Thursday, September 29, 2016

The decluttering continues; raising cash

Starting in January, in anticiaption of this past Summer's move, I started selling off what we no longer could or wanted to use.  Not wishing to move a ton of food/supplies, we used up a lot of my pantry/freezer food stash as well as cleaning/HBA stash. I also pulled monies out of of food budget as we needed to buy less, due to the aforementioned eating down and using up of what was already on hand. This was a major downsizing for us. I used these monies to offset the cost of moving here (moving company, cable installation, handyman services, acquiring a few household items like slider drapes, new to me dinette set, bath rug etc). I raised $3605.12

When we moved to the last rental home (4 bed 2 bath Colonial), I furnished the den with second hand furnishings: curtains were left by the LL for our use, I bought the LL's couch/love seat with ottoman set for $300/ I bought 2 matching oak side tables $80; an oak tv cabinet $30, 2 matching table lamps and a 3rd matching pole lamp for $50.  A total of $460. I resused the rug that I had bought new for under the kitchen table at the first rental, post divorce. My aim in reselling my furnishings is to minimally get what I paid for them, breaking even.

The condo here has a great room (dining/living combo) where I have placed my living room set. I switched out the lamps, using the den lamps (much more fashionable than the second hand ones I bought post divorce for the livingroom). I recently sold the older lamps to a college kid for the same amount as I paid. I am only "out" the cost of the WM shades that I had to buy. The couch was sold for what I paid for it: $200. The rest of the furnishings (love seat w/ ottoman, 2 oak tables and oak TV stand, area rug) were all moved here, to be used in the den/sewing room on the ground floor. Additionally, a second hand for $10, white table lamp from a 4th bedroom (this is a 3 bed condo) is placed down there along with my recliner. $270 worth of purchased, additional furnishings.

Fast forward and I have found that the room is NOT being used as intended. My "big butt" second hand ($35?) TV out of my former master bedroom was placed down there with the X box for the kids. It was used maybe twice? No reason to keep the extra cable box, which will be returned for a credit on my account, reducing my monthly bill. I am also concerned that the cellar Den will be chilly come Winter. While there is heat/A/C clearly running in the room, it is a carpeted room over cement, off of the garage.  The electric wall heater is also a sign that perhaps it's cold.

Following a dinner table discussion, most of the furnishings are getting sold off. The recliner has been moved upstairs to the living room, as was the X box. I sold the area rug last night, netting $30. The ottoman is scheduled to be sold to the couple who bought the matching couch from me (I reached out to them prior to posting it to local tag sale sites)this weekend, netting an additional $30. I already posted the love seat for sale (sadly, the couch couple can't use it in their-otherwise they would have bought it, too), along with a pkg of vacuum cleaner bags from my old vacuum that I just replaced. All 3 oak pieces will be listed, along with a lamp, the tv (which I may* just put up on Freecycle). I don't have a lot invested in these pieces, they served me well, I wish to continue to downsize. This condo is temporary for us; I hope to stay 2 years (the length of DS's transition program) and then, perhaps, purchase a 2 bedroom for myself on/near the bus line.

Getting those pieces out of the Den will also inspire me to finally sort through the contents of large boxes still stored down there of mostly "sewing." I intend to downsize that as well, set up a sewing area that is convenient. Wednesdays are my scheduled mending days and I really haven't been able to access my sewing machines, which are set up, due to the clutter that remains with those boxes. The mending is piling up (mostly towels)and I'd like to tend to it soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Cool, damp weather for Fall

Another sign of Fall here: a kettle of water boiling, ready to fill my awaiting tea pot, to be topped by my custom made, tea cozy made out of vintage fabric. Love that thing! Tonight's offerings: I love lemon herbal tea

Supper plate of Kielbasa, baked beans, tossed salad with choice of dressing. Keeping meals quick and easy, as studying is now part of my routine. I'm set for tomorrow's class, will again tote food from home.

Monday, September 26, 2016


I made this today, but with a twist:  Fresh apple cake with honey glaze   I reduced the amount of sugar, substituted fresh pears for the apples, added some freshly grated Nutmeg.  Once completely cooled, I will take it out of the pan, dust with XXX sugar.

C.O.R.N.-that's what's for dinner!

My fridge is bursting. I have a lot premade for the upcoming week (soup, casserole supper for Tues when I am out), and it shows. I've topped everything up as well. While fish was on the menu plan, I prefer to push the "enough for one person" leftovers to get them out of there. Makes for quick prep on my end as well. :  )

DS was unable to attend a cook out at Dad's, but the raw steak along with a bunch of sides were sent home to him through his sister, so I will cook the steak and prepare whatever sides are in that large container (think plastic, divided  dinner plate sized container) while DD and I will select from what I'll call "the stragglers." A quick salad, vinaigrette is already made and there are additional salad dressing options to select from as well.

Just the specials, with a few top ups

 Some great deals to be had at my local Shoprite, taking advantage of some large coupons this week as well. Herbal tea on sale plus BOGO cpns translated into paying $1/box, cocoa on sale (can't yet find it at Aldi), chips, store junky white bread @ 88, mini apple streudel @ $2.49 w/ store cpn, 6 ct apple crisp donuts to try, after being left disappointed with the ones bought for $$ at the orchard. I think I like these better, not to mention that they are $4/doz cheaper. I also bought (not pictured) 2 cans of chicken breast @ $1.89 after sale and cpn, 4 cans SR albacore @ 99, 4 cas Progresso heat and eat soup @ 83 after sale and cpns, 2 bottled Juicy juice @ $1.49 after sale plus cpn, 4  pkgs Premio hot/sweet Ital sausage @ $2.49 afte sale plus cpns,  SO almond milk @ $2.19 after sale plus cpn, 2 blocks Biazzo mozzarella @ $1.99, 1 8 oz pkg Sargento shredded pizza blend cheese @ 88 w/ store cpn,
Awesome deals on taxables: Tresemme was on sale 2/$6. Add $5 off of 2 cpns, I paid 50 CENTS a bottle. It is sitting nicely in my cabinet. 3 huge boxes Scotties tissues @ $1.16 after sale plus cpn.

Total spent: $50.78. Without doing my monthly tally, I know I am over. Great deals.

Getting my ducks in a row


The past few weeks, in particular the past few days, have found me getting all of my ducks in a row as I prepare to return to coursework as I transition to a new career field.

-menu plans set for the next few months
-household cleaning chart worked out and followed, so as to stay on top of household cleaning
-groceries topped up, including some quick to table items such as canned chicken breast and tuna
-paperwork culled thru, a lot recycled
-staying on top of some reimbursements: going thru my on the desk files daily as a means to remind myself
-going week by week to ensure that DS #2 has someone (ideally) at home with him to facilitate his remaining on schedule with meals, studying, showering and bedtime. I will be gone from 5-10 p.m. roughly. So far, it looks like I have this week covered: DD will be home Tues and I've asked DX to do dinner with Dad on Th while DD is working until 8, which is roughly the time that DS would be returning home.
-keeping an ongoing lit of "to do's" so as not to let anything get lost in the shuffle

Luckily, the way my classes are starting, I will be easing slowly into this. This is the first week, and I will be traveling to another city (the main campus) to take one course, while the remaining 4 are offered right here in my own city. The 2 x's week commute will take place for 4 of the 8 weeks, before additional coursework here starts. Another factor is that the commuting will only be for 8 weeks, ending just as the chance for rough weather begins come mid November.

This is for the short term, I am trying to reduce it's impact. Anything that I am missing?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday supper: turkey pot pie

 I started with a mire poix again, using reserved poultry fat as the base. I later added flour, black pepper, poultry seasoning and let that cook off a bit, forming a paste around the softened vegetables. I added The frozen assets (turkey/gravy, gravies)
 Here's the finished sauce.
 Meanwhile, I chopped the turkey from the bag
 Placed it in a Pam sprayed 13 x 9 x 2, and added some frozen peas. No need to cook them, they will be baked off.
 I added the contents of the Dutch oven, and stirred well to combine.
 I unrolled the puff pastry

Then cut it into rectangles to fit the pan. Baked @ 350 for 40 minutes.
Fresh out of the oven. I decided against doing squash as well. There was plenty here.

A supper plate. There is enough leftover for a planned over dinner for Tues, my first evening of classes.

Side salad with choice of dressing.