Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Weeks Efforts to Live a Rich Life, Frugally (Doing the Best I Can but Always Room for Improvement)

May 11 - 17

Thursday:  Not a particularly frugal day as I dined out too often.  Sigh.  I really need to get back on track.
Bishop did spend three hours in the pottery studio which is fantastic.  It develops his skill and, thus, is a good use of our money.
Bishop donated two pieces of pottery to a silent auction.
I made chocolate chip cookies using a partial bag of chips.
I bought a package of glass rods for Bishop to use in his glass bead making.  I went to Hobby Lobby where I was able to get a package of fifteen for eleven dollars, after using the 40% off coupon.  That makes each rod seventy-three cents as opposed to the $1.25 that I would pay at the glass shop.

Friday:  No money spent with one exception - I did pay $15 for Bishop to have an hour of torch time at the glass studio.  He made at least seven beads valued at $3 or $7.  That is good return on my money.
Herb used food on hand to make yummy meals.  He fried up some chicken drumsticks that I had previously purchased at a really stellar price.  He also cooked up a mix of vegetables that were languishing in the fridge.
The chicken bones were placed in the crockpot to make broth.
I cleaned out my closet and updated my wardrobe.  I do a version of a capsule wardrobe.  I don't limit myself to a very specific number of items but it is minimal and is subject to the seasons.  I have one very dressy outfit that always remains hanging in the closet.  I also perpetually have my standard uniform - show shirts and lounge style sweat pants.  I always have one outfit for ushering that does get swapped out by the seasons.  Then I always have a handful of items that are interchangeable when something a bit more than my standard uniform is required.  This is where I have a little fun.  I was able to get rid of five items and found that I need to pick up a couple of items.  I will soon be in desperate need of pants my routine wear pants are nearly worn out and both of my jeans are also nearly gone.  I will go to Kohl's soon and see if I can find some pants.  I do have a $5 coupon and a % off coupon for Kohl's so I will start there.  I also still want a new pair of birkenstocks; they will make my feet very happy but I am uncertain as to when I will be able to afford those and I don't actually need them.  This approach to my wardrobe helps me keep my spending to a minimum and is all I really need.
I spent quite a bit of time working on the yard.  I mowed the lawn.  I planted some herbs that I had purchased a week or so ago.  I transplanted some flowers and lettuce into my stack of galvanized buckets as the seeds that I had planted never germinated.
I worked on clearing another flower bed.  This bed is actually part of the tree line in the front yard.  Nearest the sidewalk are a couple of pretty (in theory) shrubs but the area has been tremendously overgrown the entire time I have lived here.  It has been a problem area forever but I am ready to rectify that now.  I have begun weeding and trimming shrubs back.
Some of the bits of shrub that I trimmed off had blossoms on them so I brought them in the house and arranged them in vases.  I've got two very pretty bouquets in the house now.

Saturday:  I started my day by going to WalMart to get some retaining wall blocks.  I went for the cheapest type that they had.  I initially wanted a pewter color but they were seventy cents more per block so I got the red ones.  While I was there I picked up a bag of Iams cat food.  I had a coupon for a free 3.5 pound bag of the cat food - cool!
I then went to Aldi to pick up some items that Herb needs for my Mother's Day meal and a couple of other odds and ends.  I was pleased to be able to buy a couple of whole chickens for $2 off of each.
In the afternoon I found that I needed more retaining wall blocks.  I went to a different WalMart than this morning as it was more convenient but found that their blocks were priced at $1.93 rather than the $1.23 that I had paid just that morning at a different WalMart.  I saved $18 by returning to the first WalMart to buy the rest of the blocks.
I spent the evening working on that bed.  I put the retaining wall up and made significant progress weeding that bed.  It is going to be a lot of work but will be totally worth it, even if I have a reaction to the poison ivy I stumbled upon.
Herb made really great tacos, gourmet tacos I daresay, for dinner.  The bonus is they were really economical.

Sunday:  What a wonderful day - Mother's Day!
I began the day with a lot of wonderful warm wishes from my kiddos and friends.  So simple, so much joy.
I had to run by the store for some odds and ends but I tried to keep it to a minimum.
Herb planned the menu but hadn't picked a dessert.  I considered a prepared dessert from the bakery at the grocery store but opted for a boxed brownie mix and some ice cream.  I set up an ice cream bar.  Much cheaper and far more delightful than a store bought cake or some such thing.
I straightened up the backyard and mowed the lawn so that we could enjoy it today.  And enjoy it we did.  The day was simple and lovely.
I was given the greatest gifts - a meal prepared by the chefs of the family,; a willingness to do as I wished whether it be play croquet or not, as I needed a nap; pottery and beads made by the hands of one of my children; well-wishes and love from the distant kiddos;  hugs and thank you's, simple, lovely nods of appreciation.  Sigh.
So lovely.  So rich.  So perfect.

Monday:  Herb did a little grocery shopping this morning.  He remembered to go to WalMart Neighborhood Market instead of going to the pricier store that is within three blocks of us.  (Let's just say that last week he pent $3 on a head of iceberg lettuce at that pricier store.  Sigh).  He bought some items that were possibly unnecessary but he scored on some chicken fryers.  They were on manager's special and cost him $3 each.
He turned that chicken into some really yummy fried chicken.  Oh my, was it yummy.  He served it with a simple nutrient-dense coleslaw and some bread and butter pickles.
Otherwise, our meals were really simple and largely involved utilizing leftovers.
Maceo had a new experience this morning.  He performed in a melodrama with our local opera at an elementary school.  I, of course, stayed and watch.  I just love free entertainment.  Additionally, it is free education for Maceo.  (Well, now that I have typed that I seem to recall that there was talk of him getting paid.  I guess we will find out soon).
The rest of the day was spent staying home taking care of business.  That's the best way to get stuff done and not spend any money.  I am busy sorting through the boys clothes, books and homeschool supplies.  I want to assess the boys clothes and get them organized for more ready access.  And, I think that I will be able to take more books and such to the homeschool consignment shop.

Tuesday:  Bishop had torch time at the glass studio again.  Torch time costs $15.  This time he produced eleven beads which he could sell for between $3-7.  He is enjoying learning this skill.  I am enjoying the beads and I really think that he can sell these at craft shows and make a bit of spending change.
He also went to open studio at the pottery studio.  We brought home six of the coolest tea bowls that he made.  I really think that he is on to something with these.
We had leftover day for our meals.  We made our way through some of our leftovers and had a good time doing it.
Maceo began his day by performing a melodrama with the local opera at an elementary school.  I attended and enjoyed some great free entertainment.
In the evening Maceo had troupe rehearsal than a troupe performance.  The theatre fed the kiddos dinner between rehearsal and performance.  That is always a nice bonus.
I attended the performance for another bit of free entertainment.
After the performance I offered to help clean up from the kids dinner and, as a reward for my offer, was blessed with a bag of tangerines and a bunch of bananas.  I gratefully accepted.
Bishop and I watched some Cosmos on Netflix.

Wednesday:  Maceo performed the melodrama at a school again today and I watched.
Bishop and I then went to science group which is a free and wonderful way to hang out with friends.  We did lunch together, which is typical, and opted for Subway which is relatively inexpensive.  I didn't want to go somewhere pricier, in part, due to the fact that I had been invited out to dinner by some friends and didn't feel that I could justify spending much money on both of them.
Bishop went to open studio again today and threw at least six pots.
Herb created a great dinner of pork chop and kale salad with homemade croutons.  I opted to eat this dinner but still meet my friends and just have a glass of wine and, possibly, a dessert at the restaurant.
I met my friends at the restaurant and arrived just in time to order a glass of red wine on happy hour special.  I enjoyed that glass of wine and the truly stellar company that surrounded that table so much that I was satisfied and walked away without purchasing a dessert.
I then gratefully accepted  my friends offer to pay for my glass of wine.  What a blessing!
We then went to a vaudeville production put on by the opera.  I paid $8 for admission and got to see my Maceo perform, as well as many other performers, some of them professional vocalists.  It was great.
Bishop and I watched some Cosmos on Netflix.

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