Frugal Friday: Proceed With Caution

Saturday:  I was certain I didn't have anything to make a big breakfast for John as he came in from work today but I went to the freezer and looked anyway.  Sure enough I found some sausage I'd forgotten about purchasing two weeks ago.  I had just enough eggs to fry and made toast.  Good enough!

I planned a steak dinner for today, using the last of the steak from the freezer.  I also used lettuce, previously sliced tomatoes, red cabbage, a carrot to make a salad to go along with the meal.

I had to go into town.  I knew I'd need eggs, was out of milk, wanted to treat John to a russet Baked Potato, something I haven't made in over a year. I also wanted to provide birthday pie for my two youngest who have birthdays just six days apart.   Katie was visiting today and I won't likely get a chance to see her again until her birthday is long past.  I spent about $30 today.  I realized I've spent about $80 the past week on groceries and still I need things.  I've cautioned myself to be mindful and very careful in the coming two week period.

Washed a full load of dishes. 

Bess washed two full loads of clothes, one of which contained some of our laundry.

Don't have to water plants courtesy the cooler weather and end of week rain we've had.

Pulled coffee from the pantry.  Bess had an extra gallon of whole milk for Josh's nightly bottle that she brought out of the freezer.

I dug about in the fridge and realized we had plenty of stuff for sandwiches tonight.  We used the last of a bag of Cheese Puffs from Josh's birthday party last Sunday.

Sunday:  Bagels and coffee for breakfast I said but we were running low on bagels....then I found a package of frozen waffles we'd forgotten about.  We ate them like bagels, spreading them with cream cheese.

Sam opted to stay home today.  He as interested in making pizzas for Sunday dinner.  He used tomatoes I'd sliced earlier in the week to make sauce.

John was pleased with the Father's Day 'gift' today at church:  Coca Cola and a Moon Pie.  All the men looked pretty happy.  It's not really frugal on our part, but it was fun and special for him.

Stopped at the grocery on the way home.  We needed bread, and John wanted a paper.  Bess had her own list of things she purchased.

We had pizza and leftover pie for Father's Day dinner today.  I was glad that the meal was so easy.  I was extra tired today.

Scanned sales ads from the newspaper. 

When asked what was for supper, I reminded everyone we had plenty of chicken and turkey for sandwiches yet.

Naps are free and often restorative.  I  took one this afternoon.  It was a huge help.

Sam used his truck and some straps to partially pull down a turkey foot oak that died a couple of years ago.  This is one job that I deeply appreciate.  We don't have a chain saw and don't know anyone who has one we might borrow. 

Monday:  I am having one of my very poor sleep spells and my attitude is about as rotten as it comes...I'm fighting resentments and pity party invitations pretty doggone hard at the moment.  This morning I made time to find some quiet moments.  I am pretty sure that is a partial part of my attitude problem.  Not a monetary savings but one meant to keep harsh words at bay and that's a savings of hurt feelings and causing undue stress on others.

We'd had a bit of a storm blow thru on Friday so lots of kindling sized wood to pick up.  I wish we had need of it but I piled in edge of woods on side of house where it came become a refuge for ground birds and such.

John pulled the turkey foot oak trunks to one side of the yard where we hope that someone might need them for fire wood.

I pulled lunch out of thin air when the chicken failed to even think of thawing...was not showing much sign it's gonna thaw for dinner either.  Another hat trick necessary?  I cut into thin pieces and pan fried it for supper. 

John insisted on a 'simple meal' and nothing is more simple than meat and potatoes.  I made potato salad which used up a boiled egg that needed to be used.

Made John's work lunch and set to one side in the fridge

Feeling I'm spinning out of control budgetwise at the moment.  Everyone seems to be strapped for cash for necessities and while I'm aware that it's all temporary it feels hard.  It's good incentive to proceed with caution however, and attempt to use what I have even more than before. 

So when Bess was unsure what her budget for groceries might be this week I told her no worries.  The freezer and pantry aren't empty!  We'll do our best to make do.  We're agreed that produce and milk are our big priorities.

I washed a full load of dishes.

I gave myself a pedicure.  Bess gave me a sample of a Jamberry wrap. I used it as an accent nail.

John mowed the lawn today.  Lawn services are available here but average $50 or more.  We keep nearly 3 acres mowed so I can just imagine how much money John saves us by mowing our yard. 

I gave myself a pedicure this afternoon.  I know I'm saving upwards of $40 per manicure and no, I'm not planning to start putting dollar signs on all my tasks yet again.  Just mentioning obvious savings.

Tuesday:  Packed John's lunch.  Made him breakfast.

It was so lovely and cool this morning, just in the mid 60f range.  I came indoors and opened windows and let the house air until Josh got up.  Our windows are unstable and can come slamming down suddenly.  They are heavy and all metal and I know personally how hard they can land on a finger.  I cringe just thinking of having Josh get hurt when he's standing at one of them.

John left a necessary item at home this morning.  He called and asked if I might bring it to him.  I did so and picked up his check to deposit.  I also mailed off the bills I'd prepared.

Came home and Bess and I planned meals.  I took a freezer inventory of meats we had on hand first.  Bess and I were surprised to find we had 14 meals worth of meats.  We planned meals around what we have on hand.  We also planned to make a couple of make ahead meals.

We went grocery shopping.  I came in under budget and have a little extra for purchasing meats next week at the special market that has weekly sales on good ground beef  and boneless skinless breasts.

We stopped for lunch at Sonic.  We opted for $5 meals.

While we were unloading groceries the propane people came to paint the tank.  As they were rolling up the hose after they'd finished the hose burst and paint sprayed the side of my house, windows and window screens.  In the end, the house was spray washed (at least that back side, lol) and they replaced the screens in the windows.  They did use my screening but that was to prevent their taking my frames with them.  I like the company and I knew the man who was working but I'd hate to lose my frames!

Watered plants which needed the water desperately.

Wednesday:  I had a little quiet time on the back porch this morning, which I count as bonus.  I woke with a tremendous headache and needed that quiet time.

Yesterday, while I was running the errand for John, Bess began clearing out the small freezer in the guest closet and moving things to the main freezer.    This pushed me to do a task I've been meaning to do: cleaning out the freezer.  I have a bad habit of being super economy minded and saving odd bits and pieces of things that take up more room than you'd think.  Honestly, I was able to wash 20 odd zippered bags today that held things we've not eaten, apparently will never in a million years eat and which I'd stuffed in a spot here and another there.  Amazingly, this freezer purge netted me enough room to not only store the frozen things we bought yesterday but a double batch of chicken enchiladas and a spaghetti casserole and peach crisp for Bess to take to the new home.

So, as I said in the paragraph above, we've been doing some cooking ahead.  I made a Spaghetti Diable for Bess and one for our lunch today, plus put extra pasta without the meat from the dish into the freezer to use as a base for a Chicken Parmesan dinner.  Bess made a double batch of chicken Enchiladas, one large pan for them and two small pans for us.  I made a peach crisp (using frozen peaches from last season) for them and a blueberry peach crisp for all of us to eat now.

I asked Katie if she wanted the freezer.  She does.  So sometime in July the little freezer will go to her home.  I only have a few jars of chicken broth left in that freezer now.  I told Bess, I think in future I will cease to make and freeze broth.  In honesty it is not a convenience to me, once I've frozen it.  Instead I shall either buy stock in shelf stable cartons or buy in cans and stock only a few.

Bess did laundry today.  She kindly tossed in the few pieces of mine that also needed to be washed.

I washed a full load of dishes today and hand washed several sinks full as well.  It was one heavy dish day.

Thursday:  I needed to mail off Katie's birthday card and there was, as always these days, a bag of trash.  I also wanted to go to the discount grocery in the next town and pick up breakfast sausages and hot dogs, plus rolls for our supper tonight and food for Maddie.  I will say that it was very sobering to realize I was right at budget when I left that store.  I'll be postponing any meat purchase until I am a bit more flush with cash or a fresh grocery budget.

Bess offered to make smoothies this morning.  She used some of the frozen fruits from last summer that I'd packed in the freezer, as well as some bananas that ripened at the same time as another bunch.  Tasty!

Spent some time with the heating pad today.  Then I moved my computer back to my desk in the kitchen, which also seemed to help my back.  Little things help a lot.

John washed a full load of clothes and hung them to dry.

Noting the missing water bottles from the fridge, I asked that they be rounded up from various places.  They were put in the dishwasher and washed.  I had a full load with the addition of ten bottles! 

Friday:  John took me out to breakfast this morning.  It wasn't cheap but then again, we didn't need lunch after eating such a large and late meal.  Last pay period was very tight but we had a little room to spare this one, so we didn't use our allowances for this meal.

I looked around in the shop attached to the restaurant but bought nothing.  I found it was quite easy to reason myself out of any number of purchases.

We went by the grocery to pick up some items John wanted to get for co-workers who'd done him a kindness this past week.  I knew I needed decaf coffee for the week ahead and postage stamps which this grocery sells.  I got both items while we were in store. 

I did not purchase flowers which I know will not keep well in the house with the fans running and the warmer air that circulates.  Cut flowers do much better in a cooler home.

I had leftovers from supper that I told the kids they might have for lunch.

John and I opted for a light afternoon snack instead of lunch.

Unloaded dishwasher and refilled water bottles for the fridge.

So happy that dinner was practically cooked yesterday.  I need only to warm and to make a side dish.


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

It sounds like Bess is good company. You and she work so well together.

It has been miserably hot here this June. Near 100 degrees on most days. All flowers that I care about must be watered every day without fail or they will bake. It takes a good size chunk of time each day.

I sympathize with your sleep struggles. I'm in the same type of phase right now. The lack of sleep has such a snowball effect in other aspects of life. Many days in a row I have been still struggling to get to sleep as the sun is coming up and shining on the tops of the trees. Finally I fall asleep and wake up after just a very few hours. I have even tried just skipping that short sleep to see if I can get into normal sleep again by waiting until the next sleep cycle. That makes me even more wound up and unable to sleep, yet exhausted. Some days I am just frazzled from lack of sleep. I drink no caffeine, but I suspect that it is my thyroid medication that causes my sleep problems, even though doctor said dose is correct. I guess it will normalize one way or another, sooner or later. I tell myself that this too, shall pass.

Debbie said...

I struggle with having a normal sleep pattern also. My back has also been acting up, dang sciatic nerve! I feel your pain. Praying for you!

You are doing really well with using the contents of your freezer and creating meals around them. Bess sounds like such a lovely girl and I'm glad you guys have each other to bounce ideas off of. :)

Be blessed!

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