Frugal Friday: Fresh Change

Moving the wingback chair to the mantel wall allowed us to shift John's chair over a little...and pushing back the other two chairsa little closer to the bookcases made the living room look way more spacious.  It's amazing how a little change can create square footage.  Of course, it was always there, but now we're getting more use of it.

Saturday:  I did not have time last week to prepare food ahead for today.  I kept it fairly simple and made chili and rice with a pineapple salad for our dinner.  I used a full pound of ground beef but we'll easily two meals from this with a little leftover for a couple of plates of nachos. 

I made up John's work lunch while I was prepping food.

Josh loves jello.  I boiled water and made jello, then refilled the pan with more water to make mac and cheese, rinsed the pan well and put in water and rice to cook to go with the chili. 

I find rice with chili offsets the spiciness and increases the satisfaction of the meal.  Not to mention stretching it to go further.

Put a full load of dishes on to wash.  I used a shorter cycle and air dried.

When a two year has a melt down, a rocking chair is mighty handy in restoring calm.

Sunday:  Packed John's lunch.  Made him breakfast.

Josh gets up fairly early so I hurried through Swagbucks and earned as many points as I could prior to 7am, then rushed in to shower.  I dressed just in time to hear the boy call out.

The day was a bust so far as accomplishing anything went.  That's okay.  My main goal was to make it through day 2 with this little boy.  I did.  We were both glad to see his Mama when she returned, lol.

Monday:  Made pancakes this morning. I used boxed mix which requires only added water. 

John did laundry, two loads.  He hung all the sheets on the lines to dry.  He hung clothing on the dryer rack and from hangers to dry indoors.

As soon as Bess and Josh left this morning, John and I cleaned house. 

We found a dark spot on the new carpet in the hallway.  Neither of us had a clue what it might be.  I dabbed at it with a damp cloth and that helped but not quite enough to eradicate it. I damped a cloth with a little water and Dawn detergent and rubbed it a little.  It took it right up.  We know the floors aren't going to stay perfectly clean forever, but we'd sure like to have it look new a little while longer.

I was able to put the entire plastic storage unit in the chiffarobe which keeps it nicely out of sight in the guest room.  I also was able to fill the drawers with everything that came from the armoire and had enough leftover space to store my sewing basket and the pictures we removed from the wall and aren't quite ready to put back in the living room.  Wow!  I'm so happy I moved that piece out of the kitchen and into that guest room.  It gave me a ton of storage space.  Conversely the armoire in the kitchen gives me less storage space but forced me to rethink what I'd stored and why.

Moved all my vintage magazines into the trunk in the living room (formerly linen storage).  They will be easier to access in this spot.

I was distracted by a wandering two year old this morning and ended up walking the full property.  The exercise was great and had I not been accompanied by the dog and the boy I likely wouldn't have taken advantage of it.  However, it also made me forget to take something out to thaw for dinner.  By the time we'd done a bit of housework and I'd worked in the guest room it was well after 12 noon.  I opted to make tuna fish sandwiches for our meal, with leftover jello, fruit and chips a decent enough meal.

Tuesday:  We ran errands today: pick up mail, drop off mail, banking, voting.

Went into the dollar store.  I bought dog food (on sale), Vitamin C, triple antibiotic ointment, 81mg aspirin, paper towel.  That's the very things I went in for.  No impulse items went into the buggy.

We drove to Macon to the grocery where I like to buy meats on Tuesday specials.  John has never been to the store and it was fun to have him feel as excited about it as I did my first time there.   We bought meats and some produce that was especially nice and well priced.  This was over my budget but I'll adjust next month's budget to cover the expense.

We bought a sandwich from the deli to share on our way home.

 We took the long way over to Macon and back home.  It's still warm here, very warm, but the trees are just beginning to show a bit of color.  We have not had a single day of just fun since this month started.  Remember when I said October used to be vacation month for us?  Well this year it's been a month of hard work for us both.  It was nice to break the mold and do something different and enjoy the time out to talk, hold hands and admire the views.

We bought a steak at the market. It was on sale.  John cooked steak and potatoes  for us.  I made a very simple tomato salad.  It was an awesome meal.  We shared the one steak.

I cleared the closet in the guest room, cleaned it and then moved in two bookcases to expand my pantry storage.  This allowed me to clear my closet.

Moved the sewing chair to the desk in the kitchen.

I culled another box of books.

Wednesday:  I washed a full load of clothes and a full load of dishes. I used shorter cycles for both washes and hung the clothes to dry while I let the dishes air dry.

I moved the small white bookcase next to my chair.  It is taller than the bench I was using.  I moved the bench next to my chair in the living room, which is where I had it originally.

Found among my things two cloth baskets I was sure would fit my CDs.  I remembered I had a third one in use elsewhere and removed the contents to use it as well. 

While hanging clothes and feeding pets, I noted a little canvas I'd bought last year and weather proofed.  I decided to hang it in the living room.

Mama came here this morning, mainly to see the new flooring.  We were going out to lunch in the little town in the foothills we go to about every six months.

After dinner (my turn to pay) we went to the grocery store that we like.  I have a member card and scanned sales sheet to see if there were any especially good sales. There was a great buy on Chuck Roasts.  I bought one but would have loved to have bought more.

Mama bought doughnuts and apple fritters which she shared with me.  I'll put all but two in the freezer and mete them out as treats for John and I over the next couple of months.

At home, I went outdoors to bring in laundry.  I looked at the window frame on the porch and decided to try it on the living room wall. 

I had put out some other accessories this morning but wasn't happy with the things.  I sent Katie photos and asked her opinion.  With her help I was able to better use some of the things and edit out others.  Another reason I love modern technology...

I worked hard at trying to clear up the guest room.  I culled another box of books from the shelf in that room.  This allowed me to swap bookcases and then move all out photo albums to the guest room where they are out of the way but easily  accessible.

The last two new pillow covers arrived today and now all the pillows in the living room have lovely new covers.  Less than $20 for all 6 including shipping, although I ordered and received two of them back in the spring.

Shifted several accessories about and feel the living room is coming together nicely, the dining area is done except for a centerpiece for the table.  I still have work to do and have ordered two custom pieces from Katie to go on the living room walls. 

Thursday:  I slept very hard last night and didn't wake all night long.  That is rare and it was pretty awesome!  Some things money can't buy and sound sleep is one of them.

Made breakfast for John and I.  I heated two of the apple fritters, then I wrapped the rest in waxed paper individually and put them into a zippered bag in the freezer.

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

I fed the pets this morning then tackled all the dead potted plants in the yard and emptied or cut back hard.   I noted a tomato plant coming up in the verbena.  I told John I'll just leave it there and see what happens.  We aren't near frost just yet...or cool weather either for that matter.

Noted that the pesky faucet I won't use was steadily dripping.  Again.  I swear we replace or work on that faucet at least every fall for the past twenty years.  I won't even use that faucet except under duress since it's so pesky.  John ended going into town to buy yet another faucet.  The one he came back with this time is all plastic.  The handle, the spigot everything.  Since brass ones don't last we might as well try this one.  Happy to report that bit of plumbing work is done.  Here's hoping it doesn't leak ever again!

I cooked the squash Jason brought to us last week.  I scooped out the seeds.  There was enough squash for two meals.  I'll make squash casserole from the rest.

I cut one of the breast halves into two thinner filets.  The other half I put in to poach and will use for sandwiches this weekend.

John brought home a slice of cake from a church dinner for first responders.  We shared that as our dessert today.

I managed to get all of the house under control.  Except the guest room.  That is next on my list but only after rest.

Planned the menu for our Thanksgiving for Two, menus for the family visit in two weeks and menus for this weekend.

Friday:  Woke this morning to sunshine and a heavy northwest wind with a cold undercurrent...Could this be autumn at last?  There's a bright red bunch of leaves on the tree outside the window and this wind has swept the yard clean.  It is the sort of wind that shakes pecans from the trees.

 I've little work necessary today.  Food prep for the weekend and prepping John's work lunch for Sunday.  I did only very light housework and that's okay after a couple of months hard work.

John painted another section of the kitchen cabinets. We've very little left to do to finish that room, except finding a rug and chairs and a table for the breakfast area.

Unpacked the china today and put it away.  I rearranged the pieces so that I can better access them all and there are less stacked pieces.

Went over my bookshelves and culled more books.  This allowed me to comfortably fit all of the rest on the shelves.

Found two pieces in the bedroom I'd like to add to the living room wall now that the red window frame has gone up in there.  I shall hold them in reserve to see if that thought holds true after a few days.

Checked the fridge and found I had some leftovers I need to use up: chili, rice, pineapple, tuna salad.  I will use those to make our meals for today instead of the menus I'd planned yesterday.

And here I shall end this week of savings.  How did you do this week?


Lana said...

We have that same chill wind today. It definitely has a winter feel to it.

We saved money by not shopping for any groceries this week since we did not need any. I filled up the van and used 75 cents in fuel rewards. This me 20 gallons for $24.98. We are taking advantage of a free oil change today because of an error made at the shop last time. The cruise control has quit working on the van so hubby researched the problem and ordered the new cable we needed online for only $25. It is a simple unplug the old and plug in the new repair. Big savings there I am sure. Eating out has been minimal this week and when we did it was super cheap. Breakfast at Chick fil A was $2.14 with rewards on the app. We enjoyed many beautiful evenings in the screen porch this week since the weather has been so beautiful. These are coming to an end soon. I want to have a campfire before it gets too cold but we have heard some hair raising coyote activity at night in our woods so I feel creepy about being out there in the dark.

I know what you mean about the spot on the carpet. I feel very protective of ours right now, too. I think I need to pick up a bottle of the carpet spot cleaner so I am ready for the grandchildren over Christmas.

Lana said...

Months ago you posted a recipe for Chili Beef Potato Soup and I copied it down. I made that tonight on this first cold windy night of fall and it was absolutely delicious! We kept eating and eating. So good! Thank you!

Debby in KS said...

Pineapple salad sounds good!

Since you've had a busy October, you should set aside at least a week for a mini vacation rest in November. Make a little plan to read, craft, or whatever makes you happy. You've certainly earned it!

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

You have had a really busy week/month.. You and John, have really accomplished a lot..
Sorry about the spot on the carpet..
I bet the window frame in the living room , will be really pretty..

I found several grocery items on sale this week.. Thus saving a good bit on grocery bill this week.
Hung all clothes to dry on the line.. Did not use dryer at all.. It has been quiet chilly the last few days, but we have not turned our heat on ..[it suppose to heat back up in a few days]. Thus , saving on the heat bill.
Two nights this week, we were able to eat left overs from previous meals and saved those to meals.
All and all , it has been a frugal week.
Hope you have a nice week.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Oops.. typo error.. Meant to say "saved those two meals".

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...