This Week In My Home: Frugal All Week Through

                                         Orchids filled with buds for the third year in a row.  My secrets for reblooming: I put them outdoors in a shaded area in summer, but where they get some morning sun.  I feed them with eggshells now and then and a little water from boiling eggs or steaming vegetables about once a month.  And I water them lightly just once a week.

Saturday:  We had a house full of company today, and while it was more people than we'd started out planning on having, I pulled this off within our grocery budget for the coming pay period.  I 'spent ahead' this time because we'll be busy this coming week and unable to take a day for grocery shopping.

I had enough leftover paper plates, cups, etc from our family party back in December to use for this dinner with family.

I bought only rolls, whipped topping,  fried chicken and 2L bottles of soda for the dinner.  Everything else was from pantry or freezer.

I left enough money in the pay period's budget to cover any need we might have of bread or milk.

We turned the heat up just 1 degree.  Mama was a little cool but as the room filled up with people I knew it would get warmer and it did.

By day's end the dishwasher was full.  I washed a full load.

Sunday:  We stopped on the way home from church for a newspaper.  There were enough coupons on products I'd use to offset the cost.  I send coupons to the girls to use as well, and even though it cost me a stamp I can justify it with the savings from the coupons.

I told John on our way out of the door that we had no need to stop for any sort of food.  We had plenty of leftovers from our dinner the day before.

I heated the foods in the oven rather than run the microwave.  My microwave is not high powered and takes quite a long time to heat foods.  Within 20 minutes all the food was heated in our gas oven.

John washed and hung on the line to almost dry, a load of towels.  It rained this afternoon but the clothes were close enough to being dry that they were hung here in the house to finish off.

Monday:  Made pancakes from scratch this morning. I had pancake mix on hand, but I reserve that for John to use on the occasions when he wants to make them for breakfast.  I can make up a batch of pancake batter from scratch in no time without looking at a recipe. I daresay that my homemade cost less than the boxed mix.

I shopped the pantry for: coffee, syrup, jelly, milk, olive oil

I used an expired but stable can of pears to make our salad for dinner today.

Made egg salad for sandwich filling this evening.

Washed and hung to dry: living room sheers and curtains and two of the slipcovers we use in that room. All dried beautifully in that strong gusty wind today.  I didn't even need to iron the curtains the wind flapped all of the wrinkles right out.

John did our taxes with a new program.  It was $40 less than the program we'd been using.

We will get back a refund...and we've already determined where that money will be used.

Tuesday:  John worked today.  I packed his lunch and made him breakfast.

I washed another full load of laundry today.  I stripped our bed, and my favorite chair slipcover and put in a handful of other items from the laundry basket.  I hung the line full so the slipcover went into the dryer.  I put it right on the chair the moment it was dry.  I wish slipcovers fit that nice and snug all of the time!

Was making the bed when I realized that my fitted sheet was torn.  I'd found a pillowcase was torn yesterday, so wasn't happy to have a sheet show up the same way.  These things were whole pieces of cloth just days ago but the fabric is just worn out.  I put a second sheet on the bed and realized it too was torn.  Zowie!  I rotate my sheets so they get equal wear, and even try to flip the fitted sheet so that it's on the bed with top and bottom getting equal wear.  The first sheet was probably 10 years old and the second one was somewhere around 7-8...So I'm getting good wear from them.  Trouble is that things just wear out over time no matter how careful you are.  I looked at them all to see if repair might help but the fabric shredded.  I've got two sets still but I've already repaired them once.  I'll be on the lookout for new sheets at a good price.  I've already made up my mind that this time I shall buy one color so that if one wears out it can be used with another set of sheets rather than be mismatched.  I'm thinking white or cream will be the most versatile and easily found.

I ate leftovers from a take out meal last weekend for supper.

I meant to make bread for Shabat but realized we've whole unsliced loaves of bread in the freezer thta I might use instead, so I'll save that task for next week, which should be less busy.

Sorted and organized coupons.  I only use a few these days and pass a lot of these on to Bess and Katie and Lori for products I know they use.

Made a single cup of coffee for myself...twice.  I am in the habit of using a larger mug and lately, with it so cold, am using an insulated cup instead.  Well...I measured the water with a measuring cup so that my coffee would taste perfect but you know it didn't even fill that cup half full.  So I repeated the steps and got a full thermal cup of coffee!  Now honestly that does make the cost per cup double too, so not something I'll make it my habit to do, but it was well worth that extra warmth.

Why so cold?  Because I never turned up the heat today!   I did eventually realize the cause of the chill in the house but it was late afternoon before I did.  Which is something of a lesson really, because I kept putting on another layer of clothing and drinking warm liquid and getting up to move about so I could warm up.  Had it been a day when I was being restful and quiet (as on Shabat) I would likely have thought to check the thermostat earlier in the day but work was the savings today.

John was paid Monday.  Because he was working today, we waited until today for him to pick up the check and deposit it.  Our self made rules are that we will spend no money until we've written our tithe...So no spending on Monday.  I thought I'd be able to pay bills this morning and then I'd planned to run a few shopping errands.  Nope.  John was too busy to stop to give me the figures I needed to write out tithes and bills.  No spending again today.  Tomorrow will have to be my day and that's fine.  I'd rather we keep God first and this is a small reminder to me that sometimes little sacrifices, like giving up the day I'd planned, are part of that process.

Wednesday:  I tried to sleep in this morning.  I had to think fast about breakfast.  I decided that breakfast sandwiches were the most convenient and quickest to prepare.  I had time to shower while they baked.

After harvest this morning, I went to town to run errands.  I dropped off bills, mailed items, went to the bank, took off the trash and picked up prescriptions.

I forgot my coupons at home and though I knew what was on my list for the pharmacy, I skipped making any purchases that involved coupons.  I bought only a tube of Colgate toothpaste with a CVS kiosk coupon.  A large tube of toothpaste for $.50.

Apparently we now have to sign up quarterly for pharmacy rewards...I had no idea but the pharmacy clerk instructed me how to sign up there at the register.

I stopped by the local grocery and bought two items.  Not on my shopping list this week but splurge/impulse items.  I got a bag of tater tots and a frozen pizza.  John had asked me to pick up takeout and for the price of two burgers and fries I got items to make two meals with leftovers.  We had meatloaf sandwiches for dinner with tater tots.  I made pepperoni pizza (using turkey pepperoni we had on hand) for supper.

When I went to the bank I thought ahead.  I knew I had a bit of grocery money left in my budget, I knew we needed allowances and I knew we were going out of town and would need a little extra cash to cover meals.  Thankfully this pay period was the bigger pay period and we had enough extra I could spare this cash for the trip, so we didn't have to pay for it out of our pockets.

The hotel has been mostly covered by a return I made last month that credited this month on my account and a $15 Pinecone rewards payment.  We will have to pay $20 out of pocket for our overnight stay.  That's a savings of $54 for us!

 I used shop and earn to book the room so I have those points to look forward to next month.  I've struggled so to find my rhthym with Swagbucks since the New Year that the shop and earn points are very very welcome!

Thursday:  For convenience sake we keep a toiletry bag mostly packed with trial size and extra items so that we need only grab a very few things when we are packing our bag.  It takes us less than 10 minutes to pack our clothes/toiletries/snacks these days when we're making a trip.

I slept in this morning trying to sleep off the after effects of a medication that makes me sleepy and incidentally rout out a headache that had been plaguing me for two days or more.  We didn't have time to get breakfast before we left.   Fortunately I'd packed a snack bag of clementines, John's favorite mini donuts, crackers, etc.  It held us until we were ready to make our first stop.

We always check in just a little early at the hotel.  Because our room is pre-paid and we are regulars it is not a problem to check in an hour early.   This is not always true.  If we're dealing with an unfamiliar hotel, we'll call ahead to see if we can check in earlier than planned.  We are very pleased with this hotel and grateful that we have that time to freshen and relax before going on to visit our family.

Friday:  We had breakfast at the hotel, where a continental breakfast is offered.  Coffee, too.

We stopped at a travel center with a Starbucks.  I knew I was due a birthday coffee and went in to order it while John pumped gasoline.  They refused to honor the birthday coffee, so I used a gift card we'd been given to make my purchase with.

We usually have 'second breakfast' at this travel center but today we skipped it.  Instead we waited until we were about half way home and stopped for an early lunch at our favorite Dairy Queen.  The $5 lunch special was a perfect birthday meal for us both, since it comes with a small Sunday.

John stopped at a florist shop and bought me a small bouquet of red roses.  They were placed in water piks and were wrapped in tissue paper.  I felt like a beauty queen!  I held them in my arms nearly all the way home.  Everytime John looked over at me he smiled.

We didn't make any other stops on the way home.  I had planned a meal for our return and left chili thawing in the fridge.  I made a salad, cornbread and cooked macaroni (to make chili mac).  We had that for our supper tonight.

John washed a small load of clothes.

Because we were gone just over 24 hours I didn't hire anyone to come feed the dog/cat.  I fed them before we left yesterday and fed them when we got in today.

And that was my frugal week!  Now to start a new one all over again tomorrow...

Linking to Mimi's  Five Star Frugal linky at A Tray of Bliss.

Living Well

Family.  Saturday and Thursday.  Another birthday each for John and I.  It's been a great week!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to the two of you!! :) Sounds like you had a happy day of it with the family. Always the best ties! Soon there will be another tiny one to share the love with!!
Our sheets have been going too. The tops are good and we invested in just getting bottom fitted sheets. With white sheets a the top sheet, getting the the bottom ones is an easy find! We found good sales just recently. I am so glad you can still buy a single sheet and not all of them are packaged in sets. :)
I always shied away from growing orchids. I thought them to fussy. I went to a talk about growing them and got over my scare. Thank you for your growing hints!
It looks like you are getting a good bit of your living room cleaning done already! Good for you! I am working on a bedroom now.
Seems like only last month we did our taxes and here they are to do again! Time races on. I guess we should be grateful for having enough money to have to do them shouldn't we? :)
I got a roast,a lunch meal and freezer jelly out of the freezer. Pancake syrup, can of beets, can of chili peppers and black pepper corns out of the pantry. That was just today! It is so good to shop at home.
It sounds like you are able to make a real dint in your budget doing your many surveys and such on line! Wow! It is sure adding up! Sarah

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday!! Sounds like a great week! Love the pictures of the grandbabies. So glad you were able to visit family.

Janell in Georgia said...

I have lived with only one set of sheets for years. When it became threadbare and too worn to repair, I purchased another set. This past after Thanksgiving sale, I broke down and purchased a second set.
So glad yall had a good trip and visit.

Vickie @Vickie's Kitchen and Garden said...

Sounds like you had such a nice time you had on your trip. what a deal on the motel room. Love your pictures. So nice of John to get you roses.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday from me too. Sounds like it was a lovely time for you both. Roses! How lovely.

It's been so nice here, upper 60s and 70s, that I've hung clothes out two days in a row. One day the three lines were full of clothes blowing in the breeze. Loved it. Like you said, hanging clothes in the wind sure does take those wrinkles out. It also makes the clothes softer.

Last month's heating bill was a little higher than I expected. With the nice weather, we've turned the heat off these past two days. It was warmer outside than inside so I threw open windows today. Now that is amazing here in February!

I like DQ's $5 menu too. What a good deal it is! Pam

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday to the both of you! I, too; just recently had to go out and replace our sheets. Found a great bargain at a local store and purchased two sets. I won't have to buy sheets for a while now!