Sunday, September 21, 2014

Grocery update

We didn't do so well last week with our grocery budget.  I spent $67.03 at the grocery store and that included some stocking up. That part was good...the bad part was I didn't check the calendar when I made the menu and didn't take in account there would be 2 nights of us not being home until around 7 pm...not a good time to start cooking or even eating when Pat goes to bed at 8 and Hubby goes to work at 8:30.

So I spent $21.98 at Taco Bells getting 2 boxes of soft tacos. That fed us with additions of fruit and raw veggies for dinner , Hubby's lunch at work, and the next night's dinner also.

The other time was I had been canning all day, knew I would be the day before but still didn't engage the brain and fix something so I wouldn't be trying to deal with all the canning and the dinner.Hubby called in a couple orders for fried chicken (4 pieces and sides each meal that we split 4 ways ) at a tavern (which is known more for it's food) that is only 3 miles away. He spent $20.49...actually we got it for a better deal....the server gave Hubby the wrong meals and he didn't realize it until I opened it up at home so they gave those to us free and he went back and got our chicken. So we had extra veggies that night and Hubby got 2 extra lunches and Pat got to have chili fries with the left over fries.Works for me LOL.

This week I really checked the calendar, paid attention to the fact I will have more canning to do this week and several appointments.We are also trying to get more color on our plates which meant more fruits and veggies then I normally get since we lost most of our colorful veggies and fruits when the deep freezer died.

Still we have $28.45 left out of the $350 budget and 9 more days of this month.I might splurge and buy some pork chops as they have been out of our budget for a couple months now. I will see...

Blessed Be

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The day of rest and the week to come.

I am looking forward to when our trees look like this.I won't have to rake them because they blow away over the fields so I get the pleasure of looking without the work though I image I will have to rake some up or let Pat rake some up for him to jump in. Maybe burn a few since we can do open burn in this area if the winds are not blowing much.

Hard to rest today when I look around and see all the work still to do before winter hits. I compromise with myself and spent the day planning for the work load this week.

I hope to have most of the harvest done this week and most of the gardens prepped for winter.It would be nice to not start my spring planting with clearing last year's mess.

I have started the fall cleaning and weatherization, yes, even though I do Flylady ( I still do fall cleaning. I just break it down in to steps so I don't over whelm my self...or at least I try to. Yesterday I spent 6 hours in the pantry in the basement and I know I have another 4-5 hrs left of cleaning, reorganizing,inventorying etc left to do in that area (12 x 26 with 8 ft ceilings which the shelves go to the ceiling.... 32 shelves that are 3 x 8). That is the priority of this week as I need to keep the groceries down as low as possible and by not knowing what is in the pantry I end up buying food while what is in the pantry goes to waste.

I am not going to get my sewing done like I want until the harvest is done and I can paint my craft room and set up my sewing area again.

Blessed be

Friday, September 12, 2014

Grocery budget update,goals,frugal accomplishments

Grocery budget update : we spent $62.09 this week. We bought 31 lbs of dog food (will last 2 wks) and 3 bags of softener salt which came to $42.73 of that $62.09. Non-food costs us more than actual food ( this week was only veggies) does most of the time.

We haven't eaten out, Hubby and Pat even pushed their lunches back last Saturday until they got to the cookout so they wouldn't be spending any money eating out.

I fixed pizza and spag at the beginning of the week and we ate it as left overs the rest of the week until last night. Last night was breaded pork tenderloin for us and grilled cheese for Pat, his lucky sandwich when he has games. It's just Hubby and I this weekend as Pat is going to spend the weekend with his Dad so we will just raid and see what we find to eat.

I didn't accomplish much of any thing with my goals. Had a lot of appointments and phone calls to get medical bills paid (GRRRR) that should have just been paid the first time. Hopefully I will be able to get more done this week even though I have some appt or game almost every day to get to.

Frugal accomplishments....we didn't waste any food this week...not one thing :) I mended a couple tee shirts for Pat and sewed a button on a shirt for Hubby. I moved laundry day so I could use the clothes line.

Be safe
Blessed Be

Saturday, September 6, 2014

This week's groceries

Last week I spent $43.36 and it was on non-food only not even a gal of milk. :)

This week I spent $54.70 on food. Bought milk, half and half, coffee beans, baking potatoes,apples,2 juices, 4 dozen eggs,and a loaf of sliced white bread.

That brings the total so far to $98.06 leaving $251.94 out of the $350. budget I set for this month.

I have realized that Hubby and I are not on the same page of what to do with the leftovers or other items that need ate with in a few days.

I usually put these type of items in the frig in the kitchen, the one that has the water pitcher and milk so during the day I see them and figure out how to serve them.

Hubby put them in the white frig as there was more room...and I didn't notice it or more I didn't pay attention so we lost a couple things :(  I figured out it came to about $5 but still that is the same as pouring 2 gals of milk down the drain.

So we talked about figuring out where the items go, and to list them on the menu immediately or put them in the freezer.

I am looking at how to organize the frigs better also.

Other good news is we didn't eat out at all but boy did I want to with the appts and game during the week

Hubby and Pat might today grab a sandwich because they are working the parade in town this morning and I did make sure both had a good breakfast and then going to a HAM radio thing this afternoon. I know they will have hotdogs and brats at the HAM radio thing because our friend told me that he was grilling them for the group but it might be more of a dinner thing than a lunch thing.

All week our dinners average $2-$4 per meal (3 ,might as well say adults as Pat eats as much as I do and I am not a small eater, and then we pack Hubby's lunch for workout of dinner)...not per serving. The main part of the meal is out of our garden or friends gardens that was given to us free. Meat has been more of a condiment than the main course but with us eating protein through the day I don't worry about that being low at dinner.

I baked bread today using a different recipe. Cheaper 18 ¢ per loaf compared to my 32¢ per loaf recipe. I spent $16.83 a month for the last 4 months to buy just bread. That is way too much on something I can make that is just as good if not better.

This coming week is going to be a rough one. We have an appt or a soccer game right at dinner time 4 nights this week. Pat eats early on game nights so he doesn't get tummy cramps during the game.So those nights need to be something he can eat before the game and Hubby and I can eat after the game.

I am thinking of the following:

Sunday is left over pizza or baked potatoes and corn on the cob. We have a reunion that day and we will pig out there.

Monday: spaghetti and meatballs (the "boys' favorite) salad with lots of veggies, home made bread and mandarin oranges

Tuesday: Chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, carrots and dip and apple slices

Wednesday: beef roast with root veggies,home made bread, cobbler or crisp depending on what fruit needs used up.

Thursday: beef in homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, coleslaw or veggie salad (depending on what needs used up) and some kind of fruit...depending on what needs used up.

Friday is still open...maybe leftovers if there is any or a breakfast for dinner.

Saturday will depend on whether my son and his family can come up or not.

Blessed be

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What to do?

Which bill do we pay? The rent that the landlord is okay with being late as we do work on the house for lower rent anyways or the medical bill that we save on by paying ahead of time?

What necessities have to be bought? Last week was none food, this week is food.

What do we do about the child that says one thing to us and another to his teacher and both are lies that could cause someone trouble?

What do we do about the mother of the child (our daughter) that isn't doing what she should so she can see him (been a month) let alone have him living with her again?

What do we do about both the SUV and the truck needing repairs?

Do I work on the house getting it winterized for this winter?


Do the washing that has the winter bedding and clothes so I can dry them on the line to keep the electric bill down.


Just focus on the incoming harvest?

Trying to do all 3 just put me down for 2 days with my Crohn's. It doesn't like stress...Even my Hubby that never has complained of stress in over 20 yrs. complained of stress yesterday and considering we have dealt with 2 different children being suicidal, kids losing homes, us losing homes, my heart failure, my Crohn's and his work went down to 3 days a week for 2 yrs and mine going away completely causing us into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (slow pay) takes a lot for him to acknowledge he is stressing...which, of course, stressed me even more.

What to do?

Hold on to my faith with both hands.

Take a deep breath, release....okay, do it again and again and again.

First is, pay the medical bill, landlord is okay with being paid on next Thursday. His running joke is he knows were we live and he can always shop for his groceries in my pantry...true, very true and he knows if we weren't here that the house would sit empty and he would have nothing coming in anyways except the bills of keeping it in good condition. It's the old homestead and he was leery of renting it out anyways and can't rent to family due to tax reasons.

Second,I think milk, coffee beans (we use less if we grind our own then if we buy ground coffee, saves us about $10/wk) and possible in season fruit and veggies that we don't have in our garden.

Third,Okay, we dumped that on the school counselor and his psychologist. I am dumping mine on my counselor.

Fourth, I can't force my daughter to do anything, it's to the point that she threatens to harm us if we are anywhere near her. I leave her in God's hands.THAT IS HARD.

Fifth,make a list of repairs needed, price out what is needed and prioritize the repairs. What can we do ourselves and what will have to be hired. We have 2 very good and affordable mechanics.

LAST...winter wash, weatherization,harvest...all 3 are very important but nothing gets done when I am down with my Crohn's. I can weatherize when it's raining, I can do the winter wash on good days. Harvest can be done rain or shine...the in ground garden is when its shine and the rest in square foot gardens can be done in the rain. I have been known to put my muck boots on and go in the in ground garden and harvest...horrible and messy but doable.

Sometimes I just need to stop and write it out.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Goals for this week

Caulk windows the 2 of the upstairs bedrooms, the last 5 windows out of 24.

Caulk the crown molding in the one upstairs bedroom.

Craft room:second coat of primer, 2 coats of paint, closet painted, woodwork cleaned and oiled and room put back together ORGANIZED.

Sewing including insulated curtains for all windows and Autumn aprons and finish the mending.

Write up description and post at Hubby's work the front load washer we have removed from basement and is now sitting in the garage.

Fall clean 9 rooms (half of what I have to do) including getting it ready for winter.

Finish inventorying the basement pantry, set it up for the last of the crops to come in(area for root cellar) and give it a good cleaning which is one of those 9 rooms of fall cleaning).

Check out FaceBook's garage sale page for book shelves.

Continue with the canning of tomatoes,banana peppers, cabbage and what ever else comes our way.

I plan to buy Pat some knit hats and knit gloves along with a heavy winter coat. I will start looking at yard sales and thrift shops for these items now and buy new as a last resort.

We will eat from the fast food this week. Between doctor appointments, counseling sessions, soccer practices,and tests at the hospital we have been eating out a lot.

Blessed Be

Thanks Brandi the prudent homemaker

Brandi does frugal accomplishments and weekly goals over at

My frugal accomplishments this past week were:

I mended 2 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts.

I glued a pair of shoes back together for myself.

The dryer died, but we were storing our son's dryer so he is "lending" it to us until he decides if he needs it back or not. Hubby tightened the clothes lines so I can hang the wash on good days. I have been trying to float when I do the laundry to days that I can use the line and if we need something that can't wait I hang it on the drying rack in the basement.

Hubby has been taking the motorcycle to work instead of driving the truck when weather is good.

Tomatoes, green beans, banana peppers and green bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash has been coming in so they have been canned, froze or dehydrated.

Some friends gave us some zucchini, cantaloupe,banana peppers, hot peppers, green bell peppers and cucumbers. They are pretty much to the point of just eating from the garden instead of preserving it..

I am trying to use hydroponic with my strawberry runners to get more plants so put else where and to share with the friend that gave me the produce.

I gathered some of the seeds from the lettuce plant I allowed to go to seed. It's one of them that we prefer. I have some green beans that I am allowing to dry on the vine to replant next year also.I am thinking of saving a couple other green beans also to have the different varieties.

I combined my appointment this with getting the non-food this week and saved $13.10 at the dollar store.

I used my coupons and bought fabric on sale for clothes and home items, including a couple Christmas gifts I need to make and saved $76.20 which shocked the register lady along with Hubby. PLUS got another coupon if I go back this week.

I used my swagbucks to order a couple books from Amazon for free and am saving up again for a book that is on order for end of Oct. Half way to that amount.

We spent Saturday evening with friends and had a cook out.

Blessed be

Back in the old days

of my childhood...this kitchen picture was close to what my Mother's uncle had built in the home we lived in except we had a cabinet under the sink and the top cabinets didn't come all the way down to the counter. The apron was one like my great-uncle's mother-in-law from Italy wore. She insisted I call her Nonna and tell people I was her granddaughter. I didn't have any problem with that at all as I spent as much time as I could with her and my great-aunt and her sister.

Even though money was extremely tight, Mother was not frugal in the kitchen. The only casseroles she ever made was tuna noodle and scalloped potatoes and ham. The only soups was bean soup and chili made with hamburger. There was always a piece of meat, (Dad hunted and fished or there was no meat), potatoes, usually fried, two veggies that had been canned from our garden or that someone gave us that Mother canned if the garden wasn't producing. There was store bought bread and real butter, maybe pudding if the farm that my brother worked at gave us milk or jello. Fruit was only in season and what ever was in the neighborhood. Christmas gifts was an orange. I remember the first time Dad bought meat at the local grocery that had a butcher cut the meat right there. It was t-bone steak, one for each of us. My brother had gotten accepted to a private college, received a scholarship for playing football and Dad had just made the payment for his freshman year. We celebrated with that steak on the grill, we had baked potato with sour cream and butter and a tossed salad and corn on the cob. I didn't see that meal on our table again until my brother graduated from college four years later.

Why the thought of that time? Because I need to cut the budget to make the bills that have came with taking on a grandson to raise and preparing for a winter that they are forecasting to be just like last year...below zero and lots of snow. I am also dealing with losing the deep freezer and all the food that was in it.

So I have accepted Mary's challenge over at I plan to spend half of what we have been averaging for the months since there is now 3 of us for the month of September. I am hoping for less but the goal is NO MORE than $350 for food and non-food.

Have a blessed day