Living Frugally and Well:

Saturday:  Bess brought in a bag of peaches the other evening when she returned which she wanted to share with us.  This morning they were nicely ripe for eating. I made peach pancakes for breakfast.  That is a summertime treat for us.

Bess and boys left later than planned.  I had never done anything about dinner yesterday and didn't feel at all up to going into town to purchase food.  John was too tired, as well.  Fortunately I had those pre-formed burgers in the freezer which thawed quickly.  I cooked German potatoes to go with the burgers.  It was simple and easy and required little clearing up.

Both beds got stripped and linens were washed.  We used the dryer today.  We had a crazy weather day with lots of heavy rain, then sun, then more rain and more sun and heat and then more rain.  It was less stressful to use the dryer!

Closed curtains on the sunny side of the house to keep heat outdoors as much as possible.

Sunday:  Woke to a much cooler morning.  I didn't expect this.  John managed to wash another load of clothes and hung some to dry.

I ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

We planned to pick up something to have for dinner today but discovered there was a hot dog luncheon at church following service.  It's kept fairly simple but it's fun.

We took off trash on our way to church and picked up mail.

We went into grocery.  I wanted to pick up bread, soda and cottage cheese.  John put in a few more items.  I couldn't pass up lilies as my flowers for the pay period.  I added a small donation to a back to school drive and received a free shopping bag as a courtesy.

One of the unplanned items in our cart was from the clearance table in Publix.  I found two boxes of whole wheat lasagna noodles for $1.30 each.  The last box we bought was nearer $3 so needless to say we don't have lasagna very often when the pasta costs that much.  I always scan the clearance table.  I don't find something every time but when I do, it's well worth that few moments it takes to go to that section of the store and check it out.

We worked yesterday and are adamant about having a real rest day.  This afternoon was fully for rest.  After supper I cleared up the kitchen and living spaces and made John's work lunch for tomorrow.  I set up coffee and oatmeal for ease in the morning.

Monday:  Sent John off to work with a cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch and a deposit slip.  Today is Harvest Day and he will attend to the deposit while I will do banking for allowances and mailing while I'm out.

It was so cool out this morning, I came in and opened windows and let the house air.

Washed the kitchen rug, a few towels and such.  I hung all on line.  We're to be clear all week with cool mornings and heat in the 90's which is pretty awesome.  I don't know who ordered this cool front but I sure do appreciate it.

After showering, dressing etc, I thought I'd make myself a smoothie.  When we eat breakfast at 5am, I am genuinely hungry around 9:30 am.  Well...I wasn't planning to WEAR a smoothie.  The jar I was using on my blender shattered shooting glass and smoothie all over the kitchen and me.  After clearing up the mess and changing, I opted for a cereal bar.  This is the second jar that has broken.  I think I will plan to order a replacement jar.  I've been meaning to look at thrift stores  but I  haven't.  I know I can get one from a replacement warehouse which is usually less than a manufacturer.

Closed windows when temperatures indoors drew near our AC setting.  I won't leave windows open when I'm to be gone most of the day.

Out with Mama today.  I had plenty of allowance, since I was too ill to spend any money last week.  However, I had not planned on such a pricey meal.  We weren't careless but we were not as aware as we might have been.  Mama paid a goodly amount for meals for us when we visited last week with her, too.  I suggested we look for cheaper places to dine for our August visits.

Mama wanted to visit a distant farm stand.  I drove her down and helped her get her purchases to the car.  She treated me to green tomatoes, squash and Oh Henry peaches.  I'm so excited to get a few fresh peaches this year!  I plan to make John a peach cobbler this week.

When we arrived back at her home, Mama asked me to take a portion of the cherries she'd purchased.  I noted she'd bought quite a lot.  She said that was the smallest bag.  I reminded her that she could put cherries in a produce bag and the clerks would weigh them since the store where she purchases does not pre-weigh the bags.  However, I thanked her for sharing the cherries and for the peaches and vegetables.  These will pretty much cover any produce purchases I'd planned to make this week.

John texted that the check was in the bank.  With final figures in hand, I wrote tithe checks and set bills aside to mail when I returned to our town.

While out in the area, I decided to stop in at Ross and shop for a shelf for my desk.  No shelves this week but I looked at all the usual items.  I found a top and a kimono for cooler weather wear, a black purse, a bra and a clock for my desk.  I was pleased with my finds today. Checked the clearance items and found absolutely nothing.  That's okay.  Sometimes you do find steals and sometimes you've only lost a bit of time.

I decided to stop at Hobby Lobby which was on my way out of town and just 1/2 block from one of our bank branches.  I found the perfect shelf for the desk space and picked up some floral picks.  I've wanted new flowers for the dining table for sometime and bought a single flower to use on my desk when I don't have fresh available.  I use faux flowers on the dining table because of past accidents with computer screen knocking over vases.  No water to spill with faux flowers.   The flowers were 50% off.  I was much amazed by the peony which isn't silk but plastic.  I've never seen such lovely plastic flowers as are in market now at Hobby Lobby.  I won't be hanging my shelf myself.  I'll wait and have John do it.  I have a tendency to hang things crooked.

I was so tempted to go into a bookstore and purchase a copy of a book I've wanted to replace.  Well...I've seen it multiple times in thrift stores so I know I can buy it for less.  Here's the deal.  I don't want to spend too much time in thrift stores looking for that book.  I want it to use NOW and I decided on the way home to just check my online resources and find the least expensive copy.

Stopped at bank and got our allowance for the pay period.

Despite being hot and thirsty, I refused to waste cash or calories on a soft drink today.  I headed right home.  I had a tall icy glass of water.

Note my forgetting anything?  I forgot to drop off mail at the post office.  It was a chance remark to John on phone later that reminded me that I hadn't.  I had to return to town to put them in the mail.  Not a frugal move.

Ate leftovers for supper.

Tuesday:  Slept quite well last night.  I don't think I rolled over all night long.  I felt ready to tackle the world this morning but first had coffee and a bit of quiet meditation time in my kitchen sitting chair, looking out over the lovely golden day that was breaking.

Kept breakfast fairly simple as John was mentioning mowing two days ago and it was now 2 feet high out there.

John washed a load of clothes and hung most to dry.

I went out and tackled the weed piles and got up two more iris that put out blades after I removed all the other stuff out there two weeks ago.  I don't need more iris but I do have some purple iris that were under that tree that I'd like to salvage if at all possible and what if these two littles turned out to be purple?  I'll be quite happy I saved them then.

Cleared the back porch flower bed.  I was able to get up all the weeds, dug up some rocks that were once border that Maddie had managed to dislodge and bury in her lie down spot.  I moved the chairs a little closer to the eave so the pots could get a drink when it rains.  So far they've missed all the good rain water that came off the roof, which is a shame.  I replaced the rocks in the border and though I can tell you truly that the bed still needs work and brand new mulch as well, it looks so much better.

Went to work on the bed at the front of the house that also borders the end of the back porch.  This bed looked quite well last year but this year Maddie dug snot out of it.  Hence I have had a spate of wild swamp iris blooming.  These are pretty little blue flowers but the plant is the reclining sort.  It grows up and falls over and every where a joint of the stem touches the ground it starts a new plant.  That bed was looking wild and wooly and old morning glory seeds had also sprouted along with the usual iron and coffee weed that plagues a country flower bed.  I got about half of it done when I gave slap out.  I filled the wagon to overflow with all the weeds I sorted out today.

Came indoors and contemplated the too long list of things to be done in here today.  I roused myself after I'd cooled down some and had a glass of iced tea.  It took several hours but I accomplish all the must do tasks: dishes (twice over) were washed and put away when dry, made dinner, mixed up sandwich fillings, mopped floors, folded laundry I'd brought in from the line yesterday, put away clothes, cleared off my desk, cleaned the fridge, emptied trash and put away every single thing out of place item.   Then I sat down and had my dinner solo because John didn't start mowing until after 12pm.  I put in a solid 5 hours work doing all that stuff.  Who says homemaking isn't a full time job?  I can name off several things I could do to finish this day off, but my foot aches and so I shall prop it up for a good long bit.

I boiled the last four eggs from the carton.  I'd meant to put an egg in the potato salad but forgot and didn't miss it.  I made egg salad and pimento cheese for sandwiches this week.

John mowed grass.  Gasoline costs $5 to do this task and it takes about 3 1/2 hours even with our big old mower.   We sure can't pay anybody $5 to do it, nor by the hour either.  It looks really nice.  I think I'll keep my lawn man...

Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

Wednesday:  We were up early and left home early to do our shopping.   I was well pleased with what I purchased at Aldi and the total cost overall.  And yes, we gave in to a couple of splurge items, those very ones I spoke of this week!

My purchase was a task tray table.  It's a very sturdy, stable tray and perfect to use at my chair for the computer if I am too weary to stay at my desk to work.  John and I like this item so well that I'm tempted to purchase another one or two to use when we have overflow dining with family here.  The price was $6.99.  At the first of the year, I looked online at similar products and the least expensive best reviewed item as being sturdy was $60.  I just didn't want to pay that much.  John's splurge was a similarly priced trunk organizer bin that doubles as a cooler.    And no, I don't count such things as part of the grocery budget spent.  If it doesn't pertain to foods we actually eat, storage for foods or paper products it doesn't get counted as grocery.

John bought us a hamburger today on our way home.  It was rather nice outdoors really and so he suggested we stop by and 'visit' my favorite gravesite in the city graveyard one town over.  We had lunch there and then headed home to unload our groceries.

My supper tonight is a combination of leftovers made into a soup.  Not sure John will care to eat it but that's okay with me.  I'll have it for my supper and he can choose from a variety of sandwich fillings.

I've prepared John's work lunch for tomorrow and set up oatmeal for in the morning.  Here in a little bit I'll get the coffee set up and we'll be ready for a hopefully easy morning.

So disappointed!  One of the items I ordered from Amazon is the wrong size.  Sure enough, I misread the description and the item is non-returnable worst luck.  Oh well.  I'll reorder the proper size and consider it a small loss...and I'll look at thrift stores when I visit to see if they happen to have any of that sized pyrex bowl.  You never know, I just may find some.

Thursday:  Sent John off to work.  You all know what I did: breakfast, coffee, lunch.

Spent a few minutes looking on ebay for Pyrex containers that would fit the lids I can't return.  No luck.

As soon as it was fully daylight went outdoors.  I laid weed mat and put stones about the faith tree.  I had two stones leftover.  I need to go purchase mulch but it is raining and wet mulch is heavy.  I will wait until later in the weekend to go purchase that.  In the meantime, the Faith tree looks so nice I wonder why on earth I waited so long to do this!

Came indoors and started a full load of clothes.  I had thought to wait until John came in from lunch tomorrow, but found I actually had a full load.  Most will be hung to dry.

I gave myself a pedicure and manicure.

Although it was cloudy outdoors, I had light on only in the room in which I was working.  No need of burning lamps all over the house.  I will share though that if we have gloom for days, I often DO put lights on in nearly every room.  I find it helps keep blues at bay in those dark days.  Fortunately we lie in a sunny climate and don't have too many of those days back to back.

Decided today was as good as any for a spa day.  I did a mask on face and lips, deep conditioned hair and used a sugar scrub on my skin.  The sugar scrub was leftover from the last time I did a full spa treatment and had hardened and dried out.  I found adding just a little warm water to the mix and then stirring it well, made a useable product once more.

John loves to buy tea for me.  I like having it but prefer unsweetened or lightly sweetened.  He bought two bottles of a diet peach tea that tastes very good but is just too sweet for my tastes.  I had some unsweetened tea he'd purchased for me Sunday that I hadn't finished.  I mixed it half and half with the diet tea and it made it a little more palatable to me.  I do find that having the diet tea with a meal makes it seem less sweet as well.

Friday:  Sat down last night and made meal plans for the weekend.  I need to only slightly alter my plans for Saturday since Katie said this morning she'll be coming to visit.

I have done nothing much today but clean house. I don't consider that a money saver but it is a necessity isn't it?  Well it is a saver in one way.  Dirt and dust can breakdown fabrics and carpets and dry out wood surfaces.  So I guess we could call it home maintenance of a sort.

I'd meant to make Challah yesterday but didn't get that far with my plans.  I found this morning I had no yeast.  I think a batch of scones will do as well for Shabat bread, don't you?  Much as I love making Challah, it seldom gets eaten here and I don't really know why.  John always tells me how very good it tastes but then he never touches it again after Shabat evening.  I think scones will make breakfast a little different.  I plan to make blueberry lemon.

The cheese basket was a huge piled up mess, so I took it from the fridge to organize.  I found stuff behind the basket on the shelf.  I hate losing things in my fridge!  Fortunately this item had not expired.

I mixed up a big batch of tea using one bottle of the peach diet tea to sweeten.  It's just right.

John needed a nap this morning after a hard night.  I didn't wake him at dinner time but let him rest.  What savings is that?  Tempers, hurt feelings, and other negatives that come from being over tired.

Yesterday while working on John's new work pants, I noted I am very low on iron on patches.  I typically use these to protect the waistband fabric from the teeth of his suspenders.  I had plenty of leftover pants material from hemming a pair in the past, so I cut and hemmed my own 'patches and then sewed those over the waistband in the area where he fastens his suspenders.  I was so pleased with how very neat and nice this looked that I shall do the same in future for all of his work pants rather than deal with the iron on patch material that often isn't the right shade of khaki and eventually begins to peel up and look ratty.  This is the sort of thing I mean about taking the next step up.  The iron on stuff works fine. Making the tabs and sewing them onto the pants took only slightly more time than ironing on the patches takes but it definitely is an improvement.

That's what I've done to save this week?  What about you?

Living Well

I don't get excited over lizards and salamanders and skinks and snakes as you all know well, but I must share my wonder at something I found while weeding the back porch flower bed.  I'd noticed what I thought was a cricket as I pulled weeds because the brown thing made a sort of jumping motion.  I saw it move again a bit later as I got near but my glasses  were so steamed up from work that I could only barely make out that it was brown and tiny.

A little bit later, my glasses had cleared and I looked to my left and there on one of the rocks bordering the bed was a tiny salamander all of 1 inch long, if he was even that big.

I stood in absolute wonder, just as I do with any infant of any sort that there was such a tiny creature, God's own creation, complete in form and just barely born.  Even more astonishing is the fact that this little creature was all on his own already.  What instinct  to survive such a tiny thing must have!

I won't make it my habit to go seek out these things because I don't like them but it was nice to experience a sense of wonder over something I'd normally avoid like plague.


Lana said...

Our 4 year old grandson is a champ at spotting baby lizards on our deck and then he is jumping up amd down and hollering, 'BABY LIZARD' during which the poor thing runs and hides. Then he is heartbroken. My husband saw one this week for the first time and was quite in awe too. The always makee think of how our human babies are perfectly formed months before they are born.

We had a face time chat with our 2 and a half week old grandson. He kept going to sleep on us. I love being able to do that. Hubby had two brain rehab appointments this week and we are worn out from them. They are producing huge results for both of us. She treats couples together. Last night when I was getting ready for bed I suddenly realized tha

Our excited thing of the week was our friend finding the exact vehicle we wanted and with very low miles. And at 50% of retail. Savings $8K! We are happy to he purchasing what our oldest son engineers for the auto manufacturer. He was pretty happy, too. He could tell us which year models had problems, etc. and we avoided those. Can't imagine paying the new price of $40K!

Anonymous said...

What book are you looking for? What is a skink? Never heard that word before. Sounds like a good week. Remember, the savings in cleaning is you are not out spending money. Of course, when I clean i keep the shopping list in mind for what i need to buy or replace. Gramma D

Debby in KS said...

I had a very good tightwaddy week. We have some big expenses coming up so I spent time monkeying with the budget. Settled on only $100 for groceries this month, which is a little less than half of normal. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm pretty sure we can do it.

My housekeeping schedule is...wellll, a work in progress. I've expressed my need to revamp it before, but I wasn't quite sure how to do it. It was pretty rigid in that I had certain days to do certain things and I would near kill myself to get it done. And if I absolutely couldn't because of something out of my control, I tended to tie myself in knots. Since I started that schedule when I was 33, I had a bit more (gross understatement!!!) energy then so I had no problem getting it all done early, efficiently, etc. Now, I need breaks lol. I saw on GDonna's site that she found an old book on cleaning. I was intrigued and found it on Ebay for only $3.99 inc. shipping. I read through it all in one night and decided it was worth a try. So, I'm working on switching over. I think that once I cycle through it for a couple of weeks, it's going to be a nice change. And best of all, it has flexibility. My age requires that at times!!! As life would have it, I had a very busy week for starting it so I had to keep from freaking out when I didn't get everything done. However, I'm cutting myself some slack. I've done it the old way for 22 yrs. A big change isn't going to become comfy and perfect overnight.....ommmmmmmmmmm.........

Angela said...

Hi Terri, Would it be possible to email you privately? I didn't see your email address anywhere. I wanted to ask you something- if I don't chicken out : ) - but not in a public fashion. Thank you, Angela

Laurie said...

Oh, that have to have been less than fun, to have the smoothie jar break and fling smoothie everywhere! My guy has requested a peach cobbler, so I plan to make one either today or tomorrow from our peaches. Your post reminded me I still need to clean the fridge. I don't know how it gets so sticky! Which is probably why I'm trying to forget about it :o).

Terri Cheney said...


Laurie, Like I keep trying to forget the stick kitchen floor?lol

Debbie, Name that book please....

Gramma D, a skink is a lizard of sorts, just a bit bigger than average. I have seen them up to 1 foot long but fortunately not in many years time. I wanted a copy of Sarah ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance which I found very reasonably online.

Lana love that BABY LIZARD! lol Good deal on your new to you car!

Anonymous said...

I wondered what book you wanted. If I had it I would send it to you. We don't have lizards here, only a toad once in a while. When my daughter lived in FL she had them. Kind of fun when I would go sit out ie seemed like they would come out and watch me. This "northerner" needs educating once in a while. The older I get the better your winter weather sounds! Love the snow, but not if I have to go out in it anymore.Gramma D

Debby in KS said...

Terri, it's called Side-Tracked Home Executives. It was written by two sisters in the 1970's. Pam Young and Peggy Jones. It takes a little time to implement, but so did my last system. It's really more challenging for my brain to adapt than the system itself!! I'm just so glad to have found something new that is doable for me.

When I was single and working 3 jobs, it was amazing what I could get done in a single Saturday....all the housework, laundry, mow both yards, weed, clean the pool, & wash my truck. Then, I'd shower, do my nails, get dressed, & commute into downtown L.A. to work a basketball game!! How was that possible?!?!

chefjulsowings said...

I use a regular canning jar as the jar on my blender if that helps you any.

Love reading your blog.Chefjulsowings

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