We had to take out a small loan. (Which should be paid off shortly - still cheaper than credit card interest.) We also need to start adding to our emergency fund -- it's been stripped bare.
Thankfully, some teaching/appraising gigs, starting in August, will help -- provided we bahave ourselves financially. Fortunately we don't need much right now.
It's been so hot and dry that I've had to work hard to keep the deck plants alive. A couple of tomato plants are starting to produce, and a pepper plant , purchased at Sam's Club, has provided a number of crunchy Hungarian peppers... and assuaged my gardening urge. Somewhat. Several rainstorms the last week of the month helped keep the lawn and flowerbeds going.
The most difficult part of the month has been the Brick's operations: first for an emergency appendectomy (it had burst), then again recently to the emergency room for tests and a gallbladder operation.
Ironically, years ago he had two back operations almost the same way -- #1 to initially solve the problem, then #2 a few weeks later to fix a spinal fluid leak caused by Operation #1. I asked the Brick, "Are you planning to make this a pattern from now on?"
*Meals from kind friends...after the Brick's first stay in the hospital.
*Forty cents a gallon saved on a fillup... thanks to purchase points earned from the money spent for the wedding..
*Our toaster went kerfluey. Why is this in the 'hits' column? Because it's worked well for more than 36 years. (It was a wedding present, no specific brand name.) How many other appliances can you say that about?
*Took care of two sets of dogs (plus fish) for neighbors over the Fourth of July week, plus a last-minute catsitting job.
*NO PURCHASES -- over and over. Even our grocery purchases were minimal. We didn't even go out to eat much. (The Brick needs a diet right now that's less fatty/fried than most restaurants.)
*Continued adding to our Lord & Richards investment account. (More on this wonderful company in a future post.)
*Did some restorations, appraisals. Finished up others. Sold a couple of books on Amazon.
*Finished the first and second edits of The Book. It's going into production next.
*Lots of fruit and veggies - best prices, 88 cents/lb for strawberries, and an astonishing $1.28/lb for cherries. (The Brick loves these for helping his gouty toes and fingers -- they really do.) King Soopers freebies: you can find them on Fridays at the King Soopers website. (Or check Kroger.)
Other goodies: butter for $1.49/lb (and a $1 coupon layered on one package); 99-cent ice cream; $1.49 Tostitos; $1.49 for a 12-pack of seltzer water.
Lucked into a BOGO 4-pack of meat from Safeway: 2-3 lb. each of chicken, pork loin chops, steak and chicken tenders each isn't a bad deal at $19.95. But at $10, it's a steal! Also got country-style ribs (99 cents/lb)...and a freebie package of Uncle Ben's Rice. (Like King Soopers/Kroger, Safeway will offer freebies now and then, too.)
I have to be careful on menu choices -- the Brick can't handle really spicy foods right now. These are basic meats, though, and can be prepared several ways.
*Ate out of the freezer a lot. (The dogs ate freezer-burned meat...shame on me for letting it get that way.) Put away some cherries and strawberries for the winter.
*Recertified for AQS -- didn't have to do this, after all! Turns out I'm just fine for two more years. ($100 saved)
*Finished off the Grimm series. All six years of it. (Thank you, library!)
*"Master and Commander" soundtrack for $1.19 (plus Amazon shipping) -- We're looking for a cheap Boccherini album next, including this lovely piece:
*Traded an appraisal for tomato plants.
*Taken out to eat, as a thank you for volunteering for Worship Team. (Thank you, Monument friend!)
*From the library's used book room: 6 videos, $2 each, including one of my favorites, Pride & Prejudice with Zombies:
*Got birthday presents for two girlies (Aug. 3rd and 8th, respectively).
*Sold the Outback -- to Daughter #1. She needs a reliable vehicle, and will take good care of it.
*Kept payments made -- barely. I still don't know how for certain.
*Really minimal food costs, including Oscar Mayer hot dogs, $1.25/lb;
|topping ideas from Rachael Ray via Pinterest|
AND THE FRUGAL MISSES:
*House work was delayed. Due to the Brick's hospital stays, and my trying to keep things going while he's been recovering. We've got drifts of fur all over the house, and piles of books, clothes and gewgaws are everywhere, waiting to be packed into boxes. I'll be working on these the next few weeks.
*I REALLY miss the garden. Veggies bought on sale just do not substitute for picked fresh off the vine.
*The Brick's hospitalizations. 'Nuff said. (On the plus side, except for a supper paid for by friends, I didn't get any food there -- lived on frozen eggrolls and milk, instead.)
*Paid a bunch of medical bills, racked up for tests and a physical the Brick had... they said he was in good health. (This was less than a month before his sudden appendectomy. Go figure.)
Some for me, too. Ouch. We know all too well that more are coming.
*Some food spoiled... particularly during the week when the Brick was in hospital, and I was traveling back and forth. Sigh.
Last month's Hits & Misses report is here. Last year's July report is here. \
Hope your summer has been cool and fun.