and not later at a much higher price.
I found two steaks in the meat counter marked down to $4 each. It was a splurge yes, but not one we make often. I thought we'd have them for supper tonight and boy were they good.
Wednesday: Packed John's lunch and made him breakfast.
Made sure to have my own breakfast since I knew I was going out with Mama this morning.
Went prepared today with a list of things to purchase if I found them. A t-shirt and cardigan to go with the maxi skirt I bought this summer will extend that piece through the cooler months and give me several options for looks. I am officially finished with clothes shopping for the fall/winter. Time to give shopping a rest.
I knew my all occasion gift bags were gone. I found some on a clearance end cap today for less than $1 each. Always nice to have a few in my stash for future gift giving.
Opened a stack of mail I'd set aside as junk. Results: 1 Forever Stamp, 2 different sets of coupons.
Turned off ceiling fans when I left this morning. Turned them on right away when I came in. The house felt a bit stuffy and moving air always helps move the air, making it feel cooler.
Got our electric bill today. We dropped $64 over the past month. There's a winter rate change (drops) as well as the decrease in air conditioning usage. That rate drop will cover the propane tank rental this month. A nice balancing act for the budget.
Thursday: Made waffles for breakfast. I went ahead and made a full recipe. We'll eat the leftovers this weekend.
It was cold this morning indoors and out. I turned on the heater but made sure to turn it off as soon as the chill was gone from the house. I wore a sweater and layered shirts in the first couple of hours but was soon reducing the layers as the morning went on.
We opened windows this afternoon to cool off the house a bit when it began to warm up.
Made roast beef hash using leftover baked potatoes, leftover roast and gravy. It's a good economical dish. I added in a few portabella mushrooms that were in the fridge, which extended the meat nicely.
I shopped at home: spam, grape juice, bread from freezer.
Repurposed a sturdy low cardboard box in my pantry to help corral bags of coffee that didn't want to sit upright. Now they do. That netted me enough extra room to fit the bulk purchase of baked beans on the shelves.
Tried an idea for the craft room window that involved a lace panel and a cream panel. It didn't work, but you know it cost nothing to try.
Painted another picture frame and finished off a can of paint.
Scooped ice cream rather than eat from our pint containers. It should last a bit longer this way.
Friday: Used a muffin mix to make a quick blueberry coffee cake for this morning's breakfast. It took no longer to cook than muffins would have done. We'll be much more likely to eat the coffee cake as a snack than we would the muffins. I don't know why this is so for us, but it is.
Filled the mixing bowl with warm soapy water. That is all the water I used for cleaning up the dishes after the meal, even rinsing those for the dishwasher. I am seeing that I can change many things in my kitchen to create a savings.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung them to dry.
The heater was turned on this morning but ran only one cycle and was done. We opened windows about noon and won't have the AC on either today. I love this time of year when we're not heavy on electricity usage.
foodwaste this week: 1/2 cup buttercream frosting from too long ago to mention.
1 cup cornmeal batter that I'd meant to make cornmeal pancakes with for breakfast. Too old to date.
Garlic cheese topping for toast. I can't remember when I made this up either...
4 slices summer sausage John didn't eat in his lunch twice.(This went to dogs and cat who were happy to have them).
Saved heavy syrup from a can of pears.
Set aside time this morning to do nothing but work on surveys and Swagbucks. It's a small amount of time, perhaps an hour I give to it but the earnings eventually add up.
Had no clue what we might have for dinner today. I messed up and didn't take out a thing to thaw. I also didn't realize I'd no solid plan until nearly dinner time when I scanned this week's menu and we'd used up all our options but the solidly frozen chicken. I made rice (extras went into fridge for another meal) and added to canned cream of chicken soup along with a few small pieces of turkey. It really made the soup far more substantial and filling. I made club sandwiches to go along with it.
I cut the sandwiches into halves. I couldn't eat the second half of mine so wrapped it for John's work lunch.
Made Challah bread for Shabat. We ate one loaf as snack and supper and I put a third in the freezer. Lest you think we were being silly eating so much bread, the recipe makes one loaf, which I divide into three smaller loaves when making.
Ate leftovers of hash for supper.