It has been another interesting week. I tried for the most part to stay home to save money on gas and do things around here. We are now down to one car. I've been working on either making or finding Christmas gifts at great prices so that I am ready ahead of time and not stressed out. Sadly, after a very hurtful phone call on Friday night that left me shaking and in tears (yes, still that same horrible mess but certain parties just escalated it even though I thought it could not possible get any worse), we may have less gifts to make or buy. :( Onto the savings:
~Early morning phone calls rarely bring good news. Saturday, at 3 a.m., my hubby called me and told me that his car had broken down right outside of the town he works out of. I got dressed and drove over there to meet him. We then towed the car, very slowly, into that town and left it at our trusted mechanic's shop. I did learn one thing...I do not like towing at all. Scared me to death to have to do it.
~We had my cousin Jeremy over for brunch on Saturday and I fixed a simple meal of an oven pancake, breakfast sausages and eggs. This was served with some good Kona coffee. I had bought the sausages and eggs on sale previously, made my own pancake mix and the Kona coffee was a gift.
~Our local apple orchard is open and in full production. They have expanded over the last 5 years adding more varieties of apples, along with prune plums and pears. We took my cousin up after our brunch and picked pears, Cortlands, McIntosh and Honeycrisp apples. They still only charge .50 per pound. Jeff and I picked 23 pounds worth of fruit and will be sharing with our kids. I'll be going up again to pick more for our trip to Montana for my parents, brother and their neighborhood friends. :)
~I found a Bacon Lovers pizza on clearance in the deli at Walmart for $3.99 and picked that up for dinner on Saturday. We enjoyed that and watched a movie we had here for a nice quiet night at home.
~We used the $25 Walmart gift card to buy a air filter for my car and some avocados.
~I baked a pumpkin pie and some cookies to take with us to Heather and Chris' for dinner on Sunday. We headed over there earlier in the day so Chris, Jeremy and Jeff could go sight in their guns. Jeremy had to leave after that but we stuck around for a fun baseball game with friends and family and then had dinner. Heather made Cheddar Bay Biscuits and a delicious garlic cheese and potato soup.
~My oldest grandson Bradley and I did some shopping on Sunday. We used coupons at Bath and Body Works to get a free lotion and a $10 large 3 wick candle.
~Bradley and I also hit Goodwill and spent under $7.29 for a really cool Spider Man Mask that he fell in love with and 2 shirts, one for him and one for his little brother.
~Monday I picked a big basketful of blackberries from our blackberry bushes. I also harvested cucumbers, beans, squash and tomatoes.
~We had an old quilt in the garage that needed to be washed. It was too big for my washer and it was kind of delicate so I hand washed it in our big bathtub. Jeff hung it out to dry on the laundry line for me the next morning.
~Monday I also baked 2 loaves of bread for sandwiches for my hubby.
~I hung Jeff's laundry out to dry on the line.
~We watched more shows online.
~I bought a beautiful pork loin roast over the weekend at a fantastic price. Monday, when I took it out of the package, I realized that there were actually 3 pork loin roasts in there. I had spent a little over $3 on the package. I roasted them all up with some apples and onions. We had the 2 smaller roasts for dinner (there were leftovers) and I put the larger cooked roast away for another meal or 2 later this week.
~The temperatures outside really dropped Monday night so I closed up the house (I usually sleep with the bedroom window open until we hit the freezing mark) and threw an extra blanket on our bed. I did not want to have to use the pellet stove yet.
~Tuesday my mom called and we had a lovely visit over the phone. I cannot express in words just how thankful I am for the close relationship that she and I share.
~Another batch of prune plums were cut up and dehydrated. I want to take some over to my mom when we go visit on Sunday.
~My husband got a $10 credit put on his customer loyalty card as a birthday gift from the bowling alley.
~Completed 2 surveys for Pinecone Research which I will be credited for.
~I have made good use of the leftovers this week to reduce food waste.
~Our mornings have been really chilly here. I've been throwing open the curtains and the front door (leaving the storm door closed) on the sunny side of the house first thing in the mornings to help heat up the house. It was 50F in the house this morning when I got up. This helps heat up the house fairly quickly.
~Our mechanic called and sadly, our little car is dead. The whole engine needs to be replaced and given how old the car is and the miles on it, the cost to replace the engine is more than the entire car is worth. We are going to sell the wheels and snow tires and scrap the rest. I am now trying to convince my husband that we can get by with just one car since I am not working outside the home and, if need be, I can borrow my neighbor's extra car if I need to.
~Frost hit one of our gardens so I salvaged what I could from there. So far the other gardens are doing ok but I know it won't be long now until they too take a hit.
~I took part of the larger third pork loin that I cooked earlier in the week and used it to make homemade pork lo mein. I threw in carrots, celery, cabbage, some red bell pepper and some green onions from our garden along with the pork that I cut into slivers. I made a sauce with oyster sauce, water and some agave syrup and combined the goodies above and some cooked noodles with it. Yum! We have leftovers for another meal plus part of the 3rd pork loin left. This will make yet another meal for both my hubby and I.
~My hubby winterized our swamp cooler so it is all drained, wrapped up and ready for the cold weather to come.
~I have been missing teaching but know that I cannot handle the stress of working at our local schools right now with all that is going on. A wonderful opportunity came my way this Wednesday to be able to once again do what I love in a much less stressful environment. I will be helping out with a local MOPs group (Mothers of Preschoolers) 3 times a month for a little over 2 hours at a time. They will pay me $25 for each time I work and the best part...I will be working one on one with a little boys with Down's Syndrome and helping him transition into a group of children his own age. It is a total God thing because the beautiful young woman who reached out to me for help in finding people to work at the program had no idea how much I was missing working with children and that I have always had a special place in my heart for precious little ones with Down's Syndrome. I love how God works!
~I received a box in the mail from PinchMe that had a few samples in it.
~Thursday night I hot tubbed which did help me get some sleep. :)
~I shared some cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden with our neighbors.
~We dug out some small blackberry bushes to take to my mom who wanted some for her garden. These are thornless blackberry bushes that produce an abundance of fruit. :)
~I have stayed home for the most part this week. We did have to run over and borrow our son Chris' truck earlier in the week and we ran errands on Friday, but other than that, I have been happy to just be home.
~Friday I picked 2 quarts of blackberries to take to my parents.
~I packed up a bag full of assorted apples and pears to take to my parents. We had picked them up at our local orchard.
~My gift closet came in handy yet again! I had a new Circulon stock pot that I had gotten free with the purchase of my cooking pans years back. I packed that up in a beautiful recycled gift bag and wrote a nice note on some blank notecards that I had bought at the thrift store. This was a wedding gift for a very special young couple who I had the pleasure of watching grow up and teaching. :)
~We stopped at Salvation Army and I picked up some more Junie B Jones books, a sign that I feel in love with and a brand new black crossbody purse that came with an umbrella and coin purse. I looked it up on QVC and it retails for $79. I paid $4.97. Oh I found a really nice book for the grandboys to add to their Christmas presents.
~The Dollar Tree got a new batch of movies in. By the time we got there they were pretty well picked over but I did find 4 for us. One dollar for a movie and some homemade popcorn makes for a very cheap date night. ;)
~I had a custom photo mug made for one of my sons for Christmas. I had found a deal on it and only had to pay shipping.
I hope you all have a great and frugal weekend!