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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Giving things up for the 40 days of Lent...


I began reading a couple of new (to me) frugal blogs since the beginning of the year.  This week Happy Simple Living mentioned Uncluttering for Lent which really caught my attention.

I'm not Catholic, but over the years I have many times made Lenten sacrifices...usually things that are unhealthy and/or overindulgences...the years I gave up soda, ice cream, and the Internet come to mind.  I try not to be frivolous about my sacrifice, but choose things that the absence of which will challenge me, and will remind me that God is more important than worldly things.

I'm a few days late getting started this year (Lent is Feb 14 thru Mar 29 this year)...but that's okay...it's never too late to decide to do good things.  

Possessions are something that are hard for me to let go of, so I think the solemnity of a religious fast mindset will help me progress.  I know it won't be easy.  The Happy Simple Living post suggests giving away a box or bag of usable items every day.  I made the calendar page above to track what I do daily.  I will post updates, perhaps during Lent, but for sure at the conclusion.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 7...


Successes:
1.  Before I left WalMart (but after I had paid) I noticed that during my self-serve checkout I ran something through twice.  I went to the customer service counter and was reimbursed $5.88.  (I hate going to WalMart, but after leaving my groceries un-purchased at the other store on Tuesday, the dog and the humans at our house needed some supplies until I can figure out a curbside order.)

2.  I used the validation code for completing a customer survey to receive a free drink from Sonic...for which they gave me a receipt showing $0.00 due...and which had another customer survey at the bottom...sweet!

3.  Carey took care of a minor plumbing issue that had been bothering him in the guest bath.  It didn't bother me in the least, because I never heard it, but I'm glad that he is able to do such things and that he stays on top of maintenance around here.

4.  I stopped by a friend's house for a visit.  This is the friend that I eat out with most often, and aside from being more frugal to forego a meal out, it was lovely to be able to sit and visit in her quiet home rather than a loud restaurant.

5.  Automatic refills of prescriptions seemed like it would be one less thing on my to-do list, but for some odd reason they always fill them at separate times.  Driving seven miles to the pharmacy multiple times is a waste of good gasoline.  I cancelled all automatic refills, and will be ordering them manually to be picked up all in one trip.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  late lunch, skipped dinner
Tuesday:  Tuesday's tantrum *takeout
Wednesday:  Dublin Coddle
Thursday:  *Thai late Valentine dinner
Friday:  Chicken Pot Pie 

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday's tantrum...

I went to the grocery store today.  I went early specifically to miss some of the crowds.  

I've mentioned before that they are rearranging the entire store.  And it has forty-nine acres of floor space.  And it makes my knees hurt.  And there are obstacles for restocking everywhere.  And rude people.  

And their chip card readers are lame.  So when I finally was in line, the person in front of me couldn't check out.  And before I started screaming at the top of my lungs, I walked away.  I left my basket in line and walked away.  Out the door.  And came home.

I came home and barked at the dog for barking at the deer.  He is now pissed off and ignoring me.

And I turned on the television, and it irritated me too.  So I decided to turn on Netflix and and watch the first thing that comes up.

And so I have become acquainted with Grace & Frankie...and after pausing it to take a call from my bff and unloading my belief that grocery stores practice age discrimination by being SO big and SO overwhelming and just not caring about anything but their bottom line...I then un-paused just in time to see Grace lose her shit...in a grocery store.

For that alone I am now a huge fan.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 6...


Successes:
1.  I made a big batch of twice-baked potatoes.  I don't follow a recipe for this, but alter the ingredients according to what I have on hand.  This time I had large baking potatoes, butter, sour cream, ranch dressing mix, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, dehydrated minced onion, dried chives, salt, and pepper.  We enjoyed some the first night with meatloaf, and the rest are in the freezer.  Future meal planning and prep is easy when I have a side ready that everybody likes, and easy meal prep means I'm not as tempted to resort to budget-busting takeout. 

2.  Quite a few single portions of supper leftovers were packaged and frozen for Carey to take to work.  And still had meatloaf left for sandwiches, as well as broccoli left to make broccoli and cheese soup.

3.  When I was shifting some things in the freezer, I found a package of cooked chicken breast medallions that I had cooked in a big batch and frozen half for later.  Yea!  I had forgotten that I had this in there, and so will use it tonight to make a easy pasta dish.  (edit:  I forgot to take it out to thaw, so will save it for another day.)

4.  I attended our quilting group at the library on Monday.  I took a project that is one I fall back on when I don't have anything else to work on.  It's handy to take since all the fabrics needed are from my stash and in a project box ready to pick up and go.  I can't tell you how many times it has gone to the library with me.  Someday it will get finished.

5.  I'm doing my best to stay out of stores and avoid people.  So far (knock on wood) we have avoided the flu.  I actually should get some medical tests done, but they're not urgent, so I'm not eager to sit in waiting rooms full of flu patients right now.  Costs of non-essential shopping and medical expenses are staying tucked snugly in my account.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  chili cheese tots
Sunday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Monday:  Jambalaya leftovers
Tuesday:  Corn and Crab Chowder w/ garlic bread
Wednesday:  meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes, broccoli
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  *pizza

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

I think I saw this ebook on special at Amazon during January...think but not sure...and checked my library site and found that it was available.  Either that or I just came across it on library site.  I began reading it when I had left my library hard copy of The Color of Lightning at home while out and about but had my Kindle in my purse, so I have been switching from one to the other.  Interesting to read them simultaneously, as both are about about Native Americans in the same area of the country.  The Color of Lightning is set in 1865, and Killers of the Flower Moon is based on events that occurred in the 1920s.  One is a novel about the initiation of reservation system, and the other is based on fact about some of the results of the system.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 5...


Successes:
1.  I made an Amazon purchase this week.  Since I have Prime, but I didn't need this order to be here in two days, I chose the 'no-rush shipping' option, thereby earning a $6 credit to be used on Prime Pantry purchases.

2.  My grocery store sells quite a few spices in bulk.  I've been making sure to save my spice containers when they are empty, and buying from the bulk bins, then coming home and refilling the containers.  This week I needed cumin, paprika, and dehydrated onions.  It is SO much less expensive (paprika was 75¢ as opposed to $3) than buying spices that are sold in jars, and it saves the packaging from the landfill.

3.  I successfully made it through January without buying any books--hard copies or ebooks--helped by using the library and by not doing a reading challenge this year.

4.  I renewed my library book online, postponing a trip to the library until I have other errands to batch in the trip.

That's about it for this week.  It has been a pretty non-frugal week.  Food waste, gasoline waste, meals out, and the list goes on...

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  chili cheese tots
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey's
Monday:  *burger
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  homemade breakfast tacos for dinner
Thursday:  *Sonic
Friday:  Jambalaya

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

I recently requested that my library acquire this book for me.  They were very speedy about making it available.  I just picked it up, so I will be starting it this evening.

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