Saturday: Took the time to pack a snack for the afternoon. We usually get out of synagogue rather late and a snack is a must to keep us from overeating or going crazy at the grocery store.
We did stop by the grocery on our way home. My husband decided he wanted steak for dinner. That was part of our 'fun' money for this pay period (it's been weeks since we had 'fun' money, lol). While in the store we also picked up the lettuce and olives needed for our contribution to the EMS dinner Monday evening.
Our package of steaks had three in it. We'll make our dinner today from that third steak.
Sunday: Combined errands with a visit to another church. We stopped for a newspaper, to pick up an item at the drugstore, took my books by the library (they were due Monday). All of these were within three miles of the church we were visiting.
We came home for dinner. I 'd frozen some of the extra marinated sandwiches I'd made Thursday for Chanukkah celebration at synagogue. That and frozen French Fries (found while digging down deep inthe freezer) made a very nice hot meal that cooked fairly quickly.
Gathered coupons, looked through sales ads to see if other coupons might come to light. One for a craft store and one for a homegoods store were found in the news sections.
I've been using Cokerewards.com for sometime. This past weekend I used points to renew a magazine subscription and to get a coupon good for an 8pk of bottles of Coke. Chance brought home a code from a 24pack when he came in last Tuesday night. Little did he know he helped me earn a bonus this week during a special promotion time from the rewards program.
Monday: Used up leftovers as dinner, added a side dish pulled from the freezer and a big salad to extend the meal.
Used the oven to heat leftovers, so instead of using stovetop to cook the side dish (frozen fried okra) I put it in the oven in a cast iron skillet with a little oil. That heated and crisped nicely. Saved calories too as I used far less oil in ovenfrying.
Washed a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.
These days we have begun sharing a 16 ounce soda on the occasions when we choose to drink one. We both find we like the lesser amount and of course, it extends our soda supply.
Tuesday: We had breakfast out and then headed to Lowe's for a mental list of needed items. We did very well, not forgetting a single item. All our purchases were covered by a little fund we add to each payday that we call simply "House". This fund covers home repair items, minor car maintenance, lawnmower and supplies for mowing in summer, etc.
We came home and had lunch. One meal out is just plenty for us.
Wednesday: What did we purchase at Lowe's? Skim coat to repair some walls and caulk to seal a broken piece of molding and some corners of the bathroom that weren't matched just so. This started a bit of minor home repair that Chance began, doing all sorts of little things that ultimately save us big money. He patched walls and molding, he used Kilz to paint the guest bath ceiling (a windowless, poorly vented room that endured three teens over the past 15 years), he touched up areas throughout the house that needed just a little touch (countersinking nails that have worked their way above the surface, tightening door handles that had loosened). If we'd hired someone to go through and do these things we'd likely have paid $100 for an hour or two of their time.
While Chance was busy doing his home repairs, I spent a morning in the kitchen. I boiled eggs for egg and potato salad, pared and sectioned oranges to freeze and make ambrosia, cleared the fridge of a few 'lost' items, Thankfully only one needed to be tossed. Others were usable and got planned into meals over the rest of this week.
It was bitterly cold all day long Wednesday. I had corn chowder in the freezer and a cup of leftover turkey meat. I put the two together and then added in a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Boy, was that soup good and it certainly hit the spot on that cold cold evening!
I decorated the tree this week and needed a few ornaments more. I planned to look at the dollar store on Thursday for some more ornaments, but went out to my shed and plundered a bit. I found three unopened packages in a bin where I'd not looked. I had the right number and types of ornaments on hand. All I needed to purchase was ornament hangers.
Maddie will NOT stay under or in any sort of shelter unless it's raining. It was so very cold that I worried about her. Fortunately I bought a batch of old rugs at the thrift store a few months ago. The rubber backing was flaking off, but for $3 for the three rugs I couldn't beat the price. I tossed the rugs onto the porch, thinking she'd stay there....No, she went out in the yard, but she did sleep atop one of the rugs she'd hauled off the porch.
Thursday: Without a child at home to help us eat ice cream, we're finding a carton tends to form ice crystals, which burns the surface of the ice cream. I remedied this by placing a piece of waxed paper over the surface and we've had no more ice burn.
I went to pay a visit to our local flea market...I was tempted by a few things, two of which were well out of my price range and two which I wanted but broke my own rules (I cannot purchase another thing to hide behind a cabinet door. If I can't use it, display it, or gift it, I won't buy it)...I walked out of the thrift store empty handed.
At the dollar store it was easy to steer clear of many of the things, since I'd been in last week after payday. Yesterday I bought those items I went in for: ornament hangers, pet food and a bag of kitty litter to use to absorb motor oil that leaked from a supposedly empty bottle in the outdoors trash can.
I won't need all the cat litter for the trash can, but at just $1 for the bag, I can certainly use it for a few other things or give it to one of the kids for their cats.
I didn't stick strictly to my list for good reason: I'd planned to give Susan a gift card for her Christmas (the grands gift was mailed directly to them from the store). I discovered that pre-loaded major credit cards had only a $3.95 activation fee at the dollar store, opposed to the $5 charged at other stores.
Chance wanted a little something extra last night. I listened as he went into the kitchen, opening cabinet and fridge doors and came out again. By the time he'd gone in a third time, I decided it was time to pull something from my hidden stash of goodies for him. I had candy, bought on sale a few weeks ago, tucked away. He was pleased with the added treat.
Friday: We were off to Walmart this morning. Our plan was to purchase more Kilz, look for angel figurines to put out with our nativities, and have Chance sized for a ring I'm giving him for Christmas (I'll order but Walmart happily measures for free). We came home with the Kilz, no angels, and a packet of photograph paper to use in our printer to print off photos for family. The packet of 8 1/2 X 11 photo paper was $6.97 for 25 sheets, the same price I'd pay for a single photo at the photoshop.
While Chance was prepping the bath ceiling for painting, he took down the vent cover and exhaust fan and cleaned them both. We'd planned to paint both, had even purchased paint for them, but we won't have to paint them now.
Chance suggested we take back the spray paint and we could, but...I am a home project woman, why take back what can certainly be used elsewhere on another project or two?
I've had my eye on metal numbers to put on our entrance doors but I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money wanted for the nicer numbers. Instead, I've decided a paint pen and stencils will work just as well and certainly be a lot less expensive.
I packed Chance's lunch for tomorrow this afternoon. One item that went in was peanut butter crackers. The crackers were FREE with the soda purchase I made last week. The whole jar of peanut butter cost half what a multi serve packet of pre-made crackers with peanut butter would cost.
Chance noted yesterday that the cost of oil per barrel had risen again. He suggested we fill the car today before gasoline prices increase. We won't avoid the higher costs altogether but at least we got in one more fill-up before the increases hit our area.
We havne't had extra funds for our fun account in a little while. This week we took advantage of a little of the extra and bought steaks for dinner one night and breakfast out another morning.
Chance had his last three days vacation this week. It's been nice having him about the house a few days longer and even nicer that after a busy week last week he had time to rest...if you call doing a load of home maintenance 'rest'!
It was very cold on Wednesday and never did get above freezing. This was not forecasted for our area at all and we were very surprised by it. Hot soup, a glowing propane heater, cozy slippers and jackets kept us toasty warm all day long.
I've taken plenty of time evenings to enjoy the lights on the Christmas tree. I love how it glows.
One of the cold nights, I made hot cocoa and topped it off with marshmallows. So good and so warming. I felt so cozy in my robe and slippers with that mug of cocoa in my hands.
Our bathroom has always been quite cold in the late autumn and winter months. I put an electric heater in that room to help warm that room in the early mornings when we get up. Such a difference to go into a warm bathroom!
I indulged in a sweater coat that I thought was just beautiful back at the beginning of autumn. This past week, I pulled it out of the drawer to wear. It was so soft and wonderful, light but very warm. I'm so glad I went ahead with that purchase.
I love rituals. In the late afternoon, just before evening, I feed the pets, then go about indoors drawing curtains and turning on a light in the rooms we'd normally use.. Lamp light is so welcoming and warm when you're coming in from the dark, that I left a lamp or two on when I knew we'd be out late at night this week.
I leave the window where the Christmas tree stands unshaded until we go to bed each evening. I know no one can see the lights but there's the slim chance that Chance or my cousins might see it when they're outdoors.
This past week we lit our Chanukaniah. Each evening we had a little something extra as a treat. It wasn't expensive items but just little things. One night a mesh bag of chocolate gold coins, another night a few blue and silver wrapped Dove chocolates, etc.
I don't mind the cold when it's seasonal as this has been. It's awfully nice when I know my home is snug and warm, has plenty of warming hearty meals in the pantry/freezer, and there's a nice heavy quilt upon our bed to snuggle under at night. I'm embracing the season while it's with us. I'll complain long and loud if we have weather like this in July, lol, but not this time of year.