Living Frugal, Living Well
I don't buy wreaths, I make them.
I love having something that is uniquely mine.
Saturday: John made breakfast this morning. I had leftover french toast and waffles that he reheated.
Washed a full load of dishes.
We had windows open until it got stuffy about 5pm.
Made a salad from a single crown of broccoli.
Prepared John's lunch for work tomorrow.
Shopped at home: got milk from the freezer
Pulled two single serve entrees from the freezer for our supper.
Sunday: Gracious but I've worked hard today!
Made John breakfast. Packed his lunch for work.
Washed a full load of laundry. Hung it to dry.
Defrosted the big freezer and took an inventory as I put stuff back in. Wonder what is in those three mystery jars? hmmm? And noted to self: I do not need any more butterbeans in the freezer!
Repurposed a bookcase into a hutch for my desk. The inside of the bookcase looked like beadboard but the back was unfinished. I have the back facing the kitchen, so needed to reverse the panels. I took them off and used contact paper on the unfinished side, then turned that inward and let the bead board show on the backside. Now I have a pretty hutch from front and back.
Recovered the kitchen bulletin board with the same pretty blue contact paper. I think this must be my 'blue period'. I keep adding it here and there...
Swapped the skimpy panel from the guest room to the skinny master bath window. It's perfect. Moved the pair of sheers (hung double for translucense). They covered the guest room window very nicely.
I used sticky dots of velcro to affix the lace to the front of the blind housing so it is a permanent panel behind the sheers. I think it's so pretty with the slight coming through it.
Made cookies. I was trying a new recipe and having been stung by bad recipes in the past, I decided to make a half batch. They are quite good!
I baked my chicken pot pie lunch in the same oven as the cookies. The recipe called for a 400F oven. I think it was a little hot but will try the recipe one more time and then adjust permanently. I got good use of the oven's heat while I was baking.
Ate the last bits of the broccoli and apple salad from yesterday's dinner with the pot pie.
Decided after looking at hundreds of online possibilities and in several stores that I'd just 'make do' with the guest room bedding, so today I pulled out an old spread and shams. They look rather nice. I took a hint from the many hotel rooms we've been in this year and used a panel (mine is actually a drapery panel folded in half!) to lay across the foot of the bed to alieve some of the overall color of it. The panel is a little brighter red than I've used in this room thus far...but it will do until I find something I really love. I think it looks rather nice.
Made myself a single cup of coffee this afternoon...then took a long, well earned nap in my chair.
Monday: We washed a full load of clothes today. John took laundry duty, which is pretty typical of him on his day off. He hung a few things to dry and put a few things in the dryer. We don't use it a lot but we do use it here and there.
I cleaned the washing machine today. I didn't use bleach, just vinegar and a few drops of Dawn to remove the soap scum, then I poured in 2 cups vinegar and filled the washtub and let it sit for an hour. Then I ran the machine for the rest of the cycle. I didn't know how grungy the inside of that tub was until it was all clean and pretty once again.
I cooked a whole chicken. It was really a pitiably small thing, just this side larger than a Cornish game hen, honestly. I saved the breast meat for sandwiches this week and we ate the dark meat. The carcass went into the freezer with another one for a future brothing session.
We made a trip down to John's work place to pick up his check. I carried along what we needed to pay tithes. I wanted to make a one stop visit at the bank in that town and prefer to pay my tithes before I write out a check for cash. We dropped the tithes in the mail in that town, too.
We carried off trash with us and we had aluminum cans to give to a man in that town as well. I really do try and make these little trips count for much!
I'd asked John to buy me a Dr. Pepper. I haven't had one in weeks and I just wanted one. He kept his word. The drink was flat. I took it back into the store and swapped for another but it too was flat. John drove to another store downtown and that drink was flat as well...Obviously a bad batch of Dr. Pepper got out! I was all set to go home and skip it but John decided to try one more store on our way. It was not flat, but I told him I'd been more than happy to just not get another. At that point he'd spent enough out of pocket to almost buy a 12 pack of cans! He said I was worth it (good to know, ;-)
He asked for something special too, home fries and a hamburger or hot dog. Well I had no hot dogs and my ground beef was all frozen solid. I offered a scramble burger instead, which I could make using frozen meat. I realized as I started the meal that I didn't have any onion at all. I found a bottle of dehydrated onion flakes and rehydrated them. They worked very well. I'll add that to my list of items to go in the pantry.
I was going to run a load of dishes but decided that we might fit in breakfast dishes in the morning and then wash a really full load.
Tuesday: We dropped bills off at the mailbox in town.
Stopped to fill up my car for the first time in two weeks...I set a record in staying at home this go round. I haven't left the house since Monday in my own car. The only miles on the vehicle was the ride to John's work place. It cost a whole $14 to fill the car all the way, lol.
Shopped at Aldi only today. It's short pay period and I have determined that we will treat it as a short pay period and not pretend it isn't. My grocery budget is considerably lower for this pay period and I was careful to stick to my list. One exception was the purchase of several blocks of cream cheese, on sale for $.99 which is a very good price on cream cheese these days. If it had been any other pay period than the short one I'd have bought a case lot. None of it expires until April. What I bought will not last anywhere near that long.
I bought lunch out today (from my allowance) and brought it home. There is construction in that area and the restaurant was giving 'extra' in every purchase for the inconvenience of not having a drive-thru. We were filled and pretty much skipped supper.
Washed a full load of dishes.
Tuesday: Made biscuits this morning. I have enough for another meal.
I made sausage gravy to go over the biscuits. I only used 2 sausage patties. The gravy is a good way to extend the sausage.
Made tuna pasta salad for today's dinner. It's been warmer and likely the last time that we'll have such warm weather. I don't much care to eat this salad in the colder months and it is a thrifty meal. We had a nice portion each for dinner and enough left over to put some in John's lunch for tomorrow.
John received a call today from Dr. Pepper about the complaint he wrote Monday regarding those flat sodas from three different stores. They were very nice and said they will compensate us by sending coupons to us.
Received two jackets I bought from Zulily. The two were $50, not each but together! They are very well made and quite heavy. Both have hoods that button on, so they are versatile for all weather in winter months. I look forward to wearing them.
Prepped John's lunch for work tomorrow.
Poured dishwater over the potted plants in the back door flower bed.
Thursday: Made John's breakfast and packed his lunch for work. I thought it an odd assortment of things but my goal is to give him things he can grab and go...That's exactly what he ended up needing today. He told me he'd barely eat two or three bites and have to leave on another call. Odd assortment or not I'm glad it worked for his needs today!
Vacuumed floors this morning and cleaned the vacuum chamber and filter this afternoon. I try to do this at least once a month. We empty it after each vacuum. I've read online that no bagless vacuum runs well if the canister is more than half food.
Had plans to go to purchase some fabric today. I determined to go to Warner Robins where Hobby Lobby and Hancock Fabric are side by side. As it happened, I found nothing at Hancock and only 1 yard of fabric at HL...I also found a half price small shadow box, perfect for a cool antique padlock John found in his shed. I've wanted to put it in a shadow box since he found it.
Bought a picture hanging kit today. Now I can get my guest room walls dressed.
Bought my very late lunch from the value menu. I spent less than $5 total.
Went to Walmart. I was very careful there. Very careful. I found 2 yards of fabric to coordinate with the yardage I'd bought, but none of it was enough to make the curtains I was trying to make. I went to the linens area and got two twin sized flat sheets which were the perfect solid to go with the pattern fabric I bought. It also cut expenses on this project way down.
My only other purchase there was a bag of those frozen chicken Potstickers that I so enjoyed. It's a huge bag and will last quite a long time.
While going out today I carried off trash. I also put a load of stuff in the shed just before leaivng and took the trash bags from there as well.
Made a single cup of coffee and carried it to the back porch where I enjoyed it in relative peace until the last sip or two. The cat discovered me and that made Maddie want to join us, lol.
Friday: Broke my own rules and made a big breakfast and a big dinner to follow. No supper for me. John had a cheeseburger, the extra saved from my late lunch yesterday.
Made cookies to fill the cookie jar.
Saved the leftover gravy and mashed potatoes from our dinner. I plan to make a pot roast this weekend and will have a shepherd's pie from the leftovers. These two ingredients will go well with that dish.
Put pizza dough in the fridge for tomorrow.
Prepped all the vegetables needed for this weekend's meals
Washed a full load of dishes. I added in the burner grates from the stove to help fill it full.
John washed and hung to dry, two loads of clothes. One set of laundry was his work bedding.
Cobbled together a pup tent of sorts for my brother's dog should he choose to stay the night.
The cold breeze increased steadily yesterday and was blustering wind by nightfall. I had old bathroom rugs in the shed that I put out for each of the animals in their respective houses. Odds are Maddie will have them all in the yard come morning, but I did at least try to give them all something warm.
I put the quilt over the bed as extra cover. We don't keep our thermostat really low, just put it down to about 62 but that's cold enough for us, lol.
I had homemade Challah bread for our Shabat evening communion.
End of October...November was deemed my favorite month of all a couple of years ago. The weather was cooler, the leaves were beautifully colorful, we had days and days of vacation that month and we did a small bit of traveling. I loved every minute of it. Last year November was a little harder due to a loss in our family but it was a nice month overall. And so I look forward to November once more.
I don't know if we'll see colorful leaves, nor if we shall do any real traveling this year, but the weather is meant to be cooler (temperatures falling even as I type). One for one, right? lol
It is the time of year when I stop and look backwards and try to determine what I have learned, what I would like to see change. It's an important part of my year, this annual summing up. And at the end of November, I set it all aside and enjoy the holidays and the family gatherings and don't take it up again until January 1 when the New Year begins once more.
So here's looking forward to November. May it be glorious!