Living Frugally and Well

Friday:  I have many address labels that are very specific to a season or simply not to my taste.  I found I could cut off the design on the labels and they were simply plain address labels, which suited me very well.  As well, I have myriad labels with MY name on them but none with our name.  Really all that is needed as a return address is the address.  So I clipped the name portion off nd now have plenty of address labels.

Set up bill box and wrote out checks.  Nothing will go in the mail until we're paid on Monday, but I am so pleased that I was able to pay the renewal for the car insurance two weeks ahead of time, and refill the sub account that I borrowed from two weeks ago.

Saturday:  I purchased frozen Hot Wings from Aldi.  This is a treat for John and I, but I seldom buy them because they run about $10-$15 for the frozen ones at the grocery and the deli cost is around 7 a pound.  These wings at Aldi were just about $5.  I found them excellent and we will purchase them again in the future.

I read recently that flash drives are good for only about 5 years as storage...That concerned me.  I need to buy a new one I think to put my family photos on.  I don't want to lose them!  However, in the meantime, I moved a lot of photos off this computer onto a flash drive because computers tend to dump things, too.

I printed out several documents (pages!) for the genealogy notebook.  The black ink cartridge is fresh and I took the approach of John's Grandfather when someone asked him when was the best time to cut down a tree.  His classic reply was "While the axe is sharp."

Sunday:  Stripped bed and washed sheets and towels before church this morning.  I left them hanging on the line.

Started dinner in the crockpot before we left, too.

After church, John went by to get a haircut.  Having read the sales sheets I knew the grocery next door had a big sale on the all beef skinless hot dogs we favor.  I bought eight packages of those and six of the turkey sausage patties we like so very well.  The prices were far less than the discount grocer in the town next to us.

I splurged and bought a pound of deli bologna.  After supper last night I put over half a pound into the freezer and left out just enough for one more round of sandwiches for us right now.

We got home only to find we'd had a shower that dampened the clothes which must've been dry at some point.  I left them on the line and fortunately they all dried except the flat sheet and a washcloth.  I left them on the line overnight.

Monday:  Washed a full load of dishes.

Clipped some more coleus to root.  I need to plant the lot I'd already rooted.

I made mac and cheese from scratch using whole wheat penne pasta.  It was soooo good!  I haven't made mac and cheese from scratch in forever, despite putting it on the menu routinely.

Cut basil from the herb bucket to chiffonade over the mayonnaise on the tomato salad.  It was so pretty and lovely to eat.

While John is out mowing lawn, I mopped floors.

Decided I needed to make my current desk work for me until I can replace it so I cleared everything off it except the check register and the bill box.  I still don't like it as a desk but it's better without stuff crowding it.  I'll work with my space and make it pretty now and am looking for a desk now that I know exactly what dimensions I need it to be.

I've been invited out for a cookout tomorrow.  I look forward to getting to spend time with my husband as it's his partner who is having the cookout at his house.  It happens to be in the town where they work and they occasionally just all work out of that house for a holiday.  It gives families time to spend together they'd normally spend apart.

Prepped a lighter than usual lunch for John to take to work.  Hopefully he'll be eating cookout food.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Tuesday:   Made John breakfast, filled his tumbler with coffee, packed his supper for work tomorrow and sent him off an hour earlier.  This was an overtime hour, as he was covering the end of the previous shift for someone.

I washed a full load of clothes and hung on the line.  It was a clear, dry, hot, and sunny day.  Perfect for leaving clothes on the line.

Started my outdoor work as soon as it was fully daylight.  I found two five gallon buckets in the shed.  These will do for two of the tomato plants which are already starting to put on little blooms!  I must get John to drill drainage holes in them.

I did some weeding and trimming.  I worked around the Faith tree and trimmed branches and other tall growing plants out of the bed.  It looks 100% better but isn't where I want it to be just yet.  I still need to dig up plants I mean to keep and there's more work beyond that, but I made a good hard start.

Did some weeding in other beds while I was outdoors this morning.  Pleased to see that of the dozen of Asiatic lily bulbs planted last month, one is actually peeking above ground.

Have been muddling about with genealogy again and researching a family line for my two older children.  I am not using a paid genealogy site but using instead a variety of search engines and discovering the certified information in that way.

Went to John's partner's home for a very relaxed and pleasant cookout.

I was given about 3 dozen ears of corn when I left.  This is a variety I especially like creamed and that is what I mean to do with it tomorrow.

Ate leftovers for supper.

Wednesday:  Made a big breakfast for John for after work.  He'd been up most all the night and was hungry when he came in.

We went off to run errands.  We deposited his check, stopped at the post office, went by the dollar store so I could pick up a needed item.  I only spent about $5 this morning including the smart buy John asked me to make.  He wanted a soda.  He suggested I pick up a 1 liter bottle which costs $1.  That's a lot cheaper than a single serve bottle at $1.79!!  He gave me $1 from his pocket to purchase the drink.

I received a $5 off $25 purchase coupon.  While in the store I saw  home décor pieces I wanted.  Namely some sheers that I really like which are full sized sheers and incorporate the grey and teal colors I have in my bedroom.  I've been unhappy with the 29 inch wide gray sheers and these suit me very well indeed.  They are $12.50 per panel....I'll be using that coupon to pick up two of those sheers this weekend (coupon good for Saturday only).

Unhappy with the two choices in stamps today, I asked if they would be getting in anything pretty.  I was told no because the new postmaster is only going to stock two styles.  Phooey.  I asked, "Can I order stamps online?"  The girl behind the counter said "Yes!  and you can choose from all sorts."  I like going into the local post office but I like having pretty stamps for my bills and letters.  Perhaps when our permanent post master comes in we will have more variety.  In the meantime, I'll make do with what I bought today and next time I'm nearly out, I'll order the ones I want.

Came home and started work on the corn.  It's a big job and required physical strength, but it's so worth it.  I got four pints and two 1 1/2 pint containers of cream corn and we had boiled corn for dinner today.

John suggested the boiled corn.  He wanted to know what else I was going to have.  I said, "Well if you want to go get fried chicken..."  He didn't.  So I pulled frozen chicken breasts from the freezer and put them in the oven to thaw and bake, took out the summer squash that needed to be used up and made squash and a salad.  Not really what I wanted to do in the middle of the corn work but it cost less than chicken would have.

Mopped the kitchen floor again.  John opened a bottle of soda and it spewed every where.  Why do these things never happen when the floors NEED to be mopped?

We ate leftovers for supper tonight.

Thursday:  We had an early morning appointment to get John's car serviced.  The clerk noted it had been a long time between services (it had) and asked if we were using another place to see to the car.  John explained that he only used the car 1 or 2 days a week at best and we'd run over our usual service date...but it really did take that long to build up the miles.  That's been one advantage of his working as he does.  He drives only 7 days a month which is a savings on gasoline and maintenance.

After the service job we went off to do our grocery shopping.  I paid absolutely no attention to the cost of things today and I mean that sincerely.  I knew about what we needed to get for these two weeks and so I picked up what was needed.  Did pretty much the same thing when we went into Publix but there were extras.  All I can say is by that time I was terribly hungry and starting to feel  the drop in my blood sugar.   Never mind.  Despite myself, I managed to come in reasonably near budget.  My overage was mostly my flowers and the dinner John wanted to pick up.

Talking to Katie this afternoon she mentioned a funny incident with Taylor.  Taylor wants to use a proper fork but she has just turned two.  She was fascinated with the almost like real spoons she'd seen at her aunt's home over the weekend.  Katie has a few pieces of this toddler silverware but not enough to last more than a day or two.  I went online and saw that I could purchase the items through Amazon Prime for a good price and not pay shipping.  Later in the conversation I mentioned to Katie I'd just ordered her forks and spoons.  She asked if I had Prime.  I do.  I saved enough today alone to cover the fee for the next two months between the savings on the pieces and the shipping.

John drilled holes in my buckets this afternoon.  I'll repot the tomato plants tomorrow.

I prepped John's lunch/supper for tomorrow.  I set up coffee and oatmeal for the morning, as well.

Friday:  Sent John off to work this morning.  I fed him breakfast, packed his lunch/supper and sent him out the door with a tumbler of hot coffee.

I took two hours of my morning and cleaned house.  I also made out a list of changes I needed/wanted to make.  Then I settled in to making a few of them right away.

One thing I did was really an easy fix.  I've been studying the entry wall at the back door.  When I laid off the framed flour and meal bags to be hung on the wall, I had them laid out in a certain way.  It was odd, but balanced.  When the execution of hanging them on the wall came up, John decided that my odd way was off.  When he was done with the wall, the items were really off and it bothered me no end.  I've been looking at it for three months or so now trying to figure out how I could fix it.  This morning it came to me in a flash.  I arranged the pieces in a more conventional manner and now they are balanced and it looks lovely.

I strained a muscle group (ack) lifting a too heavy bag of groceries yesterday.  I do this nearly every two weeks and I don't know why I think if John packed them  for his lifting ability that I can lift them, too...and to his credit he does warn me off trying to lift them, but doggone, I did it and it hurts today...Anyway, decided today was NOT the day to go out and dig in the yard when I can barely hold a pen and write a decent hand due to the overall weakness of the arm.  So I've been focusing today on my desk area.  I may have a solution that requires me to purchase a piece of good furniture grade plywood and a small piece of wood to use as a lip.  I'll price out the cost of items Monday when I'm in town.

And that's another thing.  I need a haircut but I hated to go over today.  I will postpone until Monday when I'm in the area anyway for other reasons and combine errands (pick up free items at Kroger, get some needed items at the DIY store, make a visit, do some banking, etc.).  Glad I pushed off the plan and stayed home today.  I've been busy all day long right here at home!

Washed a full load of dishes.

Planned my meals for the weekend.  Prepped as much as I could.

Ate leftovers for my meals today.

Turned off lights in all the rooms and used natural light to attend to work.

I love my old wingback chair but it is not working well for me as a sitting spot as the chair is positioned.  I didn't want to set it back in it's former place, so I swapped chairs and put a swivel rocker in my spot.  Now I can turn to watch TV or I can sit angled towards the conversation group in the living room.  I think this will work far better for me.

Made cranberry sauce this afternoon.  This task was on my list for next week but it was cooler than expected (but by no means cool) and I had time to go slowly at this task without interruption.  I used all the cranberries I'd stored in the freezer.  I used our last can this week (took it from one of the shoe box meals!) and knew full well I'd need more but there's none to be had at Aldi this time of year.

Appreciated the rain we got this afternoon spare as it was.  There's more predicted.

Filled a PETE plastic jug with water and placed under the counter as stored water.  I cycle these out using the water for the potted plants on the porch.  Then I refill and move to the next lot.  I have stored about 8 gallons total of water under the counter.  Not enough for a long term emergency but enough to be of help if electricity were to go out for a day or two.

What did you do this week to save?

Living Well

I've just been in the kitchen making cranberry sauce for future chicken dinners.  I've got four pints in the canner now and had three small 1 cup jars that are just out of the smaller hot water bath.  I felt very satisfied filling those jars and placing them in the water baths.  It's a mixture of things that feeling:  pride, sense of accomplishment, awareness of money saved, and something homey and cozy and definitely a happy feeling.  Odd that something as simple as hot jars of canned goods can give you all those feelings at once.  Just goes to show that living well is as much about what we DO as it is about how we save and why.


Rhonda said...

I completely agree with your last paragraph. This frugal life takes lots of doing, not just frugal shopping.
I pulled lots of weeds this week. I pulled lots in a different area last week. Now I'm hoping to stay on top of the weeds since the wrist areas are done. Why do those weeds grow so well?

Debby in KS said...

I love reading your week-end journal. You really get a lot done. In my mid-life crisis these days, I've been trying to figure out what to change. And I kept having something tickle my brain, but I couldn't place it. I knew that Donna (G.Donna) had written it, but I couldn't find it. I looked and looked & I finally found it last night. It was about living/working/eating in the seasons. The title was called "When I Finish"....I think lol. I was lamenting that I wasn't getting everything done that I wanted to, but was at a loss as to what to give up. It occurred to me that seasonal living was exactly what I needed. When the Y opens their lazy river in summertime, I simply MUST GO! I'm a native Cali girl and something about the pool in summer is in my blood. With the drive, the class, & locker room time, it totals about 7 1/2 hrs. per week. That's really an entire day! Then, when I add in the gardening & outdoor jobs, the car washing, etc., that's another day. So, of course I can't finish all that, my volunteer stuff, my house cleaning, menus, etc. I'm realizing that I must put off my sewing & crafting until something ends. Then, that stuff can slide in there. I used to live that way so I'm at a loss as to why I couldn't figure it out.
Not to mention, I'm not in my 20s anymore and things just take longer all the way around!! So, I've been spending some time making some seasonal lists. I've always done my food & cooking that way, my exercising, etc. But I need to do EVERYTHING that way. I keep singing Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds to myself to remind me.

Enjoy your weekend!

Lana said...

We have had the most wonderful week at the lake house. Our five grandchildren had a happy reunion and everyone had so much fun swimming and playing in the sand. We have had most meals at the house and greatly enjoyed eating on our deck. We have read good books and slept late and just enjoyed ourselves. We are blessed. Happy times do not take a lot of money!

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

You have me hungry for homemade cranberry sauce, but I am out of luck for that until late fall when they come back into the stores. I forgot to freeze any fresh cranberries last fall.

You really have a green thumb when it comes to rooting plants. My mom used to be able to root so many plants in those old fashioned cobalt blue glass milk of magnesia? (I think) bottles. Plants root really well in those bottles plus they look pretty in the window.

We had an expensive week around here. Two large trees in our yard had to be cut down, a great big old maple in the back yard, and our big spruce tree in the front yard that shaded our house in the afternoon. $1600 later we are way lighter in the pocketbook, but so much safer in the long run. After the cut down, we discovered the big spruce tree was rotten and hollow in the center at the base. I doubt if it would have made it through another thunderstorm and it was close to the house. We are missing the shade it provided. Our front porch, when it was 97 degrees here today, felt nearly as hot as the face of the sun without our old spruce tree's shade. I am thinking about making some kind of curtains to attach to the metal porch awning to shade the front porch and door.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are living well! I know you will enjoy the corn and cranberry sauce.
All of your working has inspired me to see what I can do around my home. Our front flower bed had landscape timbers that were rotting, so they needed replacing. I saw someone selling landscape bricks for .50 each, so I told her I would take 200 of them. Shew, 200 bricks and each weighs 24 pounds = 4800 pounds! Took us 3 trips, and we are all a bit sore, so it will be a few days before I get the flower beds finished. :D
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

Such a cozy read Terri! I know just what you mean about that feeling when seeing those home canned, jewel colored jars. 😃
My dad has always bought extra of the fresh cranberries in season (winter holidays) and simply throws them in the freezer...he doesn't even repackage them...keeps them in their original bag haha! But they cook up beautifully throughout the year. I do the same and often will add them to apple crumble or a low car faux Apple filling I make using seeded zucchini and xylitol.

I do hope you're feeling better!

Anonymous said...

We cut back cranberries when hubby went on Warfarin years back. He can have a few dried ones in a small salad once in a while but not as much as the sauce.
Terri, are the Hot Wings at Aldi hot hot? I saw them there but we like a bit of hot but not overly Hot. :-) I know each person perceives hot differently but would appreciate your thoughts. Our Aldi still does not have vegetarian chili. I asked one person and they said they had it one time as a special buy but it is not a usual item. I hope they get it back. I will continue to check each time we shop. I was hoping they sell corn meal but have never sen it there. You never know though might show up someday! Sarah

Terri Cheney said...

Sarah, I thought the wings were just right, just hot enough. I thought they had a bit more vinegar than other brands but we both really liked them.

So many things are still a hit or miss. I haven't seen the Vegetarian Chili in Aldi in a while. And this past week was the first time I've found cornmeal in forever. They have Masa Harina all the time but not cornmeal mix.

Terri Cheney said...

Sarah it is hit or miss with Aldi on many things. I haven't seen any more of the vegetarian chili and cornmeal mix was on the shelf for the first time in ages this past pay period. They have masa harina all of the time, but never the cornmeal mix. GO figure.

Spicy Apple Cake - I FOUND IT!

While sorting though Mama's cookbooks the other day I came across a Family Circle magazine cookbook that looked familiar.  I brought...