Frugal Friday: Hurrying to Save for October
Reusing old things (this frame has been on the front porch for the past five years) is one way I stretch and stretch my decorating budget...
Saturday: The cold wind of autumn finally blew in yesterday. It was cold enough to snuggle last night and we did turn on the heat for a moment this morning, just long enough to bump the indoor temperatures up to 67F.
I'd planned to have leftovers today but with a bagel and coffee for breakfast, something more substantial and warming seemed in order. Pot roast with a pineapple upside down cake sounded good to me and came together in minutes.
The Pineapple upside down cake used up the half can of pineapple rings I had left. I used the juice in the cake in place of the milk the recipe called for.
I used the electric frying pan to make the pot roast since I decided a little late to start it. I don't use that fryin pan very often...And honestly after today I'm thinking there's little reason to keep it. It cooked awfully fast compared to the stovetop. This appliance was a gift to me and wasn't something I'd normally have chosen for myself. I think today made up my mind to let it go to a home that will appreciate it.
Last night after supper, before sundown, I put together the rice and chili left from last weekend and made up 7 burritos to go into the freezer.
Two weeks ago when I bought that new robe I felt a little foolish. It was 95 that afternoon but I knew come cooler weather I'd need that robe. Well this morning I felt right smart when I pulled it on. It's cozy as can be and just what is needed on a chilly autumn morning. I have a feeling I'll enjoy this all through the coming months. And it's given me ideas...
Ordered two more tops from Zulily this weekend. I have a lot of short sleeved shirts and not very many items for fall. I think, with these two additions and the two shirts that arrived yesterday I'll have enough to see me through the cooler days as far as tops are concerned. Next on my list is pants and jeans.
Sunday: Packed John's lunch for work and made him breakfast.
Worked up bills for paying tomorrow. I caught an error made last pay period. Nothing dire but something I'm glad to put right.
Spent the morning giving myself a spa treatment. I needed that bit of pampering and grooming.
Washed away the gray while I was at it. I think often of letting my hair 'go natural', but it's going gray in spots...and not in attractive streaks sort of spots. So I'll just keep coloring my hair until the spots start to meet up with one another.
Reframed some of the pictures from the one I broke when I was removing them from the wall. These are the seed packet copies I had framed.
Hung the pictures room wall. I really like these copies but I feel sure they are all wrong for my living room now, sigh. I'll let them stay up a few more days and keep trying to find things to go on the wall instead.
Ate the last of a frozen leftover for my dinner. Glad it's used up.
Painted the mirror frame in the guest bath.
Everything I set my hand to today just felt off to me (except the spa treatment). I finally decided to stop trying to make things work and pulled out my genealogy notes and notebook and started adding notes to pages. That was the most satisfactory work today.
Monday: Big breakfast this morning. I try to be cost conscious on these mornings but we definitely like a big breakfast after one of John's work days.
John brought in mail this morning. I went ahead and wrote the check for the bill that came in.
Corrected my error of last pay period. It meant adjusting two categories but they were optional anyway.
I don't know why, but I just couldn't wrap my head around a dinner plan today. I used the chicken breast I'd meant to use for sandwiches to make a quick stir fry. I made stir fry because I was slicing up bell peppers to put in the freezer anyway.
Cleaned the fridge really well today. I also cleaned the freezer above it. I tossed a few things that were too old to hang onto in the freezer. In the fridge I just needed to chop bell peppers and put them in the freezer. I also had to toss three lemons.
I had a chicken breast I saved late last week for sandwich meat. I decided to use it to make a meal today. I had some bell peppers (from chopping those for the freezer) and some pre-chopped carrots, onions and celery in the freezer. I made a simple brown sauce, added to the cooked vegetables and the cubed chicken breast. Almond Chicken served over rice. Yummy.
Set Pantry to rights. I was surprised to find I had a good bit more stock than I'd thought.
We went down to pick up John's check. Carried off trash, picked up mail, went to purchase stamps, did banking and mailed off bills. We stopped on the way home to put gasoline in John's car.
Tuesday: Grocery day. We ate a decent breakfast before setting off. I did not have grocery funds left this pay period. Fortunately I plan ahead for the short pay period and set aside extra money to cover the short fall. It meant spending carefully but it's covered by money put aside just especially for this purpose. Planning ahead, that's a true savings.
My splurge today was a huge bunch of mums for $4. They look lovely in the blue pottery jar.
I bought two steaks for $10. John loves a treat such as this and since our midday meal is usually a cold sandwich on grocery day, I like to make a hot meal for our supper. I served simply with a salad and 2 small potatoes cooked in the microwave.
I'm spending lots of time working on my genealogy notes and adding them to the pages in my notebook just now. It's my way of 'resting' this week. I'll be working hard by end of week, first part of next. I would like to finish the unfinished projects (painting in kitchen, baths, and landscaping blocks at back of house)by end of October.
I was surprised with an announcement that my eldest son is 'free' for Thanksgiving. I talked to his siblings and we're going to try to gather for that day at Sam's so that Jd can join us all there.
I contemplated a purchase I've set money aside for...but I think I'll wait until the end of the year. It's only 8 weeks and I could use that cash towards some of our end of year expenses. I've waited all year long and going 8 more weeks isn't much longer to wait.
John did a load of wash after we got home. He hung them on the line to dry.
Wednesday: Made oatmeal for breakfast this morning. I made Maple Pecan Oatmeal, using up the last bit of maple syrup in the bottle.
I made a half recipe of a dish for dinner today. It was easier than finding space for lots and lots of leftovers. I used up the last of an item I found in the fridge on Monday as one of our side dishes. I used just one chicken breast and though I did make a half recipe, there's enough left for me to have for a meal tomorrow.
The AC is coming on again, with long cycles of time in between. I feel if the AC runs during the day we really have no need of heat at night.
I have spent every day this week resting and working on genealogy. I transferred all the notes from one composition book to my notebook and started adding notes from another but I think I'm about ready to get back to work. John will go into work tomorrow and I can get quite a few things done, I think. I've a real desire to finish off October home projects.
I mentioned my plans for today to John. He told me to hold off on going to pick up landscape blocks tomorrow and we'd go together on Friday. Oh boy! Our bi-weekly trip to the DIY store! lol Seriously, I'll happily wait. I can't buy what he wants and he won't buy what I want but together we can get it all.
Thursday: Made John's breakfast this morning and packed his work lunch.
As soon as he left this morning, I tackled the painting. The bathroom cabinet is done. John will rehang the cabinet doors tomorrow morning. I also painted the door frame to the room. I painted all the beadboard on the outside wall of the kitchen. It was a good morning's work.
Loaded up a bunch of stuff to take to the shed. It's all sitting on the back porch. I could not get my shed door open this morning no matter how I tried. I'll have to wait for John. Stuff was too heavy to make a second trip back indoors with it all. There's no rain forecast, more's the pity, so it can stay on the porch.
Filled the bird bath, watered the herbs. I think the rosemary is actually dead. I noted that now the leaky faucet is fixed the dog water pan was dry. I refilled that and went around front to check the buckets set under the eaves. All were well down, because there's been no dew to run off the roof either. I refilled those. Forecast is for no rain and more 90F temperatures so I won't be buying pretty fall plantings any time soon.
Mama came by for coffee. It was dinner time and I had only a single entree serving of food. I asked if she'd like to share a chicken liver dinner with me. I still had enough leftovers to put in the freezer though we did share one dinner.
Hung some pictures from the bathroom in the master bedroom.
Rearranged pictures in the guest bedroom.
Watched a pair of blue jays bath and drink from the birdbath this evening near sunset. How glad I am that I refilled that this morning.
Had my leftovers for supper.
Looked long and hard at figures overall and I simply cannot pay off the house insurance for a full year as I'd hoped. I have about one third of the money set aside but even if I drain sub funds I'll have a short fall unless I wipe out our balance. I won't do that! However, this has made me determined to use all overtime and holiday pay and windfalls to front load our ancilary funds and our insurance policies so they can be paid off annually and not necessitate an annual fee for monthly payments. Funny how sometimes what you can't do is incentive enough to make it happen the next opportunity that arises.
Went online to check medical insurance policies for next year. My carrier is dropping my coverage. I have one option for a carrier now. Fortunantly it won't cost any more than I'm currently paying. Unfortunately my doctor doesn't accept that insurance. I won't let that affect my doctor. I have a high out of pocket deductible and will let his fees apply towards that. It is unlikely, bar crisis illnesses that I'll come anywhere near that deductible in a year's time.
Friday: I didn't have big plans today. Good thing! John threw a monkey wrench in the plans..
John came in from last night's work and I made a breakfast of biscuits with sausage gravy. It's a heavy enough meal without adding any grits or hash browns or eggs.
I piddled about the house doing odd jobs, housework and such. John carried some things out to the shed to store, and opened my shed door (I had to learn the trick to opening the shed door now he's fixed the handle). I pulled some things from the shelves out there. I grabbed the legs to the little white bookcase I put in our bedroom and a pretty cream colored lamp shade to replace the white plastic one that was on the lamp Mama gave me. I looked for white plates for the Thanksgiving table. No luck on that score. I'll re-think my table decor this week.
About the time I was thinking I should start dinner, John strolls out of the bedroom dressed and ready to leave the house. I was not expecting this! I had to scramble to get ready to leave home. He decided to measure a few things and that left me enough time to unload the dishwasher.
I ran a full load of dishes on a short cycle. I allowed them to air dry.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung them all to dry on the line outdoors.
I'd warned John we were not able to do any spending this week for DIY projects. He took cash from savings and we used that to purchase items needed to complete our bathroom project and a couple of tool boxes for him to finally organize his tools. There was a good reason for this purchase.
I'd made a point earlier of asking about some CD's I found in an odd box in his music room closet. I didn't know if he'd set them aside especially or if they were just overlooked. They were overlooked. I suggested I'd gather them and put them with the rest of our music and he said "Oh they can stay where they are..." I pointed out that having like things together made them far easier to find and why not put them together where we could easily enjoy them? This seemed to resonate with him. No doubt because he'd looked long and hard for a pair of pliers to do some plumbing work. Hence the purchase of tool boxes so he could compile all like items in one spot. They were not expensive and will save countless hours of frustration!
I purchased, from my pocket money, 10 more landscape blocks. I will need six more to complete that one run I've been trying to finish all month long. Then I'll start gathering blocks to expand that area about the trees next to that corner of the house.
John took me out to lunch. It was about $12 and absolutely delicious.
This was our week...how was yours?