Frugal Friday: Left, Right, Left...Frugal Boot Camp Continues

This happy dog is a very fluffy dog, with a heavy triple layered coat of fur.  On these really hot days she's miserable.  I've given her a pool of water to lie in but she won't go near it except to drink.  So I let her dig holes in the flower beds in the shady places and plant around her spots so she can get to them.  I also give her pupsicles,  just frozen chicken broth really, which she enjoys greatly.  Love my Maddie and want to keep her as comfortable as I can.

Saturday:  No big deal today.  It's almost always a quieter day in our home and that is what is most needed.  A very simple breakfast, watered the plants that needed it, fed the pets.  Dinner is a crock pot meal that was already assembled in the fridge.  I just needed to pop the crock into the liner and heat on high for 1 hour and cook it for 3 more on low.  Salad and dessert were made yesterday.  I'll rinse and stack dishes and we'll call the day a great one for rest.

Took time this morning to have a brief 'beauty hour'.  I freshened my mani-/pedi-cure and used a mask on my face, deep conditioned my hair, shaved and exfoliated my skin.   It really took only about an hour at the very most and I felt fresh as a daisy.

Received my order of sample fragrances from Fragrance.Net and they included another perfume sample, an emery board, an eye cream sample and coupons for next purchases. 

Received my free Fiber One Mint Chocolate Brownie in the mail.

While on Pinterest this afternoon I read a few posts on frugal living. I took notes and will share in my next Frugal Boot Camp post.

Looked at Pinterest boards to see how I might wear my black maxi skirt.  Honestly with the ideas I'd already saved and the ideas I found today I could wear that outfit every day for nearly two weeks and just change up the accessories, change the shirt, etc. 

Ordered a nightie today, much needed.  That gift I mentioned receiving is funding this purchase.

Sunday:  John wanted a steak for dinner today.  I was amendable when he compromised on eating the potatoes and salad we already had at home.  He bought two steaks, we ate one and have one left for another meal. 

I now have enough leftovers that I think we can skip cooking the rest of the week except for side dishes...That means that main entrees on the menus will be pushed along to next week.

I went into CVS after church.  I didn't do too badly.  I had loaded my card with several high value coupons over the past week and purchased the items I wanted on sale.  I saved $15 right away and earned $8 in Extra Cash Bucks to use on future purchases.

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

I washed a full load of dishes.

Was very pleased with my outfit today.  I felt chic, not something I feel too often, but I did.  I was very comfortable and cool enough on a day that quickly went to 95f. 

Made John's work lunch for tomorrow.

Monday:  Made John's breakfast and then packed his lunch for work.

It was quite pleasant outdoors this morning.  I opened the windows and allowed the house to air until nearly 8:30 when it got too humid to stand.

As soon as I'd opened windows, I stripped our bed and added them to the clothes we had.  It filled the washer nicely full.

Took time to locate the 'mark' on the laundry soap cap and paint it with red nail polish so we don't have to wish we had superman vision to see it.

Hung out the first load of clothes to dry and started a second load of towels and bath rugs and the dish mat.

Made myself breakfast, using the last two eggs in the carton, the last tablespoon of onion and chive cream cheese to make scrambled eggs.

Hung the towels and rugs to dry.

Rinsed the dishes in cold water, then loaded them into the dishwasher.

Cleared my makeup case of the oldest things and replaced them with the new items I'd purchased yesterday.  This helps me to use the fresher makeup instead of telling myself I must use that which is truly past it's prime date.  I realized the need of doing this last week when I got a painful cyst on my upper lip.

Wore the same black shirt I wore yesterday with my white jeans today.  I also pulled out a pair of sandals I'd not worn due to how tight and small they felt.  They now fit perfectly and looked very nice with my outfit.

When I returned home I treated two spots on the white jeans and set them aside for the laundry tomorrow.

I kind of wanted to shop today but Mama didn't feel like was way too hot to have her just sit in the car and even with the AC running (my frugal heart just hates to do that) it would have been unpleasant.  I decided to just wait.  I don't have a complete list yet, don't have a plan and for various reasons I know that it was the best choice to make. 

Didn't purchase any fruit today.  I kept telling John we were low...I have three jars of berries and half a watermelon in the fridge!  I have canned pineapple, pears and applesauce, canned cherries and blueberries.  I have frozen fruit...I do NOT need to buy fruit.  This is a mindset that I am attempting to get out of here and now:  Just because I'm out of one form of something does not mean I need to push the budget overage still higher in order to replace it. NO.  I have other options.   I need to look at ALL my options and use more of what I actually have rather than spend more!  Yup that is a frugal boot camp 'Ta Da!' moment.

Reheated frozen leftovers for my supper. 

Not my doing but a savings:  we got roughly a half hour's worth of rain this afternoon.  I can skip watering the plants again!

And the cooling down meant the AC cut off about an hour earlier than usual this evening.  Go kilowatt savings! lol

Mama gifted me tomatoes and fresh squash today.

Tuesday:  I made a big breakfast for John this morning.  Slowly I'm redefining what 'big' is: 2 eggs instead of 3, 2 pieces of toast, a smaller serving of grits or hash browns.  It's worked well so far.

I am overrun with tomatoes.  I'd bought some earlier in the pay period, Mama gave me some yesterday and John brought home some this morning from work that someone had brought in.   They will not go to waste by any means.  I'll put them on the table every meal if I must but we'll eventually use them all.

Removed more of the broth from the freezer. I can make more pupsicles for Maddie from it and she's loving these things, so no waste.  It's lovely to have all these jars back.  As Lana mentioned in a comment, I too had started to use the big yogurt and cottage cheese containers because I found that (a) I could more easily get the broth out without having to thaw entirely.  I have several of those in the big freezer now.  (b) It means my jars are handy to use for dry storage or fridge storage rather than stuck in the freezer where I can't  really use them as I need to.

Cleared up the guest bedroom one more time.  I consolidated the stuff to be donated, moved the things the kids are taking into one spot.  I have a table I'm undecided about what to do with.  I could use it to replace one in the living that is looking the worse for wear but I really prefer the size of the worst for wear table.  I'm thinking this table will end up going right back to the thrift store.  No complaints.  I had five good years of use from it.

Cleared out the fabrics area and the armoire drawers.  That left me with one shelf barely filled with fabric and one empty drawer.  Not enough to warrant moving the drawers I use for craft storage, but there's empty space and that's a good thing.

Realized that I could use the vinyl I'd meant to cover the dining chairs to make outdoor cushions for the front porch.  It matches the tablecloths I mean to turn into curtains perfectly.

I found a blouse I'd put aside because it had been shrunk in washing.  Guess what?  It fits!  I put in the laundry and will move it back to my wardrobe when it's washed fresh.

I had a half bag of trash from the guest room.  Odds and ends of fabric way to small to use (my Great Grandmother will roll in her grave, she often pieced far smaller pieces into a piece big enough to use!) .  I have a brown paper sack full of fabric to donate.

I found two vintage top sheets (full size) in the stack of fabric.  I thought these would be cute on my guest bed since the room is really a sort of vintage mélange of things anyway.  I put them into the linens trunk for future use.

Leftovers for lunch today.

After dinner and loading the dishes, I went on to my room to sort out several personal areas: costume jewelry, undies drawer, house drawer, and my closet.  I found I truly did have very few tops to wear...but truly all I can really see myself buying is a plain white tee shirt.   Good thing I ordered those sundresses.  After clearing out the house drawer I am left with one decent t-shirt and a pair of jeans.

I organized my jewelry and I packed some of the costume pieces up to go to donations.  I just simply don't wear these particular pieces and/or haven't for many years.  Time to release them to someone who will enjoy them.

I was weary this afternoon, so when John began to play guitar, I stretched out on the bed.  I've been puzzling over what to do about a certain pillow in the living room.  It's grungy looking and the cover on it has been steadily in use for something like 10 years now.  I'd tried to purchase a cover for it but no luck finding anything reasonably affordable in that size.  So there I am, relaxing, with my eyes closed and I suddenly 'see' this curtain panel I came across this morning and had put in the donation bag.  It's a linen type fabric in the same creamy white I've used on two chairs and an ottoman and I realize that the panel is really a good length of fabric...Ta da!  I now have enough to recover the one pillow and to make an ottoman cover for my chair.  I've spent the rest of the afternoon picking the stitches loose in hem and top.  I've measured and sure enough I've more than enough fabric to do all I'd like to do with that piece.  I even went ahead and sewed up an envelope type pillow cover for that big pillow.  Wow does it look better!

Wednesday:  Part of my mantra this year is 'Use what you have'.  What I had this morning were two perfectly nice porches, places to sit on each of them and a lovely cool morning.   Sweetest prayer time I've had in ages to sit there watching the hummingbird flitting about, with a great furry lump of a dog lying on my foot and the cat passing swipes at me as she tried to jump from railing to rocking chair.

I mixed up cinnamon sugar to go on toast this morning.  I didn't even realize you could buy it until I was in my 40's, lol.  I was surprised then and surprised now that anyone mightn't be bothered to mix up a couple of spoons of cinnamon with a 1/4 cup of sugar in a jar.  Good on toast or to sprinkle atop muffins or biscuits and on fruit too, if you have the carbs to spare in a day's diet.

We had toast for breakfast this morning: cheese toast, cinnamon toast and nothing but toast.   It's nice to have a simpler breakfast now and then and a low cost one.

food waste:  Not my waste.  I was using the bread as quickly as I could but found that it had mold.  I won't even chance serving a piece to John when he's so allergic to penicillin.

Had bread in the freezer.  I was going to stop and purchase more today but John and I discussed it and I suggested we just put it off since I'd only just opened this pack.  I'll stop at the grocery on Friday when I'm out running errands anyway and get a loaf to carry us through the weekend and first part of next week.

We were out shopping this morning.  I had John drop me at Marshall's while he went on up to the Guitar Center.  I have as much fun in Guitar Center as I do in the automotive department... I bought myself a plain white t-shirt, just what I needed to add to my summer wardrobe and very versatile as it can be dressed up or down.  I also found a pair of capri length athletic pants and a top to wear here at home.

While I was in Marshall's, I went to the kitchen/food section and the clearance section.  I do this every time I go into Ross for Less and TJMaxx as well.  Namely because some of the gourmet items they have are really really well priced.  Like Madagascar Vanilla, 9 ounces for $10.  To buy the same amount anywhere else would cost nearly $20.  Half price!  And it's in the neatest little bottle with a stoppered lid.  I also purchased 7 ounces of red, white, and blue sprinkles for $2.50.  That was also a very good buy.  I looked all over for red, white and blue sprinkles for our July 4th and found none.  I'll have some for the next few holidays when I want to use them.

Two of the sundresses I'd ordered arrived in the mail this afternoon.  I am pleased with them both.

Took advantage of another Zulily offer and ordered four more tops, two to wear with summer clothes and two for house wardrobe. They were under $8 each.  Now I'm quite done shopping and I feel I've gotten good mileage out of my funds.  Thank you again dear sweet soul sister!!  I'm so glad I was able to finally toss away all those horridly stained things.  Did remember to save one shirt and pants solely for paint jobs, though.

John bought take out for lunch from his pocket money today.  Could not finish my meal, so I packed it up and put in the freezer for another day.

Used water from runoff of house to water plants...Then it rained so I shall not have to refill that bucket nor shall I have to water plants again tomorrow.

Thursday:  I didn't much feel up to a day of work today but you know after I eased into the first hour of the morning, I put on my will power and got it done anyway.  Not a huge day's work but I have: unplugged, defrosted the little freezer so Katie can take it this weekend; made a nice breakfast from odds and ends that pleased John mightily; watered the plants which DID need it despite yesterday's rain; carried all the whole load of donations to the car including that table I couldn't decide how to use here; went out to the shed and bagged up TWO huge bags of trash and gathered enough donations to fill the car yet again and ran a full load of dishes while I was doing that.  NOW I am truly considering myself about done for the day, as I don't feel a bit more like doing a thing than I did to begin with but at least I made myself DO something.

No need to cook today as there are plenty of leftovers to be eaten without doing more than warming over.  I'll serve with sliced fresh tomatoes and watermelon from the fridge.

I'm low on bread, more than I'd anticipated I would be but had some sandwich thins from the freezer I used to make John's work lunch sandwiches.

Took John a glass of water when he'd stopped the mower.  He watched in amazement as Maddie took her broth popsicle and laid down in the yard to lick it.  He kept murmuring that it was the funniest thing but Maddie looked so much happier and cooler after having it.  He commended me on the good idea of not wasting the broth and making it into something practical.

Friday:  Packed John's work lunch.  Made him breakfast. 

Moved a picture from the guest room to the living room.  It's perfect, absolutely perfect for that spot.  The mayhem that resulted from that move however has frustrated my day no end.

I moved another picture into the vacant spot in the bedroom and broke the glass in it.  This led me to determine I would (a) buy glass and a mat for that frame and (b) while I was in Hobby Lobby anyway, look for a new frame more to my liking for the inspiration picture on the living room wall.
Here's where my being frugal bit my bum big time.  The frame in the bedroom is not a standard sized frame.  I couldn't find exactly what I wanted for it but I was going to 'make do' with cheap alternatives.  I found a frame for the 2nd picture that cost just $10.  It was plenty big enough but nothing in the least little bit like what I wanted. 

I came home with my goods and went to work.  I immediately realized that the $10 frame wasn't the best choice but I was determined to make. it. work.  Well...I ended up ruining my inspiration picture (at least so far as using it in that frame goes) and HATE the way the picture frame looks on that wall, despite the size being right.  Now I've messed up that frame enough I can't possibly take it back.  It's essentially so much junk.

Not frustrated enough with my efforts to make do, I went to work on the bedroom picture.  The opening in the mat was an inch too big.  I knew it would be but I figured I could make it work...loathsome attitude today.  I ended up trying to cut the mat down to fit my frame which didn't work well, had to completely open the plexiglass package and it doesn't fit in the least either.  Then I punched a hole in my picture as I worked with it trying to make it fit.  Sigh.  Tripled my frustration when I realized that what I'd spent on 'making do' would have bought one NICE frame for either picture and no making do at all.  Hard lesson today is that sometimes the least expensive option is to do one thing right and not ruin four things trying to make do.  In the end I've nothing to work with and nothing fit to return and I shall just have to wait on ALL of it.

Happily, the one project I tackled this afternoon was to dry brush silver paint over the gold mirror on the dining room wall.  That project looks like a million bucks and cost me $2.  Which is a great savings over the exact same mirror already done up in silver at Hobby Lobby that cost $32 on sale.  I'm almost consoled over losing money on the other two projects.

Mama surprised me with a check.  She does that about this time most years but I don't count on it and indeed don't even think about it until she does it.  She means me to use the funds for myself and not spend it on anything but myself.  I determined the best use of the money was to pay off the two oldest of the medical bills we've been making payments on a little each month.  It's nice to have those off the list and it means I can put that payment amount into savings each month so we have a cushion when the next big bill arrives.

When I was going out today, I took time to make up a list of things to DO as well as things to buy.  I took off trash, carried along donations, mailed off those payments, went by the bank, stopped at the shop and cleared out another lot of stuff from the booth, went by to make donations, picked up prescriptions and bought bread, eggs and bananas.

What I didn't do today was buy fried chicken or peaches, both of which were on my list.  I'd planned that menu for Katie being here this weekend.  She texted me that her hubby is very sick yet with the flu and isn't recovering as well as they'd hoped.   I planned my menu over again to incorporate things we have right here at home and can easily make up tomorrow morning first off.

I had a very late lunch today.  Long story short, I was already late for lunch and decided to stop in a town near the donation center.  BIG convention in town and every place was packed.  By the time I made it through the traffic to the next town it was still later.  For supper tonight I opted for a cool and refreshing cottage cheese and blueberry cup with lime zest.   I had a warm croissant as my carb for the meal.  It was just enough to satisfy and enough food to be able to take my medicine and supplements for the evening.

That's another week of savings (and foolish savings that proved to be otherwise).  I've got a good book calling my name.  I think I'll go answer it.  What did you do to save this week?


Anonymous said...

Maddie is beautiful. It sounds like you might be in for some really hot weather next week. We apparently live too far north to be affected. I have seen zulily ads. Strange you can't return things. I went to Cato in n.c. when we were there. I think I could find some good stuff there but I don't believe there are any in our area. Have a great weekend. Gramma D.

Lana said...

Maybe some remember me telling about putting a contract on a house and the seller starting a bidding war between us and another contract. We walked away and were heart broken about it. I cried and cried. Today our realtor called and told me that the contract had fallen through and we could buy the house for the offer we had originally made. The house is easily worth $50K more than what we are paying for it. And God gave us the real desire of our hearts and it is on a beautiful lake. It does need some work as elderly people who cannot care for it are the owners. Then to ice the cake our appraisal came back on our house way higher than we ever dreamed. God opened the windows of heaven and poured out a huge blessing today. He did it in such a way that we know we are moving to where He would have us be. I seriously doubt we will sleep at all tonight!

AND....tomorrow morning we are going to meet a little rescue dog. We are blessed!

Debbie said...

I can so relate to having a dog with that thick fur. Our Caesar sheds like a mad man year round and this time of year it is horrible. He has positioned himself at the end of the hall where the cool air comes down from the swamp cooler to help cool himself off. I could swear I see him smiling. ;)

You did really well on your shopping and menu plans. I really need to work on getting better at that. I am trying but still ended up having to throw out a few leftovers this week. That frustrates me to no end.

Anonymous said...

What blessing to hear from Lana that her dream house will now be theirs!! :)

I remember seeing cinnamon and sugar and also tarter sauce for sale years ago. I had no idea you could buy it either! :)

I like looking around Marshall's. There are so few places now a days that have home furnishings and household goods in nice displays like they do. Or as many. Household departments used to be full of wonderment and pretty things. Although I seldom buy much there I do love to see what they have and get ideas. And yes I too look at the gourmet food items. Sarah

Lake Livin' said...

Wow, Lana, that's amazing news! We also live on a lake and something similar happened to my husband when he bought this home (before we were married). He lost out, but then the contract fell through for the winner and he ended up getting the house for a great deal!

Lana said...

Sarah-Thank you! We are still pinching ourselves! God is good.

Lake Livin'-How cool! We are so blessed and I think we will have one of the best pieces of property on the lake. I can hardly wait to be there!

Spicy Apple Cake - I FOUND IT!

While sorting though Mama's cookbooks the other day I came across a Family Circle magazine cookbook that looked familiar.  I brought...