Frugal Friday - All I Can

He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself ~ Swedish Proverb

Saturday:  John in from work this morning.  I made Buckwheat pancakes and turkey sausage.  We've grown so accustomed to eating our oatmeal over the last three weeks that I instinctively felt it was ENOUGH.  And it was.  I made the smallest portion of buckwheat cakes I could.

It was cold.  It seemed like we couldn't quite get warm but I put water on the back of the stove to gently humidify the air and we put on extra clothing rather than increase the heat still further.

I made a new to me recipe which used up one of those 'weird' pantry items.  It was a pasta sauce made with tomato paste and herbs and garlic.  I added in spinach, artichoke hearts (that was my 'weird' ingredient) and a little chopped rotisserie chicken that was heavy on the oregano. This was very good.  Click on the link for the sauce recipe. It's really inexpensive for just the tomato sauce I think and something I think would also be good on pizza as well as on pasta.  The spinach was the last of the bag I used in the Farro Stew and the chicken was leftover from early in the week when I was alone.   

I put the rest of the chicken into the freezer for soup later.

We had leftover pasta.  I put it in the fridge with plans to serve it Monday when we returned from our weekend.

Washed a full load of clothes and a full load of dishes.  I prepacked an overnight bag for our out of town visit tomorrow.

Sunday:  Oatmeal for breakfast this morning.

We had planned a visit to our son and his family.  I packed a bag of water bottles and snacks to go with us. I also pulled bagels from the freezer to take with us.  I know Bess and Josh enjoy bagels and I figured we could have them for breakfast on Monday.

We stopped half way down and got lunch.  It was a nice break from what is an almost 4 hour drive.

Monday:  Headed home this morning.  John had work meetings this afternoon.  We stopped at a gas station and I realized that due to time there would be no time for lunch.   I wandered the convenience store and found what I felt was a reasonably good 'convenience lunch'.  I had tomato juice, popcorn and a chicken salad sandwich.  I spent, for John and I, about what we'd have paid at a fast food restaurant and I felt we got a good balanced meal. 

We picked up John's check and deposited it, mailed bills.  I carried those along with me on the trip so we'd have them with us.  We did this errand between meetings.

I sat in the car while John attended meetings.  I read my Bible, worked a puzzle or two in the book I keep in the car, did some car 'housekeeping' and got out and walked around for a little.  I sorted coupons.  I read some more in my Bible.  It was a long afternoon but I did my best to make the best of it.

News from the meetings was neither good or bad, but I shall proceed with some caution.  I was pleased this evening, after we'd returned home and I'd brought the checkbook up to date to inform John that our property taxes for the year are nearly paid in full, I'd set aside a good chunk of money towards tires and all the bills were paid for this period.  He looked impressed and then smiled with pleasure when I thanked him for working so hard this month. 

We washed a full load of clothes and I hung the bulk of them to dry.

Reheated leftover spaghetti dish and made a salad for our supper tonight.

Gas for the trip and food costs were covered by our little travel fund.  As I fill up more and more of our sub funds I mean to grow that travel fund too...Perhaps before the end of next month I can start to add more to that.

I couldn't seem to get warm.  We'd turned the heat down to 60 when we left and it was 60 when we walked in this afternoon.  I'd been sitting in the car while John went through the work meeting and it was cool out.  I had hot tea when we came in and worked at light housework but it took hot chocolate and a quilt to finally warm me up this evening.  The hot cocoa was homemade from cocoa, confectioners sugar and milk heated in the microwave.

Tuesday:  My car was due an oil change and John has time off just now.  He called last night and set up an appointment.  We can easily do an oil change ourselves here at home.  But we have the car serviced, tires rotated and balanced as well.  Those are things we cannot do here at home.  Today a problem was noted with one of the stems on the wheel.  When it was brought to John's attention he pointed out that any damage was done in the shop.  Sure enough, the service record of our last visit indicated that the work that caused the damage was indeed done at that shop.  The repair was made free of charge and we were given a discount as well on the current service.  John was never rude nor angry, but merely pointed out that we are repeat customers who use this place exclusively for this sort of routine work.

While we were waiting, John priced tires.  I wish you all could have seen his face when he heard the price.  He knew that the money set aside from this last check was half what was needed.  He was so pleased that we'd soon be able to pay cash for our new tires!  I was pleased that he felt I'd done well in setting that money aside.

We went on to Aldi to purchase groceries.  We did not pick up any splurge items but we certainly bought all we needed.

I was pleased to read chicken labels today and discover that they no longer contain carrageenan.  I was happy to purchase what was labeled a roaster chicken.  It weighed 10 pounds and was $.60/pound.

We picked up dinner at the local diner on our way home.  It wasn't costly as we shared a single meal.  I was very appreciative to not have to scramble up food when I got home since everything here was frozen solid.  I'd been unable to plan our time line today and was leery of leaving anything out  while we were gone.

I cleared out the small freezer atop the refrigerator today and determined just what I have there and what needs to be used up.

John and I moved things in preparation for the new carpet tomorrow.

Wednesday:  Eating oatmeal on a more regular basis (up to 4 times a week) is a nice side bonus of the Daniel fast John did.  He found it held him well, was satisfying.  I like it because it's less expensive, pretty much portion controlled and has great health benefits.  Oatmeal this morning for breakfast.

I pulled leftover enchiladas from the freezer to have for dinner today.  It seemed the best choice given the upset in the house with work men traipsing in and out, etc.  I made a salad and sliced an orange to go with it.  So far, I'm 0-0 on meals used from my menu for the week.

I made a new batch of yogurt, using some from the last unopened jar as my culture.  I didn't bring in my cooler to use.  Instead I placed a towel in my tin dishpan, put in my Dutch oven and after I put the lid on it draped another thick towel over the top.  I found at the three hour mark the yogurt wasn't quite as firm as I like it.  I checked the temperature of the water and it had fallen to 116f.  I must say  I don't blame my incubation method solely for the loss of temperature.  I was having a very hard time regulating it today even before incubating.  I added enough hot water to bring it back to 120f and covered it all up again.  I incubated another three hours and had the thickness I prefer. 

The flooring guy miscalculated the square footage.  We had a little more money set aside than was needed.  I told John I'd just boosted the tire fund another big leap.  Next pay period, I'll push funds in that direction after I finish filling our property tax fund and we'll have the tire fund filled, as well.

Was going on my Aldi receipt today looking at prices paid for items I plan to use in my next challenge meal plan...I was charged for an extra jar of peanut butter.  I'll be going by there and getting a refund on that amount this week.

I kept wishing I had two curtain panels for the guest room window instead of a single one.  The likelihood I'd find another to match my current one is pretty slim.  I had the idea to cut it in half and use a sheer panel in the middle of the two curtain panels.  It worked out beautifully.  I need to stitch the edges and add a strip of fabric as a tab on one side but it really looks nicer than I'd thought it might.

I was putting back the doll bed that John's grandfather made for a church auction.  The bed was given back to his cousin by the man who'd purchased it for his daughter over 50 years ago.  It had been in his attic for years upon years.  Well, it was given to us and I put it aside for Katie's little girl.  I noted the size of the bed was about the size of the small bed pillow I had just  moved.  Sure enough, it perfectly fit the bed as a mattress.  I'd just purchased a lovely plain white cotton pillowcase that covered the pillow nicely.  I guess next I'm going to make a quilt and canopy cover for the bed.

I cleared the closet of stuff we'd packed in to store until carpet was done. I was able to 'shop' from my pantry and pull out a box of snack crackers, granola bars, decaf coffee, parsley and basil.  I was also able to add items purchased this week to the pantry.

The room was slightly altered from the way it was previously arranged which makes it feel more spacious. 

Thursday:  It seems every time we move things something is lost.  This time it's some plates I had hanging on the wall in the guest room.  I have no idea where they were placed to store.  I clearly remember taking them down.  Oh well...Eventually I shall stumble upon them again

John did taxes today.  I think we finally figured out something.  The insurance I couldn't afford on my own, that the government assisted me in purchasing...well the government giveth and taketh away.  It's a sort of loan up front but they take it back when you do taxes.  I swear this is the truth.  We watched our return amount drop dramatically again this year when that information went into the system.  So essentially I pay for the insurance I can't afford in 12 easy payments and with one lump sum amount at the end of the year.  It's not exactly the way I understood it was meant to work but there you go.

I didn't take out meat to thaw until too late in the morning.  I managed an alternate meal without resorting to running to town to purchase anything.  Still way off menu planned for the week...

Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

Friday:  We left home early this morning.  I had a hair appointment and John planned to get his haircut as well.  We did all the usual first: picked up mail, carried off trash, dropped off outgoing mail. 

While I waited on John to come outdoors this morning, I wandered around and checked out the late winter flowers.  I have daffodils and grape hyacinths all just about ready to burst into bloom.  No sign of the green peas I planted though.  I'm going to set some out in the big tub at the back door and see if that is a better spot.  I can always move one of the trellis into that pot for them to climb upon.

I love the haircut I get at the Ulta salon.  I am paying roughly twice what I paid locally but it lasts a good solid 8 weeks and looks great the full 8 weeks.  I like the stylist, too.  Today I got the full shampoo, etc. which I usually beg off getting.  Honestly, the one thing I really, really like about getting my hair done is the shampoo.  Why on earth am I skipping this part so often?  It was so relaxing and I felt as pampered as when I do a spa morning here at home.  Yep.  I'm gonna add that shampoo into my routine haircut from now on.  It's a small amount of money extra but so worth that pampered feeling.

I chose a new nail polish before I checked out.  It was a pre-birthday gift to myself.

While John got his haircut (he has his own place) I went into the grocery next door.  I needed pet foods and to pick up some cocoa to make frosting for his birthday cake.  I also wanted rolls,  and some gelato (my treat for my birthday).  Well we didn't come out of the store cheap but I am well within my budget for the pay period.  Now to stay out of the store entirely until next pay period!

Came home to find a bouquet of flowers on the table on the back porch.  Surprise!  It was from all my children and their partners.  How lovely!

I made a cake when we came in from our day.  It's frosted and wrapped now.  We'll share it tomorrow with Katie and Matt who are coming down.  His birthday isn't until Sunday but he'll be happy to share with his 'Princess and littlest princess'. 

I have birthday menus all planned.  We needed only to purchase cheese slices for his choice of meal and will use some of the rolls I bought for Shabat bread.  I will utilize leftovers from our dinner tomorrow to make my birthday meal next week.  It's one of my favorite meals.

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

I expected the weather to warm up as it's done all week long, so cut off the heat when we left.  Well it didn't warm up and so the house was fairly cool when we came in but not too far below temperature.  The heat only ran one cycle and hasn't been back on since.

Well it doesn't seem like much but it took all week to accomplish it all just the same.    I'm off to plan my challenge meal plan.  It will likely take me all weekend to get that post written since we've a busy bit of time ahead.  What did you do this week to boss your money around?


Lana said...

Happy Birthday to you both!

Several years ago my husband was unemployed for 9 months and when it was over we had more money in our savings account than when he lost his job. I have no explanation for it. And so it is working out with the medical bills, too. We had to pay $7750 out of pocket and after paying we are only down by about $1200 in our savings. I keep thinking there is a mistake but there is not. God has been faithful as He always is to take care of His children. We had pulled back from looking for another vehicle to replace our 13 year old van but it looks like we can go ahead as we did not have to touch what we have saved for that. We are blessed to have free tires as one of my husband's benefits at work do that will not be an issue with any vehicle we find.

The highlight of my husband's week was his best friend from high school driving 7 hours each way to visit him. My husband's life of always being kind has been repaI'd to him 10 fold through this time of his heart attack. Person after person told me of ways he had blessed them during the time he was in the coma.

beckyathome said...

I think you got TONS done this week. It seems like you are really doing well at setting aside money for expenditures that are coming up, which always makes me feel so much less anxious when we do that. I'm sure it's the same for you, too.

Happy birthday to both you and your husband! I guess you will just get to party all week. Cake sounds so good. I never made my husband's birthday cake, since he had a terrible tooth problem, ending in a root canal. Since he's feeling better, your post reminds me I need to make a cake! Fun!

I'm so glad your husband is feeling better and that the Lord is providing so well for you. During our time of unemployment last year, we also saw God's provision in so many ways. Even now, while we are living on a greatly reduced monthly income than we had before, we are doing fine and are not lacking for anything we really need.

Angela said...

I couldn't seem to get the sauce redipe to work. : )

Lana said...

I love your testimony of God's provision. He is so good!

Anonymous said...

Teri,Happy Birthday!
We are celebrating my Dad's 87th this week.
You are right about splurging on the little luxury of adding in the shampoo!
It's my favorite part as well. (I keep my hair on the longer side so I only visit the salon a few times per year, so it's especially appreciated!)


So happy your husband is healing. Prayer is very powerful.

Terri Cheney said...

Oh I'm so glad Angela mentioned that the sauce didn't work...I forgot to include that link.

Lana and Becky we too have been looking at last year's finances and how much we paid for the medical expenses, buying new carpet/flooring, etc and just shake our heads. God's economy is so much better to operate in than the world's!

Tracey thank you for the birthday wishes.

Delorise said...

Wow, you made me tired reading all you accomplished this week. Makes me feel lazy in comparison. I hope we get our taxes done next week-- am ready to find out if we are getting back or having to pay in. A refund would be wonderful and I can think of several funds to put it in. I am working on reducing the loads of clothes I wash. I do hang most out to line dry but have found myself guilty of washing half loads---my OCD seems to hate baskets of dirty laundry sitting around. Yeh got to work on that OCD- it can take control of your life. I hope next week I can say I achieved more than this week-- you motivate me to be more industrious. Have a good one.

Mable Hastings said...

I was dreading the prospect of another surgery. I have had 14 surgeries in the last three years and it has turned our lives upside down. I am finally out of a wheelchair and feeling a bit more energetic so the prospect of another 10 day hospital stay (never mind being afraid of the anesthesia) had me weepy and depressed and not that nice to be around. (My husband assures me I have been just fine but I think he is lying to me because he is such a good man!) Anyway, I went to the doctor and I don't need the surgery! I had been saving for the co-pay so now I had $1200 that I thought we were spending on medical bills. I am ashamed to say that instead of saving every penny of that $1200, I took us out for a steak dinner to celebrate (I cannot remember the last time we went out for a meal, let alone a steak!). However, I did put the remainder and paid off our last credit card bill. We now have our car, our house and all of our credit cards paid off!

I think it is a wonderful thing that you thanked John for his hard work over the month. It is easy to forget that not every husband is as dependable and hardworking and take a good one for granted. I followed your example and told my husband something similar.

Lana said...

Mable, good for you for going out for the steak dinner! And wonderful that you do not need surgery!

Karla Neese said...

Isn't it funny how some weeks the menu just goes right out the window with no bad intentions at all? Life just happens!

Have a wonderful birthday this coming week. I hadn't realized our birthdays were so close!

You are a very good wife, Terri. I know John is blessed by how hard you work as well.

Deanna said...

Happy birthday to both of you! And now I want cake - ha!

Debby in KS said...

I started a post and it disappeared!

Well, I wanted to compliment you on your single panel conundrum. I was going to suggest finding a twin sheet that would work and cutting and sewing. Glad your way worked!

My friends think I'm crazy for going to get my hair cut and getting ONLY the wash and cut. I leave with wet hair, no styling. The thing is, I go straight home and rinse it/shower. I always feel like I have little hairs all over me and I itch. Why have my hair dried and styled so I can go home and wash it out?! The bonus is that it's cheaper. My stylist said I'm not the only one lol.

I'm glad my friend gave me some of her birthday cake to bring home this morning. All this talk of cake would've killed me!

Terri Cheney said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes.

Debby it was a stroke of inspiration made me think to cut that panel down the middle, lol. And it looks just right, too.

Mable I'd have had a steak dinner as a celebration too. I don't consider that an extravagance when you've had a blessing. And I'm so happy for you that surgery proved unnecessary!

Angela I fixed that link!

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