I don't feel very successful this week at being frugal. I bought a chair. I made some donations. (It may shake up my budget, but sometimes it is just the right thing to do.) I ordered some fabric. Successes: 1. I worked a full five days this week. 2. I finally finished up the tube of toothpaste after using it a month after anyone else in my family would have thrown it away. Each time I think it has to be almost all gone, I lay it flat on the counter, and lay my toothbrush handle flat across the tube, starting at the seam end, and squeegee the toothpaste inside up toward the cap end. That always works to get another few day's worth. :) I do not subscribe to cutting the tube open and using your brush head to get the very, very last bits, because I don't like the idea of...well, I just don't like the idea. Usually I'm half asleep at night or too rushed in the morning anyway. But next time I will cut it open to see if there is a dab left. Maybe I'll take a photo to share. Exciting stuff, that! 3. I ate lunch at Sonic quite often this week, not frugal, but it is directly across the highway from the branch I was working in (which doesn't have a refrigerator or microwave to store or heat lunches from home). It amazes and aggravates me how many people leave their cars running the entire time they are eating their lunch there. Yes, it is getting quite warm here, but it is not unbearable in the shade of their awning-covered parking with the car off and the windows all open...unless there is someone sitting next to you in a huge pickup leaving it running and blowing hot engine air in your windows. When that happens, I move to the end spot on the row. It's cooler and quieter, you don't waste gasoline when the car is turned off, and secluding myself from people as much as possible and reading my book for an hour helps me relax and face the afternoon. Oh, and most of the receipts I got for my orders had free-drink-for-taking-a-survey offers. I made sure to complete all the surveys to get the validation codes, and now I have free drinks coming with no other purchase required and no expiration dates. 4. I wore work clothes and shoes all week that, with the exception of one blouse, have lived in my closet for a looooong time. I've mentioned before that I don't keep a big work wardrobe since I usually only work a day or two or three at a time. I have been working a lot this year though, and it's been challenging when working a week (or five!) at a stretch. I take things off at the end of the workday and hang them up if they are wearable a second time. I pre-treat stains before I put them in the hamper. And after washing I hang them to dry if possible, or remove them from the dryer and hang them before they get over dried. Now there are a couple of items in my work side of the closet that I am so tired of that I'm tempted to 'accidentally' spill a big old glass of red Kool-Aid on them, but so far I have restrained myself (mostly because I never buy or drink the stuff). 5. We are keeping the a/c thermostat a little warmer than we used to. We use ceiling fans, and turn them off when we leave the room and don't expect to return soon.
Frugal From the Kitchen This Week: Saturday: *pizza Sunday: Sunday family supper at Kasey's Monday: leftover pizza Tuesday: *I don't remember which probably means takeout Wednesday: salmon, seasoned rice, green beans Thursday: *Chinese Friday: chicken curry pasta (*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
My mother-in-law was reading this one when we visited last week. It sounded like I might like it, so I ordered a used copy when I got home. In the 1930s a woman works hard to handle the family mercantile business and raise twins while her equally hard working and respected husband spends every other month traveling to enlarge their sales area. Still, she was happy in her marriage and with her life until one day a stranger appears at her door with three small children whose parents died tragically. On the father's deathbed he asks the doctor to deliver the children to their aunt...only she's not their aunt...and she learns that the children's parents were her husband and his other wife. Having been raised in an orphanage, she can't bring herself to turn her back on the children no matter that their presence makes life and work harder than it has ever been, and is a constant reminder of her husband's deception. I was really glad I had it in my purse last night when I attended an auction. After previewing the sale contents online and in person, I had only one target:
Not my normal style choice, but for some reason it spoke to me...probably because I think it will look fabulous during the holidays with my leg lamp. And just look at that fluffy, old-fashioned seat cushion. It took forever for them to bring it up for bid, but that just meant I got lots of reading time, and by the time it came up most of the bidders had gone home so I could afford it. :) Of course, that means I spent all day at work today wishing for a nap!
Successes: 1. Booked 3 new days of work in June, and 2 weeks in July. 2. I worked in a neighboring town on Monday, but managed to prepare slow cooker recipe Sunday night, store covered in fridge overnight, and just slip pot into the cooking base Monday morning and turn it on. I haven't been cooking much lately for a variety of reasons, but this week I managed to get about a week's worth of freezer meals stored to feed Carey while he's at work with at least a little bit of variety. 3. We had a great day trip to see my mother-in-law. Carey took her chocolates for Mother's Day. She isn't really supposed to have chocolate, so we kept them few in number and I packaged them prettily with supplies from my stash. My gift was a nice long foot rub. 4. I have been so unhappy with my HE washing machine. How many times have I said that here? Last weekend I was at the point of telling Carey that we needed to get rid of it and shop to see if we could find a more retro one that I could fill to a water level I wanted and actually get my towels to stop being smelly and seeming less than clean. I decided that I should probably read through the manual before doing anything rash. And behold, I actually figured out how to get a higher water level! I also ran a cleaning cycle with a cleaner, which removed the dank smell from the wash tub, and I scrubbed the rim of the tub to remove dust and grime build up. I think I may be happy enough to keep it after all. A little elbow grease and effort, and reading the instructions (!), helps make 'making do' more satisfying. 5. Reading library books, brewing iced tea, paying bills on time, setting money aside monthly for annual insurance premiums... Frugal From the Kitchen This Week: Saturday: *Schlotzky sandwiches Sunday: Sunday supper at Kasey's Monday: Dublin Coddle Tuesday: late lunch out with m-i-l, skipped supper Wednesday: meatloaf, baked potato, corn Thursday: leftovers Friday: *salad (*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives
by Caitlyn Alifirenka and Martin Ganda with Liz Welch
Best book of the year so far! I began it in the car yesterday (road trip to see mother-in-law) and finished it this morning...could not put it down!
What begins as a school pen-palwritingassignment changes the lives of a 12 year old from Pennsylvania and a 14 year old from Zimbabwe. But like a pebble dropped in the water, you can feel the ripples still spreading.
I challenge you to read this book! I defy you to not be moved by it. And I encourage you to act in response to it, even in a small way.
So nice to have some time to make a few cards and write a few letters!
This was the first (for my sister's birthday):
When I looked at the finished card, I realized it reminded me so much of a former co-worker (she loves this color combination and dragonflies), that I had to make one for her as well. I ended up making three total that differed slightly and had different sentiments. All three were sent off with letters.
This was my mother-in-law's Mother's Day card. I just realized that I used the same stamp set for her birthday card at the end of March. I think (hope) the different layout and coloring will keep her from noticing. I'm trying to write to her at least twice a month this year, so I think (hope) having a bit of similarity in cards is forgivable.
Successes: 1. I haven't used gasoline to shop. This is a really lame stab at frugality, because I can't say I haven't shopped, I just stayed home and did it online. Something rather large is due to arrive this afternoon, and Carey may kill me...so if you don't hear from me, it's been real. 2. I purchased a sewing machine from Amazon. It's not an extravagant one...well, not greatly extravagant. Someone in my quilt group got one within the past year. She has fabulous machines, and she likes this one for traveling. It also has good reviews. I finally decided that I've been working a lot and wanted to spend some of my hard-won pay on this since parts are no longer made for my current machine (which is 40+ years old) making it irreparable if anything goes out on it. I've been watching the price and thinking about it for awhile. Recently it was $399...then $425...then it was down to $375, and I bit. So not really an impulse buy, as I've done some homework and had the money saved up for it. 3. I made four cards so far this week from items in my stash (and wrote letters and mailed). At the price of store-bought cards these days, I'm counting this as frugal. It also feeds my creative soul, and makes the recipients happy. One of them phoned me immediately upon receiving hers, and we had a nice catch-up visit. 4. We finally had to turn on the air conditioning. Every year I say we aren't going to turn it on until May, and every year it goes on in early April. So making it to May this year feels like a real win. Of course, I can't pretend that it was a sacrifice, it's just that the weather stayed cooler and dryer longer this year. 5. Reading library ebook, filled out survey for a free soft drink at my favorite place, still haven't gone for a haircut (though I can't say I couldn't use one, and I'm thinking of going really short again which will mean I have to go more often in the future), using up overripe bananas in smoothies, and doing cleaning chores myself but wishing I had a hired helper. Frugal From the Kitchen This Week: Saturday: skipped supper Sunday: Sunday family supper at Kasey's Monday: *barbecue Tuesday: grazed Wednesday: scrambled eggs Thursday: *Chinese Friday: *late lunch out, no supper (*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
The Readers f Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
This one was recommended as "a delightful book" by Juhli over at A Boomer Girl's Guide. I can do with a delightful book after the last couple I've struggled through (actually 1 1/2 as I gave up half way through of one). I haven't made much time to read lately, so I've just barely made a start on it.
1. Kasey is attending a wedding this weekend, and needed her gift wrapped. I'm her go-to wedding-and-baby gift wrapper. :) I had plenty of supplies in my stash to make a pretty presentation. 2. Planned-overs: slow cooker pork roast dinner on Monday made pork carnitas tacos on Thursday. 3. Picked up another two days of work in June. I really had to think about it. It means missing another day of quilting at the library, but it will pay for the quilt retreat in the fall. My job is kind of feast or famine. Right now is a busy time, but it won't always be, so better take advantage of it while it's here. 4. I brewed some peppermint tea...much cheaper and healthier than soda...and it's starting to get hot enough to really crave cooling beverages. 5. Taking care of some financial organization necessitated a trip into the credit union today. I expected it to be a quick ho-hum chore, but was surprised to see someone I really like working the counter as a new employee. Still quick, but made a ho-hum chore fun to get a minute to catch up, not to mention that staying on top of financial organization is a very frugal activity. Frugal From the Kitchen This Week: Saturday: *Chinese Sunday: Sunday family supper at Kasey's Monday: pork roast, mashed potatoes & gravy, broccoli Tuesday: Mexican Cornbread, beans, sliced tomatoes Wednesday: *Tex-Mex Thursday: tacos: pork carnitas; grilled onion, green & yellow peppers; avocado Friday: leftovers (*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)
I'm enjoying being home this week, but I've been finding it hard to get back into blogging.
I've managed to kick the cough for the most part, but giving myself a pass on unnecessary activity.
I've been doing some cooking again, which feels good.
Carey thinks Rudy has been growing recently, and that his bed looks too small all of a sudden. I think it's fine.
Oh...well...then there's times like this. LOL
I went over to the kids' house this afternoon. Today's high was 87°, and Chloe was wearing this heavy, dark sweater. When I asked her why she was wearing that on such a warm day, she explained that she had lost her shirt in gym today and had to find something to wear in the lost and found. 😅 Holy, moly, that girl can lose anything! Chloe, how do you lose your shirt? Well, I guess someone picked it up by mistake. Hmmm, o-kay?
I went back to reading this book again. I know I said it was tediously overfilled with details, and I stand by that, but I started reading a different book and disliked it even more, so returned to this one. I'm skimming large portions and reading the parts that interest me, but not at any great pace. I go back to work on Friday for 3/4 of a day. Monday and Tuesday will be full workdays at a local branch, which is nice. Monday is also quilting-at-the-library day which I will sadly have to miss. :( And that's about it.
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