Frugal Friday: Getting On Top of the Business of Home

My Home Keeping Notebook is about to be revamped as part of my quiet work this month.  This is where I keep track of home goals, my monthly calendar, necessary information that I like to have a hard copy of, quarterly budget sheets and lists of needs, etc.  I'm going to make this notebook still more functional this month with address sheets, and a few other items that will make it far more useful to me and eliminate a few of the other notebooks on my desk.

Saturday:  I heard from quite a few of you other ladies about Target's abysmal Plus Women's sections which apparently is a problem nation wide!  Well, I want to share with you all that after I completed that service survey (on my receipt from Thursday's shopping) I actually heard from the store's team leader.  She told me that they had already begun to revamp the space thanks to the concerns I voiced.  I've been invited back to view the improvements in the near future.    By all means ladies, be sure you all take the few minutes to go online with your Target receipt and voice your own complaints.  In my reply to the Store Leader today I did tell her of the feedback I'd had from you all and suggested that she address the issue with corporate leaders.  Your voice will help push that effort.  I think it's a doggone shame that the plus women's department is where junk is allowed to accumulate when Target keeps such a neat, orderly and clean store in all other departments, so speak up!!  Let them know that it's unacceptable to you.  Be courteous, explain your view point, tell them how much you like the store and products overall.   And be sure to thank store leaders who do take time to reply to you and follow up on visiting the store. 

That said, I earned a $5 gift card from Swag bucks this past week.  I went to Target's site to add to my card total and discovered I'd let a My Coke Rewards card for $10 slip through my fingers.  I'd saved the web address but never actually took the trouble to put it on my account at Target.  Without the certification number I can't retrieve it to upload.   I've contacted My Coke Rewards, admitted it was my fault and asked if there is any way they can re-issue the card so I can do what I ought to have done at first.  Here's hoping this works out for me...Better to take some action than assume it's all for naught, right?

We took coffee on the back porch this morning.  It was in the low 70's and a light breeze made it triply refreshing.  Maddie was ecstatic over the cool weather and treated us to a few leaps and bounds to show how appreciative she was of it.

Quick and easy dinner menu today.  All I had to do was stir fry the vegetables at the dinner hour.  Rinsing and stacking dishes means dishes can be loaded into dishwasher first thing in the morning.

Gave myself a fresh mani and pedi.

Took time to jot down two or three inspirations I had for blog posts, (beats losing the idea totally as I did the other night when I failed to write an idea down), noted a few other things I'd thought of this morning on inspiration and shopping lists.  The lovely night's rest and cooler air is likely responsible for all this clear and creative thinking. 

Sunday:  I was surprised to find I had earned enough from my AdSense to actually receive a payment for the first time ever.  Well yay me!  Getting payment has involved quite a few little hoops to jump through but I think I'm down to the last thing and that will occur after this holiday. 

Put dinner in the crockpot to warm while we were gone.  It was leftovers and I can say that Keep Warm was not quite enough for a deeply chilled entrée to heat.  Next time I'll put anything I want to heat on Low.  I finished heating the food in the microwave. All I had to do was to make a salad.

Before we returned home, we went by the DIY store.  Our purpose was to pick up some risers for our bed but we found they don't carry them in the store.  We did pick up some small "L" angle braces to reinforce the back of the dresser we wanted to move from the living room to the bedroom.  John did the work on the dresser after we had lunch.  The dresser no longer is wobbly.  As the man of the house pointed out it was a pretty good repair for $2.50 or thereabouts.

After the DIY store we stopped at the grocery to pick up three weeks of free items.  I was happy to get a 6ounce yogurt, a tube of lip balm and a protein bar.  While in the store I also picked up a roll of waxed paper and a 16 ounce tub of sour cream that was $1.  I paid for the last two items from my pocket.
                                                                          Free items from grocery

John picked up a newspaper, bought himself coffee and myself an unsweetened iced tea from the fountain.  Boy was that tea good.  It had warmed up quite a bit this afternoon.

Monday:  I wasted a ridiculous amount of sleep time last night because my mind was clicking along hard and fast, thinking of all the things I'd like to get done today.  Well, it turns out I didn't get to every thing on my mental list but I did do every thing on the rather optimistic but more prudent list I actually made out for the day.  And then I added in two or three tasks so that feels like quite the accomplished day.  I would love to have a holiday on Labor Day I think and perhaps one year we will.  For today, we labored;  John at his job, me at mine.

Opened the house and let the cool fresh morning air in.  It was in the low 70's this morning and the AC didn't kick on until about 10:00am.  From noon until 3pm it ran pretty much non-stop then began to kick on and off once more.  The weather is much appreciated, especially since we're right back in the mid to high 90's the rest of this week, though mornings are promised to be slightly cooler, as they were this morning.

I did all the obvious things: made John breakfast (I ate with him this morning) and packed his lunch for work.  Ran three full loads of clothes and dried all I could on line and laundry rack and was careful to time the things that went into the dryer.

I sanded and painted a dining room chair.  I bought Josh a $5 blow up swimming pool this summer which he really enjoyed but I know it won't last out the year.  I used the pool to sit my chair in and somewhat keep the leaves and grass off the chair.  Inevitably if I use newspaper it blows up and sticks to the wet paint in some spot so this worked out very well for me.

I potted all the white petunias together and put the red begonia in the middle of the pot.  I watered all the plants heavily this morning, both the freshly potted ones and the rest of them.

I bought a special cleaner to clean the back porch a few months ago.  It worked just okay, nothing special about it really.  I found that the bleach/water solution is the very best for the mildew build up.  I didn't clean all of the porch today because it is a tedious job and I'd put in a day's work already when I went to tackle that project. 

                                              The ugh worthy 'before'

                                                           and the after portion

Remembered a wreath I made last fall.  I dug it out of the shed to use on the back door.

I had nothing for the front door.  I didn't want extremely bright colored leaves, didn't want a burlap wreath, loathed a pre-made wreath Mama had insisted on buying me some years ago...I sat down with that last wreath and removed every single thing on it.  It is a brittle twig wreath and was just not a pretty thing.  I clipped off every thing, salvaged perhaps a half dozen or so of the leaves of the things I did like and then sorted through my stash of picks to find any more items I might like, which turned out to all be leaves.  I added a re-used burlap ribbon bow.  I like the wreath rather well now.

Added some picks to the basket on the dining buffet which constitutes the only other decorating I've done for fall at present.  I just don't have the sorts of things I'd like to use and so I'll skip doing more until I can afford something  to transform what I have or buy something new altogether.

I got all the fall stuff sorted out and threw away the rattiest looking bits.  Then I bagged things up to take out to the shed once more. 

Had a frozen single serve entrée from the freezer for my lunch.  This was a serving of red beans and rice I'd put in the freezer a few weeks ago.  With a lovely fresh plum it was a very nice meal.

This afternoon I made myself a single cup of coffee.  I sure needed that 'boost' albeit a decaf boost.

I've used the recipe before from goodcheapeats to make a version of  her Pesto Tomato French Bread pizza for myself.  I didn't have French bread on hand but I generally have some fairly hearty bread tucked away in the freezer.  I used a nice slice of White Mountain Bread to make my pizza which tasted mighty fine for supper.  Light but hot and flavorful was just what I wanted.

Tuesday:  An omelet seems fancy enough for a big breakfast but uses far fewer eggs than you might think.  I used three to make a substantial looking omelet for us this morning.

Found an extra half can of the ORB paint I was using on the dining chairs as well as half a can of primer.  Fortunately this was just enough with what I had from yesterday to cover one more chair.  I need to buy sandpaper, primer and paint before I can do the last chair, but I feel good that I pushed ahead with this project in this busy week.  I've procrastinated far too long on this project.

Emptied the chiffarobe in the kitchen.  This allowed me to use the three milk crates I had used in the hanging clothing side to load up with smalls and accessories and books. 

Shifted the pantry about and opened up a full shelf to use for storage.

Consolidated stuff in buckets and opened up two buckets to use as storage.

Washed out a handful of baggies this morning.

Worked hard in the shed this morning.  Loaded the car up with donations and we will take those to the center tomorrow.  

I have been receiving mail from a magazine that I subscribed to in the past.  They auto renewed my subscription, which I'd no intention of renewing and have been threatening me for non-payment.  I admit, I thought it was all a mistake and nothing to it but this last letter peeved me.  I wrote them back and explained I did not renew, had no intention of renewing and they were threatening their good standing with ME by continuing to bill and threaten me.  It will cost me a stamp but that's a small price to make it clear I do not want the magazine!

Made spaghetti for lunch today because it was fairly easy and I needed something that required little interaction on my part.  I worked long and hard yesterday and had put in a good day's labor by noon.  Nevertheless, this afternoon, I cleared my desk and removed the bookcase I've had on top as a sort of hutch.  This will open up my desk and allow me to work there with my computer, as I used to do.  This business of working in the living room is both distracting and sometimes quite uncomfortable. 

No bread for sandwiches for supper and no inclination to make any.  I opted to make a simple dinner that required no bread.  We'll have pancakes for breakfast.

Wednesday:  We did have pancakes for breakfast.  I added a peach while we've fresh ripe ones on hand.

We went to the grocery to pick up a couple of necessary items: bread, chocolate, soda for John.  That's all we got, too, though I had a list of sale items I'd like.  They'll be on sale until Tuesday which will be during the next pay period and that will do just fine.

John wanted us to go out to lunch.  I was pretty sure he did and started to tell him not this pay period but we had a small deposit that more than covered our dinner out.  That worked out nicely.

When we left home: we dropped off mail, picked up mail, took off trash, carried along a car full of donations to drop off at Goodwill.

Thursday:  Went out to the shed early this morning with my first cup of coffee.  I wanted to take advantage of the cooler air to get the bins unloaded so I could load them up again.

Finished washing the porch railings, at least all the inside stuff. Now I need to do the outside sections but I had quite enough today. 

Cooked extra butter beans today so I can make Succotash on Saturday.

I made John's Mac and Cheese for his lunch.  I served half of it with our dinner today since I was too tired to plan to cook side dishes.

I started planning meals for this weekend.

I have made out a to do list every day this week.  I don't always get to all items on it but it has insured I do the most important things every day.  I think I'll have a 'catch up' day tomorrow and do all the things I've left undone in this week.  Then I can start next week with a new batch of plans.

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

I kept dozing off as I tried to work after John left this morning, so it seemed wise to go back to bed.  I guess I needed that rest because three hours later I had to swim my way up from a deep slumber.  Much later start to the day than I'd planned but I do believe your body will tell you what it needs...Unless it lies and says only 'Chocolate' and never anything else.

Cleaned off both porches, gathering up the trash and empty flower pots and such.  I swept them both and it all looked nicer.  Mind you there's a paint stained blow up baby pool on the front porch yet but then I have more furniture to paint so there it will stay until I'm done.  But otherwise it's all neat and nice.

It took the majority of the morning but all the house was gone over and straightened/cleaned. 

Cleared the bathroom cabinet and got it cleaned and lined with fresh paper.  All was put back neatly.  Amazing how nice that little bit of vinyl paper dresses up that cabinet.  I paid just $1 a small roll for that paper and used about 1/4 of it for the cabinet.

Mama asked me to come into town and look over her collection of quilts.  These are not antiques but new ones and I did as she requested.  Mindful of the four or five trunk loads of goods I've taken out of my house, I looked them over carefully and chose two, both for the guest room. 

We went out for a quick lunch.  Mama's turn to pay for dinner, my turn to buy dessert.  We had our usual small cup of ice cream.

Leaving Mama's I noted a garage sale sign up.  I followed directions and came upon a house I'd never noticed before.  Lots of nice chairs, but alas, much as I'd like to add chairs to my home, where would I put them and how would I get them home?  Noted the cigarette burns on one chair and decided that after all, they might best stay put.  I do have an allergy to cigarette smoke and no desire to bring in chairs that might put off fumes...though honestly I'd no place I might put them.  I left without spending one quarter.

Brought home leftovers from my dinner to have for supper.

Perusing another blog, I came across an idea for a soup that I can make as a leftover makeover dish from something already on hand.

Mama gave me her gently read magazines.

I hate to deal with online accounts, but I managed to get into my TV satellite account and determine just what the difference will be in my bill now that all the discounts have expired.  It's shouldn't be too bad if I read the account right, only about a $10 difference and for football season I'd rather just let it be since changes would affect viewing the games.  Makes for a happier husband.

Hot, hot, and hot, almost 100f today.  Mornings continue to be lovely and cool but oh these afternoons!  We're meant to be at this for the next week so I'll be careful to pull black out curtains on sunny side of the house each afternoon.  I'll have to keep an eye on plants, too.  Not sure any of them will survive even with routine watering.  They were looking awfully spent end of August and three weeks more of heat might prove their undoing.  Glad I held off on purchasing more autumn plants.  All of the Asters I purchased died.  That's $8 down the compost pile.

All in all a lovely week of work and savings.  How was your week?


Living on Less Money Blog said...

You get so much done that it always amazes me! How do you make your succotash?

Anonymous said...

Before I forget I wanted to add I love your nail color! Now that I have stepped up my wardrobe thanks to you, the next obvious step is to review my makeup and grooming. To that end I need to get together with my granddaughter!! She is our family makeup expert! lol I used to love makeup but that was when I was granddaughters age!!! Oh by the way Hubby picked out beautiful leather purse for me last week. !!

I always marvel at how much just a little sprucing or changing up our home can make in how we feel. Only cleaning out a drawer that has been needing it and you feel better already! Putting pretty paper in that drawer and wow!

My summer door decorations are so sun bleached they are goners. So they will be trashed when the fall things come out. Which should be soon. I love fall and so the longer the fall things can be out the better I like it. Here where it is so hot so much, decorating with snowmen in winter looks rather odd. The people in our local mountains can do it but here...not so much. So after the Christmas things are put away I am at a loss as to what 'season' to decorate with. :) I put together a fall door basket instead of a wreath last year and will use that again this year for the front door. `I used to put fall or other seasonal pillow covers on the chair and couch but haven'd done that for quite a while. I change up the pillow covers on the porch swing too and add an afghan during the fall. It make it look new again...and welcoming.

I lost many plants this year too. I did though find one way to self water..sort of. I put one plant on a high metal plant stand. When the top one was watered the one I placed on the ground below it got the run off so only needed half the water. The one below if placed right, got a bit of shade too. I tried to have the top one a succulent or such. One thing good about fall..the ants start to snooze. Boy they were active this year!!
Aldi's add this week was so good! Eggs 69c a dozen and many other very good deals. The sad part is I don't need any of it. :(((((( Others though will be thrilled. Eggs sure have dropped in price. My son said he heard restaurants and customers did not buy as many eggs with they were so high priced. They discovered many ways to do without them and change up recipes. And never looked back. Now they have a glut. If this is true perhaps they will be killing off the excess chickens and a sale will be on them soon and we will be back to regular prices on eggs again??????? How many times in our homemaking life time have we seen prices go way up and then way low and back up again...on SO many products. LOL Sarah

Lana said...

I'm glad you were able to get a response from Target. They are really missing out on a market share of profits by ignoring the plus size market. That dept at WalMart has grown over the last few years so I guess they know more about the market than Target. Employees at our Target store are so rude and products are so often out of stock that I very rarely go there.

Our Florida trip got pushed forward a day because of the hurricane. Friday I took advantage of the extra day and picked up some great sale items that we had actually run low on at the grocery store. We had dinner out that night with our youngest son and wife and her parents as the kids had come to town for the weekend. Mediocre food for too much money but it was not our choice of where to eat. Glad to see the kids though.

My Mom does not cook very much anymore so there were many meals out while we were visiting there. We had told them that we would go out anytime they would have and pay our own way. It came from our vacation budget and we had a nice relaxing visit there. I was able to go to Homegoods in Orlando which is my favorite store which we do not have here. I had birthday money from May and enjoyed buying whatever I wanted from that fund.

Arrived home in SC on Wednesday. Thursday I made an Aldi run after making menus for two weeks. Eggs were only .59 here! I only got two which is all I needed. We have a free outdoor concert series at the library on Thursday nights in September. It is way up near the NC line and always so lovely out there on the lawn in the evenings. We packed iced tea in our Yeti cups and some cookies. Hubby got the Yeti cups at work. We love our freebies! Afterwards we were passing right by Bi-Lo and I wanted just 5 items so we stopped for 2 bottles of salad dressing and 3 boxes of cereal for a total of $2.09. I would not have made a trip out for that little so I was glad to have a chance to stop for those items.

You really have a tough job there with keeping those porch ceilings clean. I feel much better about my screen porch ceiling now. The squirrels are chewing the hickory nuts in the tree right over our deck right now. It is a horrendous mess! There is always something! I have been tossing around painting my old dining room furniture. When I really think about 6 chairs and the table I pretty much can talk myself out of it. We'll see. Maybe I could get my daughter to spray paint the chairs. She is really good at it and I am not. I had thought that we would just get rid of that set when we moved but now I just don't what about much of anything here now. God knows all about our desire to move. I just have to keep giving it back to Him.

Lana said...

Forgot to say that Target or WalMart may have bed risers for back to college but maybe not where you live??? We have 5 colleges in town here. I saw that Annabel over at The Bluebirds are Nesting had her husband make some out of 4x4's for very little cost.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the Target update, Terri! Sounds like you have a great team leader at your store. I'm not sure how much influence they could have on increasing the clothing selection for plus-sized customers, but I always appreciate hearing an employee taking a job seriously. Hopefully you'll see better organization in the area the next time you visit.

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