This Week In My Home: Planning Ahead for Savings
Saturday: Our Shabats are always quiet days. I so enjoy my Saturday morning ritual of drinking ALL the remaining coffee from my pretty tea cups.
I made dinner earlier in the week and so it was pretty much just the need to reheat the meat sauce and cook the pasta. Yummy by the way and I'd really wondered if 1 cup of meat sauce was truly enough for two? Turns out the answer was YES it is. And half a pound of pasta is twice as much as we need as well. I froze those leftovers.
Rinsed and stacked dishes all day long today. I ran a load of dishes last thing Friday evening and I had no desire to do the whole unload/reload thing on a day meant for rest. I also had no desire to scrub stuck on food off dishes. Rinsing was a good compromise and the rinse water became soaking water for those dishes that needed more than scrubbing.
Living Well: I'm not much of one for 'sleeping in'. Typically I awaken between 6:30 and 7:00am and that is what time I rise. Nearly every single morning. This morning however, I didn't get up. I was tired. I was still sleepy. I decided to stay abed just a little longer. I woke again about 8:30.
It was uncharacteristic of me, but I'm finding more and more that I am prone to give myself a little more tender care than I might have in the past. It feels wrong, I admit that. It feels indulgent. I feel just a little guilty. But I am learning to take care of ME, however foreign it feels to me to do so.
Sunday: Heated rotisserie chickens we purchased on Friday in the evening, but I thought packing them in my crock pot would be the best way to transport. I heated the empty crock pot before putting the chickens in. I wrapped in a towel and we packed in our cooler. I did have to lay the cooler on it's side and put the crock pot in sideways but it worked.
Packed a cold bag with water, milk for coffee (Katie texted me to bring some since all her products had carageenan in them), peas to steam and our cold salads in an insulated bag.
John and I had a hearty breakfast before leaving home.
We drove to spend the day with Katie...Loving on that grandbaby and getting to know Zoey, the dog.
We came home and ate supper here. Yes, it was a late meal but it was light and I had ready stuff so that we could make a quick meal.
I took several items from the freezer to thaw for the week ahead.
Used some leftover water in a water bottle to water the violets.
She looks awfully solemn and I look slightly crazed, lol. This little one wanted to sit right straight up. No leaning back and being cuddled for her! We had a great visit. Not much time spent holding little missy who slept a lot as little wee babies ought. I loved hearing Katie cooing at her but the part that just twisted my heart into a ribbon was hearing her daddy croon, "Baby! Baby! Baby!" when she was crying. Ah!
To top off my day, I had a long phone call from my youngest and his wife. It lasted over an hour and a half. A lovely day, tiring, but oh so lovely!
Monday: An early morning appointment necessitated a quick breakfast. I am so glad I planned breakfasts and suppers.
The doctor gave me another full size sample of medication to use as needed.
Went by to fill a new prescription. John picked up a half priced Sunday paper. I grabbed a bag of dark chocolate since Aldi hasn't had any of late. Then we SAT and WAITED on my prescription to be filled. Much cheaper than walking about the store picking up this and that, which is their hope in having you wait, lol.
I had medical bills that I needed to pay today. I called to see if one could be discounted. The answer was no, but it's free to ask and one day someone is going to say "Yes."
I was so proud to point out to John that I'd earned 3/4 of a smaller medical bill with survey earnings and Swagbucks last month.
We drove to John's work place and picked up his pay check. I decided to skip grocery money this time around. We will buy a few items but it's going to be a filler trip not a stock up regular trip. Money didn't stretch far this pay period and I am determined to not touch our cushion.
Sent up the warning: "Nothing extra this pay period unless we've got a special fund for it!"
Our dinner today consisted of leftovers and slaw that I made fresh.
Made a pot of vegetable soup flavored with leftover beef stock and some grizzly pieces of beef that I had set aside when I prepped sirloin roasts into beef cubes. They added plenty of flavor.
This afternoon spent time prepping food for the week ahead. I baked chicken and a meatloaf together in the oven. I prepared squash and butter beans and taco meat and vegetable soup on the stove top.
At the end of an hour today, I had salads, sides, main dishes and an item or two for suppers this week in the fridge. I saved myself hours in cleaning up and cooking.
I trimmed a sirloin steak of fat while cutting into slices for Pepper Steak. I froze those and gave to Maddie this evening as a treat when it was 100F outdoors. She took it happily.
After I made the soup I set aside the grizzly bits of beef for Maddie.
Living Well: Good report from the doctor today. He suggested I consider a natural supplement to take the place of my diabetic medication now that my numbers are lowered and stable. I'll pick some up and we'll be giving it a trial. I would love to be able to do this...I know how blessed I am to be able to control my numbers this early after diagnosis. I credit the counseling I received at the hospital for my success in losing weight and controlling my blood sugar.
Tuesday: The savings today was me. I realized when I woke this morning that the past two days of being busy and traveling took their toll after last week's big push to work hard. Yes, there are projects I itch to tackle but my body is truly tired. I'll rest today and will hit the other stuff later when I feel less worn down.
Dinner was easily prepared thanks to the work I did yesterday. I made cornmeal pancakes to go with the dinner. I prepared the extra and put up for breakfast one morning.
Washed a full load of dishes.
Watered houseplants with water saved from water bottles and glasses.
Washed a load of towels and hung on the line to dry.
Scraped paint from the porch floor while the pets ate their breakfast. That was the most work I did all day and not quite the hard task it sounds as it was peeling/flaking very badly. I was able to get over half the porch done in under 15 minutes.
I spent the afternoon entering notes into my genealogy notebook.
Living Well: This afternoon I started to feel a bit guilty for 'doing nothing' all day long. I jumped up and did several chores, all light work, but I confess I was tired and really wanted to just rest. I have to laugh at my husband. He urged me to just sit down and offered to finish my last chore for me. But first, he said, he needed to check on something. And then he sat down with his Bible and read out Proverbs 31 out loud. "Nope," he said, "It's not there..." "What?" I asked. "It's not in there anywhere that she worked herself to death..." Point take, dear, point taken.
Wednesday: Washed another full load of clothes today. John used the dryer because we were going out this morning. If I'd washed clothes I would have hung outdoors, since they were bed sheets.
John had an appointment to get a hair cut today. You know we batched errands to leave the house: picked up mail, dropped off bills to be paid, took trash to the dumpsters.
John stopped at the local diner and bought lunch from his allowance.
I moved a dinner menu to supper: Taco Salad is light enough for either meal.
I have not bought groceries yet. I am going to need some things, for sure. We're nearly out of cat food, milk is low...but I am reluctant to purchase just yet. I know that we will be heading to the large town where we normally shop on Sunday for church. I can easily pick up our few needs at that time.
Last week, we shopped on Friday for fresh produce. I picked up green bananas at that time. I have been using a trick for months now that works rather well. I pull off two bananas and put them on a plate with tomatoes or apples to ripen. The rest of the bunch goes into a plastic zippered bag (or even a produce bag from the store). About every two days I break off two more bananas and leave the rest in the bag. I have bananas as we need them for about a week to ten days without ever getting over ripe. They do ripen but very slowly.
I set up more outfits this afternoon when we returned from our errands.
Prepared foods for John's work lunch tomorrow.
Living Well: My writer's block finally broke....BIG sigh of relief. I'm working on a post, have another one in mind and it feels soooo good to be writing once more. Will they make it to post? I don't know. Sometimes you just have to clear out the channels and wait for good fresh water to flow and sometimes, you get a good flow right away. The thing is, I'm WRITING! Yea!
Thursday: Packed the lunch I made for John. Made him breakfast.
Made out a shopping list. I left it at home, but I made it out. Fortunately for me I remembered most of what was on it. What I didn't will wait until Sunday.
Went by to check on booth. I owed rent but less than 1/3 of it. It left a little extra in my pocket to help out with the groceries I purchased today.
While pets ate their morning meal (the only one in the summer months) I scraped the rest of the porch floor and the few spots on the railing where paint was peeling.
The coffee pot is set to come on extra early on work mornings and so it went off well before I was ready to drink my second cup of coffee. I reheated it in the microwave rather than make fresh as I was tempted to do. It tasted just fine.
I was out this morning, checking on the booth, picking up mail, etc. I went over to check prices on a supplement recommended by the doctor at the health food store in Perry. Turns out it's closed. GNC had never even heard of the supplement. Sigh. Wasted time and gas.
Saved my money by talking myself out of every single spendy situation I talked myself into. I drove HOME to my own town, where I bought my handful of groceries at the local store. Yikes at the price of milk and eggs and bread (there went a solid $14 without blinking once). I skipped a few items simply because I couldn't see paying local prices when I can pick it up for less Sunday when we're in a bigger town area. For all that I spent it was still less expensive than trolling about looking at stuff that would have tempted every impulse nerve that was ringing today.
Went by the peach shed to get tomatoes and peaches. Super SAD face. The shed is closing next Friday! Sob!!Peach season is nearly at an end!
Came home and made my lunch from leftovers and cooked carrot sticks I'd cut for snacks as a second vegetable. I pulled out the last container of peaches I'd sliced earlier this week and ate those. I'm not letting one single bit of the peaches go to waste.
Fresh pedicure for me...by my own hand, naturally.
Living Well: I'm not ready for it...And yet I love it so that I wish I were ready for it. I was on my way home today along the Upper River Road and I spied goldenrod at the side of the road...just beginning to bloom. I thought surely I was mistaken, that I hadn't seen that bit of gold after all but yes, there was more on the bank just ahead and another patch down by the guard rail of the bridge, most obviously blooming. It's early this year. It's not even quite the end of the first week of August and it's bloomed.
Just as the end of peach season next Friday means I must hurry to enjoy the peaches this year before they are gone, so must I hurry and enjoy the last bits of summer. There are pleasures in summer despite my complaints. I love the way the sun burns into my skin and the aroma of freshly mown grass. We've not lit the first charcoal this year. Perhaps we should try to do that at least once a week. There's the lovely shut in and protected feeling that all the fully leaved trees give. There's the constant flutter of wings and trilling bird song. There's rain that refreshes and greens parched lawns. There's the joy of sitting on the porch in my nightie with a first cup of coffee in hand. And that gasp of relief when the humidity and heat breaks into a storm that suddenly blows fresh cooler air. Oh I must hurry!
Friday: I was up early this morning, typical of those mornings when John is coming in from work. I quickly loaded last night's dishes into the dishwasher, shook some cold milk to make milk foam to top my coffee and planned the meal I was too sleepy to think about last night.
I made Challah this morning, three loaves (I divide my recipe into three small portions for smaller loaves).
I had frozen broccoli and frozen rice in the freezer to go with today's dinner. I might not have the fresh produce on hand, but my freezer will definitely provide a good substitute.
I made a mistake this week. I told John there was no money for groceries. I didn't tell him there was money to go into savings....When he expressed concern over the lack of grocery funds I made sure to correct the impression I'd given him. I figured in this season of money flowing OUT it was worthwhile to put some IN.
Once housework was done this morning I realized I wasn't going to work on the front porch railings. I decided to clean and pretty up the back porch. I need paint for my rocker and I think I'd like to paint my wonky table and the chairs but it's not bad looking. I used what I had on hand already
I refurbished a wreath.
I didn't purchase a birthday gift the other day but I needed one. Fortunately I had a very nice item in my gift drawer that is suitable for a little girl.
John washed a small load of clothes on a lower water setting.
I washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
I boiled eggs this morning (just three) and made egg salad. I heard on the news yesterday morning that eggs would be $6 a dozen shortly. Our small town grocery was selling them for about $4.50 a dozen large eggs yesterday. I bought medium eggs for $3.39. John asked why we were having egg salad with eggs so expensive. I said "These are the last of the 'cheap' eggs. I thought I'd give you one more treat of egg salad before they are too dear in cost." I wasn't joking...
Living Well: We had a very tearful prayer time tonight. There's a matter that is troubling that won't resolve. There are financial concerns. There are medical concerns. Tonight we poured it all out. But in the midst of the tearful admissions of fear there came a quiet reminder. It was a reminder of all the prayers we've seen answered in the past week. A rainy season in our lives is a season of blessings as well. And that left us even more tearful than we'd been with our fears and worries. God is our source, our provider, our strong tower, our healer, our protector. He is the God Who Sees Me even when I lose sight of Him. Shabat Shalom, dear friends.