Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Frugality

Purgation! I am still working off the move from Old Apartment to New Apartment, but One Good Sign is that the number of boxes has diminished. Last week: 4 Rubbermaid bins and 6 liquor boxes turned into 3 Rubbermaid bins and 1 box, which will this week be consolidated into a remaining Rubbermaid bin and stored in the closet under the stairs.

This is huge. Lots of things went to Goodwill, some were thrown out, the boxes and newspaper wrappings were recycled (yes, a HUGE recycling bin for virtually everything right outside my door... almost). The empty Rubbermaid bin conveyed stuff to Goodwill, remaining there.

Sigh of relief.

What remains in the bins? My great great aunt's china (which I am thinking of selling online), glassware (a good majority of which was donated or relocated to the wet bar--and yes, I have 10 wine glasses in one style and 3 in another...), some table linens too good for everyday, and a lovely tea set given to me by my parents 2 decades ago. Right now, for me, this is all worth storing. We'll see in six months, which is when I'll revisit these bins.

I sold my console table on Craigslist (note the consolidated bins behind it, and the discarded bin on top!). None of the other listed items have sold yet, but I've got time. I also relisted items on my Amazon store and have more to put in there this coming week. A lot of the new listings are textbooks I hope I can sell for this fall's courses.

Victory! I had fight #4 with AT&T over my bill. Again? I did get the entire mistaken bill back in my checking account (miracle of the ages!) nearly right away--which was great, because it was over $100. However--for the third month in a row--they overcharged me. One 18-minute phone call was all it took to get it changed back, and the right amount charged (supposedly). I have also gone to paper bills and sending in checks: no more auto-deduction where I cannot see what they're doing. But I am about $150 richer from that fight... or at least I retained the $150 I did not owe them, which is just as good.

The homemade dishwashing powder has been brilliant: dishes are amazingly clean without prior rinsing. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I am very happy. Easy to make, simple to use.

The homemade yogurt, this week made with 2% milk, is delicious and lasts more than the 7 days suggested. I made a half-gallon, which means I can cook with it, eat it every morning, and I generally use it to mix into this delicious breakfast "galette" which I got from the Dukan diet when I was in Paris.

1 1/2 Tbsp yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp oat bran (found at Whole Foods, Sunflower, Central Markets--not oatmeal!)
1 egg (or egg white)

Mix all three together, cook in a small skillet on the stove, both sides, until brown. I use Pam olive oil spray, but you cna certainly use butter, margarine, etc. to cook it (consider calories, etc.). Great start to the day, coupled with fruit. Filling and lasts me until mid-monring snack. These pancakes also keep 3-4 days in a  container in the fridge, so I usually make a few and munch until they're gone. Great for lowering cholesterol (better than quick oatmeal, because oat bran is higher in soluble fiber).

And the pantry clean-out continues: this week, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 can of black beans, 1 bag of frozen edamame, 1 chicken breast, 2 pieces of pork, 1 1/2 c. quinoa, and produce from last week's farmer's market (jalapenos, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and melon) got incorporated with fresher produce and the remaining yogurt.  

I am also working on have at least three "No Spend" days weekly, where I consciously do not let cash, credit, or checks flow out of my hands on anything (barring emergencies). This is easier in summer, when I do spend several days weekly in my apartment working online or on computer documents, rather than going up to  My U, where I buy coffee or a snack, or stop for groceries, or whatever. Distraction or Comfort Spending, ugh.

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