Frugal Friday: Name, Rank, Savings

                                        Not my pantry but that at the Little Whitehouse in Warm Springs, Georgia.  A very modest cottage and yet it saw president, kings, and dignitaries from around the world....a wonderful reminder that however modest home might be, it is worthy of those whose company you keep...

Saturday:  John worked about an hour of overtime this morning.  This will apply to our short pay check and will be much appreciated.

I had planned to buy fried chicken and peaches today to make a cobbler for Katie's coming down...but with her husband so sick with flu she stayed home.  I altered my menu to cook what I had on hand.  I made a turkey tenderloin.   We still had  cobbler but it was a cherry cobbler not a peach one.

I put some tomatoes aside that were getting old looking.  I'll make them into marinara towards thend of the week.

I doubled up on potato salad today.  We'll have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow when we come in from church.

Watered the hydrangea with water I'd run over the tea bags and let go through a second steeping.

Made a big pitcher of unsweetened tea to drink.  I find I just have no taste for diet sodas at all and the carbs in a regular soda are ridiculous.  It is a rare day when I'll indulge in one.  Still I get rather tired of water and more water to drink.  I hate to buy tea when I'm out, too.  I'll likely do as I did last time and bottle up some of this to freeze and carry along with me when we're out.

Made egg salad from boiled eggs for sandwich filling.

Since I had to bake the cobbler, I put the turkey tenderloin in the oven, too.  Reading in Peg Bracken's book she suggested you really plan that oven use out well and pack it full.  I suppose I could have roasted those tomatoes if I'd thought about it.  This is an area I really do need to take full advantage of, especially if I'm going to use it in summer!

Sunday:  No brown sugar...I used a couple of tablespoons of regular sugar and skipped the molasses.  I was making oatmeal for breakfast and didn't think it would make a difference.  It didn't.

We took off trash, carried mail to go out, and picked up mail, on our way to church this morning.

John wanted to go by Walmart to pick up a short list of items.  I added the things I'd put on my list at home.  We did well and found all but one item. We stayed away from impulse items, except two shirts for John.  Those are being returned as they proved to not be long enough. 

I bought multiples of: tape, clothes pins, envelopes, bungee cords.  I also purchased a new pair of reading glasses (stronger) so that I could read in bed.

I had food here at home but John asked me to pick up a hamburger for us.  He paid for it from his pocket money.  Our lunch was under $5 for the two of us.

We pushed our planned lunch to supper.

It was very hot outdoors today.  Our car thermometer read 105f and that didn't take into account humidity.  Curtains were drawn all over the house today.  It worked rather well.  The AC went off and on routinely all afternoon long rather than the constant droning it sometimes does during humid weather. 

Monday:  It has been Monday all day long today.  I started out at a decent hour but I've plodded hard through out the day and watched time fly. 

I finally took pictures of the house this morning.  Not for show, lol.  These are just for my eyes to help me see areas I need to work on.  Kitchen countertops, bookcases in my bedroom and laundry area all need a good bit of work.    I also noted that I have office equipment and office items all over the house.  I need a dedicated office work space.  But where to put it?  I also saw that my bedroom is the least pleasant in terms of finished areas.  Yikes... Lots of work and lots of thinking to do! 

We washed clothes and hung to dry on the line.  Two loads and it was all dry within an hour of hanging outdoors.

John's partner brought us some fresh corn.  I had to shift things about a little in the freezer but was able to fit it all in.  I put up about 3 dozen ears.

Seems like a mighty little bit of stuff to have worked so long and hard today.  Some days are just that way. 

Tuesday:  Packed John's work lunch, made him breakfast.

I bought croissants (bakery) late last week and today I moved them into the freezer since I knew I wasn't going to finish them all.  They will be a nice treat for me. 

John picked up his pay check today, though he was paid yesterday.  He went to the bank and deposited it.  I paid bills this morning and then I scanned some ads we'd received in the Sunday paper.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money today but I did want to see if the grocery in the next town had whole chickens on sale.  I noted their price was $.75/pound this week, a very good price indeed. I decided to run over to that town to do my banking.  I also checked out the CVS ad.  I noted a couple of items I could purchase there and use ECBs I'd earned a few weeks ago to pay for them.

I picked up mail and dropped off mail as I left the house.  I also bought peaches and stamps.

I went into CVS with the idea of purchasing some of the Tide detergent on sale.  It was really a good price for Tide, but every single bottle was scented.  Scented Tide and I do not get on well at all.  ALL detergent was also on sale but not such a good price.  I decided to skip that purchase.  I did buy a bottle of Dawn detergent ($.74) with coupon, two packages of toilet paper ($4.99/9 rolls), and two tubes of Colgate Toothpaste for $2.99 each.  I had a $2 off 2 coupon and there were ECBs for that purchase.  I stopped at the kiosk and printed off coupons and discovered my Beauty Rewards ECBs were ready.   I paid $2.34 for all my purchases and got $4 ECBs back at the register.

Went by the grocery to get whole chickens, a couple of packages of Nathan's hot dogs, sausages and milk to last until we can grocery shop.   I also purchased a container of ice cream and some of the crackers John likes in his work lunches.  The choice of chickens was slim.  I have limited room in the freezer and decide to purchase the two nicest ones.

At present I am seriously considering pushing grocery  shopping back until next week.  We've plenty of produce (since I bought peaches today we've fresh fruit) and milk, eggs and bread.  Waiting one more week means we'll 'save' this week's grocery allowance and will help make up for the busted budget last pay period.  It will also give me plenty of time to arrange the big freezer and sort out the refrigerator freezer.  I had moved all the corn into the fridge last night because I couldn't fit it in the big freezer but I think I can arrange things better and make it fit.

My 'pantry purchases' today: toilet paper, toothpaste and Dawn detergent were FREE.

I postponed working on that 3rd quarter budget for a good bit.  I sat down today and did some tentative figures....Things change even in just the space of three months don't they?  I knew finances were feeling a little snug despite John working overtime.  Now I know why.  Nothing dire but there will be adjustments and there will be things to watch carefully if necessary.

Had a lovely beauty hour this morning after I'd worked outdoors.

I wanted to take Bess and Sam a housewarming gift, but I couldn't think what they'd like best.  Then I knew: herbs and succulents are their two favorite things.  I potted up some of the Mother In Law's tongue, sempervivum leaves, and a small aloe, as well as some mint,  two types of basil and rosemary.  I painted pots this morning for this purpose, using clay pots I'd gathered from Granny's years ago and paint I had on hand.  I thought I'd need to purchase potting soil but reading the directions on the two bags, I noted that they were exactly the same except a water saver modification was made to one. The succulents don't need that type of soil.  So I used the soils I had on hand and that sufficed.  The pots have been watered in and hopefully will do well for them.  I'm pretty pleased with this gift and even more pleased that I could share what I had.

Rain came early today.  When I returned home it had long since soaked our ground here and lowered the temperature into the high 70's.  It was humid as could be, but the AC kicked off before 3pm today.  Savings in that weather and I like it, especially since the weather towards the end of the week is meant to read in the 105f range without factoring in humidity!  I appreciate the good soaking rain that helped water the plants today, too.

Wednesday:  I had a small amount of waste this week.  A container of salmon that I opened two weeks ago and lost in the fridge, a squash that went bad for no reason I can name. 

Last night I washed out a bra by hand, then hung to dry. 

This morning I rearranged the fridge freezer and the big freezer.  I managed to fit all the corn I put up earlier this week into the deep freeze.  I don't have room for anything else in either  but  they are arranged in a logical way so I can find what I want. 

Washed a full load of dishes.  I came very close to tossing the dishwasher detergent bottle but that tell tale sound of liquid inside as I shook it just before dropping into the trash...well it's now upside down in the cupboard.  I'll wage I get one more washing off that bottle before I call it gone.

I have managed to clear off the kitchen counters and they look much neater overall.  I accomplished this by removing some of the things on the counter and consolidating or eliminating extras.  Although the dish drainer is on the counter top at the moment with a load of dishes in it, as soon as they air dry, I will put it right back under the counter.  I find the kitchen is more restful to the eye without all the stuff in view. 

I tackled the shelf at the back door and removed the two dozen caps that John had there (he only wears one...), then I did the same thing to the laundry area.  I'd had John hand some crates on the wall as storage space but it just looks cluttered and ugly.  I'll be removing the mismatched crates and will  find other solutions for storage at a later date.  In the meantime, there are three areas that look a lot better with just a little effort and one major bit of organization done as 'deeper' cleaning this week. 

Used the last blueberries in pancake batter this morning.

Opened junk mail this morning.  I found a calendar for 2017, note cards, a recipe card, a bookmark.

I've been attempting to keep all the personal care items together in the bath but it struck me yesterday afternoon that I was frustrating myself with an overcrowded cabinet.  So I removed several multiples of items and took them back to the pantry where I dedicated a portion of a shelf for self care items.   Much better.  The space needs a little more work.  I have enough on my list to do this week without distracting myself.

And that brings me to something I noted earlier this week.  My brain is 'clicking on all cylinders at once' lately.  I mean that during my waking hours my head not only is seeing problems but solutions, finding creative inspiration at every turn and just generally keeping me ready to start one more new thing.  The trouble is that all this inspiration is a distraction I can ill afford if I'm going to finish any thing at all.  I know Peg Bracken and Heloise both urge us to tackle those household tasks we see want doing but if you're a motivated homemaker and are working hard every day, those things can get in the way of other tasks.  I've started making a list of things to be done, blog post ideas, etc.  I call it my inspiration list.  I generally keep one most month's of the year but this July's is crazy.  I think I've covered something like a dozen pages front and back with brief notes. It's crazy and wonderful to feel this inspired but I don't want it to become a stumbling block.

Thursday:  We did go grocery shopping today.  I'm not fussing about it; it was John's idea.  The food will last at least two weeks anyway I look at it and that's all fine by me.  I spent a little more than I'd thought I might.  It seems when I made out my list I forgot to figure in the things John would like...oops.  I'll cull the list for the other store a little harder.  We're not going by there until Sunday when we're out for church.

Not a lot to say today really.  I carried a bag of ice along with us to keep foods cold, so necessary when it was 97f  before noon.

I noticed one petunia was unreasonably dry and looked bad.  I put the whole basket down in a bucket of water and soaked it a half hour.  It was looking considerably better by the time we left home this morning.

John paid for dinner out of his pocket.  It was reasonable, delicious and afforded us a nice bit of conversation time.

I received the last two dresses and two of the tops I'd ordered.  One dress was ridiculously small for the size it's supposed to be.  One dress I'll pass along to Bess as it's far too small no matter what size the tag says the dress is.  I'm anxious for the last two shirts to arrive.  I think to have ordered 8 items from Zulily and have received 6, with five fitting very well is not too bad. 

Friday:  I'd meant to make a big breakfast this morning but decided to wait until tomorrow morning...I made a breakfast of toast, cheese and buttered.

Maddie came to the porch reluctantly this morning, and then didn't want to eat.  I waited to see if she'd change her mind, but ended putting the food away.

Cooked up those tomatoes with some fresh basil, tomato paste, garlic and oregano.  I did not puree it but put it in the freezer for future use as marinara or pizza sauce.

Decided to cook the Chicken Enchiladas Bess made.  It was an easy meal to prepare today and will give me leftovers for Sunday after church.

Packed the car for our trip to Bess and Sam's with the things we'll be carrying down.  The plants are in a crate on the back porch.  I'll pack those in tomorrow.

Made my own yellow rice using turmeric and some chicken broth to cook the brown rice.  It was a lovely color and very tasty.

Washed a full load of clothes this morning.  I hung big heavy pieces to dry and used the dryer for the smaller lightweight things.

I finished the slipcover for the ottoman.  I chose to use the twist pins to put the pieces on.  It looks quite nice but I can remove it for cleaning.  In the future I may sew the two pieces together and pull down over the ottoman but for right now this is a good fix.

I gave myself a fresh pedicure

Continued all week long to read and study for Frugal Boot Camp. 

No need to water plants today as it rained heavily last night.


Anonymous said...

Love the idea of plants as a gift. LOL, my tablet sometimes writes what it wants. I reread and it had in laws instead of plants! I am just wondering how your plants survive in such hot weather? We are in a drought condition the first time on 14 years. I am telling myself that is why you my plants look tired and it is not really neglect. Yeah, it's neglect. Hope Katie can get home soon, so you can snuggle that little gal. Love that your grandson wants to call. Their time with you formed a bond that you don't even realize until they spend time together. Gramma D.

Lana said...

Have you tried the little packets of natural lemon powder in your water? One of our local BBQ joints brings them out with the water and it makes it so good. They said they buy them at Sam's but I have not been there to get some yet. I cannot recall the name. I think a friend may buy them at Ingles.

Angela said...

Is Katie's husband better? My focus room was our bedroom this week. I gave it a good cleaning including window and washing lace curtain panels. Then I took a hard look- I asked myself is it clean (yes), clutter free (I needed to shred some receipts that made it hard to shut that small drawer), cute, and well-maintained. Well I have put off ever so long getting a new mattress pad- ours has grown thin and the elastic is shot so I finally ordered a new one. Also the hard wood floor stain near a window was very bleached so I have touched up the stain there although it may take a week to dry in this humidity. Also painting new exterior doors (not in our bedroom)with paint already on hand. I had 3 almost empty cans of primer but combined were enough for both sets of French doors. They are on the west side with very little overhang so take a beating in the hot GA sun. I have them primed and the first coat of interior painting done. This will be an on going project next week and possibly beyond. Very productive week here and no money spent except the new mattress pad. I do love my nest well tended. But I sure am tired!!! Haha!

Terri Cheney said...

Katie's husband is doing much better. He started wanting to go back to work about mid-week but not until he'd been to the doctor a second time. I appreciate the prayers on his behalf!

Lana said...

Glad to hear Katie's husband is better!

The lemon packets are True Lemon.

Colleen Gold said...

Glad to hear Katie's husband is getting better. I had never heard of True Lemon but will be looking for it. I also found a copie of Peg Bracken's book for 1 penny on Amazon so adding the postage of $3.99 , $4. is a good price for the book. I have found that and Thrift books great places for old cookbooks.

Rhonda said...

You have been so productive!
Way back before bottled water, we traveled a lot, I would freeze homemade unsweetened tea in reused milk jugs for our ice chest. We would drink them as they thawed and they kept our food cold.

Glad to read Matt is doing better.

Karla Neese said...

Plants are always such a nice housewarming gift! What a frugal and thoughtful gift!

It has been terribly hot here for the past several weeks. We were at 100 or above all week last week and more of the same this week. I'm hoping for rain but we haven't had decent downpour in quite awhile.

So glad Matt is better!

My week is catch up week. Last week and the weekend (last and this past) have been crazy. We've been helping a family in our church who are very destitute financially, in a very tough situation and are living with their 5 kids in a one-room extended stay motel. It's a worthy cause that God has called us to but definitely takes a lot of time. So, I shall be trying to get to things that have gotten the shove-off. And this next weekend our final little birdie is leaving the nest for what I suspect is the last time. But then, like your family, and ours as a young couple, you never know what life will bring. But in the meantime, I have another empty room to do something with and boy do I need to declutter! I'm thinking of using it as a staging area where I can go through things more easily.

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