Friday, July 8, 2011

Frugal Friday/Living Well

The week has been pretty much blurry as far as I'm concerned, but there were savings all the same.  I just need to count down the days in my mind and perhaps I'll remember most of them...

Saturday:  I made an easy on me breakfast before we left home, earlier than usual:  Scrambled eggs and warmed over muffins, leftover from yesterday's baking session. 

Took bottles of water with us to drink, instead of buying sodas.

We were treated to dinner out.  The Mexican restaurant had a table filled with fresh produce and some of the biggest, most beautiful ripe tomatoes.  We bought a basket of the tomatoes, shared with friends and still had four huge tomatoes.  Cost was $4 and well worth it, let me assure you.  We made supper of BLT's off those tomatoes.

When I cooked the turkey bacon, I prepared extra.  I always fill the pan right up and bake all at once each time I turn on the oven.  I find it takes just 30 seconds in the microwave to reheat and is well worth the energy savings.

Purchasing those tomatoes and planning to have BLT's tossed our plans for supper out the window:  I'd meant to stop for a Subway sandwich for us.  We saved money and had tomatoes aplenty leftover.

We made sure to turn AC up to 79F before leaving home that morning. 

Sunday:  Mama woke me up earlier than I'd meant to get up on Saturday.  I got on up and went to make coffee, feed the dogs.  Maddie, nor the cat finished their food, so I poured back into the container to save from ants.

Made up a big pot of spaghetti, using the last zucchini, grated carrot (last in a bag), chopped onion (leftovers from fridge), a jar of pasta sauce (leftover from fridge), tomato paste and cooked hamburger.  I had nearly 1 quart of sauce left and as much pasta, too. 

We went into town to be with family...Again I'd mentioned going to Subway but we came home to thawed and reheated Chicken Rice instead.

Bought Sunday paper while we were out for the Proctor and Gamble coupons.

Poured unfinished water glasses and bottles into a pitcher to save to water plants.

Chance washed and hung to dry a full load of clothes.

We turned up AC to 77F.

I don't think we turned on TV at all that day...

Monday:  I washed a mixed load of towels and sheets. Meant to hang on line but gully washer of a rain roared out of nowhere and poured...I dried sheets first, and then put towels into warm dryer so they dried more quickly.

Reheated leftovers for our midday meal after meats taken from freezer didn't thaw.

It felt like a treat but was really just a clever makeover: lemonade, juice from a maraschino cherry jar, ice cubes equals frozen pink lemonade.  Nice.

Went into town and stopped at grocery on my way home, buying milk, bread and good sales items...and yes the produce was bought locally, it looked very nice this week!  Lettuce, corn...yum.  If I had corn I had to cruise the meat aisle to look for steaks too.  They were sale priced and very affordable for just two.

We cooked only the amount of corn we wanted for supper.  I wrapped the other two ears and put in the freezer.   Did you know you can bake, grill or microwave fresh corn in it's husks?  The silks peel right off with the husks when you shuck the corn.

Saved water corn cooked in and added to pitcher of saved water on counter.  Watered potted plants on front porch with that vitamin rich water.

Tuesday:   Chance suggested we order new shredder online.  I agreed if the cost was lower than the one I'd priced at Bed Bath and Beyond plus what it would cost us for gasoline to go pick one up.  None to be had, so we drove to WR...And discovered the shredders were sale priced this week.  We spent $14 less than I'd anticipated spending on the previously priced shredder.

Chance wanted to go into Kohl's (next door to BB&B) so I could look for new sandals.  Mine from last year have worn out...No shoes that I liked in my size available.  We did however for a TALL shirt for him which had the length he needs for his long torso.  It was half priced, cost no more than I'd expected to spend on sandals.

Chance treated me to lunch out.  He reads my blog and knows all about the challenge. "This is my treat to you.  Not to be counted into your food budget..."  Yes sir!  And thank you very much!

We stopped and filled the car on our way home.  We continue to go with that medium grade gasoline because our mileage has improved so much using it.

Having eaten lunch out, I scratched Subway off my list permanently for this week, lol.  We had Club sandwiches, using up the extra bacon I cooked on Saturday.

Wednesday:  Turned up AC immediately upon rising at 5:45am.

Made Banana nut bread from two over ripe bananas.  Tossed in a handful of mini cinnamon chips for extra goodness.

Fed two cracked eggs to dogs after checking to make sure they smelled okay.

Had a cooking marathon.  I cooked sausages ahead for weekend breakfasts, fried cubed steaks and chicken breasts thawed on Tuesday morning, made up a big batch of macaroni salad.  I doubled the batch of macaroni salad, so I can add a can of tuna later in the week to make lunch/dinner for us.

Turned on vent to draw hot air and grease out of house while I cooked.

Had to go into town, took off trash, visited Mama, picked up mail,  bought eggs and Tylenol.  I made the trip out count.


On the receiving end today.  I got 7 pcs fried chicken, five pimento cheese sandwiches, a bag of sweet potatoes, two tomatoes, a pint of coleslaw and a floral arrangement.  Lots of stuff...

Not feeling well, I took it easy.  Packed Chance's lunch using pre-cooked meat.

Froze chicken, used sandwiches for supper and work lunch.  Potatoes and tomatoes good for a few days more. 

Thawed and baked oatmeal cookie dough for sweet treats.

Chance washed a load of clothes, as a medium load, being sure to turn water levels down.  He only partially dried them in the dryer, then hung to finish drying.

Friday:  Turned up AC.

Poured food Maddie left into bucket.  She is very inconsistent in the amounts she eats these days so I can never measure it correctly.  I can however, stay right there with her and when she is obviously done eating, take up the leftovers to put back into the food bucket.

Filled dishwasher and washed a full load. 

While running water to preheat for dishwasher, I rinsed dishes, and then, when it turned warm, I filled the sink to wash the few dishes I needed to do by hand.

Washed zippered bags to reuse.  I seldom mention doing this but I still do it consistently.  We've discovered the savings is worthwhile. I do not reuse bags which contain meat, cooked or uncooked.

Poured up leftover water from last night's bottles into the pitcher to save towards watering plants.

Pinched back basil and petunias pretty hard.  Yes, it looks 'bad' at the moment but the pay off will be new growth and renewed vigor.

Disassembled that 'free' flower arrangement and created three bouquets for the house.  I used the last of last pay period's $4 purchase to fluff out one of the three.

Packed two pimento sandwiches in Chance's lunch for tomorrow.

Used plastic bags from purchases the other day to line waste baskets.

Shredder box saved to use to pack up dishes that are moving out.

Combined mailings to family members.  All packaged and ready to mail tomorrow morning on my way to synagogue.

Decided rest was in order when I found myself feeling bad this morning.  It's a great cure all and often will kick start the immune system so no medicine or doctor visit is needed.

Froze leftover spaghetti sauce for a future makeover meal.

Stopped to consider the grocery challenge and how it's worked for us thus far.  Truth time: I see where easy savings may be made here and there without a compromise of quality in eating.  I won't be trimming our budget to $50/week on foodstuffs but we'll not be spending close to $100 a week anymore on foods, personal care, pet and paper products either.  I think challenges like this periodically can really jolt you awake after you've slipped into a routine.  It's good to polish up the frugal ninja kitchen skills ;-P
Living Well

Comfort.  We all need a little now and then.  There are good ways to self-comfort and bad and I think I've learned the difference over the years.  After living as a compulsive eater for 20 years, to be free from that habit these last 20 years is bliss.  There are certain foods I will not buy and bring into my home and on the rare occasion when they are eaten a very strictly limited quantity is all that may be consumed.  Those are bad comforters.    But little things like a favorite coffee cup, a tattered old quilt to wrap oneself in, a certain perfume that you spritz on only when feeling bad...Those are good comforters that do no damage.

I needed a wee bit of comforting this week.  It's not been a grievous week though some think it so.  No, not grievous, but hard.  It's hard to deal with family at the best of times and sometimes hard things bring out bad qualities in others.  It's been tiring with little good solid rest.  I've been fighting off some minor ailment for two weeks now.  Not ill, just not quite up to my usual spunky busy self.  I had a lot on my heart.  So I wrote in my journal for hours several days.  I talked to Chance.  I spoke to my kids. I played  mindless computer games while I thought things out and sorted out the tangles of complicated relationship issues. I took coffee on the front porch and remembered sweet days past.  I cooked loads and stored it for later and felt wealthy for the good meals in the freezer.  I indulged in harmless treats: fresh mango and homemade yogurt smoothie as breakfast one morning, hot coffee mid afternoon because I wanted it, not anyone else, a frozen lemonade (just ice cubes and a cup of lemonade from a carton).  Out of the ordinary, not something I'd do every day sort of beverage treats.

Today's indulgence is resting.  I managed housework earlier today.  As I told Chance, we've not lived hard in the house this week so it was relatively easy to clean.  But I did feel bad and snuggling in my chair with a good book sounds just the sort of comfort I need at the moment.  It's a Shabbat activity that I'm allowing myself to indulge in on Friday instead and it feels nice.  And maybe a cup of hot cocoa even if it is full blown summer. Because that sounds cozy and nice too...

Comfort.  That's what I need and how wonderful to have healthy ways to indulge.


Rhonda said...

hello friend
I've been thinking about you this week and enjoyed your post.

Catherine R. Staat said...

Hello Terri! It is so nice to see you over here on blogger!!! :) Great posts as always - you are amazing! :)

xo Cat

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Hi Terri,

I always microwave my corn in the husk. It's the only way I know how to make corn! Do you put them in freezer with the husk on? And you don't par-boil or anything? I've never frozen whole corn before but want to try since it's so inexpensive right now.

My daughter drinks hot chocolate all summer long! She says why not - I drink hot coffee she drinks hot chocolate. Somehow it's just not the same in my mind!