Friday, July 1, 2011

Frugal Friday/Living Well

Saturday:  First the blessing...I'd told Chance on the phone that I'd wanted to have a baking day yesterday but didn't have enough eggs to make up the multiple batches of cookie dough I'd planned to make.  His co-worker came in that evening and brought him a dozen home raised eggs.  I told Chance it's like receiving liquid gold!

Synagogue and a late afternoon.  I debated a dozen different takeout meals, but I just came home instead.  I had plenty of potato salad, fried chicken fillets and lemonade here at home.  I made a pan of biscuits, setting most of the pan aside for tomorrow morning's breakfast.

Used whey from the homemade yogurt to make the biscuits, instead of using milk.

Sunday:  Washed and hung outdoors to dry, a mixed load of sheets and towels. 

My plans changed.  I'd meant to go buy a few produce items, visit Granny,etc.  Instead I went out to eat with Mama. My only expense for the day was leaving the tip for the meal and buying a Sunday paper.

Brought home half my entree to make into sandwiches for Chance's work lunch.

Following my promise to myself, I watched my Netflix film instead of sending it back unopened.

Since I didn't go to the store, I fed the dogs a cup of catfood for their evening portion.  Trudy thinks cat food is a huge treat (the cat however, does not feel the same about dog food!).  I vowed to try hard to stay out of the grocery until Tuesday, regular shopping day.

Didn't eat supper, I simply never got hungry.  I added a bit of yogurt to my evening milk, so I wouldn't wake hungry  in the middle of the night.

Monday:  Started work right away this morning, cleaning house.  Then I made out shopping lists based upon ALL the items on sale we normally use.  I checked coupons against sales then added up totals for each store.  Then began the elimination process...I left some items that were especially good buys off the list simply to save money, but I also left some to stock up pantry and freezer.  I felt satisfied at day's end that the effort I put into making my lists and then rewriting them neatly so that I could easily read them was going to pay off in maximum savings tomorrow.

Did a marathon baking session.  Determination not to go to the grocery store meant I had to have bread for breakfast in the morning and for tomorrow's work lunch as well.  I mixed up Rhonda's Grandpa's bread and formed into two loaves and half a dozen buns.  I also mixed up three recipes of cookie dough.  One of chocolate chip (baked some and put the rest of the dough into the freezer), oatmeal (freezer only) and half a recipe of caramel cookie dough (freezer only).  Now I have cookie dough on hand for those days when we want a little something extra.

Used the homemade buns and hamburgers to fill three of them (my supper, Chance's lunch).  Ate one small roll for snack and then put two in the freezer to use for sandwiches another day.

Tuesday:  I used my eyes and imagination to 'see' something I found at the dumpsters in a different way.  It's on my project list for July/August and I'll show the end results then...First I had to have help getting it home.  My brother happened along with his truck and I told him why I wanted the piece.  He's a carpenter, looked it over, nodded, loaded it into his truck and brought it to my house for me.  Love that my brother could see what I saw, otherwise I might have had to argue to get my way, lol. 

Reviewed my shopping list before walking into each store to remind myself just what I meant to buy.  This was very helpful in keeping impulse purchases at bay.  It also allowed me to check prices against other stores to make sure I was getting the best buys.

Not on my list but I picked up a cute gift for my step grand daughter.  I'd meant to shop for her later in the week but when I found this item I felt sure she'd like it.   I'm saved a trip out later this week.

Limited my flower purchase to $4 this week.

Stopped for takeout lunch on my way home.  I ordered Chicken Fingers.  The girl repeated the order to me when I got to the window.  Halfway home I realized I smelled Buffalo Fingers...I decided to make the best of what I had.  I'd intended to leave half the chicken for Chance's evening meal but instead, I left 2/3 of the fingers to make a Buffalo Salad for our noon meal one day.

Came home earlier than planned, leaving off at least three stores.  I  was tired, hungry, not feeling well and realized I had about as much as I could reasonably store in the freezers and fridge.  I came home with money in my pockets. I plan to go later over the weekend and buy more milk and produce.

Because I felt so bad, I decided to lie down after putting away the cold things.  I am a huge believer in resting when the body is ailing. 

Chance brought home four Coke points rewards from boxes used to restock work fridge.

Wednesday:  I not only went to bed early last night but slept in this morning.  I took extra Vitamin C and zinc as well to offset any illness trying to take hold.

Breakfast was easy: cereal with fresh berries.  I had both blueberries and strawberries on my cereal, doubling up on the vitamin C there too.

Pulled one of the frozen entrees (Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti) from the freezer for our meal.  Added garlic bread and salad to the entree.  Used leftovers for our supper this evening.

Made only half the usual amount of coffee midday, so there were no leftovers to be poured out.

Used two cans of paint already on hand to test and see if I'd like either as an alternative on the cafe set.  Decided blue is definitely the way to go...I

Used Swagbucks earned to buy two gift cards.

Ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher as soon as I got up.  I opened the door and let the dishes air dry.

Following a friend's example on her blog, I used a little jar I already had to store my dishwasher detergent tabs.  I like having them handy on the counter, love using what I already had to make something more accessible.

Refilled plastic bottles to use for roadtrips and working outdoors.

Allowed myself another early night to bed, along with more Vitamin C and zinc.  I'm determined to beat this ailment before it becomes a nasty complaint!

Thursday:  Awoke early and felt just fine.  I do believe all that prayer, rest, Vitamin C and zinc has done it's job.  I'll take more today just to insure I am fully over the ailment.

Made French toast using homemade loaf bread. 

Cooked a pan full of bacon, instead of just enough for one meal.  The extra bacon will be used for breakfast or for sandwiches later in the weekend.

Today's lunch entree was a Leftover Makeover meal I'd partially prepared last week and put in the freezer.  It also happened to be a meatless entree (further savings).  It's Called Cheese Corn Enchiladas and was quite tasty.  Will be posting on PennyRecipes today.

I made up a batch of Rhonda's Enchilada sauce to go over the Cheesy Corn Enchiladas.  The recipe called for 1 can of store bought but one recipe of Rhonda's sauce made up more than enough for this recipe and left me with nearly 20 ounces of sauce leftover.  It cost less to make three times as much sauce than buying one 10 oz can of storebought.

Serving suggestions on recipe said to serve with salsa...I had none fresh and didn't want to open a big jar just for one small dollop each.  I used half a mango and made a small batch of mango salsa which was excellent over torn lettuce and added a nice side dish to the meal.

Packed Chance's work lunch.  He got a salad using some of that Buffalo chicken.  I'll have the same thing for my lunch tomorrow, too.

Friday:  That shredder that Chance fixed two weeks ago has worked just fine...until this morning.  Alas the shredder is now dead but how nice we were able to use it for two full weeks before it gave up for good.

Watered front porch plants with water saved over the last few days from unfinished bottles.

Poured Maddie's food back into the food can after she decided she'd had more than enough.  I think my girly is being picky...I didn't buy the usual food because this stuff was a well known brand and on sale $5 cheaper than their usual stuff.  Doesn't bother Trudy in the least, but Maddie is not so keen on it.  Oh well.  Only 16#s more to go...

Went to the library to choose new reading materials.

Turned off AC and rode with windows down through the heavy traffic in town.  It was hot, the traffic was murderous and took forever to travel a mere 10 miles but the car had the rest while stopping and starting traffic was the rule.  As soon as I hit open highway though, that AC went ON!

Refused to stop at any number of places to buy a cold drink or a luncheon entree.

Had a buffalo chicken salad for my late lunch.  Treated myself to a homemade strawberry 'shake' using ice cubes, fresh berries and milk.

Happy Happy Happy!  The coral rose is putting out tiny new branches since the heavy rain of Monday.  That's the bush we dug up because it had gotten so big it was tearing my window screens.  I followed the advice of a friend's friend who is a landscape artist and she sent word to cut it right back to the ground before digging up and then replant. 

The small rose that I rooted from a twig has proven to be a coral rose as well.  I've doubled my pleasure of that lovely rose.  Oh my!  I'll have loads of blossoms for bouquets now.

Didn't buy sandwich meats this past week nor large meat cuts either to use as sandwich fillers.  I've pulled out my old cookbook and will make a tuna salad filling, pimento cheese filling and a cream cheese filling (maybe on that one).  That will give us plenty of sandwich makings.

Living Well

This past week has been bittersweet in so many ways.  Remembering the fun we had in summer brings back many memories of the time we spent here on the farm with Granny.  She has been the bestest of Grannies ever and the dearest of friends for many years beyond childhood.  With Mama's news on Sunday that we are drawing near the last days with her, I've avoided going to visit.  I don't want to remember her lying in bed asleep, wasting away. I will go, I will, in the next few days when I'm feeling braver, but I want more than anything to remember her as I knew her: feisty, strong, sensible, fun, feminine and tomboyish, wise, comfortable, generous, giving, sassy, determined, warm...Oh there aren't enough descriptions to match all her fine qualities!

Bittersweet, but sweet have been the memories:  Teaching me to sing when I was no older than Lily, teaching me to live a faith filled spiritual life, without boxing me in with religion and legalism.  Encouraging me to read by providing good books and being generous in lending them to me.  She taught me to 'hear' poetry and to read poetry and to see poetry all about me.  Teaching me the names of native plants and how to forage for wild foods, and how to look for signs of animal life.  Teaching us to rely upon imagination for fun and letting us be free to do as we'd imagined.  She gave all of us the only bits of carefree childhood we were to know.

She taught me that when you love someone you love them just as much when they are the least likable.  And she taught me to love friends and family hard enough they could feel it through the hurting.  She taught me thrift and 'make do' and the pleasure of spending on good perfume, beautiful dishes and well loved books.  She taught me to take time out of being busy and just plain listen.  She taught me the wonder of giving time to those most in need of it. She taught me to watch people and see their character, not just their clothes or their car or their dirty hands... There's no room really for all the many lessons I learned from her.

This morning I sat on the front porch with Maddie as she ate and listened to the sounds of the fox yipping in the field for her kits and to the birds singing.  Far off someone began to whistle as they worked in the yard and my eyes filled with tears for Granny always did the same.  What a joy, it was to wake in the mornings to hear her whistling as she puttered about the kitchen making breakfast when we were children.  What a joy as a woman to stand on my porch and hear her whistling as she worked about her yard.  How I miss her!  How I shall always miss her!  But oh, thank you Lord, thank you for allowing me to have her for so very long!


Kathy in Illinois said...

Such a nice tribute to your Granny. I'm sure she would be so happy if she could read that and know how much she taught her grandaughter and how much love she had for her.
God bless, Kathy in Illinois

Deanna said...

Yet again, your reminiscences of your Granny bring back so many memories of my dear grandma. She passed away about a year and a half ago at the age of 96 and I miss her almost every day. You and I are so very blessed to have had them in our lives for so long. (((hugs)))

Heidi said...

A truly wonderful tribute to a special lady. Thank you for sharing her with me.

Hugs from Holland ~