Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Weeks Frugal Accomplishments

April 20 - 25

Thursday:  We had grits and eggs for breakfast which is always an inexpensive yet filling breakfast.
Lunch and dinner consisted of the other half of the pork loin in a maple and mustard marinade and fondant potatoes.  A fantastically elegant meal yet simple and economical.
The bee balm that I planted in a pot on the front porch have come in really nicely and are in need of thinning.  I began that process today by transplanting some of them into the Mother's Day flower bed.  That bed has filled out quite nicely.

Friday:  The morning was spent preparing Maceo for prom which is not a particularly frugal affair.  We did get a student rate at the barber for his hair cut and went to the cheapest tux shop in town.
The caterer that Bishop interns with asked him to put in some additional hours today.  He earned forty dollars for the gig.  Cool!
Maceo went to see a performance of The Robber Bridegroom.  A friend had an extra complimentary ticket and offered it to him.
I also had free entertainment.  I saw a performance of The Wives of Windsor that was presented by a university opera program using a complimentary ticket given to me by a friend who had children performing in it.  The university was located in a town thirty minutes away so it did cost me gas but was totally worth it.  Because it was in a town that I don't get to very often I did consider treating myself to dinner at a restaurant that I have never been to before.  I talked myself out of it.   I ate at home.  I did, however, get a blast from Sonic using my gift card.

Saturday:  I woke up to Herb puttering around in the kitchen in the best of ways.  He cleaned out the fridge and decided that he would combine leftovers with findings in the pantry to make a minestrone.  He used a white bean soup that he had made last week and the remains of a kale salad that he found in the fridge.  He also thinned some of the kale growing in our garden and tossed it into the soup.  He used macaroni as the pasta in the soup.  It was really good.  He is very clever.
Additionally, for the day's meals Herb served up tostadas utilizing the refried beans that he made last week.  They were also very good.
The rest of us began the day by attending a friends Eagle Scout Court of Honor.  Bishop led the color guard.  We had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours celebrating with friends and, as a bonus, we got to have some cake and ice cream.  We gifted him $10 cash and tucked it into a card that we had in our stash.  It was a card that we had made utilizing a photo that one of the boys had taken.  It was personal and appropriate.
Maceo managed to squeeze in a vocal lesson before preparing for the prom and heading out.  Obviously, it was not the most frugal of evenings but, at least, they didn't go to the priciest of restaurants.  Also, Maceo treated his date to dinner and she purchased the prom tickets - going Dutch, love it.

Sunday:  I again woke up to Herb in the kitchen.  He got some chicken thighs out and began brining them.  He also went to the store and spent a couple of bucks on some ground pork that he used to make a filling for potato balls and another filling for tacos.  Both delicious!
Bishop and I went to the art museum, which is free, so that we could see the all-school art exhibit before it closed down.  There were definitely some impressive pieces of art.
Maceo went to the park to hang out with friends then went to the Jesus Christ Superstar cast party where he did a bit of karaoke.
Bishop and I spent the evening making two batches of baklava as he had an order to fill.  It will be picked up tomorrow and he will have made more money.  It was a good week for him.

Monday:  I had leftover minestrone for breakfast.
Herb and I went for a walk at the nature center.  On our return trip to home we stopped by the library.  I returned some things that were due, like the photography guide book that has proved to be so useful, and renewed lecture on Orwell.  I finished the lecture (it was fabulous) but I checked it back out so that Bishop could listen to it if he desires (I think he would like it).  I also checked out some new resources, all of them art related and along the lines of Bishop's interests.
Bishop went to his culinary internship.  Today he was charged with making a small dessert for a catering job, a retirement buffet.  He made miniature pecan pies.  They were completely his own recipe and I happen to know that they were very good as he was allowed to bring a package of twelve home with him.  Truly a magnificent bonus.
After the internship Bishop and I had a new and super cool experience; we went to a meeting of the local chapter of the American Culinary Federation.  It was amazing.  We heard a special presentation from a supplier of local products.  Afterwards, we were treated to a meal provided by the supplier.  Their chef used their products to create some fabulous food for us to sample.  We had a salad with microgreens, a fresh beet and rice dish, creamy grits and beef shoulder, and a popcorn muffin with bacon and cheese on top.  Drinks were also complimentary.  Bishop had soda and I had a glass of wine.  As if that wasn't enough, the supplier had a shelf full of full-sized products that they were giving away.  As we don't have a food business yet, outside of Bishop's baklava, we were slow to take items; however, we were assured that we should take some and after others had a chance we did, in fact, take some.  We scored a jar of honey, two jars of beets, a jar of pickles, a bag of rice and a package of the most delicious cheese.  Most importantly, Bishop got to meet people who work in the industry that he is interested in.  He also shared some of his pecan pies with two chefs and received good reviews.  Isn't that cool?
For me the food served at the meeting was my dinner; however, for Bishop it was lunch.
For his dinner I took him to Sonic and bought him a meal with the gift card.  I even have fifty-two cents left on the gift card.  It was so nice to have them available.
Meanwhile, Herb tossed the brined chicken thighs into the broth that he always seems to have going in the crock pot.

Tuesday:  Herb used the chicken from the crockpot to mix up some meat and potatoes to make into croquettes.  He didn't end up making this for dinner today as Bishop hooked us up with dinner, so it will be used tomorrow.
Bishop, inspired by the cheese he got from the ACF meeting last night, made pizza for our dinner.  He made the dough and sauce from scratch.  He asked for fresh basil to put on the pizza.  I obliged by buying a basil plant.  He picked the leaves off that he needed and left the rest for me to plant.
I spent quite a bit of time on pinterest planning for some upcoming parties - a baby shower for a friend and a graduation party for Maceo.  (Can't start early enough on that one; he graduates in a year and I plan on have a graduation party in the backyard so I need to make plans for the yard now).
I did a LOT of yard work.  I really want to have that other flower bed in the yard cleared out before Mother's Day.
I watched Doc Martin on Netflix.
As a sweet treat, the boys made a batch of late night brownies using what they found in the pantry.

Wednesday:  A thunderstorm came in this morning.  I put buckets out to collect rain to be used for watering the vegetable garden later this week.
We received our tax refund this morning.  I am working on just how to spend it most wisely.  I know that I will be setting some money aside to help with the mortgage and upcoming medical appointments.
We had a full day.  Bishop had science group and pottery lessons.  Maceo had a masterclass with the cast of the national touring company of Dirty Dancing and rehearsal for The Addams Family.  Because the day was full and the refund came in I opted to splurge for lunch.  I took Bishop out for Ethiopian food and ordered Maceo some pizza.  Less than frugal but no regrets.
Herb made those croquettes for dinner.  Economical and yummy.  And it reminds me that I should be reading some of my cookbooks from the 1940's. 50's and 60's as they tend to have frugal recipes.
I finished watching Doc Martin on Netflix.
I can also tell you that others have been enjoying Netflix and Bishop has downloaded a music production program for free.
Bishop wanted an external hard drive.  I managed to find a flash drive that wasn't even out of the package that would suffice for the time being.

I have also spent a tremendous amount of time enjoying my flower beds.
The irises pictured above all came into my possession at no cost to me.  The purple ones were offered up by another homeschool family after thinning their beds.
The yellow ones were from my mother-in-law's treasured flower beds.  She died a couple years back.  When I went out for the funeral we spent some time working on her flower beds.  She didn't want folks coming by the house without them looking spectacular so we obliged.  We cleaned them up and I was gifted the thinnings.
I enjoy them all so much!

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