This Week In My Home: Frugal Saves the Day!
Saturday: This is almost always a slow day in our home. I look forward to it all week long. Today's dinner main dish was cooked yesterday. I prepared Turkey and dressing in the crock pot yesterday and reheated today.
I used a box of stuffing mix that was on my pantry shelf. I added some leftover cornbread to the mixture along with some homemade chicken broth.
I missed up a squash casserole using cooked squash from the freezer and baked in the oven. Rather than use the stove top, I put broccoli in a covered dish to steam alongside the squash dish.
I cooked all of the broccoli though it was too much to eat at one sitting. I was worried that it might spoil if I didn't go ahead and use. I put the cooked broccoli (and stems) into the freezer.
The day warmed up more than it had in a week's time. I opened windows and allowed the house to air.
When I served dinner today, I packed up the extras right away leaving just enough for our meal. This worked out very well and I will try to do this in the future, rather than waiting until after the meal. It not only discourages overeating, I was able to determine right away what meals I might make from leftovers.
Sunday: Served up the last two doughnuts this morning. I wanted to make sure they didn't go to waste so I added them to the breakfast menu.
I portioned out leftovers for our dinner today from yesterday's meal.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung most of the clothes to dry.
I had a major nosebleed this evening. I've had a couple of mild ones with the cold but this one was not minor. I remembered my son who has had a problem with nosebleeds telling me that he used tampons to pack his nose and that his doctor recommended a certain nose spray. I didn't have the nose spray on hand but will buy some tomorrow. I did have tampons in my stock and was able to pack my nose. An RN friend recommended ice on my face and forehead to help constrict the blood vessels. This worked very well and did slow the bleeding.
Monday: Made John's work lunch and breakfast.
I went back to bed this morning. I didn't sleep as well as I should have last night so I decided a little extra sleep couldn't hurt. It is the most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves, costs nothing but a wee bit of extra time, and does much good for the body.
Put together two outfits this morning, one based on Pinterest board and the other I put together on my own. I wore one of those outfits this morning and left the other hanging in the closet ready to wear for next outing.
Washed a full load of dishes this afternoon.
Out with Mama today. She wanted to go to Dress Barn which she likes very well for clothing. I've found if I look carefully I often can find a couple of pieces I really like. I felt especially blessed today to find two of the pieces on my personal shopping list which will help complete two more 'looks' for my wardrobe using pieces I have here at home. Even more blessed as Mama insisted on treating me to those pieces as a late birthday gift.
I brought home a portion of my chicken from dinner for supper tonight.
Stopped at local grocer to buy diced canned tomatoes for $.50/can. I only got 1 dozen as the expire date is just one year out and I'm not sure how much I have on hand already. Still... canned tomatoes are always useful year round so I was sure a dozen wouldn't hurt the pantry or the budget.
There was a rack of plants outside the local grocer. I noted they had smaller rosemary plants so I bought two today. I told John in January that I was buying rosemary for my birthday gift to me this year but hadn't seen any since. I made good on my promise today. I've had rosemary planted in with a rose for the past five years and they both flourished. I lost the rosemary with the addition of the new back steps, though we did try to save it. I guess established rosemary should really wear a 'Do not Disturb sign. I thought I'd add new rosemary plants into my small rose bed this year.
Afrin nose spray is supposed to stop a nosebleed immediately. I looked at the grocery but saw only generics and wasn't sure what the active ingredient in Afrin was. Went to the drugstore and asked the pharmacist and bought a bottle of the generic there.
I found a stick of the analgesic, Icy Hot, like a solid deodorant. I have not had the best luck with the squeeze tubes or the sponge type applicators (the last the top came off of completely). I thought perhaps this solid form might just last a bit longer and be less messy to use.
Tuesday: Prepared breakfast this morning in a non-frugal way. Typically I make sausage gravy for the two of us with just two sausage patties. It's fine really but today I guess I was feeling reckless. I used four patties. I didn't notice that the meat was anymore prevalent or tasty. I'll be reversing this in future and go right back to using just two patties when it's just the two of us. I also treated John to a can of his favorite biscuits. Yes, I do make perfectly good biscuits but he and Katie both LOVE canned biscuits. I try to indulge him about once a month.
Set aside leftover biscuits to use at another meal.
I took a whole sirloin steak out of the freezer to thaw last night after John texted me his special request meal. I hadn't made a steak dinner in quite some time. I didn't need a full steak for the two of us. I used half cut into two nice portions and cooked those as steak and cut the rest into pieces to use as fajita steak filling. I added in seasonings, peppers and onions and put the whole lot of it into the freezer as a future convenience meal.
I also cooked a whole chuck roast today. I'd had it out for a couple of days but hadn't prepared it. I sprinkled half a packet of dry ranch and half a packet of dry onion soup mix over it and then poured a jar of pepperocini slices over it and let it cook in the crock pot all day long. Boy did that smell good. Despite our splurge breakfast and the steak dinner, we had roast beef sandwiches for supper that night. Yum! I put two containers (1 2person and 1 4 person sized) into the freezer for future meals.
Wednesday: Washed two full loads of clothes today. I wanted to do both sheets and towels. I also wanted to wash a few clothes. I sorted loads according to fluffiness. A sweater went in with socks and towels. Sheets went with work and dress shirts, which would look fuzzy if washed with towels.
I couldn't hang a thing but shirts to dry today, since we always hang them indoors. It was pouring rain, which has been normal for every day since Saturday. I don't mind using the dryer when this is the case. Indeed, I am grateful for it!
John and I went out to run an errand. I had to have a new mouse for my computer, a new blow dryer, too. We picked up both at the same store. I got printer ink as well, and earned a $7 discount by signing up for the store's customer card.
I bought dinner for us on the way home, from the local diner, using my allowance.
Had to write several checks today, all due in the next few days. Money for all of the items were in the account already, set aside for those bills. I also had to write a check for my first payment for health insurance. I'd set aside half. I had an extra amount of money that I was able to use to pay the other half.
The health insurance bill arrived without any ID or group ID numbers...How was I supposed to designate that the check was for my policy? I had to call the company and go through the personal info hoops to acquire the policy numbers, sigh. At least my check will credit to my account.
While we were out, we stopped by a local furniture store to price chairs. I have two recliners in the living room and both are broken down in a way that makes them uncomfortable for seating. I had a price point in mind but realized quickly today that if we're going to buy quality we're going to have to spend more. I also discovered that the two stores most local to us are 'low to intermediate' stores, not quality furnishings. I had that directly from the store manager's mouth. I guess we'll be looking elsewhere after we redetermine what we're willing to spend. I only meant to replace one at a time. Good thing!
Wore the outfit I'd pieced out using Pinterest as an inspiration. It looked good and felt comfortable which made it a real winner. I realized that I had purchased nothing new for my wardrobe this winter (I haven't worn the two pieces Mama gifted me the other day) and yet every outfit I'd worn was different than any I wore last winter or even this fall. I love that I was able to get better mileage from my pieces simply by looking at new ways to pair and accessorize.
Thursday: Made breakfast this morning using leftover biscuits from Monday's breakfast.
We had to go into town today to post those bills. It was too late to catch the mail lady yesterday. We carried lists for the dollar store.
I had been trying to purchase a gift card online but internet would not cooperate. I purchased one in store today. No savings, but a lot less aggravation. I then messaged the information to the recipient of the card so they could take advantage of it right away by registering it online.
I made chicken curry today. I did not have yogurt but I had sour cream nearing expiration. I found it worked every bit as well. Though my recipe says to discard the marinade I cook it right along with the chicken which makes it perfectly safe to use. It thickens as it cooks and is delicious over rice.
Washed a full load of dishes. I had a few spaces open in the basket so I added in the coffee pot and the sink strainers.
I washed a juice jug (PET) in the dishwasher. I want to fill with water for storage. I've found the rectangle shaped jugs will fit more neatly into my space and give me more storage room than the found bottles. I plan to use this one to replace one of those round ones.
Small savings and reduced calories. We've found we prefer toasted cheese sandwiches rather than grilled cheese. No butter and yet we get the toasted bread and melted cheese we enjoy without the burnt butter taste that often resulted in even the most slow grilled version.
Friday: Saw John off to work. I made him breakfast and packed his lunch.
I was dressed so warmly in my pajamas, socks, sweater and robe that I didn't turn up the heat at all. I never felt cold in the least and it wasn't until after lunch that I realized the heater hadn't been turned up. By then the indoor temperature was higher than the daytime setting.
Spray painted the shelf the chickens sit on above my stove. I have been just longing to change things up in the kitchen. Yesterday I bought a lampshade and some dish towels towards that goal. Today I used the very last of the spray paint to paint that shelf.
Set the range hood vent filter to soak in hot water and dishwasher detergent which lifted the greasy film right out of it. I swear that thing looked brand new!
Washed a medium load of clothes today and hung to dry. I put John's heaviest shirt on the curtain rod right in the sunniest window. He calls that a double solar dryer because the glass amplifies the heat coming in from the sun. It does do a good job of drying things.
When John left this morning, he asked what were my plans. I told him honestly I didn't know. I'd been tossing around ideas all yesterday and yet this morning nothing appealed to me half as much as just being at home tending to things here. So that's what I've done. I save far more money being at home and truly didn't need to go out to spend any though I had a list of good buys I could have gone out to purchase. I've enjoyed myself far more having fun right here at home. I finished off cleaning the living room, did a small bit of fresh decorating in the kitchen, have worked out my goals for March, and cleaned.
I made Challah for three Shabats including tonight's.
Put soup beans on to soak. We might have eaten meat heavy this week but we can cut back on that today and tomorrow. I'll have meat dinner in the crock pot for us on Sunday to have after church.
I entered Coke points into MyCokeRewards.
Saw a Facebook post from MyCoke to check my profile for unclaimed rewards. I had 2 e gift certificates to Restaurants.com. I checked to see if I could use them within 35 miles of my home and discovered that several small town places accept the rewards. I claimed a $10 reward and a $25 reward. Both were given to me simply for entering points and doing activities on the site.
Because of Shop and Earn earnings from last month I have almost made another Pay Pal gift card, just two short weeks later. I am very grateful for this and happy that things we needed could be bought online and 'cashed in' for points, too.
Downloaded the FREE Kroger download for the week.
Made a cake from scratch for tomorrow's dinner. I made a single layer cake. I now know what 'about the size of a large egg' means. It's 1/3 cup. I noted that today as I put the shortening in the bowl for the cake.
Took off trash and picked up branches along one side of the yard. I stopped and got the mail, too while I was outside.
Let's all breathe a collective deep sigh. February is about to exit and we'll be in March before this weekend is over.
It's a blur for me, truly. I try to look back over my shoulder and see what February was and I can't see much at all. It isn't that it went by so terribly fast. I am pretty sure I lived through every single day of it.
Not a whole lot got accomplished this month but that's okay. I did enough. I've almost finished a book. I managed to get the living room started on a good deep clean and finished 85% of that job. I spent time with family and soaking up sun on those few days when the sun shone. I watched a fox from the kitchen window one morning and I've smiled at the daffodils, rain or shine. And that's about the extent of it.
Lovely February, farewell. I'm glad that you were here and glad that you come only once a year!