Monday, August 1, 2011

Mice, Austerity, and Chicken

Mice: The other day when I went into the garage I heard a scratching noise. Not just a faint, scratch, but a loud, strong scraping noise. Vermin. I tracked down the general area of the noise but had to open the garage door first. Even with the sound of the door going up, the sound showed no signs of wavering. Great! It is coming from the front corner in the wall. Not good. We live in the country and have plenty of field mice, voles, rats (occasionally), rabbits, gophers, and even marmots show up now and then. Just as long as they don't take up residence in our house. We also have food stored in the garage, so this is a pressing matter. So I explained our infestation to DH who set up a mouse trap with cheese. The next morning, nothing. But alas, this morning, the trap had moved across the floor, the cheese was gone, and the trap had not tripped. Yikes! This critter is smart, too.

Plan B. Set up several traps with peanut butter, too, because that way the thief will have to work at getting its treat. The longer it is working the more opportunity for the trap to do it's job. I will keep you posted.

Austerity: I decided that since work is not just beating my door down, we should get our property tax and irrigation water paid now. They are due at the end of November, but I want to pay them both at the end of September with money saved this month. That way, if I'm not working, I know those bills are paid. I am planning to spend as little as possible this month with all the extra money going towards those 2 November bills. Today I spent $3.24 on 4 mouse traps. I will be tracking when, what and how much I am spending. I think it will probably be a real eye opener to actually track what I spend, especially since I am trying not to spend. I will have to be strict with myself. I just will have to refrain from even going in a store, and if I really need something- I will buy only that item(s)!

Chicken: I attend a Wives in Prayer group from my church on Friday mornings. One gal recently had a baby and our group takes turn cooking meals for new moms, deaths in the family or other situations. My day to cook for this family is today and I decided to cook roasted chicken, twice baked potatoes, and green beans, with ice cream bars for dessert. I picked up 2 chickens at the store on Saturday because I planned to make the same meal for my family. I put the chicken in the fridge out in the garage. With an 8/03/11 sell date I knew they would be fine. Well, at 3:00 today I pulled the chickens out of the fridge and opened the package. You know what was wrong. They were both spoiled! Oh my gosh! I live out of town and can't just run in any old time. I's 20 min. each way. I tried to rack my brain for a protein substitute. I knew I had other chicken frozen in the freezer, but you can't just defrost a whole chicken like that. Fortunately, I have DD 16 year that can drive. So, off to Fred Meyer to pick up another chicken for our friends. She's just about to the end of our 1/2 mile driveway and I realize I forgot to tell her to buy 2 chickens, because of course, that is what we were having for dinner, too. Alas, after several unanswered phone calls, I wandered into her bedroom and there is her cell phone on her desk. Of course. Now, what are we having for dinner?

DD 16 returns with the chicken and I cut it up, season it and pop it in the oven which I already have the potatoes baking in. I check the clock. Yep, I will have dinner delivered in time. Not that it really matters so much, but I was trying to have a hot meal ready to go when I arrived. Last time, I dropped off a meal early which had required reheating and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for this fine family. Oh, did I mention that DD returned from the store in 32 min? With the chicken? Umm, what's the speed limit? I will be adding $5.10 to my purchases this month for the chicken, but I am returning the spoiled chickens for a refund of $9.90. So, with my math, I have $4.80 to spend.

It just so happens that DD 16 found a couple of chicken breasts in the freezer. They will thaw in the microwave just fine. Don't you hate it when things like this happen? I mean, I have this all planned out, but Murphy somehow tried to throw a wrench in it. I kept telling myself I wasn't going to let this ruin my afternoon or upset me because plans have to change. And things worked themselves out after all. I got dinner delivered to their house just after 5 p.m. and got to sit and visit for a few. Then back home to put our dinner in the oven. Oh, and if you read my menu, I changed the salad tonight to coleslaw. I wanted to try the cabbage in our garden. It is delicious! I have never ever had fresh cabbage. It is so sweet and flavorful, nothing like store bought. It made a super coleslaw.


  1. Ooooooo, coleslaw!

    Good luck on the austerity front; just staying out of the stores makes it a million times easier!

  2. On Friday I had purchased two 10 lb. packages of chicken hindquarters on sale for only 39 cents a lb. at a freeze by date of August 4th. They spoiled in the fridge after I discovered the fridge wasn't working properly. I have never smelled anything as bad as spoiled chicken.

  3. Martha, it is so aggravating to purchase food then to have it go bad. I think our fridge is working fine. It is cold and everything else is A-Ok. I am amazed at the prices that I read that other people pay for food. I have never, ever seen chicken on sale for .39 cents a pound. Wow! I would stock up, too. Our hindquarters were selling for $1.19 and whole chickens for .99, so I bought the whole chicken and cut it up myself. That way, I pay less and get breast meat, too. But the prices where you live are great.

  4. Carolyn Renee,
    Hold me to this austerity challenge. It is so hard for me not to go in to the store just to buy milk, cheese, lunch meat or whatever. I tend to wander and say, "Oh, we are out of that, that is a great price, we could use some of those..." It is day one and I'm optimistic.

  5. I know how you feel on the chicken. I once purchased a package of 'fresh' trout. At home I cut open the package and had to immediately run and well...throw up. Back at the store they offered me another package. I said no. Later in the week the local newspaper had a story where this same store was caught by the state for 'bleaching' old meat. They repackage and sell it again. Live and learn.


Your thoughts are welcome!