HAPPENINGS AROUND HERE TODAY:
- Another gray, overcast morning here. I'm going to stop complaining about them since yesterday the weather ended up being perfect for gardening! I should get back in the garden this morning and continue my mulching project. I still have a few sides to finish (including the border of the berm closest to my patio), need to install the plastic edging that Greg got for me a couple of weeks ago, need to plant seeds and transplant seedlings, and I'm sure other things too that I have forgotten about.
- I made a to-do list of chores that I would like to accomplish before Monday. The hardest is always to get started in the morning!
- Taking advantage of the cloud cover, I went into the garden and spent another 2.5 hours pulling more weeds and laying down the rest of the cardboard boxes and the mulch. I ran out of boxes! I only need 2 or 3 more to complete my projects so that was kind of annoying (Save A Lot had a lot of boxes for the taking on Wednesday but I didn't take any because I already had a porch full of them. Darn it!). However, I've been trying to find an excuse to drive out so I can also pick up the SavingStar freebie before they're all claimed so I might muster up some energy to do that! Once it's all mulched, I'll still need to install the edging.
- I also reorganized my garden somewhat, pulling 4 self-watering bins that were apart from the others to be closer to their cousins and using duct tape to mark the side where the drain hole is on each bin (technically it should be on the same side as the watering pipe, but I got distracted as I was putting a couple of them together and put the hole on the opposite side. It's annoying me to always have to wonder on which side the hole is as I refill the bins, so a bit of duct tape indicating the location of the hole will help my frustration level :)
- The sun came out right at the end of my stint in the garden and the temperature shot up by several degrees so I stopped at about 11:45 p.m. and fixed my lunch, which I ate on the patio, listening to the cicadas and watching some wasps and bees flying around and the lizards playing Parkour.
- Greg worked from home today, saving us about $20 in gas and tolls.
- My daughter and our son packed their lunches for school - and remembered to bring them!
- I defrosted half a loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread that I had baked earlier this week, for everyone's snack.
- I reused all the cardboard boxes that I had left (including all the cereal boxes that I had kept and I fished out the cereal bar boxes out of the recycling bin!) in my garden and laid mulch on them.
- I loved that one of my vinca plants had reseeded itself right outside its pot, but that wasn't working with my plans for mulching the edge of the patio so I gently pulled on all the seedlings, kept them in an upcycled meat tray with some water while I was gardening, and replanted them in planters that I had just weeded afterwards. Hopefully they will all grow into beautiful (free) vincas!
- My lunch was leftover rice and sauce from the Portabella Mushroom Stroganoff from a few days ago. It was incredibly bland. I also had the left over salad from last night, and a bowl of grapes and strawberries, with a tall glass of Cherry Berry Iced Herbal Tea.
- Home Depot sent me a Garden Club coupon for $5 off $50 off $100. It's not as good as the Lowe's coupons I got recently but I printed it anyway, because "you never know". Right? If I don't use it, I'm only out the paper and ink. I could have sent it to my phone but I probably wouldn't have remembered that I had a digital coupon. I'm not so good with those, too forgetful.
- I drove to Save A Lot to take advantage of some awesome sales on meat (see "Splurges") and grabbed a bunch of free cardboard boxes that should allow me to finish my mulching project tomorrow.
- I also stopped by Publix to get the SavingStar freebie. I also got another jar of Lindsay's Naturals olives for free after coupon and two 8-oz packages of fresh mozzarella for $1.99 each after sale and blinkie $1.00/1 coupons. A small failure that wasn't my fault though: I was hoping that the cashier would once again deduct the full value of the olive coupon (i.e. $4.99), thus giving me a $1.00 overage to be applied to the mozzarella, but today's cashier adjusted the value of the coupon down to $3.99 to match the price of the jar. Poop.
- My last stop was Racetrac, where I successfully pumped gas without any mishaps into Greg's truck, got another receipt with a survey to complete for a free hot dog, and redeemed a past survey code for a free hot dog with condiments. The hot dog went into the fridge. If my youngest son sees it, he'll probably claim it for 2nd dinner , lol.
- I reused 8 bags from cereal boxes and 8 rubber bands to repackage the chicken breasts and freeze them. However, I then realized that I only had room for 6 bags of chicken in the freezer so I changed my dinner plans and roasted the last 4 breasts. This isn't good news for the almost 10 lbs of pork loin that are in my fridge, waiting to be cut up and frozen! I'll have to try and cram it in the upright freezer where I usually keep the vegetables and fruit. I put the pumpkin puree that I had defrosted in the fridge. I'll probably end up making more pumpkin bread tomorrow. Or maybe pumpkin pancakes for breakfast?
- Dinner was Ten Things Farm Chicken Breasts and Spaghetti. I used 2 breasts for dinner (4 of us) and kept the other two for lunches tomorrow. I saved the bones in the freezer to make chicken stock later on.
- I logged my gardening activity into Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices and earned 20 points. That's it?! I checked my records and I guess I'm even worse at math than I thought because I only earned 20 points for it yesterday too, not the 100+ points that I thought I had earned.
- I looked at the Walgreens and CVS ad previews for next week and made a note of what I might want to buy. My local CVS will once again be offered $1 ECB on each gallon of milk (limit 2) and they will also have eggs for $1.59 a dozen! That's $0.99 cheaper than Walgreens' sale price of $2.49 next week so I'll definitely pick these up and if not, get a raincheck. Woohoo!
WE SPLURGED ON:
- Protein! I had been looking for an excuse to run to Publix to get the SavingStar freebie of the weekend and I also needed more boxes to finish my gardening project; so I checked the Winn Dixie and Save A Lot online ads in case they were having good weekend sales, and Save A Lot sure did:
So I drove to Save A Lot and spent $50.07 for:
- 9.38 lbs of boneless pork loin @ $1.69/lb (I will cut up into chops and 1.5 lb roasts and freeze them)
- 17.56 lbs of bone-in chicken breasts @ $0.97/lb (they're already frozen so I'm partly defrosting them to repackage them in 2-breast packages. I was actually excited that they were the bone-in kind so I can reuse the bones to make chicken stock!
- 20 oz of raw jumbo shrimp (frozen) for $8.99. This will be for our Christmas buffet.
- 15 lbs of Russet potatoes for $3.49
- 1 dozen eggs @ $2.79 (I was calculating, in the car, that I needed 1 more dozen since I'm making omelets for dinner tonight and I need enough for hard-boiled eggs and Greg's breakfasts through Wednesday).
- and a tin of Altoid mints @ $1.79 for Greg. I was hoping they would have generic mints like Aldi does, for $0.99, but they didn't and Greg had requested mints when he saw that I was going shopping again.
However, it sounds like we'll be having either chicken or pork for Thanksgiving because I don't know when I'll ever have room in my freezer for turkey!
HOWEVER, WE FAILED IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS, BUT LEARNED SOME LESSONS:
- I can't find the 2 large bags of mashed potato scoops that I had frozen. I looked through both my freezers... I must be missing something and it's driving me nuts! I was supposed to bake potato rolls today so now I'll need to come up with another plan. Maybe corn bread since that's really easy to put together.
- My middle son started playing with a chip clip and before I could tell him to put it down (he tends to break things when he touches them!), he had broken it. Seriously. It took 2 seconds. It's not a big deal but I'm still annoyed because it's something I have to replace for no good reason.
- My son found a very moldy orange in the fruit bowl so I had to compost it since none of it was salvageable. I washed all the other oranges.
TASKS ACCOMPLISHED TODAY:
- I replied to my mom's email and gave her news of what's been going on here.
- I weeded, laid down cardboard, and mulched for another 2.5 hours.
- I ran some errands and got some freebies.
- I swept the kitchen and fake mopped it.
- I swept the entry room.
- I swept the front porch.
- I folded the laundry.
- I re-packaged the chicken breasts into 2-breast packages and froze them.
- I gave the vacuum cleaner a "hair cut" since the brush was all tangled in hair. I was able to completely clean it up. I didn't notice that it sucked up dirt any better though. Grrr.
- I vacuumed the living room and exercise room.
- I looked for an acceptable used car online. No luck.
Did you have any frugal successes or failures today? Please do tell!