Frugal Friday: Ushering in a New Month
Saturday: We generally stop for breakfast on our way up to Katie's but I told John there was no need this weekend. We'd just have our usual bagel and coffee breakfast and call it well enough.
I packed a supper for John and I to eat on our way home.
We filled the car with gasoline. I don't worry about this 'extra' usage as I have a travel fund set up in our checking account. The money to cover gas for visits is covered already.
Gratefully accepted a super cute peplum cut orange shirt from Katie.
Katie and Matt saved Coke points for me. I'll enter them later this week.
Sunday: We slept a little later than usual but breakfast was an easy one. I took frozen French Toast from the freezer to reheat in the oven. It shaved a little time off my morning and insured we got out of the house on time for church.
We stopped for gasoline for the week (we'll be using my car to run errands at least three times this week...) and John bought a Sunday paper.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung several pieces to dry indoors.
When we came home today, I reheated leftovers for our dinner.
I spent the afternoon working up the bill box, getting my ledger sheet in order for the pay period.
Took the time to tentatively plan what I'd like to stock in the pantry when I start to build it up in September.
Monday: Washed a full load of clothes and hung them all to dry. Not quite the savings it might have been. As the clothes went into final rinse I realized I'd forgotten to put soap in the washer...So that ran twice today.
Used the homemade bathroom cleaner (equal parts Dawn and vinegar) to clean the shower and outside the toilet.
We had to go down to John's work place to pick up the paycheck. We did banking and mailed off bills while we were out. We also carried off trash and picked up mail.
Our short check was short. It's a fact we must work with. Fortunately I've been setting a little money aside each pay period and so I was able to make up the needed grocery funds from the money set aside. I did, however, keep the grocery funds lower than usual. No need to spend foolishly just because I did have the extra.
We stopped at the local grocery to pick up two items on sale this week. I priced canned vegetables but will look around a little more before I settle on the local store's pricing even on sale.
Today I took time to lay out plans for the month of September, including goals for practicing saving methods.
Tuesday: Bess and I shopped for groceries together today. She'd come up especially to shop at Aldi and The Fresh Market. We both stayed very on target at The Fresh Market and bought ONLY the meats on sale. I priced other cuts of beef while there and can say honestly it's pricey but I think on sale many cuts must run about what they might at Target. No doubt the best buys are those Tuesday specials on hamburger and chicken breasts. I noted a lot of traffic in the store went straight to the meat counter, purchased one or both of those items and went straight back out.
At Aldi I stayed very mindful of my purpose of not overspending. However, I'd noted in the local store yesterday that canned vegetables ran about $.63 a can (8/$5)...I noted corn and green beans at Aldi were just $.49/can. I bought a half dozen of each. It's not all I'd like to have on my pantry shelves but it's a nice start and very do-able on a tighter than usual budget.
We stopped for lunch on our way home. I knew John was busy mowing and that Bess had a 3 hour drive home from our place. I paid for dinner at the local diner from my pocket money.
John mowed lawn while we shopped.
Since we'd had a lighter lunch I made a beef pot pie for supper with a fruit salad on the side. It's more supper than we'd normally have but I truly do enjoy at least one really hot meal every day.
Wednesday: Made Mc-Sandwiches for breakfast this morning.
Took off trash and picked up mail as we went out.
I took along a book, my journal, and a puzzle book to occupy me while John was getting his haircut. I sat in the car where it was very pleasant, the temperature being considerably lower than in the past several days.
After John's appointment we went into a flooring store in the same strip mall that we'd taken note of. We are going to get a quote on having several rooms re-floored in our home. In the meantime, we brought home a sample book of vinyl floorings. We surprised ourselves today in choosing that as our flooring when we've spoken of hardwoods and tiles and laminates and carpeting, but in the end, this choice made the best sense for us in wear and durability and warranty. We surprised ourselves further when we chose the color finish because it's nothing like what we've considered in any store. Funny how having that sample in our home, suddenly made the right choice not only apparent but super easy. I suppose it's funny to get a quote for flooring when you haven't got the funds to pay for them but we'll at least know what we can expect to pay when we do have enough money to do it. In the meantime, we 'sowed a seed towards our need' this week, a principle of faith filled giving we've used in the past.
John asked what my plans for dinner were. Well I hadn't any! I was weary when I came in yesterday afternoon from shopping and after doing housework and dinner I simply forgot that the next day would come and meals would be wanted. Then I slept very badly last night and had no thought for meals this morning beyond breakfast. John had mentioned the possibility of several other errands and I wasn't sure of our plans...So I didn't plan at all! John drove to a nearby small town and we got take out for lunch, ate it in the city park listening to the carrillion play. It was so pleasant and nice it made me glad I had not made plans!
Began packing John's non-perishable portions of his lunch for work tomorrow when we walked in.
John washed and hung to dry a full load of laundry this morning before we left home.
I made a plan for our supper this evening. It's just leftovers with a salad but it's a plan.
Thursday: Packed John's lunch. Made his breakfast. Kissed him and sent him off to work.
I colored my hair this morning. I have one more box of color on my bathroom shelf. That should see me through 3 more colorings. I can't remember what I paid for all these boxes of color, but I do know it's under $1 a dye job.
Had a spa morning. It took less time than usual, since I was coloring my hair. It was a cool 30 minutes start to finish. I felt wonderful. I really should make it a point to give myself that 30 minutes or so each week.
Made sure to cut off all the fans before leaving home.
Mama and I went to Target today. Again I am mightily disappointed in this particular locations Plus size department. Today it was even worse than during my last visit. The maternity and plus sizes are shoved in the back of the store near the dressing rooms and there are loaded buggies of returned gods sitting in that space, dozens of clearance racks and no clearly marked section that contains the four racks of plus sized pieces. As a plus size woman I find it demoralizing to even pretend I can shop in that space. I took action today and did a survey on my receipt. I asked for a team leader to contact me so that I can make a formal complaint.
Mindful of my desire to start a present pantry, I shopped the infants clearance rack today and picked up several cute little clothing pieces. I spent about $3 each for five pieces.
While I was rambling the clearance rack I looked hard at items in Taylor and Josh's sizes. I found Josh a set of 2 pairs of pajamas for $11. They was a total of four pieces, two tops and two bottoms which suits Bess' need to have him in potty training easy wearable pieces. I didn't find anything for Taylor except the same pieces she'd picked up two weeks ago at her local Target. I'd have loved to have bought for Rosa in her size range but I know that her weather is due to get very cold soon and most of what was available here was sleeveless dresses and skimpy tank tops.
I had a $5 ECB that was expiring today and so I scanned this week's ad to look for items I could absolutely use. Free toothpaste? Yep, I can use that. My favorite shampoo for $1 a bottle? Yep. My Josh's favorite gummy worms for $1 a bag? Yes. John also needed deodorant, I needed new face powder. My issue obviously wasn't whether I needed anything, but could I afford it all? Thank you ECBs and coupons stacked with store coupons. I saved 57% of my first spending total, going from $49 to $21. I earned $1.88 in ECBs that I spent on a second bag of Josh's favorite candy which was FREE, savings on that was 100%. I bought 2 shampoos, 1 conditioner, a tube of toothpaste, two tubes of deodorant, 1 face powder, 1 bag of Hershey kisses, 2 bags of gummy worms.
Mama was tired out from shopping so we went to a drive thru window and picnicked in the car. At Mama's urging we drove down to her favorite summer farmer's market to get peach ice cream and a new to us variety of late peaches called Autumn Blaze. I can't believe I was able to get peaches on September 1! This variety will be done this weekend and the market will close. I paid a little more than I do at our local packing shed but not by much, just $.50. Totally worth it for one last taste of summer.
When we returned to Mama's she offered me three large fiberglass half barrel planters. I gratefully accepted. Katie mentioned giving me a hydrangea from her yard this fall, that simply isn't doing well in it's location. I don't want to plant right around our foundation, since we hope to have a more durable skirting put about the house at some point in the future. Big planters like these are just the ticket for allowing me large plants without the worry of removing them later. Now I can plant my own hydrangea.
Took time this evening to plan meals for the weekend ahead. I took meats out to thaw tonight so I can cook ahead tomorrow.
Katie sent me photos of her home all decorated for Fall this week...I only have a list of things to do as long as long can be but suddenly I want very much to be decorating for fall. I pulled things from the shed today, have a few ideas in mind and picked up three cute burlap covered pumpkins at Target today. That was less than $10 total for those three and with what I have on hand, and a little paint and a few other items I think I can make it pretty...Now it's just a matter of finding time to do it.
A schedule not of my making and inclement weather won't allow me to paint dining chairs this week so I'm pushing that to Monday.
Do you go over your receipts? I do and today I was shocked at the price of an item. I thought I'd chosen a lesser item and it was half again as much as the one I set aside. I was unable to watch the price as it rang up so I didn't catch this until I was home this evening. I will be taking that particular item back. I might, if I was desperate, keep it, but the truth is I was settling for something because I was sure it cost less than the one I really wanted..Not worth keeping.
Friday: I used some leftover potatoes as hash browns for our breakfast this morning.
We've had only sprinkles of rain and slow breezes here this morning. While I wasn't looking forward to awful weather I was hopeful we'd get a good dose of rain, which is desperately needed here. I don't believe we'll be cutting grass more than one or two more times this year if we don't get more than this. That is a savings of sorts but rain is still needed.
I made beef enchiladas from a mixture of chili, rice and some cooked chorizo, as well as homemade enchilada sauce. This made up 6 nice sized enchiladas, enough for two meals for us. I'll put leftovers aside for Sunday after church dinner.
My bananas ripened rapidly this week. I had three very large well ripened bananas on my counter this morning. At John's request I made Banana Pudding. I saved the two egg yolks I didn't need for this pudding and will use them in oatmeal one morning this weekend.
Used leftover cooked marinade that I'd frozen to marinade chicken for tomorrow's dinner.
While I was making enchiladas and grating cheese, I mixed up some pimento cheese for sandwiches this weekend.
I cleaned out the storage and plastic containers drawers. I matched lids to containers, removed everything that didn't have a mate. This was especially easy today since all recently used pieces were washed and in the drawers. I have to do this at least once every two or three months. I don't know how so many pieces end up orphaned. It's one of those mysteries of homemaking.
I hope you all had a great week and will share your frugal accomplishments. Enjoy your long weekend!
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