Monday, April 20, 2015

More Tights

Ladies, if you wear tights, now if the time to buy them.  Each year I seem to find a mark-down bonanza in a different place.  This year it's been the super market.

A few weeks back I snagged multiple packages but found my size was a bit limited.  This past week I decided to check again and there were more to choose from in my size.  Each pair set me back $1.75 and they normally sell for $7.99 each.

Even though spring has sprung, we've still had cold days and I'm still going to be wearing tights.  90% of what I've purchased is for next year and beyond.  Going into the warmer season I can start wearing the lace style I picked up on clearance over a year ago at Khol's.  They are black so now I am keeping my eyes peeled for lighter colors -- but I don't have much hope.  That's OK as I am an optimist.  What I need will show up again -- when I least expect it in a place I hadn't thought of.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Let the Season Begin....

We opened up camp yesterday.  It was just a drive out, open up and go back home trip and the pup stayed behind.  The trailer was in good shape and TBG was able to do everything he usually does himself.  The new sink we put in last year had no plumbing  issues -- which is always a big relief.  It is such a pain when you drain the anti-freeze and find water coming out of a joint or cracks somewhere.

Next week I will go out  by myself since Tommy will be working on Saturday.  I'll buy myself a Swiffer and dust off everything and then wipe it all down.  There was one load of camp laundry I neglected to do in the off season which contained cushion covers so that is being washed now.  We have minor staples in the cupboards and beer in the fridge.
While we didn't lose any trees to the cliff by our site a few tumbled down to the West of us so our view is clearer.  There was a tree down last year that has seemed to successfully have re-rooted half way down the cliff.  I hope that will help with erosion.  The cliff isn't nearly as steep these days so I will have to keep a careful eye on Teddy so she doesn't try to reach the beach from where we are.

I am looking forward to an enjoyable summer because we no longer have the financial uncertainty that hung over us for the past two years.  We do hope the trailer lasts us another seven or eight years because we don't want to buy one before we retire and we don't want to give up this spot either.

Our lease for the season is all paid off too, so our only expense will be food, beverage, gas, meals out and utilities.   We can't wait!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Just Another Night in Frugalville

Yep, just another way a chicken can stretch your frugal dollar.  The bird yielded fat, skin,  breast meat and bits from other parts.

The potatoes are crisping up with the skin and fat.

Tonight's dinner was rice with potatoes, beans, chicken, frozen green peppers and onions, plus frozen spinach.  I spiced it with curry, turmeric, Adobo salt, paprika and saffron plus liquid ranchero sauce -- the dregs which I rinsed out of the bottle using chicken broth (from a box purchased at a dollar store because I had none of my own thawed).

On the side, shredded cheese (from a block), light sour cream and chopped bagged salad with cabbage, carrots and tomatoes.  Just another night of stretching our food dollars to make a yummy meal!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seize the Deal

I popped into Tops on my way home knowing I wanted to buy a jar of sauce.   The quick trip set me back $27 because I did my regular breeze through in order to spy sale items or bargains.

The chicken was a "Use Today" special at $1 per pound.  I don't ever like to spend more than .99 cents per pound but that isn't all too common these days.  This one had gibbies too so that is what the pup is having for breakfast tomorrow. 

The bird set me back around six bucks.  A 5 pound bag of white potatoes was three bucks. We had the brussies from last week.  Tomorrow I will start stock.

I also picked up $1 bags of seafood portions.  These are small bags of scallops, salmon and flounder that are normally over priced at $2.90 a piece.  These are excellent convenience items and I can cram them into the freezer.  They are also ideal for camp.  For one dollar, I can buy a healthy protein for the same amount (even a little less) than a value item at a fast food restaurant.  Four ounces of flounder is a lot healthier than that amount of fatty ground beef and a cheap bun.  I don't really plan meals around these portions, but I do keep them on hand to pull out in an emergency (like last night).  I can always make up a frozen veggie and a pot of rice to go with.

Aside from food, we had a good evening.  It was sunny after work so I took the pup for a swim and we also took a walk.  There was ice in the river which comes from the lake this time of year and that makes the water and the breeze cool.  She does not mind.  I just like being out in the sun.  TBG had physical therapy.  It was his last session.  Well, he might go once a week right after he goes back to work (next week), but mostly he is done.  He is the only bi-lateral knee replacement his therapist has worked with that went back to work.  Most of her clients are retired.

Things will start to get crazy next week when he is no longer at home.  My posting may become sparse -- life keeps me busy!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Just Cook!

I believe if more people cooked their own meals, there would be less of a "retirement crisis" looming.

TBG and I met downtown at the club where he teaches Spinning.  He dropped me at the train this morning and brought my bag downtown with him.  I swam while he did the "bike that goes nowhere" thing.  The club is a ten to 15 minute walk from my office and it would have taken less time, but I missed the trolley that would have given me a ride half the way there.

We were starving afterwards but had nothing on deck for dinner.  Having a long weekend away is nice but it tosses most plans out the window.

The idea was to get a rotisserie chicken at the super market but when we got there, they were out.  So I bought a pound of ground beef and mushrooms.  Once at home, I realized we did not have a jar of sauce.  I made it "from scratch" using canned tomatoes and it turned out fine.  I baked the meat balls in the oven and dumped them in at the end.

This was cheaper and a bit healthier than take-out.  I figure the best way to keep your finances in line is too cook dinner and brown bag lunch.  Bringing home a pizza would have set us back about $15 and that is still about seven dollars more than I spent on this meal.  There's a good amount of meatballs and sauce left to be used for another meal.

This took me about 40 minutes to pull together and it was work, but ordering a pie or Chinese and going out to get it would have taken about the same amount of time.  Of course this isn't the kind of meal a girl gets skinny on -- but it tasted really good and we accomplished another meal at home.  Now, it is time for bed!

Monday, April 13, 2015

It's Patio Season Again!

We put out patio furniture yesterday and had our first fire -- although the flames are hard to see in this picture.  The first attempt at a fire is always wet and smokey.  I overheard folks in our neighborhood commenting on how good it smelled. 

We still need to wash the furniture down but the main thing was to get it out of the garage.  I might wait a little bit to buy more pieces because we found that we owe $1500 on our Federal tax return.  If we are careful, we won't have to dip into savings to pay for it.  Being careful means not making a big purchase this month.  We put hospital bills on our card last month and will pay that bill on the very last day it is due.  Now that is something I'd have liked to burn!
Teddy is enjoying her patio time again too.  So much of our clean up had to do with her!  The layers of poop that had accumulated during the deep freeze and through multiple storms was unbelievable.  I was the one who had to pick it up.  TBG has washed down the patio and gotten the slate clean.  He also picked up a lot of leaves today.  Light yard work is not a problem for him, which is a relief.  He managed light housework, laundry and the yard plus tosses in a field for the dog.  He had PT tonight and is clearing up the dinner dishes.  This is his last week off of work.  He will have taken only 8 weeks of disability for a double knee replacement.

There are many people who would try to enjoy the summer and stretch out their absence.  It's not just a case that the lack of pay would hurt -- because it's not been that much of a hardship and in fact, we've tackled some big bills on less pay with some careful spending.  My guy wants to make sure his staff is not overworked in his absence and in the heating/cooling business, summer is just about the busiest time.

The dog is going to have to get used to being on her own during the day.   She got a swim and a long walk with me after work today so I am looking forward to outdoor weather with her.  I estimate TBG will be back on his bike shortly too and we plan to open camp this weekend.  I'll do the de-winterizing and we'll leave the heavy old television at home for now.   But we are both looking forward to an active and relaxing summer.  It makes it all the more real to have the patio set up.  And unlike many folks, we don't have a yard full of mud which made our conversion to an all patio backyard something to be grateful for.  Come on over for drinks!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

We're Back!

We were away for the weekend on account of our niece getting married.  TBG's sister and her family stayed with us Thursday night on their way home from their Easter with in-laws.  We all drove out on Friday and then stayed at his sister's house.  The wedding was Friday night.

Maybe an hour or so into the ride, Tommy realized he left our garment bags behind.  Well, I can blame myself as I was principally loading the car fussing over not wanting him to do much lifting.  It would have taken too much time to turn around so we got off at the Geneva exit and went to the factory outlet mall there, dropping about $150 on outfits to wear.

My choice was the purple lace-patterned dress and a gold metallic faux leather lightweight jacket to wear over it.  Luckily, I had my shoes and stockings but bought a foundation like camisole to smooth things out which was a good idea since my "dress" bra was with my dress in the bag at home.  I spent about $90  bucks.  TBG got a way with a little less.  We sent him in search of khakis, a shirt and tie.  We had hoped to find a reasonable blazer but the only store that had anything in his size was Brook's Brothers and $399 for a blazer was too much.  The sales lady was nice and found him the shirt and tie which were on sale.  He spent about $65 bucks on all of his stuff.  I think he looked swell.

The wedding was a blast -- not easy for old timers like us to say.  But the music was good, the food was great, the bar was open.  Tommy and our brother-in-law Rich had to go out to the bar for the inn and start sampling Scotch.  I actually enjoyed a glass myself.  My trouble making adult nephew and I had a nice time pulling an outrageous and tasteless prank on his mother (and mother of the bride) so I really felt as if I was a good Aunt.

We now have a wonderful new nephew and a couple of "step" nephews along with two new canine family members (and Doug is now Teddy's godfather).  I also got to spend quality time one on one with my favorite new canine niece who is a Springer Spaniel named Sally Joe.  Along with the wedding, we had a big family dinner on Saturday night.  Once everyone had cleared out we all settled in to couches and watched the Adam Sandler movie 51 First Dates.

We don't do a whole lot of family stuff on a regular basis since we live 5 hours away from everyone.  That means we generally just get together for big events and every other holiday or so.  It is always a whirlwind and we always end up tired once we're back home, but it's nice to be able to do it.  I don't have a close relationship with my own family so I am very fortunate to have married into a swell one.