|These are from our Christmas Day Tea from last year. Since Advent starts in just over a week, we're doing a little planning around here!|
We've been pretty busy the last two weeks. I still feel that I haven't "caught up" yet and I probably won't until the semester is over. I did put together a calendar with all the things that I want and need to do before Christmas Eve all planned out. I'm not sure how it will work, but I'm giving it a try, anyway!
We redid our budget a couple weeks ago at the beginning of November and basically found out that things are far tighter than we had initially planned. Some expenses have been higher, some income has been lower, and there are some unanticipated expenses that have popped up. So I scrapped any plans to buy anything other than food and gasoline for the cars between now and at least January (probably longer) unless we have gift card. I have plenty to keep myself busy so it should be perfectly do-able.
Anyway, on to the stuff that we did do these last two weeks:
Ate at home or brought meals from home. Two exceptions: two free meals at work for me and two free breakfasts for John at work. They were a nice break!
John brought home leftover bagels, yogurt and Clementine's from those breakfasts. If he'd had a bag of some type he'd have brought home far more bagels, since they were just going to throw them away if no one took them. Another person, who did have a bag, took the rest.
We brought home leftover cranberry bread and blueberry muffins after coffee hour at church on Sunday. YUM!
I used items we already owned to make two Christmas gifts and half of a third. Once the paint is dry on the third, I'll finish that one too. I'm hoping to have three more gifts and a few more stocking stuffers made in time for Christmas. I'm planning on posting photos on those in December.
My son had a friend sleep over last Friday evening. We made homemade pizza, played board games we already owned and watched movies we already owned. They had a blast and asked if they could do it again really soon!
Baked two loaves of homemade sandwich bread, oatmeal cookies, cornbread, pizza and breadsticks and two kinds of soup from scratch.
Stopped at a new-to-us grocery store on the way home from work one day. I bought four dozen eggs at $0.99/dozen, 2lbs of carrots for $0.99, and 10lbs of potatoes for $1.99. I did a bunch of looking since I had not been in there before and ended up spending $28 on all of the above plus baking powder, corn starch, three boxes of tea bags (two are for birthday gifts) and 4lbs of apples at $0.99/lb.
We spent the rest of our $100 for two weeks grocery budget on several stock up items including canned goods and meat. I don't plan on buying groceries again until after Thanksgiving unless I can scrape together the money to buy a $0.99/lb turkey. So far I haven't succeeded in finding that money, so we may have to wait for Christmas or not get one at all.
Wore first a blouse and then a dress that I hadn't worn in quite a while to work to see if I wanted to keep them or donate them. The blouse will be donated and the elastic taken out of the sleeves on the dress so I can keep it and wear it.
Used the leaves from the trees in the yard to mulch the flower and vegetable beds this fall. We do this every year, but this year we had fewer leaves since a neighbor took down a tree that really needed to go and so did we. We had just enough. Yay!
Saved seeds from my zinneas and my snapdragons for next year.
Instead of buying new rose cones for our rose bushes, I upended the large foam pots that I fill with geraniums in the summer and place on either side of the garage door. They have four large drainage holes that will work well for air holes and the foam insulates just like the rose cone would. No cost for a new rose cone! And my roses are safe for another winter.
My husband broke down and listed a few items on Craigslist and a specialty item on eBay. He had sworn that he never would do this again (he used to sell on eBay years ago) but we decided that it would be worth it for a the extra cash to pay some medical bills from my shingles from the last few months.
I polished four pairs of leather shoes and sprayed them with waterproofing spray to ready them for winter. I also washed all the winter coats, hats, mittens and snow pants so they are ready before the snow flies. I had washed them in the spring but another doesn't hurt!
We finally defrosted the deep freeze. It wasn't hard, I just don't enjoy doing it. So glad that's done!
I think that's it. What have you done in the last few weeks?