Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Frugal Week

I decided to change up my Thrifty Thursday and re-package it.  From now on I'll split the week between my home and my kitchen...

Frugal Home:  The weather has been less hot but not less humid.  Instead of moving the AC temperature up and down for day and night, I just leave it alone.  John sleeps best in a slightly cooler house and I don't care to have it any colder at night, so one temperature does it all.  Should we leave home for an overnight visit to the kids I'd certainly plan to turn it up to about 80F or so.

I washed two full loads of clothes myself this week.  John generally does the clothing but I take care of most of the household laundry.  I washed the mattress pad that was on our bed as well as all the dishcloths (ants, blast 'em, were being particularly bothersome and got all over the cloths in my handy sink-side bowl) and towels made one load.  The next load was our sheets and a few pieces of lingerie.

Watered plants with reserved water, but just the houseplants.  All the outdoors plants got a really good soaking from the rain. I watered those plants on the front porch with dishwater.

Went to an estate sale on Saturday.  I went with an open mind and an idea of finding beautiful and useful items.  I came home with a new in the package pair of pillowcases, a second pair that obviously matched the brand new ones but were gently used, an embroidered table topper, a Ball canning jar and three wire IN/OUT baskets with a sort of aged look about them that appeared 'Industrial Chic'.   Not a big haul but every item will be well used in my home. That and four books came up to $8...I think I got my money's worth!  I used my allowance to purchase those items, so no cost to the household budget.

Satisfied with my estate sale items, I came home and skipped visiting the once a month yard sale held on the outskirts of our town.

Began my fall wardrobe planning, pairing this and that to try to find new outfits using what I already have.  There's no fall wardrobe money set aside this year so I'll have to plan very carefully, hence my earlier than usual start on the task.  So far I've come up with 2 new to me outfits, that are nothing more than pairings of tops and bottoms and accessories I've not tried before.  Also discovered a common color in two other shirts.  I'll be looking for a tank in that particular shade to wear under them so I put that on my list of things to look for.  I don't always find the items I have on my list but writing them down and reading over the list before I do go shopping helps me to be mindful of what I would like to have.

John and I plotted out the small jobs list that we'll be hiring out.  We do this about once a year, noting those things we can do ourselves and those which require a more experienced pair of hands to do.  It's also good incentive for us to begin to tackle those things that we know we CAN do.

Used the money set aside in the House Fund to begin purchasing materials needed to begin the project of painting the interior of the house.  It will be a slow progressive task, one room at a time as funds become available, but I'm okay with that.

I've spent time working on the quilt top I'm making. I've been careful to save the scrap pieces for two reasons. I adore scrap quilts and these would be a nice addition.  And...because I noted that when Big Mama needed a square for her quilt top and didn't have a big enough piece of fabric she would sew two smaller pieces of  fabric together to make the square.  I might just need those scraps if my quilt keeps growing!

Painted a wastebasket for the guest bath.  It was a wire mesh in turquoise.  I paid a whole $1 for it several months ago at a thrift store and finally decided it was time to paint.  I used leftover paint from another project and it now coordinates much better with the bathroom.

Sometimes the least expensive fix is just a good clearing up.  That's what I did for the deck one day this week. I just picked up the odds and ends and rearranged the furnishings and made the deck look a bit cozier and nice.  New plants will finish off the look.  I'll keep my eyes open for a sale on potted mums.

Bought Daffodil bulbs ($4.99 at Aldi) and Mums ($2.59 each at Lowe's).  I noted that two other perennials were also on sale.  Perennials are a good buy in my opinion (as are Daffodils and Mums) because they will bloom year after year.  I'm trying to invest in more perennials and reseeding annuals.

Have been saving seeds from the basil I allowed to bloom.

That 'good clearing up' principle was applied to the front yard.  I didn't quite get through but it certainly does look spruce and neat in the areas where I was able to work.

I have started a Christmas shopping list of ideas for individuals as they come to me.  A few may be purchased on clearance at end of summer sales.

Frugal Kitchen:  The cookie jars were empty.  I dug about in the cabinet and found the second sleeve of Fig Bars from the package we bought three weeks ago.  That took care of cookies for one jar.  Then I pulled out a roll of cookie dough from my freezer and baked Cappuccino cookies for the second jar.

Opened a can of peaches to make a salad to go with dinner...I poured the juice from the peaches into my simple syrup jar.  It adds an interesting note to frozen lemonade or iced tea to use that simple syrup.

Made an old fashioned roast (cooked the way Granny used to make it) and discovered that my small roast didn't shrink nearly as much as I'd expected.  I saved a portion of it for a second meal. 

Easy meal on Saturday came straight from the freezer.  My habit of doubling the occasional recipe or storing in the freezer those entrees that don't morph into a planned leftover makeover stood me well today.  I might have been more seriously tempted to pick up take out on my way home.

Fed the dogs a meal of food scraps.  I prefer to save scraps all week then feed them one meal of nothing but foodscraps rather than give them a bite or three daily.

Creative thinking cap was on this week and I jotted down ideas for breakfasts.  No need to be so repetitive because my mind doesn't work well in the early morning (prior to coffee).  Now I have my handy list to help me determine what is for breakfast the next day and to plan ahead.  With any luck we won't repeat a breakfast for over 2 weeks and since I'm the one who gets bored with the same old repetitive routine, that's good news!  I like the part where I can prep ahead the night before on several meals, cutting down further on the need to think before coffee has taken effect.

Made up two leftover makeover recipes this week, Beef Enchiladas used up the last of the oven pot roast and Twice Baked Potatoes were a nice side dish from a single leftover potato.

Put up single serve entrees of various meals in the freezer.  Those will be handy to choose from and reheat in microwave later.

When I made the enchiladas I put up four jars of homemade enchilada sauce for future uses.

I did a freezer inventory this week even though October is my next fiscal quarter.  I simply had no clue what was in my freezer and needed to know in order to better plan meals.  So glad I took the time to do this because I realized just which things I haven't used.

Planned grocery shopping including guest meals for this weekend.  I purposely planned foods that were easily prepared ahead.

It seemed silly to spend extra money buying celery sticks and baby carrots when I was buying celery and had plenty of carrots at home.  I cut them myself and saved a small bundle.  I think I paid just $.29/pound for my carrots.  Compare that to an 8 ounce bag of 'baby' carrots for $1.59.

I tried several new recipes this week.  I didn't have a bottle of dressing for one of the recipes but did have a recipe for homemade.  It was rather tasty dressing, too.  I'll be using that for future salad as well.  I like having a repertoire of homemade dressings.

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