Sunday, August 11, 2013

This Week in Frugality

Wildflowers, Elevenmile.
We had to go into town on Monday for something virtual-school related.  Since we were already in town, we went to a free splash fountain so the girls could play in the water and have some fun on a hot day.  Afterward, we used one of the coupons from Summer Reading to get them free pizza and sodas.

I donated some things at Goodwill, and they gave me free soda as a thank you.

We picked the church garden and took the produce to Care and Share, the local food bank for the needy.

I hung laundry on wood drying racks to dry.  I always do, but I haven't mentioned it in a while.

We went to the library to turn in materials that were due and get some new materials.

We stayed home some days, enjoying one another, reading our books, playing, and tending the garden.

We ate leftovers, and we packed snacks for various outings throughout the week.

I dug some new potatoes, and we picked some parsley, green onion, green beans and lettuces. It's been cool in the night, so the lettuces are holding up fairly late into the season.

On a particularly rough day, I decided that I was going to cut myself some slack.  Supper was chicken a la king and biscuits.  I would just buy a can of biscuits.  When I saw the price of canned biscuits and knew it would take two cans, I couldn't do it.  So I decided I'd get some bisquick, to make it a little easier.  Then I saw the price of bisquick, and got to thinking about the trans fats and all, and just went home and made biscuits from scratch.  I made them with butter, and they were pretty and tasty.  We had enough for supper and leftovers for the next morning, and since everything I used to make them was on sale, the entire batch only cost about 75 cents.  I'm glad I didn't give in to temptation and take an easier, more costly, less healthy route.

I picked chamomile flowers, roses and zinnias to brighten the house. I also picked some yellow weed flowers, because I think they're pretty, and since I haven't mowed everywhere, we have an abundance of them.

We opened the windows at night to cool the house, and used the ceiling fans as needed.

I pulled up the bolted spinach and fed it to the hens, to give them a treat and save a little on feed.

I purchased Daughter's birthday gift from someone on craigslist.  I got part of a gift for a friend at Goodwill.

We went out for dinner at Captain D's this week.  On Thursdays, kids (up to two per adult) eat for free.  Husband ordered one fair size dinner, he and I shared it, and the girls got meals for free.  It was about $8.50 for all four of us.

I took some books to the used book store for trade-in credit.  Daughter has outgrown some of the titles we had on hand.  I had some areas of interest that needed weeding out as well.  I got $27 in general credit...some of which I spent for books for Daughter's birthday and Christmas.

The very next day, there was a bookstore in town that is closing and decided to sell bags of books for $5 each.  We got 34 books into one bag.  Some for us, some for gifts, all for about 15 cents each.

Daughter asked me to list here goes, against my own better judgement.  She and Sister groomed the cat, Tallulah Mae, and felted the resulting fur into a 'wool beard' for dress-up.  Really.  This kid has been felting cat fur for years, usually into blobs.  This week, she made the beard and a heart.  Because we are just. that. odd.

Sunday was free admission day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  We went there for the better part of the day.  We took a picnic lunch from home.  In the afternoon, it was time to go to the airport, as Daughter's sister is returning home.  The girls had a nice summer together, and we enjoyed Sister's visit with our family.  The frugal part of this was combining the museum visit with airport day, since driving to Denver is, well, far.  It also made the day less likely to be a sad one, I think.  I took some pictures, but they aren't out of the camera (into my computer) yet, and I'm just too tired to get that done.  Suffice to say it was about as pleasant as a goodbye day can be. :)

Room for Improvement:

Admittedly, this has been an emotional week.  I bought myself a soda one evening when I really didn't need to.  I bought a journal because it was pretty, even though I've got enough notebooks and loose paper and composition books on hand to start an office supply store.  I did use my own $$, which is something, but I do think if I weren't a bit of a wreck, I would have skipped them both.  That said, I really do like the journal, even if I didn't need it.

We stopped for food on the way home from the airport, which really, I was fine with.  The food itself was not well prepared, and the apathy really showed.  We should have just handed it all back to them, but we didn't.  I may well give them a call tomorrow (I filled out their survey, but they said they'd only contact me if I won the Ipad.  Frankly, maybe y'all need to quit giving away electronics and make better food...sigh.)


momma-lana said...

We are as weird as cat fur beards too! Seriously, our kids are all grown and empty nester us can do some really silly things! Maybe it is keeping us young(er).

I have to share my super easy way to make biscuits with you. 1 cup self rising flour, 1 T. oil, 1/2 cup milk. Multiply as needed. Stir it all together and then I drop them with a 4 tablespoon scoop. Flour your hand and pat the tops gently until they are a flatter biscuit shape and bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes. It is seriously worth the price of a 4 T scoop to be able to make biscuits this easily. That scoop is the perfect size for muffins and cupcakes too and makes them so easy. You can also portion out hamburger patties with it because two full scoops is 4 ounces. I do 2 ounce sausage patties with it and freeze them because we buy bulk sausage. I love my 4 T scoop!

Don't beat yourself up for spending your own money on things you enjoy. As far as we are concerned that is what our little allowance every month is for.

I know your daughter is missing her sister but I am sure you are glad to to have your daughter back to yourself too. I bet your house is very quiet. :D

Have a good week!

Cathy said...

Wow! That was a short summer. At least it seems that way to me. I'm sure Daughter will be a little sad not having her sister around.

Your posts are very matter of fact, which I like. But in this instance I was wondering how did Sister's visit go with everything? I mean, do you miss her? Do you wish she could have stayed? And what about DH? Was he okay with her leaving or was it hard? I'm asking because I am curious as to how you feel about another child in the house. If this is too nosey please just disregard.

Also, I have to add that I simply adore Beverly Lewis books! I have read them all and make sure to get audio versions for when I take long car rides. She really has a way of telling a story and I love her topics!

Laura said...

Thank you both for your kind words! I appreciate the biscuit recipe too, though I can't imagine oil in biscuits! I'll have to give them a try some time. I do have a 4T scoop, and I use it for muffins, cupcakes and sometimes meatballs. Thank you for the tips!

I am not sure if the emotional stuff is appropriate here. (I don't know, is it?) but we do miss her, and we thought at one point that she would be here for the school year, so...yes, kinda sad, but we have to make the best of things, yes? I knew from the beginning that saying goodbye at any point would be difficult, so there's at least no surprise in it. I'm just praying about it and holding on. :)

Cathy, since you like Beverly Lewis, can you recommend some other authors for me? I also like Sandra Dallas - very much - but her style is a bit more intense. I'd love some recommendations!

Sheila said...

I had many of the same questions as Cathy, even though I know it's none of my business. It's your blog, so you get to decide what is appropriate. :) I just came over to comment that I wish I could get you a hug and a soda (I disagree with you about 'needing' one sometimes!). It's been really neat to see the two girls together and I think this time together was such a great gift for them. I'm not sure what to pray, so I'll just ask God to bless you all with the best things. It is so strange to begin to care about people you read about on the internet. Well, I guess the strange part is that it's kind of one-way, because I am the stranger! :) I have two daughters, so we share in the mom-love of daughters. Mine are a little older - 16 and 13, and it's an amazing thing to watch them grow up. My 16-year-old is so close to being an adult and I am both so proud of her and so worried that I have forgotten to teach her something important at the same time! Anyway, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and as far as the frugal stuff goes, you are in such a different ball-park than me that I can only read in awe.

momma-lana said...

I developed that biscuit recipe about 20 years ago because we needed to cut the fat in my husband's diet. You will be amazed at how good they are! I hadn't thought of using the scoop for meatballs. Thanks for that tip.

I hope that I did not sound like you wanted to be rid of Sister! God knows and He will send her back to you if it is in His will. I pray that she has a good home situation where she is. Is there a prayer request for her?

~Cindy~ said...

ahh Laura, I was just fixing to ask if Sister returned home, but I see in the comments she did. If you like Beverly Lewis, I have some great author recommendations for you. Suzanne Woods Fisher, Laura V. Hilton, Tricia Goyer, Vanetta Chapman, Jerry Eicher, all of these are great Amish authors. I am a book reviewer, I only review in the Christian fiction genre, pop over to my blog and check out some of the authors I have featured there.

Cathy said...

Laura, I don't read anyone else but Beverly Lewis usually. I haven't found another author that I love as much as her. I'm sure others would be better at suggestions.

Didn't mean to get too personal about the Daughter/Sister questions. Sorry if I did. I was just curious because now that Daughter got a glimpse of having a sister around...well let's just say that has to be hard on everyone involved. Even Sister.

I commend you on giving both Daughter and Sister the opportunity to bond. Those of us with siblings know that is a special bond that has a great influence on our lives.

Also wanted to add that I think a soda now and then never hurt anyone! I have recently tried to stop drinking them (I drink diet) but each time I find an opportunity for a free coupon you better betcha I am going to cash it in on a soda!!!

Love you so much Laura! You continue to amaze me in everything that you do. God sure did bless me the day I got to "meet" you online.

Mari said...

I am so glad to see that I was not the only one curious about Sister and her leaving. Maybe we shouldn't care, but obviously we do. I am praying that it works out in whichever way is best for everyone involved.


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