In My Home This Week: Falling Into Savings
Saturday: Our quiet day at home. I love my little Saturday morning ritual of taking one of my pretty tea-cups (Christmas gift from Katie and Matt) and having my fill of coffee. I brought home a beautiful creamer from my booth at the flea market to hold my milk. I've plans to make myself a pretty tray (on hand, needs paint) and pull out my pretty pottery coffee pot...In the meantime, I get a lot of enjoyment with my ritual, which also includes an episode or two of "I Love Lucy" these days. John and I caught ourselves laughing out loud this morning at the episode we watched.
Made spaghetti for dinner today. Another hole in my pantry was shown: No whole wheat spaghetti on hand. Not one stick. I happened to have purchased a spaghetti squash this week but John is 'iffy' about unusual things even if he's had them in the past. Well item number three on my pantry list: whole wheat spaghetti.
I prepped vegetables yesterday. My meat was still frozen. John wanted a fried egg with his bagel this morning. I reused the pan (it had plenty of grease left in it) to soften the vegetables and then browned the meat.
I have half the spaghetti squash leftover so I went online to look for recipes to use up the rest. I found three recipes that sound really tasty and I mean to use one of them this coming week.
I have a pint of leftover sauce leftover. Planned a meal for this next week that incorporated it.
Colored my hair this morning. I should have done it earlier this week when I was alone...I do try to keep some of myself a mystery from my husband, but I just couldn't stand looking at the gray any longer. I used half leftover from last coloring. Next time I color I'll use 1/3 the mixtures. With my short cut and fine thin hair, I don't need half a bottle of dye.
Sunday: I had leftovers for my noon meal today.
Sent John off to work with a hot breakfast and a packed lunch to see him through the work day.
Organized the bathroom personal care cabinet. I have far more of some products on hand than I'd realized...and none of others. I shall make my shopping list accordingly.
Had the AC off for several hours overnight and this morning. It didn't come on until nearly 11am this morning. I expect it to be off most all the evening and night and early morning hours again. Thank goodness the cool nights and mornings continue even if the days are heating up a bit.
Painted the majority of the front porch floor. I found foam rollers and a disposable paint tray liner in the paint cupboard and used them. Between the first and second coat I stuck the roller into a plastic bag. It kept the paint nice and moist and the roller ready to use for the second coat.
I took a damp rag out with me and used that to wipe away 'oops' paint marks on the white railings.
Fed the dog and cat and added a little pan gravy as well as some fat trimmed from roast for sandwiches to their bowls.
Really utilized the vacuum today in our master bedroom. I cleaned fans (oscillating as well as ceiling), used attachment to go around edges of room and another attachment to dust the books on the bookshelves. I used still another attachment to get under the bed and that heavy antique dresser of mine so they are now dust free.
Monday: I did too much yesterday and today I pay the price. I have too little get up and go. However, I've done what I could.
Ac remained off all night long but came on early this morning. Still, I had the night free of Ac.
Used a bag of cauliflower from the freezer. I've had it in the freezer far too long...but it made me think. It's been frozen all this time and was perfectly good yet. I suspect I bought it during one of Kroger's $.88 sales a couple or three years ago. I priced a head of cauliflower at Aldi this past week and it was $2.79! I think I'll check out the ads for frozen food sales and stock the freezer with that.
I thawed meats overnight in the fridge with the intent of cooking ahead for the week. I don't have it in me to make a big kitchen day of work but at least meats are thawed. It made my late dinner today not quite so late.
I used half a pear, 3 cups of torn lettuce, a small stick of celery and the last of the blue cheese crumbles to make a nice salad to go with our dinner today.
Made a BBQ sauce from odds and ends. I used a bit of French dressing, some ketchup and a few dashes of Chili Garlic A-1 sauce. It was a pretty good BBQ sauce. I brushed chicken with it as it baked.
Went out to my shed this morning and pulled every thing I thought I might want to use for Fall decorating. There's really not much room in my budget these days for new things so I'm trying hard to make do with what I have. I think perhaps after a nap today I'll see what I can manage with what I have. I'll also do some rearranging of things that we no longer 'see' because they've been in place for awhile. I find that often that is a really good way to shake up the decor.
Pulled weeds in two smaller flower bedding areas. It's funny how much help that is in making things look better. I wish I'd had energy to attack a couple of more areas.
Humidity won't allow me to paint today but I'm determined to let the porch cure a bit more before I start using it too much.
Made a phone call to the power company to come replace our security light. I hope they do arrive in two days as Maddie is quite upset nights without it.
Smiled at an unexpected bit of pretty and free country decor:
I have a bunch of these growing around one corner of the back porch railings. I didn't plant any of these seeds, they are volunteers. The one on te front porch railing was there yesterday but not blooming as it was today.
John brought two sandwiches home from work. I put them both in the freezer since they are peanut butter jelly. He has to work again on Wednesday and they will keep fine there and help his lunch stay cold too.
Each time John goes to work he cleans the room he uses. Each time he finds change. He always puts it on the table for anyone to claim. No one ever does. So after a couple of weeks John brings it home and drops into our charity box. Today he brought home nearly $1 in found change.
There just weren't enough clothes to wash his uniform today. I plan to do a load of towels tomorrow and change the sheets. He can put his uniform in with the sheets to be washed and I'll do the towels and dishcloths and dishtowels separately.
I washed a very full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
I've been making it my habit to make a smaller pot of coffee after dinner each day. As soon as we pour ourselves a cup I make sure to turn off the pot. This keeps the coffee that is remaining from burning and John reheats a cup in the microwave after his supper.
Tuesday: John made breakfast this morning. And a fresh pot of coffee for my rather late wake-up time.
I used what I had to decorate for Fall today. I made quite a mess before I was done. Eventually I had to clean up in order to be able to appreciate what good had come of the decorating. I bought nothing. Everything I used I've had on hand for months or years. Items came from storage or other areas in the house.
I've said before one of the best things to do to make a room look better is to clear the clutter. I had books in front of books on the bookcase and it honestly did not look neat or nice. In fact, it looked messy. I moved the books to lower shelves, not easily seen from other areas in the room. Now the bookcase looks so much better I wonder why I hadn't done it sooner.
We had leftovers for dinner. I'd planned to do a leftover makeover. Instead I just served spaghetti sauce over whole wheat pasta.
Made Easy Tiramisu today. I had animal crackers not vanilla wafers. They worked as well as wafers would have done. I had only a bare spoonful of whipped cream for each serving. I used what I had rather than worry about spreading it over the top as I ought to have done. A dollop worked just as well. It was quite tasty, inexpensive.
Received a book from Blogging for Books via UPS today.
The power company came out to replace the security light bulb.
I turned the AC down two degrees last night because it was sort of stuffy in the house. I made sure to turn it up this morning.
Wednesday: Packed John's work lunch. Made him breakfast to eat prior to his leaving for work.
Washed a full load of sheets. I had to put them in the dryer today, as the weather was iffy all morning and I wasn't going to be home this afternoon.
I had a fail a few months ago. I'd stuck the lace curtain to the blind housing(the part of the blind that holds the mechanism and strings) in the guest room. The part of the velcro stuck to the blind just fine. But it lost it's tackiness next to the lace and the curtain fell. Today I handstitched pieces of velcro (the opposite from what was on the blind) to the lace curtain and stuck it back on the blind. I think this will hold up far better. I like having the sunlight come through that lace panel.
Cleaned the guest room. Oh boy. I really wanted to dig deep and declutter and all that good stuff, but I was short on time. I had to drive to the big city for a doctor's appointment this afternoon and didn't want to start a bigger job than just clearing things up was going to be. It was pretty bad. I looked long and hard at the room and then at the clock and decided I'd give it one hour of good solid work and whatever didn't get done would have to wait. I was surprised how much I was able to accomplish! All the surfaces were cleared and straightened and everything is stack neatly that didn't have a place to go. It took me 1 hour and five minutes to accomplish that task but it's done and I'm glad.
Ate leftovers for my main meal today.
Packed a bottle of water, a book and my crackers and a clementine for mid-afternoon snack and went off to the doctor's office. It's a lot of driving for a very short visit but he doesn't keep his patients waiting very long, so no complaints. I had a good report (pulmonologist visit this time) and go back in three months.
Picked up mail, carried off trash and dropped a bill in the mailbox in town while I was out.
I'd meant to run by this store and that one and to check out the Aldi in that city but I was tired. I got up early this morning, had a short night's sleep again and had worked hard this morning. I decided te ride home was about as much as I was up to for this afternoon.
I made myself a sandwich for supper last night. All I had to do this evening was unwrap it and cut up an apple. Supper was ready and I didn't have to think about it or clear up behind making it or anything else.
Transplanted a petunia from a flower pot in the back to the flower pot in the front.
Noticed this morning that I have October/Spider lilies blooming in the middle of the long flower bed between the trees. I've only ever had one or two in the past but apparently they finally multiplied and matured enough to bloom. I think there were five or six visible.
The AC started cutting off early this afternoon as the temperatures dropped a little. It's off now and is not yet 7pm. I'm a little chilly.
Finally earned enough Swagbucks to purchase a $25 gift card. I looked hard at reward cards and decided to go with an Amazon card which saved me 300 Swagbucks. Since I'm ordering supplements from Amazon it made sense to use my earnings towards those purchases. Next card I'll try to do Walmart, for diabetic supplies. Not nearly as much 'fun' as having a little money to put towards coffee or books, but it will certainly help ease the strain on our budget.
Thursday: Up early this morning. I could see from the window that it wasn't going to be a sunny day. I stepped out on the porch to 'test' the feel and I was quite right. It meant to rain. But it was cool and lovely. John and I took first coffee on the back porch this morning. It was so nice he didn't change from his uniform, just grabbed his coffee and stepped right back out doors. I love when the weather is nice enough to enjoy our porch!
We will be getting a used doggie next month...It's Blossom and I teasingly call her 'used' because she's no puppy and has had previous owners. I like Blossom and hope she enjoys her new home. We've been discussing what to do about a dog house for her. Seems John gave it far more thought than I did and his solution was to use a trash can on it's side. I can make a flap for the opening to keep body heat in and cold and wet out. It's a far more affordable solution than a bought dog house and has the added bonus of us having a couple of spare trash cans on hand. We've used a trash can for the cat for years now and she really enjoys her space in the winter, so I think we can make Blossom a suitable 'home' with what we have here.
There's not much savings, although there will be a small savings. We're switching to satellite internet tomorrow. We've given up on the hopes we're going to get good service from the local company. We'll be cancelling that and the land line phone service both as soon as we're up and running. Both activation and installation fees were waived and we had to pay only first month's service.
We went out to eat today. I so enjoyed it and was even happier to be able to 'treat' John. When he asked how I could afford it, I shared that it was leftover from this past week's grocery budget. Nice treat.
Picked up some fall blooming plants today: mums, dusty miller, flowering kale. I figured our weather will be too warm for a little bit yet to make buying pansies worth while, so I skipped those for now. I also skipped snapdragons. I didn't want yellow and that appeared to be all they had. I didn't buy big mums but smaller ones. I find they grow enough over the season and if I leave them alone and water over spring/summer, they will grow and bloom still more next year.
Bought one bag of mixed daffodil bulbs. There's no such thing at all as 'too many daffodils'. I will plant those in pots and remove the ones I planted in pots last year to another area. I think somewher in the front yard this time. Eventually I mean to have pools of daffodils here and there and everywhere. There's a lot of value in daffodils as far as I'm concerned.
It is rainy and cool. I've decided a pot of vegetable soup is just what we need today for our supper. It's always inexpensive to make and you can make a hearty meal or light one off the same pot of soup simply by how much of it you choose to eat.
John was out of his favorite diet soda. I had a 12 pack of regular here on hand. He decided that would do just fine. I'm glad to have it being used. It doesn't take as long you might think for soda to start going flat.
Friday: Our wifi router was not the right one for the new satellite system. I hope to sell the old one if I can find the activation CD that goes with it.
I had started dinner when I found we'd have to go buy a new router. I made out a quick shopping list (fresh fruit, a whole loaf of bread, flea collars, router) before we left home. We took off trash on our way out. I put our dinner in the crock pot on low. It really just needed to cook a little longer but I was sure the crock pot would not overcook it. It was perfect when we came in and it was doubly perfect o come in out of the cool misty, foggy day and smell a nice meal simmering away.
I washed a full load of dishes.
When the satellite was installed they were able to pull the cable through an existing hole that cable had been pulled through, rather than drill a new hole in the floor. John repacked it with steel wool afterwards to prevent visitors.
I made egg salad for sandwich filling.
Prepared John's work lunch ahead and popped into fridge. No rushing about tomorrow evening to get that done.
Planned weekend menus. No leftovers in the fridge this week, so I am cooking from scratch. I chose an especially easy meal for tomorrow's dinner.
We picked up two pennies (found in different spots) and dropped into our charity box.