In My Home This Week: Frugal All Week Long
Our drying rack which is such a boon to drying clothes indoors. This one is metal and quite sturdy.
(Ignore the date on the photo, I never do set the dates on my camera as it must be reset each time you turn it on or change batteries.)
Saturday: I am a little ticky about things. I want throws that match my current color scheme in the living room but don't have any. So...I do without as I continue to look and John uses a red one but it bothers me because red isn't in the color scheme. I discovered this morning that one of the quilts has a cream backing on it...Which is lovely with the living room when turned to that side. It works for me for right now.
John made breakfast this morning. He used some cooked diced potatoes to make hash browns.
At dinner today, I made Rice Pilaf with some leftover rice.
Although it was windy and cold outdoors I opted to turn the heater up within one degree of the usual daytime temperatures. I counted on the sunny day to offset the chill. I noticed that the moment I started to feel cool air drafts the heater came on and was satisfied I'd struck the right balance.
Mama wanted me to order something for her yesterday. I was able to use Swagbucks Shop and Earn to order the items. I will get those points later next month.
Went through the vintage magazines I no longer want. I divided them into two groups: one is nice enough to sell...the others were tattered and missing pages and discolored. I culled the vintage ads I wanted from those and then decided that they too could be sold. Not for the same price as the nicer ones, but they can go for $.25 a piece. My first batch of vintage magazines was a big stack of Glamour and Mademoiselle from the 1940's for which I paid a whopping $.10 an issue. Who knows but what I'll get someone else hooked on vintage magazines?
Sunday: I prepped the vegetables last night then browned the chuck roast this morning and put all in the crock pot. This was Sunday dinner after we got home from church.
When we came in, I made a broccoli/apple/raisin salad to go with the meal and we ate leftover Challah bread. The past two weeks the Challah has spoiled, as John wouldn't touch it, but if I put it on the table he eats it. I think it's just because he thinks I'm saving it or he doesn't think to look for it on the counter that he fails to eat it during the week, because it is quite good bread.
We stopped at the grocery on our way home. If we do this I stay in the car and give John a list of what is needed. Today that was garlic and citrus fruits. He always buys just what I ask for and seldom gets anything more than a soda extra. He surprised me today with a box of Barnum's Animal Crackers. I love animal crackers but seldom buy them for myself. I though it was a sweet and thoughtful thing to do and I love that he bought the little box which is about the cost of a candy bar.
John got the Sunday paper while he was in the grocery. It had just loads of coupons today, some of which were in sales papers or ads in the paper itself. I always look through the whole Sunday paper for these valuable additions to my coupon file.
Prepped food for John's lunch tomorrow.
Made a toasted cheese sandwich for us to share and then added in a Mandarin orange each.
Monday: Washed a full load of dishes this morning after John left for work.
Made him breakfast, packed his lunch.
I had a shirt I disliked to wear because the neckline was too big and fell off my shoulders. I took up two dart in the back of the neck and this made the top fit much better. I hope to get a lot of wear out of it now.
Took a bottle of water with me when I left for Mama's.
My turn to pay for dinner today. It came from my allowance.
We did not spend any money anywhere today. In fact, I made a return and got the cash for it and I cashed in Pinecone reward points today and have that money going to Paypal, so I actually brought in more money than I spent on dinner today.
I couldn't stand it any longer. It might have been late and I might have been tired but I just had to mop that kitchen floor. I finally realized that what I found so off putting about it was that it seemed such a big job for end of the day. Usually I do all the tile floors. I gave myself permission to do the kitchen and back entry only today.
I used my Swiffer duster to get in those hard to reach places, beside the stove, fridge and under those and the dishwasher, too. I wet the duster and run it around/under the appliances to clean. I usually save my older dusters for this task.
Organized the cleaning/trash cupboard and made it all look neat and nice...and while I had mop water in the bucket, I mopped that floor and the walls in that cupboard, too. One more neat spot and two more tasks off the deep cleaning list. When this week ends, so does this kitchen/back entry/laundry cleaning task. I will move on to another area.
Tuesday: So glad I got things done yesterday evening because today seems to have just fluttered away from me without showing a whole lot for it, sigh. There are those days for sure.
Decided, with it cold and windy yet again, that today was the day to cook up all the carcasses and bones and backs and such from poultry. I just drained the bones and am letting them cool. Then I'll do the tedious task of picking them over. Later note: the final tally was about 2 1/2 cups. Not bad for something that might have gone in the trash. And 2 quarts and 1 3 cup jar of broth.
I'll put the broth in jars in the freezer. I've been making a point in the past three months to use my homemade broth and it certainly is handy to have on hand. And it tastes good, like home cooking.
I opened a mystery jar of sauce this afternoon after thawing. I can't imagine how long it's been there since it had no label. I think just possibly it went into the freezer when I ran out of labels about a month ago. It's spaghetti sauce, so I need to figure out how to put that in the menu this week now it's thawed. And by the way, my whole menu this week is being rewritten because things have simply gone awry! The roast beef leftovers I'd meant to have turned out to be inedible fatty pieces, and then nothing thawed in time for today's meal, which switched things up and that's two days of a five day menu plan down the drain. Now I've got to plan in how to use this sauce I've thawed which is another thing off. Oh well...The plans of mice and homemakers!
Used the last ripe banana to make banana pudding. John would never eat a freckled, fully ripe banana and I've made enough banana nut bread of late to be about ready to choke at sight of it. I realized that a small banana pudding was a good way to use it up and oddly enough, a perfectly ripe banana is just what you need for good banana pudding. We ate half today and will the rest of the pudding tomorrow.
Wednesday: John told me last night he'd found a station on his computer that played 10 hours of music with Delta waves...I asked what Delta waves are and he told me that they are sleep waves. Knowing how much trouble I've had sleeping well of late (even my brief nap of 10 minutes duration yesterday involved waking three times!) I was all too willing to try his remedy. Despite having the added light in the bedroom I can say honestly that I slept very well. I woke twice and went right back to sleep both times. I haven't felt so well rested in a long time. Is it Delta waves or exhaustion? I dunno. I slept. That's what counts most...and yes we'll be using that computer again tonight.
I made enough meatloaf to have leftovers for sandwiches.
Made chicken salad from the chicken I picked off the bones yesterday after making broth.
John bought six heads of garlic (in a package) at the grocery this past week. I've been buying the garlic that is minced and preserved in citric acid for ages on but fresh garlic is such a lovely fragrant aroma. I saw that a few of the cloves were starting to sprout, so I peeled them all and thought I'd preserve with lemon juice. Turns out this is not a good thing. There's not enough acid to fully penetrate the cloves. The other option was packing them in olive oil to cover and freezing. I'm glad I stocked up on olive oil last week. I divided the garlic between three pimento jars and poured oil over. One went into the fridge for use over the next couple of weeks and the other two are in the freezer. This should keep them good for use from all I read. Some did say that the texture would be compromised but others said no change at all. We'll see. If it doesn't work well at least I tried and I'd rather try than simply let them go to waste.
I used the last of the cooked asparagus from the weekend in a casserole...and added in a dollop or two of a cheez whiz type product we bought accidentally (we thought it was a salsa queso dip). Ugh. We ate the asparagus casserole but that cheese product is trash as far as I'm concerned. Sorry I wasted my money on it. If John would just eat it on tortilla chips in the next couple of days it will at least be used.
John has been promising Maddie a session at the groomer come Spring due to a lot of matted areas on her backside that she's been very reluctant to let me get to. Well praises be! She lay down today and let me clip through them and didn't start panting with anxiety until I was nearly done. I think there was two dogs worth of hair there. I am so proud to get it clipped. Maybe just maybe I can avoid that groomer. Maddie doesn't like to go on a leash, doesn't like to ride and doesn't care for strangers. She is a girl who thinks home is best and you can keep the rest.
We washed sheets and clothes this morning and hung everything outdoors. I even took the drying rack outdoors on the porch and set it in the sun and breezes to dry the dishcloths and napkins.
Thursday: I just didn't feel well today. No reason I could pinpoint, just blech over all. Luxury is that I could stay home and do nothing (or as near as we women get to nothing). I drank plenty of fluids today. No symptoms of any sort but rest and fluids are always helpful I think when you feel a little off.
I had an easy to prepare meal on hand. I used that as our main meal today and enjoyed the extra rest time.
John insisted I get a new computer when he heard that in the fall of this year users of Windows 7 and 8 could download Windows 10 as a free upgrade. My old computer used Vista and I think he was worried it was going to become obsolete. I don't plan to stop using the old computer. I have had some issues with it locking up on me as I tried to multi-task...I figure it can be my dedicated Swagbucks computer. It also has a DVD player/recorder which would make it handy to use as an entertainment system.
Friday: Packed John's work lunch. Made him breakfast.
Made out a shopping list. I realized that we won't have a day free next week to buy groceries with the added activities planned, so I made out short lists for three stores. In the end, I bought less than planned at all three. I will have a small amount of grocery money left, which I'll set aside for next pay period when we have less to spend.
At CVS I used an ECB reward that was about to expire. I looked for several weeks for a good bargain and ECB offer to turn that reward over but nothing worked out for me. I bought four bags of candy (chocolate) on sale, used coupons, and used the ECB reward. I paid $2.58 out of pocket.
I hemmed two pairs of jeans this afternoon that I'd put off working on. Things went so smoothly that I did a quick project and re-purposed four linen place mats and two very soft, very fluffy pillows into two toss pillows for the living room chairs. They turned out so pretty! I can't believe I was able to pack those pillows in!
Prepped foods for tomorrow's dinner.
It's been a long long day. A glorious day. The photo above is as close to an image of the day I have. That quilt was on the living room floor this afternoon with three babies on it at some point. My living room overflowed with family. We laughed, we talked, we chatted around and over and to one another. We ate good food and enjoyed the family feeling between us all.
Katie and Matt were here and Katie's baby tummy is bulging. The littlest boy grandchild fought sleep and condoned to take only cat naps because really he loves people and hates to miss a thing that might go on without him. My first great niece grinned at everyone and growled too, given the opportunity. That is her new thing, growling. "Rawr" she'll say and bear her teeth at you and then give you the sweetest smile before she walks away. Her baby sister enjoys being held and she was held endlessly today. She seemed almost relieved when her mama finally took her up and laid her on the quilt on the floor. Baby sister threw herself at son in law Matt but he just smiled at her charms and left her to her great uncle who put her on his chest and off she went to sleep. He's a baby charmer like that, John is. He's been happily and easily putting babies to sleep for years. He even got a few moments of much needed shut eye himself while she slept away. Mama soaked up babies, Katie chucked them under the chin and tickled them,
To be honest, today seemed at times to be a bit of a circus. It was meant to be a quiet and simple family visit but I wouldn't exchange one moment of the day for anything. It was pretty awesome, circus though it might have seemed. Babies and good old fashioned quilts on the floor and open arms waiting to hold them all,