Frugal Friday: Savings Is Always Normal
Saturday: Off to visit Katie today. I packed some chicken breasts and blueberry cobbler for dinner, had ice from the icemaker to keep things cold. I also carried along a packed picnic supper for us.
I encouraged John to stop for breakfast. Yes, I did. I paid out of my pocket money.
Had a perfectly lovely day and that is priceless. My little granddaughter is a delightful age, learning an amazing number of things daily. There were lots of snuggles, and I loved that she had to 'cook' for me. Perhaps we're raising another foodie who enjoys cooking and serving to loved ones as much as Katie and Sam and Amie and I enjoy it. I love seeing it translate to the newer generation of our family.
Left my sunglasses at Katie's. We have this ironclad rule that it has to be mighty important to warrant turning around and going back. Sunglasses do not rate a turn around. Instead we stopped at a gas station at roadside. I got some big Jackie O type sunglasses (the only style available) for $3.99. Out of my pocket though John gave me money to buy. I won't allow him to pay for a silly mistake on my part. Funny thing is Katie left her sunglasses here last time she visited and I'd just returned them to her today.
Katie sent home leftovers for a meal for us today. John's portion went into his lunch.
Got on the scale at Katie's. We don't have one here at home. I was aware that I'd gained weight but somehow seeing the actual number on the scale was just the wake up call I needed to refocus myself on my personal health. I'll be changing up my eating habits and utilizing my measuring cups once more.
Sunday: Sent John off to work having eaten breakfast I'd made and coffee in the tumbler. He had a packed lunch.
I ate oatmeal with John this morning at that very early hour. Typically I'm terribly hungry about four hours later. Nope not on my eating plan but I allowed myself to finish a small packet of donuts I bought yesterday. I put my special chocolate covered orange cream candy in the freezer. One of those will be my treat next Sunday if I manage this week without big glitches in my eating plan. Yes, I do work on the reward system.
Washed three loads of clothes today. One of sheets and mattress pad, one of towels and dishcloths and a third load of clothing. I used hot water for the sheets and added bleach to the load. Whiter, but not quite where I want them yet.
I hung clothes on the line, dried clothes in the dryer, hung clothes on hangers in the doorways, even draped jeans and shorts over the backs of the dining chairs. It was a lot of laundry to be dried and I didn't mean to use the dryer for any more than I could help.
Humidity outdoors kept sheets and pillowcases damp for hours. Finally the sun came out and did it's best to help them dry. It only took about six hours. That's Georgia brand humidity for you.
For my dinner today, I had the leftovers Katie sent home with me, half a BBQd chicken breast and squash casserole. It was a double portion of squash casserole and I counted it as two vegetables and 2 carbs so no bread or fruit for me this meal. No worries. I had plenty to eat.
For supper this evening, I made a salad. If that sounds boring it wasn't. I used an old Atkins diet trick and made pepperoni chips, sliced up a piece of provolone and added julienned dried tomato to the salad bowl. I'd just picked some basil from the herb bucket and add those torn leaves, too. With homemade croutons it made a very nice supper and one that was low carb just in case I misfigured my carb counts at lunch. Dessert was a cool 1/2 cup of chilled applesauce with a teaspoon of fat free whipped topping.
I walked for ten minutes today here in the house. This is the advantage of a home with plenty of open floor space. I set my timer and walked steadily the whole while.
Made out a list this morning of the projects I want to work on this morning. I realized as I wrote out my plan for the planters and yardwork that I have a lot more plants on hand than I'd thought initially. I have a hydrangea that is begging for a bigger planter and a bit more sun, coleus and petunias and herbs to root as well as the division plants I have. It made me feel this job might be less expensive on the plant side of things. That was a happy discovery.
Set up six fresh outfits. I didn't use a list guide this time but simply tried different combinations of jewelry with different tops and just attempted to make fresh pairings. We'll see how they look and feel on me before I add them to my lists of possible outfits.
Did not wash dishes today. I'd thought the dishwasher was full but realized I have enough room for breakfast dishes. I'll wash tomorrow.
Took out meats to thaw for the next couple of days.
John picked up an extra half shift for this coming week.
I worked on bills today. Tomorrow will be our harvest. I was stoked last pay period to pay off the remaining balance on the house insurance. This week I set money aside for car insurance renewal next month. I'm 2/3 of the way there.
I moved money from our account over to savings. It's unnecessary to keep that much in the account that is not allocated for a specific use. I loved watching the savings account number round up to a new higher total. Boom! It might not all be about the savings but there is a satisfaction in watching balances grow. What a blessed year we're having!
They look like lovely little bouquets. I went out to clip the basil and mint, petunias and coleus and set them on the window sill in baby food jars of water to root. I need to pot up the purple petunias I cut two weeks ago.
Stood before the purple petunia in astonishment this afternoon. It does not look as though I cut off
four to six inches of each stem two weeks ago. It is gorgeous, full of blooms and at least as full as it was before. It seems counterintuitive to trim off what is so pretty but it's such a boost to the plant to do so. In another week I'll cut off more and try and root those as well. I'd also read they appreciate being fed routinely. I will feed mine this week with a commercial plant food.
John generally does laundry but I confess I've always liked the process of doing it. I especially love to fold clothes. It's very soothing and satisfying to me to fold them. I had plenty to fold today and enjoyed every minute of it.
Monday: I'd promised John French Toast this morning. I cooked it in my electric skillet. He'd asked me how the new control worked and aside from a quick test the day we received it, I hadn't used it since. It worked just great and perfectly regulated the temperatures. I cooked the whole meal in the one pan.
I was determined to do something in the yard today even though it wasn't yard day. I filled the two smaller barrel shaped planters and half filled the bigger one with soil from the bag we bought Friday. I replanted the daffodils and grape hyacinths I had dug from a pot earlier in the spring after they bloomed. I also planted some Asian lily bulbs and the day lily plants that Katie had given me. I didn't have enough soil to finish filling the other planter so will wait to plant the hydrangea when I get more soil. In the meantime, I've moved that to the same side of the house as the planter. It's in an area that gets some sun but also gets shade. I'll see how the plant reacts to that site before planting.
I gathered just enough soil from the bigger barrel to fill 12 plant cells and planted the petunias I'd just rooted. I've got them sitting outside in the shade getting used to the climate out there. I'll move them to pots in about a week or two. I had 16 plants total. This excites me. I could have loads and loads of petunias well before summer is started!
Came indoors and made our dinner. I used up the potatoes as they were getting a little wrinkly looking. I'll have rice with another meal later in the week. I made two sirloin patties and had leftover meat which I formed into four slider sized burgers and cooked along with my sirloin patties. I used a little water and cornstarch to scrape the pan and make a thin brown pan gravy to go over the patties.
I made a big salad today using up some bell peppers and a bit of carrot and some frozen green peas. The peas are nice and sweet which was needed to offset the bitterness of my romaine lettuce. I've had that lettuce for nearly four weeks now and it's fine but it does get bitter as it ages.
Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher this morning.
After dinner, John decided to go down to pick up his check. I gathered trash before we left and we took it to the dumpster.
Mail lady drove up before we left and delivered my new magazines. I think they are all in now. I have several new issues for other months since I bought two lots of magazines but I now have 7 new to me June issues ranging from 1952 to 1963. I don't typically purchase magazines from 1959 - early 1960s but I'll see how I like these. It might be a new range of years I'll enjoy.
We did banking and mailed off bills while we were out. I asked to go by CVS where I spent too much money on a very, very short list of things. No big bargains but all things I've needed or wanted for a little while now. I won't be repeating these purchases again for quite a while. I earned $5 in ECBs. I'll be sure to spend it this time. I missed out spending my $3 on Sunday and lost those bucks. My stores do NOT allow you to spend expired ECBs. These purchases took care of any extra money we'd have had this pay period, so it's gas and groceries and nothing more. Typical short week pay, lol, so no great angst over it.
While in CVS I bought a gallon of milk. I'm almost out and John isn't certain he wants to go with me to get groceries and if he doesn't I'll put off until one of his two upcoming work days. That purchase will allow me to wait two or three days before going to the stores if he chooses not to go with me.
I made a smoothie to go with my single piece of bread sandwich this evening. Before we left to go on vacation I'd chunked up a just ripe banana and popped into a jar and put in the freezer. I added two leftover strawberries this morning. This evening I put in 1 teaspoon of the blueberry syrup I made last week and 1/2 cup yogurt. This blended into a beautiful pink smoothie. It counted as two fruit servings and half a dairy serving. It also helped fill me up.
I've been hungry this afternoon. Not starving, but hungry. I carried water with me when we left home and had a protein bar in my diabetic kit bag. That helped keep me going until supper. It also helped take my mind off John's peanut m&ms, lol.
While cutting up vegetables for my salad today, I cut celery and carrot sticks and bell pepper strips for snacking. I also cut up a few carrots and bell peppers for salads this week. I packed all the vegetables into one of my fridge baskets where I can pull them out easily to make salads or snack either one. If I'd been home this afternoon while I was so very hungry I'd have happily snacked on some of these with some peanut butter or cream cheese.
Cleared out the fridge this evening for supper. I had odd bits of this and that and wanted to use them up rather than let them go to waste.
Tuesday: I slept really hard last night and a good hour and half later than usual this morning. I didn't much want to get out of bed when I did but I knew it was necessary. Grocery day is not for laggards. As it was we were nearly noon leaving home today.
We did the bulk of our shopping at Aldi. I'm always amazed at how much more I get there than I do comparatively at any other sore. We walked out of Publix with a grocery bag of bakery bread, a six pack of soda, a bogo of hummus and bagels. I spent 1/3 what I'd spent at Aldi!
I was over budget this short pay period on groceries but I honestly am not upset over it. What I spent today is what we'd normally spend on our larger pay period of the month. We haven't technically shopped for groceries in nearly a month. I looked at all we bought today and say honestly that I full expect we'll have enough produce to last us three weeks. In fact, two weeks from now I don't expect to spend anywhere near the same amount. The more we shop at Aldi the more foods we buy the less I need to shop elsewhere and the more money we are saving. I really do think that I might well be able to get our budget down to that much sought after $300 mark this month....Fingers crossed!
All that said, how nice will it be if we truly don't have a short pay period when the schedule changes? Again, I keep focusing on the positives. John tells me that one week each month he'll have 5 days off altogether. Another positive.
I like something salty and crisp to go with a sandwich. Potato chips seems the obvious but you know what I really like? Cheese popcorn, the sort that is popped and packaged in a bag along with the chips. I will seldom buy a bag but since I'm trying to alter my eating habits I decided it was worth my money to have something I really like that is lower in carbs. I could eat an entire big snack sized bag and get only 20 carbs. I can't do that with chips! I am often satisfied with about 1 1/2 cups which comes in the neighborhood of about 8 carbs. Salty, crisp, flavorful and low carb...I can do that.
John bought a big hero sandwich for our dinner, one of those foot long things. I ate half at lunchtime and saved the other half for supper. He was good enough to order it on whole wheat bread and asked for spicy mustard as the condiment. I was appreciative of his consideration on that score.
Wednesday: Sent John off to work with breakfast in his belly, lunch in his bag and coffee in his tumbler. Today is a half day of work for him, an extra shift that he'd picked up.
It rained a lot this morning. It's meant to be sunny the next few days but I'm grateful for all this good rain which keeps the plants looking so lovely.
Off with Mama today. On my way to her home, I took off trash.
Mama gifted me a big zucchini from her plants, some parsley, gently read magazines. On my way out of the door I found a penny and tucked into my pocket for the charity box. I was looking over her creeping jenny as I'd never seen it before. I noted that the runners had put down roots in the ground so I broke off three or four short stems. I figure I can plant them here in my pot. Oh and Mama gifted me three very baby cherry tomato plants. I'll get busy in the morning and plant the tomatoes and creeping jenny. In the meantime they are wrapped in damp paper towels.
Lost one of my new earrings this morning and I was so sore. I had only worn them once and I'd been especially careful to put backs on them even though they are the type that supposedly doesn't need that to keep them on. I was pretty happy when I found it on Mama's porch when we returned.
On my way home, I was eyeing a consignment store as I drove past and spotted a child's table and two chairs. Katie had just mentioned wanting to get one for Taylor because she wants to eat at the table. I turned and went back and talked them down from $15 to $12 because one of the chairs needs repair work. They are KidKraft table and chairs. Katie said I'd gotten a very good price on them as they retail for $75 - $140 a set.
Picked up mail on my way into the driveway.
Made myself a cup of coffee as soon as I'd changed and unloaded things.
I had my annual splurge even if I am reducing. A lovely cup of creamy homemade peach ice cream. I won't have any more until next summer, but how good it did taste! Yum!
By the way, I've noted more and more restaurants are posting the calorie count of foods on the menu. ACK! It sets me back a bit to realize that some meals are more calories than I've allotted myself for a DAY. I opted to have a salad even though my mind thought the smothered burrito looked like the best thing going. The salad was awesome by the way, a mixture of chicken, spinach, lettuces, ripe avocado and pico de gallo with a spicy chipotle dressing lightly drizzled over all. Yum! Reminder to self that flavor trumps volume every.single.time.
I had a lighter supper this evening to offset my splurge on the ice cream. Hummus and carrot sticks, a piece of fruit suited me just fine.
Thursday: Sent John off with breakfast in his belly, lunch in his bag and coffee in his tumbler. Sounds like a repeat of yesterday doesn't it? It was, right down to that 5am alarm that woke us.
I stayed up this morning. It was so cool and sunny outdoors even at 6:30 that going back to bed seemed wrong on too many scores. I opened the windows and let all that cool good fresh dry air into the house.
Planted the tomatoes Mama gave me and the creeping jenny I'd broken off. Transplanted some petunias from a place I didn't want them to a pot where I do.
I organized my pantry. I now have two free shelves to extend my storage for now. I have a couple of ideas of further things to be done to extend that area but that must wait for now.
Boxed up three shoe box meals and placed them on the shelf where I can see them.
Cut two chicken breast halves into four thinner pieces. I cooked them all, put three away for another meal. I made a big salad for my lunch today with a spicy chipotle ranch dressing. My meal was so good and very satisfying.
Washed a full load of dishes which included the burner grates from the stove.
Gathered some things I mean to take to Bess and added to my pile of things for Katie.
This evening while watching TV I made a permanent nail pattern to cut my Jamberry wraps by. My nails are broader at the top than they are at the bottom. I have to custom cut the wraps to fit properly and get the coverage just right. I had a heavy plastic lid I'd saved from when I opened oatmeal earlier this week. I find transparent tape is the best way to make my nail forms so I laid the pattern on my lid when I was done and clipped them out. They are marked with permanent marker which finger they relate to. Next time I do a manicure with wraps I need only use my patterns to clip out the pieces as I work rather than make all new patterns.
Friday: The other morning, John cooked breakfast. He'd wanted to make hash browns and I'd use all the potatoes the day before. I remembered that desire of his and diced two Yukon Gold potatoes this morning to make him hash browns. I decided after all that it was too much potato and put half in the fridge with water over them to keep them from turning dark. Glad I did. We had just enough potatoes and would only have overeaten if I'd cooked them all.
I decided to skip making sausage this morning since we have plenty of eggs and eggs are less expensive anyway.
Made a blueberry coffee cake. It was an off the cuff recipe and turned out so tender and delicious I do hope I can remember how I made it!
John had some errands to run in town this morning but I was able to get the bed made and dishes done before we left. He washed a full load of clothes and hung most to dry.
He bought dinner out at the local diner today. We opted for take out. He wanted to take me out to supper but I reminded him that Friday night is a crush night to go out to dinner. I asked if he'd consider going next week while he's off, then we could go about lunchtime which is a less busy time. He liked that idea so much he offered to buy take out today, lol. Okay!
John serviced his mower and then mowed the lawn. This means he'll have time to relax over the weekend. I was shocked at how much dust the mower kicked up. You'd never know we'd just had five good rain showers in the past week!
I fertilized all the plants on the porches and those in front of the back porch. Next week I'll do the same to those on the patio and in the other flower beds. I bought a big box of fertilizer. It's plainly marked $23.99 on the package but the sign said they cost $8.99 and that's what I paid for it. Might want to rush right over to the store and get another box at that price...
I mended a pair of John's pants. He's stubborn about changing up his clothes but these pants are not going to hold out much longer. Time to urge him to start breaking in a new pair.
Living Well: What a funny week it's been. It sped by so quickly that I could hardly believe I'd landed on Thursday yesterday. I assure it wasn't that I was especially busy but time just seemed to have hurried up for some reason. I'm happy to say that yesterday it slowed back down to normal and I think aside from Saturday that yesterday was the most enjoyable. I didn't do anything but be at home on Thursday and piddle about my house and yard. Yet, the day truly gave me as much joy as visiting with Taylor and Katie did on Saturday.
We are in the midst of a big month of birthdays. Taylors was during the last of May. Josie's is today. My first grandchild is 15 years old today. In my mind she's still a little girl in pre-school, sigh. Talk about time speeding up! Josh turns three Monday but he's having a big boy birthday party tomorrow. I get a brief break and then Samuel, my niece and Katie have birthdays in a single week's time. And finally at the very end of the month, Rosalyn turns three. I'd say June is hard on the wallet and it is, but it's kind of fun to have so many birthdays coming together.
When I was a child growing up, I knew how unusual my family was, I was, to know grandparents, great grandmothers and a great grandfather, great great aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles and a bevy of cousins. It gave me a great sense of being solidly planted with so many elder living relatives stretching out behind me. It truly amazes me to see that I have ten grandchildren. I get that same sense of being solidly planted as I watch the line form on the other side of my life. It's a great privilege to watch my family grow, even from a distance.
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