Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Weeks Frugal Accomplishments

March 30 - April 5

Thursday:  The goal of the day was to make my way through some of the food in the fridge.  I began my day with a bowl of the not-really Cheerios with some sliced strawberries.  The strawberries that weren't covered with chocolate for Keegan's birthday were languishing in the fridge.  I cut out the couple of bruises and sliced them to spruce up my cereal.
For lunch we had Herb's birthday dinner 2.0  We reheated the brisket, finished off the greens and pulled out the remaining coleslaw, marinated veggies and chocolate covered strawberries.
I had more leftovers for dinner but I got a treat for the boys considering it was a special night, preview night for Maceo's show.  I had earned a free pizza from Papa Murphey's and determined that tonight was the night to pick it up.  I was so tickled to see the receipt with "Total Due:  $0.00" - ahh, simple pleasures.
I had a handful of strawberries remaining so I opted to make more strawberry ice cubes.  I did so enjoy having them in my lemonade and look forward to having more of that treat.  After Keegan's birthday party I found that the floral ice cubes that were chilling the champagne had melted a bit and that water was the prettiest violet.  I decided that that violet infused water might make the prettiest ice cubes so I gave it a shot.  In order to make more strawberry cubes I had to empty the ice try of the sweetest violet colored cubes ever.  I will be doing that again.
The strawberry tops went into the compost bin.
I started some stinging nettle, mint and oregano seeds.  The mint and oregano seeds were some that I had collected previously.
As I have been sorting through my belongings I have set some of my nicer vintage items aside with hopes of selling them.  In the past I have had a booth at a flea market and wanted to consider that option again.  I went to three different flea markets today on a scouting mission and found them all lacking in one way or another.  Two were remarkably limited on vintage items and the other was full and all the prices were more than I was willing to commit to.  I have another cheaper more accessible idea for selling these items that I will now move on since I have ruled out the flea markets.
I used Netflix to watch several episodes of Call the Midwife.
The only money spent today was less than $10 for a gallon of milk and eight gallons of water intended to help get Maceo through a very full weekend of Jesus Christ Superstar performances.

Friday:  We are still working on using the leftovers.  For lunch, Herb made really great burritos using leftover beans and meat and such.  For dinner, I cooked up the rest of the marinated ribs and served it with mashed potatoes and the leftover sweet potato biscuits.  Herb had also cooked up one of my 79 cent cabbages so we served that as well.
The boys and I went to Kohl's to check out the clearance while we had a 20% off coupon.  They were in need of some athletic wear and they did, in fact, find some.
We went to the library to check out the book The Joy of Chemistry and I found a couple of other cool resources as well.  I got a book on basic photography, a lecture series on George Orwell, and two other books related to chemistry.
While cooking dinner I began listening to the lecture on George Orwell, aka Eric Blair.  Fascinating.
Our community theatre's production of Jesus Christ Superstar opened this evening.  Maceo is in it and received two comp tickets.  Herb, Bishop and I attended this evening.  We purchased one ticket and utilized the comp tickets to view the show.  Those comp tickets are valued at $60.  They allow us to see really amazing shows for very little.  I love it.
After the intensity of Jesus Christ Superstar I found it necessary to unwind so I watched an episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix.

Saturday:  We had an unanticipated activity this morning so I ran out of the house without breakfast.  I went quickly by Panera where I was gifted a tea by an employee who wasn't going to use her free employee beverage and I purchased a pastry for $1.50 using a dollar off coupon.
Herb made really great sandwiches for lunch using leftover brisket and ribs.  He cut it all up and cooked it in the remaining juices from last night's braised ribs.  He served it on hamburger buns that had begun to get stale so he toasted them.  We had a partial bag of sea salt and vinegar chips that we finished off as well.  For dinner Herb had the meat in a tortilla and I served it over the leftover mashed potatoes.  The boys wanted something light and fresh so I made them chicken breasts, brown rice and steamed broccoli.  Simple.
For a sweet treat I made my Granny's Sweet Dough Pie.  It's a very simple and frugal recipe.  I used fruit from the freezer that really needed to be used up.
I earned my bonus on Swagbucks today.
Otherwise, I just spent the day binge watching Call the Midwife on Netflix.

Sunday:  Yesterday I removed a mystery bag from the freezer to thaw.  I just hate it when things don't get labeled properly before being thrown into the freezer but it usually works out alright.  What I thought might be cookie dough proved to be a ground beef prepared for a small meatloaf that the husband had tossed in.  He opted to make it for his breakfast followed by the remains of the sweet dough pie.
I raced out of the house to go to a special event at the theatre; a church downtown had their worship service in the theatre with the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar presenting some selections from the show.  I thought about stopping by Panera for a bagel but remembered that the church was going to serve donuts.  Upon arrival I found that they had donuts and Panera bagels.  I got my bagel and didn't pay a thing.
I returned home to find that Herb had removed a bag of broccoli cheddar soup from the freezer.  I heated it up freshening it up with a little more cheese and the broccoli left over from the boys dinner yesterday.  I did splurge and purchased a bakers dozen of bagels which we used  to make sandwiches to accompany the soup.  I pulled out everything that could possibly be used for sandwiches and let everyone make their own.  It was very satisfying.
Today was a beautiful warm mostly sunny day and as I am anticipating days of rain most of the week I opted to do some yard work.  I mowed the front lawn for the first time this year and I worked on my Mother's Day flower bed.  I had a bag of wood chips leftover from last year (actually I have three but I only used one today) that I added to the bed.  I transplanted some daffodil and tulip bulbs.
Maceo had a performance today and had auditions for yet another show.  I didn't get to watch the show but I did go to auditions.  I love watching the whole process.  Now that's entertainment!
Herb made a great dinner of chile colorado, Spanish rice and refried beans.  There will be plenty of leftovers for tomorrow or the next day.
I made little hand pies.  Instead of my typical hand pies using biscuit dough and apple butter, I used some apple pie filling and a refrigerated pie crust.  Both of which had been languishing, one in the pantry and the other in the fridge.  They weren't nearly as good as my typical ones but they satisfied a sweet craving while using resources on hand.
We washed baggies and saved the packaging that the tortillas came in.
I figured the expenses for the month and developed a plan for how to pay them and I have begun revising my Easter menu based on what we have in the house already, all while watching more of that addictive show, Call the Midwife.

Monday:  We had a pleasant surprise this morning.  Herb's first retirement check was deposited in our account.  It was surprising that it arrived so quickly but, simultaneously, a reminder that there are long-term adjustments to be made as this is only a fraction of what we are accustomed to.
Herb signed us up for the retired dental program.
I paid most of the bills.  I will have to pull some money out of an investment savings account to pay the mortgage; otherwise, we are covered.
I made homemade tortillas to use with the leftover chile colorado, Spanish rice and beans.  They were enjoyed by all and the tortilla cost a fraction of what store bought ones do.  I will continue to make homemade and will store them in those tortilla bags I saved yesterday.
Bishop had his internship with with a friend of ours who is a baker and caterer.  This experience is essential to his education and is done out of the kindness of her heart.  Such a blessing!
Maceo was hired as an actor in a short film.  There is no pay as it is a student film but gives him experience and something to put on a reel; all parties involved benefit.
I allotted myself $20 for supplies for the garden and flowerbeds.  While returning home from taking Bishop to his internship because it was en route, I stopped by WalMart and got one bag of garden soil for more raised beds and three bags of mulch.  I purchased the least expensive mulch and only spent $14.90.  I have $5.10 left in the allotment that I could use to buy more soil or mulch or seeds or even a plant.  I did smell the loveliest tulips at the store that would make a beautiful centerpiece for Easter than could be planted for enjoyment next season.  I guess we'll see.
I weeded half of a bed and laid down a bag of mulch there.
Dinner also included continued using up of leftovers.  We like to find ways to tweak them so that they are slightly different though.  This time Bishop fried my tortillas up to make them crispy and we mounded all the leftovers on top then topped it with some enchilada sauce that was also languishing in the pantry.
I watched a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife on Netflix while doing computer work.

Tuesday:  I deposited a check in the amount of $18.95 that comes from selling some of my homeschool supplies.
I also had to deposit money from our savings so that I could pay the mortgage.  We managed to pay the rest of our bills from the money that came in thus far but it would not stretch so far as to cover the mortgage.  We will pay that savings account back with our income tax return.
Thankfully, Herb finished our income taxes and has submitted them.
I will be developing a plan as to how to best use this bit of cash.
Maceo went to see a pediatric surgeon about his pectus excavatum.  He will need a CT scan then, quite possibly, a series of other tests.  Depending on those results he could face surgery.  This, naturally, had me thinking about our health insurance.  We are unfamiliar as to how this insurance works now that Herb is retired and no longer active duty.  If we have deciphered everything correctly, we know what our catastrophic cap is and will prepare for it as these tests and this surgery will definitely require that.
I picked up groceries.  They should cover most of the month, outside of milk, eggs and fresh produce.  I spent a bit over $100.
Bishop made us spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  It was so nice to have him prepare the meal for us.  It freed me up for over things - figuring out our insurance plan and working in the yard.
I finished weeding one bed and put the mulch down in the that bed.
I made more progress on my larger Mother's Day flower bed.  I underestimated how much mulch I need for this bed.  I need another two or three bags.  I, at least, have enough money in the gardening budget to buy one bag.
I got the yard work done just before the storm moved in.  Now we are all home waiting out the storm, flashlights and candles in the ready.
I had a hankering for cookies but opted to save the butter.  Instead, I had some ice cream with chocolate syrup; both, of which, we have in abundance.
I did some surveys on swagbucks and earned my bonus while watching more Call the Midwife on Netflix.  I am almost done with Call the Midwife.  I am grateful that I was referred to this show immediately upon having cancelled the cable; it has helped me not think about my favorite television shows that I have been missing out on.  It has helped me detox, actually, which is a very, very good thing.

Wednesday:  Well, I don't end this weekly review on a note of success.  I spent more money today than I should have.
Bishop and I had lunch with our science group.  I had coupons but then went and forgot to use them.  Ugh.
Yesterday, Herb put some chicken quarters in the crockpot to cook in the leftover chile colorado drippings.  Today we used them to make enchiladas with the last of our corn tortillas.  The enchiladas were fantastic.  Now we have to learn to make homemade corn tortillas.
I again resisted using some of the butter to make cookies and instead had more ice cream with chocolate syrup.
For a snack Herb fried up a couple of potatoes that we dipped in to the garlic and herb aioli that Bishop made at internship on Monday.
Bishop had pottery today.  He brought home some completed pieces that are apparently for my Mother's Day gift and scheduled an open studio time to work on pieces that he has been commissioned to make.
I watched an episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix.
Maceo had callbacks for a production of The Addams Family.  I watched the callbacks.  It was 3 1/2 hours of good free entertainment.
After callbacks we stopped at a convenience store.  I was to buy a beverage for Bishop using a gift card he received for helping a caterer.  I got to the store with Maceo in tow and, upon his request, purchased him a frozen pizza and a new charger for his phone so I opted to pay for Bishop's beverages as well.  Sigh.
I also transferred money to my oldest son's account as a birthday gift to him.  He is presently in Korea so celebrating his birthday in our usual fashion is out of the question.  I did budget for this expenditure and have no regrets.  I hope he has a truly joy-filled birthday! 

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