Saturday, October 28, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, weeks 42 and 43...

SOOOO happy to be home.  We just got in from being away for two weeks.  We logged over 5,000 miles during that time.  Here's a bit about the frugality of it, even though it is Saturday.  :)

1.  The only things I forgot to pack were a shower cap and shampoo.  The first hotel (first night) had both in the room, and they both lasted me for the entire two weeks.

2.  Out of 14 nights away, we only spent 4 in hotels, and they were surprisingly less costly than I had expected.  We all (Carey and I and my sister) shared one room with 2 queen beds.  Three of the hotels offered breakfasts.  We spent one night with my friend, the other Kathleen, and she fed us breakfast as well.

3.  The other 9 nights we spent in cabins at various state parks...very private and peaceful as there weren't too many other people at this time of year.  We stayed at least 2 nights at each location.  All but one of the cabin stays had been paid in full before we ever left home.  Since all the cabins had kitchens, we mostly ate in.

4.  I had planned and packed the food to take with us.  I pre-cooked meats for soups/stews and vacuum packed them and froze, and we borrowed a Yeti cooler which kept things mostly frozen between locations (when we got to each destination we moved everything from the cooler to the fridge/freezer in the cabin...including the bags and bottles of ice which refroze and were ready for the next leg of our journey, so not much spent on ice, and I didn't worry about refreezing the meats that had already been cooked ahead of time, since they were for soups and refreezing didn't affect the taste or texture).  For the foods that didn't need refrigeration, I packed each recipe's ingredients in a separate zip lock bag (canned goods included) and placed them all in a single box 'filed' in order that they would be needed.  That saved rummaging through everything, as each time I was ready to start cooking I could just grab the next bag, and then add its items to the matching ingredients (also labeled) from the fridge/freezer.  I also packed a 'breakfasts and snacks' bag.  We didn't eat many meals out, but we splurged on a few really nice ones.

5.  Foregoing souvenirs was not much of an issue, as we were very limited on space in the car.  I did buy gifts to bring home to the family at A Christmas Story House, as everyone in the family loves that movie.  I did buy some fabric as I had planned stops at some great quilt shops, but truly, I limited myself.  And we did stop at some thrift stores and picked up a few small things which I will blog about later.

Keep Tryings:
1.  We worked on the jigsaw puzzle one night (who knew my sister wasn't a fan of jigsaw puzzles?), and the puzzle board I made did work.  However, a cooler bag leaked on it in the car and I'm waiting for it to dry out to see if all is lost.

2.  We never got around to playing cards that I bought to take along.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  stew and cornbread at my sister's
Sunday:  *pizza and salad buffet
Monday:  No-Peek Chicken
Tuesday:  Roast and Dumplings
Wednesday:  Virginia's Taco Soup and cornbread
Thursday:  Old Fashioned Goulash
Friday:  Jambalaya
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  i can't remember
Monday:  *sushi
Tuesday:  Lentil Soup and cornbread
Wednesday:  Frito Pie
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  *dinner out

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Practice House by Laura McNeal
Reading this one on the Kindle.

11/22/63 by Stephen King
And listening to this one in the car.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 41...

1.  Finished menu plan and shopping list for next two weeks.  Made the supreme effort of the grocery shop.  Spent $117...which I thought was pretty least considering that we would have been eating out daily on the road if not for this effort and it also included some ground beef and stew meat that I precooked and vacuum sealed for the freezer for later.

2.  Carey changed the oil in the car, and gave it a thorough once over in preparation for its road time ahead.  I SO appreciate his skill in this area and the fortune it has saved us over the years.

3.  Payday...yippee!  Paying bills...meh.  But getting it done on time means no late fees.

4.  Had an appointment with my primary care physician this week.  I needed to have the dosage adjusted on one prescription, and I asked her to renew a prescription for a muscle relaxer.  She prescribes it for me annually.  I almost never take them, but I once had to make a VERY expensive trip to the ER, in an ambulance no less, due to a muscle spasm in my back.  Since then she agrees that keeping a few on hand would help me be able to avoid the expense of a repeat ER visit.  

5.  I didn't give in to snack temptations while at the store.

Big Fat Frugal Fail:  You may remember me mentioning that I ordered state maps from state tourist bureau websites for free.  Yes.  Well.  Only two arrived within the two or three weeks stated mailing time frame.  In fact only two arrived period...and it has now been almost seven weeks.  I had to order them from Amazon after all...they were crazy expensive ($5 and up each, and I needed SEVEN different states.  Ouch.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  sandwich
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  Creamy Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Tortellini Soup
Tuesday:  Sloppy Joes
Wednesday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Thursday:  Spanish Rice
Friday:  ???

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

I have snuck in a few books this week.  For the 2017 reading challenge category of 'a book you loved as a child' I chose:
Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl by Helen  A. Monsell

This is a set of books called Childhood of Famous Americans that were on our bookshelves when I was growing up.  I could have picked any one of the set for this category, as I probably read each of them half a dozen times or more, but I chose Dolly Madison: Quaker Girl by Helen A. Monsell.  Pamela at The Lady of the House Speaking posted recently about visiting James Madison's Montpelier, and it made me think of this book, and reminded me how much I loved the whole series when I was little.

Then I was notified that my turn had come up for the library's ebook that I had had on reserve for quite awhile:
Faithful by Alice Hoffman

It doesn't fit any of the last remaining challenge categories, but that's okay, it was worth the reading...although until about a quarter of the way through I wasn't so sure.

And then, yet again, I was notified of another reserve at the library being ready for me.  This time a hard copy of:
The Child by Fiona Barton

I had put a reserve on the library's hard copy and ebook of The Child, figuring that I would take whichever came available first and cancel the other.  It's very tempting to just sit and read, but I have a TON on my to-do list right now, so I'm reading what I can, and then will return the hard copy and wait till I get the ebook to finish it.  It doesn't fit anywhere on the challenge list either, so it's an 'over and above' book for the year.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 40...

1.  Two stay-home, no-spend days since returning home on Tuesday from the retreat.

2.  We ate the last of the twice-baked potatoes from the freezer this week.  It will be time to make another big batch for the freezer very soon.  Having a well-stocked freezer makes it easier to withstand the temptation of takeout.  

3.  I worked a full day today, and it was local.  Not having to commute saves time and gasoline.

4.  Batched errands near the office today.  The office I worked at was just blocks from the library, so I picked up some reserved items at lunch, then dropped by the bank next door to the library to deposit a check.

5.  I dropped by the kids' house on my way home from work.  Chloe had just finished the first Harry Potter book, and she asked me to take her to the library to pick up the second.  I brought her home with me instead and gave her the first three of the series, which I have had forever.  I told her to donate all of them to the library when she was through reading numbers two and three.  Saved me gasoline (and I didn't want to make another trip since I had just been there at lunch today), and got stuff out of my house.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  @ quilt retreat
Sunday:  @ quilt retreat
Monday:  @ quilt retreat
Tuesday:  pot pies
Wednesday:  meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, corn
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  *burger

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Slow Dancing With a Stranger: Lost and Found in the Age of Alzheimer's
 by Meryl Comer

Heartbreaking and frightening memoir.  Meryl Comer was a television journalist married to a successful doctor at the National Institute of Health.  Then she was forced to become a caregiver when her husband began suffering terrifying symptoms of dementia in his 50s.  

This one fulfills the 'book by or about a person who has a disability' category of the 2017 reading challenge.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Home again, home again...

I arrived home from our quilt retreat this afternoon.

I made a lot of these 12.5 x 12.5 spool squares with different 'thread' colors.  These are for a group project that I had fallen behind on.  All caught up now.  :)

You've seen these Tag Team squares before here.  I made a lot more of them the last few days.  Then I laid them all out and started the process of joining them.  

 I joined all the squares into rows, then started joining rows into sections. I have a few more rows to join, then assemble the sections and add some borders before it can go to be quilted.  

I suppose I could have gotten more done, but I'm happy as it stands.  I also had some reading time, some video time, yummy meals, and lots of fun girl time.

Perhaps the best part of going away is coming home, and tonight I can't wait to sleep in my own bed!  :)

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