Frugal Friday: Last Week of Spring

Saturday:  We traveled today.  John wanted a to go breakfast, from a fast food place.  I had a Burger King gift card and told him we'd use that to pay for our meal.

We had to stop to pick up buns, our contribution to the birthday party meal.  I priced packages of several brands taking note of quantity since we had to have a specific amount of each and found some that were on sale and recently stocked.

Gramma failed.  She had no gift bags and Grampa didn't think it necessary anyway.  Present went along unwrapped and stayed that way.  Of course, Josh's first choice were all the wrapped presents and the unwrapped ones were so so in his opinion and who can blame him?  Unwrapping is half the fun of a birthday gift, right?

On our way home John stopped at Subway and bought a sandwich, heavy on vegetables which we'd missed in previous meals this day.

Sunday:  We took trash off on our way to church this morning and dropped some things in the mail.

Before we left I made a salad, washed and trimmed broccoli, steamed potatoes.

John had a Home Depot list.  I went in the opposite direction at the store and headed to the garden center. More soil was on my list.  I looked over plants and saw several I wanted but in the end, I found the clearance shelf and opted for three plants there, two Wandering Jew and one Angelonia which will all look well with my recently rooted purple petunias.

Over to Publix.  We picked up a prescription that was ready and I bought a deli roasted chicken to complete my Sunday dinner.  I picked up Hillshire farm Polska Kielbasa and Gelato on sale.   We stuck hard to our list today.

Prepped John's work lunch for tomorrow.

Set up coffee and oatmeal for Monday morning breakfast.

Monday:  Despite the clouds and humidity I hung a full load of clothes on the line.  HOURS later, they are still not dry which makes me happy I went ahead and dried  the second load in the dryer because the ones on the line are the lighter weight items.

Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

What do you do when you're frustrated?  I declutter.  This morning saw me cleaning out four drawers and better organizing the items within. I filled a trash can full of items that I decided we simply no longer needed, added to the donation box in the guest room, too.

I had oatmeal for first breakfast (5am), toast with cream cheese (1 slice) for 2nd breakfast(10am), and a big salad and a nectarine for lunch.    Back on track.

We have an overflow of prescription meds here.  Nothing narcotic but of things that simple aren't being used as quickly as they are refilled, mostly prn sorts of things.  But this leads to confusion and trouble in my opinion: which bottle do we use next.  I organized those this morning and put a fluorescent label on the next bottle to be used.  It has a sticky edge that can be moved to the next bottle in the line up and at least will insure we use medications before they expire.  I have also called the pharmacy and stopped some of the meds that simply are no longer needed.

Sent John off to work with breakfast, coffee, filled lunch bag.

Went through the magazines Mama recently gave me.  I generally will pull a recipe or two and a coupon, perhaps a particularly inspiring image but mostly I'm satisfied to flip through these and let them go.  The ones with gardening info I save for Katie.   I truly do not miss the modern magazines!  I've told Mama while I appreciate them I really don't need her to save them for me any longer.  There's simply nothing of interest and whatever is in one month's issue of one is in that same month's issue of every other one, as well.

Booked John's flight to see his brother next month.  We bought the least expensive round trip ticket we could find.  This money will come from an unexpected monetary gift that was given to him this month.

Tuesday:  I slept fairly well last night right up until the moment when my old alarm clock's hour hand caught and clicked on the alarm hand.  From there is was just a matter of waiting until it was truly daylight to be up.  I dislike sitting up in the dark, even if I do have lights on, so I figure why waste the electricity when I dislike it so?  I stay in bed and pray, which suits me far better.

Planned breakfast this morning, though I did have a clue of some of what I'd make.  I was all prepped and ready when John sent a text saying he was on his way home.  I had time to shower and then cook breakfast.

John washed a load of clothes when he came in.   Because of the bedbug problem at work, he uses hot water and lets the clothes soak for a few minutes.  The county finally called in a pest control company.  It is running $400 per room to treat...I guess they decided it was cheaper than treating the houses of all the employees who'd be affected if the things took up residence in private homes.

I made an old fashioned sort of meal today but kept it lower fat: fresh green beans with potatoes, fresh squash with sweet onions, pan broiled cubed steak (no breading or flour or gravy) and coleslaw.  John raved over the meal.  I didn't have this on my menu but I looked at all that fresh produce in the fridge this morning and that seemed the most sensible thing to do.

I thawed and cooked four pieces of steak.  I put two aside and John pulled them out at supper time and said he wanted to have steak and eggs.  I'd planned that for one morning this week but if he wants it now and is prepared to make it himself, he can have it.

The bananas we bought on Sunday were suddenly ripe.  I cut two into slices and put into the freezer.  I like to have some on hand for smoothies.  I saved the last one for tomorrow morning's breakfast cereal.

Wednesday:  Went out to water plants this morning but doggone those gnats and the humidity!  Yuck!!  I knocked my glasses off combating the gnats.  Fortunately I did no damage to them.  All the plants are watered once again but I think I've lost that bit of cypress vine.  It apparently got none the rain we'd had over the weekend and Monday.

Opened a package of store brand vanilla wafers.  I put them into a jar to prevent any pests getting at them.

I had to wait to take food from the freezer until John was awake so I could ask his plans for the day.  He said he had none which meant I was cooking.  That's fine but this business of not wanting me to plan ahead and then deciding he'll have no plans pretty much makes my life more difficult rather than easier in any way.  I am stuck figuring out what will thaw the quickest in time for dinner and having to plan on the fly with whatever that may be.

I am not on point with my menu plan this week.  I simply made a meal that I thought I'd like to have.  It was very tasty.  I put TWO single serve portions into the freezer for another meal.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Thursday:  John and I out and about today.  We had a short list for Home Depot and a target to spend no more than $20.  We spent $25.

We postponed our big dinner out and opted for an eat in at Burger King.  We got the $10 Whopper Meal.  I had unsweetened Iced Tea and only half the fries and half the bun.  John paid for this meal from his pocket.  I bought an ice cream cone and must say I'm sold on Burger King Soft Serve.  A cone is a mere $.69 and it's every bit as nice as DQ which is FOUR times the cost.   We ate in which may not sound a big deal to you but John's preference is to eat while driving home which I find uncomfortable and indigestion worthy as I juggle my food, his and my cup all at once.  So to eat in was especially nice.  There were lots of kids running about in the play area but only one mom insisted on eating in the main restaurant with her six kids and so it was just her yelling we heard instead of the lots and lots of kids.  I suppose that balances things out rather nicely, right?  No, I didn't think so either.

We didn't stop anywhere else, we didn't spend any more money.  We went home.

We took off trash and picked up mail while we were out today.

We played 'clear out all the leftovers' for supper tonight.

Friday:  John washed a full load of laundry and then a small mutt load as he calls it.  A mutt load is a load made up of everything he deems worthy of washing.  It's always a mixed load as it usually is dirty yard work clothing along with towels, etc.  He hung all the mutt load to dry but the majority of the larger load was lightweight things he tossed in the dryer to dry.

I fed and watered yard plants this morning.

My last batch of petunias that I snipped look great.  The snipped pieces did not root though, just got slimy.  I tossed them this morning.  I snipped the big purple petunia again and put those stem ends into water to root.  I snipped a few of the others and put the stripped stems into water hoping they too will root.

Planted the dozen or so purple petunias I'd just rooted along with the three new plants I picked up last Sunday.

Came indoors and went to work cleaning up house, then I prepped meals for the weekend.  I made a chicken stir fry meal for today with brown rice.  I sliced potatoes and onions and grated cheese for tomorrow's crock pot meal.  I cut up a head of lettuce to use in salads.  I have meat thawed for Sunday dinner which is to a special Father's Day meal for John even though it is just the two of us at home for it.

Totted up the checkbook.  I felt awful when I saw how hard our balance sank.  I did some shifting of funds which gave it a visual boost and felt disheartened when it meant wiping out a sub account but then I 'looked ahead'.  I have all the money required for six months insurance this pay period.  I am now Paid in Full on that account before the due date.  I will be able to refund the sub account I 'borrowed' from this pay period next pay period and from there the YEAR is done as far as sub accounts go.  I think that is just awesome.  Every sub account payment from that point on will be icing on the main account.  I think at that point I can allow myself a small monthly yardwork allowance to help cover costs of finishing up the front of the house landscaping.

I had out six smallish pieces of chicken breast.  The meat was still frozen but I sliced up what I thought I needed for our meal today.  I reckon I have three pieces of breast left.  Since it was frozen, I slipped it back into the freezer.

After dinner today I put a single serve portion of chicken stir fry into the freezer.  These single serve meals will be my dinners on days that John is working.

John mowed the lawn today.  He also trimmed about the edges of the house and sheds.  The yard looks beautiful!

Redeemed the Burger King receipt online survey and got a code for a free Whopper.

Started a restock list on paper products.

That was my week.  It mightn't sound like much but it was a full week just the same.  What did you do to save this week?


Debby in KS said...

We had a very frugal week, for which I am grateful. Despite the horrid heat/humidity wave we're having, I managed to cook dinner every night this week. I did most of the prepping in the cooler (ha ha!) morning hours. We had Sloppy Joes & pasta salad, Cashew Chicken wraps & cold veggies, Taco Salad, Chef Salad, Hot Dogs & green salad, & tonight we're having green chili enchiladas & green salad. I got a big box of spring greens at Sam's last Saturday and no way I'm wasting those delicious things!! I also made some yogurt, milk, & blueberry popsicles, which taste wonderful in the heat.

I made 2 summer pillow covers for my relaxing chair. The original covers are nice, but they're a *hot* fabric next to my skin. I found some upholstery fabric that's sturdy cotton for $7 yd. I only needed 1 yd. so I consider that a bargain.

I got a $10 off $10 coupon in the mail so I bought my brother a polo-style shirt for $9.99 and found a wonderful bracelet for a friend's bday for $5 (marked down from a crazy $50!). I thought I would've paid only about $20 for it normally so I'll call it a 75% off deal! So, for $5 and some change, I got 2 birthday presents done. I love it when that happens!

Despite the heat, I've kept my thermostat at 78. Any higher and the humidity is overbearing.

I'm busy with lots of embroidery. I'm working on flour sack towels and some quilt squares. I'm also assembling the 50 State squares into a quilt. My mom started it. I'm not nearly as good as she was so this will take me a long time in case you wonder why you've read me posting the same thing many times!!

I just finished reading the Seasons of the Heart series by Janette Oke. Joshua Jones is the main character. I absolutely loved it and recommend it for anyone's summer reading. Inspirational and set in the early 1900's.

Rhonda said...

Hi Terri,
Our thriftiest doing was selling some things on EBay.
I've spent time getting our home back in order and that, in the long run, makes life thriftier as we know what we have and don't need to rebuy things we already have.
We did our own yardwork (many of our neighbors hire it done). Cooked all meals at home except for Nina's birthday supper, I also piddled with Swagbucks.

Becky Gepford said...

It's funny--my husband, Rob,does the same thing as your husband. He often gets hungry for something and then just proceeds to make it. It sure is handy when I'm in a hurry--sometimes I hint around that it would be nice if he was in the mood for ......whatever he likes:) I'm not picky, sometimes just hungry and in a hurry--so glad he can cook. I'm sure you appreciate it when your husband cooks, too.

Anonymous said...

Each time are at Aldi we try to look around good. We have found many things that at first we didn't know they carried. Ours still has not had any vegetarian chili though. Also no cheese popcorn if that is where you found yours. It is nice that they mark down some produce occasionally lower than the sale price it was supposed to be. This week it was blueberries. They are to be a pound for $1.29 but they reduced them for days at 99c each. Also red grapes were reduced. Nice! :) One time it was bags of potatoes and another green peppers. When we notice it and it drys well we get extra. We will freeze some of the grapes too for penny grape cycles soon. :)
You said quite a while back John wanted you to try to Really deepen our pantry. A year or mores worth of food. Are you still working towards that goal? That will take up a lot of space. We try to keep a pretty good pantry but our house gets hot and so we have to watch. We have learned how long cans really keep here etc. Each home is different. Just when we relax and think we will not keep much extra something comes up to spur us to not cutting back too much. I hope you have been able to find places and the $ for adding more to yours if that is still your goal. Sarah

Lana said...

Lidl opened here this week. Big savings on Boneless skinless chicken breasts at 1.29 a pound so I bought 18 breasts. No added junk and the one we grilled last night was delicious. I doubt I will be a regular shopper there as the organics that I buy at Aldi were not available and prices in general were higher.

Hubby needed shorts as his are all frayed around the hems. Bought 4 pairs for $48 at Kohl's that are regularly $36 a pair. They fit well and he likes them.

I have gotten seriously bad food poisoning at Burger King twice. I just can not do it again. Too bad as those Whoppers are sure good.

Carolyn @ Our Gilded Abode said...

Terri ... Can so relate to your frustration with biting gnats. When they're really awful here we put a little vanilla extract behind our ears and surprisingly it really does help keep them away. We tried Skin-So-Soft but unfortunately they weren't offended by it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri, I've been using peppermint oil in water (about 10-15 drops in 8 oz of water in a recycled, well cleaned, hair spray bottle) and use it to repel ants, mosquitos and gnats with very good success! It's frugal, non toxic and smells good if you get it in your hair haha! Or just dab a bit of peppermint oil behind your ears as Carolyn recommended doing with the vanilla! I'm a nut for peppermint oil and often add a few drops to plain water (very good for the tummy) hot or iced tea, and sometimes to a cocoa smoothie! That little $8 bottle (8oz) has lasted me years. A true frugal luxury 😉.
Love Tracey
P.S. Like Lana, we've had too many bad experiences with fast food so rarely indulge these days...that said... we've gotten to be quite good at having items on hand to whip up our own burgers very quickly should the cravings occur! I usually keep pre-baked potatoes on hand for a quick side of hash browns, fried potatoes with onions, or English baked potatoes (they are cut much like home fries but the baked potatoes are brushed with oil, salted and baked for 20 minutes in a hot oven).

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