Friday, March 11, 2011
Frugal Friday March 11
On the bonus side, I'd turned heat off while gone and no lights were on, nor television all day long, some kind of record at our place. So there should have been a nice dent in our electric bill for this day.
On our way home we were going to stop for a soda, but then remembered we'd brought along full water bottles. FREE tasted pretty good to us.
Sunday: Home all day long. Gasoline savings at least for this day.
Cooked a turkey breast for work lunches. Put half the breast in the freezer and planned lunch/dinners from the second half.
Mama gave me a pan of Chicken enchiladas she'd made. I reheated them for my lunch and had planned to put the leftovers in the freezer, but Alan came by and polished them off. Oh well, lol. At least it was a free meal.
The morning was warm but the day began to cool down. I didn't give in and turn on the heat. I grabbed a sweater and covered up with a blanket instead.
I spent the day cleaning and cleaning. Baking soda scrubbed sinks and pots and pans to shiny newness.
Chance washed a load of clothes in the early morning. I stripped the bed but left washing sheets for Monday. In the interest of keeping my daily allowance for electricity at a certain level I felt it would be better to not double up by washing and drying two loads (it was rainy).
Remembered the strawberries in the fridge when I began to make work lunch for Chance. 3 quarts of them bought for just $1.66 each. I'd planned to make strawberry jam but had gotten so busy I forgot. It was too late to make the jam but I topped them and cut them in half and put them in the freezer.
I set aside a few of the sliced strawberries and sweetened with a spoon of sugar. I mixed with a cup of homemade yogurt for a light evening meal.
Monday: Plans for this day: spend time with Alan in his new home town. He found a special market he wanted to share with me. Knowing I'd spent a good portion of my grocery money already and had a few things I needed to buy, I made up my mind that it would be a no spend day. It was, but gracious there was some of the most beautiful fresh produce and wonderful meats in that market. I avoided temptation by mentally listing the items I HAD to buy to finish out the pay period.
That load of sheets that needed to be washed and dried were done today. One load was all I did. I'd meant to hang to dry but the skies clouded over and I didn't want to leave them on the line. So I dried in the dyer, but cut the time short by ten minutes and let the clothes sit in the hot dryer to finish drying.
Turned down the heater before I left home so it wouldn't cut off and on. Went through the house to be sure no lights or appliances were left on.
My only expense this day: refilling my car with gasoline. I used 1/2 tank for two days of special activities. Now I shall tighten my driving schedule to try to use less over the rest of this month.
I was very careful not to pick up 'extras' in that lovely organic grocery we visited, though my fingers itched over the lovely radishes and artichokes and carrots I saw. Oh my, yes. But we didn't need them, had no room in the fridge to store them. So I kept that money in my pocket to spend on the things we did need.
Tuesday: Not a big shop day but a shopping/errand day all the same. I'd planned to stick to the local area, but Kay needed to tend to an errand and asked if I'd take her to do it. That meant going in the opposite direction and an additional gasoline expense. That made me resolve even more to watch my pennies. If I had to use the extra gasoline I would save money elsewhere to offset the expense. I saved nearly $80 on groceries this day by NOT purchasing them!
Cleaned my car today at the DIY car wash. Routine cleaning of carpets and upholstery will only keep the car looking nice and make those carpets and seats last that much longer. Well worth the investment of $1.50 to use the vacuum there. Spent another $2.50 to wash the car.
Sometimes I think my cousin must be feeding my dogs. They weren't interested in eating this evening, so I poured their food back into the container to save it from ants. No need of having good food to go to waste.
Kay washed a load of her clothes. She threw in our few pieces to make a larger load.
Hand washed bras and hung to dry.
Wednesday: Plans made for the day...and plans changed. My husband asked me to go to breakfast with him this morning. I happily agreed. It is, after all, a real treat to have someone make breakfast for me. We had a nice meal and were pleased to find we'd received a discount, too.
We made a stop at the Pawn Shop in that town. This is one of our favorite stops. Often we find something we need or want at a huge discount over traditional stores. Jewelry, music equipment, movies, games for play stations. We came out empty handed today but it's always a nice spot to visit all the same. And since it was on our way to where we were going anyway, no harm done.
Walmart...We were a little too focused today, lol. Forgot two items we were supposed to buy. Oh well. We'll call it savings since neither of them are items we'll have to go purchase elsewhere. And it's incentive to Chance to try to repair an item that might respond to contact cleaner. We've certainly not lost a bunch of money if it doesn't work. I spent an additional $23 on grocery items. All were items on my list of outages I was unable to buy at the dollar store yesterday. Our only 'extra' was a pint of ice cream. We didn't cruise the store and just look at things either, which really cut down the impulse shopping.
Came home and got right to work making a big pot of turkey soup. I didn't have noodles,but looked up the recipe online. Who knew it was so easy to make noodles from scratch. The most difficult part? Waiting two hours for the dough to dry sufficiently that it would remain a noodle and not become a dumpling! Gracious but that soup was good and the noodles were pretty awesome. Next time I'll work a little harder to roll them thinner but they weren't bad.
Egg Noodles: 1 egg, 2 tbsp milk, 1/2 tsp salt, all purpose flour (about 1 cup). Beat egg and milk, add salt, mix well, add flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out thinly then fold into thirds and let rest for about an hour. Cut into thin strips, unroll and let noodles dry for another hour.
My soup was very economical to make. 1 quart of broth (saved from crock pot when I cooked the turkey breast), 2 quarts water, 2 cups of meat from the half breast I used for this week's meals, 1 cup sliced celery (used tops and leaves rather than stalk portion), 1 cup onion, 1 cup peas, 1 1/2 medium carrots, 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper. When noodles are ready, add to pot and allow to cook about ten minutes. How economical is that? Inexpensive ingredients and they were so flavorful and good!
Made up a box of cupcake mix Alan gave me for my birthday (Barefoot Contessa). Recipe said it would make 1 dozen. I got 14 cupcakes from the mix. I think it's because I didn't overfill the cups.
Made yogurt. I like the recipe so well now that I have the thermometer to insure the proper temperatures are reached for each stage. I made extra yogurt this week just because it is so thick and nice.
Thursday: Noticed the yogurt this week has more than the usual whey. I can use it in cooking or to put over dog food. Either is acceptable usage.
Kay asked for chicken for lunch although I'd started pizza dough. I put the dough in the fridge and made two quick side dishes to go with the chicken she went to purchase. Coleslaw and potato salad were ready in the same length of time it took for the trip into town. I used the microwave to cook the potatoes while the eggs came up to a boil. I was really surprised when I was stirring the potato salad to see the car coming back up the driveway.
The house grew steadily colder yesterday but we held off turning the heat back on for several house. We opted for sweaters and slippers.
I had a house full of kids and company when it came time for Chance to go to music practice...Suddenly the house was empty and it was late, too late to make pizza. So I prepared turkey salad from the last of the turkey breast half in the fridge.
Out of pickle relish, so I chopped pickles to add to the turkey salad.
Friday: I changed my plans and didn't attend the Peaches to Beaches sale today...well sort of...I agreed to go with Chance to the street ministry and there was a small segment of the yard sale at the Farmer's Market. I didn't buy anything, but I did look.
Took along my home keeping notebook. I wanted to see where I was with my goals for the month (not doing good) and the budget for the month just past (budget okay, grocery budget continues to need tweaking). It was a good use of time for me while I waited on Chance.
Home once more, the pizza dough came out of the fridge and I used what I had on hand: pepperoni, cheeses, vegetables to make our toppings. Nice to have the main work of supper taken care of.
It's been a difficult week...not an easy week, not a week for sleeping well or living stress free...And it isn't just my own personal life that is in turmoil. The world news of late, yes even today's news, has been pretty horrific lately. If there were ever a good excuse for lying awake at night, staring into the dark worrying then this year has been a great one for it thus far.
And so I must do the only things I can do in times like this. Lean hard upon my belief in prayer, and count my blessings, however small.
This week I am grateful for:
The joy of seeing a gathering of people whose interest was caught by the same thing: a yard sale!
A long chat with Chance that relieved my burdens.
For the safety of my family in various unsafe circumstances this week.
Being treated as a treasure.
Good conversation with friends
A busier than usual week of social activities.
The certainty that this too is a season and shall soon pass.
A last blast from winter.
Reading in bed after a long hard day.
Laughing over silly things.
Posted by Terri Cheney at 4:32 PM