Living Frugally and Well: Working on a Profitable Month

Saturday:  John and I slept in a little late then lazed about the house.  This is our Shabat and we take the 'rest' part of the day as seriously as we take our daily reading and study.  I didn't prep dinner for today yesterday so I thought long and hard before committing to any plan.  In the end, I made a salad, reheated the leftover pan of Chicken Enchiladas and called that good enough for our dinner.   I offered leftovers to Bess for supper that evening.

Put all the leftover salad into a bowl for my supper tomorrow night.

Pulled chicken breasts from the freezer and thawed last night.  I wasn't sure what time to expect Bess, so I decided against making the casserole dish I'd planned.  Instead I put those on to boil with a half onion and a very big carrot.  I made sure not to salt any of this.  I wanted that carrot to blend with some of the chicken broth for Mr. Isaac who thinks food is good stuff.  He's been eating baby food packets all week and I thought he might like a 'homemade' bit of baby food.  He seemed to really enjoy it.

Broke a tooth on a seed in my whole grain toast this morning.  This part of getting older sort of sucks.  No pain, fortunately but it does highlight my need to go to dentist which I am admittedly prone to putting off because I dread those visits so very much.

Made John's work lunch for tomorrow.  I cooked a box of mac and cheese, put a bit over half in his lunch and set the rest aside for his supper tonight.   I used the last of a can of peaches with some cottage cheese.  I try to put high protein foods in his work lunch, as that is what the doctor wanted his diet to be.

Put Isaac on the floor with a blanket and toys surrounding him.  He played happily for well over an hour, then he had enough.  It was funny to watch him 'pounce' his hands down upon the sock monkey as though he expected it to escape him.

Gramma worked her sleepy magic on the boy and got him to sleep so Mommy could carry him off to bed.

Video call with Josh and Sam last night so the whole family could be together for a small space of time.   Josh and I had fun with silly filters.  He was much amused by my wreath of autumn leaves upon my head.  I thought he made a mighty cute bear.

Sunday:    I was up early this morning with John.  Sent him off to work with coffee and lunch, fed him breakfast before he left.l

No savings in Air conditioning this day.  It ran off and on all night long and I was shocked by how hot the air was when I stepped out on the porch to see John off.  It felt as though it were 95 outdoors at 6am the humidity was so very high and the temperatures were in the mid-80s.

I washed two loads of clothes this morning.  I noticed Bess had put some things in the clothes basket and wanted to have them washed and dried before she packed up to leave this morning.

I stripped our bed and remade it.

Had coffee and Bible study and time to journal.  It was still pitch black at 7:20 this morning.   Fifteen minutes later the whole world just glowed despite the heavy cloud cover.  It was odd and beautiful.

I hoped Bess would get to sleep in some this morning.  She's had a long week and the family were planning to meet at the fair today and then drive back homeward.  I don't know how she fared...Isaac was happily squealing and chattering from about 5:30am onward, lol.  I wanted to go in and get him but was afraid I'd disturb her far more than he could possibly do.

When they got up, I was folding clothes.  I settle Isaac in the clothesbasket where he happily played for over an hour.  I fed him his breakfast in the empty basket.  Easy enough to keep him focused and to wipe him and his eating space down afterwards.

Bagged trash to go out with me when I left for church.

After church I walked through a deluge to get to the car.  Slippery slushy sandals, sopping wet from skin outward...Ugh.  I skipped the grocery store and went right to the station to fill up my car.  I went inside there and got a cup of coffee, a paper and headed home.  When I walked in the store the clerk took one look at me and said "Wow.  You're wet."  Ha.  I wanted to ask why she thought so but bit my tongue.  Coffee was most excellent but not quite hot enough.

Came home and went out to feed the pets.  The cat food can was full of ants.  I was going to swap tops with the dog food canister and that lid just crumbled.  I told John tomorrow we must pick up something new to store the pet foods.  The ants will eventually move out of the cat food.  I put a plastic trash bag between the lid and the bucket to keep them water proofed today since it is raining.

Not complaining over the rain though I did get fully soaked.  We needed that bit of water too much to fuss over getting wet!

I had some food waste at the end of this week.  The zucchini I kept meaning to cook, didn't make it.  No fault of theirs.  I'd had them a month in the fridge, maybe a little longer.  Lots of spoiled fruit but I take no blame for that.  Oranges, mandarins and apples were all bruised or spoiling with in a day or so of my bringing them home.  Aldi produce will have a run like this now and then where it just goes bad super quick and then other times it will be gorgeous for weeks.

Noted as I cleared the fridge and went over contents that I really only need fresh fruit and dairy items and some bakery bread and our groceries will be complete for another two weeks.  I'll use the extra money in my budget to purchase pantry stock.

Worked on the bills and got them ready for mailing.  Happy to note that we finally had a half payment of the electric bill we could skip making.  We had three pay periods in June or July I think but it's taken this long for the fact to catch up with our electric bill half payments.  The extra money went far towards topping off the AC Maintenance fund (now filled) and so I could push all of the other small fee amounts I'm saving each month into next year's property tax fund.  I am $46 shy of having that fund filled.

The lovely rain cooled things off somewhat and the AC has been on only infrequently this afternoon and early evening.

Had my salad with some of the boiled chicken cut up over it.  Tried to eat an orange but alas those things are dried out!  This was a fairly recent Aldi purchase so they must have been dry when I bought them, sigh.  It's been lose/lose were fruit is concerned this past week.

Monday:  It was Patriots Day at the fair which meant we got in for free, since John is a USAF veteran...and good thing we did get in free, because not two hours later I was escorted out in a police golf cart, having just been to the courtesy EMS med stop.  Nasty stomach virus strikes again and a slight bit of dehydration helped the ick feeling...I never made it to one display nor got a chance to enjoy this day at all.  Ugh on the whole day.  Ugh on the heat, too.  People were falling out like flies...

Tuesday:  Slightly better today, still a bit weak and iffy on my feet but thankfully improved over the nasty scene from Monday.  We needed to go to the bank, post office and I was determined to make it to CVS to spend my about to expire ECBs.  We got all that done.

At CVS I had $7 in ECBs to spend.  One item I purchased was $12 and netted me an $8 ECB in return.  Also picked up on sale toilet paper.  I was able to use a 30% off coupon on all items in addition to the ECBs I spent.

Gave myself a mani and pedi this afternoon.  I didn't do a great job, sigh but I did a job.

We came home.  John cooked a meal for us.  I sort of collapsed in my chair after our trek out.  I wonder how I'll hold up tomorrow...

Wednesday:  Forbidden by my husband to go anywhere on my own today.  Drats...Not really.  I didn't feel up to much of anything on my own yesterday and I think I'll take another day to recover.

John prepped his work lunch last night.  I coached from my chair.

Ate chicken soup for supper which I felt I needed.  My tummy didn't agree with me about it though.

Saw to it that John's lunch got packed.  Had set up coffee last night but didn't set up oatmeal.  I served him peanut butter toast.

Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

Sorted out my top kitchen drawer which was junky and messy.  Now it's better organized.

Sorted out the greeting card basket.  I matched envelopes to cards and tossed those envelopes that were stuck on themselves.  Found the birthday card I'd bought for Katie and then couldn't find.  Imagine it being in the card basket.

Turned AC up one degree.  It's not likely to go off any time soon with the temperatures still above 90F out there,  but I'm tired of feeling chilly.

Made some of the chicken from Saturday's cooking into chicken pot pies.  I made one small, one two person and one big chicken pot pie.  I still have a breast and a half to use in something.  Too tired to use brain objectively just now, so put back in fridge.  Perhaps later I can think more clearly.

Put the two person and big chicken pies in the freezer.   Baked the single serve one.  Ate that with the last of the homemade cranberry jelly in the fridge.  It's not really jelly but it's a glorious color and it's got a nice tart/sweet thing that compliments the pot pie nicely.

Ambition has left me for the time being.  Maybe in a little while I'll feel like a little more work.

John called to tell me he'd stopped in at Walmart and picked up two more shirts for $5.68 each while he was picking up another item he'd needed.  I'm kind of proud of him for thinking to stop and look.   These shirts are especially nice and soft cotton.

Started work on my Jamberry party photos.  This had an unexpected benefit in that I was soon distracted by myriad Pinterest photos relating to autumn.  Cozy fireside coffees, misty mornings, thick  sweaters, plaid blankets, sleeping cats, open books....I soon lost my purpose and just drifted along enjoying myself in a make believe autumn that has yet to arrive here.

Thursday:  I was up early this morning.   I saw sunrise which was lovely, all pink ribbons in blue skies...Nice accompaniment to that first cup of coffee.

John bought a loaf of big bakery bread the other day.  No idea why but now and then he gets a hankering for the stuff.  I loathe it and won't buy it, finding the store bakery bread is much superior in many ways.  However, there I had a half loaf and I figured I may as well use it as let it spoil, which it will do quickly enough.  It made passably good toast in the oven but the bread is already getting that icky sort of moist feeling it gets when it's passing it's best date.

Thawed packets of ground beef this morning.  I find the flat 1/2 pound packets can thaw in a couple hours time which is a good thing since I seldom remember to remove meat from the freezer in time to thaw.  I vow that this season I will be better about this.

Made a simple enough meal for dinner.   I find as I get older that I am liking simplified recipes more and more with basic ingredients and common seasonings.  The recipe made today was out of the 1950's and was tasty and delicious.  Nothing fancy about it except the name.  I had enough leftovers for a second meal.

Made a chocolate cake this morning.  Besides a chocolate pound cake recipe I do not typically make a chocolate cake.  What I wanted was a Devil's Food cake.  The cake I made is not a devil's food though it said it was, however, it was tender and delicious.  Hmmm...In two week's time I've determined I must find the perfect recipes for a rolled sugar cookie (per my own tastes) and a chocolate cake.  Oh the experiments ahead!

Put one chocolate cake layer into the freezer, unfrosted.  I will pull it out at a later time when I haven't time to bake.

Mostly lazing around this afternoon ensued.  So goes my week, sigh.

Friday:  I'm afraid we slept a bit later than usual this morning.   I'm not complaining.  I think we both needed that rest.

I kept breakfast simple and on the short side this morning.  I made plans to ask for that raincheck dinner out I missed earlier in the week.  Happily John thought it a great idea and as always we found the food and service were excellent.

Off to Aldi this morning.  I bought more than I'd thought I'd spend...but then John and I started talking about it and I realized that we've unconsciously drifted into shopping for groceries about every 18-21 days rather than every 14 days.  I could have gone a couple of more days without any lack on our part this time, except we had no fresh fruits on hand courtesy all that spoiling that went on after our last trip.  I'm sure hoping this next batch of produce lasts a lot better.  I checked bags very carefully before putting any in our cart.

I bought two deep wire baskets that stack.  I'm thinking that will be my storage for some of the canned foods.  I tried to put them on the pantry shelf and they wouldn't bit except up top.  That means rearranging the whole thing all over again and I am not doing that this late afternoon!  Onto the list for next weeks jobs.

We bought two new containers to store cat and dog foods on the porch.  One has a nice seal in the lid but the whole lid lifts up.  Not sure how I like that.   The other one has a hinged lid in the top, but no gasket.   I'm hoping they both work nicely for us but I am curious to see which works out the best.

I found a Yeti cup with the sort of lid I wanted at the hardware store.  It's the Aqua blue color and the size I also wanted.   I noted they had a good supply of the thermoses as well.  I told John two of those are next on my list.  He asked why two were needed.  One for coffee and one for soup to use on our cold weather picnics, of course!  He laughed over that.  He's eaten enough frigid meals on icy stone benches with me to know he'd appreciate the hot beverage and soup.

I found a replacement flag for our U.S. flag on the front porch.  I'd noted it was not only faded but starting to get little tears.  I don't often find just the flag to replace as I did today.  I usually end up having to buy a whole new kit but was pleased to find just the flag.

Come share what you did to live well and frugally this week!


Lana said...

I think I know why you got sick. If the salad you saved and ate a day and a half later was from salads that had been eaten from you had bacteria growth. Same as when young parents are told not to feed from a baby food jar and put away an unfinished jar for later. So, anyway, good old fashioned food poisoning. Ugh! I often just throw out food after our youngest DIL parents have been over here for a meal because they do things like scrape off serving spoons with their fork and touch their plates with the serving spoon. I won't risk it!

Beckyathome said...

It seems like you got quite a bit done for being sick. I had a pretty bad cold, and didn't get much done last weekend. I'm still coughing a bit, but have high hopes for tomorrow since I'm so much better. Because the older kids in our school system did not have school Thursday, and neither the younger or older ones had it today (Friday), I have had 1 day with my niece, Michaela and daughter, Patsy, and 1 day with my nephew, Jake and Patsy. Each of the cousins wanted to spend the night, so I let Michaela spend Wednesday night and Jake Thursday night. I took Michaela and Patsy swimming at the YMCA for their "fun" activity and tried to take Patsy and Jake apple picking today, but it kept raining on us. Between showers, we were able to go to a pond and feed some ducks, so at least they got some fun out of the day. I'm hoping to work on the shop cleaning project tomorrow.

terricheney said...

Lana, NO...I do not save salad that has been eaten from. We use clean utensils to serve from a bowl and these things are then put away. I'm very careful not to eat from serving spoons or such. All because of a little old lady we went to church with who stood over the table of foods and ate from each dish with her fork rather than fix herself a proper plate. No, I'm pretty sure it was a virus, which I just happened to catch a second round of since it's apparently still going about the area.

Laurie said...

I hope you are feeling better by now. We had that same very hot and humid Sunday, and had to turn our air back on. Thankfully, the temps dropped a couple of days, so it's back off. Forecast in the 80's starts again today though. I rescheduled the hayride we were having for family today, to two weeks from now. I'm hoping it will feel more like fall by then. I too find that Aldi's items are sometimes less than quality. A loaf of take and bake bread I bought a few weeks ago had mold on it, I noticed after getting home :o(.

Anonymous said...

Ladies if you have something bad from Aldis they will refund your money plus the item that was get another. They are very good with this. then your money will not be wasted. Joyce

Lana said...

Teri, That is both hilarious and gross about the little old lady. It is amazing how many do not know about food safety!

Unknown said...

Another week of a continuing pantry challenge here. I was halfway down on one chest freezer until I stocked up with 30# of Boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale last week. It froze here last night. I had gathered everything from the garden except green tomatoes which we had covered. There are already at least a bushel of green tomatoes ripening in the garage. I continue to cook all meals at home and make sure to give anything edible that is left to the dog and chickens.
I found a beautiful holiday dress for my ganddaughters birthday. I got a super deal on it due to a flaw on the end of one of the ties. Easily remedied at the sewing machine.
We're using the gas fireplace in the mornings to take the chill off the house. Trying to leave the furnace off as long as possible.
I have fresh homemade bread and a pot of tomatoes cooking for soup for lunch. Fall is beautiful. Life is good

Carolyn @ Cozy Stone House said...

Glad you're on the mend! Lowes carries US flags in several sizes in store. They also carry the pole/flag kits

Anonymous said...

Yes Lowe's and Ace Hardware stores have flags year round. We look at the used stores and when we find one get one ahead too.
When we had pot lucks at church I noticed one older beloved women would always stand over the food and fan it. I asked her why one time. She would stand there every time we had dinners till everyone had their fill. The reason she said the parents were not watching their children fill their plates. The kids..and some adults she confessed,..used their fingers to get food and were pretty sloppy about it all. She stood there watching and making sure all was done as clean as possible. We all thought of her as the church's Grandmother and one glance from her and you would straighten up and do right!! :-) Bless her heart, she knew her children!! :-)...and knew she needed to teach them manners!! :-)))
We stayed home more this week and ate at home and also had a big family pot luck. I checked out what I had in the freezer and have passed up several good food sales using up what we had instead. Then the freezer needs defrosting and I will start looking for sales again. So far Aldi
sl veggies have stayed good. We have not bought much of their fruit yet. I have noted a change in how good things stay in several grocery store chains. Off at times and great at others. Our Aldi
wants to see what the problem is in foods that go bad they sell. So if you tell them about the oranges and still have some take what you have left back and show them. I had one rack of ribs go bad before cooking one time. The date on that one new pack was before the others. All bought the same day. I told them and got my $ back but they said next time to bring the meat back to them. I said it smelled and I did not want to bring it. They said do. Freeze it till then if necessary. :) I know they had to just take my word for the bad meat. They said they would only give the $ back this time. Next time they had to have the meat too.
We shop on certain days and make a loop of places to go. Aldi being the last stop. We had noticed a price increase of say 4c on canned goods recently but still Aldi is below our general stores. We have so many grocery stores here. In the mail each week there are ads for 9 and there are more. Even though Aldi ad shows mostly the things they sell with their usual price and only some sale ones I know they still are over all cheaper. The complaint I hear from others is they have only enough time to shop at one store for their families groceries and Aldi does not carry all they get. I tell them to shop Aldi for the basics and what they do carry say one time a month and another store the rest. We took a lady to Walmart super store. She grocery shopped and I told her what I knew for sure Aldi did not carry that was on her list. she bought those but made a note of all the prices of others we were not positive. We pout her groceries in the car and headed over to Aldi in the same parking lot. She shopped. She checked her list and on everything they carried she would have saved. Somethings over a $1 an item. she looked around and noticed what they always carry that she used and what not. Now goes to Aldi for her main grocery shopping then over to Walmart for the few she cannot get there. She knows some items at Aldi are seasonal. Some weeks when she is not intending to shop anywhere we pick up say eggs for her at Aldi as they are so often a great price. Sarah