This Week In My Home: Gung Ho to SAVE!
Saturday: We were up early this morning. I don't know just why I couldn't sleep but I couldn't. We decided to take advantage of our restlessness and go off to an estate sale. I was impractical and bought an old Windex bottle...and practical: I also purchased HIS and HERS embroidered pillow cases for use in the guest room as well as another lovely old scrap quilt. I'm getting quite a collection of these old quilts.
John and I had coffee and bagels at home.
Rinsed dishes and let them sit in dishpan until evening. I really struggle with dry cuticles and skin and this saves some wear and tear on my hands and nails.
Made a big dinner today. I baked potatoes to go along with it though not on my original plan. The potatoes are getting lots of eyes on them. I'm anxious to use before they spoil.
Mixed up a half packet of Koolaid as an afternoon drink.
Avoided lingering outdoors so I could also avoid an allergy tablet.
Went through a stack of magazines and gathered articles, recipes, coupons, images for cardmaking, inspiration and ideas.
It was very cool this morning. We didn't turn on heat. Instead I put on a sweater.
I wore an extra layer under my tee-shirt this morning for added warmth.
Turned off coffee pot after serving our after dinner coffee. I usually reheat this last cup for John each evening if he happens to want coffee.
While planning next week's menu, planned a kitchen day to add extra items to the freezer to help fill the empty spots and provide myself with a few convenience meals.
Sunday: Washed, and hung to dry, two loads of clothes. One was the newest old quilt and the other was a load of sheets and towels. All went on the line. I hung two shirts on hangers and put them in the sunny east kitchen window where they very nearly dried while the sun was coming in that window so strong.
I decided to empty out the desk/bench I was using at the back entry (without the table top which folded upward). That meant shifting some things about. I put the weed killer and ant poison in the yard box out on the back porch. I sorted out the other things and moved them to new homes.
I dusted under and around the washer and dryer. Removed the lint screen and ran the Swiffer duster down in that hold. Wow oh wow. I took out some dust RABBITS!
Gave myself a pedicure.
Deadheaded the blooming plants in the yard. This will allow them to produce more blooms rather than start to set seed.
Fed the pets and put away their pans when they were done.
Cooked a full package of sausage links. I set aside my portion for breakfast and put the rest in the fridge. I plan to make a new recipe for breakfast one morning and these will be chopped to go in. I figure it takes just as much energy to cook 2 sausage links as it does 10.
Same principle when I boiled hot dogs. I boiled a whole pack. I thawed the buns enough to separate and then put the rest of the hot dogs in the buns and wrapped in waxed paper. (You could skip this and use a paper towel when you're ready to microwave.) I put them back in the bun bag and refroze them. It's a convenience meal for suppers or quick lunches when needed.
Made myself a lemon Coke this afternoon. I chose a nice lemon from the basket and discovered it had a spot about to go bad. Fortunately I caught it just before time. I sliced two thick slices and put in the bottom of my glass, piled in ice and added a can of Coke. This is so good and refreshing when one is tired and too warm. I also do this with lime and it's just as good with Sprite or 7Up.
Made more than minimum balance on Swagbucks today.
Completed a Pine Cone Survey.
Washed a full load of dishes this evening.
Turned the AC up one degree.
Turned the osciallating fan up later when I found myself feeling a little warm for comfort. Drank some ice cold water, too. Cheaper to cool down that way than lowering the thermostat on the AC.
Went through two magazines this morning and pulled coupons, items of interest and inspiration. Put them in my notebook (or clipped and filed coupons).
Monday: Used most of the Challah we purchased last week for Shabat to make French toast this morning for breakfast.
Took out foods to thaw for meals this week. I find it's best to go ahead on Monday (or Sunday some weeks) and put frozen meats in the fridge to thaw slowly. We'll have a lower meat meal today, tomorrow we'll have a meat meal and then we'll have a no meat and a low mea meal athe end of the week. John is working on Wednesday, so I won't be cooking that day.
I plan to spend my morning/afternoon in the kitchen making foods to freeze for convenience meals.
I went out to the shed earlier this morning got a whole 3x8 foot section more or less cleaned and organized. John put together one of the shelving units for me and that allowed me to clear out a big box of stuff that was just piled up. I now have two shelves more or less filled, a box started to donate and all my gardening supplies in one area. I worked a good hour until it began to warm up too much to work.
Brought in some silk vines I've had for years. They've been in arrangements, on wreaths and were loose at present. While I was feeding the pets, I clipped them a bit shorter (still long enough to trail) and poked them into a green styro floral ball that I set in the white planter on the mantle. I'd moved the ivy outdoors earlier this week and needed some greenery on that shelf once more. I didn't have enough to fill the ball all over but you can't see the bare side and it looks quite nice.
More than made Swag Goal today.
Brought out a wreath to put on the back screen. It's one I picked up for $4 at Goodwill a couple years ago and is quite pretty with roses and spring blooms and greenery. It's very seasonal for now.
I made roast beef hash for dinner today. This involved using the leftover potatoes and carrots and roast from my Bbq roast beef last week and the potatoes au gratin from the Kielbasa casserole. It was very good! I hadn't tried that before but I'll happily do it again.
After dinner I settled at the sewing machine and successfully altered the legs of my white jeans. They were very wide and full and boot cut on top of that. I am well pleased with the way they turned out and think I'll get far more wear from them since I no longer feel so self-conscious about them. Essentially I just made them into straight legged jeans which is what I prefer.
John went into town to get mower blades. I asked him to buy me another of the food safe 5 gallon buckets. I'm going to get a few more of these over the next few weeks.
While we were out, we combined our efforts. We picked up mail from our box, took off trash, got gas for the mower and filled the car...and went to the hardware store.
I emptied the two partial bags of potting soil into the big blue pottery pot yesterday but it wasn't quite enough to fill the pot to the level needed. I found two pots with soil in them in the shd (no clue why I put them there like that). I emptied them into the blue pottery one and it was just enough to fill that vessel. I mixed it up good so the premium soil and the used soil were well distributed. I'll be planting this with coleus seeds I harvested last year from a piece that I'd picked up from the pavement at the garden center. I brought it home, rooted it and it bloomed. I gathered seeds from the spent blooms. A little snippit that just gave and gave.
Tuesday: I am tired! I was back out in the shed early this morning. John put together another shelving unit. I gathered a second box of donation items and then took some things out to set aside for the grandchildren to play with. Little covered mixing bowls, a tiny whisk will make a nice play set don't you think?
As I dug about in a big cardboard and metal barrell I've had for years upon years upon years, I found a very nice black purse. I like this one so much better than the one in my closet as this one has a zipper across the top, which is helpful in keeping things in when you've a tendency to turn your purse upside down often. I also came across a silver cuff bracelet that I might find useful in accessorizing.
I scooped up a big bag of trash (my second!). I guess cleaning a shed is just like cleaning any other area of your household. It's a place to donate, keep and toss.
Happily found a piece of old shelving that will fit atop some L brackets and make another shelf on the shed wall.
As I was digging about, I found a plaque I'd made a couple of years ago and thought it would be cute on the front door for summer rather than put out a wreath.
After I fed the pets I decided today was to be my kitchen day. I'd planned to make mac and cheese and challah and pie crusts. Well I didn't. I made the mac and cheese (3 went into the freezer). I determined I was going to prep a few meals ahead and so I got busy making our dinner (chicken enchiladas got moved onto the menu since it is Cinco de Mayo) and while the red beans were seasoned and cooked, they went into the freeze.
I also planned to make Beef Broccoli. I found I had more steak and more broccoli than I'd realized. So I made up the Beef Broccoli and made up the base ingredients for Beef Stroganoff as well. I still have the stems of broccoli (slaw I think is where that will end up) and enough of the crown to make a side dish. And then I made up the base of Corn Chowder (chicken broth, vegetables) to which I will later add the thickening and milk needed. 8 meals prepped and ready to eat or frozen today.
Yes, it was quite a bit of work. I confess I was more than a bit weary by the time John came in from mowing the lawn. I am proud however of using up some of the potatoes which are quickly going to eyes, some mini bell peppers that were just before nearing the end of their tender lives, two cooked ears of corn on the cob, some of the celery and broccoli from the fridge, as well. I stretched about half a chicken breast into three enchiladas for dinner and made two meals from the sirloin I'd initially intended to use for just one meal.
I found I had only big deep foil casserole pans and none of the smaller entree pans. I used foil to form two pans in one of the big deep foil pans and used that to freeze two portions of macaroni and cheese. I put the third portion into two individual pot pie sized pans I had. While those are individual portions I believe the two pans I made up will serve four.
Bless John, he offered to buy his dinners tomorrow but I know how erratic his mealtimes can be. He's likely to get nothing to eat at all if he must make a special stop for food, so I packed his usual sandwiches and quick grab snacks. If he wants to stop and get something and actually has the time, he can do that without worrying anything in his bag will spoil. It's all stable stuff except for the yogurt which will stay cold until noon.
Dug about in my houseclothes drawer and found a pair of jeans I could cut to shorts length. I think I have one other pair in the sewing room I'd meant to do the same to. That will give me three pairs of shorts for summer and three pairs of long pants for winter to wear around the house which is more than enough.
When I found the house stuffy earlier this morning, I turned up the ceiling fan and didn't lower the air conditioner.
While I was resting this afternoon, I worked hard at Swagbucks. I finally got a survey. I made both goals today!
Wednesday: The toaster would not toast this morning unless I held the lever down with my finger. I did that while frying and flipping eggs with the other hand. Personally, I'm all abou toast in the oven but it's toaster toast for John on these work mornings.
Packed John's lunch.
Did a Pinecones Rewards Survey this morning.
I looked at toasters today at Tuesday Morning. I'll find another toaster and I might pay as much as those cost, but it won't be bright purple or pink! ugh!
Our old suitcase zipper is busted and I can't repair it. It's tearing away from the suitcase. The last two trips I've been concerned we were going to end up strowing clothing from the room to the elevator or from car to room. These bags have been put to lots of use over the years and seen many a hotel/condo/cabin in their time. I found a nice bag at Tuesday Morning at a fair price, I think. This was one purchase I'd planned to make this year and just hadn't done thus far. I was pleased when I got it home to discover it's a little bit bigger than our old bag. I think we'll find this one works very well for us.
Made Swag goal.
Went over bill box this morning to be sure of due dates, whether or not monies were already in account etc. I was reminded I had electric and phone bill in my purse, simply by doing that task. They are due end of this week.
Dropped off Electric and Phone bills when I went to town.
My turn to buy dinner out with Mama. I paid from my allowance.
Picked up a new bracelet for my wardrobe. I paid for that from my allowance as well, just $8.
Mama gave me a new scarf as a gift to me.
Called health insurance again to see if information requested had been received. I have another copy of info needed ready to go into tomorrow's mail.
Went into Dollar store to pick up some cards I needed and discovered a folding metal tray top table for $10. I've been looking for a metal table to sit between the chairs on the front porch for three years but $20 always seemed a bit too much in my opinion. We'd made do with a plant stand but it wasn't ideal, being too short and not solid. This table does have holes in the shape of a six point star but that will help it drain when damp and still allow a solid enough surface to safely sit down a cup of coffee or iced water without it tipping.
Made a single cup of coffee for myself this evening.
I couldn't think of a thing I wanted for supper. I had a pack of crackers and a cup of yogurt with my coffee.
Emptied a box of cereal into a jar. That will keep ants at bay.
Checked the AC filter to see if it needed to be changed. I think we're okay until June.
Started a list of things to order from Walmart in the next week or so.
When I worked on my pantry earlier this week I noted what I didn't have...and what I have plenty of. I'll be making my grocery list with the outages and shortages in mind.
Thursday: John in late this morning. I went ahead with Bible study and housework. We had breakfast sandwiches when he came in around 9am.
I took a 'lot' (usually between 5 and 10 new pieces) to the booth. Picked up my check...YEP! I made a profit this month. Go me!
Combined errands. I slipped up a little but it affected the oucome only a very little bit. I took off trash, stopped at the local bank to take out money to cover credit card expenses last month, went by booth, picked up John's prescription, dropped off mail at post office and picked up lunch. I forgot deposit slip so could't deposit funds. I'll do that tomorrow when we're out.
Spent an hour working on Swagbucks. I seldom qualify for surveys but I was able to complete two today. Some days I never make first goal, others I might start working my way to second, but today, I surpassed second goal twice in the hour I worked.
John brought me his work pants again this morning. More little holes. He tangled with a broken piece of metal yesterday. I patched and mended. Good to go one more time.
We chipped in allowance and bought lunch out today. I was pushed behind in my morning errands by his lateness. It was nice of him to offer to buy lunch so I thought I'd chip in too and we'd have a nice little splurge meal. I chose a special for the two of us at KFC (3pc dark meat snack $2.99). I bought the vegetable side dishes
Completed a Pinecone Survey.
We had Corn Chowder for supper tonight. I put a pint in the freezer for another meal one night. Tasty stuff and not expensive to make.
I spent an hour or so on Pinterest tonight looking for more outfits to put together. I went through my closet Wednesday and dug a little deeper. I pulled out at least six pieces I've done nothing with thus far...and that led me to search to see how I might use them. I have more clothes in there I've not pulled into rotation yet either. And this is truly a modest wardrobe, not at all a vast amount of clothing!
Friday: John was playing for the Feed and Seed's last dinner today, so of course, I planned to do a few errands while out. We needed to cash in our coins we set aside for charity ministries and I needed to make the deposit I failed to make yesterday. I was saved one errand I'd planned. I was going to return tank tops I'd bought but Mama said she could use them so I gave them to her.
We were given lunch at Feed and Seed.
They were clearing out the kitchen at the church. I came home with individual packets of jelly (nice for trips) and a pound and half bag of Pike's Place coffee.
Every now and then, John surprises me. He treated me to a cash gift (I call it tuck money...I tuck it away and save it until I find something I want too much to wait to save up for) and then he treated us to a milkshake.
While we were out John asked my plans for supper. One of the bought on sale frozen pizzas we enjoy seemed just right. No need to stop for anything special on the way home.
When we returned home we finished housework. John washed a load of clothes and hung up to dry on the outdoor line.
Sat down with our bill box and double checked that no bills needed to be posted right away. Totted up the ledger and made sure all my receipts had been written down.
It was a struggle this evening but I managed to make first goal on Swagbucks, and to complete two surveys as well.
I had homemade Challah in the freezer, too. I remembered to take out a loaf to thaw for Shabat tonight.
Remembered to turn up the AC before we left home this morning.
This week I'm just going to list a few things I feel grateful for:
Roses in bloom.
Pretty pots of flowers on the patio and in the flower beds.
Sunshine coming in the breakfast area windows.
Hearing a Chuck Will's Widow call.
Watching birds from the front porch.
Listening to my husband practice a set.
An opportunity to see pastoral counsel.
Releasing a burden and the great relief that came with it.
Anticipating vacation fun.
A milkshake on a very warm afternoon.