This Week In My Home: Easing My Way to Savings
Saturday: Put a turkey in the crock pot this morning to cook. I'll use for meals and sandwiches this week.
When the turkey was done, I saved the broth that accumulated in the crock pot. I put in a jar in the fridge so I can de-fat it. I"ll use it for soup this week.
My dishwasher was packed full...I washed a full load of dishes on the longer wash cycle due to the fullness of the machine.
Made a small pan of chicken vegetable soup. I used odds and ends of leftovers in the fridge: leftover roasted chicken and vegetables, a bit of panzanella (yes, really), onion, celery, garlic and a few frozen peas from the freezer. Yummy stuff that soup. I've been on a big soup kick lately. I find in the evening it's just the sort of rich nourishing stuff I need.
I made spaghetti for lunch using a frozen portion of sauce put up in the freezer.
De boned the turkey and packed it for the fridge...just after John made a turkey sandwich for his supper.
Living Well: Enjoyed going through the vintage magazines Dale sent me. I spent all day reading short stories and articles, enjoying vintage ads. I never peruse a new magazine half as hard as I do these older ones!
Sunday: Tried to eat a proper breakfast this morning to offset any lowered blood sugar mid-morning...I decided to carry a small can of juice with me to church. Good thing. I bottomed out and that was just the ticket to bring it back up.
John went into grocery to pick up some chicken for dinner. I was just longing for a good piece of fried chicken and we indulged with a piece each. Yes, it's more expensive to buy it that way but then again it isn't if it keeps me focused.
John got bananas while he was in store as well as a bag of salad. The salad was a misread on our list but that was okay. It was nice not to have to prepare the salad at home.
Made a pan of Oriental Turkey Soup...sort of my take on sweet and sour using the turkey broth and some of the turkey from the turkey I cooked yesterday.
Prepped John's work lunch for tomorrow.
John bought a Sunday paper. I am happy recipient of coupons.
Living Well: We went to church today. John took me to the door rather than have me walk the length of the parking lots as I normally do. A gentleman greeter hurried right to the car and tucked my hand in his elbow and escorted me to the doors. How nice! I felt a lady of another era despite my jeans and shirt attire (Oh my dress pants fell OFF at home, I had to wear the jeans instead!). Truth told I felt shaky being out of the house and in a new environment and I was doggone grateful for that support! Kindness is highly underrated these days and it takes a very special sort of man to feel confident enough to offer that assistance these days.
Monday: I spent the day at home alone...Not a hardship at all. I can't help but note how much money is being saved just now as we are staying very close to the house, aside from too many runs to the grocery when we do go out. And even those are within our budget thanks to the extra money from the pay period before!
It's very hot just now and the AC is working hard. I try to offset as much of the heat as I can, drawing shades to block sun, pulling drapes to offset the residual heat coming through the windows and using oscillating fans to move air. I don't touch the AC thermostat either, unlike in years past. I find it's best to just let it alone and let it work out it's own cycles. I'm very grateful for the shade trees in the back that shield the house from the western sun come evenings.
I have decided that the room darkening curtains in our bedroom have done such a nice job of blocking heat (that end of the house is not shaded) that I'm going to invest in some for the living/dining room. I bought the panels at the dollar store for $10 each. I suspect I'm going to need four for the double windows in this big room but I think the savings on electricity and the additional coolness indoors will offset that expense fairly quickly. I believe we've enough in our house fund to cover the costs but if not I've a month's allowance in my purse that will, so no real expense to us.
Went through my kitchen cupboards and pantry and cleared out the white pasta products and the jasmine rice. I'd let my mind drift back to an old way of thinking that carbs were merely bread and rice and pasta and therefore I was planning those into meals without stopping to consider the starchy vegetables which might be used instead and had more nutritional values, fiber and few carbs overall. It helped to pull those items and set them on the baking counter where I could see them and remind myself those are off limit.
Spent the afternoon in research online, learning more about Diabetes II, reading recipes, helpful information and looking at suggested menu plans. All in all it was a productive afternoon with a better understanding and happier outlook than I'd had in the morning hours. I'll no doubt go back and read many of those things again because it all doesn't sink in. Thank goodness for the Internet and home access.
Gave myself a nice pedicure this evening, complete with soaking my feet, using a micro scrub on them and following up with fresh polish and lotion. I felt positively pampered. And it took only a few minutes more than my usual quick pedicure. I had all I needed on hand, stashed in the bathroom cabinet along with numerous other unused products. Silly to not use that stuff, isn't it?
Living Well: Had a nice long phone call with V this afternoon...and it made me realize that two things I truly enjoy are real mail and real chats. It's true it's nice to text and to message on facebook but a phone call just does things that a text can't quite do. I enjoyed that hour's talk most thoroughly. I'm gonna make time for more of that sort of thing.
Tuesday: We had an appointment to get the car serviced this morning in Perry. I took along my current book, a bottle of water, a small can of juice...Good thing. The service on the car was covered by money already set aside in our account for car maintenance.
There's one medication plaguing me with a hard drop into low blood sugars every morning. That juice is, literally, a life saver and is worth every penny it costs to keep the small cans so I can grab one when we're going out! I had to use one Sunday morning at church and again today. I'm planning to ask the doctor to remove that medicine from my list on Thursday. In the meantime, I do as I'm told and watch sugars carefully in the mid-morning hours and if we leave home, have juice/will travel.
We went to the grocery while we were out. I told John we'd get fresh fruits and I'd recalled my list of 'needs'...well most of the list. I'll pick up the other items next time we're out. In meantime, I have a nice supply of whole wheat breads and whole grain pastas. I paid cash from the grocery budget to cover those items.
Washed a very full load of dishes in the dishwasher this evening.
Opened a can of store bought soup...I won't be sending that money again on that. I have really enjoyed having soup nearly every day but the homemade is most definitely the best and the most cost worthy.
I ordered a free issue of Prevention magazine as a trial offer thing. I'm glad. I am so disappointed in the magazine and the vast difference between what it is now and what it was 20 years ago! I was even more disgusted by the emails that flew into my inbox promoting all sorts of book sales and products that are just clearly not up to the standard of what the magazine once was either. I've unsubbed from emails and have written 'CANCEL' plainly across the bill and am returning it post haste. I'd rather spend my money on a magazine that will prove truly beneficial in some way.
Used up a bag of salad that John purchased on Sunday, (having mistaken a scrawl on the envelope I'd listed grocery needs on). I added fresh lettuces to it as well as some leftover salad from our meal on Saturday. All in all it made up a big bowl of salad, big enough to make chef's salads from for supper.
I've decided that there are some indulgences that are totally in line and necessary. For instance, buying extra fresh fruit mid-week, purchasing whole wheat items and whole grain pastas...and indulging in V8. I love a nice cold glass of V8 but never ever buy it because I'm the only one in the house who likes it. To heck with that stuff! V8 is fairly good for you (more so than soda which I bought happily enough in the past) and I LIKE it. So I bought a big bottle and have enjoyed an 8 ounce glass. Yummy! (PS I got low sodium).
I repackaged the whole wheat breads for my personal use and stored them in the freezer. I used waxed paper to divide slices of the loaf bread and stored that in a zippered bag as well as the original bread sack. Same with the little whole wheat pitas and the dinner rolls. I know I won't eat them all in a two week period and I wanted them to stay fresher for as long as I could extend them. This will encourage me to add that extra carbohydrate to my daily meal plan and hopefully find that happy number that results in good finger sticks consistently throughout the day.
Living Well: As I talked with V yesterday I watched a pair of birds on the back porch who apparently were intent on building a nest. It wasn't until this morning that I discovered their choice of new home was in the aloe vera pot, tucked neatly under one long arm. I'm afraid we frightened the birds badly when we left home this morning and the nest appears to be abandoned. I've watched for them to return but so far haven't seen the pair at all.
I've enjoyed the construction of the nest which has a hole for entry on one side and they apparently dug a hole in the dirt of the pot, because there's quite a bit on the porch floor. I hope wherever their new build is, it is safe and appears half so homey as the nest they left behind.
Wednesday: Mama sent out tomatoes, squash and a lovely big cantaloupe today. Riches! I told her I'll miss all this good fresh stuff come fall and winter.
My niece dropped off the vegetables and took some of my pasta and homemade jelly for her family to use. I was so happy for her to have those things. I'll see if Bess and Katie want any next week when they come to visit and then what they don't take home I'll follow the guidelines about mixing half and half with the whole grain items to accustom myself to the taste of the whole grains.
John planned to go into town to get gas for the mower. I decided it was a good time to get some things in the mail. I sent off a requested item to youngest son, a document he needed to get his new state drivers license and then I gathered homemade cards to send off to all the boy for Father's Day this coming weekend.
Made a small batch of egg salad for sandwich filler for John. He was mowing lawn today and it was so very hot. I thought a nice cool supper would suit him so mixed up the egg salad and served him chilled fresh pineapple. He looked positively restored.
I had a better can of soup for tonight's supper (one serving of it anyway). I might purchase that one again to keep on the pantry shelf. I still think homemade is the very best. I think I'm going to have a soup making day here shortly!
We didn't have enough pineapple to make a full serving for one. I mixed with a sliced banana. Nice sweet dessert with out one bit of added sugar.
John tells me he hit a tree stump and the deck on the mower is out of whunkus somehow or other. He's going to diy it first and if that doesn't work he'll take it to the machine repair shop and let them sort it out. His initial thought was he'd need a new mower deck but these two options will be the better priced ones...and if neither do any good we'll order one as a working mower is a necessity.
Living Well: Reading is an old love of mine that I too seldom indulge in any more. But that has changed over the last month. I finished a book this week in a bit over a day's time and started another. What luxury to do something so restful and enjoy it so much! Of all the purchases I've ever made, my books are one that I never ever regret. I discovered long ago that to keep well loved authors about me meant I was always surrounded by friends. At the end of the day, I love to go to bed a little early, get comfy and read until I start to doze. Lovely way to end any day!
Thursday: Not really a big day for savings nor spending. I continue to keep the shades pulled and curtains drawn on the sunny side of the house. It's been mighty hot, in the low 100's all week long.
A simple salad is often the best in my opinion and in summer nothing is better, less expensive or more appropriate than a nice thick sliced tomato over a good leaf lettuce. I drizzled a bare 1/4 tsp of pesto over my tomato. Oh yum!
My doctor's visit went well today. I was taken off two meds, increased one dosage and given a short list of vitamin supplements to take on a daily basis. All in all I was quite happy with the new doctor and his approach and feel I am in good hands.
We went to a near by Walmart to get more diabetic supplies and to pick up the suggested supplements. I was given another free glucometer (I now have three) with a few test strips. Walmart in that area was woeful on diabetic stuff. I told John since I no longer have to check multiple times a day I'd see about just ordering supplies online. In the meantime, I have enough test strips to carry me through nearly two weeks between the three meters.
There is another glucometer that came highly recommended from the Diabetes Health Ways women: Relion Prime which is fairly inexpensive and the strips are as well. I am debating getting that glucometer just for the savings on supplies, but I'll try to work out all costs before I do so.
It was 105F when we headed home from the doctor's office. We didn't even turn on the AC in the car until we were well out of town and the frequent stop lights. It just makes the car work harder and it does use up gasoline quicker.
John had a meeting he had to attend for work. I opted to stay home. It was much too hot to sit in an unshaded car and wait.
Living Well: I was so happy today after seeing the doctor. He calmed my fears, made me feel I was okay and as I told John I went from feeling something of a train wreck to feeling pretty sure I was just relegated to the side rails for a short bit of time and not a wreck at all. I was also surprised to see how much weight I've lost. My clothes don't tell the half of it, lol. I'm awfully near a rather major goal, one I never thought I'd reach if I'm honest, but I'm now full of confidence that I can do this!
Friday: I was released to drive. I planned to go get blood work done, fill new prescriptions and pick up bread and fruit for the weekend. I recalled as I sat at the hospital waiting my turn that Publix would cover one of my meds for free. It seemed silly to go to another pharmacy and pay for what was free! I combined my bread/fruit buying with pharmacy at Publix and was surprised to discover that BOTH medications were free.
I was worn out by the time I headed back home but I'd put in a good many 'extra' steps today and had plenty of free to me exercise, lol.
I stopped at Mama's. She gifted me today with 15 packages of black eye peas and 8 of creamed corn...
And a stack of gently read magazines and an old galvanized dishpan that belonged to Granny. I'll be replacing my old plastic dishpan with that one in the kitchen sink. I can still sit it sitting on a burner atop Granny's stove, gently heating for a hot rinse water for her dishes.
Came home worn slap out. I didn't move too much all afternoon long.
I wondered this morning if I was over buying fruit. I think not. I got a phone call from my oldest and he and his children are coming to spend time with us this weekend. The children will likely happily eat any excess fruit I might think I have.
Made another quick homemade soup. I was trying to copy a recipe had at hospital but I haven't got it quite right, simple though it was. I sauteed an onion and garlic and cumin powder together then added in 2 cups chicken broth and two tablespoons each of black beans and parboiled brown rice. I am sure the soup at the hospital had at least those ingredients but I'm missing something. Despite this, the soup was good and I am, as always, very happy to eat soup. I have enough over for supper another night.
Washed a full load of clothes this morning. The bulk of that load went out on the line to hang dry where it blew about in the nice hot breeze. It's cooled down today. It was only about 99. Solar powered dryer was most welcome assistant this morning.
Stopped and filled car in the area where I went to get lab work and grocery shop. It is almost $.20 a gallon cheaper to buy it out of town and while we do fill up locally at least twice a month, we have no qualms about getting it less expensively elsewhere when we're out.
Organized the fridge so I can see just what I have in there. I found a bag of salad John apparently bought while I was in the hospital and needless to say that was beyond gone. I also tossed a package of flat breads that we'd bought which neither of us really liked and it was just apparent they weren't going to be eaten. Even Maddie declined to try it and the piece she took out in the yard appears to be of no use to ants and fairly durable despite rain and sun. Things like that do make you wonder at times just what we are eating doesn't it?
Since I shall have a solitary Shabat tonight I have a small bakery roll for my Sabbath loaf. I'll only eat a pinch of it during kiddish, and John will eat it with his meal tomorrow morning.
Living Well: I was listening to a favorite worship CD this morning as I ran about doing the errands. It's an old CD but well loved by us even after all this time. I was listening to a singer saying "I want to bring you the sacrifice of praise..." and I thought about it. A sacrifice of praise isn't just all about telling God things are great... the sacrifice is when you're praising him when things aren't great and don't look good and appear to be every kind of wrong.
One thing I've learned with the repeated readings of the Old Testament, and something I think too many fail to understand, is that sacrifice is messy. It wasn't the priests who made the sacrifice. It was individuals who brought the sacrifice and it was the individuals task per the Old Testament laws to slaughter, clean, and portion that animal for the priests. That person worked hard and had mess all over him when he was done and likely had worked up a good hard sweat to go with it all. The priests made the offering on the altar...but the work of sacrifice was up to the individual.
Well that's the same way with the sacrifice of praise. Sometimes our lives are messy and messed up and it's dirty business. To make an effort to praise in the midst of all that messiness is hard. It requires a lot more of us than those sacrifices of praise when life has been handing out blue ribbons and we've a handful.
It seems lately I'm being asked to make a sacrifice of praise in the midst of messiness... I pray that I can do this.