Thrifty Thursday: Production and Plan


Thursday:  We took the car to be serviced today.  John asked them to check the car over.  We don't know if that got done or not.  Usually, they give us a list of checkpoints and recommendations if there are any but no such document today.   The oil was changed, and the tires balanced which were the major things we needed to have done.

Caleb and I walked across the street to the McDonalds that has a indoor play area.  I'm not as fond of this place as I am of the Burger Kings which actually have a door barring a child from leaving the play space unattended.  Fortunately, Caleb was so enchanted with the race car that he spent most of this time up there.  I only had to go track him down once.

Lunch was inexpensive enough.  John chose not to eat anything when he came over to sit with us.  My burger flipped off the table.  No clue why, since it was nowhere near the edge, and I didn't touch the wrapper.  We'll call it a calorie savings.

We went by the grocery after we left the tire place.  I purchased two can openers.  I've shared my saga of last week's great can opener revolt.  I'll purchase one more so I can put one in the picnic basket but for today, I settled for two today.   

I got Sunday's fried chicken today.  I always try to pick it up without making a special trip to the store just for that as I seldom get that one item.  I got a packet of deli sliced turkey and I bought a card for Katie's Mother's Day, picked up a prescription, the can openers and checked out.

When we came in, John opted for leftover Pasta salad as his lunch.

I used what we had on hand to make supper.  The cheese crackers I coated the chicken with weren't the best.  I bought the Savoritz brand of cheese crackers (knock-off Cheezits) and they just lacked flavor, but I was determined to use them anyway.  I was surprised that once toasted on the chicken dish, they turned into a whole different thing and were incredibly flavorful.    I served the Cheesy Cracker Chicken with a squash casserole and peas.  It was a very good supper.  

I used two cans of yellow squash, well drained, to make the squash casserole.  That was not a bad product, but I do find them cost prohibitive.   I think they cost about $1.69 a can.  Now that is a great bargain compared to online ordering of the stuff, but Squash typically runs about $1.29 per pound and is sometimes less than that at farmstands.  Perhaps I can do better cost-wise by canning yellow squash this summer when it's fresh and inexpensive.  I personally love summer squash with onions as a summer side.  I also love squash casserole.  John is far less in favor of yellow squash than I am.

John and I warmed and ate the very last of the peach cobbler which was stored safely in the fridge so it wouldn't spoil.  

Friday:  After the usual round of Friday home keeping, I started bread dough in the bread machine.  Then I put a frozen chuck roast into the slow cooker.  I should have checked the meal plan, but I didn't.  Anyway, Mongolian Beef Roast is in the crock pot for tonight's supper. I will serve it with Rice and Broccoli.

I cubed the bread in the freezer, toasted one fourth, measured out the rest into 3 parts and put two bags of cubes back in the freezer.  These will be future breakfast casserole or croutons.  I have a panful in the fridge to be made into a breakfast casserole for supper one night this next week.

The croutons baked while the oven was pre-heating for the bread to bake.  

I took a few moments this morning to go over my checkbook and immediately spotted a small error which is now corrected without any issue.

All the rest of the day was spent working on the house or playing with Caleb.

Saturday:  Up early this morning and off for a big spending day.  We bought cabinets and countertops and a new bathroom vanity with sink top today.  Not a cheap day.  And yet it was a fairly good day because we got a much higher quality cabinet for only a little more than we'd planned to spend at Lowe's for particle board cabinets.  I'm glad the contractor sent us to this place.  It wasn't busy but the number of orders were listed on a HUGE white board and it was incredible to see how far away some of those orders came from.  I was impressed with that and felt it was a good sign of how great their prices and products were.

 We planned lunch out today.  And I planned that money right into our budget this month.  

When we got home, Caleb asked for a 'Mooie'.  It took me a few minutes to figure out he wanted a smoothie, which he gulped right down.  I need to be sure that bananas are kept in stock for the freezer as well as fresh eating if he's going to ask for that as a snack.

The kids had hot dogs tonight.  John and I ate such a late lunch we wanted nothing much.  John ate a single hot dog.  I had the last of the smoothie mixture.  Katie ate leftovers from our picnic lunch.  Since we didn't touch the leftovers from the week behind, I decided to alter my menu plan which I'd been working on last night.  

Sunday:  I always feel I've gotten back on my game on Sundays.  

At church, I didn't win the day spa and all-day maid service (doesn't that just sound luxurious?) but I was given a lovely solid bottom shopping bag.  We immediately deposited our Church Bibles and notebook in that so we can grab it every Sunday.  No, it's not a special Bible used by the church.  It's just our chosen Bibles that we use at church.  We have several versions, and we periodically swap them out.

John treated me to the bottled Starbucks coffee I like, as well as my favorite doughnuts.  We'll share those out at breakfast one morning this week.

We filled the car.  Ouch.  We put 445 miles on our car this past week.  Bonus is that my Toyota Camry is anything but a gas hog.  We also racked up 37.5 miles per gallon.  She may be old, but she's a frugal minded thing just like me, lol.

Before I got my makeup on this morning, I started our toast and diced potatoes for salad. I put those on the burner and let them simmer while I did makeup, we ate breakfast, cleared up.  They weren't quite done, but I turned off the heat, slapped on the lid and let them sit in that boiling hot water.  That finished them off very nicely and they were tender but firm enough for salad.

We cleared the fridge for supper tonight.  Caleb has gotten into the spirit of this Sunday evening meal, and he ran to the fridge and grabbed what he wanted to eat when I announced it was time for supper.  He was first in line. Not all the food was eaten.  I put one item into the freezer for a future meal and we will eat the remaining bits over the week ahead in lunches.

Monday:  It's felt like a do-nothing sort of day but that isn't so.  I just haven't produced anything in the kitchen.  What I have produced today is two empty spaces: one under the kitchen sink and one under the master bath sink.  I'll count it all good though because those spaces will need to be emptied out.  I'd rather do a bit here and there over the next few weeks and accomplish it all than have to bust the moves getting it all done hurriedly.  It's also good incentive to sort things out and declutter.

When Caleb went outdoors this morning to play, I checked out plants.  I don't have tomato cages for all the tomato plants, but I have a lot of branches that are big and long that have blown from the trees.  I staked three around each of the plants that don't have cages.  I think once I add twine they will work just fine. I rather like the rustic look of them.

The rain has done all the new plants well.  They are all flourishing.  I should be able to pinch off some new starts from the coleus here in the next week.  

I watched a video on getting new blooms and propagating new orchids.  I'm going to give this a try this week.  I'm also planning to prune back and try to root the poinsettias.  They didn't change colors this year, but they look healthy enough and perhaps come Christmas I'll have a few more plants.

When I made breakfast this morning, I made extra grits.  I did it mostly to just empty the bag.  But rather than stash them in the fridge as I typically do, I put them in the freezer.  They will be nice microwaved on one of those mornings during the kitchen re-do and we're sick of eating cold cereal already.

I have formulated a plan for cooking during the renovation of the kitchen.  I'm going to empty the kitchen island and move it to the master bath.  It will become my workspace.  I don't love the idea of cooking in my bathroom, but it has a great many points in its favor.  It is a large room with plenty of space where I can set up.  There is a vent so some of the cooking aromas can be vented out of the room.  I can contain the mess to one area.  There is a sink/tub handy.  I won't have to worry about hot appliances around Caleb's busy little fingers/hands.  I have a tile floor, so spills won't ruin anything.  And if they do, we're replacing that floor when we get the bathroom redone.

I'll pack up the island with the appliances we'll be using, the equipment I can use in the various appliances, a bit of the shelf stable foods, etc.  It just seems to be the best all-around idea I've had yet.  I won't have to buy a thing but a few disposable things.  I'll use crockpot liners, aluminum pans, etc.

Tuesday:  Before I leave the room each morning, I take time to put on makeup, tot up the checkbook.  Then I come out for coffee and to face the music of the day.

Caleb and I went outdoors this morning.  I wanted to carry a box of things from the kitchen out to the shed.  This was mostly vases that I'd kept under the counter near the sink on a little half shelf.  I sighed deeply looking into the shed.  I can't walk to the back at the moment, and I really need to go out there and sort things out once more.  Perhaps I will.  I dread going in there in the summer as it is very hot and unpleasant.

I wanted to plant the iris Angela sent to me.  I didn't realize until this morning that she'd included Lenten roses.  These excite me because I've never grown them and in reading up, I found they grow well in partial shade.  I have a perfect spot for them.  

Today I planted the iris, and seeds of zinnia, Balsam, impatien, Rudbeckia and marigolds.  I had all the seeds on hand and have still more I can plant of the impatien and zinnia.   I am, as always, so hopeful that the flowers will grow and become flowers even though my success rate with all but the Balsam is abysmal.  I've never planted impatien before.

I still have a packet of pink chrysanthemum to plant.  I want sweet William, cosmos and snapdragon seeds. 

Wednesday:  I found a small portion of hash brown casserole in the freezer the other day and pulled it out to thaw.  This morning, I dumped that in a hot frying pan, along with diced leftover French Fries from supper on Monday night.  Then I flipped it all when the one side was brown.  This turned out quite good.  I don't often have a use for leftover French Fries that I think is suitable, but this worked out just fine.

With Katie's permission I took the spent rose that Taylor had given her and am now trying to root it.  I didn't have rooting hormone powder, but I did have local honey and I'm told it is a good substitute.  If this takes off, I'm going to take cuttings from two rosebushes and try to get fresh starts off those.

(C) Terri Cheney

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published