Frugal Friday: Working Steadily On

Saturday:  Made up John's work sandwiches yesterday evening.

Sat on the back porch last night and watched the Harvest Moon rise.  It was lovely.

I made three apple pies yesterday.  I think I failed to mention that I saved the peels and cores from the apples in the freezer.  It is my hope to make a small batch of apple jelly from them in the week ahead. 

This morning I made my first batch of Soft Baked Pretzels.  They were easier than I'd imagined (though there is definitely a misprint in my cookbook) and went far quicker than I'd thought they would.  In retrospect, I could have baked them much later in the morning.

I made German potato salad, and Cheddar Beer Dip.  I was not too fond of either one.  The potato salad was not as flavorful as I'd hoped it might be and the Cheese dip was bitter.  There were plenty of both leftover, naturally.  Haven't you ever noticed how often things we least like, even when others pronounce them delicious are always leftover?

I packed up food for Katie's husband and an extra apple pie (I know she'll share that with her next door neighbor) and sent Bess and Sam home with extra items as well.  I had enough leftovers for our supper tonight and some for one day next.

Ran a very full load of dishes in the dishwasher and hand washed a copious amount of dishes as well.  I chuckle now when I think how using the paper plates were going to save me working so...but in the end I suppose it did.  If I'd had to pack those in the dishwasher I'd have hand washed a lot more...or run two loads!  Made sure to turn off the heat dry.  Tiny little fingers do love to push buttons and turn knobs.

Washed a small load of clothes for Katie this morning.  She added in our few things to increase load size.

Had a rather awesome day with my family and enjoyed my two little grandbabies.

Put all of John's work lunch items in one spot in the fridge so I'd have an easier time packing them tomorrow morning.

Sunday:  Made John's breakfast.  Packed his work lunch.

John's car would not crank this morning.  We're pretty sure it's the battery, which we've never replaced in all the years we've had the car.  He took my car.  I'll stay at home which is not a hard thing for me at all.

Stripped bed and started a full load of laundry.  Went about house and generally straightened every area, even though John kindly vacuumed yesterday evening after everyone had headed home.

Mopped kitchen and poured mop water over plants.

When it started to rain, I moved potted plants to the back steps so they could catch more run off of water.

I kept feeling cold last night and again today.  I checked the thermostat and it was set on 75f.  I kicked it back up to 77f.  I'm sure it got turned down when the oven was on and doors had to be shut to the other rooms to keep babies out of them.

Hung a small bulletin board above my desk.  Put a clock there as well.  Although there are several clocks in that room I can't see them from my desk or the sitting area.  I may remove it later but for right now I have a handy reminder of time...supposedly.

Ate leftovers for dinner and for supper.  Not from the weekend but from this past week.

Fed Maddie half cat food, never a hardship as far as she's concerned.  Tomorrow I will go get dog food.

Monday:  John worked an hour overtime this morning.

He stopped on his way home to pick up a battery.  He took the old battery back to recover the core charge.

John tackled a problematic maintenance required light that came on in my car this morning.  We'd just had oil changed last week and everything on the check list appears to be fine.  He noted the battery cables were covered with corrosion and cleaned them.  He replace the battery in his car.

I rode into town with him and got dog food at the dollar store. 

He filled his car with gasoline while he was out.  We picked up mail, talked with family we ran into in town and took off the trash.

We ate leftovers from our weekend meal for dinner today.  I mixed the cheese dip with the potatoes and oddly enough both tasted much better.

Made 1 1/2 quarts of croutons this morning.  I popped the pan of bread cubes into the oven when I took out the breakfast toast.  After ten minutes, I turned off the heat entirely.  Left them to sit for about two hours and they were nice and crunchy.  I make croutons from end pieces and odd slices of bread.  I set aside the larger pieces of bread to use to make French toast or Strata (think breakfast casserole) and such.  I accumulate them in the freezer until I have enough to use.

Tuesday:  Made my on variation of a recipe I saw online: Maple Pecan Oatmeal.  I used real Maple syrup instead of the usual brown sugar in the stovetop oatmeal that I usually make and tossed in 1/4 cup chopped pecans.  That was very good!

Roasted Butternut Squash and baked chicken today.  I set aside one breast to use in making the chicken soup later in the week.  I had about half the butternut squash left as well.  Not sure just yet what I'm going to do with that but you know it might be very tasty in my soup later in the week...Just thinking as I type, y'all.

The Lemon BBQ sauce was quite good.  I knew I didn't need the full recipe for my dinner of two chicken breasts, so I halved it...and I halved it again when the measuring cup slipped sideways in a freak accident and the sauce spilled all over counter, dishwasher, floor and me, sigh.  The recipe reads as follows:

Lemon BBQ sauce:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard (I crushed 1/2 tsp of whole mustard seeds)
2 tsp grated onion
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Mix well and spoon over meat.  The recipe was for fish, but John doesn't eat fish, so I used chicken breasts.  This was light, refreshing and the brown sugar made it sort of thicken and glaze on the meat. Even halving the recipe and spilling more, I really had more than I needed, so plan accordingly if you make this.  The recipe was from a 1940's September Woman's Day magazine.

Used scrap fabric to make a table runner.  I don't know what happened between sewing the sides and ruffles I made and going back after prepping dinner but the bobbin suddenly began snarling on the back of my thread so the tension is off somehow.  I'll have to get out the booklet and adjust it once more.  And pull out a fat lot of wasted thread.

Burnt myself three times on the stove.  Decided to give up sewing and cooking for rest of the day.

Took Pound cake from the freezer and sliced for John's lunch tomorrow. Also made gelatin in individual bowls and prepped his sandwiches.  I need to add some fresh fruit to this mix and he'll be good for the day tomorrow.

Put Dawn detergent on the spots on my jeans and t-shirt and left them to soak.

Wednesday:  Packed John's lunch and made him breakfast. 

Earned 50 points on Swag bucks this morning, working before 7am.

Packed a snack and water to go with me today since I'd eaten breakfast about 6:15 a.m.

Picked up magazines at Mama's that had been gently read.

Before leaving home this morning I thought to grab some extra cash from what I'd set aside last week.  Good thing I did.  Invariably when something special is requested for dinner, as it was today, it's my turn to pay and it's generally higher than our usual meals out. 

I went by the grocery store on my way home and picked up bread and sodas for this week.  I also bought two big family sized boxes of cereal with coupons and sales combined.  I paid $1.79 for each box, but they are twice the size of those I typically buy at Aldi for $1.49. 

I minded my budget while I was in the grocery. Not so hard as you might think.  I found three receipts I hadn't put in my notebook earlier this week. I was over budget after all this month. Lower than I've been in a long time on my grocery budget but still over where I'd hoped to lower it.   I'll try harder still next month.

Thursday:  Made a big breakfast this morning, using the larger slices of frozen bread to make French Toast.  I scrambled the egg and milk mixture with another egg when I was done making toast.  I put four slices of French toast in the freezer.

I spent all morning ripping out stitches and reading the manual for my sewing machine and testing stitches.  I mostly have it fixed. I still need to make a further adjustment of some sort but after an hour and  a half I needed a break from it.  It was not all lost time however.  It's more fixed than not and I learned how to properly wind my bobbin.  Funny what you can learn from reading the manual!

I mixed up a meatloaf while I was making dinner from hamburger meat today.  I'd taken two packages of ground beef from the freezer, totaling about 1 1/2 pounds.  I made two Salisbury steak patties from about 1/2 pound and then made meatloaf from the rest.  I started by mixing in some minced onion and garlic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper in the meat.  That's the mix I made my Salisbury steak from then I added bread crumbs, tomato sauce, oregano and an egg and made meatloaf.  I put that in the freezer for a future meal.

Had another bit of genealogy info drop into my lap this morning.  I am definitely going to be working with all this new information this afternoon in my quiet work time.

I ordered something from Walmart earlier this week.  I tried four times to go directly through the Swagbucks Shop and Earn link but the store page would simply not load.  In the end, I got the order placed and waited to see if it would show on my Shop and Earn page.  Nope.  I contacted them this morning with a request for help.  I supplied the information asked for and will wait to hear from them.   It's worked for me in the past and hopefully will this time as well.

I had two over ripe bananas.  I made banana muffins.  I wanted banana nut bread but I didn't have enough bananas.  I halved the recipe for the banana nut bread and put the batter into muffin tins.  I have six of the prettiest banana nut muffins ever.

Friday:  John wanted to go out today to pick up more boxes for packing and more of those slider things to go under furniture.  We've found them so handy!  I made a simple breakfast for us and gathered trash.  We picked up mail, dropped off mail, and went on to our destination. 

There is a new Ulta store and salon in the same shopping center as the DIY store.  I told John I'd like to go in to get a hair appointment or a hair cut if it was possible.  He dropped me off there and went on to Home Depot.  I gave him a short list of items I needed (primer and paint for the dining room chair).  The price at Ulta salon is a leap over what I've been paying but I was no longer happy with the cut I was getting.  I can tell you honestly that it was a thrill to look at the picture, which I'd brought with me, and look at my hair and see the exact cut and style.  I was complimented four times on my way out of the store!   My husband and Katie are both well pleased with the way it looks.  So in this case, I guess it's entirely true: you get what you pay for. 

John offered to buy us lunch at the local diner.

When we got home we had a call from the flooring guy...We CAN afford this quote and we're getting the nicest quality of both carpet and vinyl tiles for the three rooms.  I am so pleased.  We have an install date in October.  Happy dances and all such.

I made a lovely pot of chicken rice soup.  I used some turmeric to create a lovely golden color in our soup.  The soup used only 1 chicken breast, a bit of carrot, onion, celery and brown rice.  It was delicious.

While in Ulta I was able to price the perfume I've come to love of late.  It's pricey...that's the trouble with liking real perfume.  I'll look elsewhere to check prices to see how they match up.

Received my new Swagbucks rewards gift card and added to my store card balance.

Received my AdSense payment.

That's my week.  I keep working steadily on to reach my goals.  How was your week?


Lana said...

YAY! I am so glad to hear about the flooring! You will be amazed at how it changes your entire home. Baby steps on the grocery budget and you will get there! Every bit less is progress. It took me a good while to pare mine down to where it is but I needed to do it to avoid overbuying for us. In that process I did start making more from scratch like baking our bread in the machine. I also stopped buying many snack foods and baking replacements such as muffins for hubby's lunch box.

I had some dental work done the end of last week and I have been in pain ever since in my jaw since I am a TMJ sufferer. Many days this week I have just done nothing because I felt like my head would just fall off. :)

I did bake 18 muffins and tried a new recipe for cinnamon muffins which are so simple and crazy good. I also made 2 loves of banana bread and sliced and froze that. Today I cooked a huge pack of chicken thighs bought on sale for only $2.53, 49 cents a pound, in the crockpot. I drained the juices and added BBQ sauce at the end and it was so delicious. Two containers will go in the freezer and a dish of meat was saved for sandwiches for tomorrow.

Three meals were eaten out. Another free large sandwich this week on the McD's app made a quick meal on the way to the outdoor concert last night. We had a free breakfast sandwich on the Chick fil A app and a free senior coffee for a breakfast out and our texts alerts from Subway gave us a free sub each if we purchased a drink. That was a treat for lunch today. A great week for freebies!

We took along green tea in our YETI cups to the concert on Thursday night. The YETIs were employee incentive gifts for hubby at work and we love them. They have a food truck at the concerts but we bring our tea and avoid the cost of beverages. We may need a hot drink next week. It was quite chilly up there near the mountains by the time it was over this week. YETIs will be great again. These would have been worth paying for since they keep drinks cold or hot for so long and even in a hot car the ice does not melt.

I have been doing really well with Swagbucks. Last month I netted $50 in Amazon gift cards. I am doing well this month, too. But, just when I think I have them figured out they will change it all up so that I can't earn much again.

I had a look at Katie's shop and she does have some really cute signs there. I love the Winnie the Pooh signs.

DebbieG said...

New flooring is always a huge thing to look forward to. My husband installed all our laminate and tiles and I am looking forward to him getting around to doing all the carpets too...hopefully that will happen this Fall. It is desperately needed. ;)

I just posted on my blog tonight about our savings. Most of it honestly came from being spoiled rotten by my parents while we took a short vacation to see them at their place on the lake in Montana. Gorgeous views, great food and amazing company!

Anonymous said...

Next time if you only have two bananas you could use say the butter nut squash you cooked or the mashed potatoes even or applesauce in place of another banana...or some other fruit. to read the rest of this great post... :-))) Sarah

Lana said...

Forgot to say thanks for the lemon bbq sauce recipe. I think I will try it on salmon.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

SO happy your getting your new flooring..
Thank you for sharing the lemon barbque sauce..

Lilac Dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilac Dreams said...

Thank You for the bbq sauce recipe. Friday sounds like it was a Good day, the good news and good hair cut.

Mimi said...

Hi Terri. That lemon BBQ sauce sure sounds yummy! I'm so glad you're getting your new flooring. These investments really pay off over time, and improve your enjoyment of 'home' so much. Love, Mimi xxx

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