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Friday, March 31, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 13...


Successes:
1.  Picked up a day of work Tuesday covering for someone out sick.

2.  Taxes done, refund coming.

3.  Last weekend I thought my phone was on its last legs.  I was able to save all photos to 'the cloud' and manually saved all my contacts...just in case.  It seems to be okay for the time being.  I'm happy to continue using it until it is unusable.

4.  I brewed tea for iced tea.  

5.  I used the free Prime 2-day shipping to send a gift directly from Amazon to a friend at her home in another state.  The annual fee for Prime isn't cheap, but living a fair distance from shopping, I feel the cost of the annual fee is reasonable as it saves gasoline and mileage on my car, and in this case it saved me the postage I would have spent if I bought locally and mailed to her myself.  To make sure I get the most for my Prime-annual-fee money I try to take full advantage of the other advantages Prime includes.  This week I enjoyed watching A Man Called Ove for free on Amazon Prime Video, and I've been listening to free Prime Music too.  Oh, and I almost forgot that this week I took advantage of another service included with Prime membership...Prime Photos.  All of the photos I saved off of my phone (when it was acting up last weekend) went to the unlimited photo storage in 'the cloud' included with Prime membership.  

Sorry if this sounded a bit like a commercial.  I receive no compensation for my opinion.  It's just that sometimes I have to remind myself to use the 'extras' that come with Prime, and I thought they might help someone else too.  And if you don't have Prime, it's possible you have other annual memberships that have advantages you may not know about or just forget to use.  Check them out.

Keep Tryings:  Thursday we were going to be near a favorite restaurant that we haven't been to in years, so we planned our errand to put us by there for an early dinner.  I've gotten out of the habit of ordering tea when eating meals out, but for some reason I did this time...$2.39 for one glass of tea.  Of course Carey ordered tea also, so 2 glasses of tea plus tax made it $5.16...and then we tipped 20% on top of that, so just the two glasses of tea added $6.20 to our bill.  A good reminder:  have tea at home and water at restaurants.  (See #4 above)

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  *barbecue
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  Greek Pasta Salad
Thursday:  *fish
Friday:  leftovers for him, egg on toast for me

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Book of Speculation by Erica Swyler

This one has really mixed reviews, so we will see how I get on with it.  It fits the reading challenge's category of 'A book that is a story within a story.'
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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday's snail mail...

It has been quite some time since I have written a Saturday snail mail post!  

Yesterday afternoon was so quiet at the office.  After two days of no one dropping in unexpectedly (except for the auditor, who only does that once in a calendar year), and having completed my required annual training the day before, I was left to my own devices as to how to fill the time.  I was very grateful that I had packed along a little kit of card supplies.  Three quickly made and letters written.

Today they are winging their way to friends.  
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 12...


Successes:
1.  I worked three days this week.  I took my lunch all three days.  

2.  We cooked dinner at home all week and packed extra servings into the freezer for Carey to take to work.

3.  We have had some irritation with the cable service lately.  Carey wants to go back to satellite.  I reminded him that a little irritation is better than the huge satellite bill.

4.  My knee is acting up.  Today it collapsed under me while I was trying to run errands on my lunch hour.  I went down...in public...highly embarrassing...but nothing broken, so I survived and was able to return to work and finish out the day.  But once there I got a paper cut.  And the branch got audited.  Why am I always working alone when the auditors stop by?  So happy I was able to get back to my post and they didn't show up to find a deserted office.

5.  I was going to buy my mother-in-law a birthday card...was on my way into the store when...see #4 above.  I think she's getting another handmade card this year.

Keep Tryings:  The dishwasher part that Carey ordered was $168...and it didn't fix the problem.  Grrrr.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Shepherd's Pie
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  roast, potatoes, carrots, gravy
Tuesday:  meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, corn
Wednesday:  spaghetti, garlic toast
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  ???

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Wonder: a novel by Emma Donoghue

Having read several other books by Emma Donoghue...RoomSlammerkin, and Frog Music... I've really been wanting to read this for a  long while, and yet for one reason or another other books have jumped ahead of it.  

I checked this out as an ebook from the library, so it really needs to get done asap.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happiness is...


When your planned entree is under control, but you don't really know what to serve with it, happiness is remembering you have a large supply of individually-wrapped twice-baked potatoes in the freezer!  Never fails to help me keep calm and carry on.  

Tonight I have a meatloaf in the oven, and potatoes defrosting in the microwave before putting in to bake too.

I know I've said this before; sorry to repeat myself.  I'm just such a big fan of putting in the work once and reaping the benefits over and over!  :)
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Making it Monday...

Today was quilting day at the library.  I couldn't find the pattern for what I needed to be working on, so I picked up my WIP (work in progress) box containing Radio Days.  This one was started not long after I joined the library quilting group, so that's about two years now...it's a very low-priority project.  I've got eight squares done now, but it's going back in its box, since I have something more important to work on...if I could just find that darn pattern.

Happily, I thought to email the group last night asking if anyone else had the project book it was in (since I couldn't find mine), and one did and brought it.  Now I think I have everything assembled to get started on it.

I've been working on the office/craft room lately.  I'm still sorting through the books in the bookcases.  I'm hoping to reduce the numbers by at least half.  Then I will move my fabric stash onto the shelves.  My goal is to get my sewing machine set up permanently in there along with a design wall.  And I have a fabulous ironing table (on order from a friend's husband) that will need a home too.  It was the orginal impetus to get the craft room organized, because they said they will deliver it when it's done, and I didn't want them to see the room like it has been looking for the past few eons (not to mention that there probably wouldn't be room to get the ironing table into the room!)

Supper is in the Ninja slow cooker thanks to Carey, so maybe I will get off the computer and head back to the bookcases for awhile.  That is, if I can get Rudy to unpin my legs.
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 11...


Successes:
1.  I cooked at home this week even when I didn't want to.  Let's hope that last week's backsliding was an anomaly.  I did, however, pick up sandwiches after work today, because the branch I was in is near a sandwich shop that Carey really likes.  I planned ahead for this and we had our Irish meal last night instead of tonight.  I took some leftovers for lunch today.

2.  The dishwasher has been acting up lately.  I haven't used it for a week or so while Carey was gone.  I did do some online research into what the problem might be.  Now that he's home, Carey has been running test cycles trying to diagnose the issue, and he thinks it is probably the one I guessed after my online searches.  Hopefully we can get by with ordering a part that he can install.  Keeping a handy hubby around is very frugal.

3.  I got a call yesterday from a branch booking me to work two additional days next week (I was already booked for one, so now it's three).  I'm hoping for quiet days, as I just found out there have been some changes requiring new training to complete online.  Yippee...my favorite thing...not.

4.  I got a magazine article idea approved for the summer issue.  It's a how-to, and I'm really looking forward to the process, documentation, and seeing the article in print...and the paycheck.  :)

5.  I have enough moisturizer left for about one more use.  I was running errands the other day, and I started to go buy more.  Then I realized that I have a couple of moisturizers at home that I just don't use for one reason or another.  I decided I should at least give them another try, and, unless I absolutely hate them, they should be used before I buy more.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  steak, baked potatoes, salad
Monday:  Enchilada Soup
Tuesday:  Taco Salad
Wednesday:  sausage gravy over baked potatoes, broccoli
Thursday:  Dublin Coddle with Kale
Friday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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Happy St. Patrick's Day...

These aren't exactly Irish shamrocks, but since the word shamrock comes from the Irish word meaning 'young clover or little clover', I guess these are Texas shamrocks.  They're not exactly proof of a well-kept lawn, but their appearance in the spring always makes me smile.

Happy birthday to my Mom.  Today would have been her 101st.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Village life in WWII England.  I've seen it compared to The Nightingale and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which I loved; but, truly, it was the gorgeous cover art that made me have to read this one.  

It's told through letters and journal entries.  I'm not far in yet, so just getting to know that characters.
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 10...


Successes:
1.  I worked three and a half hours this week.  I had to turn down a separate request to work next Friday because I was due to have a house guest that day, but something came up so that the visit was cancelled.  I called the requesting branch today to see if they had found someone to work, and they had, but it was kind of an imposition on the person who was going to fill in, so they were happy to switch and let me have the day.  Win/win.

2. Carey was able to do some maintenance on his truck this week.  Parts reasonable.  Labor free.  :) 

3.  The initial cost of technology may be prohibitive in some cases, but there are a couple of technological things occurring around here this week that remind me that they have saved me a lot of money over time.  One is the library emailing me reminders when my books are close to being due; and then the ability to renew the item online if I'm not ready to return it.  No fines accruing, and no gasoline to make a trip to the library.

The second thing that has saved me $ is digital photography.  Remember the days of picking up an envelope of developed photos and at least half of them were pretty blah?  I really love being able to delete and retake photos, and edit them with software, and then just have the ones you love printed.  Like this one:



4.  I am VERY thankful that Carey has the desire and the ability to mow our big yard.  (Though it doesn't really look like it has been done recently in the photo above, it has...we've gotten some rains recently.)

5.  Still making do without the a/c or heater.  The humidity has been pretty high, but we've been able to get by with the ceiling fans on.

Keep Tryings:
1.  We ate out WAY too much this week.

2.  The dishwasher seems to be malfunctioning.  I guess I'll be hand washing till we can figure out the issue.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *Tex-Mex
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  (didn't write it down, and can't remember)
Tuesday:  *Whataburgers
Wednesday:  *barbeque
Thursday:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Friday:  leftovers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

I checked this out from the library.  I had to recheck it before I even started reading it as I've been pretty busy with the quilt retreat prep, attendance, and recovery.  :)  I have started reading it now, but haven't gotten far into it yet.

This has recently been made into a movie which will be released in October of this year.  It fulfills the "A Book That's Becoming A Movie in 2017" category of the 2017 Reading Challenge.
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Friday, March 3, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 9...


Successes:
1.  I have this thing about patio furniture.  As much as I love the look of cushions, I won't sit on outdoor furniture with cushions, because I'm afraid there might be spiders or scorpions hiding in them.  So we've been using a ratty folding chair on the patio when we are outside with Rudy.  However, it is starting to become rather unsafe.  By shopping online, I thought I found what I wanted to replace it (and on clearance), but when I went to look in person today, the store didn't have the one I wanted.  I'll keep looking.  Delaying the gratification.

2.  I booked a few hours of work for next week.  I usually don't book less than a whole day, but since this branch is a new local one, the gasoline usage won't eat into the take-home pay by much.

3.  Staying home, reading and catching up on sleep...no spend activities.

4.  The weather is very mild; no need for A/C or heater.  Perfect for going to the drive-in, which we haven't done in a couple of years.  But I checked out what's playing, and nothing I want to see.  Ah, well, money stays in pocket.

5.  I haven't bought Rudy any new toys.  Haven't hired out house cleaning chores.  Haven't bought any new clothes or shoes.  Haven't gotten a haircut.  

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  retreat food
Sunday:  retreat food - I provided salad for Sunday's meal
Monday:  retreat food
Tuesday:  retreat food
Wednesday:  salad with *purchased popcorn chicken added
Thursday:  Spanish rice
Friday:  *Scholotzky sandwiches

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

I haven't read any time travel in awhile.  This one has an interesting premise.  Dana, a young African American woman suffers an intense feeling of dizziness, and finds she has instantly been whisked across time and miles and into the antebellum south, but she is back at home with her husband in a matter of seconds.  Frighteningly, these episodes continue.  At first each stay in the past progressively lasts from minutes to days, but takes only seconds to hours out of her present life.  But worst of all her husband managed to follow her into the past, but was not able to come back to the present.

 I'm about halfway through.  This one will put a check mark in the "a book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you" category of the 2017 Reading Challenge.
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