Frugal Friday: Savings At Home and Away

Saturday:  I took out chicken and hamburger to thaw.  My intent being to make an entrée or two for Bess for post pregnancy. 

Bess and Sam and Josh came to visit today.  I made a Greek yogurt pizza dough.  The recipe I used was easy enough but my attempt at Greek yogurt failed to produce yogurt.  It did make a nice yogurt cheese though.  We used that on our pizza, along.

I enjoyed my time with my family and was sorry to see them go home.  At least Bess doesn't appear quite ready to give birth yet and good thing.  She's still got a month to go!

Sunday:  John off to work.  I packed his work lunch and made him breakfast.

It was a messy sort of morning. I changed sheets on our bed and dried them in the dryer. 

My get up and go went somewhere.  I accomplished some small tasks but nothing like the jobs I meant to do.

Monday:  Woke up gung ho and ready to work this morning.  I made a big breakfast to welcome John home.  Just as he walked in, Bess called.  She'd sent a text the night before to say she had gone to the hospital because she thought she should be checked but expected to go home again.  This morning's call was to say that she was in labor!  I assured her I'd head her way within the hour to tend to Josh. 

I packed up the chicken I'd thawed and some leftover vegetables from our pizza making.  I grabbed a can of spaghetti sauce, an onion and a few pieces of fruit.  It sounds odd, but I actually had a plan in mind.

Left John the packet of hamburger, since I knew he'd make burgers.  I also arranged things in the fridge so he could easily see what was left for him.

I stopped at Dairy Queen at the halfway point and bought myself a $5 lunch.

I filled up my car at a participating station for one of our gas cards.  I'd earned a few cents back and was offered the opportunity to save $.03 a gallon.  Of course, I took it!

Went straight to the house though my heart longed to be at hospital.  That little boy didn't wait three hours for anyone to arrive; he was born while I was still an hour away, right after I'd had my lunch!

I'd asked Bess what I might do for her.  She'd hoped to get nursery things organized.  I was able to tend to that task while Josh took a nap.

Sam brought one of their two cars home.  I drove him back to the hospital and Josh and I got to see his baby brother for the first time.  Josh was only able to see him through the glass window. 

Bess's mom took my car and Josh back to the house.  I drove her car home when I left.  Jenny had been there since moments after birth.  It was Josh's bedtime so that worked out well for all.  I stayed to visit.  Katie came in around then after hours on the road trying to get there.

Tuesday:  Baby Isaac was sent to Savannah to NICU about lunch time.  Katie left to go see him one more time and headed home.   Jenny, Bess and Sam came in shortly thereafter.  I had lunch ready for them.  I used leftover hamburger  leftover vegetables that I'd chopped for pizza on Saturday.

There was enough pasta and sauce leftover to set aside a small serving for myself for another meal and a spaghetti pie for the freezer as a future freezer meal for Bess to heat.

I spent the day before and after their leave taking doing laundry.  Their new washer is a Maytag and doesn't have an agitator.  I liked it rather well, but must say that the cycles seemed super long.  A load at home might take 40 minutes but it was well over an hour before that load of clothes was done.  I'm not sure what is energy efficient about it though it is pretty.

Wednesday:  I made another entrée meal today.  I cooked one portion for me and Josh.  A larger portion was made into a freezer crockpot meal for Bess to use later when they are home. 

I fed their dog food scraps.

Thursday:  Josh and I went over to the next town to pick up a few needed items.  Golly gee whiz!  No wonder Bess has bemoaned the lack of Aldi.  I didn't even get all I went in to purchase and still spent all my grocery money for the pay period.  I toted the bags out in one hand. 

Friday:  Bess and Sam came home to spend the night with Josh.  I took a chuck roast from the freezer and cooked them a home cooked meal.  They were so happy to have 'real food' as Sam called it and there were enough leftovers to see them through the evening.

I headed home.  I needed to refresh my medications, find the car tags so we could get them on our cars, and see John  which was, honestly, foremost in my mind.

I didn't stop anywhere at all on my way home.  I knew I'd need milk but as I told Bess in a phone conversation they have yet to offer a drive thru for milk or bread and eggs and I simply did not want to face a grocery at 5:30 on a Friday evening.

Saturday:  I thawed a roast last night and made a pot roast for our dinner.  I figured the leftover meat would stand him well for sandwiches in the coming week.

My apples looked bad on the outside but they were fine inside.  However, appearance is every thing for John.  I pared three apples and made an apple crisp for our dessert.

I unpacked my bag and repacked it, ready for next week.

We made out a short list for shopping.  We agreed not to do a full grocery shop.  I was pleased to find my milk was still good though there was very little of it.  I'll buy more tomorrow.

Sunday:  I used up the last of some pancake batter I'd encouraged John to use.  He didn't.  I made four pancakes from that leftover batter. 

I was going to cook some turkey bacon but yuck!  It was definitely past prime.  I threw that away.

John and I went to the grocery after church.  I bought milk and bread and followed the list that John made yesterday.  Did I buy anything extra?  Yes.  Two little four piece candy boxes on sale for $.65 each.  Big splurge, huh? lol 

We meant to go by the bank for cash.  I meant to make a deposit of some cash to cover some gifting I'd done with my credit card in December that billed late.  Cash in hand vs. a drive up town to the bank?  Cash in hand became allowances for John and I and I wrote it out of the checkbook when we got home as though we had made a withdrawal.  So now credit card is covered and so was our pockets.

We decided yesterday that we'd very much like a steak.  We priced and oohed and ouched and finally chose a sirloin which we like anyway.  It was the least fatty and the least expensive by half what the others cost.  I also stretched it out to serve us steak today and put half in the freezer for a future dinner.  I'm thinking maybe Stroganoff when I'm home once more.

John tried to charge our mower battery.  I think we'll have to get a new one but he's given it a good try.

While John went back to church for a men's group meeting, I stayed home.  It was a good time to  repack my bags and prepare his lunch for tomorrow.  I set up oatmeal to cook in the morning.  I plan to fix us both to go cups of coffee.  And before I leave home I'll set up coffee pot so that John will come home to hot coffee Tuesday morning.

Monday:  Up especially early this morning to see John off to work and to gather my things for travel.  In the end, I forgot the tea John bought me yesterday.  Sad face there.  But John's lunch got packed and breakfast was shared by the two of us.  I cleared things away, made us both a to go cup of coffee and checked that the plants would get some light.  My orchid is about to burst into bloom.  I wonder if I'll be home soon enough to see it?

Travel was lovely this morning.  I was traveling east and the sun rise was absolutely stunning.

I made a pit stop.  I always feel obligated to purchase some little something.  I meant to get a protein bar but none to be had, so I opted for a package of nuts instead which is a nice mix of carb/protein/fiber and helped carry me along until my arrival at the kids' home.

Bess' mom left a load washing and asked me to move it to the dryer.  I gathered up another load from the grownup's room and washed those with sheets from the guest bed.  That made for a full load.

I made myself a sandwich.  The young lady who was keeping Josh until I arrived bought him a kid's meal. 

Plundered in the freezer and decided to take out some ground beef to thaw.  I will make up a batch of meatloaf and form one for the freezer and a small portion for myself.  Slowly I'm building up a nice few bits of meals for Bess to have ahead.  Not as much as I'd like to have had but a few.

Just as at home, I find I've quickly put a few routines into place.  This keeps the house looking rather nice and visually restful when the kids get a chance to come home.

I was awake earlier than usual this morning but had the good sense to stay abed, lol.  Seriously.

Josh woke in an incredibly good mood.  I am pretty sure it was due to the itinerary I gave him the night before.  Cleaning first and then we'd build houses from blocks.  He loves to help with the cleaning and happily pushed the vacuum across the floors.  I take it from him now and then and tell I'm it's my turn and hit a good patch of floor before turning it back over to him.  At two, he understands 'my turn' very well.

I took out a pound of hamburger to thaw last night.  The kids had said they'd be coming in today  and I wanted a home cooked meal ready for them. I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Plans changed and they won't be in until later this evening.  I'll likely repurpose the mashed potatoes and will put the meatloaf in the freezer.  I know that the sides must be made to go with these entrees but honestly, the entrees almost always make up the bulk of the kitchen work, don't they?

I stretched the meat with two slices of bread soaked in milk and then added an egg.  I saved a partially used can of tomato sauce.   It is my plans tomorrow to make up two more entrees for the freezer which will use up the leftover potatoes and that can of tomato sauce, if I get the chance.

Wednesday:  Good news this morning was that baby is ready to come home.  While Bess and Sam hurried off on a long trip to hospital, I got busy and fashioned two more entrees to carry Bess through the week.  I made gravy and chopped roast beef into it.  I put a can of drained green beans on bottom of the casserole dish, topped with the beef and gravy and then spread mashed potatoes over the top.  That made an easy Shepherd's pie and used up leftovers in the fridge.

I took a packet of ground beef from the freezer and a package of frozen cheese tortellini and made a Beef Pasta Bake.  This recipe fills a 13 x 9 casserole but I used only half the beef called for and rather than open a 29 ounce can of tomatoes, I chopped a fresh tomato and added the leftover tomato sauce to the pan.  This was not following the recipe exactly but I really was trying to leave as few odd leftover bits in the fridge as I could manage.  The taste I took was delicious and I'm sure will satisfy my family.

I washed a full load of clothes for the family.  I must say that while I like their new washing machine I felt the soap didn't completely rinse from the clothes.  I blame that more on the pods used in the machine than on the machine itself. I also washed a full load of dishes.  I have to agree with something Sarah said sometime ago that the energy efficiency/water saving features seem to take much longer than the non-efficient machines did.  The dishwasher is nice but it takes 99 minutes to do a normal load!  My 20 year old dishwasher requires only 40 minutes as does my 20 year old washing machine.  I'd be curious to see the electrical savings in my own home with new appliances such as theirs.

As a kindness to me, Samuel applied a special cleaner and buffed my head lights on my car to make them clearer and brighter.  This was much appreciated as I traveled home in the rain and dark last night.  I hurried home not because of John but because I felt sure the family needed time to be home alone together without another's routines intruding on theirs. 

I stopped for a take out meal on my way home and was sorely disappointed in the quality of it.  I didn't get a receipt so I can't complain online but I shall mention it to the manger next time we go through as it's a frequent stop for us.  It's generally a very nice place and I complimented them on my last trip through.

Thursday:  Slept like a baby in my own bed last night and slept in until 7:15 which is about a half hour later than in Sam's home.  I think the difference here is that my room faces west and has room darkening shades while there it is northeast and has sheers at the window.

John and I determined to go out today for breakfast.  He paid from his pocket.  This was a treat to us both.  I was very appreciative of this.

I enjoyed sitting on my front porch with Maddie and Misu this morning.  Misi was adamant that John utterly failed in the feeding department.  I know she's telling cat tales but she was loud about her complaints.

The muscari (grape hyacinths) bloomed while I was gone.  Half of them came in white.  I was much surprised as they were all meant to be purple.  Funnily enough I managed to plant all the white plants in one pot which tickles me to think my instincts were set on that color division.  Also blooming are white iris and indoors, the orchid rebloomed.  I got home just in time to see the first bud open.

Not much housework required thanks to John's ministrations but I did go about the house and putter a bit which made my heart happy.  Now I settle down and begin my lists of projects, plans, purchases.

Per Google a check was deposited to my account from adsense ads.  Thank you all for clicking through on them as it is truly a help to get that small payment!

Completed a Pinecones survey.

Completed a Swagbucks survey as well. 

John ordered a tool from an online site.  I went through Swagbucks to earn extra points.  They will credit to my account next month.

Made John's work lunch.  Set up oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Friday:  The last day of this week and what a full day it's been!  It started very early, as work days are wont to do.  First I made John and I breakfast and then I packed his work lunch and poured him a to go cup of coffee.

I made goal on Swagbucks yesterday.  Today I made it about halfway.  I'm okay with that.  My shop and earn showed up as a pending credit and I'm happy for that.

I gave in to the pull of bargains and shopped on Zulily this morning.  I chose two items for the children.  One will be a Christmas gift and the other will go into the toy box.  Both items were well priced and are solid wood and well made items.  This second item was an abacus which is part of my older children addition to the toy box.

I also purchased five clothing items.  Two items were on my want/need list.  The others were good buys and will have multiple uses in my mix and match wardrobe.

I made out a few lists this morning.  This is my way of organizing my mind.  I'd asked John if I might use a specific amount of money to stock up on cleaning supplies and paper goods.  He was all for it.  So my first list was of those items.  I hope to stock a full year's supply of cleaning items and I'll use the rest to add to my stock of paper goods.  This will benefit our budget in the long range because I can then only buy those items when they are priced super low and just add to my stock.  One item I use routinely NEVER goes on sale.  It is the price it is but if I can get ahead by a few bottles I can buy one now and then when the budget is more full of funds without getting in a crunch because I have to have it when the budget is low.

I also made out a list of things to do to spruce up the master and guest baths.  The price of items needed there will be low but it's best to have a clear list of what is wanted.

I made out a list of outfits I can make from what I have right now in my closet for both warmer and cooler days.  I also made a list of a few wardrobe items I need to watch for sales on: cute flats, sandals, a navy or black purse, white tanks and tee shirts (these are perennial classics) as well as a café au lait color t-shirt.

I worked up the bill box for Monday and prepared the ledger sheet.  One of my half payments was unnecessary this pay period and I was able to use those funds plus the payment amounts from my other full sub accounts to fill one subaccount for early 2018 full.  I split the remaining amount between two other subaccounts which puts me well ahead on them both.  Of course, this isn't 'official' until Monday when we're paid but just knowing I've that extra ahead is an awesome feeling.   I might easily just spend that extra cash but pre-funding those accounts is both savings and easing up still more cash.  I never would have believed this would work so well when I first contemplated doing it!

I washed a full load of laundry and then a load of throw rugs and hung all outdoors to dry.

I made a batch of muffins from a squishy ripe banana.

I checked the fridge and noted there is leftover roast from last weekend.  I've decided to make roast beef hash with that tomorrow.  It's a frugal, tasty and easy meal to prepare.

I boiled a half dozen eggs for various uses including egg salad for sandwiches.

I boiled two chicken carcasses from the freezer.  I'll put up the broth here in a little bit, at least 3 quarts and possibly 4.  I expect I'll have a nice lot of meat since some of this chicken was just too strongly flavored from the deli with oregano to be good.  I think boiling will have diluted the flavor down enough to make it taste much better.  I got 2 full cups of meat off these two carcasses.

I opened the windows this morning and let the house air out.  When I got chilly, I put on socks and a jacket.  By 2pm it was nearly 75f indoors which is the point where our AC is set to come on.  Anything over that just makes the house super stuffy.

Ate a leftover entrée that had been frozen along with a ripe kiwi for one meal.

Repurposed a plastic lidded ice cream tub to be my new compost can.

Now I've had my supper (a clear out of two frozen waffles that I toasted, a boiled egg and an orange...I know it sounds like breakfast but it suited me perfectly), and it's almost time for Shabat so I shall send this out.  Share what you all did to save this week, won't you?

And I have to ask...Anyone ready for the March Tight Food Budget Challenge?  I've got my thinking cap on!


Dawn said...

You have had a very full week. I am tired just from reading all of it. Lidded ice cream tubs do make the best compost containers.

Anonymous said...

I do like my no agitator post Maytag for washing pillows and bed spreads. It does as I have said, seem to take longer to wash though. And to have to wash the washer about once a month or it smells is completely silly. Mine is a top loader and I have to do it to it too...they say the water does not get high enough to keep it clean... well design something different so it will!! Yes it uses little water all right. Maybe too little. I got a load out one time and a couple pieces were completely dry in spots!! With so little water the clothes grate against each other more. So does that cause the clothes to wear out earlier? It sure does spin the water it does use out!! Too well. I do not use the most spin either.. Yet even when the clothes are put in the clothes dryer the wrinkles many times are still there! I hang clothes mainly on the they really are wrinkled. !! The wash the washer cycle takes 101 minutes and needs hot water and the tub gets full of that takes away from any savings too. Donna at did a post about her machine a while back! She has issues too!! :)
You sure have been busy but I was very impressed with your quick thinking to take and make the ingredients for meals for them! That was wonderful. :)
A new March food budget challenge...sounds good to me! Sarah

Little Penpen said...

Interesting to read about the washer in your post and in the comments. I've had one without an agitator for almost a year now. I am so disappointed. The cycle takes forever, the clothes smell funky, so I use a lot of vinegar. Black clothes always come out with soap on them, therefore requiring another LONG rinse! We use our towels for several days, letting them air dry between uses. I hang mine in my large closet to dry. They smell so bad when damp, the same smell as the washer gets. What is the answer???? I want my old machine back!!

Lana said...

Last fall we replaced our Whirlpool washer with a Speed Queen. When our appliance repairman was out last time we asked which washer he would recommend and he said that in 14 years he had only serviced a Speed Queen twice. I researched it and did not find one bad review other than people saying it is a plain Jane machine. We had to keep hoping our old Whirlpool would hold together while we saved up the $950 for the Speed Queen. It is 100% made in America and has a full 5 year warranty. It is expected to last at least 25 years because it does not have plastic internal parts that break easily. It only takes 29 to 31 minutes for a single rinse cycle and an additional 10 if I double rinse. We have never had fabrics so clean. Some clothes that had been designated as work clothes actually came so clean that they moved back to regular use! It does have an energy efficient setting that rinses without filling the tub but you have to choose that and are not stuck with it. For almost 23 years we had had trouble with our washer 'walking' in this laundry room and I don't think the Speed Queen has moved even a millimeter since it was installed. I cannot say enough good things about it but if you all need a new washer do consider it.

Our Bosch dishwasher takes 2 hours and 25 minutes for a regular cycle! It does sense the soil level of the dishes so maybe it cuts the time down but I really don't know since we start it at bedtime and go upstairs. Our appliance repairman said that the Bosch has only one small inexpensive switch that goes bad in it and that it will be trouble free for most likely 25 years. It cleans very well so it's reliability and the fact that we run it at night makes me not care too much about how long it runs. It was an energy star appliance when we bought it 3 years ago.

I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the food budget challenge. I won't join in since we are eating for hubby's recovery and it is expensive groceries. I did make it through Feb on $210 which surprised me. We made our last Aldi run for the month this morning and it was only $12.01.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the new baby! I love reading your blog. I'm very curious about the cleaner you won't compromise on. My one item like that is Viva paper towels. Can you tell me more about your pre-funding accounts? Are you basically setting money aside for when a big bill us coming due, such as insurance?
Amy in AR

terricheney said...

Amy, The item that NEVER goes on sale is a store brand liquid dishwasher liquid. It's the ONLY one that doesn't clog our drain pipe, which is common for us with our soft water and detergents, soaps or shampoos. So we are very careful to always buy the products that seem to dissolve fully.

Yes, those pre-funded sub accounts are meant to do just that. I've set aside enough money to pay our property taxes at end of the year, our AAA and Air Evac accounts and our tags for 2018. I've a half year's worth of our AARP insurance set aside and my next BIG goal is pay off our house insurance early. Then I'll sock away the next six months of car insurance. If it all goes perfectly (and I'm not planning ahead just saying, because we ALL know better, lol) then I should have all our sub accounts prefunded and can concentrate solely on saving the full 12 months of house insurance that comes due in November. We shall see how well this progresses, but so far it's gone very well indeed.

Anonymous said...

I love ice cream buckets, too! I have a lot of them, collected over the years, that I use for dry beans, rice, etc. plus more. For my compost bucket, I have a stainless steel one with a lid that I've had for several years. I love that, too. Before that, and my whole life, I just used a bowl on the counter, which can be unattractive.

I'm glad your funding accounts are working so well. Go, Terri!

And, I'm up for a food challenge in March. I know what I'll do--use my stockpile, and buy a little to supplement. I have the stockpile back to where I want it and have freezer food, home-canning, and pantry items that are needing to be used in anticipation of gardening. I have already started grabbing "mystery" bags of frozen items, little bits, etc. from my kitchen freezer and I've been cooking away. I even used a gallon of crushed tomatoes someone gave me about 5 years ago, and made a mega batch of marinara sauce. I can't wait to see what you do! I love getting ideas from everyone.

Delorise said...

I had never heard of pre funded sub accounts but think they are a great idea. What wonderful planning ahead! I picked up 24 ct boxes of Lipton tea bags for 30 cents each this week--I have stocked up siblings, niece and in-laws (they all got 5 boxes each) for quite a while. Hubby and I use decaffeinated instant Lipton tea-- but it is such a blessed feeling to help our families. I paid $3.00 for a slightly used pair of nice pair of tennis shoes at a thrift shop. I now have a spare pair for when I wear out my current pair (for exercise). I also got a like new New Directions top (with all my basic wardrobe colors) at Salvation Army for $3.00. I remember seeing this top last fall at our Belk store and it was priced $40.00 or $44.00-- what a deal!! Did the typical cleaning this week-- have managed to reduce the laundry loads by making myself wait til I have full loads to wash. I use baking soda and vinegar for almost all my cleaning-- highly recommend to anyone. A large box of baking soda and gallon of vinegar last a long time. Looking forward to more info on the food budget challenge. I love saving money especially on food. Thoughts and prayers are with your family- so glad the baby is home.

terricheney said...

Nice bargains on your part Delorise. I love to buy things and be able to bless others with my savings.

Becky, I'm pretty proud of that ice cream bucket...It isn't quite as nice looking as that stainless steel compost bucket was but then again the ice cream bucket's not likely to turn into a glorified flower pot either!

Diary of a Homemaker's Week: Well Done!

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