Saturday, April 25, 2015

This Week's Frugal Accomplishments and Blessings, Next Week's Menu

It has been a busy week,  but we found a few ways to spend less, save more and make do.  Here are the frugal accomplishments and blessings for this past week, along with next week's dinner menu.

I cut a lot of my indoor plants back to the base a few weeks back.
The jade plant is coming back very nicely.
We got carryout pizza last Saturday evening, and paid for almost all of it with gift cards Husband earned on Swagbucks.  The good news/bad news?  The pizzas we got were okay, just missing a few things.  Each.  They got the order 'spectacularly wrong'.  We called to let them know, and they gave us a credit to use next time.  I'm sure they'll get it right next time!  (Actually, we ended up getting a pizza this Friday, and it was perfect!)  We still have enough credit to get another pizza some time, too.

Meanwhile, we had fried chicken (carryout) the previous week.  Husband had picked it up on his way home from work, and I had made sides to go with.  When he got it home, it was spicy instead of regular.  I called and called, but no one picked up the phone until this Thursday.  The young man that I talked to said that they were sorry, to bring the receipt and they will give us the order, done properly.  We don't eat out a lot, so it's disappointing to get mistakes, but I am glad that both places are willing to fix it.

I continued with my part-time work efforts.  Between filling in at the library and scoring for Pearson, I worked just under 30 hours (I think it was 29.63 hours).  On my first paycheck of the season from Pearson I had a productivity award too - every little bit helps!

I shared some marinated three bean salad with a friend - we are sharing side dishes here and there to reduce waste and workload.  It's also a reason to get together and visit a bit - always a plus!

Daughter attended a library program and potted this succulent.  She gifted it to me - isn't she sweet?

I cut up a chicken this week - the breasts were grilled for the chicken Cesar salads, the drumsticks went into the Asian chicken and vegetables with bean thread noodle, and I used the frame to make stock.  I froze the wings for later (when I get enough, we can make Buffalo wings) as well as the thighs (they are good lots of ways, so when I have 4-6 I'll grill them or something) and I stripped the meat from the frame and froze it for future barbecue sandwiches.  We get quite a few meals from a single chicken!  I put two containers of stock in the freezer - I'll use one this coming week for the vegetable soup I plan to make.

I hung our laundry to dry on drying racks....and just today, we got the clothesline cables and got them put up, so I can hang clothes outdoors again as well.

Yay for clothes lines!
I'm planting rhubarb at the bases.
I completed my book review, so I was able to request a new title from Blogging for Books.

I picked a little asparagus.  I have radishes, lettuce and spinach sprouting.  The kale and chard seedlings I planted are growing too...all under a protective cover.  The peas are not protected, and are just peeking out of the ground.

We took Daughter to a free display - the Lego Americana Roadshow in a mall up near Denver.  It was a surprise, and she really enjoyed it!  We also stopped at the Lego store while we were up there.

The Roadshow was free to the public - the Lego store, not so much, hee hee.  We did have a really nice time, and she is using the Legos she bought along with a library book full of ideas for freestyle building.  Check out these riding ducks she made for Wyldstyle and Emmett!

There were some good grocery prices this week.  Colby-jack cheese was 1.99/lb, and apples and oranges were .48/lb.  I splurged on a small seedless watermelon too - at .25/lb, it cost 1.52!  Even though they weren't on sale, but I picked up corn tortillas this week.  They seem to keep in my fridge forever, so I buy the larger quantity package, since the price is lower.  I did not do much shopping this week.  Husband did take a prescription to King Sooper for transfer (we will get $25 store credit for that) and we picked up the freebies - a Lindor chocolate bar and Lipton sparkling tea.  Walgreens had a deal for a bag of crispy M&Ms - it was $2.99, but there was a $3 register reward with purchase, making it a break-even deal.  (I did read online that there were $1/1 coupons somewhere, but I didn't manage to find one.)

Freebies!  There were two Reese's pieces 'carrots',
but one got eaten before the photo was taken.
Kohl's sent me a $10 off post card.  We found Reese's Pieces (in carrot-shaped bags) and Godiva chocolates on clearance - we don't care that they are in Easter shapes - and got them free of charge.

We checked out books and media from the library.  I did a little reading each night before bed.

Tomato seedlings.
With subbing and scoring, I'm going to be pulling some dinners from the freezer this week, but I'll make some items fresh as well.  Here is the plan:

S - tamales w/enchilada sauce and cheese, calabacitas (a saute' of Mexican squash, onions and corn), sliced grapes

M - grilled cheese sandwiches, vegetable soup, sliced apples

T - Asian chicken salad (a complete meal!)

W - ham, cheese and asparagus crepes (we were supposed to have this last week, but had the do-over pizza instead), garden salad, mango

R - sesame-parmesan turkey cutlets, steamed rice, broccoli and carrots, pineapple

F - grilled steak, baked potatoes, mixed vegetable stir-fry, mango

S - savory strata with ham, cheese and vegetables (or maybe quiche - we'll see how it goes), garden salad, fruit salad

How was your week?  What did you do less to spend less, save more and make do?  Share your accomplishments in the comments! :)


  1. Sounds like you had a good frugal week with work and fun interspaced too. I think LEGOs are a great investment. Such great fun for the kids (and adults too!). We have bins and bins of them and every time I think my son is done playing with them (he's 13.5 now), I see him using them again. Although I give all the toys that the kids outgrew (save some favorite ones) to thrift stores once they're not played with anymore, I'll never give the LEGOs away. Those I'm keeping for the grandchildren.

    I'm jealous of you being able to grow rhubarb! I tried growing some from roots I had ordered from Burpee last year but it died pretty fast. This year Home Depot was selling small plants in pots so I got one a couple of months back and so far it has survived... but not grown very much. I did see an infographic this week that states that rhubarb won't grow in containers so that coupled with the fact that it's not supposed to grow in Central Florida at all probably spells its doom. However, I kept the Home Depot receipt so if/when it does die, I'll bring it back to get a refund.

    It's frustrating that your take-out orders were wrong but good on the restaurants for correcting the mistake by issuing you credits.

    Our week wasn't so frugal here just because our new windows were installed by Home Depot so the balance of the total cost was promptly charged to our American Express. Gulp. We will pay it off from our savings and will get a nice statement credit from the Amex Reward Program, I expect, and the installed seemed to think that we should get some kind of tax credit next year for upgrading the windows, although I didn't find anything when I searched online. We'll see.
    We also ate out/ordered in a couple of times but we hadn't eaten out/ordered in at all this month so I'm fine with that. We borrowed books and movies/TV seasons from the library and I even scored 6 free baby begonias since they had had an Earth Day event with begonias for the kids to pot and take home and had lots of leftovers. My garden is producing beans and jalapeños and also a few black raspberries; the tomatoes are growing and hopefully will ripen before the kids and I leave for our European trip in about a month and a half!

    It was a good week as a mom because my middle son (away at college) came to visit for a couple of hours, we went to see my oldest son give his Jr. Recital (he's a trumpet player majoring in Jazz Studies) and he completely nailed it (I was so proud!), our youngest son was honored at his middle school for having gotten straight A's this past quarter again, and my daughter (a sophomore in h.s.) also received straight A's.

    We worked on the house inside and out (rearranging furniture, restoring our spare bedroom to a functional room, repainting a student desk, painting one side of the exterior of the house) and also on the landscaping (weeding, laying down weed block and remulching a berm). I gardened, clipped coupons, batched errands.

    I'll be typing this week's menu a little later on, I hope you all come visit :) Have a great week, everyone!

    1. Sounds like a very busy week! I would call Home Depot and/or your local utilities and ask if they have info about the tax credit - that could make a big difference! I have to say, my rhubarb doesn't do what I want it to. Instead of making bigger, longer stalks, it seems bound and determined to make more rhubarb plantlets...even when I divide the crowns down really small, it goes into 'more plants' mode, instead of 'more stalks' mode. These plants were here when we moved here, so they are likely 30-some years least. I just harvest the little stalks, make a bit of jam, and move on with life, lol.

      Have a wonderful week!

    2. Our all adult children and their spouses sometimes get out the Legos and play sitting in a big circle on the floor when they are here to visit. It is a hoot!

  2. Can most house plants be cut back like that? My husband likes to grow plants but doesn't trim them or rotate them and they end up stringy and straggly and ugly. I was honestly getting ready to throw some out this week because I can't stand it. Maybe I will try cutting them back and then take over trim maintenance myself.

    I think my biggest accomplishment this week was just making it through and not buying any unplanned meals out. May is going to be so busy! I need to plan well now.

    I always enjoy your posts.

  3. Sheila, I am not sure about all plants, but I do know that for most any plant, if you pinch the growing 'tips', then the plant will send out side shoots. With the jade plant....I bought one at Walgreens about 3 years ago. It was in a plastic pot, no price tag. It turns out they came to the store in pretty ceramic pots, and that had been broken, so the manager charged me 50 cents. It has since tuned into dozens of plants. When it got all straggly, I had cut off pieces and rooted them. This time, I just cut them off and tossed them in our compost, but if it hadn't worked out, I have two other plants, plus any of my friends who wanted some have them now too. I wouldn't chop back aloe vera like that, but I've cut back vines before, and put the cut-off pieces into water to root. I know you can root coleus like that too. I would experiment if I were you, and see how it goes...or maybe look around online for better info. :)

    I know what you mean about unplanned meals out. We've had more meals out than usual of late (partly because of the credits from the mistakes). It's also easier, and I've been working from home more lately...I need to plan well too, because it's s slippery slope!! Thanks for your kind words.

  4. I kept a list this week....and now I don't know where it went. :(

    After being stung by a wasp this afternoon my brain is on sabbatical. I was stung on my right hand and it is the same hand that I injured in a van vacuuming accident where I ripped the skin off my thumb on Friday.

    Hubby and I had BBQ out on Friday night with a BOGO coupon from the Entertainment Book. This place is in a bad neighborhood so we only eat there in the summer when it will be light outside in the evening. It is SO good and made a very inexpensive date night.

    I have picked a new color for the shutters on our house and it will make a huge difference in it's curb appeal and the project will be less than $50. We hope to paint next Saturday.

    The grocery sales have been really nonexistent here so I just made a quick run to Aldi for produce and spent $22 in all.

    On Saturday we pulled half of the books on the bookshelves and donated them to the local thrift store that supporst a women's shelter. That is seven loads donated this year out of twelve. Onto the garage next but it may be June before there is time to do it.

    I have not made any menus yet but there is plenty here to choose from. Today we had planned to go out and use a gift card that I have had for nearly a year. I just did not want to go when I got up this morning so I put potatoes in the crockpot and planned to grill smoked sausage and zucchini with it. I was so glad because a friend needed some essential oils immediately and we were able to ask her to just come on over instead of being tied up elsewhere. God knows!

    The Lego exhibit looks awesome and daughter's creations are always great! Your new clothesline looks wonderful. Drying outside under our trees is just asking for items to be bird bombed!

    Have a good week everyone!


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