My Frugal Week: Present Savings
Saturday: John worked a 24 hour shift through 7am this morning. I knew he'd be good and hungry but hadn't gone to the store as I ought to have done. I had four eggs and a family of five to feed. I decided to make a breakfast of toast, grits and sausage. Not quite a full breakfast but it did well enough.
The family came in overnight. I had a boneless turkey breast out. I made the mayonnaise roasted turkey breast roast I've made before. A big pan of Italian roasted vegetables went with the meal and filled us up without a lot of work on my part. I used potatoes, zucchini, onion, peppers and mushrooms.
The kids asked for a cobbler. I had canned peaches in the kitchen cupboard and made up one of the easy cobbler recipes that uses equal measures of butter, flour, milk, sugar and fruit.
We tried hard to be restful, but the truth is more people equals more work and I planned poorly all around. I washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
The kids went out to dinner and a movie. Grampa and I babysat Josh. We three had supper together, just a simple quick chicken patty sandwich.
Sunday: Easy breakfast this morning of bagels and peanut butter and fruit.
John and Bess each did a full load of clothes today.
We went off to church and I repaired a bracelet on the way.
John and I went by the grocery. I completely forgot about milk and eggs. Still have four eggs. Still have five people in the house. I'll figure out a way to stretch those eggs yet.
John wanted to buy fried chicken. I knew full well that our budget is already straining but I also knew that the man was trying to save me the work and the need to rush about when I got home. I told him sure and thanked him for thinking of me. We have enough leftover to feed us another meal.
I worked out menus today but Bess came in from her day and said "Would you mind if I cook some, too? Maybe every other night?" Well, no I don't. I want them to feel at home. We agreed to sit down and figure out a meal plan for the week tomorrow morning. Of course, mine is pretty much thought out but it's a good time to discover what they like and don't like and adjust accordingly.
Sam made his awesome pizza and sauce. I've got the recipes and will share and he had me take pictures of the dough and how it should look for you all as well. That will come up in another post this week. We used what we had to top the pizza. What we had: turkey pepperoni, turkey Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and of course, tomato sauce. It takes only 4 ounces cheese to make two medium pizzas. We had leftovers.
While at the grocery today I bought a begonia plant as my flowers for the upcoming pay period. It was $3.99 and should last longer than cut flowers now that it's gotten warmer here. We run fans to move the air and that dries the flower out more quickly when the rooms are warm. I will try to keep some sort of green or flowering plant in the house over the summer months, with an eye to what I might put in the yard or use on the porches.
We picked up a Sunday paper while we were out. I was happy to get coupons.
Monday: We washed three loads of clothes today. I dried one load on the line and drying rack. The rest went into the dryer.
Washed a full load of dishes.
John mowed lawn while I kept Josh and did the housework. We all skipped lunch and just snacked. I carefully snacked on fruit/protein/whole grains so that I kept my sugar in check. I'm running a little higher than I have been in the past. I lay this at not sleeping well and being a little out of routine.
John and I went down to pick up his check. We went to the bank, went to the post office and took a long ride home. We took off the trash on our way out.
I cooked supper this evening. Bess and I have worked out a division of labor that will hopefully work for us both. The house is staying reasonably decent, things are getting done. Mostly it's just keeping up and for right now that's good enough.
Tuesday: Bess and I went to the grocery store. We shopped at Aldi and each of us bought our own snacks and dairy. She bought items for the meals she'd planned, I bought what was needed for meals I'd planned and the produce we'd use this week. I was shocked at how low my total was today, well within budget with money to spare and Bess was pleased with her total too, which was even lower.
We came home to have lunch, eating leftovers.
Bess prepared supper. It was a very tasty inexpensive meal from a menu service that she joined about a year ago. They provide an Aldi shopping list, the menu plan etc so that you can stick to a pre-set grocery budget. This service has been invaluable to her.
She also cooked chicken in the crock pot to make two pans of enchiladas (also a menu service recipe). As she was starting to put them together, I got a call from my oldest son saying he and his children would be coming up end of next week to spend a couple of days. Bess suggested we keep the enchiladas until next week to serve as a family dinner. I agreed. We're both pleased to have that meal ahead. I'll see if we can't come up with one more meal we can make in quantity before next week. That will keep breakfast and lunch as the only meals to really make and both of those will be simple ones.
John did a load of clothes and hung them to dry while we were gone.
Wednesday: John and I had a breakfast of toasted frozen French Toast. These were leftovers from a meal last week.
John and I left the family at home and went to Home Depot. We need to replace an outlet in the music room. John had researched what to purchase. When we got to Home Depot a gentleman told John that he couldn't buy what he was looking for and that to replace the outlet would cost at least $16 or more. He told John how to change what we have with items we could purchase for under $5 per outlet.
I purchased bulk petunias and a shepherd's hook for the yard today. That completes the back porch flower bed project and made up hanging baskets for the front porch. Next I'll pot plants for the ironing board. I priced out options for hanging my curtains on the front porch. I think I can do what I want for under $10.
I bought more paint, too, to finish off the ironing board. I bought two cans but turns out I needed only one. I'll carry the second can back and swap for one of the paints I need to continue work on my dining chairs.
I started dinner in the crock pot before leaving home. It's a new to me recipe (lots of those this week) but not pricey to make. It was nice to know at the end of this afternoon of being out, then coming home to pot up some of my plants, watering, painting the ironing board, etc. that dinner was cooking away indoors.
Slowly we're working into a routine. Bess did laundry, cleaned their room and bath while we were gone. Josh was able to get in his morning nap.
John decided to work a half day tomorrow. He'd asked me on the way home what we owed on medical bills we're currently paying. It felt good to say we'd paid off the loan (did that about two months ago) and we owed a low amount on the two bills we're paying currently.
Thursday: I opened windows today when John left. It was so cool outdoors and the birds were singing and peace just filled the house with all that cool. We kept the windows open until nearly 11 today.
I spent an hour or two outdoors this morning. I potted up every single plant I'd bought in the past two weeks. I haven't always been mindful of this and so I consider it a huge savings to actually plant all I bought this time.
I had to go into town to pick up birthday cards and a gift card. While on my way out, I took off trash, made a deposit to savings at the local bank and went to the dollar store. I was so happy to find I could buy the gift card I wanted at the Dollar Store. No savings in that purchase except in gasoline and time.
I found a small blow up pool for Josh for $5. It seemed a good purchase. Josh enjoyed playing in the pool after lunch.
Though we had a menu plan for the whole week, I used my usual method of planning twice. We had loads of leftovers so we decided to have leftovers night. This cleared lots of space in the fridge.
I used mashed potatoes to make potato pancakes as a side dish.
We didn't eat the rest of the Italian Beef. I put in a container in the freezer and made sure to label it so I would know what we had.
Friday: I had thought we'd open windows this morning but about a half hour after I got up the AC started running. It's gonna be a hot one today!
I made breakfast sandwiches for John and I. Josh likes bacon, so I cooked an extra slice for him.
While breakfast was cooking, I swept up the back porch.
I made a project from my old watering can. It was a Pinterest project I'd pinned. I had all the materials on hand. It turned out really cute.
I made Banana bread using some over ripe bananas. When the cooking time was up the banana bread was not quite ready. I turned off the oven and left the bread in place.
Cut up watermelon. Now we've eaten all the leftovers I have room to store the melon chunks.
I couldn't find the item needed to season today's meal. After looking high and low I settled upon a bottle of a different seasoning which should work as well with the recipe.
To save time this evening, I cut up vegetables and set up the rice/water.