Friday, September 16, 2016

Frugal Notes & A Short Update

This week I've been trying to get back into a normal schedule and have had a very busy week.

I've taken out my wall calendar and plotted the appointments I've made for the months of September, October, November and December. Doing this makes me feel more in control and less frazzled and enables me to pace my days and weeks so as not to get too tired. When a friend calls for a get together it is also much easier to see when I can easily get together without feeling too squeezed for time. When I get together with friends I love to have a free day  so I can easily spend time with them and afterwards have a relaxing time of shopping or making my way back home.

It's also been a good week of frugality.  The freebies and good deals are welcome indeed because expenses have been rather high with all the travel and associated expenses to visit mom and the health care and daily essential needs of people in Kenya.

Ways I've saved money this week:

  • free haircut and style (another has been booked for November). I colour my own hair as needed and purchase colour on sale. Sometimes I use henna which is much less expensive than hair colour but I don't like all the muck it entails.  Henna is a messy and time consuming process but very frugal.
  • free movie (Jason Bourne) using points I've accumulated over several months
  • free movie at the local library (Eye in the Sky)
  • used a 50% off Subway sandwich coupon today. I purchased a foot long and shared with a new-to-my-street homeless woman. I also gave her some cash and asked her a few questions as well as talked to her about the local shelters.
  • free purchase ($85 worth) of vitamins and personal care products using accumulated points at the pharmacy.
  • Flyer food shopping. I've saved oodles of money this week buying 2 sides of pork loin that I cut into slices for stir fries, roasts and pork chops. This is an enormous help to the food budget and will last me a very long time.  I had also hoped to get a side of roast beef  on sale so I could do the same.  But the store didn't have the advertised sale when we got there today.
  • large heads of cauliflower purchased for less than $2. (the lowest price we can get here and in fact $1. lower than usual). I will be making faux mashed potatoes with it.
  • 10 kg bag of flour for less than $6. This will last a long time as I don't do a lot of baking these days.
  • Okanagan peaches which cost $2.69 a pound at my local grocer were priced at $1.49 a pound at the produce store a few blocks away. I don't normally purchase peaches but I have a craving for peach cobbler now that cooler weather has arrived.
  • Lots of other great deals which will really help with the food budget this month and into next month. I will likely do some menu planning which I haven't done for some time. I want to ensure that all the fruits and vegetables I purchased will not go to waste.
  • Bedding linen - I purchased comforter duvet set and 400 TC sheets for a birthday gift. These were a  real steal at 50% off clearance  prices and I know will be used and appreciated by the recipient. 
  • Borrowed several books from the library. Inexpensive entertainment and I don't need to store them or give them away once I'm finished.
New Books on My Reading Shelf

First up is The Illegal by Lawrence Hill. I've had this one on my "to read" list but see there are a lot of people waiting for it at the library. I noticed it on the Fast Read shelf this week so picked it up and am enjoying it immensely. It is quite a powerful book and evoked several emotional responses from me already.  You can read more about it here.

Update:  I finished the book on Saturday.  This book deals with the timely issue of undocumented aliens unwanted in the countries where they have sought refuge. It is set in fictional countries. I was moved by the book and thoroughly enjoyed the telling of the story.

I picked up this next book by a new to me author. I  have no idea what it is about but liked the first page when I read it. You can read more about it here.

I started this book on Saturday. It is a book about a man newly diagnosed with dementia. He travels from England to Spain where his newly separated son is living in Lomaverde, a Spanish utopia for expats.

Last but not least is

Dr. Zentner has herself struggled with weight loss and is currently an internal medicine specialist in Vancouver where she works with obese patients. In the book, Dr. Zentner defines and offers specific tips for those who fall under various eating personalities: the emotional eater, the calorie drinker, the fast-food junkie, the all-or-nothing dieter, the portion distorter and the sitting duck. Her book is a practical guide for how to address obstacles to weight loss for each of the  eating personalities.

I'm now reading about the portion distorter and will soon be finished before reaching the recipe section. The book is quite interesting and I think can be useful to anyone who wants to better understand his/her relationship to food and weight gain or loss.


The weather here has turned from sunshine to rain as of today. In a few days Fall will officially arrive. I'm sad to see the end of the longer days of light but there is always the Spring to look forward to again.

Besides catching up on reading goals I've got a lot to do to catch up on things around the house. I'd  like to paint the master bathroom and get it organized before the Winter arrives. I already purchased shelving and racks, etc. and have painted the shelves.  But still have to purchase paint for the walls and get the shelves and racks put up.  Now that the growing season is over I'd also like to clear the garden in readiness for Spring. Normally I don't do this and just wait for Spring to do all the work but I want to be more organized for the next growing season.  At least that is the plan.  I also have a number of sewing projects (altering clothing for mom and for me) and making progress on works-in-progress (crochet and quilting). Besides all these projects, I have a few personal goals I want to embark on.  I'm still doing research and trying to get a few things in place. We'll see how far I get.

Update on Mom:  Mom is more or less the same. She calls me most mornings and struggles valiantly to speak. I notice that when I talk to her about relatives or family she is able to respond with clearer speech. My brother who lives in far north will be visiting her this weekend so I will delay my next trip to see her for another week or two.

Update on Eunice in Kenya:  Eunice's son took her to the hospital where she was treated after her stroke for her one week follow up visit. They kept her for several days which was unexpected. But whatever they are doing seems to be helping her. She is now able to walk a bit using the aid of a cane.  Unlike my mother, Eunice is able to speak.

Please continue to keep these women in your thoughts and prayers.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Melanie said...

Great frugal ideas! I also have a day planner which I use to put down appointments and the like. It also have a section where you can write whatever and I use it as an abbreviated journal of what I want to make a note of. I'm glad that your Mom is able to communicate with you. She must be very frustrated with that. I hope Eunice is getting the care she needs. Your books sound interesting, especially the weight loss one. Have a great day.

Summer said...

A free movie sounds great♥

Jeanie said...

It sounds as though you and I are working on the same wavelength and in the same weather and with the same thoughts about the days becoming shorter. Last night we barbecued and were surprised that by eight it was pretty dark. I had hoped to do some garden prep today but I don't think the weather will let me, at least not for awhile. It's looking like a jungle after two months of more or less neglect.

And I couldn't live without my calendar! Every time I don't write something down, I mess up!

Diane said...

Looks like you are doing a good job of saving money. We seldom get coupons for anything here but I am always on the look out for a bargain of any kind. Our biggest saving though is our own vegetable garden and I manage to freeze, bottle or dry to see us through winter as well. This year I have also been drying surplus fruit which seems to be going well :-) Keep well Diane

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Wow! A lot of good ideas for frugality! Thank you. I am trying to learn to be more frugal since I retired last fall. It has been challenging because our income was literally cut in half, but our expenses continue on. So every day is an adventure in learning to cut corners and costs. I will continue to pray for your mother and Eunice. They come to my mind throughout the week and I just whisper a prayer. God is working. Thank you for sharing! Have a blessed weekend.

Red said...

Lawrence Hill is a good story teller.

Jan said...

Lovely to catch up with how you are doing and read all your ideas and efforts to live frugally. We watched the eye in the sky too - what did you think? Thanks for the update on your Mum I was wondering how she was and you too. I'm going to have a look at your book recommendations. Take care Penny. Xxxx

jabbott said...

I love your thrifty ways, and so good to be in these expensive times. Glad your mum a little better in her self, and that you can get a little rest while your brother visits your mum. Your book choices look good I would like to start a new book I shall look at one of these possibly xx

baili said...

glad for your mom's health .books sound great .
best wishes form Asia

Jeanna said...

How close to home your post struck, Joy. I made a point of providing my parents and aunt with music, even making my parents their own playlists when they were in the hospital or nursing homes. One of my mother's great pleasures is talking on the phone, she and my father also enjoyed visits from therapy dogs. Some good saving tips, thanks for reminding me of stir-frys, I practically lived on them in college. I might check out that book on Kindle since I recognized a few of those disorders and I've been putting much effort into working out since last spring with zero weight lose }:

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