Frugal Friday: UnFinished Projects Week

Saturday:  Dinner in the crockpot this morning so we can eat at midday.  I mixed a half pound of ground beef with some leftover brown rice to stretch it.  That made my filling for stuffed green peppers.  Green Peppers are loaded with vitamin C, as is tomato soup, which also went into the same crockpot.  John was a bit under the weather with something like a cold/allergy.  I was sure this would help boost his body back to good health.

Rinsed and stacked dishes.  The dishwasher upper rack is broken.  I knew when I loaded the dishes, the bottom rack would be filled to capacity...I washed a full load of dishes this evening and let them air dry.

Finished making John's work lunch for tomorrow.

Sunday:  Packed John's work lunch and made his breakfast.

It was cold out.  I sent him off to work with a cup of coffee in a to go cup which we've had on hand since last December.

I worked on Swagbucks this  morning.  I managed to qualify for a survey again.  Wow...early a.m. must be the time to qualify for these surveys!  I was pushed up to a point level that allowed me to order another $5 gift card.

Researched a Christmas gift online and realized I can buy it with my Target gift cards on their site and still get free shipping. 

Set up an order for Walmart that I will send next week.  It should arrive in plenty of time and I'm in no great hurry to see that credit card bill.

Beauty Spa morning.  I need to mix up some home made supplies to restock my basket, now that I've finished up all the samples and old products I'd hung onto.  I find I really enjoy this bit of pampering.  This morning's included manicure, pedicure, shave, face and lip mask, and exfoliating.  I felt so fresh!

Painted the majority of the last bank of kitchen cabinets.  It took far longer than I'd imagined.  Boy was I tired after!

As a rest between coats of paint, I made out lists.  I'm still stuck on what to do for a menu for our family day and no plans either for Christmas or New Year's Day.  I did manage a gift list, a December calendar page so I could visualize what I needed to plan for and when.

I got the Christmas card envelopes addressed...Now to work on getting cards signed.

Had leftovers for lunch.

Baked a pan each of biscuit bread and cornbread for Thanksgiving dressing.  I also put Sweet Potatoes into the oven as there was plenty of space and we'll be having sweet potato casserole for the holiday meal.  I put the potatoes and the breads into the freezer.

Decided to clear up the look of the cabinet under the television.  The internet receiver and wireless modem don't need to be on the cabinet in order to work.  I set them on the floor in the corner behind the chair.  I'll find a small table to put them on shortly, but those tempting flashing blue lights will be out of sight and mind, I hope, of a certain little boy.  Moving those electronic pieces left me room to move the big tall blue vase of flowers to hide at least one of those ugly black cables on the wall.

I had an iron trivet that has been sitting unused in the kitchen forever.   When I picked it up this morning I found it had a hanger on the back of it.  It is really a pretty piece.  I hung it on the entry way wall where I've hung a cast iron lock plate and old iron keys.

I washed a quilt and a load of sheets and hung them on the line to dry.

Supper was a very small sweet potato and the chicken livers I put in the freezer a couple of weeks ago.

I went into my closet and pieced together 8 outfits.

I was up very early this morning, somewhere nearer 4am.  Luxury of a night with John gone is I can go to bed early, as early as I like...I can anyway, but you know it's just easier to actually do it and sleep if he's not home...anyway, 9pm for me is bedtime tonight.

Monday: Slept  9 hours last night and was still up before 7a.m.

Made a big breakfast this morning to welcome John in from work.  I made toast in the oven and after I took out the toast I put in a pan of croutons to dry out.  The croutons were made from the odds and ends of bread in the freezer, small pieces too little to make toast or sandwiches of, end pieces, etc.  I cubed them while breakfast cooked this morning.  I turned off the oven after I put in croutons.  They were toasted through in about an hour.

John precipitated getting the last of the kitchen cabinets done today.  I truly had not planned on painting again today but there I was with paint all over me all over again.  I got the back door and trim painted and he did the upper cabinets.  We touched up the armoire in the kitchen.  We are by no means done with painting but the kitchen is finished.  There's plenty of trim work and a few doors in the house that must be painted fresh but I'll tackle those here and there.  My big focus from here is the holidays.  I am happy that all unfinished projects are officially finished.

Went out to the shed this morning and set out the things I think I shall use this Christmas for decorating.  I am too well aware that this is the year I truly need to replace my wreaths.  One is 30 years old and even my old dollar store wreaths are about 10 years old. 

I stumbled an item I'd set in the kitchen and I realized that it will be perfect to use this year with my Christmas décor...In fact, it sort of set the theme in mind and that's why I hurried out to the shed to see what I could find amongst my stuff  that fit with my theme.  I came up with a couple of pieces and think I have plenty of ornaments for the tree itself.

I had not planned a big dinner because we had such a big breakfast.  However, when I opened the fridge I was faced with leftovers from late last week that needed to be used up.  Dinner more or less was prepared...I just had to reheat in the microwave.

Noted a cast iron pan had a tiny spot of rust on it.  I went ahead and spread a tiny drop of oil over the pan and wiped it out well.  The same paper towel held enough oil to wipe the other pan.  Preventative maintenance.

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

Tuesday:  I'd promised John pancakes this morning.  I used a buckwheat mix which rises while cooking and forms hearty little cakes.  With this wholegrain pancake we want less because we are filled up quicker.

I used up the last of the Turkey Spam.  John has said he prefers it fried crisp over the turkey bacon we've been purchasing.

Got the Christmas cards ready to go out.

Made a menu plan for our family took me a long time to think this out.  Now to plan for Christmas and New Year's day.

John wanted to get a haircut today.  I wanted to pick up my free items from Kroger.  I also needed lettuce, apples and bananas.  I gave in and bought a new nut cracker after searching in vain for mine.  No clue what happened to it.  I even checked in the shed for it!  Sometimes it's a good time to just break down and buy it.  What I didn't buy today: any of the beautiful, really pretty but unnecessary Christmas plates I saw at the store.

I indulged in a Gingerbread Latte.  I paid for it out of my personal cash.  I confess to sticker shock yet again (just as I did last month)  when the total rang up...$4.55 for a small coffee.  I won't be doing this very often that's for sure.  That said, for a once a winter season treat, I enjoyed it. 

John took me out to lunch at the pizza parlor in the same shopping center.  We chose to order two slices each and he paid for the meal from his pocket money.

I knew John had a list for Home Depot...and I knew we didn't have funds in our house fund to cover any more purchases...But then again, we did.  I'd forgotten the small amount of cash we keep here at home in a home maintenance fund for emergency repairs.  I told him I had that money and we purchased a few more items to improve small things here at home.  We had $3 leftover. We made notes and wrote down prices on a few more items we hope to pick up in the coming months.    

The roller assembly arrived to repair my dishwasher.  John made the repair in moments.  Now the dishwasher is fully operational once more and we have two more of the pieces for any future needed repairs.

Used a stain pen (like a paint pen) to patch a spot on the buffet where the veneer came off.  It's not a perfect match but it's closer than the stain we had on hand and we were able to wipe some of the stain away which lightened it considerably.  The 'patch' is barely noticeable.  Discovered the stain pen also worked very well on the gun cabinet which I'd just noticed looked pretty scuffed up.

Made John's lunch for tomorrow.

Mama called and has a prescription at the drugstore here in town.  She asked if I'd pick it up on my way over to her place tomorrow.

We carried off trash, picked up mail while we were out today.

Wednesday: Packed John's work lunch and made him breakfast.  When we came in yesterday afternoon, I rinse out his disposable travel coffee cup and set it to dry.  I refilled it this morning for him before he headed out into the cold.

Made my own breakfast and ate it.  I ate early this morning, but I wanted to leave earlier than I did last time I visited Mama.

Worked on Swagbucks this morning.  I didn't get far, but I added a few points to my goal.  Later in the day I added a few points thanks to a code extravaganza that was ongoing.  I wasn't home for many of them but was pleased to add those few I was home to gain.

Hung towel and bath mats to dry after I showered.  I like leaving them outdoors to really freshen up.

Mama asked I pick up a prescription for her at the local pharmacy which she continues to use despite living 30 miles away.  I didn't mind doing it since I was going over anyway.

Checked my speed and set cruise control to insure maximum mileage for my gasoline.

Mama and I went out to lunch at a restaurant that has free pie on Wednesdays.  I did not know, and found out quite by accident, that you can request the pie to go and take it home.  We'd always thought that was not an option.  Now that we're aware we will be sure to get it in future even though we might be too full to have it right then.  I know John would not be unhappy if I brought home pie!

Mama wanted to go by the CVS on our route. I knew I'd succumb to temptation if I went in, so I stayed in the car.

We went to Ross for Less.  I looked for specific items although I indulged myself by looking at purses (a red or black or navy purse would be a welcome addition to my wardrobe but alas not in the budget), at shoes (none in my size that would fill the spot about to be vacated by my own Skechers, though I did see some very cute shoes.  However my rules are simple enough: need vs. want takes priority.  Cute will come along in good time.  I looked at bed linens (we NEED a blanket) and decorative pillows ( I WANT those) and I looked at tables.  We do need a table to hold electronics I moved off the top of the TV cabinet to clean up the surface but pretty as they were, I balked at buying one to shove in the corner at $18...So went my shopping trip.  What did I buy: a small glass container with a locking lid.  I've purchased two of these previously and find them sturdy, leakproof, perfect fro John to heat his lunch items in.  I also bought a new pair of jeans...which I shall have to take back as they don't fit.  And I picked up a few very inexpensive but pretty maternity tops for Bess.  In the end, I was satisfied I had not wasted money on useless items and that I put need ahead of wanting every single time.

Came home and noticed a small metal table I repainted a couple of years ago.  It is the perfect height and size for the space between the wall and the cabinet.  And it holds the two pieces of equipment nicely.  Cost: repurposing.  Savings $18.

Painted the big ginger jar lamp a light silver.  I need a darker shade to go on it but can't swap between my two lamps as the other is just too small for it.  That can wait.  In the meantime the lamp looks fresh and not quite so heavy on that dark table.

Was preparing my supper (an apple and peanut butter grahams along with some yogurt).  I was going to  eat a full cup, the last of the container but reading the side panel I was horrified at the sugar grams in the thing.  I ate half a cup and will not purchase that "healthy" brand in the future.

Thursday:  Made up some apple muffins for our breakfast using an apple that was rapidly getting past eating stage.

Warnings on the weather yesterday regarding our water usage during this drought drove home what my instincts have been telling me: proceed with caution.  Even though we have a very deep well there's no harm in conserving water.  Because we had a full load of  clothes and dishes to wash this morning, I opted to fill the dishpan and rinse my dirty dishes instead of doing it under running water.  I added a little hot water at dinner time and repeated.  This evening I'll use to water plants on the back porch.

I have a scratchy throat.  I used mouthwash to gargle last night at 3am when I woke with it burning like fire and again this morning.  I also put Vicks Vapor Rub on my throat.

Made sure to use up some items in the fridge in preparing our dinner today.  I also made sure our meal included plenty of Vitamin C rich foods: pineapple and bell peppers.

Packed up a single entrée of the meal for a solo meal later.

Pieced together three more outfits.

I cut two pillow covers for the master bedroom.  I didn't have material to match it to use as backing.  I did have two white top sheets Mama had given me.  I cut one of those to use as backing and since I plan to do an envelope pillow cover, I used the hemmed end to make my back pieces.  I didn't sew it up today but I have my pieces cut and ready to sew. 

Friday:  Remember that dishwasher repair?  We put the top rack in backwards which seriously affected how far out it would move and made it harder to load.  Well I broke two clips (one old and one new) in my attempt to remove it the other day.  Then I found an old clip that wasn't broken, so we replaced one of the broken ones.  We still have two new clips on hand but I'm reluctant to try and remove it until we order four more of the things just in case.  In the meantime it works well enough.

Our favorite oatmeal this morning.  I also toasted the last of the banana nut bread.  I am determined to keep food waste to a minimum. 

Made a loaf of Challah for Shabat.

Found a recipe for Goulash in the same cookbook, the sort with tomatoes and macaroni in it...Well it was pretty good.  And a good thing it was because there are leftovers enough for a second meal.  It was a little bit salty, but I forgot to salt the Challah so we'll eat some of the bread with the meal when we have it early next week.

I made a small apple crisp.  I put the peelings and cores in the freezer and determined that I have enough now to make that jelly I'd meant to make. I will work on that next week.

While I prepared John's work lunch and prepped vegetables for our dinner tomorrow, John went to work on the back door frame and did some patching and then painting.  Now that project is finished as well.

Bagged trash to carry off when we went into town.

Went into dollar store to purchase pet food.  We both looked around.  I picked up two more of those cloth bins to go in my record cabinet.  I also indulged in a new clip board.  Mine has begun to look so awful.  I will decoupage this plain one and make it 'mine'.

John filled his car with gasoline while we were out.

Sigh.  I don't know why but John opened the blue bag of food...meant to be dog food and it wasn't.  It was cat food instead. Neither of us noted that at the store.  Well we've a bucket full of cat food now.  Maddie will just have to eat cat food for the next day or three.  Not that she'll complain mind you, but I hate I made such a silly mistake.

Refilled the bird bath.

Watered plants with water saved from dishes and drink glasses.

That was my savings week...How was yours?




DebbieG said...

You did really well! I think you and John are such an excellent team in getting things done around your home.

I hope you have a very nice Thanksgiving!

Lana said...

Sorry about the dishwasher. :( There is always something! But, you sure did accomplish a lot this week.

We decided to try a new local owned restaurant each month with our date money. The Greek one we tried Monday night was okay but not one would go back to. Afterward we stopped downtown to look at a suspended glass sculpture that was installed in a beautiful little plaza a few months ago. I want to take the grandchildren to see it while they are here for Christmas. Our downtown has really grown into a nice area and we need to take advantage of it more often.

Our new washer was delivered on Tuesday and we are very pleased. I had saved up enough to cover all of the purchase and delivery. The label says it will only cost $13 a year to operate. Our clothes are so much cleaner coming out of the wash.

The wildfires continue to burn and we have had a lot of smoke and advisories telling everyone to stay inside. We got out our old HEPA air cleaner and gave it a good dusting and turned it on. It has really helped and I am glad we had it. We pray daily for a good hard area wide rain to pit out the fires.

Grocery sales and coupons have stocked us up on all things baking. Many items have been free this week including 3 quarts of mayo and baking mixes. We eat pretty much the same menu for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas every year so I know what to get stocked up on as items come up on sale. I have prepped a few items for the freezer and have a list of others to get prepped ahead. I will spend every penny of the budget this month and next and will be well stocked in coming months. We made an Aldi run this morning after a $3.40 breakfast out so I do not have to brave the crowds in the next few days.

Please pray for my husband's nephew. A large rack fell on him at work this morning and he was airlifted to Columbus, GA. He has collapsed lungs and all ribs on one side are broken. They do not yet know if his back is broken.

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...