This Week In My Home: Destination Savings

The back porch we added last spring.  I asked John if he had any regrets about spending the money.  "Only that we didn't do it sooner."  

Saturday:  Gave myself a fresh pedicure this morning.  I subscribed to the Julep Maven offer on Swagbucks...not just for the swag.  Katie had given me a Julep nail polish a couple of years ago and it seemed to last longer than other polishes I had.  So, in need of fresh polish this year, I thought I'd subscribe for a short period of time and restock polishes.  My first box arrived two months ago and I used the polish for the first time two weeks ago.  I redid my pedicure this morning only because I was tired of the polish!  The previous pedicure still looked great.  I figure I averaged about $6 per bottle, which is about what you'd pay for a decent brand on sale.   These polishes are vegan and allow the nails to breathe as well.

I like popcorn.  I bought bulk corn and I do the stove top method.  It's very inexpensive, so tasty and I've tried some variations: Parmesan and Black Pepper, Peanut butter and chocolate drizzle...Trolling through my reading list I found one of the bloggers had written a post about it this past week.  It's a good read!

We went to a birthday party tonight.  I'd forgotten they were serving a meal instead of just finger foods.  We had more than enough to eat with ice cream and cake, too.

Sunday:  Put a whole chicken in the crock pot before we left home this morning for church.

I had a meal plan...God had a plan all his own.  Though I'd told John twice I had easy sides to put together for our meal he went to the grocery to buy macaroni salad anyway.  The odd thing is that he made three stops on the way home: once for a paper and drinks, once for doughnuts (which was a bust) and then for the macaroni salad.  At the third stop he ran into someone he hadn't seen in a few years.  I think it was a God thing.

I decided to get some minor housework things done after dinner.  Nothing big time but enough to sort of decrease the amount of work needed tomorrow.  I hung the new curtains in our room.  I stripped the guest bed for guests coming in next week.  As I stood there wishing I had a fresh look for that room I suddenly 'saw' it...with the blue spread we'd used over winter.  I hurried to pull that spread out of storage.  It looks so nice with the creamy curtains, the same quilt and a pillow tucked into the old sewing machine cover.  

Washed a full load of dishes...It wasn't quite full but I put the grates from the gas stove in and that filled it up properly.  I try to do this about every two-three weeks, washing the grates in the dishwasher.  It really knocks off the crusty bits and oil that doesn't all come off despite wiping down after using them.

Wore my fourth and final outfit today to church.  I wore the white pants and chambray tee to the birthday dinner last night.  Today I wore the Chevron maxi skirt and since it is usually pretty cool inside church (and raining as well today which makes AC that much colder) I wore my denim jacket with the outfit.  I felt so comfortable and well pulled together.  Now it's time to set up a few more.  It certainly did make me realize this past week that I had no need of anything new just now.

Monday:  Reheated sausage for breakfast.  It was a nice side to the French Toast.

Reheated leftover lasagna for dinner today.  I added roasted asparagus (put half up for another dish) and made a salad.

We washed clothes today and hung as many to dry as we could.  The weather prevented drying outdoors.  

We ate leftover meatloaf in sandwiches for supper.  

We snacked on fruit we have on hand: grapes, mandarins bought four weeks ago.

I put two ripe bananas in freezer for smoothies.

Instead of sodas we had Koolaid this afternoon.

Made a birthday card for my granddaughter's birthday.

I enclosed a picture of a rabbit I thought she'd like, a little cookbook that came in the mail and a set of cards and envelopes for her to use as stationery.  She wanted pretty cards like I gave her big sister.  I hope she will write to me, too.

Tuesday:  We finished the last of the cookies.  There were a greater than usual amount of crumbs left, so I bagged them and put in the freezer.  I'll use in pudding or ice cream parfaits or to top muffins.  I've done this before and they are a nice addition.

I've been saving the last of the after dinner coffee for John to have after supper.  Most evenings there is almost exactly one full cup for him to reheat in the microwave.  I turn the pot off after I pour our after dinner cups and dump the grounds so the coffee doesn't burn or turn bitter.

I had no dinner plans today.  Thankfully I had leftover chicken in the fridge and I made Club Sandwiches.

While we were out this afternoon we combined errands.  We took off trash, dropped off books for the Women's Club Book Sale this weekend, went by post office where I posted Lily's birthday packet and stocked up on priority mail packages and envelopes.  We also dropped off donation of household goods at the church drop box and shopped for a new vacuum.  We didn't purchase it but we shopped. 
We stopped for a milkshake and went by the barber so John could get a haircut.  All in all a productive afternoon.

Came home and ordered the vacuum through Swagbucks, and got free shipping.

While out shopping, I picked up a card of nickle free silver colored hoops in various sizes for $5.  These will get me by until I find nice hoops once more.  I'm thinking of going with white gold this time since the sterling ones have not held up well.  I'm thinking it's too soft a metal.

Made first goal on Swagbucks.

Wednesday:  We've had some fairly cool mornings, cool enough to warrant slippers and a light robe when I rise.  I decided while it's still cool we'd have our favorite oatmeal for breakfast.  We won't want it when it's 90F on rising each morning, lol.  I added in some raisins that have lanquished and gone sugary.

Went out to pick up the stuff I'd left lying in the yard after weeding last week.  I tossed into a spot that is fairly shady but very bare at the far reach of the yard.  I noticed some of these plants aka wildflowers had rooted and were growing in that spot.  Frankly I don't mind them there, just want them gone from the spot in the flower beds where they keep spreading and spreading.

Lined the rose bed with bricks which makes it look far nicer than it's looked with no border at all.  I had enough from the spot I'd dismantled the other day to just edge that one bed.  I've only a few more brick.  I'm trying to decide where I want to use them.  I need to start gathering the odd ones I find here and there once more.

Cleaned the front porch very well.  It still needs a load of work, mostly paint and at the moment I can't do a thing about that.  I can however, clean and therefore I did.  The orchids are behaving extremely well out there on the old ironing board.  They really do rejoice in that daily dose of morning sun and the warmer air outdoors.

Did a fast spot mopping of the floors.  They look considerably better and it took far less time and energy than mopping them hard would have done.  This is sufficient to see us through the weekend.

Sat down and planned out tentative menus for weekend meals.  My goal isn't just to save money but to save time and energy as well.  I do not like to spend all day long on a Shabat Saturday in the kitchen.

I made tuna pasta salad for our dinner today.  It required mostly vegetable prep.  I use what I had on hand: tuna, olives, onion, green onion, celery, carrot, peppers. 

Made a big pitcher of Koolaid to go with our dinner.  It was sure tasty and cold after working ourselves into a lather on the yards and house this morning.

I used the mop water to scrub down the railings on the front porch before dumping it out.

John told me last night to go ahead and order a sewing machine.  I used Swagbucks Shop and Earn.  I had priced machines yesterday at Target and I felt pretty sure I could get the machine I wanted for about the same price.  I did.

Tagged items to go into my booth.

Thursday:  Made waffles for breakfast.  I cut the recipe in half and that was just right for John and I.

Went into town to get a hair cut.  I took along the items to restock my booth.

We had leftovers for lunch.

Used the last of the chicken I cooked Sunday for tonight's sandwiches.

Our cell phone bill was high, which I expected, due to the activation of John's phone on this billing cycle.  What I couldn't quite figure was how we were going to save the money we'd been told we'd save. All of my calculations for service were pointing to a higher bill than we'd had with the other company!  I called customer service to discuss the matter and was told that the salesman had not calculated in taxes, insurance and other fees.  I immediately asked to cancel the insurance.  That left us with a bill that should be nearer what we were told we'd have.   

But it didn't end there.  Even though I said I'd expected the activation fees,  those for the second phone was reversed as well...When it was all said and done, in a five minute phone call, our bill dropped $90 for this cycle and we will be in the range we'd expected to be next payment cycle.  

Happy to find our electric bill dropped $50 this past month.

Friday:  Packed John's work lunch.  Made him breakfast.

Knowing I had a long long day ahead of me, I opted to go back to bed for an extra hour's sleep.

Did some quick chores this morning and then grabbed my shopping list and went to the grocery.  I was very careful to plan meals for the weekend that would feed our crowd without breaking my budget and made an effort to use what I had first.  My final shopping list was mostly produce.

I determined that it was less expensive to buy chicken breasts than to buy prepared foods.

I came home and put the chicken in the crock pot to cook for a casserole and sandwich filler.

I had company for dinner time today as well and I used one chicken breast and a half sirloin to make fajita filling.  

My weekend company cancelled.  I had food prepared for Saturday's main meal.  It will be a time saver for me.

I found Tennessee Pride turkey sausage patties at the discount grocery nearer home.  It was an 18pack and cost just $4.91 (plus 10% more so just about $5.40 really).  Still...I've been driving 30 miles to purchase these at another grocery and was paying $3.99 for 8 patties.  This is a huge savings for me and that it is nearer home is also a bonus.    

Living Well

Let's be really serious for a bit, okay?  In the past few weeks, courtesy of Facebook updates, I've noted several families suffering the loss of a loved one through suicide.  My own life has not been untouched, though it was years ago.  In the past 20 years I've had a brother, a friend, an uncle claim their lives.  Another family member attempted to take his life.    After years of fighting depression and suicidal thoughts I have been free for nearly 20 years...and it is sad to me that these events took place after my own healing occurred.

Although mental health month is in October, it is at this time of year, between March and June when the majority of suicides will occur.    Not in the holiday season, not in the dark winter months, but in the Spring.  I don't know why.  I just know that it is so. 

If a loved one is suffering with mental illness, please encourage them to seek help.  Please do not think a 3 day hospital stay is going to fix the problem.  Please encourage them to not only take medications prescribed but to attend counseling as well.  Please do not remind them that they are so much better off than others, have more to be grateful for.  It only pushes them further into despair.  They do not want to be unhappy.  It is painful, both physically and spiritually, to be experiencing depression.  I know.  I've walked miles upon miles in those shoes.

If you are living with someone who has depression or mental illness please understand that it is not your fault.  It is not something you can fix.  The individual must seek help and pursue it.  There may be a point where you have to step back, even walk away.  You may have to seek help yourself for what you're going through.  It's all right to admit you are helpless to help.  

I say all this with an understanding of what it's like to be on both sides. I just felt the need to raise awareness...   


vickie morgan said...

Thank you so much Terry for writing about mental health. It was a good message and something we should all watch out for. I'm so glad you are willing to help others by writing about it.

By the way you I found I can not stop my husband from going to the grocery store when he wants to buy either!

Anonymous said...

My weak depression years were twice as long ago as yours but although I came out of it on the other end I can still remember how it felt. Your honesty is welcome. This year along with the signs of spring I am also feeling the feelings of a new awakening in myself. A refreshment like. That is good. I feel the past is more in the past than ever too.
With our still full pantry we are also only getting what is needed and planning and using the older things. This makes for a low grocery budget and a happy heart. It is a lift for my spirit too to get the pantry more in line with our lives now. Lighten it in some places and broaden it in others. With just the two of us mainly now we need different things stored. It has gotten me back into old cookbooks to see where I can use up some of the things and refresh our meals too. The Suzy Homemaker in me is a happy gal !! :-)
Lately I have picked up several new bracelets and earrings. Luckily some were even half off. Clothes and looks are becoming more important than they had been. That also makes me feel like myself again. God granted a week of cool weather here this week. What a blessing to return to cool again before the summer heats up and stays hot. Such grace.
You have got me thinking of how I can save time in one hour working area to use better another place. Cooking and kitchen chores do take up so much of each day don't they. I enjoy doing it all but sometimes am drained after a long day. I get cranky knowing so many more things have to be done before I can sit down and relax. If I could plan out some of these better perhaps I could spare myself and my husband my cranky side!! :) I really feel like a fool when my cranky "I need a nap" cranky 6 year old side comes out. :-))) I can see some light in that area coming out too. This is going to be a good year I think!! I hope your new vacuum and sewing machine work out for you. Sarah

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