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Friday, June 21, 2019

Frugal Friday File 2019, week 25...

Successes:
1.  Katy Wolk Stanley, aka The NonConsumer Advocate, sets a good example for her readers to reuse packaging materials.  I rarely mail packages, but I do save some small boxes and bubble wrap that I get medical supplies in for mailing or gifting, and some larger boxes that are a good size to transport donations, etc.

I've never saved padded envelopes, though, until Katy opened my eyes.  Within the last month I have saved 3 large padded envelopes received with amazon purchases; one manilla and 2 white plastic ones with 'prime' printed all over them.  This week I needed to mail a tee shirt, so I trimmed down the manilla envelope to the size I needed, inserted tee shirt, addressed with a permanent marker, and taped envelope closed with packing tape.  I used a permanent marker to black out the printed bar code.  The previous address label was in the torn end of the envelope that I had trimmed away, so no need to cover that this time.  

I hesitated to use the white envelopes with 'prime' printed on them just to avoid any confusion on the part of the post office or the recipients.  Now that those are all I have left, I thought I'd see if some acetone nail polish remover might remove the printing from the plastic.  Wow, it came off SO easy!  See the before and after in the photo below.  I intentionally left the recycling instructions printed at the bottom.  

I tried the acetone on the address label.  It smeared, but didn't remove printing 100%.  I think covering the original label with duct tape would work to easily and securely cover it, or one could completely cover the old label with a new one.
Voilà!  There's more than one way to skin a cat recycle.

2.  I worked 1 scheduled day this week and then picked up 2½ more days when the person I fill in for had a family medical emergency.  Here's hoping for a full and speedy recovery for her family member.

3.  Carey picked up 3 extra days this week also.  (Which is a good thing, because he is needing a new vehicle AND a new riding lawn mower, so socking money into savings lately in preparation for those purchases is what we are all about.)


Larger beads representing from left: 
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Poor little blue Pluto was shunned clear off at the the back left.
4.  The library offered a free 'planet bead bracelet' workshop (with all supplies provided) for ages 13+.  I texted a photo of the bracelet to Caitlyn, and offered to register her and her best friend and drive them if they would like to go make a bracelet.  They both accepted.  I registered as well; and since Chloe is away at camp this week, I will gift her the bracelet I made when she gets home.  Three free bracelets, encouraging the girls to utilize the library's programs, and time spent with some of my favorite people...win, win, win!

5.  I bathed Rudy, cleaned his ears, and trimmed his nails; saved $20 minimum.

Saturday:  baked potato
Sunday:  baked chicken, twice-baked potato, green beans
Monday:  *fried fish
Tuesday:  leftover chicken, baked potato
Wednesday:  *Schlotzky sadwiches
Thursday:  *Tex-Mex
Friday:  breakfast for supper

Number of individual servings made and frozen for work lunches this week:  

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

At the moment, I am on overload with library books that are checked out and needing to be read before they are due, and I just got a notice that one I've been waiting on is now reserved in hard copy and needing to be picked up by Friday.  And it's been a busy week, so not much time to read!

I did start The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, but just barely, and I'm still listening to We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves that I posted last week.

When will I find the time!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Frugal Friday File 2019, week 24...

Successes:
1.  This week I had enough tomatoes off the vine I was gifted to make two tomato pies (savory, not sweet), one for us and one to share.

2.  I remembered to pick up a laundry pretreat stick for the master bathroom, since the current one is running on empty.  Keeping pretreat near the hamper means I can treat stains as I put clothes in the hamper at night.  I keep another one in the laundry room.  It's the rare and determined stain that gets past this girl.  :)

3.  A friend called to invite me to lunch.  She offered to buy my lunch if I would make and bring a birthday card she needs to send to a special friend for an upcoming birthday.  I finished the card today, and will probably make her a couple more just to keep on hand.  She's always an ego boost where my cards are concerned.

4.  I completed 3 surveys for free Sonic drinks, and used 2.

5.  I sat and waited on Chloe at track camp a couple of days.  I try to park in shade if there is any, but definitely a little away from the other waiting parents so that the heat coming off their running engines doesn't make its way in my open windows.  Temperatures here are in the high 80s, but there has been slight breezes, so it's not intolerable.  Open windows and engines off is better for the engine, gasoline usage, and the environment.  

Frugal FAIL:  Tuesday I was late getting started on preparing supper, so I pulled some frozen meatballs out of the freezer and set to making some sweet & sour meatballs over rice.  Blech!  We each forced down a small helping and then threw away the rest (except for the rice, it was separate, so we saved it for another meal).  I don't know if the recipe was off, or if I made a blunder, or if the meatballs were super high in salt to begin with so that the soy sauce put it into the stratosphere.  I think this is only the third time in the past 40 years that we have both hated a meal I prepared so much that we had to just trash it.  

Saturday:  *Tex-Mex
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Liver & Onions, garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli
Tuesday:  sweet & sour meatballs over rice 😝
Wednesday:  pork chops, rice w/ gravy, tomato pie, green beans
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday: baked chicken, hot potato salad, veg

Number of individual servings made and frozen for work lunches this week:  12 (plus 10 slices of individually packaged banana bread)

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Finished
Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict

Since Juhli asked for my thoughts on this after completion, here they are.  The writing was good, but I have to say that I wasn't keen on this fictionalizing of a historic figure.  The author explained the premise for her work in the afterword, but I feel like it would have been better to change the name of the male character and explain in the afterword that he was based on Andrew Carnegie.    People these days believe anything they read (just look what they 'share' on Facebook), and they skip the afterwords.  I'm afraid that too many readers of this book will accept it as fact, and it feels as if it diminishes Carnegie's philanthropy to suggest that it was influenced by a fictitious person.  (I'm thinking that I would love to read a book about Carnegie by Erik Larson, who makes facts as spellbinding to read as fiction.)

As an aside, I think it was in the 80s that I read a novel about a Carnegie-like character...a Scottish immigrant, a miner turned oil man turned steel baron who ended up a captain of industry and built a great fortune, but whose children suffered and his adoring wife finally even gave up on him.  I loved that book, and would like to read it again, but for the life of me I cannot remember the title or author.  I can clearly picture the cover illustration, but not the title.  If this description happens to ring a bell for anyone, please let me know!  

Also finished
A Dog's Purpose by W Bruce Cameron

I really enjoyed this one.  Yes, there were a few tears, but there was also some chuckling out loud.  A sweet imagining of a dog's progression through life and death and over again.  Very entertaining, very touching, and it is making Rudy wonder what's up with all the extra hugs and treats and 'good boys' he's getting lately.

About to start
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

A family is fractured by events surrounding the 'disappearance' of their 'daughter.'  The parents, a psychology professor and a nonpracticing scientist, raised Fern as their own child, a sibling to their children, but Fern was a chimpanzee, and she was removed (involuntarily?) from the family, leaving a trail of ongoing unhappiness.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Frugal Friday File 2019, week 23...

Successes:
1.  I worked one day this week.

2.  I'm picking up some free eggs today from my favorite POA non-sanctioned chicken wranglers, and returning my empty cartons to them

3. Whenever I receive a receipt with a survey offer at Sonic, I always complete them to receive a free drink on my next visit.  Twice lately, when they have been really busy and rather slow getting orders delivered, I've handed them the completed survey for payment and they apologized for the delay in service and have handed the survey back to me to use again at a later time to make up for the inconvenience.  Two free drinks from one coupon?  Thanks!

4.   Enjoying the fruit of the cherry tomato plant Kasey gave me.  We've gotten just two tomatoes from the other larger-variety plant she gave us.  I've been holding onto them hoping that some of the green tomatoes still on the vine ripen up so I have enough large ones to make a tomato pie.

5.  I paid with a check at a business that has started charging extra to use a debit/credit card for payment.  I also paid a bill by check to another company that charges for online bill payment.  I loaned my car to Kasey one day this week when hers was in for repair; a forced stay-home/no-spend day is still a stay-home/no-spend day.  I've checked out audio books from the library to enjoy while I'm working in the office/craft room.  

Saturday:  *pizza
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  leftovers
Tuesday:  
Wednesday:  breakfast tacos for supper
Thursday:  *Schlotzsky's sandwiches
Friday:  shrimp pasta salad

Number of individual servings made and frozen for work lunches this week: 

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Carnegie's Maid  by Marie Benedict

Clara Kelley is an experienced lady's maid set to start work in the grand household of Andrew Carnegie.  But that Clara Kelley disappears, and a poor farm girl also named Clara Kelley pretends to be her, but it is a risk since she is without the skills required of the job.  

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Two book recommendations...

Just thought I would mention this if anyone is interested.

I found two of my favorite books at a special price for their Kindle versions this week on Amazon.  I read these in 2018 and 2017 respectively, and gave each of them 10 points out of a possible 10 points (I have my own scoring system described on my Reading List page).  I only give books 10/10 if I am sure I want to re-read them at some point.

I originally checked out both of these from my library, but my love for them combined with the prices I found them at this week means I couldn't resist having the Kindle versions for my very own.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles... I rate it 10/10 (finished 1/20/2018)  A story about a German settler child who was abducted and adopted by the Kiowa after they killed her family, and about the aging Captain Kidd (not the sea captain) who agreed to escort her on the long and dangerous trip back to an aunt and uncle.  The Captain's sense of honor and principle and grit reminded me a bit of Lonesome Dove's Gus, as did the harsh Texas conditions of weather, travel, and good versus evil.  The relationship between the Captain and the captive girl will linger in my thoughts for awhile. 

The Old Man by Thomas Perry...I rate it 10/10 (finished 5/15/2017)  The best book I've read this year!  If you like his Jane Whitefield novels (Vanishing Act is my favorite), then you will love this one.  
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