Wednesday, December 13, 2017

13 days into retirement



You can barely see Rascal (black dog)..just his eyes reflecting the flash LOL . It's a 3 dog night most nights but Rascal has always left the bed after he thinks I am asleep and Wilbur (boxer) has taken to getting up and going to curl up with Hubby on the couch. Hubby sleeps sitting up due to health issues. Charlotte (white fur) sprawls and she's only going to be 6 months on the 18th.She was suppose to be a medium size dog like her parents but the husky is coming out in her with her LONG legs . She's as long as Rascal and Wilbur and almost as tall.

Our days have been medical appointments as much as we can squeeze in this last month on the better insurance. Medical for the 5 infections I have picked up Thanks to having strep throat and not knowing it and another medical for my surgery arm that was doing good but has locked up now on Thursday. ADD dogs out (especially Charlotte as she is still potty training lol and does NOT bark will growl and yip but no bark) and dogs in.Add to that we are looking for a house...might have found one but still looking until the day it closes. Hubby has added attending a sporting event for each of the 3 grandsons that is playing. I've been able through the years to catch at least one for each but he hasn't with working. One of the positives of being retired. Plus he will be having breakfast with his 3rd shift coworkers once a month and breakfast with die cast coworkers every 4-6 wks

Pantry is over stocked... (I do have a place I can get boxes for the 1000 plus canning jars I have full ). I have canned goods where I don't normally have them so made a list and posted it on the side of the frig of what and where and the date I put it there. We have found a menu does not work for us as we end up stretching the meal for 2-3 more meals.Good to stretch the food might also be bad to stretch is as the food isn't getting used up LOL

Money is tight as we won't get regular income for a year maybe two. Add on to needing 2 vehicles and the down payment for a house.We have a budget, it's the amount Hubby would get if he collected social security at 62. Daddy was living on his investments and in 2008 lost everything except the assets so had to live on his social security. It was not a pretty picture but he did it. He still only spends $35 a week on his groceries, eating soups mostly. My niece does his grocery shopping once a week with her own shopping as she is within 5 miles of him when she is shopping. Gives her excuse to stop in and check on him also.

I am watching as we seem to nickle and dime ourselves by going to the store...so now it goes on a post it on the microwave and WHEN we go to town for another appointment we can decide to either go get it or wait until the next trip. I pitch the store ads when they come in the mail. Don't need to think wow ...that's on sale...I can shove it somewhere .

I haven't been to the store since Dec 1st. Mom O who has been retired now going on 20 yrs said this is really good. I have to make sure the milk expiration date is at least a couple weeks out to stay out of the store.

Deciding where to put the investments is hard. I read JL Collins The Simple Path to Wealth . I used to read the Morning Star online and I have watched CNN about the stocks. Stocks is risky but treasure notes. money markets and annuities are not going to make you money for the long haul. I interviewed 4 financial advisors and picked the one closest to my decisions that does sort of want to bang his head against a wall when I bring up paying cash out of investments instead of paying interest and private mortgage insurance for 10 yrs like they suggest we do.

I decided since Hubby is clueless and wants to remain  clueless (not really he just doesn't want the stress ) that we would be invested with 50/50 mix, 50 stock and 50 bonds. PLUS we were going to pull the down payment and enough money to get a new to us car (Daddy can't get in the truck) along with the taxes. I read JL Collins book The Simple path to wealth and read Frugalwoods blog about retirement. Might pay cash for the house. Then we wouldn't have to worry about a down swing (remembering 2008) and not having money to make the mortgage. We could easily live off Social Security.

Blessed Be



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What We did this week that was frugal

I signed up again for Frugalwoods Uber  frugal month challenge for January

Hubby borrowed a book from EMA to study for the test to move up the ladder with his HAM radio license. The test is free for him.

I dug through some gifts/candy that I had bought before and divided it up as Christmas gifts

I opened the curtains for sunshine to help warm the house and closed them before it was dark to keep the warmth in. When the wind is over 25 mph I close the bedroom door to keep the heat in the front room. Wind sucks the heat out right through the walls it seems.

I finished either putting plastic on the windows or taping them shut to stop drafts.

I turn off lights in rooms we are not in, except Christmas lights. We only keep them lit during certain hours.

Hubby has moved his laptop to the dining room during the day so he is not turning on the lamp, he sits in the darkest part of the front room as it's on the north end of the house.

I turn the printer off after using it.

I turn my laptop off at the power strip after using it.

I turn my coffee pot off at the power strip after using it., I reheat in microwave then end up drinking it cold anyways from sitting when I side track doing something so I am getting to the point of not reheating it all the time.

I washed the laundry with full loads on short wash with homemade laundry soap and dried some on the drying rack and others in the dryer using the sensor instead of the timer. By using the sensor I have noticed I am not over drying and not having static cling issues

We ate leftovers/planovers most of the week. I "refilled" the paper towels (pup is getting better about making it outside but still has accidents on the way to the door during the night) toilet paper, dish soap, Hubby's vitamins, dog biscuits and dog dental bones from the pantry supply which my kids call Mom's grocery store.

My doctor gave me some free samples of a medication he wanted me to use but was worried about it triggering my Crohns. Didn't want me to spend the money and then not be able to take it. As long as I eat before and after taking it I do okay. So he gave me a prescription to finish out.

I turned the lotion bottle upside down into a container. I had added water to a couple times but thought there was more, sure was as I am going into week 2 of still using it.

I put an old wool blanket rolled up at the bottom of the staircase to the upstairs to keep the cold air from coming down as we don't heat the upstairs at all.

I canned beef broth.

I canned turkey with broth.

I canned turkey broth.

I canned ham broth.

I cut the pork shoulder roast into 3 meals, froze 2 and made bbq pulled pork with the third which has left enough leftovers that I am putting what is left in the freezer for another meal.

Hubby bought the 2 picture frames for Christmas gifts at Walmart using a gift card we was given last year and 100 lbs of dog food during Menard's 11% rebate sale...using rebates we had gotten back, I finished the last of the Christmas shopping except for a kitten that I was just told is my new  four legged great grandbaby , his name is Milo.

Hubby ordered the Christmas Prime rib as he was told by a friend  that goes to the same butcher shop it was down to $6.95/lb, We might have both sons at Christmas unless they work or the weather is bad.

We have combined errands with appointments. This has been a juggling act with medical appointments since I am fighting now 5 different infections (doc is to the point of calling me after hours or seeing me after hours), with different stops for meds and we are looking at houses to buy since Hubby retired and we don't need to live around here any more for his work. We also keep a list of houses we want to look at when going to see family so it's not a "special" trip to look at the property.

I used my Amazon gift card that I earned through our health ins to pay for Raw apple cider vinegar with mother as my doctor would like me to start a combination drink of it with honey and lemon juice in water. That pretty much finishes off that gift card.

Since I am having trouble sleeping due to meds I am doing Swagbucks. Keeps me from moving around and bothering Hubby while he is trying to sleep because the dogs will start playing if I move around much at all.

We had 3 different houses in the same area, the realtor really pushed to get us in all 3 the same afternoon.

We are very interested in one that we had drove by several times. We have a contractor doing a walk through on Tuesday as we want to apply for a FHA 203K rehab loan as it has no heat, no electric and no plumbing at it is an AMISH house with 5 acres.It does have a 2 seater outhouse connected to the septic tank/leach bed (reminds me of my childhood). We will see how this goes. Depending on what the cost of bringing it up to "Englisher" standard and the owners accepting it if no one else bids on it before we get this paperwork all done as we had a regular loan available but it won't cover the house at all due to no utilities. We have to meeting for the loan on the 15th in the morning  to see if its' doable we are basing what we can afford to pay on what Hubby would bring in with social security at 62. My Daddy had to start living on just SS in 2008 when he lost over 50% of his investments in the stock market . I already made it clear I didn't want to make things tight for us to meet the payments and our loan officer said he was thankful I gave him the amount I am willing to pay so he can say , hey this is going to be over that or  SCORE LOL Trying to not get my hopes up as it's a great house and wouldn't be hard to switch over to wheelchair accessible which we KNOW is in my future.

I dug out the fake tabletop Christmas tree we had bought in 2008 for the 800 sq ft rental we moved into. Hubby feels better now and so far the pup, Charlotte, isn't trying to get ahold of it and since it's table top Wilbur doesn't think of it as his bathroom LOL. Our dog Rascal is used to fake and real Christmas trees and doesn't bother them.

We are a little bit over budget with Christmas but way under budget with the cookies and candy.

I downloaded a free Kindle book

Got a free calendar from a company  through Shutterfly . I uploaded some pictures and paid the shipping, saved over $25.

Hubby is doing a TRX exercise class twice a week at the plant's wellness center. We pay $26 a YEAR to be members so the classes is free.

I got a deep tissue massage at the wellness center, two hours for $62 including tax, lowest I have found in this area is $50 for one hour.My doctor ordered this but our insurance doesn't pay for it.

Arm that had surgery in Sept is not working right, can't lift the arm above shoulder or move it in certain ways when I was already doing that, made appointment to see Doc on Thursday while still on the better ins.

Shopping list has been sitting on the front of microwave for four days. We waited until we were already going to town for an appointment.

Head guy at SCARES (ham radio group for Homeland security) asked Hubby to go to town and take unit (old ambulance) in for an oil change. We worked it out to be done when we are already in town...no wasted gas.

We used our Krogers points for fuel saving $35, filled up the truck and some gas cans for the generator, sounds like we might be needing it with the weather coming in.

Made Swagbucks goal 7 times , wasn't easy .

I mended a hat and a dog toy.

Hubby replace the board  to my root cellar shelving unit that got destroyed by a leaking water jug using scrap wood we had .

Limiting who I am sending Christmas cards to. IF I didn't get one from them last year I won't send one this year. Most are now doing FB or other social media. Just not the same for me.

Hubby was asked to do an interview with the company's "magazine" Instead of driving the hour for the interview the person called him and did it over the phone to save him time and money.Since they had taken a new picture for his retirement badge she was going to use that as the picture for the article. It's about him doing CPR on a friend/co worker at work. It was a really really bad heart attack and no one expected him to live (doing great and even back to work). ER told the man's family he made it because Hubby worked hard on him until the rest of the squad got there. Plant is updating equipment also.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Grocery store shopping 1st week of Dec

I have been slowly decorating the house .The candles on the mantle have a red bulb, in a colored picture they look like pink smears according to my son. He liked this picture best. Still haven't decided if I am doing anything with the chandelier this year.

We had some friends that wanted us to meet up with them at Hong Kong buffet. We used a coupon and it was in the budget so we went.

 Since we were going to be  in town we decided to go to the store so I checked what we needed to what is now our basic list. We didn't need much. At dinner our friends who was just at the store told us about the pork shoulder sale and the hamburger sale.

December food budget is $260 .Non food is $100...dogs stuff is on separate budget.

I spend $104.52. saved 29%. I got pork shoulder with bone for 94¢/lb (normal price $2.49/lb). I got 9.36 lbs. I got hamburger $1.99/lb(normal price $3.33). I got 6 lbs  I got mushrooms (one white and one portobella) with coupon of 50¢ on each package and I picked the marked down packages saving another 50¢ each. I got milk $1.59. I let Hubby pick out some sweet rolls and he got some canned biscuits for some meals he wants to make (I can also deep fry them into doughnuts and doughnut holes). I noticed he went with the cheaper ones instead of the name brand like he is used to.

This morning we ordered some items from King Arthur Flour after checking to make sure it was the lowest price we could find of somethings he wants to try. I used a discount coupon I had and got lower shipping also.

We now have $71.84 left in food...that is plenty for any produce or dairy we need.

Hubby ordered ink refills for his pen that was cheaper than the pens he had been using (out of non food). He has problems with his hands when holding a pen or silverware. We have been searching for silverware...think we might have found the one we both feel comfortable with.

Menu got tossed out the door with how we both have been hauling butt getting things done. We know we have another busy week with making a trip to see Daddy, massage therapy for me(it's at night for 2 hrs) and 3 appts for both of us. SO I have to sit down and figure that out. Plus I haven't  transferred things to the new calendars either. That can be today.

Blessed Be

Retired

Hubby is officially retired from the plant. He has been asked repeatedly what he is going to do now. We figured it out with in hours...not clock in at the plant....make coffee...let dogs out and in ...he might retire quickly on the dog part as he was not thrilled to be up at 2 am since he was not at work. Ended up with both of us up and wide awake.

I do have a post it note on the microwave of his honey to do list...there is 2 things on it. My honey do list is 5 pages long LOL.

We divided the home blessing. I swish and swipe the bathroom, shine mirrors and windows, dust and declutter .He vacuums and hauls out trash and Goodwill donations. We will share sweeping and mopping the kitchen, butler's pantry, mudroom and bath as long as we have a swiffer wet mop. We both do laundry and dishes. Not sure what days that all will happen on as I won't be trying to not be noisy while he is sleeping.

We have to figure out going to the end of the lane for the mail since he won't be picking up as he leaves for work. Mail box is  2/10ths (why do they not call it 1/5th?) of a mile down the lane.

I might have to start crossing days off on the calendar to remember which day it is, we've lost track a couple time when he was on shut down.

MEAL is a big issue as our eating schedules are the same... I don't eat much bfast if any, he eats a bowl of cereal or something light because he was going to bed. I eat lunch at 11:30 with meds, he doesn't want to eat lunch since he is fighting sleep, I eat a snack at 2 with med , he wants to eat lunch if he is awake. We decided to have dinner at 4:30 so we could eat at the table instead of on tv trays and catch the news. THEN he wants a snack at 11 pm because that was his break at work and was hungry at 2 another break time at work. I can guess around 4:30 this morning he will be hungry also as that is his work lunch time. PLUS we haven't stayed with our menu at all this week. We see where the issues will be on that part.

It's going to be an interesting year.
Blessed Be

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

December plan for groceries/non food

This is a MAYBE list since it's been awhile since I have shopped this way. As it will depend on when we go to the store. It looks to be around the 4th since I have to be in town for blood work. This might be a every other week list as we go to appts already in town. OR I might go once a month if I get the extra frig cleared enough of stuff for Christmas dealt with.

FOOD

GREEN ONIONS
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CABBAGE
CARROTS
CELERY
MUSHROOMS
MILK
GREEK YOGURT (or extra milk to make yogurt) (doctor's orders)
HEAVY CREAM
HALF AND HALF
COTTAGE CHEESE

BELL PEPPERS

Will order prime rib for Christmas eve.

NON FOOD

DOG FOOD
2 PICTURE FRAMES FOR GIFTS
SOME GIFT CARDS , there are a few people that asked for gift cards instead of a gift due to losing hours at work and being in food service.

Truck and car tags renewed.

Vet bill will be high as we have at least 1 if not 2 getting fixed (thinking of hold off on the 2nd one until Jan just to lower the bill for Dec) and Rabies shots are due for 2 and regular shots for 1. 

All of it's in budget and in the savings :)

Blessed Be






Monday, November 27, 2017

Frugal buys and menu

My daughter's 8 qrt crock pot and my 7 qrt crock pot died at the beginning of our Tday dinner last week, I've been waiting for cyber Monday to see if I could replace them within reason. I found 2-8 qrt crock pots (manual) and between my discounts and the sale I bought both for the price of 1 on sale with free shipping.That was the only shopping we have done.We actually put off going to the hardware store just to see if there was anything else that would need bought.

 This week we will have to buy 2 picture frames for the Christmas gifts, dog food,if I can find them a certain dog chew bone that the 3 of them all enjoy and some boxing tape so I can finish taping the windows. Don't you love old drafty farm houses? LOL I will buy Vit D milk as I am making coconut cream pies for Daddy and he needs the fat and Vit D. If I have coupons for fresh mushrooms and they are on sale or marked down I will get them. My Christmas shopping is done.

Our menu for the week with everything coming from the freezers or pantry except Friday lunch. That will either be Bob Evans if Daddy feels up to going out or Bologna sandwiches, fig newtons and what ever Daddy offers.

Bfast is fix it yourself, we have oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits. cold cereal, eggs and assorted breads, pancake and waffles if one of us is adventurous.

Lunch is tortilla or flatbread wraps with whatever is available to put in them.

Monday Turkey cacciatore soup (turkey carcass meat, homemade pasta sauce, canned mushrooms, onion from the garden, half a carrot and a bell pepper) with Turkey salad wrap (turkey carcass meat, 2 boiled eggs (eggs 59¢/doz)pickle relish (garden) onion (garden) the other half of carrot, celery rib, spicy brown mustard and Miracle Whip (score for half price and stocked up for the year), Tortilla wraps (Krogers Psst 99¢) pineapple (home canned).

Tuesday  Stuffed shells (pantry including cheeses, sauce homemade) Cheddar garlic biscuits (bisquick)  green beans home canned and tropical fruit.

Wednesday Big egg(frittata)  or quiche using ham (leftover) cheese(freezer) and onion (garden) Applesauce home canned and dinner rolls (leftover Tday), I have a late doctor's appt. so this will be quiche if I make it or big egg if Hubby makes it.

Thursday What we call the blue plate special  Roast beef over mashed potatoes or stuffing or bread covered with gravy and served with coleslaw (I have a cabbage and carrot in frig) and peaches(home canned)

Friday We will be at Daddy's for a big lunch to celebrate Hubby retiring, So I planned meat (have pepperoni ,Canadian bacon, ham,turkey and roast beef ) cheese (have a nice variety using sales and coupons) and crackers , carrots and celery sticks with Ranch dressing and any leftover fruit or fruit cocktail for dinner

Saturday Salmon loaf (recipe from J posted at http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/blog/entry/frugal-accomplishments-for-the-second-week-in-october?start=20
Mashed potatoes (root cellar), peas and carrots( freezer) and pears(home canned)dinner rolls (Tday leftovers freezer)

Sunday Leftovers or bfast for dinner.  We have talked about making this our eat out after lunch and then go to the store if needed but we are waiting to see how things work as we won't need to go every week.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

What we bought this week

2 turkeys at 48¢/lb to can.
cheesecloth to filter turkey broth
mice poison
30 gal trash bags. on sale with coupon
milk with expire date of Dec 2nd
ice cream on sale with coupon
50% off a caramel apple crumb pie (since we didn't have any leftover from Tday dinner Sunday and I am fighting 2 infections)
Beef tip roast...are you sitting down? Please sit down...$1.99/lb. I got  5 lbs as that was all I could afford. We decided to not freeze it but go ahead and eat it for our Tday dinner tomorrow as we both are tired of turkey and then I will slice and freeze the rest packaged as meal servings.

What we didn't buy was new Christmas lights to replace the ones that died last year on the front porch. The wind beats them a lot.We used what had been at the back door and used LED rope lighting for the back door.  We decided against  live trees for the porch and house as Wilbur uses the evergreen in the back yard as his "dump" station and I don't want him starting in the house or on the porch. LOL the pup Charlotte is almost house broke and I can see that going downhill fast if Wilbur starts.We have some small fake trees I might put one on the dining table where Charlotte won't get ahold of it and make it a chew toy like she does all the sticks in the yard.

We priced different health insurances against what we will get with retirement (at a cost to us of course). Some are definitely cheaper but don't cover pre-existing conditions not catastrophic , we both have heart issues plus I have Cerebral palsy, Crohn's, and deformed spine. I usually hit catastrophic on my health ins in March. So we will bite the bullet and pay for the insurance the company offers the retirees that will cover pre-existing and does cover catastrophic. We will look for a different dentist that charges less for cash payments along with a different eye/glasses place.

I have to change my primary and my GI .My GI referred me and I have to call them this coming week to start that process on my end. My primary is trying to see if he can be added to our ins  as a provider.I have about 30 days to get this switched.

Hubby and I sat down and refigured our budget with paying for the ins and the deductibles along with cash for the dental and eyes. We added car payments (which we haven't had in over 20 yrs) and re-investments as we don't want to run out of money. We planned for the worse and then added 4% for raising costs. It's not as bad as we thought it would be as long as we stay on budget with in reason (less would be better). Hubby is looking into starting a ledger like he did when he farmed. He can go for it LOL.

We have a few things to pick up at Walmart this week. Two picture frames for the puzzles we did for his parents and box tape as I use to tape the windows to keep the winds out during the winter.

Blessed Be

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving dinner over

This year siblings picture of 2017. The two missing are working..Shannon 45 and Josh 35.
From right to left. Heidi 34 in Jan. Kira 33 (just turned) Katie 38 and Blane 35 (not twins, the boys are stepbrothers)

Renting a hall was great, plenty of parking, room for the grandkids to move around and get away from us adults but be in view where we could make sure they were behaving. Plenty of area to spread the food out, easy to clean up afterwards ($75 refund for cleaning it) trash was in their bin instead instead of over loading ours or Blane's. No carpet to clean due to spills. Nice 6 burner gas stove which helped when 2 ..not 1 but 2 crock pots died before anyone arrived for the dinner. Figures it was the homemade noodles and mashed potatoes.

Blane fixed 4 plates for the employees that were working that morning.

75 lbs of deep fried turkey... there was 15 lbs left over that the girls split between them after giving Blane the legs.48¢/lb
10 lb ham that only the bone and a little meat was left (Katie who brought it  took it with her)
Sweet potatoes casserole  (6 large) Blane...GONE He was told to double the amount next year.
Mac and cheese (4 lbs cheese 2 lbs mac) GONE
30 lbs mashed potatoes (potatoes came from Katie and I made them) 5 lbs donated to those working the VFW hall that evening.
8 lbs of homemade noodles (us) 2 lbs donated to those working VFW hall that evening
2 pints corn...(us) drop to 1 pint next year.
2 pints green beans(us) was forgotten to be put out until mid dinner. Drop to 1 pint next year
green bean casserole (friend) 2/3 rds gone.
baked beans with wieners (friend's specialty and it was more for me to bring home and eat)
veggie tray with dip (friend) gone
Spinach dip with bread (friend) not a lot eaten but Kira took it home as it is her favorite.
Fruit tray (Katie) gone
dried beef pickles (we bought ingredients granddaughter made) gone
deviled eggs (we bought ingredients , grandson made) gone.
rolls (us 10/$10 ) 2 dozen gone.
We found 10 inch pies on sale for $4. I bought 5 pumpkin, 2 apple, 2 cherry, 1 mixed berry , 1 strawberry rhubarb, 1 strawberry cream, 1 key lime, 1 lemon meringue. Donated 1 pumpkin to workers the rest GONE, didn't even get a slice to bring home.
3 dump cakes and 1 pan of brownies GONE (from pantry)
pop what wasn't drank the kids split between them as they know I don't drink 2 lt pop.
went through 2 gal drinking water and 2 pots of coffee. gone

We were down 5 of the kids(work, Washington DC trip) so I will note that when I finish writing up the final count in the Thanksgiving folder.

BEST yet was we only took the truck with trailer loaded one trip instead of 4 because we didn't have take tables and chairs and twice as much food.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

From the pantry

This unit has taken a big hit , green chilis gone, canned beans down by a two dozen, dried beans down by four pounds, canned mushrooms down by a dozen, 1/4 of the cheese sauces gone... I've been canning soups. The mushrooms,cheese sauce and beans won't be replaced until next year but the green chilis will be this week.

I'm out of fresh carrots,fresh celery,romaine lettuce, green onions and almost out of milk...that's my Aldi's run.

I still need to go get my dried beef that I have a rain check for at Krogers. I only buy it this time of year and get enough for the year. I use it for dried beef pickles (with cream cheese) and dried beef gravy.It goes on this shelf also.

Except for the juice, everything on the top shelf will be gone this weekend as it's the items I've stock piled for Thanksgiving. The canned veggies was for emergency supplies( I don't store anything glass during tornado season in the root cellar, it's where we take cover) I always use at Thanksgiving, they will be replaced in the spring when I restock the root cellar for tornados. .About 25 lbs of potatoes to make mashed potatoes.  I will used the oldest first.

I had to refill my kitchen onion basket which took one strand of these onions
I pulled 18 rolls of toilet paper, a package of paper towels (thanks to Charlotte not being completely house broke yet) and the last box of black trash bags (had another large box but gave it to daughter to use when we moved her).
I pulled a box of dog snaps treats, a box of dog dental treats, a bottle of Dawn, a bottle of Bayer back and body  and 2 containers of coffee for us and 1 for Thanksgiving dinner.
I still haven't gotten the dried fruit /veggie cabinet sorted out or the herbs and spices cabinet sorted out yet either and they need done soon, they are full I just can't find anything LOL

Blessed Be







Sunday, November 12, 2017

Frugal Frugal Frugal

The paper plate was because Hubby was having issues with his hands so he uses a paper plate for a spill guard...it's about 5 days old in this picture.The cereal is the frugal....HA HA really it is as we didn't buy it. Daughter that was moving (the kids and her are staying with friends to keep the kids in the same school district while she hunts for a new place) gave us the cereal.She didn't know why the boys weren't eating it but it had been there a week so she gave it to us...might not have been eating because it was STALE. That didn't stop Hubby ...it is now gone into his tummy.

I went to Aldi's, spent $54 and got $5 off with the grand opening coupon they gave me last week. I have 2  more coupons for the following 2 wks (1 a wk). Not sure what will be on those lists besides another ham, maybe cream cheese . The only thing we need for stocking up I have a rain check for at Krogers and Aldi's doesn't sell it. I'll see, have to spend $35 to get the $5 off but I am not going to be buying something just to get $5 off.

I roasted the two turkeys today we bought at Krogers for 57¢/lb(Walmart at 68¢ and Aldi's was         99 ¢) We had turkey wraps for dinner. I made a small batch of white bean/Poultry  chili and we try that for Monday night dinner. IF we like it I will make more and can it.  I tossed both carcasses in water today and made bone broth. Will be straining it and canning that also.
The meat will be bagged(tomorrow in 2 cups bags and frozen for meals.By putting it in the freezer already cooked the meat from 2 turkeys takes up less room than 1-15 lb turkey would.

We ate out after going to viewing and before going to Aldi's, ate the special and used a coupon we had. Provided us dinner that night, lunch for Hubby that night and dinner the next night for both of us. I added veggies and melted cheese over the french fries (neither of us prefer french fries) along with some cooked bulk sausage that I keep in the freezer) . I would definitely say we got bang for our buck.

I picked up another 10 lbs of pasta at Krogers for 49¢/box.

We are trying to set the frigs up to reflect how we will be eating from the pantry and not be wasteful as I know it's easy in the winter to get tired of heavy winter meals. We love variety so I need to keep that in mind.

I mended a shirt and pair pants.

I added water to my lotion bottle.

We ate from the pantry except for once. Our week's run Saturday to Sunday. 

Tonight a couple friends called and asked if we could go out to dinner with them because they are leaving after Thanksgiving for about a month. I told them we would love to but it's not in the budget for this month due to spending extra money paying for the gas to move our daughter and the new vet bills, there was some silence but then oh , okay, we understand. They called back and offered to pay for our dinner as an early Christmas present so I accepted.Since they are retired and on a budget they understand the "it's not in the budget".

Blessed be

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Our Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday before the holiday

This is 4 of our six kids LAST year. Left to right, Heidi 32 (33 in Jan) Katie 37 Kira 32(just turned) Blane 34. Josh 34 (not twins ..stepbrothers) and Shannon 44 (late hubby's daughter) were working.

This year Blane rented a hall for us and I changed it to pot luck instead of us providing all the food.

Menu this year is :

Deep fried turkey ( 3 which is down from the 4 of last year., us ..oil paid for by friend 3) Will buy this during this week

Mashed potatoes (us) ( in pantry)

Sweet potatoes (Blane as he has bragged too much about making better sweet potatoes than Katie because he uses their grandmother's so we stuck him with it)

Mac and cheese (Blane as requested from all his nieces and nephews)

Ham and fruit tray (Katie)

Deviled eggs, dried beef pickles and rolls (Kira and kids)

Dirt pudding (Heidi as requested from a couple nephews)

Veggie tray with dip and spinach dip with Hawaiian bread (friend 1)

Baked beans (friend 2)

corn( in freezer), green beans (in pantry), turkey gravy (have broth),Italian dry dressing cheese ball and crackers (in pantry),butter (in frig), apple butter(in pantry)
and whatever desserts I decide to do from what I have in the pantry. More it's what I have time to do.
I will need whipped topping.

Kira offered to make noodles but she starts a new job on Monday so I am waiting to see if either of us has the time.

Water (brought from home as I warned the water is crappy) for drinking ,coffee and tea.
creamer and sugar.

2 liters of soda pop that I got on sale and added a coupon with. I usually don't buy pop, that's who ever is having the meal (floats between Katie and Blane) but since Blane paid for a hall to deal with the issue of parking we now have I got the pop.

I did notice when I specified you had to bring a dish...the I'm coming dropped drastically. I figured it would as when Mother had it the same thing happened.Bothered my kids but not us. Lives change. Grandkids start going out on their own and it will change again.

Blessed Be





Friday, November 10, 2017

What I have so far staying in budget and where I was a year ago

I have a habit of looking back a year or two at pictures and seeing what I was doing at this time of year. These are from last year.


Well I am not doing tomatoes.. but I do have some apples to finish up and a few tomatoes to use fresh along with red bell peppers.Butter to can.

We priced taking our daughter's dogs to a different vet but it's the same price after driving to it.The other vet was closer to her so would be easy for her to meet us there and her deal with it instead of transferring stuff to our vet. She hasn't lived long in the area she has been living in and wants a regular vet. But for now they will go to our vet and she's already called him about their past records since our vet gives us a paper at the end of each appt of what was done. I can just keep those until she takes the dogs back to her.If she ends up in an apartment we will most likely keep them. Neither are apartment dogs.

I turned a rotating fan on at the door of the root cellar so it had circulation.

The humidifier is running,kicked off during a power outage and I forget to turn it back on until I got a nose bleed.

We went back to Menards and got another 52 lbs of dog food as our dog has decided to eat it instead of his own and if the boxer eats our dog's food he will get the back door trots,which means I trot out that door with him as we don't trust him to NOT cruise right across the open fields around us. We have a person will to buy our other dog food off us as they use the same thing So that helps there.

AND as of today, I am short ONLY 3 things, (2 I have rain checks for from Krogers so if I don't find them cheaper I can at least buy them later.) on the stock up list.We removed apricots even though they are Hubby's favorite fruit we just can't handle the price I am finding. When they come in season next spring I will be buying them and canning them myself. I haven't been to Aldi's as tomorrow(Friday) we have a viewing to go to (Hubby's coworker grandpa) and decided since we drive within a mile of Aldi's we would just go then. No second trips to the same area as it's not where we go normally.

I need a few things (besides the turkeys) for our Tday dinner.Kind of holding off until the "guests" let me know what they are bringing.

Today I finished stocking the following:

Cranberry sauce whole berry

choc pie crusts

Graham cracker pie crusts

Butter (to be canned as we don't see the price coming down as it's even up in Europe and bought canning jars on clearance for the butter)

worcestershire sauce

Horseradish cream sauce

Rain checks are sauerkraut and dried beef(just in case I can't get kraut at Aldi's)

I bought 2 turkeys (was the limit) for 57¢/lb. They were around 15 lbs. I am roasting them for OUR freezer and for soup and broth. I have a BIT...just a bit of freezer space for that plus that will be a few quick meals this coming weeks as next week asI will be prepping for our Tday dinner that is Sunday. I might get another one later but for now this will be good enough. That leaves the ham for our freezer but I have until Christmas to get those 2.

Bought 5 other items for presents(a real score as they were on clearance) but decided to wait to buy picture frames until after our Tday dinner.I think I'm short one gift but I know what it is and where to get it.

I bought 12 -2 liters of soda pop for our Tday dinner that was marked down to 88¢ and I had $1.50 off if I spent $10.00, getting the price down to 75.5¢ I have plenty of cups..like a black trash sack full as everyone and their brother seems to think we need to have their extra cups.I have been told that water at the hall is bad tasting so I will use my own to make coffee and have water for those that want to drink that. Not hard to refill water jugs with my own water.

My daughter lent me her buffet coffee maker for coffee. I have creamer and sugar and coffee.I will also take some tea bags for those that prefer tea. There will be ice so they can make cold tea if they want from hot tea.

The best news was I spent far less than what we budgeted for stocking up, Thanksgiving and Christmas.Which is good as we just got the $800 bill for getting the truck fuel lines fixed.





Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What I plan to buy this week..new members of the family

Alpo dog food...47 lbs if possible as the price on line at Menards is less than $20.This is Wilbur (boxer AKA lay about ) and Charlotte (cane corso pit husky AKA hyper baby) my daughter's dogs that we are keeping for her while she finds a new home for herself and sons that is within her price range and not in a violent area.

Well let me try to finish  or restart this again LOL as we realized we didn't have as much dog food as our daughter thought she had gave us ...she took the boys word on the amount as they feed the dogs..most the bag was actually closer to a 1/2  bag.We went to Menards and got 2 new collars as Wilbur has lost enough weight his collar won't stay on and Charlotte didn't have one at all as her leash was a slip and adjust collar attached that was starting to get tight.  Plus we got 52 lbs Alpo for less than $20 with tax included... was a 5 lbs extra bag...GO US.

This poor baby , our Rascal has been run ragged because Wilbur  and Charlotte want to sniff him and she wants him to play with her (she's not yet 5 months) That's Wilbur's bed on the floor. We have been making a point of getting one on one time with Rascal.AND he is slowly learning how to play with the pup.

Since we have 2 more dogs (our daughter is giving us some money for food and the entire fee  we pay our landlord for having them but we are doing all the rest until she gets back into a place of her own with her boys back with her as they are split up staying with friends) We know we will have to come up with some food, treats, vet care etc. Her boys, my darling grandsons admitted they had been giving the dogs people food and her and I knowing that 3 teenage boys along with all their friends feeding these dogs people food explains the issues the dogs were having AND why her dog food was lasting so long but not her groceries. Like teenage boys don't enough on their own.

I would like to have a turkey this week for our meals and to make soup with and a ham

SO on this week's buy list.. I compared prices between Krogers and Walmart online as our Walmart does not do price match any more. Aldi's only shows what they have on sale in their ads I go to them before Krogers.

Menards 
More Alpo from Menards even if it's not the extra 5 lbs bag. As we have to have enough to go 2 months as I don't see her getting a place that fast that she can have the dogs for now.
canning jars if they still have some

Walmart
if no canning jars at Menards
2 picture frames for gifts we are doing to friends
corn pads for Hubby's toes. He doesn't have corns but his steel toes are rubbing and these work to protect without being bunched up
a present that we know we can get there cheap
and price turkeys and butter.
I might order canned apricots later as this is the only way it's looking like I will get them.

Aldi's I need to spend $35 to use my $5 coupon.
kraut in jar (needs to be cheaper than Krogers 1.99)
ham I found a couple casserole recipes on Amish365.com that also has mock lemon pie which is actually vinegar pie.HE has a lot of Amish recipes on his blog.
cream cheese (needs to be cheaper than Krogers 1.59)
saltines
check on butter (Kroger's 2.49)

Krogers
turkey at 57¢/lb(limit 2)
canning jars (digital coupon)
dried beef in jar (sale)
whole berry cranberry sauce (sale)
horseradish cream sauce
Chocolate cookie pie crust
graham cracker pie crusts (sale)
PSST tortilla wraps(usually 99¢ for a package)
Starbucks coffee(sale ...for Daddy)
Creamette pasta (49¢when I buy 10)
2 lt pop (buy 4 at 88¢ each. I will buy 12 (Tday dinner) and use digital coupon of $1.50 off $10 in pop)
 That's the list but it depends on how much I have after we take 3 dogs to the vets and pay the bills.

This would run about $400 if I get the amount to finish stocking up except for ham, turkey and prime rib ...well and the apricots that might not get bought at all . Hubby was a little surprised I had gotten us that close.






Friday, November 3, 2017

Starting of Nov. Groceries also

We went to Krogers this morning so I could use the 200 bonus points coupon that expires this weekend. With gas almost to $2.70, we can use all the extra help we can get with gas.

Old Orchard juice 2.49 - 50 ¢ coupon = $1.99

Northland juice 3.79-.80¢ sale - 1.00 coupon = $1.99

Mountain dew Kick start 1.69- .69¢- free coupon = $0 ( I don't drink this but 1 of the kids does Christmas gift)

Olay in shower body lotion (Hubby's uses) 6.59-1.60 sale- 1.00 coupon =$3.99

2 Caramel apple cookie dough 2.89-39¢= $2.50 ea ( Hubby wants to try these and then see if we can make our own)

Chloraseptic spray. $6.49- $1.00 coupon = $5.49.(Only thing that kills the pain after a tube down my throat during Crohn's attack)

2 Brown sugar $1.99-.20¢ sale = 1.79 ea

1 Havarti cheese $3.09-60¢ sale- free coupon= 0

10 Butter $ 4.89- $1.90 sale - 50¢(buy 10 get $5 off)= $2.49 each.... I got 10 and told Hubby we didn't need any more (he said if we found it for $1.99 again I was to get it and can it .Canned Butter last 3 yrs)

Uncle Ben's Flavor infusions rice $2.99 -70¢sale - free coupon= 0

2 Bigelow Lemon Ginger herbal tea $2.99- 50¢ sale =$2.49 ea (one is for Mom O for Christmas)

Aleve PM $9.49-$2. coupon =$7.49

Shelf cost $107.72.
Savings $42.64
out of pocket $65.08
Fuel points 268 ( had 200 bonus points for spending over $50)

We ate from the pantry, focusing on eating from the freezers. I now have room for one ham butt.

I put our Tday dinner on Facebook as an invite to make a head count so we don't provide more food than we need. Usually we don't care except for the amount of turkeys we deep fry but with retiring the $800 for 100 people isn't happening. I changed it to POT LUCK and watched the "not going" numbers go up. Figured it would. Kids know it's okay to bring a friend (or their kids bring a friend) they just need to bring a bigger dish of food LOL.

I canned Brandy's steak sauce http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/steak-sauce
I made 4 times the amount of the recipe as I had cooked down tomatoes (still have about 3 lbs  turning red in the mudroom) to make tomato sauce. I got 6-12 oz jars, I canned 5 and put the last one in the frig.

I dehydrated the last of the red onions, eggs and green bell peppers. (still have red bell peppers).

The time change this weekend will change our routines making it dark by dinner time so the curtains will be closed then...depressing but at least this year we have LED lightbulbs.


Blessed Be












Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Financial goals for Nov..including groceries

Hubby retires in 4 weeks and then there will be the lag time of getting checks from retirement ...4-8 weeks. And the big adjustment of not having a weekly paycheck. So this month we will be paying 2 months of bills from the paychecks and then Jan and Feb from the savings. By then the retirement "paycheck" LOL should be coming in.

GOALS

pay Nov and Dec bill this month WITHOUT touching the savings.

Continue savings.

Have the food for the Thanksgiving dinner in pantry or money set aside example would be turkeys .

Finish stocking the last 19 items on the stock up list. ALL which go on sale this month.I already have the stuff for Christmas cookies and candy.

Limit eating out . I want 0 Hubby is pushing for 2. I have 4 dinners $$ in the budget.

Eat from the freezers. I usually take my veggies/fruit from the pantry during this time of year but I need room for turkey and ham. If I take the bulk of our meals from the freezers the next 17 days I will have enough room for turkeys and a ham.

Set grocery list for every 10-14 days for perishables..work in progress

so far we are thinking milk, half and half, heavy cream(I make my own whipped cream), romaine lettuce, celery and carrots. One dozen eggs a month so Hubby can have his sunny side up eggs once a week. Green onions once a month.I might buy a red,yellow or orange bell pepper if I want it for salad or stuffing it (I can't eat green which is actually an unripe bell pepper due to my Crohns). Cabbage once a month and apples once a month. At this point we are stocked with enough variety that there shouldn't be an issue.

We set the grocery budget based on Mom O budget. She's on what I figure is the high side. But Daddy only spends $85 a  month. I've seen his grocery list, I'm not eating bean soup daily(he can't swallow solid foods any more) She spends $145 every 10 days. so that's $441.04 a month but that is also including her softener salt ,furnace filters,laundry products that we have another fund for house maintenance items and I make my own laundry soap and use vinegar for the softener. But we decided to use her budget and put back the rest for restocking later.

Blessed Be



November goals...for the house

4 weeks until Hubby retires....😀

SO November goals

1667 words a day for National Novel writing month starting Nov 1st

Last of tomatoes canned

Last of the apples canned

Last of bell peppers dealt with (reds roasted, greens frozen or dehydrated)

Pineapple canned

Pomegranates dealt with and frozen

Last of eggs dehydrated (need 3 dozen )

Last of garlic dehydrated for powder

Last of "seconds" of potatoes made into mashed potatoes and dehydrated

Motorcycle to be moved from garage to storage in pig barn (no there are not pigs in it)

Garage cleared for car or truck to be put in

Finish the last of the Christmas gifts

Wrap the Christmas gifts

Sign and mail Christmas cards

Start cookies for Christmas and vacuum pack.

Declutter craft room Check windows for drafts

Declutter boys room (FYI we don't have any kids/grandkids living with us , it's just what we call the rooms as the grandkids have claimed them)..check windows for drafts

Declutter Becka's room...change curtains to ones just bought

Have everything set for Tday dinner at VFW hall Son is providing.

Black Friday decorate the house for Christmas.




Sunday, October 29, 2017

8 weeks to Christmas

The cookie and candy list has been finalized. Until Hubby comes up with something else 😏.

While at my GI appointment an elderly lady pulled several gags on me after she heard my doctor say something about the gag gifts I do for the kids and grandkids. I pulled them on Hubby and he thought they were good also.Inexpensive and very doable for the 3 dozen we make gifts for.

I found a couple gifts at a thrift shop after my GI appt.

We are still working on one large gift that we knew would be time consuming but not expensive.

I bought a strand of lights for the light bulbs as it was cheaper to buy a 100 bulb strand than the replacement bulbs for several of my window decorations.

I have some Christmas cards already bought so I will start signing them and getting them ready to mail around Thanksgiving as I want to include a short note.

Blessed Be

Sam's club and Frugal done.

We finally made it to Sam's club... saved 6 %. not including how much cheaper compared to other stores for what I bought.
We got some funny looks with having 5 boxes of oil that weighed 35 lbs each. Turkey fryers take a box each and we always buy back up as more than one time had a fryer spring a hole or boil over. YES we have a fire extinguisher always on hand for that reason.

Hubby built a box on the back of our trailer years ago...has had to replace it a couple times but it keeps things from getting wet (like kids' furniture) or blown off (plants from auction). We consider this a "light" run as usually the box is full , the bed of the truck is full and the back seat is full... this time it was not even filling the box on the trailer. Got diapers for the great grandson with $8 off.It will take care of him for a couple months making his parents happy to not be forking out that type of money at the holidays.


But it has pretty much wrapped up what we needed and a few things that was on the want list except for the items that come on sale in Nov/Dec. I check butter at Walmart... OUCH
But I lucked out at Aldi's at their grand opening and got it for $1.99. We have enough right now with using powdered butter from Rainy Day Foods for baking and canned butter for the table. I got eggs for 59 ¢ a dozen so I can finish dehydrating the older eggs. I also got another roasting chicken for 95¢/lb. We had it for dinner and it's now in the stock pot so I can debone it tomorrow and toss the bones in the trash as it goes to the road in the morning for pick up.I will end up with 4 meals from it.

Krogers had digital coupon for 4 x points for gift cards. We needed gift cards for Christmas so we picked them up and then I did the survey to get more points for Nov.. We used 20¢/gal for the gas for going to Sam's club and  the other places we stopped at.

We went to Lock 16 steakhouse for a belated birthday dinner for Hubby.We went at lunch time to get the cheaper price. Brought home leftovers to make 2 more meals with adding veggies and a fruit.

We went to Dollar General where I had a $2 coupon off $10. I got cleaner for the swiffer mop that Hubby bought several years ago and he loves using. The cleaner was buy 2 get $1 off, bought 2 cans for the autospray for the kitchen that was a $1 off and a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Total paid was around $12 .

We went passed a house that was between stores that we thought we would be interested in buying. It was surrounded by a woods and not what we were looking for.

I washed foil, food bags, reused tea bags, opened curtains in morning and close late afternoon when there is no sun. Did laundry with homemade laundry soap with vinegar for the softener, used the drying rack for light weight stuff, dried heavy items first so if needed to be rebooted they were with the next load.  I did my surveys for Pinecone and worked daily on Swagbucks.

Hubby used gasbuddy for other gas for the truck, he packed his lunch(always has) from leftovers.Mended another pair of socks that his steel toe boots wear out in that area.His truck went in for both fuel lines to be replaced. Haven't gotten that bill but we already know we can make payments on it. SO blessed with the mechanic we have.

I dried more onions and eggs... worked on some red bell peppers... have the rest of what is in the mudroom to finish. All the tomatoes just finished turning red and I had some of them with the bell peppers as I heard that would help the bell peppers turn. Got a recipe for apple shrub that I have never had.

Hubby mentioned he only had 1 vitamin pill left so I went upstairs and brought down more for him and then decided to make sure all my meds and vitamins were full also. So nice to fill everything up and not have to worry about going back into town and finding coupons and sales to fill those needs.

A co worker of Hubby's gave us a Mc D's gift card that had $5 on it as no one in his family eats there. I saved it for later.

The curtain rod over the kitchen sink kept falling down every time I shut the bottom half of the curtains. Hubby suggested buying a different style rod, I put a clothespin on the end of the rod so it couldn't pull through the hook that holds it. Problem solved for the price of a clothes[in that I've had for years.

My GI who has really helped calm my Crohn's down is not going to be in network starting Jan due to ins changes. She prescribed me enough meds using 90 day supply to go a year so I didn't have to stress about finding a doctor right away as she can do phone consults at no charge to me if I end up in the hospital ER with an attack. She also referred a couple doctors that will be in network that she had worked with before and said she would go to them herself...She has Crohn's so she definitely understands.

 I ordered a gift from Dad O for Christmas from Amazon and had them gift wrap it for me as I know I wouldn't be able to and do a decent job of it. Even Hubby thought it was neat when we got it in.

I had saved some older food safe buckets with Gamma seal lids which came in hand when we got home from Sam's club to transfer the 50 lbs of flour and 75 lbs of sugar. That was a $70 savings and not a worry of getting to the store to buy the buckets and put up with the flour and sugar sitting in the kitchen.

We always try to make a trip to town that is for more than one thing. Twice in the past week we had to drive over an hr to appts so I juggled the errand list so we could do at least one thing extra with those appts. This week is almost as busy with appts.

Have a Blessed Week.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

What amount we should eat in a year.

Taking the information from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate

Hubby and I at our ages should eat the following in 1 year.

Fruit: Hubby 2 cups and me 1 1/2 cups per day..that's almost a quart a day so that's 365 quarts a year.

Veggies:Hubby 2 1/2 cups and me 2 cups per day  that's a bit over 410 qrts of veggies. We eat the rainbow diet of veggies....reds, yellows/oranges, white/tan, greens, blue/purple and black

that comes to a total of 775 qrts for a year.... I can mostly in pints so that's 1550 pints...If I was buying all of it at the store it would be 1550 in cans. This is also why I dehydrate a lot also.

That's not touching canned beans, butter, jams, jellies, fruit butter, syrups, sauces, meats,eggs, condiments etc....

Grains... My plate cut back from the 7-11 servings to 5 oz for me and 6 for Hubby per day. That's 11 oz total per day that's almost 251 lbs of grain for a year.

Protein is 5 oz for me and 5.5 oz for Hubby (we do more manual labor than most so we eat more than that) but I base my storage on those numbers that is 10.5 oz per day. That's almost 240 lbs of protein a year.

Dairy... okay we are both cheese hounds. I couldn't drink milk as a child but could eat cheese and butter (we don't eat margarine due to chemicals in it)  My plate says we each should have 3 cups for a total of 6 cups per day. Cheese is 1.5 oz natural or 2 oz for process cheese equals 1 cup.. We have at least 1 of our servings as cheese . But think about that.. if we were only drinking milk or eating yogurt that's 2190 cups per year. As it is 1/3 of that is cheese that's just a bit over 68 lbs for the cheese alone in a year or 5.7 lbs a month. I buy it when it's on sale and try to have a coupon.

Oils... Hubby 6 teaspoons and myself 5 teaspoons per day, that's a total of 11 teaspoons a day. That's 4015 teaspoons a year..there are 48 teaspoons in a cup. That's a bit over 83.5 cups , a cup is 1/2 lbs so that's 41.75 lbs of oil.... that includes not only the oils we use but also peanuts,peanut butter, butter,olives, avocados, salad dressings, mayo and Miracle Whip and other condiments along with baked goods (breads, cakes, doughnuts, etc). I do deep fry about every 6-8 weeks. If I deep fry I found we don't eat out plus the side benefit is my cast iron skillets get seasoned and I have several of those.

Yes I have a big pantry

Monday, October 23, 2017

In the pantry...

We went shopping for personal items and then I was rummaging around for Christmas presents and decided to straighten this area up. It's part of the pantry.. personal items, dog stuff etc but I keep it upstairs in the corner of the boys room... we don't have any kids living with us but I call the one bedroom boys rooms (most of the grandkids are boys) and then there is Becka's room even though I have some granddaughters besides Becka, she's the only one that can tolerate being in the boonies to stay. Boys love the barn and cattle.

FYI... We decided to stock for a year. Hubby is retiring (5 wks 4 days, not that I am counting or anything) as he does have other offers of work that is part time and seasonal on top of finding out ALL our doctors will be out of network with the new insurance turning a 80/20 plan into a 60/40 plan instead along with $10,000 deductible after paying $1000 a month for the insurance. YES we know we are BLESSED even with that because we know others that are paying $2000 a month and higher deductible than us.SO until we see how things goes financially we decided to stock EVERYTHING for a year since I already do that with the food.


I even stocked extra humidifier treatment and Mr Clean, I cut the squares in half, it's the only thing I can use on my enamel coated pans.

Tea and coffee along with water is the major drinks here. Our Bunn coffee maker doesn't let us reuse the grounds by adding more, makes a total mess when we tried it a couple times. I can only drink Folgers and Maxwell house, rest rips my Crohn's up. So we cut back on no more than 3 cups of coffee (Hubby drank 3 pots of coffee) and we drink tea in the afternoons and evenings ..The big red boxes of tea are top right of bookcase Yes I stocked dental treats for Rascal.That's a year supply for him.

The dog items (actually there is some cat items also) is for the 4 legged grand-babies for Christmas.
If I don't have a Crohn's attack then this will last closer to 2 years.If I have one attack cut it down to 18 months two attacks it's a year. It will be frugal for me to NOT have any (besides the fact it's out of network and horrible to go through) and to do that I have to take my meds...

My VSL#3 is NOT cheap  even for over counter and my insurance will not cover it even with a prescription. I look for it on sale and have gotten lucky enough to find it twice at a price I can afford that scored me 4 bottles each time. My doctor would love to have me drop the dosage but we fear it will trigger an attack and that will make it all worse.

The only part of the pantry left not organized is my spice and herb cabinet and the dried fruit/veggie cabinet...maybe by the end of the week.

Blessed Be 

Third week Oct...Frugal good and bad

Rascal is pouting... It was Monday morning... trash goes to the road and he gets a ride around the block (so does Mommy 😉) BUT this week Hubby was on first shift for EMT classes so he took the trash when he left for work at 5 AM...we didn't get a ride around the block (4 miles total for the block here.) So there was no reason for Mommy to go around the block either.

Five days we ate from the pantry.One of those was a failure as I roasted a chicken knowing we both would be worn out by dinner time with his classes (11 hr work day) and me in the gardens pulling the last of the harvest to go with the apples we were given. This is sitting in the mudroom for me to finish up this week.



We ate the chicken the first night, ate beef cubes ( that I thought was beef cubed steak)cooked with mushrooms and onions and baked potatoes with the line of thinking we would finish the chicken the next night as chicken and dumplings... that didn't happened due to me falling and injuring the arm I just had surgery on...pit stop at WENDY'S after I was checked out. (not torn but definitely pulled muscles that are tight still from the surgery) ... and the next night was PIZZA which feed us dinner and 2 lunches) after 18 hrs of working in the gardens and yard work that Hubby picked up on his way back from taking the tiller back to a friend that lent us his big one. He woke me up when he got in as I had sat down after showering and went to sleep, I barely remember eating.Chicken got dumped in trash with big reminder that the night we have the roasted chicken (which needs to be no later than Saturday so the bones can go to trash at road on Monday morning and not sit in the trash can all week for the wild life to take interest in) that the leftovers goes in the stock pot that evening and dealt with BEFORE BED on the SAME night.

We didn't go to Sam's club again or Lock 16 for a belated birthday meal for Hubby. Looks like Nov. for that now. I started going through the recipes for Christmas cookies and candy so if there is anything missing I can add it to this list.

We did score with a savings of 42% at Dollar General on stocking up the pantry of personal items and 63% at CVS on medical supplies Hubby felt we needed and 29% at Kroger's that was on odds and ends they had sales on, I had coupons and it was on the we use but not necessary list. The young lady at Dollar General made a point of showing me my receipt and letting me know I had another $7 in savings in coupons.

I use my herb tea bags twice and regular tea bags 3 times and found if I put those 2 together I can get another cup of tea.

I put together some Christmas presents with what I had..

I washed foil, box inserts (thanks kid for bringing me yours). Used homemade laundry soap and vinegar for the softener in the laundry , hung what I could on the drying rack and dried the heaviest first in the dryer so there is no reboot at the end of laundry due to something not getting dried completely. We turn off the furnace during the day (even today with no sunshine to warm the house). All the winter curtains on the main floor are up. The staircase doors to the upstairs and basement are kept shut with an old wool blanket at the bottom of the upstairs door so the cold air doesn't seep on down. Winter bedding is on the bed, warm throws on the backs or arms of furniture if we get chilly sitting. I added water to lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and dish soap. I wipe my razor blade with rubbing alcohol. Grandpa was a barber and told me to always do this so it would last longer even with disposable blades. I am able to use mine about a month of regular shaving.

I made apple bread to use up some of the apples for our breakfast and snacks over the weekend.

Hope you had a frugal week.
Blessed Be


End of the gardens

It always makes me sad to wrap it up... part relieved as it means the days are not so busy even with produce sitting in the mudroom to be processed.
But I did take one last picture of the flowers before the straw bales were hauled away. Next year we will be trying raised garden rows like Old World Garden Farms.

Hubby tilled up the north garden and then planted annual rye for the winter cover crop. That's the rhubarb patch behind him that I will divide up in the spring. This is from the other way.Rascal is trying to figure out where everything went.He is back by the pole where the peonies were and his potties on them.


These south square foot gardens have the fall garlic, some spring flower bulbs as the flower garden beside the house is coming up and the far end one has the strawberries.
We call this with fond memories "the tomato patch" because the first year we tilled it up was because we had 50 extra tomato plants and no where to put them.Hubby tilled this also and put rye in it. We don't PLAN to plant it but we never know.

This is at the far end of the tomato patch. It is my herb garden. There is still garlic chives, chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and curly parsley growing. I cut everything back for winter but as warm is it is right now and the rain we are getting today I can see having a small harvest if we don't get the frost like they forecasted for this week.

This one we left even knowing we will have to deal with it in the cold. I did pick the green beans off the scarlet runner beans on the trellis and have them drying to replant next year in the north garden. There are a few blooms still on it and the birds are picking at it's leaves. The flowers bloomed after the mole ate through the box and seemed to fill out more... must have needed thinned??? 

The wind is blowing the leaves off the maple trees today. It's dreary, wet and cool...not cold as that is  yet to come... just a reminder that the circle of life continues.






Nine weeks to Christmas

We do gag gifts for the kids and grandkids...great grandson gets toys. Older  family gets food gifts or something along that line.

The story on these gifts is I was putting the boxes together and taping them, putting the gift inside and then tape the top... got almost through them and glanced at the table and realized I forgot to put the gift inside... gag on me LOL.

While searching for something else I ran across and present we had bought last year for a friend but sent something else instead. They are getting it this year.

I've rechecked the list for cookies and candy... Cookies are set but I need to pull a few more candy recipes. We have some tried and true and always a few new. I check ingredients as I pull the recipe.

We STILL haven't made it to Sam's club (or Lock 16 steak house for Hubby's birthday. It looks like it's a Nov 4th run almost a month after his birthday. Guess that is the best since I am just now going through the recipes.

We have started going through the Christmas decorations as we picked up at yard sales and need to check them for lights etc.

Still a little frustrated that a gift we thought was going to be good was a flop...so back to the drawing board to replace that one.

Are you getting ready for the holidays?

Monday, October 16, 2017

frugal week starting Oct 9th

We found Christmas gifts for a couple of friends at a yard sale. Found a couple for Dad and Mom O at Menards and yard sale.

I did the usually of washing storage/freezer bags (not if it had meat or grease)  and foil. Opened curtains at dawn and closed them at night since it's now not as hot and I need the sunlight to warm the house. Turned lights off when not in room. Used homemade laundry soap.Used drying rack when possible. Washed inserts to different boxed food and taped to the roll I now have on the wall (have one of those racks that holds 3 different items on rolls. I have paper towels (select a size as we don't need full sheets most the time) wax paper and now inserts that I can use before the wax paper. Actually holds up better in the freezer when flash freezing items.Using my single use tea bag 3-4 times.

We turned the furnace on at bedtime and off when we got up. If I get cold sleeping my arm/shoulder stiffness and causes pain. Pain anywhere triggers my Crohn's.

Since I had my back injections we went out for a meal afterwards...got breakfast so once again the meal was half of what we usually spend PLUS it fed Hubby that night as I was in no shape to eat let alone cook so he didn't go get fast food for himself.  I fixed a large lasagna for the weekend and that made it to last night with me adding extra sides to fill us up.

We used Kroger fuel points and Speedway card along with checking with Gasbuddy for the cheapest gas.

I harvest herbs while Hubby harvested the majority of the last of the tomatoes (enough now canned for the year of pasta sauce and tomato juice) and horseradish (1/2 gal in freezer) and bell peppers... that still have not turned SIGH.

The humming birds haven't been around for over a week now but the bees are having a buffet with the humming bird feeders. We decide to let them hang until we don't see the bees any more. I still have some flowers that they are into also. Mums are pretty much done after that last hot spell.

Landlord bought a new ceiling light for the butler's pantry that was LED and Hubby installed it over the weekend.

We cut out electric bill by $40 by canning outside using the turkey fryers . It costs us $15 for propane for the fryers.

Hubby started clearing the north garden and I am starting on clearing the south gardens this afternoon. I bartered pumpkins last month with the young man (landlord's oldest son) that has steers and a pig in the barn here to haul the straw bales away from here. We decided to try Old World Garden Farms raised rows next year. Straw bales kept the weeding down and plants did well but seeds didn't make at all as the wind kept blowing the dirt away even with packing it down and watering it.

Hubby ( hopefully) mowed for the last time.

We are still looking for brown socks for me and jeans for Hubby on sale.

Back to eating from the pantry 😁

Another Section of pantry done.

Standing in my kitchen looking towards the butler's pantry this is what you would see. The door with the Live, laugh landry is the door that goes to the basement.

When the basement door is shut , which is few and far between this is what you would see. I copied this from Julia Child and it has worked great for myself and my youngest daughter that also has one....there is a cast iron skillet missing from the left bottom and a skillet that is missing above all the others. I was fixing dinner.YES that is a braid of garlic hanging there to remind me to USE it. It was gift as they didn't remember I grew my own garlic. I don't braid so it's something different for me.
If you were in the butler's panty and the basement door was shut this is what you would see.
Tea balls on top, cheese grater next row down, immersion blender next row , whisks the next row, ricer and old masher in the next. I don't keep anything in the bottom row. It hits the water storage (that's for flushing the toilets) and stops the door from being opened all the way.

If you are standing in the kitchen door way and looking to your right this is your view. Hubby made both. The white one was a bookcase that stands over 7 ft tall and is 4 feet wide.

I have a one pot, two cast iron dutch ovens and the 2 beverage jugs we use for family dinners on top of it.

Next shelf down, cake mixes and cookie mixes on sale with coupons so it's about 50¢....I use the cake mixes as a short cut for cookies and dump cakes. Cookie mixes also but usually you will find oatmeal cookie mix for using on top of fruit crisps or pies when I am under the gun for a dessert.

Next shelf is frostings (on sale with coupons so about 50¢) less waste with the just the two of us as we don't frost most of the cakes we do eat. Bisquick....Hubby just refuses to try anything else and since he is the one that makes the waffles and pancakes he can have his Bisquick LOL. Wondra instant flour (me) and a small container of AP flour if I only need a small amt so I'm not lifting 25 lbs of sugar to get to the bucket of AP flour. Tostadas and ramen noodles, then Parmesan cheese in the bottle, then Velveeta cheese( bought on sale with coupons) and then Hubby's go to when he is on his own or he is cooking and doesn't really want to but I am not available for whatever reason...Velveeta mac and cheese (served with hamburger or sausage in it or smoked sausage on the side).

Down one more shelf, Carnation Essentials mixes(bought on sale with coupons) for when I am having a Crohn's attack and am on a liquid diet for 3-7 days. I have one week supply of 4 of them a day. Cream of wheat, grits, quick oats and regular oats.Funnel cake pourer and mix. Tortilla chips (taco salad, refried beans and cheese, salsa etc) Fritos (walking taco salad, chili,salsa. veggie dip) potato chips...one of the few things I can get down during a Crohn's attack that will settle my stomach faster than meds. We limit how much we eat of the "chips" because they are part of our meals or for my Crohn's. Then there is boxes of gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, lady fingers, graham crackers and Grape nuts (I use grape nuts in parfaits with yogurt or pudding).

Next row is what we call the home take out row...this is my first line of battle against the eat out monster. Instant polenta, hamburger helper ( I have hamburger and bulk sausage cooked, bagged and in freezers) freezer to plate meal (thank you to son that also forgets to thaw his chicken). Instant rice mixes that Hubby uses to stuff his green bell pepper that I don't eat. Gnocchi that I do eat.Rice noodles, powdered egg drop soup (Hubby makes me when I am sick or have Crohns attack)Stove top stuffing (me as Hubby doesn't like stuffing/dressing of any kind). Instant mashed potatoes (won't be buying that any more since I can now make my own dehydrated potato granules) a few boxes of potatoes that was bought before I bought the buckets of sliced, diced and hash browns.Whistle Stop fried green tomato batter that I use for anything that is being battered and deep fried. I even used it to batter eggplant and fried green tomatoes that went in the freezer. My sweeteners...black strap molasses, pancake syrup for Hubby ( I use dark Karo and it's in the frig) Maple syrup (goes in frig after opening) honey,light corn syrup,sorghum, boiled apple cider syrup and basmatic vinegar syrup bought from Italy from a friend and Hubby's plastic containers he uses to pack his lunch. These will be moved when he retires and I go through all the plastic containers .

Next row down is what Hubby calls my King Arthur flour row.  It has easy roll dough improver, baker's special dried milk, non-diastatic malt powder, whipped cream stabilizer,lime juice powder, lemon juice powder, pizza dough flavor (great for making crackers) baker's cinnamon filling mix (with a promise of having homemade cinnamon rolls when he retires), organic barley malt, Ammonium carbonate, instant yeast (2 lbs). Chicken bouillon, beef bouillon, and tomato bouillon. Cocoa, regular and dark, instant choc drink, dried milk , dried buttermilk and coffee creamer which is used more for instant hot cocoa mix than coffee.

Bottom row... soda... Vernors ginger soda (sick/Crohn's) Sprite (sick/Crohn's) coke just a few for company because they feel weird if I have to go to the root cellar to get it and then wipe the bottle clean. Variety of cranberry juice (Hubby) V8 Fusion (crohn's) lemon juice and lime juice bottled ( just gifted)small cans of pineapple juice, instant coffee ( for instant mocha for friends) instant raspberry tea and instant lemon tea (in laws drink)

This next shelving unit was built when we were renting a 800 sq house with few cabinets. Hubby built it for my small appliances. It's now a joke in the family as it holds all the alcohol when we don't really drink...I use the most of it for cooking... along with most the wine we have stored in the pantry. The kids know not to buy a bottle of something without checking to see if we have it...should really store it with the herbs and spices since it's used in that line more. Takes 2 pictures as I can't stand in front of it due to the narrowness of this area.


Top shelf meat slicer with limoncello  and Grappa from Italy from friend.

Next shelf, mixes that I add water or Sprite instead of booze for the kids and grandkids, syrups for coffees.

Next shelf  the booze.. up front is the whiskey I use for hot toddy's.

Next is the tea shelf that is the overflow of the tea from the tea drawer. Son thought I could use more tea.
Next shelf down is tapioca pudding, pudding, jello and a stash of candy bars that I bought on sale with coupons.

Bottom shelf is my favorite.It has the beer for the marinades I do from ribs/pork/brats ...no it's not been chilled so it's okay just like in the warehouse. AND the popcorn we have grew. I will have to grow more next years as I figure I have enough to go 12-18 months depending on whether we pop weekly or biweekly. We LOVE popcorn.
This is Hubby's go to when he is hungry but shouldn't be eating like before bed. His parents are the same way so I know where he got that habit from.When we married it was a box every other day, now it's more like a couple weeks and I figure it won't be that when he retires as I plan to have a healthy snack (like popcorn) in the evenings since our dinner will still be around 5 and I know he will struggle to go to sleep as he has worked 3rd shift even as a kid when he was farming ...over 45 yrs at least.

Only 2 more areas left to do... the dining room with the dried fruit/veggies along with the herbs and spice cabinet and the paper/personal goods in the upstairs.