This Week In My Home: Savings Inspiration to Actual Savings
Saturday: John worked last night, so I prepared a quick but easy breakfast of sausage biscuits, using his favorite canned biscuits.
Our dinner was prepared yesterday, except for the steamed broccoli which I served as a side. I saved the steaming water to pour into orchid and violet pots.
We had a series of storms come through this evening. Unplugged computers and router to prevent surges as the power went off and on again several times. We also cut off the AC.
Cut up a hot dog and topped the frozen cheese pizza with that. It was pretty good! And a good way to use up that lonely last hot dog.
Gave myself a quick manicure this afternoon.
Sunday: My son stayed the night with us last night. I was glad I had leftovers of pizza to offer him when he finally got here.
I fed the dogs and put away the dishes to keep ants from coming to help themselves.
I told John on our way to church that I just wanted to do take out. I'd cooked plenty over the past couple of weeks and was tired of cooking. I paid for the meal from my allowance. He bought drinks when he picked up the Sunday paper.
When we got home I had only to make coffee and dish up dessert.
I washed a full load of dishes.
John washed a full load of clothes this morning and hung them to dry.
We had leftovers for supper.
I spent the afternoon on Pinterest looking for ideas to use with my clothing pieces. I am attempting to not buy anything new for another couple of months only because I do feel I have plenty to wear, just not sure how to pair it up. I found several fresh ideas.
Also read a few frugal Pins...Nothing new there but I brainstormed a few ideas of my own. That will show up as another Retirement Remedies post.
Monday: Washed all the sheets (from our bed and guest bed) and hung to dry. We did the towels as well, hung those to dry, too.
It was so cool outdoors that I came in and opened windows. It wasn't until about 3pm that it began to get stuffy feeling indoors. Usually around 77F our house gets very still and very warm. It's best to turn on the AC at that point and let it cycle on and off, otherwise the temperature continues to increase until well past 7pm and then the AC must work hard to bring the temperature down to our more usual 76F.
I spent the afternoon putting together several outfits. This time I put them in closet in order of what pieces will be shared between outfits. For instance, I have three looks for my white jeans so all those tops are hanging with those jeans,etc. As I wear one outfit, I'll move the pieces back into their more usual places in the closet after I've aired or laundered. But I will still have outfits set up.
I was inspired this evening. I realized I've loads more chances to use the clothing I have in ways I've yet to wear them...I just need to weed out which accessories are working with my current looks and which are just in the way at present.
John used the new vacuum today to deep clean the living/dining/bed room and the breakfast area carpets. He even cleaned the ceiling fans! He's enjoyed the new vacuum which appears to be cleaning up far better than our old one we'd had for about 10 years.
Topped and quartered most of a quart of strawberries that were beginning to look a tad dry and withered. I set aside a bowl for supper and put the rest in the freezer.
Made Sloppy Joe for dinner today. I added zucchini, bell pepper, carrot, mushrooms, onions along with the can of sauce. It made enough from 1/2 pound of hamburger to serve four hearty servings. I put leftovers in fridge for supper one night.
Made John's lunch for work tomorrow.
John didn't want coffee this afternoon. When I asked if he wanted one this evening he said No again. I made a single cup using that feature on my coffee maker.
Shopped at home this weekend: coffee both decaf and regular, milk, Sloppy Joe sauce all from my pantry foods.
Noted the expire date was here on my buttermilk. I haven't even opened the jug, but will pour into 1 cup containers to freeze. It works just as well for baking purposes after freezing but I don't care to drink it since the fats separate so much...unless I'm making a smoothie that calls for buttermilk...then it works just fine!
Today is payday/Harvest, but John works tomorrow. He will pick up his check when he is at work anyway. No need to waste the gasoline to make an extra trip down.
Tuesday: Had to return an item for John at Walmart. I made out a short list last night of grocery items I wanted which I can't purchase at Aldi. I did not have my list with me but I picked up those items I could clearly recall: cherry preserves, cooking sherry, canned red beans, G-2 gel pens.
I picked up two tank tops but they will be returned. They are just not the right size, no matter what the label says!
Made John's breakfast and packed his work lunch.
Stocked up on dog and cat food. Walmart has larger bags and better prices on Hairball Control Cat Food and Maddie's favorite Kibble type dog food. I get a great buy on these bigger bags, and will not have to buy dog or cat food until June or later.
Despite my care at Walmart, I was still a little bit stunned at the cost of the items purchased. I can say honestly that I shopped carefully, didn't pick up the most expensive of any item, was sure of prices before an item went into my buggy. No impulse items went into the buggy either. I walked out of the store rather than wander aimlessly. I'll just call that necessary expenses and be grateful I had cash for them.
Dropped off mail while I was out this morning.
Got our allowance and grocery funds from the bank.
It was so cool when I went outdoors this morning that I came back in and changed my clothes. This led me to put together another 'new' outfit. I'd seen the combination on Pinterest but didn't have an inspiration photo before me at the time, so I winged it. It was comfortable and a bit warmer than what I'd put on initially which was appreciated. I buttoned the shirt to the bosom and wore gold bangles and tiny gold leaf earrings.
I bought my pay period potted plant. This one was a mixed variety pot of salmon colored petunias, red calibrochoa and a yellow flower I'm unfamiliar with. I'll pot it up in the galvanized bucket whose bottom is warped. It will be pretty on the patio with the purple and white striped petunias and the apricot colored snapdragons.
Mama bought a pot of succulents. As she put it in the car a tiny stem broke off and hit the pavement. I snapped it up and brought it home to root for myself.
I was going to pour the buttermilk in 1 cup containers but the jug was partially frozen. I got about 2 cups into one container, mixed another cup or so with a frozen banana for a smoothie (not bad at all), and then put the two containers in the freezer. At least it shall not go to waste.
Put two bananas into the freezer. I've been breaking each into chunks and freezing in 1 banana portions. I figure this way I can make a smoothie (1 banana) or bread (3 bananas) without wondering how much banana I am using. I use a piece of waxed paper to put between each.
My buttermilk banana smoothie was supper tonight with peanut butter toast. I wanted something light after dinner out with Mama today.
Mama gave me a stack of coupons and gently read magazines.
Do you know what my biggest savings of all was today? I discovered that Swagbucks was paying 12Swagbucks per dollar spent @JCPenney this week. I went and looked. Oh there are things I want! I looked and looked and looked and finally I just drew myself up hard. Here I've been working to stretch my wardrobe and I've managed to piece together at least a dozen outfits. I have no need at this time of a new pair of shoes or a new purse or a new skirt. I want something new. But I do not, at this point, even know what will best fill a gap in my wardrobe. So I closed the browser window and walked away from the computer. Until I have a list of specific needs I am not going to shop. I am vowing at this moment not to buy anything for my wardrobe until June at the earliest unless a hard need arises. We'll just see how well the wardrobe stretches over the next few weeks!
Wednesday: I promised myself when I got my hair cut so very short that I'd do my best to look my most feminine. That means makeup and earrings...but I don't want to do more than a five minute face really since I'm just at home. I mixed a dab of foundation with a dab of moisturizer to create my own tinted moisturizer. That and mascara, do my brows and use a touch of gloss and my face is done.
Made a big breakfast for John when he came home this morning. I put leftover biscuits aside for another use.
Fed the pets. Neither were much interested in eating. My son called Maddie fat the other day. It always puts her off eating for a few days when anyone calls her fat. She eats just two cups of food per day which is low for her size but she remains very stocky. I put the uneaten food away.
Washed a full load of dishes this afternoon after I'd made lunch.
Though our pot roast was not large, I cut into four servings and served just one portion to each of us. The leftovers with the leftover potatoes will make a meal of hash for us later this week.
Shopped at home: olive oil, pears.
When the AC switched on this afternoon I cut it right back off. It was quite cool outdoors and there was no need for that AC to come on at all.
Brought in the orchids again. It's supposed to be far too cold tonight for them to be outdoors.
Set up the new sewing machine and got my kitchen sink window curtain sewn.
Quick review of fridge this evening and I realized that really I've no need to cook much over the rest of this week. We had leftovers for supper tonight. I've the leftover roast beef (for hash), some leftover Sloppy Joe mix that I will make into Sloppy pockets, and a bit of chicken that I had planned to make shredded BBQ chicken but might well turn into a pot pie.
Made out two grocery lists. One for Aldi and one for Publix. I've a special reason for wanting to go to Publix, but need to purchase $50 worth of grocery in order to take advantage of the special. Not a hard thing to do since several items we require are on sale (non-Aldi purchases). The special is a $50 gas card for $40 with a $50 purchase. I'll use vacation funds to buy the gas card and we'll use that card to fill the car on our vacation.
Thursday: Pets did not eat all of their food again this morning. I tossed it into the front yard. The birds just love the tidbits now and then. Also crumbled and scattered a portion of Challah that wasn't being eaten.
I brought the pet bowls in to wash.
Wore one of the prepared outfits today. I opted for the navy cotton jacket rather than the tissue thin cardigan.
Decided that I am going to alter the legs of the white jeans. I'll use my best fitting jeans as a pattern.
Folded clothes this morning and found a hole in a reinforced section of John's work pants. I can only do an iron on patch over the top of it since I can't fix from behind. Glad I caught it in time to repair!
Turned up AC before we left home this morning.
Forgot to use my coupons at Publix...a fact that made me feel slightly sick since they were all high value coupons. I asked John to take me back to the store on our way out of town and let me ask at the customer service desk if they would accept my coupons after the fact. I am happy to report that indeed they did. I had to present my receipt with my coupons. I got $12 cash back.
Shopped at Aldi. I stuck hard to my list there. I spent $215 today. I'm planning to work hard to stick to my $300 budget for May (where the money spent today is allocated since we'll not be eating any of those foods until later in the weekend).
I allowed myself to indulge in a bouquet of daisies today. I needed that touch of fresh beauty in my home. I spent just $4.
John bought lunch from his allowance.
FREE today was a 4 pc. Reese's cup packet.
Posted my review for Blogging for Books and requested a new book to read and review.
Received my Swagbucks gift card for $25. I deposited in my savings account. I made sure to tithe on it today, too.
Friday: I call today a 'Salvage Day'. It started out as salvage right away because I did not feel like doing a single solitary thing. I had to really push and shove myself to get going.
I had a list, started yesterday and added to today. I knocked off nearly all the jobs that could be done immediately. I think I have two left on the list.
Made a note of what was in the fridge and tried my salvage operations on a few things from there. I chopped green onion and put in the freezer.
I took the old bag of celery and after trimming, I put the tops and several stalks in the freezer. I cut some of the celery into sticks and put in a jar of water to crisp up. We'll have celery sticks and ranch dressing one afternoon this weekend for snacking. I also cut a few stalks into pieces and stuffed with peanut butter for this afternoon's snack.
I had a half dozen mandarins that we weren't eating. They were starting to look a bit wrinkly. I peeled them and put the whole things in the freezer, not bothering to section. I'll either use in a smoothie or put in with fruit to make jelly with later on or add to ambrosia.
I put the leftover peas from my casserole into the 'Vegetable Soup' bag.
Organized the pantry. I do NOT need jelly, tomatoes or whole kernel corn!
Opened the big bag of dog food and put into sealed plastic buckets.
John washed a load of clothes and hung to dry.
Boiled eggs for egg salad. Saved the water to use on plants.
Potted up the new pot of flowers. John punched holes in a warped galvanized water bucket for me so the pot would drain properly.
Last night my husband asked me if I wanted to attend the big huge book sale in the next county. Well I did...but I didn't. I thought of how many books I have now, many not yet read, and how they are stacked on bookshelves in front of other books. I thought about the big bags full I donated twice this year...And I said "Thank you, but no."
We had windows open all afternoon, until nearly 5pm...at which time I began to sneeze, and sniffle and snuffle. I took an allergy tab but 30 minutes later I wasn't any better. John shut the windows and symptoms subsided. I'm laying this at the feet of the pecan tree which must still be blooming, sigh. But it sure was nice to have the windows open. It was lovely. We have only run the AC perhaps an hour this evening, just enough to clear the air indoors.
Repaired John's work pants.
Began altering my jeans...I decided to baste them first and realized as soon as I was done where I'd made an error. I'll pull that stitching and start again. Glad I didn't cut first!
The roses are blooming...I can count on them every year to bloom just about the first of May. This year they started just a little bit sooner but they are in full bloom now and just lovely.
Which made me think. Every now and then I get a glimmer of an idea and I have to play with it a bit to get clear on why it's important. Earlier this week I stood puzzling over these roses, looking at them, admiring them, but something more wanted to be thought out.
I realized what it was this morning. About this time last year I took an inspiration photo and jotted down a thought "Bloom where you are planted, even if it's a tough spot." It was an undeveloped idea that sort of just nestled into the nooks and crannies and stayed there.
Bloom where you are planted...but remember that most plants only bloom for one season. That's not to say you can't bloom again, but it is a reminder that we're not meant to bloom all of the time. Plants that do such as that are hybridized, not natural. What we are meant to do is to bloom for our season and then set fruit, die back, start new growth and bloom again. Over and over, all through the years. We'll have our shining moment of beauty, our promise stage, and then the blooms will drop away one by one and we'll be left to produce the fruit that provides a harvest for others. We'll go through a season of rest (or dying back) and then we'll begin again with tiny buds that grow and blossom.
Just like my lovely roses. They are the old fashioned sort. This is their blooming season. I won't see blooms on them again until about this time next year. And that's just as it should be.
Realizing this sort of takes the pressure off just a little bit, doesn't it?