Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Weeks Frugal Accomplishments

April 6 - 12

Thursday:  The other day I checked out a photography book from the library and today I spent some time reading it.  I am determined to figure out all the ways to use my camera.
Herb made taco meat and I tried my hand at homemade corn tortillas.  We had this for both lunch and dinner.  By the time we got to dinner we had run out of salsa so I opened a can of rotel and it was really quite delicious with the tacos.
The theatre put out a desperate call for ushers for this evenings performance of Jesus Christ Superstar.  I answered the call.  I ushered and got to see the show for free.  This was at minimum an $18 value.

Friday:  Herb treated me to huevos rancheros for breakfast.  He made a salsa-like sauce for it.  It was made with canned stewed tomatoes, frozen New Mexican green chile and this and that that was found around the kitchen.  It was delicious.
I popped the DirectTV receivers in the mail.
I also mailed a package to Keegan.  She purchased some items while she was home visiting and didn't want to cart them on the airplane so I agreed to mail them.  Since I was already shipping a package I decided to put some additional items in the box to top it off.  I put in some insulated shopping bags that were given to me by an older couple to gift Keegan with after they learned that the grocery stores in L.A. no longer use plastic bags and they charge for paper bags.  I also tucked in some vintage cocktail glasses that I had purchased for her at a thrift store.
I went by the library and renewed some books that were coming due so that I could keep them a little longer without paying a fine.
I went to Kohl's for a bit of gift shopping as I had a load of coupons to use.  I had a $15 rewards coupon, $10 Kohl's cash, $11rewards member bonus, a regular $10 off $50 coupon and 30% off purchase coupon.  I bought yet another baby gift (everybody seems to be having a baby this year).  I purchased some birthday or Christmas gifts for my kiddos who will be needing some household items soonish.  I got a shower curtain for $15, a bath rug for $5, five bath towels, three washcloths and a hand towel for $35, and, finally, eight plates for $18.25.  And, as we have learned of another friend having a baby, I purchased the cutest baby cardigan and set of socks and paid only $9.50.  To top everything off I received another $10 Kohl's cash.  I am thrilled!
I have so many baby gifts to be giving out this year.  I have been saving handled paper bags from shopping excursions and I intend to decorate them, covering up the store logos, etc.  I pinned some vintage baby clip art on Pinterest that will inspire me as I make mixed media collages on the bags.
For lunch and dinner we had fried chicken (thighs for eighty-nine cents per pound) and fried potatoes served with Bishop's aioli.  Delish!
I took Bishop to the chiropractor.  Yesterday I took Maceo to the chiropractor.  We anticipated paying $45 but were surprised to find that there was a special.  It only cost us $25.  Since I had budgeted $45 but only spent $25 I opted to take Bishop in.  I paid a total of $50 for the two chiropractic appointments.
Also, while I was out I was delighted to find two Easter eggs filled with candy and coupons for $10 off services at this same chiropractor.  Isn't that fun?
I will reuse those plastic eggs in the boy's Easter baskets as I don't really have many of those left in my stash of Easter stuff.
I went to a local public garden with my camera and photography book in hand.  I am learning so much about my camera and have so much more to learn.
While at the garden I was fortunate enough to acquire a couple of little plantlings, self sown plants that were being weeded from the walkways.  I came home and added them to my Mother's Day flowerbed.  I also added a couple of Herb's birthday red cabbages to this bed.  They needed planting and I had run out of room in the vegetable beds.

Saturday:  I finished the last of my (non) cheerios for breakfast.  Herb fried up some corn tortilla shells and used the leftovers to have tostadas. Leftovers were offered up to the boys for their brunch.
I made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I love the chocolate and peanut butter combination but I also like that the recipe only calls for one stick of butter.  I used a rubber spatula to scrape out the remnants of peanut butter in its jar and managed to get exactly the 1/2 cup that was needed.  I typically prefer to use crunchy peanut butter but was out of it.  I contemplated opening up a container of peanuts that I have in the pantry and chopping them to add to the cookies; however, I found a smidge of peanut butter chips that I opted to add instead.
I saved the empty peanut butter jar so that I can make it in to packaging for Christmas gifts.  Check out this inspiration.
Herb received his medicines in the mail today.  He not only gets his prescription drugs but also his medically required vitamins in the mail without charge.  It is such a blessing!
Last night Maceo went to an improv show after his own performance in Jesus Christ Superstar and today he went to a high school play.  The performances cost him $5 each.
While doing errands I listened to the lecture on George Orwell that I checked out from the library.
I went by the store to pick up some odds and ends.  I gave myself a budget of $40.  I came in under that amount and that included buying three bags of mulch.  I did spend about $3.50 more than I had budgeted for gardening stuff for the month.
I finished weeding and mulching the Mother's Day flower bed.  I also added a couple of more plants to the bed.  I transplanted daffodils  and Japanese irises from other beds.  The bed is filling out nicely.
Herb added some items to the compost pile.
For dinner I made these delightful chicken and potato pastry pies and a kale salad with a dressing similar to this one.  I included crumbled bacon in my salad and I used the bacon fat instead of olive oil.  I didn't have any red wine vinegar  so I used the pomegranate vinegar; I think it would also be good with an apple cider vinegar.
Herb began making a chicken stock using the bones from the fried chicken and other odds and ends.
I watched a couple of episodes of Call the Midwife on Netflix as a way to unwind after a full day of outside work.

Sunday:  Maceo and the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar performed at two church services this Palm Sunday.  Afterwards, and just prior to call for the matinee show, we were invited to go out to lunch.  I nearly caved but Maceo was forthright with the fact that we just don't have any money for that at this moment.  I appreciated that.  Then we went home and got a bite to eat.
I spent a good portion of the day working in the yard.  I am clearing another bed hoping that the boys might pick some new plants for me this next Mother's Day than I could have a Mother's Day flower bed 2.0.  I already have the edging for the bed; it's just been sitting there waiting for me to get to this project.  I got about a quarter of the edging laid but the vines are thick so, overall, it is slow going.
I am still listening to the lecture on George Orwell that I got from the library while in the vehicle and am watching Call the Midwife on Netflix - much cheaper than the Sirius radio and DirectTV.

Monday:  I went to the grocery store to pick up a couple of items and found cans of pumpkin on sale for fifty cents each.  I bought ten cans.
One of the items that I had to pick up at the store was ground pork as Herb wanted to try his hand at homemade pot stickers.  He combined the ground pork with vegetables leftover from yesterday's bibimbap for the filling.  He researched how to make the wrappers himself.  He made the dough.  I rolled the dough, he stuffed them then we steamed them.  He also made a dipping sauce.  It was all very good and we have enough in the freezer for a second meal.
Bishop had his culinary internship.  We sent some potstickers to his mentor she returned in kind with a small jar of elderflower vinaigrette.  Lovely!

Tuesday:  For lunch, Herb used the pork remaining from yesterday's potstickers and mixed it with some hamburger meat in the fridge to make a meatloaf.  He also made a bit of rice and served it with leftover gravy that he found in the fridge.
I made bean dip as a snack.  I had to improvise just a bit as I had run out of salsa and sharp cheddar cheese.  I substituted rotel and white cheddar and pepper jack cheese.
For dinner, I made the boys some ham sliders and refreshed the remaining bean dip.  For myself I made a pasta salad.  My two requirements for pasta salad are that it has artichoke hears and Italian or vinaigrette dressing; otherwise, I toss in just about anything that I can find in the fridge.  For this salad I added prosciutto, pepperoni, mozzarella, and the rest of a jar of cheese stuffed peppers.  Yum!
Anticipating a picnic tomorrow, I made pumpkin bread (using my fifty cent cans of pumpkin).  I made plenty so we had it for snack this evening, will likely have it for breakfast tomorrow and will pack some for the picnic.
I also packed the pasta salad for the picnic and started making more of the chicken and potato pastry hand pies for the picnic.
I ordered a couple of items from Amazon using a bit of my swagbucks rewards.
All of this kept me really quite busy.  In a bit of free time I made some progress on a book that I got from the library, The Real North Korea, and I watched a new-to-me show, Doc Martin.

Wednesday:  I knew that our science group would be having a picnic lunch today so I assembled a most fantastic picnic basket.  I packed up some of the pasta salad, pumpkin bread, and a couple of apples.  I also made up more of the chicken and potato pastry pies.  I took extras of all the goodies because I knew that all would want to sample.  And they did.
I packed it all up in my vintage basket along with vintage souvenir plates, cloth napkins, bakelite handled forks, antler handled knives and silver spoons.  I find it to be truly decadent.
For science group we did the classic egg drop challenge.  We all contributed supplies, went to the park and the kids designed egg drop contraptions.  We spent three hours at the park.  It was delightful and fun and educational.  It was also frugal.  For my contribution, the supplies were just stuff that I rummaged up from around the house, then I took a couple of dozen eggs that I bought for forty-five cents per dozen.
The eggs that I took to the park that didn't get used I brought home and boiled to dye them for Easter as we probably didn't want to eat them after they had been in the sun for a good portion of the afternoon.
I left some of the pastry pies for Maceo to have for lunch.  Herb ate leftovers for lunch.
For dinner I roasted a chicken stuffed with wild rice that I have had for quite some time in my food storage pantry.  On the side I served green beans, something else that was stashed in my food storage pantry.
I deboned the chicken for another meal and saved the carcass for stock.
As per usual, I watched baggies and cool shaped jars for reuse.
I worked swagbucks just tad while unwinding watching a bit of Doc Martin on Netflix

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