Frugal Friday: A Penny, A Plan

Saturday:  We were up early this morning but not because we had heavy tasks to attend to.  All I needed to do was cook potatoes, steam green beans and keep food hot until everyone got here.  No problem.  I even had time to lounge about, do my morning Bible study, finish off my book and give myself a manicure.  Lovely Shabat morning.

John made me a tumbler of unsweetened iced tea this morning.  I hadn't tried the Yeti tumblers though he's continued to rave over them.  Well now I know why.  He made my tea about 10:30.  At 6pm this evening there was still ice in the tumbler!  I'm sold!

Three of my crowd (all in the same family) have an intense dislike for mayonnaise.  I wanted to make a potato salad.  I chose to use a recipe I recall Katie using years ago while she was at home and preparing meals once a week.  It is an Herbed Potato Salad.  I don't have the cookbook she used to use, but I did my best with what I had on hand: sour cream, dill, chives, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice mixed into hot potatoes.  It's different enough but not so far off one wouldn't recognize it is potato salad.  I found the mixture a little 'dry' for my tastes, but I wouldn't have wanted any more sour cream in it.  I think when I try this again I'll add in some mayonnaise just to increase the creaminess overall.  Still it made the mayo haters happy and nobody else minded the change in recipe in the least. 



Bess' mom brought stickers and clown noses to add to the goodies in the eggs.  She also graciously supplied us with soda and  brought me a pot of beautiful deep purple petunias.  Those went on the front porch in a spot that gets full morning sun.

Discovery:  when you are almost two and almost three, hunting eggs is far more important than what is hidden in them.  I found this out when the daddies grabbed up both unfilled and filled eggs and scattered them over the lawn.  The kiddos seemed to be doubly surprised by those that had a 's'prise' inside.
Taylor had a willing and obedient knight errant in Uncle Sam who held her basket while she filled it.

Facebook is a lovely thing.  I got to share in Lily's 11th birthday party.

Josie is in the background and Lily just in front of her.  The little girl on the right of Lily in the photo is Rosalyn.    All three of my grand daughters made it in the picture!  (Missing is grandson Ross).

And then my elder son shared this shot:
His farewell photo of his children.  Daniel (on the far right) and twins Hailey and Zach.   You see?  Facebook isn't all bad.

Thawed out roast beef for supper sandwiches tonight. 

The girls both took home some of the leftovers from our chicken dinner.  It made me think long and hard and I think next family day I'll have a prepared dish for each to take home with them for supper next time because it's a long trip home for them both and nobody wants to have to scrounge about for food when they get there.

Set coffee and oatmeal up for breakfast tomorrow morning.  John's back to work.

Oh yes, Friday evening I prepared John's food for work on Sunday.  Today I added a piece of chicken,  potato salad, and a cupcake. 

We washed a full load of clothes.  No it's not at all typical but Josh is in the midst of potty training and went through his clothing on the trip up.  We had a load to wash anyway, so adding in his few pieces to ours just meant we did a load a day earlier.  No harm.  John hung most on the line to dry.

Our carpet met with an accident.  Let's just say it got 'christened'.   Resolve spray and a heavy towel to blot did the trick of cleaning it up fine.

Sunday:  Made John breakfast, packed his work meals and filled his thermal tumbler full of coffee for the trip to work.

Washed a full load of sheets, towels and tablecloths.  Hung all to dry on the line despite the look of the weather.  The wind has blown back the clouds and all have dried just fine.  I love to see laundry snapping on the line in a stiff breeze.

Deadheaded flowers. 

Looked up a simple aphid spray.  I've been reading a lot about poorly performing petunias and I know the ones I had last year seemed to struggle.  Reading online I've found that there are some key things to growing petunias.  Number one: keeping them watered just enough without letting them sit and soak. It's better to allow them to dry out between waterings (NOT dehydrate) than to have them continually damp.  I think I'll have to remove my pots of petunias that are sitting under the eaves of the house if the twice weekly rains are going to keep up.  Number two: deadhead regularly and remove seed heads as well.  Personally I always leave one or two seed heads to scatter into the soil of the plant so the new growth keeps the plant lookin fresh.  But definitely don't want to let the plant go into seed production as a job!  Number three: aphid control.  I noticed a line of ants working steadily about one plant this morning.  They are likely 'planting' aphids on the petunias.  These are especially good for aphid crops.  Scientists say they taste like honey dew to an ant....I wonder how that know that bit of info?  Anyway, an easy aphid spray is two tablespoons dish detergent mixed into a gallon of water.  Spray plants thoroughly and in a few hours go out and spray them with plain water to rinse off the soapy water.  The soap should kill the aphids and the rinsing is to prevent any soap burn. Number four:  Pinch back about an inch or so every once in awhile.  I mean like twice a month.  Number five:   Fertilize weekly with an all purpose fertilizer. If blooming ceases use one that has less nitrogen.  It seems to me if you start out using one with less nitrogen you should manage just fine.

Picked mint to go in my iced tea this afternoon.

Made myself dinner of a broiled burger and leftover green beans and potato salad. 

Supper was my version of a Lunchable: cheese, whole wheat crackers, some of that good John Morrell smoked turkey and a glass of milk.  It was perfect.

Made out my goals for May.

Made out the May calendar and noted a potential problem with a date when we have too many things ongoing.  I discussed it with John when he called and we worked out how to handle that day.  It means putting off one thing for another but fortunately it doesn't mean dropping either obligation.

Pulled out an old cookbook I'd rescued from the donation box....Oh my goodness!  I really should follow my initial instinct when culling books.  It's a lovely book and all that and I was thrilled to find a handwritten recipe in the pages but really there is no need of my keeping that cookbook.  Now to convince myself truly to give it up.

News today from the work front is that there will be a definite change come July 1.  There are two scenarios both of which involve the same work schedule of work one day, two days off, return to work.  One is that some employees will likely not be up for rehire if there is a private company to take over.  Those who stay will probably have a decrease in salary.  Scenario two is that the county continues to carry the service and four jobs will be vacated, most likely the last hires. 

Monday:  Up early this morning and had time to do most of the Bible study before John came in from work.

Made a simple but big breakfast. I think we're going to cut these down a little more now that the weather is warming.  We neither of us are up to a heavy meal on a warm morning and this morning proved it.

Menu plan...pfft!  John didn't feel terribly well today and I opted to use meal plan ingredients  to make something lighter and more to his taste.  It suited him perfectly so a win win on that score today.

Did not water plants yesterday because it looked so much like rain.  None then but we several light and one heavy shower today.

Reheated soup for supper.  That generally sits well when one isn't feeling up to par.  I served oranges, too because truly Vitamin C can only help most everything.  John truly isn't ill per se, he's just tired and that sometimes feels as though on is unwell.

John washed and hung a load of clothes to dry.  I mentioned that it rained and so it did off and on but in between those earlier light showers the clothes actually managed to mostly dry.  He brought in the two items that were slightly damp and they finished drying while hanging here in the house.

I worked my Tuesday routine: living room and dining area and front entry.  It's kind of nice to know that I'm going to dust a space once a week.  Tomorrow I shall work on the porches.  Mostly they require deadheading plants, sweeping the floors and watering plants.  I will have plenty of time to do whatever John determines he'd like to do with his day off.  If he has no plans I will be remaking a sundress into a more suitable dress for summer.

Started my charm school work.  I have work to attend to and I knew it which is why I embarked on this.  Today's study was about conversation and first impressions.  I've already noted two or four major faults of mine that must be corrected if I'm to give the proper impression when I meet others.

Tuesday:  After I worked my morning routine, we took off for the day.  John insisted that we needed to get out of the house.  We had a grand time.  He took me on a bowling date and we happily accepted the special buy two get one free and were overjoyed to receive a senior discount as well.  This made the date quite affordable and included our shoe rental.   Just for the record.  We are neither of us very good at bowling but it was so much fun and was thoroughly enjoyed.

John took me out to eat after.  He paid for the full date from his pocket money.  I've told him should he need extra cash this week he's to let me know and I shall return it to him.  We've the extra in our account and since we have decreased our allowance I know the pinch will be upon him.

We came straight home after dinner.  I settled down to tot up the checkbook since he had also stopped to pick up windshield wipers for my car.

I received a new wrap from Jamberry today.  This is my little treat to me each month and I so enjoy having these things.  I found my new wrap mixes nicely with at least three more I have in my stash.  I love to do what is called a Mixed Mani which means I wear two or three different but coordinating patterns together in  the manicure.  My current mani has two patterns.

Prepared John's work lunch for tomorrow.

Set up oatmeal for morning meal.

On our way out this morning we checked the mail. I had an envelope from Tyson Chicken.  A bit over a week ago we'd purchased some of the uncooked, frozen buffalo wings.  It's an item I've purchased often enough in the past and was something John wanted.  I was so disappointed when I opened the package.  21 wing pieces of which 4 were drumettes.  I do realize that it's unlikely the ratio of flat pieces with drumette is going to be spot on but 4?  I wrote a letter to them on their website and told them how much I enjoy the product but how disappointed I was in this bag.  They sent me  a check for full value of the product!  Guess whose wings I'll keep buying when we do want them as a treat meal?

Ordered a spray bottle of Pro Silver 240.  I'd no idea how expensive it was when he doctor gave me both a spray bottle and a dropper bottle last year but I love this product.  It has cleared up yeast on the surface of my skin, it is great for putting on insect bites, cuts and scrapes, you can spray it in your mouth when you have a sore throat.  It's just a great all around natural product.  I ordered a bottle today and will set aside the survey money I just received to cover roughly half of it.  I plan to order a second bottle as soon as I've earned another $25.  It's good stuff to have on my medicine shelf.

John gave me some money to spend on my personal needs.  I ordered two nightgowns.  I'd thought I'd buy myself a pair of shorts but I have three sundresses from last summer that I plan to alter slightly and make into a skirt and two empire waist dresses.  I also have my capri length yoga pants.  I'd like to have some loose t-shirts to go with those.   I can buy two shirts for what one pair of shorts will cost.  This will certainly see me nicely through summer for at home wear.

As I ordered the nightgowns I added two books from my wish list, one for me and one for John.  I went ahead and joined Amazon Prime.  I feel sure it will pay for itself over the next year of ordering items.

Our supper tonight was a can of Brookdale Vegetarian Chili from Aldi.  We had it with hotdogs.  It was SO good!  I am thinking this is another item for a shoebox meal.  A Tamale Pie kit with chili, corn and corn muffin mix...At any rate it was a very tasty chili and it is definitely going on my list of things to look for in the future at Aldi.

Set up oatmeal and coffee for morning.  Prepared John's work lunch for tomorrow.

When I prepared John's work lunch, I opened a can of peaches.  He loves canned peaches.  I poured the leftover syrup into a container to freeze.  Come summer I use this to sweeten lemon juice and make frozen lemonades.   Since it is a light fruit syrup it has less sugar calories than a simply syrup would have.

Wednesday:  Good thing the alarm went off at the right time this morning.   I set the coffee up to brew at 5pm!  Made breakfast oatmeal and tossed in a 1/2 cup of blueberries at the last.  I covered and let sit on the stove for a few minutes while I got John's lunch packed up.  This warmed the blueberries.  Yum!

Sent John off to work with lunch bag and thermal cup of coffee in hand.

About 9:30 this morning, I had a cup of milk and half a packet of crackers.  I know full well I'll be beyond hungry before I ever arrive at Mama's.  That's the result of eating an early breakfast.  I want to eat again in about four hours.

Took off trash.

Stopped at Publix before going on to Mama's.  I needed dog food and bread and mayonnaise.  I was bummed about being out mayonnaise because I don't think I've run out in years.  Fortunately I noted a coupon for $2 off Hellman's mayonnaise which brought it nearer the price I'd pay for Aldi brand.  I forgot water this morning so went to the drink case to get a bottle.  I noted that I could get free M&Ms with a water so I did that.  It failed to ring up correctly at the register.  I ended up getting both items for free.

Mama wanted to visit Walmart.  I haven't been in Walmart this much in a single year's time in years. However, I knew just what I needed/wanted and the store suited me.  Mother's Day cards, inexpensive t-shirts to tuck into my wardrobe, bananas.  That was the one thing I failed to purchase at Publix.

Mama was hurting too much to walk any further so we did another drive thru lunch and had a picnic in the car at a park with shade trees.   Dairy Queen $5 lunches was the deal and we were quite pleased.

I had reason to go to the bank today as well.  I needed to make a deposit.  I have now set aside enough money to pay our house insurance for 2018 in full.  I set aside the last of the cash needed to cover our room for our vacation.  Next pay period I am paying off the final installments on the house insurance for this year.  I've really worked hard at saving this year and making sure that John's overtime hours counted.

John signed up to do two more overtime days this month.

I had a simple supper: boiled eggs and crisp buttered toast and a thick milk shake made with frozen banana and strawberry slices and a cup of milk.  This is a luxurious no sugar added treat for me.

Thursday:  I made French Toast for breakfast.  I mixed leftover egg/milk mixture with an extra egg and cooked eggs for John.

Made tuna salad and egg salad for supper sandwiches for the end of week.

We had rain today.  Just a normal spring time shower that lasted most all day long.   It was lovely and so good for the plants.

Talked over with John what I'd done with a windfall that came my way.  He was fine with it all and agreed I'd done well with it.

John is working an extra half shift tomorrow.  He asked me to not pack a lunch. I have set up coffee and oatmeal for morning.  John wanted snacks only to go with him, so I have packed him crackers, and fruit and protein bar, juice and water. 

Friday:  John off to work his extra half shift.  I made oatmeal and packed snacks, sent him off to work with a cup of coffee.  I'll have a light supper available for him this evening if he's interested.

It's much cooler today so it's unlikely the AC will come on at all.  No complaints here.  I'd like one more lower electric bill before summer kicks in!

Zulily had little girl dresses on sale today for an average of $10 each.  I bought two each for the two youngest granddaughters for their upcoming birthdays.

Pieced together five outfits and then went back and pieced together three more.  That should do me for the next two weeks.

Went through my closet and organized every thing on the rack. I tried on shirts I'd bought but haven't worn.  They all fit.  I realized my problem isn't lack of clothing, it's the lack of fresh accessories.  I will be shopping for some new pieces but not clothes.  I like many pieces that I own but they just don't combine well to create a cohesive seasonal look.  It's time to cull some of the accessories, or at least to do what I've done before, set them aside for now and see how they work come fall.  I know I need fresh accessories because I am bored to tears with my outfits.  The truth is I've several newer tops and the only thing keeping me from wearing them is that I don't want to accessorize with the old things I have.

Planned weekend meals and did meal prep.

Opened curtains and let the natural light coming in provide light for the house.  It was gloomy outdoors but one table lamp was sufficient for reading.

With John gone, it seemed a good time to have a spa morning.  Shaving, hair mask, face mask, exfoliating scrub, moisturizing,  full mani and pedi were all in order.  Played with my hair to create a new style or two for future.  Went over my makeup and determined what I'd like to add.  A new lipstick with more red than coral and perhaps a gray eyeshadow quad, I think.

I've been making out a list of items I'd like to purchase to improve my hair and face care routines.

Remembered to go pay the electric bill.  It may well be only $5 for a late charge by why on earth pay even that little? 

Dropped off mail.

Decided to go shopping, since my clothing was fresh on my mind and I knew pretty much what I'd like to add.  I found two new purses, a couple of new light weight scarves for summer, a pretty pair of earrings.  I bought some oversized t-shirts to wear here at home with my yoga pants.  I bought a new hair brush, some bobby pins and barrettes and hair clay for styling purpose and a straw hat to wear when we are out in the sun.  It is not for yard work but for wearing when we're out and about.   I also bought a pretty red lipstick and a new eyeshadow quad. 

I may be taking back a maxi dress and a pair of yoga pants that aren't capris as I'd thought.  I LOVE the maxi dress so much that I picked it off the rack six different times.  Six!  Should have gone on to dressing room and tried it on but didn't.  It fits just fine, but the pattern is a mistake.  It looks like I have on an apron over the dress and unfortunately the 'apron' hits me in the very spot I'd best like to avoid calling attention to.  I've looked at the dress and wondered about altering it.  I really did mean it to be at home wear, not street wear and I might decide over the weekend to keep it.  The underlay is sewn into the pretty gauzy fabric at the side seams.  If I ripped it open, sewed the underlay seams together and then left the overlay fabric loose it might be more pleasant to look upon.

The yoga pants can be cut to capri length and hemmed.  These two purchases weren't expensive, both came from the clearance racks, both fit well,  but I need to think about them before I make another move with either one.  If I return them I can put the money to good use looking for a few more accessories. 

What I did very right today:  I checked multiple red lipstick colors and the red I bought is really quite pretty.  It is not a blue red nor a dark red.  It does have a coral touch to it which happens to be a color that suits me but it's far more of a coral red than a coral which I have plenty of.  It has a touch of deep pink in it and that too makes it quite pretty, I think.  I was pleasantly surprised at how rich and creamy it is for a Milani lipstick.  EVERYTHING I bought goes with multiple items in my wardrobe even the shirts purchased for at home wear.  I can use every accessory piece purchased with at least four pieces in my closet and that was just thinking off the top of my head.  I am sure I'll find still more combinations once I start to actively work with them.  This is the sort of mileage I was hoping to get from any new accessories and I am very pleased.  Again, it was going with my clothing freshly imprinted in my memory that helped me do this today.

Bought a larger than normal dinner so I could share half of it with John when he comes in from work.

Well I am going to sit with my feet up for about an hour and a half and then I'll sweep floors and start coffee for John.  I might pull out the blanket and lay across the foot of the bed since it's never gotten over 55f today.  We'll be right back to the usual warm temperatures tomorrow.

Hope you all have a great weekend and will share what you did to save this past week.

2 comments:

Lana said...

A bit of ranch dressing may moisten up the potato salad without offending g the mayo haters.

If you have any pure silver coins you may want to Google how to make aa chine to make colloidal silver. We have a machine and all that is required is distilled water. The machine cost very let the to put together.

Karla Neese said...

I think you will find great value in Amazon Prime. There is so much more to use than just the free shipping! I get loads of use out of the PrimeVideo feature and then often free books available for download!

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