Sunday, October 30, 2016

Last week of October

This is half the butternut squash that was at the Produce Auction. Since I don't need squash and there wasn't much of anything else in the amount I was will to buy I told Hubby I was getting some baked goods and we would get our apples else where. An elderly gentleman offered to sell me some of his apples that he had in the auction.Said it wasn't a problem at all for him. So I got 20 lbs of apples for 45¢/ lb. and baked goods at a good price so I won't be baking this week.

I started making the noodles for our Tday dinner (the Sunday before because so many of us work retail,food service, medical) It figured out to be 15¢ per person.

I bought a pork roast regularly $1.79/lb for 99¢/lb and ground pork regularly $2.99/lb on sale for 99 and more eggs for 79¢/ dozen. I was told that by the holidays get here eggs will be back up over $1.00/dozen. So I decided to dehydrate the amount I use in the holiday baking.

I dehydrated some pears and apples we weren't going to get used before they went bad.

We bought LED light bulbs. I've been saving as my son warned me they would cost a pretty penny, especially with the amount of lights we have here at the farm. We decided to replace the CFLs in the lights we use daily and go from there. Main amt of lights was 27. THEN we realized as we were changing them out we had forgot about ceiling lights through the entire house and 3 lights at the doors...that is 15.There is 24 in the out building that need changed. I suggested to Hubby we replace the rest in the house (which are CFL) and use them in the out buildings which is the old incandescent and then replace the outbuildings. That alone should save more money. We did save around 1/3rd the amt on the new bulbs by buying what was on sale (even though it was a less watt than we were using) so I was happy with that. I can take that savings and put it towards the next round of LED's we buy.

We got Subway one night we both of us was just too worn out and was thinking of just not eating.  We gave them our Subway card and told them to take what they could off it...we ate free.We were both shocked there was that many points on the card when we very seldom go to Subway unless we can get a special and have to eat out which isn't all that often.

With cold coming in, I have been closing the curtains as it's getting dark and waiting until the sun is out before opening them. I turn the furnace off  as long as the house holds at 68° during the time, when it drops to 67 I'll turn it back on.

I turned the dehumidifier off in the basement. By next month I will be turning on the humidifier on in the front room.

I'll be pricing 50lb bags of potatoes this week as there was none at the auction. I need it for us and some for the family (as early Christmas present) I will also be pricing beets, sweet potatoes and watching turkeys as I need to roast one early for the noodles since our dinner is the 20th.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

frugal week 10.23.2016

This time of year I make a lot of condiments. Like Balsamic vinegar syrup. It took two bottles of what is on the left to make the 4 oz bottle of syrup on the right.

I will also take 3 gal of apple cider to make apple cider syrup. I will end up with about 1 gal of syrup.

I have and will make more of my Mother's BBQ sauce also.

Apple peelings and cores from applesauce and dried apples will make apple butter, apple caramel jelly,apple jelly and apple juice.

Veggies are washed before peeled and the peels go in the gal freezer bag in the freezer until it's full and then I make veggie stock from it. Broccoli stems go in a separate bag for when I make broccoli soup.

Water I cook potatoes in is saved for making gravies and potato soup. The water is starchy so I need less starch/flour to thicken the gravy. Good for breads also when you need a bit of liquid.

I bought 15 lbs of assorted pasta for $14. I still need lasagna (both regular and oven ready), alphabet and couscous and that will give me enough to go the year or more without buying any more.

I got large eggs for 94¢ for 2 dozen , so I got 6 dozen. I still have some of the medium eggs I bought last time for 48¢ a dozen in the frig. I will dehydrate some to replace what I have given to family. A lot of it will be going into noodles I make this week for Thanksgiving. I will also make noodles to give as gifts.

I have worked out what the budget is going to be for 2017.I do this now as Hubby's employer has you sign up what you want your benefits to be at the first part of Nov.I'll finish working it out this week.

I've been closing the curtains before dark to help keep the heat in and reopening when the sun comes up. Been able to turn the furnace off about 10 and not turn it back on until around 5.

I've been doing good on the new diet. Only ran into a few issues when eating out with my Dad and then with friends last week. I needed green and Dad gave me pickles to eat when we got back to his house. I just filled in the "gap" when I got home after eating with our friends...we go out with them about every 6 wks. We pick places that have specials or we have coupons. They are retired and on a limited budget also.

I read The Prudent Homemaker blog every day. Someone always post something that helps.

Blessed be

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Frugal week 10.19.2016

Frugal hack.. the curtains I bought at yard sale didn't have the loops on the tie backs any more so I used paper clips

this is actually a cloth for a end table or what ever and I decided to use it this year on the kitchen window that I don't want to block what little light comes in. I used binder clips a friend gave me when they closed down a factory and he cleaned out the offices.

because of the decorative woodwork above the sink you can't even see how I hooked the lace to the rod at all.

Hubby needed a new winter coat for when we are going some where instead of wearing the work coat or the "barn" coat that really looks nasty with stains and worn spots.We found one on sale at the local hardware (only a couple places carry carhart coats which is what is worn in this area). When it was rang up it came out that the tag was wrong ($150 coat was on sale for $99.99 but the tag said $59.99)
They honored the tag. Actually they said of course they would honor the tag when we pointed the tag said less than the "scan" code did. Still, we would have paid the $99.99 as that was a good sale for that coat because it included the $30 hood that we have always had to buy separate.

I finished dehydrating the last of my herbs and gave the herbs their "winter" hair cut.

I cleared all the sq ft gardens and planted the fall onions and fall garlic. Found more onions so they are now curing. I still have a couple gardens on the south side and the north gardens(straw bales) to clear.

Harvested the sweet potatoes and they are curing.

Pulled the last of the bell peppers in south gardens. They will be loaded tonight in dehydrator. That way the house is warm from the dehydrator in the morning and I'm not having to turn the furnace on to take the chill off.

GI doctor changed my diet, have to eat magnesium,potassium,calcium combination (it's what makes your digestive system work the best) along with 1 serving of fruit/veg from each color ...colors are white/tan/brown , red. orange/yellow, blue/black/purple and green-lt/dark AND I'm to eat at least 1/2 cup of food every 2-3 hrs as NOT eating regular times can cause issues of digestive system shutting down.  I thought this was going to cost us a fortune...until I checked what is in the pantry... pretty much have all of it, might run out of the blue/black/purple but doc was okay with red/purple grape juice or V8 Fusion once a day.The only thing is I have to eat yogurt daily. I had some given to me that will last a couple weeks then I will most likely start making it myself.

We have ate from the freezers or pantry most the time, I think we have one time that each of us ate out by ourselves due to NOT being home and missing a meal...both of us spent less than $5.

I have started focusing on our Tday dinner...going to have to really go over the menu as the head count has almost doubled with YES WE WILL BE THERE. LOL.

Have a frugal week.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Oct 10 Monday morning frugal week

This is what I didn't use this week for the laundry. We pulled everything and I mean everything of the warm weather bedding,pillows and curtains and then everything of the cold weather bedding, curtains and clothes and loaded it up in the back of the pick up and hauled it all to the laundromat. Can't wash heavy bedding and curtains in this machine. I love my wringer but that is a big negative of having it. Hubby said he saw no reason to not just do it all when I am still recovering from being in the hospital (better but no where near normal energy wise or other.). I don't allow him to use the wringer washer , too scared he will force the wringer and break it.

Three hours later, 16 triple loads, 18 double loads (think about it 19 windows with a set of sheers and then regular curtains EACH, that's 57 curtains (I use the same sheers) to be washed) we were home and I was loading the dryer,drying rack and the 200 ft of clothes line. Took less than 24 hrs to get it all dried thanks to the wind being 15-20 mph as I reloaded the clothes line before going to bed . Hard to get the items on and off the line, well maybe not off as I kept having to go out and repin things to keep them ON. LOL

We had 4 throw pillows that matched our couch and love seat fall apart.Not surprised as they are over 12 yrs old. I used the fillings (after making sure it was dry) to restuff the cushions that are the backs of the couch and love seat. I will need to replace the throw pillows as we use them to support me as need to sit "forward" on that furniture because I am short.

I reused a couple bed pillows that fell apart also (closer to 7 yrs old) to make one pillow. Going to have to replace a couple of those also, but can make due until I find what we want and on sale.

Now my house is "covered" in laundry baskets as I sort what needs to be in storage and what is going to be used now.Financially it wasn't cheap on the other hand it made us think about what washer we should be looking. Do we want to continue to use the laundromat twice a year at over $150 each time (no dryers, used just washers) or do we want to put it towards a washer that can handle to bedding and curtains? Already looking at life cycles and limited computer parts as I went back to the wringer because I had 3 washers that the mother boards died.I will not do a front loader again either unless I am in a wheelchair.

While doing all of this I started the fall cleaning with Hubby's help. We focused on the bedroom first as we both feel that we do better if we can rest without seeing any messes.

Went to town and got caulking as I found air leaks when taking the curtains down. Got dog food on sale while there (almost same amt) that we been getting at Sam's club so that put off the trip until next month plus they had some canning stuff on clearance so I got that also to get off my list.

Our grandkids got their first apt so we are taking kitchen stuff down to them that I was getting rid of. Pretty much they will have something from everyone in the family. Surrounded by love is what they called it.We will combine the trip to drop off pumpkins and pick up anything the kids need us to get. Will save a us a second trip down which is a 3 hr round trip.

I dehydrated thyme, oregano,flat leaf parsley, curly parsley, garlic chives and chives. I canned 8 pints of pears.

Blessed Be

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October shopping plans

                                        Jack Wee be littles from the Amish produce auction.

This is what I want to shop for....with acknowledgement that it's going to depend on if there is money to buy it.

Since I will go back to baking most of our breads and stuff I need to restock the supplies. I had quit, didn't see the point with just the two of us and neither of us big bread eaters but that was one thing that was put in to my diet by the GI specialist, it just can't be whole grain. I do eat oatmeal without issues so I can make oatmeal bread (cook oatmeal first , Mary at Owlhaven recipe).Hubby eats bagels weekly and both of us eat English muffins. I just need space in the freezer to split it up so it doesn't start going bad (no preservatives so you have to eat it now)go into the dogs mouths as treats. LOL

Sam's Club: Dog food and carrots. I will walk the whole store to see if there is anything else but I pretty much already picked up the baking supplies. Might get oil for the deep fryers as Hubby deep fries our turkeys ever since the house burnt a month before Thanksgiving . I used the church kitchen to make the rest of the dinner and we had it in a house with the dining room and kitchen torn apart.THANKFUL we were all okay.

King Arthur Flour or Amish country store (no shipping and usually better priced): caramel coloring,asorbic acid,citric acid,pretzel salt,non-diastatic and diastatic malt,barley malt,baker's ammonia,Vietnamese cinn, cinn baking chips,vanilla bean paste,lemon juice powder, lime juice powder, orange citrus oil, boiled cider, dried buttermilk ,rye bread improver,easy roll dough improver,pizza dough flavor,special dry milk,deli rye flour, rye flour,pasta blend flour or semolina and durum flour(this is only for Thanksgiving noodles otherwise I use regular all purpose, this blend holds up better to sitting in crock pots through the day),fruit blend (KAF) Hubby prefers this in his granola bars and oatmeal. and sticky bun sugar.

Dollar stores etc. Candy that I can use for Christmas goodies along with tape and paper to wrap with odds and ends for presents.

Wagner's or Walter's butcher shop for sausage patties(by the case) smoked sausage (by the case) canned pork,canned beef and canned chicken . Both places butcher their own meat and can it so I know what is in it and where the meat is from. I will also buy dried beef in the jar. We use it at Thanksgiving for dried beef pickles and I use it for gravy and cheese balls through the winter and lard.

Amazon is been my best price for dog treats, (yeah I know I shouldn't but I do) I always check sales and coupons before I order.

Other groceries will be eggs (I'll use 20 dozen at Thanksgiving and another 20 dozen at Christmas) Crisco for sugar cookies and butter for baking. I need crushed pineapple, chunk pineapples and pineapple rings, yellow wax beans ( or 3 bean salad Hubby eats through the winter), yellow and white hominy, kraut, I need a bit more ginger root also. Storage needs sweet potatoes, white potatoes, apples ( citrus is Dec) and I will pick up celery, fresh mushrooms (if on sale and I have coupon) and colored bell peppers (I can't eat the green ones). I might get more beets depending on price as I would like to make beet chutney and beet chips.

We'll see how it goes.
Blessed be

Game Plan

This corn is now off in the fields around us.Depending on which way I look there are spots I can see 2 miles away. It's also the reminder that it's time to bring the harvest in and it's going to get colder here. I've seen that happen in a matter of days and since I am very limited with activities of anything that uses my core at the moment (okay probably a month or so) I am going to have to work smarter than harder.I am trying to work an hour and then rest 2 hrs. Some days if I have doctor appts etc I can only do 30 mins and I am done for the day. Immunity system is shot along with malnutrition now that I couldn't eat for over a week. I remember it's been worse before and I got through it, I will do the same again with my faith holding me tight.

We have started getting the medical bills in from where I was in the hospital (over $22000 so far and I've already made arrangements to get discount and payments on our share of the bill). I know there will be at least 5 more as I was in to the primary doctor yesterday and he ran more tests because I still have the urinary tract infection that didn't get cured while in the hospital for my Crohn's. I am thankful for health ins through Hubby's work, it's really good ins but as we all know doesn't cover everything. PLUS he was off almost 10 days due to him being sick which means the paycheck won't have the extra $ of his shift/position etc , just basic hour wage, which we are grateful for because I have kids that don't even get that. The saving acct took a big hit.

SO working has to winterized BEFORE it hits (lesson learned) and the last of the gardens have to be taken care/processed and stored along  with planting the fall garlic and onions.

I need to start Thanksgiving prep and Christmas gifts/cookies/candy.

I paid the bills, looked at what was left and we decided that we had enough to take everything, clothes,bedding we are using, winter clothes, winter bedding and all the curtains (warm and cold weather) to the laundromat. Thankfully I used vacuum bags to store the winter coats or that would have been another 3 loads. I can use the clothes line and my dryer to dry, though we might use the laundromat to dry the pillows while the other stuff is washing. I will put them in first to make that happen.That will pretty much wipe me out physically for a day or so but it will be done. I can wash/caulk/tape/plastic what ever is needed on the windows as I rehang the curtains in the next couple weeks. Like one set a day or so.

We put some corner round in the one upstairs bedroom that needs caulked as I could feel a bit of a breeze today when taking the curtains down. Drafty old farm house LOL.

I plan to make the noodles this month and drying them for Thanksgiving dinner.I got medium eggs on sale for 48¢ a dozen. I use large to bake with but medium is fine for egg sandwiches,deviled eggs, noodle making etc.I'll use my Kitchen aid mixer and attachments to make the noodles instead of doing it by hand.

We hit the candy sale at the local store and got some of what we needed for Christmas on sale half price.I have a couple more stores I want to check on to see if I can get a few more things.I am making my own tags.We are still changing some of the ideas as we run across things that would be just as cheerful and yet less expensive for us. I need to finish painting the craft room (4 hrs left to finish) and set it up so I can work on this and not having it sprawling across the dining table.

I am harvesting/processing something every day. Dehydrator is cranking 24 hrs pretty much. I have finished all the herbs unless I find some basil in the north gardens. I'll check that tonight when this last batch is done.I would like to be able to can in the evenings after dinner but by time that comes around I am pretty wiped back out.

I am picking and choosing to what I can sacrifice if I have to let something go. I give it away most times, still there are times it doesn't get taken. It becomes compost in the fields. Feeds the critters that I don't want in my house AKA field mice. And speaking of field mice I will have to put out the bait for them in the basement and crawl spaces. Right now with it being warm and the cattle having corn in the barn and the gardens still producing they won't come in, get a nice cold snap and they will try to move in.

Do you prepare for cold weather ?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Storms in our lives

I have journaled for years. This happens to be the one I am writing in now.

Sept 11-15 I recovered from stomach virus, when you already have Crohn's this is even harder to go through.

We had a great day the 16th , even though I was "weak" at the Amish produce auction. I got 10-15 lb pumpkins for $1.25 each, pie pumpkins for $1 each and jack be littles for 25¢ each. I also got 10 lbs of Asian pears that were not ripe and 140 lbs of Roma tomatoes.I got Mums for the front porch. AND I was able to eat decent. I was able to stop at Wishing Well Farms and get winter squash (69¢/lb) and 10 lbs of apples (50 ¢ /lb)

I worked on some of the tomatoes on the 17th, went to the store and got groceries, stocking up on the fresh veggies and getting some stuff for our family reunion . We had 5 generations there  between my dad 89 yrs old  and my new born great grandson 1 month old.
Went home and thought, get up in the morning, and finish the tomatoes....well

Hubby caught the stomach virus through the night. By that evening I had it back and it was a down hill slide from there. He miss all week of work (haven't seen that ever in over 20 yrs) and I wasn't getting better myself. Not processing food, didn't want to "seal" it in canning and make us sick or sicker later. Neither us was doing much more than sleeping it off.

Sept 25th, at 3 am I wake Hubby and ask him to take me to the ER. My Crohn's was starting to kick up and I knew, just knew it was going to be bad.

At 5 am Sept 25 I was admitted....I got out the following Thursday Sept 29th in the late afternoon and had to do a pit stop at the Chiro's because I threw out my shoulder in the hospital. Also had to stop at the grocery store because a full liquid diet (mashed and mushed) isn't something I was keeping in my pantry but will for now on.

We lost food in the frigs, lost some of the produce and I have lost produce in the gardens. It rained for 3 days starting the day I got out of the hospital.Hubby lost 1 1/2 wks of work. He took vacation to cover it but that doesn't pay his TL , shift etc that makes a difference between just getting by in good times or having let alone being hit with medical bills. We have medical bills that will be coming in, granted most of it will be paid for but there is enough not paid for that is going to crush the budget big time.

Hubby is back up on his feet, tires easily , part of that is the stress of watching me fight for my life once again as my entire digestive system shut down (AGAIN). I'm slow at recovering. Has extremely low potassium levels and other stuff that was making the Crohn's even worse. Having your digestive system slowly start up is hard and painful at time. I haven't had a solid night's sleep since the stomach virus started. I do miss my nurse for the middle of the night conversations and laughter to keep me fighting and not just give up.

I had a long chat with my brother by text. Our schedules don't come anywhere close to being able to talk of the phone about what I was having to change. He thought that it was a simple change in diet and it would never happen again.....NOPE don't I wish?

I then called my Dad. At the age of 89 and already buryed 4 sons out of 6 and me being the only girl, he was heart broken, thought he had lost me this time and wasn't able to get to me to tell me he loved me and with his dementia just kept telling me I was his daughter and he was my daddy....he has been forgetting he has a daughter in the last couple years so it meant a lot to both of us. We talked about lifestyle changes that could help me (eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away is what will bring the doctor my way but he doesn't understand that) and that even with the loss of food,me getting my strength and health back was more important ( I was born with a bad digestive system and my parents were told I would die without surgery which since they had no ins and had just paid for my younger brother to have open heart surgery was out of the question ).

Everyday to make a priority of ONE THING that I NEED to get done. And only focus on it. THAT'S very hard when you see losses all around you. He also reminded me of the time he asked why I was canning 4 oz jars of veggies and I told him that was what had came in and I would lose it before more came in . Better a mouth full saved than a mouth full wasted. Might make the difference in that water soup(HA HA) I had more than one time had to make when I was single and on my own.

SO better a mouth full saved than a mouth wasted I learn to dance in the rain.

Since I am still resting, we decided to go over the Tday dinner menu  and then Christmas gifts,cookies and candies. We do gag gifts  for Christmas and usually only give $10 (in ones) as we buy for about 40 (over half of that is our kids,grandkids and now great-grandson). We came up with the ideas....then over a couple days changed it to fit the budget we are now on.

We are not where we thought we would be sitting at this time of year nor is the pantry as full as I really prefer it to be...BUT I have winter sq, pumpkins and some sweet potatoes. I will have a few more tomatoes and from this dining room window I can see a bell pepper that is turning red. Another mouth full to save. We'll pick up potatoes next month and again in Nov. I just got to focus on that ONE THING and that ONE MOUTH FULL.

Blessed be, may you be healthy, wealthy with love, and wise.