Today’s Frugal Friday is an update on how things have been going.
Budgeting: Things are ticking along. The No Buy August hit a snag, only a few hours after I’d announced it. I swear Murphy (from Murphy’s Law) lies in wait for me to make a decision about something, and then pounces. This time, it was a fan losing a blade. We don’t have air conditioning, so fans are what I consider to be a necessity here. It keeps me from developing heat induced psychosis and tap dancing down the road naked.
So, money was spent on new fans.
On the positive side, we did our once a month huge grocery shop, sticking to the ‘eat down the food stores’, and saved about $200 from what we spent last month. We still spent a ridiculous amount of money, compared to a lot of families, but we bought diapers for both of the youngest Minions, enough to get us through the month, which was about a 1/4 of the total.
I figure we have about 7.5% of what we need for a down-payment. My goal this month is to get to 15%.
Meal Planning: Weather is still messing with this. I plan, but heat ends up with folks not wanting to eat a hot meal. However, we’re sticking with what’s already in the house, so I’m viewing it as a win.
Homemaking: this was a big thing in the last week. Our long weekend had a *lot* of housework going on. The biggest event was a reader, and long time friend, Mrs. H, gave me a head’s up about the freezer situation.
You don’t have to eat the freezer down before you defrost it. Take a laundry basket, cardboard boxes, buckets – whatever you can put the food into that won’t be damage and can be washed out if necessary. Push the containers together or stack them, if possible (not on the frozen bread!) (on the floor, on a table). Cover the whole pile with blankets, towels, sheets, comforters, afghans – whatever – to insulate the food from the heat of the room. Defrost the freezer as quickly as possible. If you can, point a fan at the open door and let it blow air over the frosty freezer. It speeds things up tremendously and cools the air in the area. With a chest freezer, you have to bail it out (I use an old yogurt container). Not sure what happens to the water in a stand-up freezer. In any case, deal with/get rid of the melt water. Wipe the inside of the freezer clean (all those spilled crumbs, stray peas, what-on-earth-is-that-? items and the occasional missing toy). Dry the inside somewhat to reduce the amount of immediate frost when you start the freezer running again. An old towel works well. Put the food back into the freezer and turn it on. Check it nervously until you’re sure it’s running. If you insulate it well and do it quickly, the food should stay frozen.
How you keep the kids and dog out of the food during defrosting is your call. (Perhaps Diva in a goalie outfit. How’s her stick handling?)
Can I just say, I love me some Mrs. H? Poor woman has known me since I was younger than Diva is now. And she still talks to me. Even more than that, I get included on emails she sends out to her kids. Awesome. Of course, her daughter and I have been BFF for over two decades now, and her son refers to me as his ‘almost’ sister, so she may have just given in to the fact that she’s completely stuck with me at this point. I grew on her. Like mould.
Anyways. I took her advice.
I didn’t have a fan I could put in this spot, so I followed Wolf’s advice, and put a pot with boiling water in the top shelf, and closed the door. I was more worried about one of the babies trying to climb in the freezer than I was anything else. I put the pot on a cookie sheet, just to be sure I wasn’t going to damage anything.
Oh, and this was Food Mountain:
I was a wee bit concerned with what would happen with all the melting, so I went back, several times, and using a plastic ladle, scooped up ice, water, loosened bits and pieces.
I think it was about three pails full of water, slush and ice. Blech.
But, I count it as both budgeting, and homemaking, since a defrosted freezer runs better, and it’s a major chore off my list.