Living Frugally and Well: Autumn Savings Ahead
Saturday: We drove up to Katie's this morning. I made breakfast at home, urged John to pour the last of the coffee into his thermal mug and managed to prevent us making any stops along the way. This was merely a savings a time. We did pull off at the gas station on the corner of the final road near Katie's home. I sent John into the store to buy Taylor a bag of M&M's. I claim Gramma privileges in bringing her candy.
John stopped at the roadside stand in the gas station parking lot. I bought some apples. I asked if they were local and I didn't really get a reply but I bought four apples just the same. I'll see if they taste fresh and local and if so then we'll stop by there in the future. I also bought HOT boiled peanuts which was not what I got at the end of last month, though they were fresh. They were cold. Big difference in my opinion.
We had a lovely day visiting with Katie and Matt and watching Taylor who danced, sang, and kept a general bit of chatter almost all day long. Nope, I still can't understand much but then I couldn't much understand Josh at the same age last year. However, I understood SOME of it and just enjoyed listening to her anyway when I couldn't understand her. Katie sent me home with four feather pillows to use as inserts in my living room pillow covers and she provided me with a bit of leftovers and a dozen fresh Araucana eggs she'd purchased from the neighbor. I don't need eggs, but golly gracious goodness, FRESH eggs are a different critter from store eggs and who can't use a good FRESH egg?!
I made sandwiches and brought along Mandarins for our supper on the road home.
Sunday: Up early this morning to strip the bed. Never did get the linens started before leaving for church and didn't do them when we got back since I had a full load of dishes to wash. I'll do two loads of clothes tomorrow, I guess.
I did hang our bed pillows on the line to freshen and air. Seems to me that feather pillows (that's what we have on our bed, too) fluff up nicely after being in the open air.
We went into Walmart after church. I had to purchase ink for our printer as John had waited several days to print something out. I should have looked for it earlier since I knew we were out but when you postpone doing something, you'll pay the price you pay. I know Walmart's price was the best around but possibly not the lowest I might have spent if I'd taken time to look online.
John wanted to look over the shirts, as he felt he was in need of new ones. He's sticking hard to his personal preference of black and black and did I mention black? He also found a nice deep heathery green that I think he'll like rather well and it is a deviation away from black. I'm not complaining. Black looks very good on him and I can always find him when I look for him. He's the one wearing black!
I looked over the Pioneer Woman canisters I was thinking I'd like. They are gorgeous in person as well but...I didn't think I'd like pulling the lid off a can full of coffee in the way that these slide off. Some felt less secure than others and I was uncertain they'd be air tight for coffee. I'll stick with what I've got for the present but yes, they are very pretty and if I can find a use for them in the future, well I might indulge myself, then.
We didn't buy lunch out. We didn't pick up anything to eat at all. Instead we came home and had leftovers which suited us just fine.
We turned off the ceiling fans before we left home this morning. We turned them on when we returned.
John brought in apples, cheese and crackers about supper time this evening. That was about all the supper we wanted.
Monday: Katie gifted me a dozen fresh eggs. I cooked some for breakfast this morning. Fresh eggs can't be beat...There's a world of difference in a fresh egg and store bought.
I forgot while we were out yesterday to ask to go to the bakery for bread. Well this morning, I rifled through the end loaves I put in the freezer over the last few weeks and pulled out enough pieces large enough to use for toast or to make a small sandwich. I think this will do us for the next couple of days until am out and about in the area of the grocery once again.
John washed two full loads of clothes. He hung most to dry and sorted through those he put in the dryer to pull out the ones that were actually dry. It's funny how one piece of clothing can be totally dry and one piece completely wet even though they are side by side in the dryer.
I made potato salad this morning and there was the biggest portion of our meals today. I served leftover hot dogs that I'd warmed in the microwave. John used whole wheat tortillas as a wrap for his hot dogs.
For supper I pulled out leftover meatloaf and a piece of Bbq chicken. We finished off the potato salad.
John's not fond of grapes once they fall off the vine but the ones in the fridge were still quite firm and still crisp. I set the bowl out on the table this evening. John helped himself. I smiled because he'd never have taken them if I'd left them in the fridge.
It was nice this morning outdoors, cooler and pleasant though not as cool as Saturday or Sunday mornings. Still, I opened the windows and let the house air until the AC came on around 11am.
Started fall decorating this morning. I promised myself that this Labor Day, the first one John's had off in years, I would not labor long and hard, as I have in the past. I merely started decorating today. I didn't finish it and I didn't work hard at it. I'm pretty pleased though with what I've accomplished.
Tuesday: Used the last of this week's loaf of Challah to make toast this morning.
John offered to go to store to buy bread while he was in town getting gasoline for the mower. I showed him that we had plenty enough to make sandwiches with and toast for breakfast for tomorrow morning. I assured him I'd pick up bread while I was out in the area of the good grocery bakery I prefer.
We took off trash as we went into town.
I went out to my shed to see what I had to use for fall decorating. A whole lot of stuff but none I want to use just yet. I prefer to have a more 'end of summer' start to my fall decorating. I did find I'd tossed the weirdly colored dollar store leaves picks and had only a few stems of things left that had the look I was after. I re-fashioned my two summer door wreaths and felt right satisfied. I put together a centerpiece for the buffet but that I'm not so sure of. It reads pretty dark at present, not what I wanted to go with at all. We'll see how I end liking that as the week goes on.
I really did myself no favors late last winter and into the early summer buying cheap cheap t-shirts from Walmart and the least expensive things I could find in my size from Zulily. Here we are 7 months later and I have NOTHING I purchased in those months in my closet. The t-shirts shrank, the things from Zulily, though the correct size when ordered proved to be too snug or far too small. Result: I have given away or moved to the house drawer every.single.item. What a waste of money! Had I taken the same sum, bought two or possibly three nicer tops I'd likely still be wearing them. Lesson learned. Again. Because I know how to shop for quality pieces that wear well from season to season. I just let myself go off and buy a bunch of things that I felt fit my budget rather than plan anything out. I know better!
Today I have been pre-shopping, looking at online websites for stores I plan to visit in the next week or two to see what is available. I will take time to try things on in the store to insure fit. I will read care labels. I'm going to take my time to try and build a basic wardrobe that works with the three or four items still in my closet that I've had since last fall, as well as my current lot of accessories.
John mowed the lawn.
I made a simple dinner for myself using leftover meatloaf.
I took frozen cookie dough from the freezer to make a treat for us.
We snacked for supper this evening. I had some of the homemade yogurt and a ripe pear with a splash of vanilla extract. It was unbelievably good!
Wednesday: John had to attend a work meeting today. Thankfully he checked yesterday and discovered the court date he was to testify at had been moved to end of October. He'll be paid for his time today. Bonus: the company sponsoring the meeting/class took them out to lunch.
I used the last pieces of bread to make us both breakfast this morning.
I got ready to leave home shortly after John left. My mission today was to start the shopping. I had such a good, but LONG, day! I found gray and black pants, several tops and even a little black dress that fits like a dream! I couldn't believe that I'd bought a dress. And the best part was that the dress was marked down to a ridiculous low price...
I also found cute flat shoes that will be versatile I think. I shopped long and hard today and was very critical of things when I put them on. Did it fit well? Was it a good fabric? Could I use it as a dressy piece or a casual one or both? Did I have other things to go with it? Did I have accessories that would work well? Could I really picture me wearing it or would I likely leave it hanging in the closet? If the answer even appeared to be hesitant on the yes for wearing, I put it back on the rack. I am not convinced I'll keep every single piece I bought today. I'm going to sort out my closet tomorrow and I'm going to lay things out with my accessories and purses and play with each piece to be POSITIVE it will do before I hang it in the closet.
What I didn't find today: A blazer/jacket. I tried one on that was black but it hit just above the hip bone, not a good spot on me. The only other one I saw was a brown plaid which isn't working with the main colors in the wardrobe at all.
Bought a $5 lunch for myself.
We had two family members ask if we'd be evacuation destination for them should Irma make landfall in Florida/Georgia area. Of course, we said yes. I assessed last night what I likely had on hand and decided that I'd only buy a turkey breast, something I've wanted anyway, and bread. We will eat from the freezer and pantry otherwise if they come in. I am pretty sure we've plenty on hand but I was a little unsure of how much poultry I have on hand, hence the turkey breast.
Was horrified at the cost of the name brand turkey breast, $29. Seriously! I opted for the store brand one which came in at around $12. Whew!
Thursday: Text message last night that my south Georgia people are all coming in as evacuees from Hurricane Irma on Friday. This set my mind reeling with all sorts of thinking ahead and so only a little sleep was had last night. I'd thought perhaps I'd have until Sunday to prepare. Nope.
So I was up extra early this morning, shivering in the chilly morning air and writing out lists and doing my Bible study because I knew I'd need all I had in me today and then some to accomplish much.
First thing I did was clear my closet. I knew full well if I put all those new things in with the old ones that didn't fit it would just be crammed in and I'd be months getting back to that task. I have a box of shirts to send to send Amie and a skirt for V. I tossed shoes that were recently broke. They were 8 years old.
My next task was to move items from the pantry to the kitchen. When guests are in the guest room it gets very stressful for them and for myself to have to constantly run in to get this or that. I stocked the kitchen with vegetables, fruits, baking items.
I then began refreshing my stored water. I put a few of them in the freezer and bagged up ice to put in the deep freeze.
It's one thing to think of water needs for two and another to realize you must think of ten people! I went to the shed and gathered every wine bottle (I had a collection I used as decorative glass), 1/2 gallon jars, carafes, pitchers, etc. In other words, if it was capable of holding water, it got cleaned and sterilized and is ready to be put to use.
I sat down and planned out meals. I have a plan of simple easy breakfasts and lunches and one good meal daily, a cheap filling main dish being the star. I have come up with a half dozen and have all I need to make those meals on hand.
I have to run an errand in the morning and while I'm out I will be picking up disposable cups and plates. Washing dishes for ten people even with water running is a big job but without water it would be too difficult to keep up. I will also get a couple of loaves of bread, a gallon of milk and some fruit. I think, if it's available, I'll also buy a case of water.
I used the very last of the meatloaf to make John and I a sandwich for dinner. I put the sandwiches in the oven to heat during the last few minutes of the banana bread baking.
Yes, I baked a banana bread. I had three ripe bananas that weren't going to be eaten. The Banana bread wasn't quite baked through after 65 minutes. I slipped it back into the oven, turned off the heat and left it while we ate lunch. That was just enough time to finish it's baking without overcooking.
It was a beautiful day outdoors. I could tell the breeze was going to make short work of the laundry John had hung to dry. I decided to go ahead and take down the living and dining room curtains and wash them as I'd been meaning to do for over a week. I hung the new sheers when I hung the dry curtains later and am very pleased with how light and bright the room looks now.
I washed a full load of dishes. This load included the old aluminum percolator coffee pot and the coffee basket and stem. I am not going to go coffee free if electricity does go out!
I worked up the bills and wrote checks for the pay period at the beginning of next week. I was pleased that this coming pay period, I could set aside a little more than 1/4 of our Christmas money.
Our last credit card bill was very high. Every single penny was paid this week. I had set money aside for all but one purchase and had saved in anticipation of that. The remainder will come from our savings account, but it will take a lot lighter hit than John thought it might thanks to saving those sums prior to the bill coming in.
I don't expect to have time to write up tomorrow's savings, at least not by tomorrow afternoon as I normally do. I will try to share next week if all goes well.
What did you do to save this week?
I sat on the porch Monday morning with the pets, as I normally do. Maddie is so silly she won't eat if she hasn't got company.
It was cool and lovely outdoors. And peaceful. Funny thing was, it wasn't quiet at all. There was a group of crows across the field loudly arguing over something. It was ridiculous really, how loud they were, but somehow that noise didn't disturb the peace of the morning.
The week has been hectic and busy and I'm quite tired but that peace has stayed with me all week long, returning at odd moments, just when I need it most.
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