Frugal Friday: Summer Savings

Saturday:  Do you realize that in a few days summer will be here?  Our weather thus far has been nice enough with only a few days in the high 90's.  That's more like spring for sure.

Decided last night that after all I'd really like to have pizza for supper.  No delivery here in our area and no conveniently located pizzerias either.  Option was to drive into town for frozen.  Nope.  I mixed up a yogurt crust that contained 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda and as much salt then just mixed it.  I wet my hands to pat it down on my greased sheet.   Do you know, that was a really good quick crust!  It wasn't biscuit tasting as some yeast free crusts are and had a nice crisp texture.

The yogurt I used was from the last batch I made.  I have one unopened jar in the fridge.  I'd like to wait to open it  Monday when I plan to make a new batch of yogurt.  I think I made this last batch mid-April.  It's kept well all this time in the fridge.  I believe that's because the jars seal so well when it's incubating.

Ran a full load of dishes today.

Today's dinner required little work.  I assembled the foods in the crockpot and popped on the lid.  I made salad yesterday.   I had enough leftovers for another we had them for supper.  It just didn't make sense to make a second meal when we had one ready prepared and tasty.

Gave myself a manicure this evening after dishes were cleared up from supper.

Sunday:  John mentioned a meal he'd really like to have next week for Katie's birthday.  It just happened to be one of his favorite meals.  I happen to know what Katie wants as her birthday dinner, same as she's wanted every year.  I expect it's like my favorite meal:  Nobody else really wants it at home so I tend to make it when we've company coming, lol!  Ditto for her favorite.  Anyway, I did listen to John and took out the steak to thaw.  Today I went into the grocery and bought just what I knew he wanted even though these are NOT my choices: individually washed and wrapped baking potatoes and bagged salad...He thinks this is just THE best.  Oh well.  I also bought a small Peach Pie at the bakery counter.  I paid for his special foods from my pocket money, my gift to him for Father's Day.

Just as a side point, because today was totally about spoiling my husband, but the two individually wrapped baking potatoes were $3 for the two of them.  I can buy a 10 pound bag of russet potatoes for that price...Our individually wrapped potatoes weighed just 8 ounces each.  $3.99 pound or 39c a pound?  An example of how the market can amp up costs...

I reheated frozen waffles and made fried Spam and fried eggs for breakfast.  That's the last of my big batch of homemade waffles, so I'll be making more this week to pop into the freezer for future quick breakfasts.  And no we don't eat just loads of Spam though I mention it often.  The rest of this can will provide the Spam for sandwiches later on this week for one of our suppers.

Before leaving home this morning, I washed a full load of laundry, most of which was our bedding.   I hung that on the line to dry and brought them in when we got home this afternoon.  It was lovely to see the white sheets billowing on the clothesline in the breeze as we came up the driveway.

I poured my dishwater, with just a couple drops of additional soap added, over the purple petunia which is heavily infested with Aphids.  I shall have to find my spray bottle so I can treat them better, but in the meantime I hope that warm soapy water does help.

Monday:  I didn't sleep well last night and ended up sleeping late this morning.  I don't know about you but let me sleep two hours late and my day is set on 'spent' already.  I miss that glorious early morning energy surge, find myself speeding through tasks trying to cram it all in.  Toss in an unplanned trip out of town to run an errand and zowie.  Suppertime came around mighty fast today.

I noted as I went to clean up the living/dining room this morning that my buffet felt...not tacky, but not like wood, either.  I took a soapy cloth and began to wipe it and it was just dirty.  So I amped up the cleaning by soaking the rag in soapy water and vinegar then scrubbing that top hard.  I rinsed it well and stopped scrubbing when I stopped getting up dirt.   After it dried I used Liquid Gold on it.   I didn't have time nor energy this morning to do the whole buffet but the top is certainly nice and clean and I can work on the rest of it over the next few weeks.

Late in getting dinner started and, oh darn, forgot to take anything from the freezer to thaw, sigh.  I had some Chicken Enchiladas Verde in the freezer. I popped them in the oven and made a big bowl of salad then I worked on preparing John's work lunch, cut up bread from the freezer for croutons and  cut up a big bowl of vegetables to roast alongside the Enchiladas as they were baking.  Croutons went into the same oven.   I'll have the vegetables another day this week.  The croutons got packed up in the jars with paper towel instead of a lid under the jar ring.   This insures the croutons dry well and do not mold if there is any slight bit of moisture.

I had enough Enchiladas left over to have for lunch tomorrow while John works.

John decided to go down and pick up his check even though he will be working tomorrow.  I took along a deposit slip, bills to send out and trash to drop at the dump.  I won't mention how many afternoon tasks I pushed off to go along with him as requested.  I was so relaxed when I got back that I decided it was just too late to worry over any more jobs today.

I asked to go by our peach shed this afternoon when we were on our way home.  Shut up tight.  No peaches.  Not even a skeleton crew working.  Sad.

As I worked this morning, I noted jobs I want to tackle next week.  I keep a running list, so I don't forget jobs I want to do.

Set up coffee and oatmeal for tomorrow morning.

Tuesday:  Sent John off to work having fed him breakfast, packed his lunch/supper bag and with a tumbler full of coffee.

Ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.  I was going to start this load last night but I decided to wait and fill it up.  I kept adding pieces until it was full this morning.

Set the tomatoes and fern on the back steps to catch some of the rain water.

Turned off ceiling fans when I left home today.

I shopped for groceries alone today.  This week was shaping up to be pretty busy and with rain, I'll just bet John ends mowing again this Friday.  I decided to be kind and go ahead and do this task  alone, though he was mighty disappointed when I told him.  I'd no idea he looked forward to it so.

Went by Dollar Store and picked up a second birthday card for Josie.  This one went into a box of things sent to Amie along with Rosa's gift.  I sure hate the last card got lost.  I picked up dog food and Lemon Pepper seasoning and Sure Jell for the pantry.

Went by post office to mail off two packages.  I sent one media mail since it was all books.  I left confused when the lady said 'No printed material' right after I told her it was books.   Aren't books printed material?  She stamped it as media mail, but I'll have to look up those rules on that deal.  I sent the other box regular mail since it had other items in it, too.

Off to Aldi at last.  I did rather well.  I did pick up some plastic freezer containers they had in stock this week and if I'd had more money I'd have bought more.  They are white and come in  squares or almost loaf pan sized rectangles.  I couldn't help but think the square ones would suit me for creamed corn.  I'd been thinking of just such containers all last week but hadn't looked them up online.  I can write on these in grease pencil or use labels either one.  They'd also be perfect for freezing soup or homemade ice cream.

I amused myself.  I was just a bit hungry when I went into the store and I do know the rule of never shopping when hungry, etc.  I was looking at the cookies which I don't need (must.lose.weight.), and noted the 'homemade' chocolate chip cookies...or so said the package.  I came this - close to buying them but then realized that they'll taste nothing like homemade.  I'd rather have really homemade cookies.  Anyway, saved by my 'But real homemade is sooo much better' thought.

I'd planned to buy a roast or a turkey breast for luncheon meats but no luck there.  The meat counter was  rather empty.  I ended up with a corned beef brisket.  I haven't determined yet how I'll cook this.  It will be a start for sandwiches though not my favorite.  I'll also make some chicken salad I think and pimento cheese.

I found breasts without carrageenan in them but looked hard to find them.  I am grateful that it is now listed on ingredients.  Speaking of which, some brands of cottage cheese now contain carrageenan, as well.  I'm really having to read  labels on dairy items and meats to try and avoid that product.  I bought the last two packs of organic breasts on the shelf.   I think I'll plan to go to The Fresh Market for chicken in bulk when wanted to fill the freezer.

Ack.  I reached into the fridge for my last 1 1/2 pint jar of yogurt and doggone it, it had spoiled.  I put it down the drain, figuring if it's good for my gut, it's got to be just as good for the septic tank.  I have a 1/2 container of plain yogurt thawing that I will use (3 ounces) to make the next batch of yogurt.  I shall not be so slow to use up this next batch!  Note to self also to label the jars when I put them in the fridge.  I've no idea how old this last batch got to be but I know I made it well before we went on vacation in May.

I'd planned to shop at two more stores, picking up little items I can't buy at Aldi, but got soaking wet in the parking lot as I unloaded cart into car trunk.  Yuck.  Looked and felt like a drowned rat.  A hungry one at that. Big savings, I'm sure.

Talked myself out of eating take out for lunch.  Reasoned that I had a car load of food and leftovers at home but my thoughts were having none of it.  I decided to get fish which I don't ever have at home unless it's Salmon patties.  Well, $10 later I had my fish dinner and ate it in the graveyard where I like to stop when I'm in that town.  It was greasy and the malt vinegar did little to help cut the grease. The broccoli was delicious however.  Not a very satisfactory $10 take out meal...I'm broker and hopefully wiser for the next battle.

Treated my shirt for grease stains asap after I got home.   Sigh.  Not a $10 lunch if it spoils a shirt, too... later note:  Dawn detergent to the rescue once more. Shirt came clean with no evidence of grease spots. 

Came home and unloaded all that food and put it away.  I had just enough room in the freezer for the extra milk and the meats I'd purchased.

By the way, two weeks ago I bought two quarts of strawberries which are still pretty inexpensive here in Georgia.  I put them all in a glass jar with a lid.  I'm still eating fresh tasting strawberries two full weeks later!  I'm well pleased with this method of keeping berries fresh.  I bought two more quarts today.  I plan to put some in the freezer for making jam.

I always feel so happy when I walk out of Aldi with a big big bag of produce and I know every bit of it is not only fresh but inexpensive as well.  Today I bought lettuce, grapes, plums, peaches (California bred), strawberries, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, asparagus and a seedless cucumber.  I still have squash, green beans, peppers and broccoli from my last trip two weeks ago.  We'll have all the fresh vegetables and fruits we can eat each day for the next two weeks.

Learned how to use a new program on my computer to create images for the Jamberry party.  I felt really accomplished at day's end, lol.  I'm serious.  We are technology challenged for the most part, so to figure out a program and be able to use it easily is about awesome in my book.

Ate leftovers for supper as I ought to have done for my dinner. ha.

Wednesday:  More rain today.   John worked late and then washed a full load of clothes when he came in.  I brought the drying rack indoors and we hung most of the load to dry.

It's cool enough to warrant thinking of a soup meal today.  John suggested chili a couple of weeks ago so I made that today.  It's not likely we'll have a whole lot of 75F days for summer so I'll change the menu when we do get one.

Found a half cup of mashed potatoes I'd forgotten, sigh.  I love having a full fridge but really need to check it more frequently when it is this full.

Shopped at home: minced garlic, chili powder, black pepper from the pantry today.

Made up a batch of sugar free chocolate pudding.  Immediately poured into individual serving dishes and covered for the fridge.

Nicest thing about the lower temperature is that I slept well last night without any fan at all and AC barely has come on.

John brought home a copy of his July schedule.  He'll be working two days a week every week which does indeed mean NO short pay week after June.  Hallelujah!  Another positive sign: the county is in process of renting a new building for the EMS...

Cleared out the toiletries cabinet in our bathroom and straightened it.  Happy to note that it didn't have clutter or trash this time.  Then I went to the kitchen and tackled that awful cupboard above our broom closet.  It's always an 'at your own risk' sort of cabinet.  I moved all the light bulbs out of the closet and into the pantry closet.  Then I put all the bug sprays in the basket and used a shoe box to corral all the tapes and glues which we use the most often.  I also decided it was more than time to get rid of some car products that John has had stashed in that cupboard since he purchased them some 15 (!!) years ago.  Into the trash with them and I did NOT ask first this time.  I've asked him every single time I've cleared that cabinet in the past.  He still hasn't touched them to use.  OUT.

Thursday:  We had an early appointment.  I prepared breakfast as I did other things.  I will share that our toast and cheese became one crunchy thing.  Sigh.  We ate it anyway.  Yes, it was crispy but it was still edible.  And it held us until we got our lunch.

The appointment was to have a recall repair done on John's Honda.  We were given a list of jobs that needed to be done at the current mileage rate.  We figured we could get some of this work done at the tire place where we do routine maintenance on  our cars. It will be far less expensive than at the dealership.  We figure it will cut costs by more than half.  John also went online to see what experts had to say about the suggested service.  Some are just money makers for the dealership which we expected.  So we'll pick and choose the more important tasks to keep the car maintained and skip the others.

We went by the car wash with the free vacuum service and cleaned up John's car.  I noted how bad our floor mat looks on the driver side (honest I've tried to clear that 'our' and put in 'his' nineteen times.  It keeps locking up my page so it's 'our', ok?).  Honda wants a ridiculous price for Honda car mats but I'm sure we can find a replacement somewhere for a LOT less.  So I went online.  Yep, we can buy a new mat a lot cheaper than Honda sells them for.  John has decided to research them.

We went out to eat.  This was paid for with money that John received as a gift a few weeks ago.  It was so nice to go to our favorite restaurant and have a quiet meal with a good heart to heart talk.  John played an awesome CD with a sermon I'd wanted to hear on our drives today.  I have some food for thought as well as food for my body.

Came home and continued my Jamberry party hostess tasks.  I have so enjoyed this party and so appreciate the ladies who joined in, looked at the product and ordered.  It's been a lot of fun.  I'd love to do another party further down the road.

Friday:  Found ants had gotten in the dog food canister this morning.  They must have just started going in because it wasn't completely over run nor were there super highways of ants making the trek (I think ants aided in the idea of creating 8 lane highways...).  I sprayed the floor under the can, I sprayed the top of the lid and shut the lid tight.

Maddie just wasn't that hungry this morning so I put her food away when she left the porch and headed back to her shaded spot.  It was mighty humid and I'm sure if I was wearing a heavy fur coat in this humidity I'd have hunted for shade, too.

Worked hard in the kitchen today.  For weeks now my kitchen day has been a busy one outside the home.  I cleaned the kitchen very well today.

Prepared Katie's Key Lime Pie for her birthday.  I made the pie from scratch.  Often we will purchase these when they are on sale, but Aldi's store brand was $9.99 and the local store had only small ones at $7.99.  I used 5 limes from a bag of 7, a can of condensed milk, three eggs and a pre-made purchased at Aldi graham crust.  Total cost of my pie comes in at $4.03 and would have cost less than that if I'd made the crust myself!

Made a spaghetti pie from leftovers of our dinner today.

I went through the fridge and decided we just needed to use up the mushrooms and green beans now so I made them to go with our spaghetti dinner today.  I'd only made enough spaghetti for two but with a bowl of salad and all those green beans we didn't need big servings of pasta, too.  Hence the leftovers which I mixed with some cottage cheese and popped into the freezer.  I'll top with Parmesan cheese and serve us another meal later.

Mixed up leftover chili and some brown rice and salsa and cheese.  I filled whole wheat tortillas and made burritos for the freezer.

Washed and quartered 1 quart of strawberries and put in the freezer.

Prepped ahead: John's work lunch for Sunday, most of the items needed for Katie's birthday dinner.

Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.  Did a sink full as well and then loaded some more into the dishwasher after I unloaded it.

Shopped the pantry: coffee, salad dressing, mayonnaise.

Well that's my week. Tell us what you did with your week!

Living Well:

I've been listening to the birds a lot lately.  It seems they are singing at full tilt here most every morning, busy about their daily chores of seeking and feeding and nesting and all that birds do. 

But it's not just here on the place that I'm hearing them.  I mean you do expect it out in the country, don't you?  But to stop in the middle of traffic and hear a piercing mocking bird call and then spy him on a Stop sign or street sign near by...To stop at a busy city bank and hear a bird singing lustily from the shrubs about the building...To go into a fast food restaurant and hear the birds outside the window as they hop about the parking lot looking for crumbs.  These are not the expected places to hear such joyful songs.

And bird song is almost always joyful isn't it?  Oh there are a few that aren't.  Mourning Doves with their soft 'Boo hoo hoo' certainly don't sound joyful and Blue Jays who must yell "Thief! Thief! Thief!" at the top of their lungs are certainly a nuisance (and a mighty good warning of a nearby snake to other birds) but for the most part, bird song is joyful and cheery.  Unfailingly so it seems.

It's made me very aware of my own tendency to be a little too sober and a little too prone to ponder instead of just experiencing joy, plain and simple, over the everyday ordinary things.   I think if I can cultivate the habit of being grateful, I just might be able to cultivate the habit of being joyful, don't you?  I'm going to give it a try.  Life is awfully short to be so serious about so much.

And besides, Ecclesiastes 3:4 says: A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

I've had my share of weeping and mourning. I'm ready to take my share of laughing and dancing.  Aren't you?


Lana said...

Birds have been very active here too and we have commented often at the birdsong everywhere this year. We have been excited too that we have a bluebird nesting in one of our boxes. That is so rare here.

We purchased two very large shelving units at Sam's for the garage. They are assembled and we are working on filling them up. Too much stuff has just been piled on the garage floor for way too long. A big load went to the thrift store and several items were given to our neighbors who have five children. A win for us both. It will be so wonderful to have the garage neat and organized. It is just as exciting as when we emptied out our attic two summers ago. Another step toward downsizing one day.

Working with the brain rehab specialist is really getting results for my husband. I really think we still have some months to go before he an handle work again but things are definitely looking up here.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

Your window looks so pretty with your petunia flowers/rooting starts. I like the ball fringed curtains, too. Very homey, light, bright, and cheerful.

I chuckled to myself when you wrote about disappearing some of your husband's automobile stuff. If I was a gambler, I would bet you that, even though he hasn't even looked at any of it in years, within a week or two he will be searching for something from it, and asking you where it is. I think this because of the many times it has happened around here when I have kept something for years and finally decide to get rid of it and as soon as I do, something comes up where I wish I still had it, around here it is usually me looking for something that has been discarded.

Our old refrigerator quit a couple of weeks ago and we had to get a new one. The new one doesn't have a drawer for cheese and lunch meat like the old one did, so I used the plastic drawer from the old fridge to hold the lunchmeat and cheese in the new fridge. It was working so good until today when I forgot the drawer wasn't actually attached to the new fridge like it was to the old one. I gave that drawer a good yank to open it like I always used to and I came so close to dumping all of the cheese, lunchmeat, and butter out on my feet. I bet I remember next time...I hope. I am going to try to keep the fridge more organized to stop the waste that I create by putting perfectly tasty leftovers into the fridge abyss and then putting other stuff in front of them, till they get lost and then spoil and go to waste.

I have been noticing how beautiful the birds are singing right now around here, too. We have a family of those cute little reddish bellied house finches nesting in the tree by the front door. They sing so pretty and chirp around so cheerfully all day. When the jaybirds start jaying around here they are warning all of the birds at bird feeders that there is a hawk nearby. When the jaying starts, all of the little birds take cover, and so do the rabbits.

Here in Missouri we are supposed to have some cooler weather than we have been having. It's going to feel good.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

It was good to read that things are looking up for your husband.

Theresa F said...

Interesting, I too have noticed birds singing a lot these days. I need to be more mindful of the simple beauty of God's creation in the midst of turmoil and sadness around the world.

Your week sounded very productive and that key lime pie sounds divine :).

Rhonda said...

Good evening, wanted to say how much I just enjoyed this Friday visit with you. ♥️

Debby in KS said...

We have a lot of bird activity at our home, as well. Of course, that's by design as we have a little *birdie oasis* in the center of our yard with bushy trees, bird baths, & feeders. We also have another bath & several bird houses scattered around the yard. This was the first year we didn't have a house finch nest in our front door wreath. I guess they found a place they liked better. Cheaper rent, lol?!

Currently taking shelter in our birdie oasis is a young mourning dove. When I let my pooch out yesterday afternoon, I noticed a flutter in the grass and my dog went towards it. Fortunately, he's on good voice command and immediately stopped when I told him to. The little dove has what looks like a wing injury. I got some stuff, scooped him up, and made him a little lean-to with a wooden wheel barrow and set him in there. I put in some mushy dog kibble & a lid of water and left him, hoping his mom was nearby. When we got up this morning, he was sitting in a different spot looking around. And now he's walking around and exploring. We've decided to let him be, keep the doggy away, & see if he can heal and forage food on his own. He looked so much better this morning and is quite active. We have a pair of regular dove visitors that might be his parents. If not, maybe he'll observe them and learn what to do. They come everyday and they're certainly better mentors than we are!!

I'm so with you about the morning surge of energy. Sleeping late, even if I'm exhausted, is the surest way to waste my next day. I'm better off moving around in a stupor!

Can you tell me what you do with the strawberries to make them last so long in the jar. I usually freeze them so they keep since they don't seem to last more than 24 hrs. in their store boughten state.

Terri Cheney said...

How neat about the mourning dove rescue!

I don't do a thing to the berries. I just take them from the container and put them in a jar, put on the lid and put them in the fridge. I wash before eating. That's it.

Louise said...

Oh gosh.... I looked up to see what was so bad about carrageenan.. then I continued reading and it is EVERYWHERE..."beer, toothpaste, diet pop, veggie dogs, pet food and soy milk. " Good thing I don't eat any of that but I checked my cottage cheese and yes it contains it.. I'll be more aware now, however, I only have access to one brand of cottage cheese so I'll continue eating it.. I've started on the DASH diet due to High Blood Pressure and cottage cheese is an allowed food..

Terri Cheney said...

Rhonda, thank you for coming by. I look forward to seeing all your recent home efforts on your blog...Hint Hint...

Louise, it is prevalent and for me it's a respiratory ailment that occurs. Nothing dramatic but aggravating.

Susie, I let him know I was tossing it and reminded him that at the time he bought it Samuel was still in high school. Since Sam is now 34 it's telling that it's been hanging out too long!!

Karla Neese said...

The birds seem more "songy" here as well this year. Or is it that I'm listening for them more and hearing them better? Not sure, but I like it.

We have had another week of medical appointments for husband - he had a colonoscopy/upper endoscopy/GI last Monday then an angiogram yesterday (Monday). I'm just about tired of medical issues and prescriptions but I am grateful he's finally paying attention to his body and getting it on the road to health.

This means we are also eating healthier and I have a confession - I have not handled it well mentally and emotionally. I must say there is a tad bit of rebellion there and resentment, perhaps because the bulk of the load of work always lands on me. And this time is no different, really.

I have had an eye opening experience about home - we had people stop by our house at short notice twice this past week and I was embarrassed that even though it's passable, it's not really clean (there are dust bunnies on the ceiling and dust coating the tv counter, an ancient icky carpet that needs vacuumed even though it doesn't seem to help a lot at this point). And then it reminds me that I need to get my tuckus in gear again on the decluttering front. Oh, I have so much stuff to get rid of! Now to MAKE the time and just do it!

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