My Frugal Week

This is one of those mystery updates...I added a jump break and the post jumped it's spot and decided to act as though it's new.  The actual date of this post is April 15, 2016...

A home done manicure.  The accent nail is done with a Jamberry sample Bess brought to me to try.  I used the acrylic gel transformer polish to make a regular polish have the durability of gel.  I'm pleased with my pretty manicure.

Saturday:  Saturday means bagels at our house, and fruit.  This morning we shared that meal with our littlest grandson.  Gramma never forces food at him but he watched me eating a whole strawberry while I held on to the green leaves at the top.  He soon reached over to my plate and took a whole strawberry to nibble upon as he delicately held the green top.  I simply reached over to his plate and ate the sliced berry that we'd prepared for him, which made him quite happy.  No waste and a little experience he'd never had before.

I made a chicken pie from meat I'd cleaned off cooked chicken backs.  The recipe was good but not something I think I'd add to our routine meal rotation.  I've one more in the freezer.  John's critique was the usual: the gravy wasn't thick enough.  I explained to him that gravy in a pie is sort of critical anyway.  Too thick and the pie becomes a gummy mass.  Too thin and it's like soup with a rich crouton.  It was not too thin, but I could see his point that it might be a little thicker.  I told him if I were inclined to repeat the recipe I'd alter it ever so slightly.

Supper rolled around with every body at home.  I had six slider type sandwiches, leftovers from previous dinners, chips...So I just heated those sliders and set out the other items and told everybody to help themselves.  We had enough to feed us all and nothing leftover which is always a bonus when you're on the third round with leftovers!

Mail brought my Pin number from Google...Hope I can get AdSense up and running on this blog at last.  We'll see.

John washed a full load of clothes, mostly for the kids, so they could take clean clothing home and not have to do laundry right away after their long drive.

Bess and I worked on a manicure.  I didn't use gel polish for this first one and was disappointed to find I had three chipped nails within an hour's time.  What a waste.  So much for the no light needed gel polish.  At least I got it all cheap and can use my current transformer polish to make it a gel manicure.

Sunday:  Made John's work lunch yesterday while the little boy was taking a nap.  I packed it this morning and made him breakfast and then sent him off to work.

Made second breakfasts for myself and the kids when they got up.

The parents forgot to bring the boy a sippy cup.  I had saved and washed a clear soda cup with a snap on lid and keep straws on hand.  He was very happy to drink from his cup with a straw and will drink plain water if it's in the cup.  I sent it with him for the trip on the way home, as an encouragement to hydrate.

I opted not to wash guest bedding.  They slept in it only two nights and will be coming back over next weekend. 

Ran a full load of laundry this morning: my own sheets and the towels used over the past week in both bathrooms plus a few odd pieces of clothing I gathered.

I didn't hang clothes to dry outdoors.  The morning was cold and cloudy and I didn't expect it to clear off...but it did, just as soon as that load of clothes were done in the dryer!  Next time I'll hang out first and bring in to put in the dryer if necessary.

While clothing dried I gave myself a fresh manicure.  That's it in the photo heading this post.  I was really pleased with how it turned out and yes, I did use the transformer polish and LED light to make a gel manicure from regular polish.

I was on my own today.  I had plenty of salad in the fridge from the past two days, a piece of roasted chicken breast and baked a potato.  I said I'd used all the leftovers last night but I 'found' the chicken and salad while I was checking over the fridge.

My afternoon snack was very tasty and one I'll repeat again: cottage cheese and one of those sweet Cara Cara oranges sectioned into it.  Perfect blend of protein an carbohydrate.

For supper tonight I combined a variety of leftovers: half a chicken breast, some leftover corn and black beans, half a can of tomatoes, 1/4 of an onion and chicken broth.  I added seasonings and 1/2 cup of brown rice.  It made a tasty Santa Fe chicken soup.

Ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.  I let those air dry when the cycles were done.  I also washed on a short cycle which saves water and electricity.

Took a loaf of banana bread from the freezer to thaw.  It will be nice to snack on this week.

Monday:  Finished the weeding of the privet. And just in time, because I also seem to have found the poison ivy as well.  Today I remembered to take my low stool out in the yard with me which is much easier on my hip and ankle.  Wish I'd used my head for something besides a hat rack when I started that task!

After I vacuumed the whole house today, I took the vacuum apart and cleaned filters, wiped built up dust out of the crevices, etc.  This vacuum was not expensive, but it's been a really good one and I want it to last.

Today is Harvest Day.  I sat down just before lunch and worked on bills.  We had a very large bill come in this past pay period and I debated how best to pay it off.  I can't swing it all without taking out a whole chunk of savings but I can break it down into bites.  I figured if I paid 10% of it this time it will show an earnest desire to pay, so that's what I did.  If, next month, things are going well for us, I'll pay as much again or even more. If not I'll shoot for 10% of that remaining balance.  Bites.  This money did not come from this week's check which is the short check of the month.  Instead, it came out of the money I'd set aside to move to savings.  We still have a portion of that left. 

I also set money aside to pay towards the other large medical bill that came in a month ago.  I am determined we will work hard at making these bills up without taking out a loan or using the money already in our savings accounts.

I didn't have leftovers nor really any 'ready to eat' items on hand except egg salad.  Call me odd, but I dislike egg salad once it's cold.  I like it just made and at room temperature.  To offset my dislike I made toast and spread the egg salad on the warm toast.  John always calls a toasted bread sandwich gourmet, so we'll go with that, lol.

After lunch, I went into town.  I took off trash, picked up mail, dropped books off at the library, went by the local bank to get money for a special purpose, went by the dollar store where I bought gift cards and Ivarest for the poison.  John called while I was out with his check totals. I had brought bills and checkbook along with me so I could complete that task while I was out.  I got those checks in the mail, went by our regular bank and got allowances and grocery money.  I was glad to get so much accomplished while I was out.

John worked an extra 12 hour shift (which has now turned into an extra 14 hours...) and since he was already at work, he didn't have to make an extra trip down to pick up his check.  He walked to the bank to deposit it.  If you're wondering why we don't do direct deposit, which would be oh so convenient, it's because the county won't do the paperwork with the banks..*later note: his shift ran to 14 hour so that was more time than he'd planned on working but we'll appreciate the extra just the same.

Realized while I was out that I was really hungry.  I debated all the options, and finally said "This is ridiculous!  You have loads of food at home..."  So rather than drive 30 miles or so to get a burger, I came home and put one of my frozen pre-formed patties into a skillet over low heat.  It took a little while to cook but ultimately, no longer than the drive would have taken over all and most definitely a lot cheaper.  Not to mention tasty, too.

Tuesday:  A day at home.  My husband was simply to worn out by yesterday's extra half shift to consider going anywhere today.  He did take time to try and make a minor repair on the truck we hope to get up for sale.

John made breakfast and used the extra potatoes I cooked on Thursday of last week to make hash browns.

I repaired my manicure.  And if you're wondering if that's all I've done today, yes, pretty much.  The house is nicely cleaned.  I made the bed and dinner.  John washed a full load of clothes.  I'll take my quiet day to work on blog and put together a few outfits...I need to work on that with an inspiration photo though as I'm not crazy over anything I came up with on my own.

We had rain overnight, nice gentle spring rain and now the sun is shining.  It will make for good plants.

John brought home submarine sandwiches last night.  We'll have those for supper tonight.  It was way too late to consider eating those for supper as he'd intended when he came in.

Cut up the last of the celery and made a full container of sticks for John to snack on.  I also cut a carrot into sticks.

I finely chopped cabbage and a little celery to make slaw later this week.

I dried celery leaves in the oven.

I put the ends of an onion, the root end of the celery and the tops and bottoms of carrots into the broth bag.

I cut up all the oranges left in the bowl and put them in a glass jar in the fridge for easier snacking.  This empties the fruit bowl for tomorrow's fruits.

Used a previously used packing envelope to send magazines and a book to Katie.

Wednesday:  Well rested, John suggested we leave extra early this morning and go out for breakfast...It wasn't in the budget but remember that bit of money I'd set aside?  I just pushed some of it back into the main checking account and kept a portion of the money for savings.  Our meals out generally consist of a sub sandwich.  A restaurant meal out is a little thing John likes to do for ME, and I'm not about to burst his bubble...unless, of course, things are truly dire. 

Aldi has a wonderful line of outdoor items.  Remember the bench I wanted?  Found one today for $39.99.  I didn't buy it today but will next pay period when we're more flush.  Today I bought the much needed replacement umbrella for the patio table. That came from our house fund. It said $39.99 on the box where the umbrellas were but rang up for $29.99 which was last week's sales price.  They had nice patio chair cushions, bare root roses, ferns and so much more.  Next week they will have trellises and shepherds hooks.  I need a second trellis to go in the rose bed, so I'm setting aside a portion of my allowance to go back next week and get that.  I told John, who knew when we started shopping at Aldi four years ago that it would also become our 'home center store' as well.

We checked in at Publix to pick up a prescription.  I didn't have time this morning to scan the weekly sales sheet.  I grabbed one just inside the door and discovered the pet foods we normally buy were bogos.  I picked up those even though we didn't need them right away.  I got some of the Diet Rite sodas (b2g2) and asked about my prescriptions while in the store.  So glad I did.  My Coumadin prescription was out of date and needed to be renewed.  They will fax the doctor's office asking for a fresh prescription.  I only have six weeks more to stay on this medication...Hard to believe it's been a year!

No lunch out today, since we ate breakfast away from home.  No leftovers...I contemplated options on my way home and once again those hamburgers I'd formed and froze when we bought our bulk meat purchase came in handy.  I can pop them into a frying pan while frozen, lower the heat, clamp on a lid and they will cook and thaw at the same time.  Very handy to have and next time I think I might make up two dozen instead of just one dozen.  I've got four left of this last batch.  It turned out to be a very good option as we had a lovely bunch of fresh produce, pretzels, and such to help make out the meal.

Next Friday night begins Passover.  I will be ridding my home of yeast.  I know I have a few products on hand that we ought to use up this week.  We also bought less bread this week because we will rely on things like biscuits (canned and homemade) and flour tortillas for the following week.  I didn't buy tortillas today since I couldn't get any without yeast at Aldi (and obviously didn't think of them at Publix!), or biscuits either, but neither are expensive to purchase.  I can easily buy them from my pocket money next week.

Because the grocery budget was needed for grocery this week, I paid for a fern and a bunch of carnations from my pocket money.  I didn't do this at the store, but I did tuck the money into the bill box where it can be deposited or used towards next pay period grocery budget.

I forgot to buy the instant mac and cheese cups that John prefers to carry in his lunches.  Fortunately he didn't eat his earlier this week so there was one in his lunchbox.

I've only cooked two meals this week...It IS a savings but it means there are no leftovers...and it means I've virtually nothing for sandwiches.  Fortunately John opted to eat the egg salad and I had the last of the Southwestern Chicken Soup I made Sunday evening from a variety of leftovers.

Thursday:  I am MISERABLE.  Fortunately ice packs are helping to calm the horrid crawling, itching, burning sensation I'm experiencing.  I think I am at the peak of the poison at the moment and prayerful that I'll improve every day from here. 

Packed John's lunch and made him breakfast.

Went into town this morning.  For once I didn't even gather trash, or look for mail, etc.  I just wanted to do what I had to do in town and return home.  So off to get  a haircut...

And then to the booth, which got a good hard clean and rearrange and looked fresh when I left it.  I hope this improves my current sales.  Housekeeping is housekeeping no matter where you are.  Rearranging the items may bring something to light that regulars have missed and hopefully I've highlighted some rather nice items.  I also did a few markdowns on items that have been in the booth for a long time. 

I was tired and hungry and had nothing ready to eat at home.  I thought over all my options.  Our local diner was closed due to a death in the family.  That meant a drive of anywhere from 25 to 35 miles round trip.  I decided to go into the local grocery and just see what caught my eye as an option.  I happened to see fish fillets and after looking at serving portion and carbohydrates, I decided that fish tacos would be good.  I haven't done those lately and was pretty sure I'd be happy.  I had fresh tomatoes, chopped cabbage on hand and need to use those tortillas.  I went ahead and picked up a frozen meat loaf and mashed potato entrée for supper.  I'll steam broccoli while that cooks this evening and have a decent lower carb meal.  I paid for these items from my pocket money, just as I would have if I'd opted for takeout.  Bonus?  This was less than takeout, even at my hometown store prices.

Set the fern on the steps to get fresh rainwater.

Organized my photos on my computer so I can more easily find what I want for various purposes.

Friday:  I did think last night to take out meat from the freezer to thaw for today and weekend meals.  I'd found a turkey breast I'd completely forgotten I bought back about Christmas, so that came out and thawed for sandwiches and Sunday dinner.

John worked yesterday and into this morning.  I decided that this once it was more than worthwhile to wash my bras in the washer and dry in the dryer, something I never ever do, but it seemed the most likely way to get rid of any residual poison that might be on the bras. 

I really did take it fairly easy this week.  Still I kept up with daily housekeeping so it was an easy enough task today to run through the house with vacuum.  I quickly cleared little spots that had gotten cluttered and put things away in their rightful places.  Then I arranged flowers, including a little bouquet for the guest room as a treat to Bess.

Last night, in one of my 'distract me from itching' moments, I cleared all excess breads from the freezer and sorted quickly through the items in my cupboards to remove those which contained yeast.  It's not nearly such a heavy task these days as it was five or six years ago when we began following Passover.  I know just about which items we need to NOT have in the house during this time of year and limit purchases as we get nearer.  I set a few items aside for Bess to take back home this weekend: pretzels, crackers with a cheese filling (yeast flavors the cheese) a packet of onion soup mix and two packets of yeast.  I've already discussed with Bess our yeast free home for a week starting next Friday evening at sundown, so she and Sam will prepare themselves for that when they come up again.

Continuing with the ice packs today as itching becomes horrid.  Sadly, the weather is fairly cool and I sit here shivering...but it's so necessary.

This morning I took the turkey breast and having noted that I had some of the garlic/Parmesan and mayo mix that is so good as garlic toast spread had been sitting in the fridge, I decided to combine it with a little chipotle mayonnaise I'd mixed up and spread it all over the turkey breast.  It was a variation on the mayonnaise roasted turkey recipe I tried and liked so well earlier this month.

While the turkey roasted in a slow oven, I washed fingerling potatoes and tossed with onion soup mix and olive oil to roast, as well.  This was a side dish for our dinner. 

I took out a sirloin steak to cook.  I'd had these cut in half at the market but you know it was still pretty large.  I cut into three serving pieces.  I set one aside after cooking and we will have fajitas for supper one night or a salad if it truly does warm up as much as predicted in the days ahead.

I cooked hamburger and seasoned it.  That will top our pizza tomorrow for dinner.  The turkey breast will be Sunday dinner first and sandwich meat, too.  I'll probably end up putting half the breast back into the freezer.  I saved broth to pour over the meat so it won't dry out when I freeze it.

John washed and dried a full load of clothes.  He hung some on the line (futile...I'm pretty sure they are coming back in almost as wet as they went out), some on the clothes rack and dried just a few items in the dryer (like my bras and undies at my request). 

And that wraps up another week of living well and frugally in our home!


Lana said...

It has been a long lonely week! Seven days down and 8 to go until hubby comes home from France. I have not been too concerned about saving money this week but I have spent very little. I have a free bagel everyday on my Panera Rewards card so I have been picking one up through the drive through every time I pass there. Yummy!

Breakfast is our favorite meal to eat out. We have a little local cafe that has great food and we are like family there. Sometimes one of us will say that we really do need to go out for dinner!

Anonymous said...

Terri, I am so sorry to hear about your poison ivy. My mom got it several times a year, sometimes just by driving down by the river and not even getting out of the car. She had good luck with the jewelweed plant. It grew wild at home but they make a soap with it in it and also a slave. You might research it and see if it is something you might want to keep on hand for next time. :-) I hope you feel better soon! Meginkansas

Anonymous said...

Should be salve (darn autocorrect) Meginkan

Anonymous said...

LOL, I so agree about the auto correct, Meg. What it says, or I should say what it makes me say, is crazy sometimes.

Terri, I sure hope your miserable season is over. You have all my sympathy. Thanks for such a nice post even though you aren't feeling the greatest. Sounds like you did a great job of being frugal and saving. Pam

Anonymous said...

I have not had poison ivy since I was a kid. It's terrible. I hope you get completely over it very soon.
Your nails sure look snazzy! You have those long pretty fingers I so envy too. :)
We too have been able to use up a lot of odds and ends to make some new fun menus. Soon it will be hot and sticky and we won't want to have the oven on leet alone cook at all! I better cook up a roast or such while there are a few cooler days left. Come summer I need menus written down to refer to as cooking let alone eating is not very interesting to us. Our house stays hot and humid.
Menus still need a it of tweeting for diabetes. Hubby still is concerned about eating fruit and we need to sit down and look over the dietitians booklets and discuss just what was said. I understand but he is resistant.
His numbers are very good but he is not getting the amount of veggies and fruits and does not use the protein with a snack right yet. One step at a time. He really has been amazing through this all.
I washed the clothes and put them out but the wind has them all wrapped around the lines. It was towels and such household things so no worry over wrinkling only frustration when I go to get them off the line. :)
Our second Aldi opens in two weeks. It is amazing how many things they can get into such a small store isn't it. Sarah

Karla Neese said...

Oh how horrible to be incessantly itching for any reason! I'm so thankful I've not had poison ivy or oak or anything like that before. I would not be a good patient. :)

Hope you get to feeling right quickly!

Your nails look lovely. I was thinking of getting a manicure and pedicure before our vacation in a couple of weeks but I'm not sure if I want to spend the funds and I'm not good at it myself. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way that you could possibly get another insurance plan and maybe your bills wouldn't be so large?

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