Frugal Friday: Rainy Days and Holidays

Hello!  I missed blogging last week about my frugal week.  I'll add in the few things I can remember before I start this week's daily record.

I can remember little of the previous weekend.  I know that we stopped by the grocery but we picked up very little, as we knew we'd be leaving during the next day.

On Monday, we turned the AC up to 80F before we left home.  We unplugged many of the more easily reached plugs, all of which were not on surge protectors.  We went to John's workplace to pick up the paycheck and make our deposit and pay bills.  Then we were off on our vacation trip at last.  We chose a new to us route that was meant to be shorter.  I can tell you honestly that it just takes a certain amount of time to reach our destination and it takes that amount of time no matter which way we go.

We stopped at a grocery near our destination and picked up a few items.  We spent about $50 overall, mostly on things like fresh local fruits and adult beverages and deli meats.  We packed a lot of our food here at home, bought mostly at Aldi and frozen.  We used the frozen food to serve as ice packs for the cold stuff.

We didn't stop for supper though it got very late.  We waited until we were in our room and then we prepared a simple meal for ourselves.

Tuesday we visited one planned site and then ate our midday meal out of the room at a new to us restaurant near the hotel.  The prices were reasonable and the food was quite good.  Since it was meant to rain we decided to spend the rest of the day indoors at the condo.

Wednesday we never left our condo and we ate only what we brought with us, though we did order a pizza for our evening meal.  It rained all day long.  We read all day.  I'd brought along my books, John found one that interested him there in the room. 

Thursday we went into the old town and did the activities we'd planned.  We did not do anything that wasn't planned.  We did not buy lunch out though we were in town all day long.  We stopped only to purchase an appetizer and drinks (I opted for unsweetened iced tea).  We went back to the hotel to cook a meal that evening.

Friday I was much impressed with my husband on this morning.  It was our morning to go home.  We had but two eggs but he stretched them with a hotdog and some potatoes.  It was a creative use of what we had to make it quite enough.  

We traveled five hours north and stopped at our son's home where we had supper and spent the night before heading home on Saturday.  When we arrived home Saturday, I used frozen leftovers to make up our evening meal.

Sunday:  We went to church this morning.  Stopped at the grocery on our way home.  I knew I needed bread and milk to get through the week ahead and I'd scanned ads last night so I knew just what was on sale that was too good to pass up.  All told, last week and this we spent about half what we typically spend in a two week period so there has been a savings to us.  This offsets the overspending two weeks ago nicely.

I picked up mail yesterday afternoon.  I found I had more than enough to pay the house insurance premium in full, saving us a little extra over the next four months.  Wrote out the check for that and the phone bill today and mailed those bills on our way to church.

The petunia Jenny gave me had put out a myriad of new blooms over this past week, despite my pinching off a good four inches of stem from each plant.  They had gotten terribly dry despite being deeply watered before we left last week.  I set them in a bucket of water to soak overnight.  This should perk them right up once more.

Monday:  Just a quiet day at home and no harm in that.  I made good on my promise to use what we have for breakfast and dinner and will do the same for supper here in a little while.  There is no need to rush to the grocery to purchase additional items in order to make it through this week. 

John mowed the grass.  He went to town for gasoline and took off trash on his way.

I boiled eggs for egg salad and took some sliced turkey breast from the freezer for sandwiches this week.

Sorted the fridge a little better and now know what leftovers we have that need to be used.

Noted this morning that the petunia stems I'd put in water last week have developed strong and healthy roots.  I'll be able to plant several new plants in a fresh pot for the flower bed at back where I have nothing at present.

Used leftover water from our bottle of water last night to water violets.

Went about this morning outdoors and deadheaded plants and noted which needed water.  I dipped water from the overflowing water buckets rather than running fresh.  We had a brief shower of rain this evening that watered the plants a little more.

Tuesday:  Made pancakes for breakfast.  I have been using up packets of things I'd set up for vacation, so this week's breakfasts have been easy enough so far.

Pulled spaghetti sauce from the freezer and thawed atop the stove.  Nope, not on the menu but it was one of those "Ooohh!  That would be good!" moments when I saw it in the basket.  And it was good.

Found all the bread end pieces I've stashed in the freezer since Passover and made a big sheet pan of croutons.

Peeled the eggs I boiled yesterday.  Poured the saved water into the fern.  I'll put the egg shells about the orchids.

Spent far, far too long on Pinterest today looking for fresh cooler ideas for meals.  I apparently plan to live on pasta salads all summer long...

My happy moment today was when I noted that the jar I'd put all my strawberries in on Sunday has a strawberry red lid....Funny little things make me happy.

Wednesday:  We woke to another cloudy day. John hung most things to dry indoors. 

Gave myself a pedicure.

I made breakfast for us...It's easy enough to set out a box of cold cereal but cooking breakfast takes little time and costs a good deal less.  If I seem to be harping on making breakfast this week, that's why.

We made arrangements to get the oil in the car changed and to visit Katie.

Cure for an ill mood:  apparently getting out of the house and away from oneself for a little bit.

John and I went to the next town to the hardware store.  The attempt to buy a bolt missing from his lawnmower deck assembly the reason for our trip out.  While there we got blades, some plant fertilizer (hoping to keep my flowers going all through summer this year) and a big bag of the moisture control potting soil since I've used all I had on hand and reused that in every pot.   No bolt.  The money for these purchases was in our house maintenance fund.  I also was able to buy the paint I needed to finish painting the café set.

I went by the dollar store to get 81mg aspirin and a couple of other items which were not available.  Picked up some cookies I know John likes especially.  They are store brand and quite good.  Hoping this proves to be final mood buster.

John stopped by a local place to pick up sandwiches.  He'd promised me lunch out.  No, not quite what I'd thought we'd do but it was fine.  We headed back home just as rain showers started up.

I was able to wipe my new white flip flop sandals off with a damp cloth and greatly improve their appearance.

We picked up mail on our way out.

When John announced we were going to get oil changed this week I planned a crockpot meal to leave cooking while we were out.  That will save purchasing dinner out a second day this week.

Scanned sales ads at the groceries.  I have a number of these ads sent directly to my email account.

John entertained himself with a youtube of The Porter Wagoner Show.  I'd complain about the data usage but I'm so over policing that part of our lives so closely.  If it keeps the news and crime shows off the television for a bit it's worth it to me!

John ordered again from   This time he got the bolt for his mower with a spare for future replacement.  Cost of the two with shipping was a bit over $15.  Mind we could have gotten them with free shipping on the manufacturer's website but said site insisted the cost per bolt was $1009.  We thought that excessive for the perk of free shipping.

Thursday:  We had to leave home early this morning to get to our appointment for the oil change.  I'd told John I'd make dinner in the crockpot today.  I decided that had to be my priority.  It's so easy to put off doing something like that and then find there's no time to do tend to it.  So my first task this morning was to set up the crockpot.  I thawed my meat yesterday afternoon.

I am always amused by my husband.  I said we'd have cereal and peanut butter toast this morning for breakfast.  He looked and said "There's not much cereal..."  Well there was enough for this meal and another one besides.  I'm not sure how exactly he can look at these big jars and determine that if it's 1/4 full it's 'not enough'.

While siting in the tire place where we get our oil changed (and tires rotated and balanced free of charge), I read Martha Stewart Living magazines.  In one I found a recipe for a strawberry jelly that does not require pectin.  It involves cooking three overnights in the fridge and two cooking processes.

I asked John to take me by a store.  I knew they'd had some jewelry on clearance and I wanted to pick out a few pieces.  I also found a new piece for myself.  No the purpose was not to shop for myself.  I also found a t-shirt for myself which just happens to have been the perfect mate for the new necklace I got for myself.  No shame.

Felt very nice today when I dressed.  I wore my super skinny jeans which are a dark wash, and the orange shirt with a peplum that Katie gave me two summers ago.  I had brown leather sandals and a brown faux leather bag.  My necklace was a pretty gold chain with tiny little glass beads and gold seals hanging from it.  I made sure to write this outfit down on my list of choices.  Whenever I feel particularly nicely put together and comfortable in an outfit I write it down so I will remember it.

We came home and had our dinner.  There are enough leftovers for dinner tomorrow, combined with sides from Monday that were leftover.  I won't have to cook at all for the main meal tomorrow.

Rain this afternoon eliminated the need to water plants again.  Rain water is so much more beneficial than well water even.  Thunder actually generates a nitrogen bust that fertilizes plants.

Friday:  This week has been mostly relaxed and easy.  I've enjoyed it a great deal but as I've been working about the house, doing just light jobs, I've noted several areas that could use a deeper clean.  Not as I did for Spring or Fall but just a little deeper cleaning.  I look forward to getting started on my routine work once more.

John and I are very aware that we are leaving a season of time once more, this time with his schedule.  We know it's going to be a change and possibly a harder one.  But we're truly looking on the bright side.  We are anticipating he will continue to have a job.  One of the positive changes we've discussed is the possibility of not having a short pay period each month.  Of course we'll know more come end of July than we know now but we'll take the positives where we can find them at present.

I used up the last hot dog making eggs and toast this morning. 

Reheated lunch leftovers while I made a blueberry cobbler to share with Katie.

I didn't have as many frozen blueberries as I'd anticipated.  I knew I had a can of blueberries in light syrup I'd purchased at Aldi.  I opened those and drained the syrup.  I cooked the syrup with a little extra sugar and made blueberry syrup.  This will be tasty over French toast or waffles next week.

Prepared John's lunch for Sunday morning.  Set up oatmeal for breakfast.

Went into town this morning to the Women's Club yard sale.  I took along a package to mail.   I also went by the dollar store to pick up Father's Day cards.  I paid $1 each for cards there and saved $11. 

At the Women's Club yard sale I spent $3.25.  I donated the rest of the $5 as it is all going towards their renovation fund.

Went through the freezer looking for blueberries and found more packages of chicken breast that apparently would not fit in the basket before.  I moved them to the chicken basket.

John bought me a bottle of Peach Tea which I love but it was too sweet to suit me.  I made tea today and poured just 1/4 cup into my glass of unsweetened tea.  Now I had a glass of very lightly sweetened peach tea which suited me far better.

Got the first packages of magazines today.  I now have two new June issues to peruse.  I paid less than the cost of one new magazine for these two and will read them over and over again for years to come.

I am shocked at how quickly the ginger root is growing.  I'll bet that it has grown 4 inches in three days alone.  I didn't quite get it all in my close up photo but you can see the new leaf on the stem.  I hope this grows really well and makes a big new root to harvest.  The flowers are meant to smell good as well.
That's my past two weeks.  I hope you've done well in savings yourself.  Feel free to share what you've been up to or a link to your savings post on your own blog.

Living well:   I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday time off.   St. Augustine is never old to me.  There's so much that we still haven't seen or done that I can see us traveling there for many more years and still finding something new to look forward to exploring.   But it's also the constancy of the place that makes me happy as well. History that lives and breathes in the streets and along the harbor and coastline.  Each step I take, another took nearly 600 years ago.  His or her view was surely different than mine, but the pathways are the same.  That is why I love history so well.  The past always overlaps with the present.  It's a continuing story. 


Lana said...

We have done our usual things to save here. I did find out that we could save $60 every six months by just having our semi annual car insurance premiums automatically deducted from our checking account. This is no small amount!

You may remember our coffee maker find a few weeks ago that was the $1000 unit for $20. Well we found a player piano at that same thrift store 3 weeks ago. It would typically sell for $3000 and we paid $800 and it included 95 rolls! This is a huge step in downsizing house once we sell the baby grand. Shopping for a smaller house is really limited when you have to be able to accommodate such a large piece. We will sell the grand and be ready to move when the time comes. We have enjoyed having it so much and it seems to be healing to my husband's brain injury. The grandchildren had fun choosing piano rolls to play when they visited. I will end up making money off this swap in the end.

Karla Neese said...

Oh my goodness, this line of yours struck my funny bone and I giggled for the longest time: "I apparently plan to live on pasta salads all summer long..."

Wow!! I haven't heard the name Porter Wagoner for the longest time. We too are finding a lot of shows on YouTube that we remember fondly from "back in the day".

Like, you, I found myself last weekend in a really foul mood - mine was downright depression complete with crying nearly the whole weekend over just feeling sad and lonely. A simple drive to my husband's office to help him set something right for his computer on Memorial Day, a conversation about what was bothering me, and a nice simple Mexican dinner did the trick. It was if, the very house held that depression in longer and I just had to get out and let it go into the wide open world. Oh, if only I'd done that on Friday afternoon instead of waiting until Monday when the whole weekend had been wasted with tears!

Debby in KS said...

Thank you for the idea of looking on Pinterest for new summer dinner ideas. I always think of Pinterest for DIY stuff, not cooking. If you need some meat to go with some of those pasta salads, one of the simplest is Hawaiian meatballs. I use turkey. I put those in the crockpot with BBQ sauce & some pineapple chunks. Simple & tasty. That's my standard go-to for summer pot lucks, as well. Some pretty toothpicks and it becomes a luau!!

My husband has completed his first month at a new job. (He was laid off without warning in early March0. It's different from his last, but he continues to work with the disabled. The pay is a bit less so I'm concentrating on working out a new budget that we can live with....and continue to eat and live indoors!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I've been craving pasta salad, too. I've been trying to watch my carb intake, and pasta salad is one of those things that I find hard to stop eating once I start. But I think I am going to have to make some anyway.

Anonymous said...

Love pasta salad! Instead of using Italian dressing, i mix white vinegar and equal part of vegetable oil, then add sugar ( if I use 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup oil i add 3/4 cup sugar) and either jarred sweet basil or a mixed Italian seasoning to taste. I add this to my warm rinsed cooked spiral pasta do it absorbs the dressing a bit. I then add in chopped onion, sweet peppers, celery, black sliced olives, cubed cheese, cubed ham and pepperoni. Those are my personal preferences, use whatever you like. This stays in the frig for several days really well.
My cheapie this week was "robbing" my own flowers at the small country cemetary where our families are buried. My mom and sister always bought geraniums. I did also, but they are in pots the parents had so don't last long. No one goes there after memorial day anyway. Yesterday we took a nice drive, replaced the expensive geraniums with more practical petunias and begonias and today i will plant the geraniums in my own yard. They were already wind blown and wilted so glad i did not let them just die as i paid almost $5 for each plant. I will winter them over and hopefully start my own plants for next spring for my yard. I think both mothers were frugal enough they would approve. I noticed more and more people are using artificial flowers on cemetary lots.
Sounds like you have had a lovely week. Gramma D.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say, add salt and pepper to taste in the salad. Gramma D.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you were able to slip away for such a nice vacation. We also were able to get a way for a few days--camping near a lake up in the nearby mountains. It was warm and sunny, a nice surprise.

We've been through the final week of dance with the 2 youngest girls, so have had practices every night this week. The recital is tonight. Fun!

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