Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Playing Catch Up - Goals for the Last Full Week of February

Well,  right about now it feels like 2017 is kicking our backsides.

First, flu, head cold, head cold, more flu, more head colds. Then the furnace needed repairs.  The van died completely.  We discovered a problem in one of our bedrooms that requires removing three walls worth of drywall, baseboards, etc. in that bedroom and the adjoining room to fix.  And of course all those things need to be taken care of NOW, as in yesterday, no waiting.  SIGH. 

In any case, I feel like I've been playing catch up since the beginning of the year.  I'm ready to be caught up already!

With all of that, here's my goals for this week:

* Catch up schoolwork to current
* Learn 4 new routines for Jazzercise
* Teach 4 Jazzercise classes
* Register the children for church camp
* Sew one baby gift (good friends had a sweet baby girl the end of January)
* Sew spring placemats
* Mend 5 items
* Read 2 books for my research
* Schedule home repairs for next week

Upside for this week so far?  Warmer weather- it's been right around 50F for several days now.  And sunny.  Whoot!   Our new-to-us van is a dream compared to the one that died.  I *think* we're all on the mend from all the sickness. 

What are you up to this week?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Super Savings Saturday - $30.11 Shop


Well, the food poisoning ended up blending with a stomach bug and a major head bug so between the three, all four of us were down and out.  I actually ended up staying home from work 3 days this week, which is unheard of for me because finding a sub for my classes is all but impossible and we can only cancel one session per semester without it being a huge pain in the neck.. 

Anyway, it meant that this last week was a wash in terms of anything that wasn't completely essential got dropped.  Menu plan was taken over by a lot of toast, crackers and chicken noodle soup.  So, basically I bumped everything from last week to this next week menu-wise.  John did a huge shop last week - spent right around $60 - which included an 11lb ham and lots of on-sale canned goods. Our pantry is full in many ways but I'm running low on flour, oatmeal and cornmeal.  We're going to a Super Bowl party and found out yesterday that we should bring cookies so I ended up buying a bag of flour just to make sure I don't run out between baking both bread for us for the week and cookies.  Hoping to have a bit leftover for some zucchini bread next week.

I also bought corn flour this week instead of cornmeal - our grocery store had no cornmeal in stock (no location allocated for it) and when we asked we were told that they have mixes for cornbread and the like.  So, I will be buying cornmeal next time we go to Sam's club instead.  I have been wanting to try making corn tortillas and have  friend who is willing to teach me so I bought the  corn flour.

John and I did a quick trip to the store Saturday morning and here's what we purchased:

Bread Flour 1lb $2.39
Corn Flour 1lb $2.99
Flour Tortillas 2 @ $1 = $2
Campbell's Tomato Soup 2 @ $0.75 ea = $1.50
1lb Bacon $3.99 (store coupon
3lb Pink Lady Apples $4.99
Salad Blend 2 @ $1 = $2
Cucumber $0.69
Green Bell Pepper $0.69
Avocado $0.67
2.61lb Bananas @ $0.59/lb =  $1.54
Greek God's Yogurt $3.79
1 dozen large Eggs $1.89

Total Spent $30.11
Total Saved (according to store receipt): $2.28 (6%)

I'm hoping with some of the stocking up we've done we can be light on the budget this next week.  I have about $20 in the envelope which should get us milk, eggs and some produce.  We'll hit Sam's Club sometime the beginning of next month. 

Come back Monday to see what we're eating!
What did you buy this week?  Any good deals?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Frugal Things This Past Week - The Last Full Week of January 2017

So, still no photos this week - I haven't taken a single photo.  We ended up with food poisoning this week - long story - and Missy is having trouble recovering so that's been top priority this week.  We have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow just to make sure everything is okay.  Our furnace blower also went out this week. Definitely not frugal but a necessary repair and definitely cheaper than a new furnace.  Our furnace is about 10 years old so repairs happening at this point are pretty likely.  I feel like I've been playing catch up all week and photos definitely were not on my mind.

Anyway, here's some of the frugal things we've done around here this week:

* Made homemade biscuits, bread, oatmeal cookies, chicken noodle soup, and fried white fish.

* John brought home leftovers from a funeral lunch for dinner one night .

* I taught a couple of extra Jazzercise classes which made up for the two that I missed at the beginning of the month, so I don't loose any money from that paycheck this month.

* I made up smoothie kits containing frozen bananas and raspberries and cubes of frozen yogurt and put them in the freezer for later.

* We made up a menu plan for the rest of this semester and will do some freezer cooking in the next two weeks to make dinners easier. 

* Removed the feet from the a pair of footie pajamas that fit other than the size of the foot.  I hemmed the legs and now they work just fine, but without the feet.

* Let down the hem of two pairs of pants for our son.

* Mended two pillowcases and a nightgown.

* A family friend gifted our daughter a watch that was owned by her elderly mother. The mother was also a dear friend of ours but passed away in October.  Our daughter was thrilled and loves the watch!

* I have been looking for inexpensive items of clothing to stretch my work wardrobe and I purchased a teal flyaway cardigan on clearance sale for $9 this week.  I have a lot of items to wear with this.

I think that's it for  us this week.

What have you don't this week?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Goals Update - Last Full Week of January 2017

No photo today.  I have been very lax about taking photos lately.  I really should get better at that. 

It's been one of those up and down weeks - lots to do, an ill child, my leg deciding to cramp up for no discernible reason, and another round of snow making the commute slow on top of it all.  Do you ever have those weeks where there's nothing seriously wrong but you still want to scream in frustration?  That's this week for me. *SIGH*.

Anyway, here's the goals update.

Work:
* Clean up my desk at work
* Do the shredding at work Started this.
* Clean out and organize my notebooks for both of my classes Finished one class.
* Be completely ready for classes to start
* Redo a section of my T/Th class curriculum 
* Meet with a research colleague
* Put together a Power Point presentation

Family:
* Celebrate John's Birthday
* Make two gifts for John for his Birthday

* Visit my in-laws  
* Date out with my husband
* Attend an appointment with my husband
* Meet my cousin and her husband for lunch  Pushing this back to February due to scheduling conflicts for both of us.

Jazzercise:
* Learn 12 new routines Learned 6 routines.
* Attend/teach at least 16 classes  Nine classes attended or taught so far; I'll be at 11 by the end of the week.
* Paperwork  Got this done! YAY!

Home/Yard:
* Clean out and reorganize the furnace room
* Finish the wall painting in our bedroom (just a small finish work to do)
* Patch, prime and paint repairs in the kitchen
* Have the piano tuned
* Order seeds/plants for the yard  We ended up spending the money for these on something higher priority that came up, so unless we get some unexpected income somewhere, this will have to wait.
* Go through all clothes - donate what we don't need, write a list of what we need to buy  Done!

Sewing/Crafts:
* Lap quilt for Auntie Kay
* Graduation Quilt (start this so it's done for May/June)
* Finish sewing at least 8 birthday gifts for later in the year  Sewed 2.
* Sew a baby quilt for my sister-in-law (we're getting a new nephew or niece this summer!) Done!
* Finish an Anniversary gift for my parents  Worked on this.
* Finish the embroidery on The Big Project  Worked on this too!
* Make at least three other gifts One done last week.
I've definitely made some progress.  Sewing/Crafts and Home/Yard always seem to be the categories that end up being "left behind", so to speak, as other things take priority.  We'll see how the rest of this week goes. 

What have you been up to this week?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - Third Week of January

Our daughter making Chex Mix.  She made a huge batch for my husband for his Christmas gift and has made two batches since then as well.
It's hard to believe that the month is almost over.  We've been so warm that we had heavy fog for the last two days - not a problem unless we have to drive somewhere, which seemed to be the order of the days.  We made it and I was very happy to have a quiet afternoon at home on Sunday afternoon.  That time included a board game, a nap and some time baking cookies to send with lunches this school week.

I'm so grateful for my crockpot!  We came home Sunday early afternoon to hot soup and it took just a few minutes to whip up a batch of cornbread and we were eating within 30 minutes of coming home.  We'll do that a few times this week too.  It makes our whole family's life so much better.

After scoring some good deals this week, we're getting restocked again, particularly on meat, I'm looking forward to what we have to eat this week.  So here's what it is:

Sunday, January 22:
   Breakfast: Cereal
   Lunch: Taco Soup, Cornbread
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Leftovers and Fruit

Monday, January 23:
    Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Sliced Apples and Pears
    Lunch: Leftover Taco Soup
    Snacks: Oatmeal Cookies
    Dinner: Pork Loin, Roasted Potatoes, Spinach Salad, Sliced Pineapple

Tuesday, January 24:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Dates and Walnuts
    Lunch: Leftover Pork Loin and Potatoes
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Fried White Fish, Rice, Pineapple-Apple-Banana Salad

Wednesday, January 25:
     Breakfast: Toast with Almond Butter, Sliced Apples and Pears
     Lunch: Fish Tacos
     Snack: Yogurt
     Dinner: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks and Cherry Tomatoes, Pears

Thursday, January 26:
     Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
     Lunch: Soup from the Freezer
     Snack: Yogurt
     Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup, Homemade Bread

Friday, January 27:
      Breakfast: Eggs, Zucchini-Potato Pancakes
      Lunch: Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup
      Snack: Oatmeal Cookies
      Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

Saturday, January 28:
       Breakfast: Banana-Raspberry Smoothies
       Lunch: At My Cousin's House
       Snack: At My Cousin's House
       Dinner: Toasted Ham Sandwiches, Spinach Salad
       At Home Date Night Dessert: Triple-Berry Hand Pies

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Super Savings Saturday - A $43.21 Stock Up!


The grocery store closest to us had a HUGE buy-one-get-one sale this week!  I still only had $40 (and a bit of change left from the last few weeks) so I had to watch what I bought, but I was extremely pleased with that purchases.  I did skip two things on my list - a second dozen eggs and a jar of peanut butter - since I was already maxing out my budget.  I had a total of $45 in my groceries envelope so I was determined to stick with that.

This is a very busy weekend for us - basketball tournaments for our son, the children's first dance at the middle school they attend, a dear friend's wedding (my husband is officiating), worship, a visitation and funeral.  Whew.   I think we're all going to be ready for a nap, come Monday afternoon!

I squeaked to the grocery store between things on Friday evening (I think I made it in and out in record time!) and picked up the haul above.  Here's what we got:

Kellogg's Mini-Wheats Cereal 2 @ 3/$6 = $4
Boneless Pork Tenderloin B1G1 8lbs for $17.48 ($2.20/lb - the cheapest it's been in a LONG time here!)
5lb Russet Potatoes B1G1 2 for $2.49 ($0.25/lb)
2lb Carrots B1G1 2 for $1.49 ($0.37/lb)
2.93lbs Braeburn Apples @ $1.79/lb = $5.24
Dry Pint Grape Tomatoes B1G1 2 for $2.99
2.24lb Bananas @ $0.29/lb = $0.65
10oz Spinach $3.99
1 Gallon Milk $3.89
1 dozen Eggs $0.99

Total Spent $43.21
Total Saved (according to store receipt): $25.25 (37%)

I was very pleased!  And come back Monday to see what we're eating. 

What did you buy this week?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Goals Update - Mid-January 2017

John's Advent Calendar that I made him for his office at the church.  He loved it!  I hadn't posted a picture before so I thought I should.  The red star on the top right package is for the top of the little tree in his office. 
Well, progress is slow here.  This month is proving much busier than I had anticipated and my father-in-law has had some unexpected health issues.  I have been wrestling with trying to do all the things and rest and relax like I want to.  A good problem to have, right?  Well, yes, and no. 

You see, after being sick constantly for almost 10 years now, trying to catch up is a bit like trying to push a wet rope up a hill.  If you work hard enough you can get it up the hill but it won't be anything like you want when you get there.  In a lot of ways I'm totally okay with that - my life is way better in so many ways than it was before I got sick.  In other ways...not so much.  All the partly finished and need-to-be-done things hang over my head and making extremely slow progress is not going to get them done in the time frame that is required.  I'll figure it out eventually, but I'm super frustrated in the meantime.

On that cheerful note (*cough*), here's what I've managed to accomplish so far on my goals list this month:

Work:
* Clean up my desk at work  Did this two weeks ago.
* Do the shredding at work Started this.
* Clean out and organize my notebooks for both of my classes Finished one class.
* Be completely ready for classes to start Done!
* Redo a section of my T/Th class curriculum Decided to push this back to a later date.
* Meet with a research colleague
* Put together a Power Point presentation

Family:
* Celebrate John's Birthday
* Make two gifts for John for his Birthday
Made an album and baked a cake and crab legs for dinner.  I had hoped to sew a gift as well but ran our of time.  That will be his Father's Day gift.
* Visit my in-laws  Visited this last weekend.
* Volunteer at the children's school
* Date out with my husband This is scheduled for this Friday!
* Attend an appointment with my husband
* Meet my cousin and her husband for lunch

Jazzercise:
* Learn 12 new routines Learned 5 routines.
* Attend/teach at least 16 classes  Up to 5 at the start of this week - pretty good for missing a week and a half!
* Paperwork  Got this done! YAY!

Home/Yard:
* Clean out and reorganize the furnace room
* Finish the wall painting in our bedroom (just a small finish work to do)
* Patch, prime and paint repairs in the kitchen
* Have the piano tuned
* Order seeds/plants for the yard  We ended up spending the money for these on something higher priority that came up, so unless we get some unexpected income somewhere, this will have to wait.
* Go through all clothes - donate what we don't need, write a list of what we need to buy  Got through my clothes and my husband did his.  Just need to do the children's!

Sewing/Crafts:
* Lap quilt for Auntie Kay
* Graduation Quilt (start this so it's done for May/June)
* Finish sewing at least 8 birthday gifts for later in the year  Sewed 2.
* Sew a baby quilt for my sister-in-law (we're getting a new nephew or niece this summer!) Done!
* Finish an Anniversary gift for my parents  Worked on this.
* Finish the embroidery on The Big Project  Worked on this too!
* Make at least three other gifts One done last week.

What did you work on this last week and a half or so?