Frugal Friday: Spring Things
Saturday: Last night I gave myself a manicure and pedicure. It took just minutes.
We had breakfast at home this morning before hitting the road. We do usually like to have breakfast out but with a second family trip planned this month, it seems wise to save our extra cash for the extra gasoline usage. So here at home we had our coffee and a quick breakfast.
We turned off fans and turned down the heat before we left home.
I took along snacks for any unexpected blood sugar lows. I also carried along water bottles that I'd filled here at home.
At John's request I packed sandwiches for our supper on the way home.
We took food with us. The last thing I wanted Bess or Sam to do today was have to prepare a big meal. I'm glad we took that food along as they had weekend guests and our simple lunch basket was a small labor savings for them. Their guests had gone out before we arrived and we left before their return which meant they had a quiet space.
We stopped and filled the car on our way home. John bought us a cup of coffee each.
I set up breakfast (oatmeal) for tomorrow morning.
We did not turn up the heat when we came in last night. The house was just warm enough and when it began to get cool we put on our cozy robes.
Sunday: Packed John's work lunch and prepared breakfast for him before he left for work.
Turned on the propane heater before I turned up the heat pump.
Ordered new kitchen rugs and a new door mat for the back porch. All three items were on sale. I'll pay for these items with my earnings from ads on blog from Dec/Jan.
Washed a full load of sheets and towels. They were hung to dry on the line.
We've had nothing but sandwich meals the past two days and while both days one sandwich was the hot meal, I'm ready for some 'real' cooking. I made up a hobo packet type dinner for myself and put in the oven.
Stripped our bed from top to bottom and washed the blanket and spread. I had to put both of those in the dryer. I put the blanket in the dryer first to heat it up nicely for the spread which is heavier.
Washed a full load of dishes. I didn't quite have a full load but by the time I'd added the coffee pot and filters it pretty much made up a full load.
Cleaned the bathroom. Took two pictures down off the wall so that I can paint those frames a pristine white.
I'd planned to buy another frame, and paint it, for things I'm rearranging on the entryway wall. Well I have the frame already, didn't even have to buy it. I found it while I was plundering about in the shed. I do need paint.
Monday: This will seem a repeat when you read my dairy of the challenge week but here goes anyway: I roasted the chicken for our dinner today. I made homemade gravy and cooked a 1/2 cup portion of brown rice. I cooked turnip greens and made baked apples. I used a little margarine and a little brown sugar to fill the cored apple. This was our meal for today and it was delicious. Immediately following lunch I portioned the chicken into future meals. The two legs and two wings will be for one meal. I set aside a portion of sliced breast meat with the leftover gravy atop for a third meal. I put aside bits of white and dark meat for burritos. I cut one portion of the breast (these breasts are huge on these roasting chickens) for sweet and sour chicken. I had an extra thigh and the carcass and some pan juices that I'd not planned to use this week. Those went into the freezer.
John washed a full load of clothes and hung most all of them to dry.
I have been saving vegetable scraps for compost. I took a full bucket to the compost bin this afternoon.
John read over the list of open days at work and chose two dates to work half days. This money will be set aside for vacation.
Tuesday: I had some leftover rolls that needed to be used up. I made breakfast sandwiches with those, eggs, and cheese.
We were going out for an appointment. I brought along a book to read, a bottle of water and a snack just in case. Good thing I did that. The just in case presented itself as our appointment time came nd went and we waited four and a half hours.
As a courtesy to us, we were given a discount on service. This amount equals about four hours pay for John. I'd set aside the money for tires from overtime John had worked and the remnant of money from our carpet funds. I asked if he'd be okay with my setting aside this savings as the start of our vacation fund since he's not yet earned that overtime. He approved the idea.
John took us out for a late lunch at Dairy Queen. We purchased options from the $5 lunch menu which allotted us a sandwich, a small order of fries, a drink and a small sundae. I think this is a very good lunch and good value for the money.
We ate so late this afternoon we weren't terribly hungry. We had leftovers from the fridge and a serving of fruit for our supper.
I prepared John's work lunch for tomorrow.
I washed a full load of dishes.
Wednesday: Packed John's work lunch. Prepared oatmeal for breakfast.
Sent John off to work with a cup of coffee prepared here at home.
Did light housework before leaving home. I do like to return to a clean house. Then if I feel too weary for words I can just sit down and put my feet up and not feel in the least pressed to do another thing.
Planning ahead for dinner tomorrow, I set black beans to soak and lay out my recipe sheet for making tortillas.
Gathered up the trash to take off.
Mama wanted to go to Target. Now technically I have no spending money. I had a little pocket money with me but I'm sort of saving that for Peaches to Beaches this Friday. However, I never let that stop me. I found two votive candleholders on the dollar aisle (which is hardly a dollar anymore!) for $3 each. They were the perfect color for my living room and so I bought two. Perhaps I should have bought four. They'd look gorgeous paraded down the center of the dining table. Oh well. I got two.
I always search the clearance end caps because there lies bargains. Like black out curtains in charcoal color for $9 each. I bought four. I'd been thinking I'd very much like to change my bedroom curtains to charcoal and now I shall.
I picked up a few cleaning supplies that were well priced. Two big bottles of store brand 'Dawn' detergent (all they had), four cans of comet, 2 boxes each of gallon and quart zippered bags. These items I was sure of being on my list which was at home. ALL my lists were at home. Therefore I proceeded with caution in looking at stuff today. I put back countless items that I knew full well were not on any of the lists and wished mightily I had any or all of the lists with me because I couldn't think what WAS on them. The cleaning supplies and bags were paid for with my funds set aside specially for cleaning and paper supplies.
Mama's turn to buy dinner today and mine to pay the tip and purchase our usual ice cream dessert. We always get a small sundae and yes, I did have one yesterday but I watched carbs hard today to spare room for that ice cream.
Came home to find one of my rugs had arrived. It turned out to be the new Welcome mat, which I looked at in the store today and liked quite well in person. Picked up mail at the box.
Emptied the compost bucket. I need some brown material in that bin where I'm dumping the compost. I should rake up some leaves and dump in.
Inside the house at last, I went right to work, ignoring my aching feet. I first put away all the purchased items. Found that one of the bottles of detergent had popped open and 1/4 cup of more of soap was in the bag. Ugh! I rinsed the bottle off over the dishpan so I could get soapy water for dishes. I saved the plastic bag and mean to use the soap in the bottom of that bag, too!
Set jars to sterilize. I noted this morning, I had only one unopened jar of yogurt in the fridge. Time to make a new batch. I did not stand there and nurse the milk this time as I usually do. I got busy and mixed up tortilla dough while the jars were coming up to a boil and the milk heated.
I saved the water I sterilized jars in to incubate the jars of yogurt. I had to lower the temperature with some cold water but I didn't waste any of the hot water. I actually thought to bring in my cooler this time which makes incubating temperatures so much more stable.
I mixed up a cake while the tortilla dough rested. I put it in to bake and then set my pan to heat for the tortillas. I have 15 very nice tortillas. I ate the one that got a little crispy for supper, spreading it with peanut butter. Yum!
Decided to hand wash all the dishes and then I sat down and put up my feet. DONE!
Thursday: Made a batch of biscuits this morning, using some yogurt, yogurt whey and milk. Those were the best, most tender biscuits I've made in ages. It was a chilly, frosty morning and hot biscuits were just the thing.
Rinsed the black beans I set to soak yesterday. I had to cook them a little longer because they were old beans, and I mean they were old. Proof that even old beans can be cooked tender if you just are patient. They got nice and tender.
Made a broiled frosting for the cake I baked last night. It's a good recipe, one of my older ones that I used often...and why haven't I used it lately? I recall I used it often way back when because it was relatively inexpensive and very tasty, which was all I asked of a recipe back then. Sometimes, it does us well to dust off old things and use them once more, even recipes.
Cooked more rice than I needed for this meal. This will give me enough rice already prepared to use as a base for a stir fry dish and to go in with bits of chicken and black beans for burritos. To reheat rice that I've precooked, I put it in a dish, sprinkle it lightly with a couple of tablespoons of water and cover, then pop in the microwave. I have nice 'fresh', hot rice every time without it getting crunchy or drying out.
New rugs arrived today for the bathroom and the kitchen. I'm so pleased with my new kitchen rugs. The bath rugs are nice enough. A little different (darker) color than they photographed online but they will do just fine. I need new rugs badly in our bath and I don't want to go through another search, so I'll keep these.
John got his hedge trimmers and went out to work in the yard. I didn't much feel up to a lot of housework but I decided if he was going to work, so would I. I vacuumed and swept, dusted and made dinner and cleared up all the dishes. I straightened the guest room and then worked on adjusting the storage in the guest closet so I could accommodate the things I'd bought yesterday (cleaning supplies) that I wanted to store in that closet. John asked me to come see what he'd tended to outdoors. We were chatting and I said "I really didn't feel up to doing anything but I decided if you were gonna work..." John stopped me, saying "That's funny....I didn't feel like doing anything after work this morning, but I said 'Well, she's going to be working, you can get up and do something.' " Well we both got things done but knowing that neither of us felt much like anything today took the pressure off to do lots more. And we do have something to show for the day, which is fine, since I wanted to play tomorrow anyway.
Friday: John washed a full load of clothes and hung a few of them to dry, but put most in the dryer. We had plans this morning and no desire to leave clothes on the line with the weather looking iffy. Naturally, the weather cleared up and turned off sunny and nice about the time we were ready to leave home.
We took off trash and picked up mail when we left home.
I carried along a bottle of water and snacks, as always.
Our destination was Peaches to Beaches sale in a nearby town. I didn't by any means visit every single vendor. Just a few in the park. I spent a little more than I'd meant to spend but not so much I can't easily make up the difference ($8).
John bought us lunch while we were out. It was inexpensive and my meal was not only shared by us but I had leftovers to pack up and freeze.
John filled the car while we were out.
I washed a full load of dishes this morning. I let them air dry.
I've had a wonderful week...How about you? What did you do this week to save?