Sunday, August 13, 2017

Why I am the way I am.

Four hundred and one variety...that is different/variety things not number of things.

In my pantry when fully stocked there is 20,852 items...not counting what is in the freezers.

With 80% being what I grow or buy at the cheapest price and process myself to keep it frugal.

Why? because I have went hungry as a child. I went hungry as an adult but I made sure my kids didn't and in 2007 I watched my Hubby worry there wouldn't be food on the table when he went to 3 days a week (company didn't lay off full time workers and kept them at 3 day which is equal to unemployment but gave them health ins that wouldn't be available if they had laid them off. Temporary workers were let go. We lost both the house we lived in and the one our one daughter lived in. Now we are looking at retirement, with health insurance going through the roof and not sure what income we will have after he retires and we pay for the insurance.He has been offered part time, seasonal work with a couple companies owned by our landlord's families. Landord has made it very clear he would work with us just to keep us here, would prefer for us to live here another 10 yrs or more.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression. Hubby's parents weren't born yet, his dad grew up on farm(cattle/pig and grain) and his mom's dad worked for the electric company. Hubby grew up farming and all grocery money and bill money was on the farm loan so it was more of will the crops pay of the loan and if not what's the interest to roll over to the next yr's loan.His mom did some gardening but enough to go year to year.

 Daddy didn't know it was the Great Depression as he grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Everyone was poor and ate pretty the same thing. Milk (evaporated milk) gravy and bread or oatmeal for breakfast and bean soup and bread for lunch and supper. Spring brought sassafras tea and wild greens, summer brought fish and the gardens. If there was enough money after buying his mother's medication they got shells to hunt with.

 Mother on the other hand, understood the difference. Her dad worked in lumber yard and rail road... and was without a job for 2 yrs. He refused to work the program that was offered and his family paid the price for his pride in the way of not having food or clothings at times. Mother finally got a job at the age of 10 working for a "junk man" cleaning up things for him. She made 5¢ a day that was spent on beans to feed her parents and siblings.

 There was never enough grown in the gardens with how big the family was to put any up for winter.Daddy did know how to dry food on a tin roof covered to keep the animals off the food but there wasn't enough food to do it often. Mother was clueless.

As a child my parents had decided my older brother would not only graduate from high school(first of both their families) but go to college the day he was born. Good thing he wanted to go because both him and I know he would have went even if he didn't want to. Both did whatever work they could often working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, money went to pay off the mortgage and put money aside for his college education. Dad grew a good size garden and started hunting. One neighbor taught Mother how to can corn, tomatoes and green beans. Another neighbor showed her how to make and can grape juice as we had a very small harbor of concord grapes. By this time Grandpa(Daddy's side as Mother's dad had died when they first bought the house) was raising chickens and potatoes along with a huge garden for himself and his daughter that remained as his care taker.Grandma died when Dad was 16) So we would get eggs once a month when we went to visit, sometimes a chicken that wasn't laying and old and in season we would get 100 lbs of potatoes when Daddy went to help dig potatoes with Grandpa. Grandpa had an acre planted of potatoes and that was how he made his money to pay his bills.I would pick up cans and pop bottles for Daddy to take into recycle to get money to go towards my brother's college fund. Many times food was on the slim side when the garden didn't produce or Dad didn't get anything when he went hunting or fishing. If soup was on the table I knew not to ask for more than what I was given which usually was a 8 oz cup.Most times it was a water based soup.

As an adult when my late husband died I went through a time, almost a year where I wasn't sure what I was going to put on the table. He didn't have medical insurance (heart attack, ambulance run, ER, doctors, tests) and no life insurance  (funeral home, casket,open and closing of grave to be paid up front etc) and I had just left my part time job because it was costing us more for me to work with the kids in childcare than me to stay home. No income, didn't qualify for any assistance as it was based on what I WOULD get from SS survivor benefits that took 3 mos to get. Then I had to pay back the ones that lent me money to keep the home and bills paid. I made it Went from 130 to 75 lbs), kids never went hungry, though saw me count pennies many times for their lunch money (no help there and didn't qualify for health ins either) I sold everything I could that wouldn't affect my kids..The elderly neighbor gave me tomato plants to grow on my deck (lived in the city), my lawyer's secretary gave me corn and green beans. My Daddy brought me dried beans,potatoes, eggs and bar soap. Mother brought me ham, flour, sugar, yeast and toilet paper. I didn't have water in the kitchen but did upstairs. House was one step from being condemned when we bought it , he died 6 wks later. I finished bring it up before I remarried.It appraised for $120,000 right before we moved.

Ask my kids what meals they loved as a child...beef veggie soup and noodles with homemade bread...both dishes were served when I was scraping the bottom of the barrel for food. I was shocked it wasn't the beef roast that I used the scraps for the soup or the roasted chicken that made the noodles. They still ask me to can veggie soup for them for Christmas, noodles dried and given at Thanksgiving.

My answer to those times it to have a large pantry that will feed my family for 2 years. Have variety as I understood my parents for years struggled to eat and enjoy bean soup. And to try to make sure I have a variety to also meet nutritional needs I have with my Crohn's.

Right now I could go 19 months with the holes I have in the pantry...the holes are 192 varieties that either are low or gone completely. Those holes are the last 5 mos I want in the pantry by Dec 31st.

My goal for the next four months it so have enough cash to pay 6 mos bills ahead of time, enough in the pantry to go 2 yrs and household items(cleaners. softener salt etc) and personal items to go one year and OTC meds to go 6 months and all prescriptions filled as of Dec 31st.AND pray the car holds together until AFTER Hubby retires because he qualifies for $5000 reimbursement if he buys a car through the program. We plan to replace Hubby's truck the following year.

Hubby is trying to save his vacation to cash out to cover some of the Jan bills, (he will get one paycheck before he retires out)when he retires but I am not counting on that due to he takes vacation when I am in the hospital with Crohn's.

Off to make zucchini bread pancakes for supper.

Blessed Be

Being frugal while filling the holes in the pantry

Top shelf is 26 pints of enchilada sauce and 26 half pints pizza sauce.Enchiladas one week, pizza or calzones the next.

Next shelf down is pasta sauce, red sauce( 32 qrts pasta and 12 pints red sauce)6 store bought alfredo sauce and 4 #10 cans of tomato sauce to change into pasta sauce or go in chili...chili will be first.

Third shelf down is diced tomatoes (60 pints) and 6 cans of stewed tomatoes my son gave us and 6 cans of Rotel tomatoes a friend gave us.

That bottom shelf was full of tomato juice that is old enough that I decided to convert it to pasta sauce that will be used first of the sauces and using this year's tomatoes to make fresh juice.

I have holes in a few places that make me leary of the coming year with Hubby retiring and insurance going through the roof, not sure how much money will be coming in and we have to live below what is coming in ( in the last year I've cut the budget by 50%)...but after inventorying all 401 varieties ( yes that is varieties not items....when fully stocked there is 20,852 items( yes you read that correctly) in the pantry not including freezers) in my pantry (not including 3 deep freezers and 2 refrig freezers) Hubby and I was able to pinpoint where my focus should be to fill in. FRUGALLY of course!!

Tomatoes... I need 20 qrts of pasta sauce  and at least 8 qrts of tomato juice. I should be able to get this from the tomatoes in the gardens. IF I get that and still get tomates I will make red sauce. I can bread and slightly deep fry some green tomatoes for the freezer or make green tomato sauce if it turns cold before they ripen.

I have NO chili. Hubby eats hot spicy and I eat mild. I can pints of these for quick meals or snacks of nachos.  I need at least 26 pints of each, 52 would be better...depends on the meat prices.The one small store near us does buy 3 lb sausage get 6 lbs free...if I can hit that sale it will be a definite big help.

Garlic powder. I grow my own garlic so I can dehydrate some of them and blend to powder.This will be done this fall as the dehydrator is running daily with other things now.

Onion powder. If we get bulk onions(25-50 lbs) at the Amish auction I can dehydrate and blend for powder otherwise...not going in the cabinet. My onions I grew this year did better but not enough to carry us through until the next season. We usually get 25 lbs for $5 sometimes in a bad year it might be closer to $15.

Applesauce, I have 36 qrts...that means we can have 1 qrt every other week. I would like to have 52 which is 16 more qrts but that depends on the price of apples and if anyone gives us apples.  More would be better as we used to eat it at every meal.but I haven't been able to find apples in my price range.

I have 12 half pints of butter canned.I got some butter at $1.99/lb. I'm going to can it(no room in freezers and I grew up with canned butter since we didn't have a frig for a while, neither parent had ice boxes growing up). Last week I saw butter at almost $5/lb. I don't eat margarine due to my health issues. We "Eat" 1/4 lbs a week, a half pint is almost 1/4 lb. BUT we use over 10 lbs from Thanksgiving to Christmas so hopefully the prices will be down by then or there are going to be some traditional foods not made or given.

Eggs... I got 5 dozen for 75¢ a dozen to dehydrate. We go through 5 dozen a month with me baking and making pasta and eating. I use 15 dozen at Thanksgiving and 15 dozen at Christmas ( 6 kids, 22 grandkids and one great grandkid). I have 12 dozen dehydrated right now. My goal is to have 20 dozen dehydrated by Jan when Hubby retires. Eating fresh eggs might become a treat instead of common meal. Though a fried egg on homemade bread is a pretty cheap meal but I've seen eggs hit over $3/dzn.

In the dehydrated cabinet the holes show the most...I need bell peppers (garden) tomatoes (garden) oregano(garden) rosemary(garden) carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, potatoes, mushrooms,ginger and pumpkin. I blend the pumpkin to powder, easier to add to dry mixes or water for pie filling/custard.

The root cellar is close to empty. I have a few potatoes and sweet potatoes left in it that will be dehydrated if I find them at reasonable price. I'll be calling the produce farm that grows potatoes at the beginning of Sept for prices along with looking at the Amish auction.

We will buy our winter squash from Hurley's produce market. They grow them organically and usually are the lowest price unless we can get them at the Amish auction.

Pumpkins will come from the Amish auction. We get a pallet (usually 25-35 pumpkins) to share with the kids. Last year we spent 50¢ per pumpkin and they weighed in at 25-35 lbs each. Depending on prices we will get sugar pumpkins (pie pumpkins) and jack be littles or wee be littles.... usually used for decorations but can be cooked for single servings.I love baking molasses custard in them.

I would like to learn how to make orange marmalade, lemon curd and lime curd,possible orange curd LOL, but that's low on the list and might end up being a Christmas present from my kids instead.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

First week of Aug

Frugal fail...sending Hubby to store for ice cream... he bought the expensive klondikes yes they are my favorite and yes I was craving chocolate which took half of the $20 budgeted for the month.His answer was they are medicine because I need to calcium and I'm not eating cheese, yogurt or drinking milk and it's chocolate to help with the cravings and it was DARK choc so that helped with the depression....Then on the way to Great Grandson's 1st birthday party that was 2 hrs away..we pit stopped at the gas station to potty and walked out with $21 of food because it was lunch time and I have to take my meds with food and we didn't think about bringing snacks as we knew we would eat at the party but the grandson let me know After we headed that way we wouldn't be eating until closer to 2 least most of it was healthy and we brought half of  it home and I was able to cover it with the eat out fund that we put aside for the month.At least we thought to take water. We didn't eat on the way back l even though it was pass dinner time like we planned and ate mini eggrolls that was in the freezer instead since I had meds to take with food...I wasn't hungry but hey meds need to have food or I get sick.

I gave my great grandson his afghan made with yarn that matched his and his parents birthstone. I only had to buy one skein of yard due to his Mom being an Oct baby and I didn't have enough of that color of pink.

I think I will start looking for shades of blue to make him one for his 2nd birthday.

 We took water to the birthday party to drink, it was in park. I took my ice pack sling for my arm in case and instead of buying a bag of ice for the cooler to keep it cold I dug out every lunch box, medication ice pack etc I had tucked away and put that in the cooler. Did a decent job for being out 8 hrs, sling was still froze as it was on the bottom but the rest was starting to really get warm.

I scored at CVS between the coupons and sales I eliminated 7 more products I needed in the pantry. I budgeted $300 for these items...paid $144.04  with a savings of $155.96... not only am I happy about the savings but happy that I actually knew what to budget. My next goal is to finish stocking the personal care stuff and medical supplies. I've been watching the sales and have the coupons already.I don't buy name brand much but what I do I try to match coupons and sales. Like Pantene shampoo/conditioner... CVS had it buy 3 for $12. I had a coupon that was buy 3 save $5 and a coupon that was buy 3 save $2. I got 6 large bottles  shampoo/conditioner for less than $3 each...THEN I ADD 1/3 of water to them  so I will end up with over 2 bottles for free.bringing the price down to around $2 for a large bottle. Doesn't work as well with Sauve.

I gave what few cucumbers we got that Hubby didn't want to eat for a friend that made refrigerator pickles so I would have pickles for myself since I can't handle canning with my arm in a cradle sling. I gave tomatoes that were going to go to waste to my ex son in law and his wife. Their tomatoes are still green.

My cucumbers and squash got hit with the squash bug... I won't replant as I have friends that are being ran over produce.

We turn the AC off every morning and open the house. THEN only turn it back on it's it's over 80 and there is no breeze. If there is a breeze. Ac stays off (hubby will use room AC while sleeping during the day) .Hubby has started turning the lights off without reminders and turns the tv off after the news as figured he didn't need to zone out with the tv on.

We ate from the pantry and ate Plan overs twice. We will be making the menu today for this coming week. We have enough pasta left over for tonight.

Our pressure switch went out on the water pump and the landlord showed me how to fix it and keep the water on until he got a new switch that he installed himself.Which was luckily to be the next day right after breakfast.
We put in the order for our propane and pulled the money to pay it. Put a hole in the savings but it's paid in full at the lowest price. It always seems to go up the 2nd week of Aug.

I am starting my winter produce list that I buy at the Sept auction.I can imagine that it will change weekly as I recheck the pantry.

I am looking at the Christmas to buy list also this week and making a list of what is still needed.Mostly there are 2 crafts I want to make that I don't have all the supplies for. I have a back up plan if the costs is above when I have budgeted.

I contacted Menards about a rebate that should have came in and hadn't and they traced it and it was sent. Glitch in their system.

My son bought 3 of the shirts I had bought (I bought 5) for when I was wearing the sling, I'm to the point I can put on a shirt over my head if I don't raise my hand, actually I lean over and put the bad arm in first.

We are working towards not using disposable items as much. I got rid of the paper napkins decades ago but Hubby's go to when he eats lunch or a snack is a paper plate. I told him I wasn't buying the better paper plates (as he won't do the thin cheap ones) for him to use when he retires so he needed to quit pulling the paper plates that are in the supply for the family reunion and Thanksgiving (because I don't wash dishes by hand for 100 people).., He is doing better.I caught he was doing it when he was on shut down and was actually home and the plates are stored on the shelf going to the basement which is an area I don't look much at. BUT since we ate lunch together every day I caught it. He also wants to use my freezer bags for things he is putting in the frig and going to eat later. I am reminding him to put it in a storage container

I transferred money to our Ally savings.

I checked our credit scores at credit karma

We used Gas buddy, Speedway fuel card with speedway fuel points and Kroger points for gas.

We look our Maybe buy house list when we are going some where to see if we can do a drive buy to save fuel.

 Other that noticing we are now having Oct weather in Aug everything is pretty steady on the frugal long as I limit paper plates and buy the ice cream myself.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

first physical therapy

the black thing is the ice pack the hospital provided.It's almost as awkward as the cradle sling

It wasn't the nightmare others told. Maybe because I was in better shape, wringer washer, clothesline and 1200 sq ft of gardens is a lot of exercise.OR maybe it's because I actually did the exercises they told me to do after the surgery until I got into the physical therapy. Still looking at 11 more weeks unless the doctor changes the orders when I see him the 10th. I have a love hate relationship with the cradle sling.It's too big to fit me correctly and causes some raw spots from rubbing along with pinching nerves in my back shoulder area.

Due to the mess up of my therapy not being ordered until after surgery,my twice a week is scattered instead of the same days each week.Also the time is bounced around so a couple are in the afternoon when Hubby sleeps. A couple of friends had offered to transport me but can't due to other conflicting things.. So the doctor cleared me to drive myself. Still because of the bouncing of days and times we will be spending more on gas than I would like as there isn't anything else going on to combine with..

I would say the lack of decent sleep by having to have the cradle to my side is the biggest issue.The rash that started under my arm I was warned about was pretty much stopped because I had the meds here at 2 am when I woke with it and didn't have to wait until the local store opened at 9 am.I can do more than I thought, just slower and not some things like eat jello without issues.

My physical therapy is stretches right now as they didn't think I would be in as good as shape as what I am. My baseline testing put me closer to the beginning of 3rd week instead of the end of 1st week . I am hoping that advancement continues and I get out of cradle sling sooner.

Blessed BE

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

one handed frugal $20 grocery for Aug

when you look forward to harvesting the gardens just to get out of the house that isn't concerning medical issues. I already found out walking outside in high humidity will help a sling rash under your arm to flare even bigger. Frugal side.I already bought stuff for it at the dollar store.I didn't buy all the gadgets that I was told I would need to survive with one hand for a month or so...maybe because we have several one handed family/ friends that get along with all that stuff?

Finger carrots, baby eggplant and one zucchini
There was 6 beets that I roasted,then realized I was hungry so ate 3 of them before this picture. Since hubby doesn't care for beets it made him happy and neither of us had figure out what I could eat for lunch.
Cherry tomatoes are starting , several had busted due to downpours.

large onions aren't mine but the small ones along with the cucumbers are. I'm thinking refrigerator pickles might be the easiest for Hubby since I'm stocked for dill pickles but don't have any bread and butter pickles.
These tomatoes aren't very big,there are some that are size of baseballs or bigger that are still green in the gardens. I mentioned fried green tomatoes to Hubby and watched his eyes roll...rough when your wife is a chef and down to one hand LOL.

The now deceased mole destroyed my scarlet runner beans. I don't think they will recover in time to get beans off them.

We have August bills paid and the rent,electric and this coming winter's propane ( price right now is $1.29/gal and we use 900 gals to be paid in full at signing of contract this coming week) sitting in the savings until due.

The bad news is my car that I was going to sell to my youngest has a broken drive shaft. She's now looking for different car and I'm looking at a repair bill.It's still good enough for driving, just not the 2 1/2 hrs a day she does to work. Our mechanic, bless him and his, is willing to use used parts if they are good enough to put in his own cars and lets people make payments without holding the car until paid in full.

We know we have 4 outings that will cost us some money so I put that money back also added a bit more to it as we will be going to a friend's summer cookout and I'm not sure what I'll take.

Monty..the 27 cubic ft chest deep freezer (Montgomery Ward) is full to the point if you don't put things just so the top won't close. Mostly meat but the veggies have crept in.

Newbie the 21 cubic ft chest deep freezer (new freezer) is full of veggies, fruit and cooked meat.I could get some sliced cheese in there...maybe.

Baby the 7 cubic ft chest deep freezer(it's the littlest) that sits in the mudroom has some of everything but mainly it's breakfast or soup food. It holds this year's amount of corn as the one bin is the perfect size. I don't think a sheet of paper would fit. I really need to make chili but Hubby isn't thrilled with canning it.The meat for it is in Baby.

The kitchen frig is full,it's freezer has enough room left for 2 boxes of ice cream sandwiches,my ice packet for my shoulder and 2 ice pack refills for my shoulder.

The mudroom frig is seasonal fruit (local produce)and produce from the gardens.The freezer must be full as Hubby told me to NOT open it.That's usually the sign he put too much in it and it falls out when the door is opened. Since the door is held shut with tape, has been for years, it's hard to look and see with only one hand and not worth possible set back if I get hit with something.

The dry goods of the pantry are in good shape until Thanksgiving and will be wiped out by time Christmas/Yule is over with. I'll restock during the holiday sales.

The canned goods (home canned and store bought)...I would like more especially meat and fruit but right now I could easily stretch it for a year.Longer by eating the fresh as it is in season.

I'll restock pie filling,pumpkin,apples,winter squash,sweet potatoes in the Amish produce auction and Hurley Farms. I also noted on my calendar to call the local produce farm that grows potatoes next month as they close the first week of Oct.

I'll restock ham,turkey and roasts this fall.Maybe pork loin as last year the prices were a bit too high.

We need personal items and some household items like water softener salt that costs $72 plus tax per fill but we will wait until there is a sale.I also want to add to the emergency  fund (and pay off car repairs). I figure $20 for the month of Aug for the day to day groceries.

We need to eat from the freezers so I have room for the fall meat.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Is it just women

that run around the day before surgery and clean everything, prep food and do the laundry?
 I can add on deal with the 1200 sq ft gardens and my great grandson's afghan that I need 2 hr to complete.

A neighbor (in his low 20's) came in last night and mowed the largest part of the yard and is coming back to deal with a mole we discovered yesterday after he mowed. Hubby will have to finish around the house and trim as the neighbor's mower was too big to get in some areas around my gardens. But he cut down a 6 hr job to a 2 hr job for Hubby and we made sure he knew we were very grateful.

Let's Hubby work in the gardens with me and cuts MY time down.

Hubby told me to do the afghan first as doing it with a arm in a sling is time consuming and difficult (yes I tried to just to see if I could do it) and he isn't willing to learn to crochet. I could ask one of my kids to finish it but I am going to block out time to finish it myself. Anything else he can deal with himself.

torn muscles ( they located 4 on the MRI,) bone spur above bursa hurts now but Hey I can still use it unlike a couple years ago I couldn't lift my coffee cup out of the microwave and put it on top of the microwave.

I've looking forward to having the surgery and getting this fixed... I am not looking forward to the IV. I have very small veins that roll, blow out and disappear.I've made nurses cry because of how it goes.

MEAN TIME water and water and more water... try to pump it up as of midnight the liquids are shut off and surgery is at 2: 00 pm.

The good thing is even though I had to buy some clothes to wear, I bought mens elastic band shorts in my son's size because I tried his shorts on and I could make them work and I bought 6 shirts that my son fondly calls Hawaii shirts for a total of $50. My son is buying the shorts and at least 2 of the shirts if not 3 of them off me after I am done with them so I will get back $35. Thankfully I have a lot of slip on shoes so I didn't have to go buy any.

I best get back at it.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday before surgery

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in town getting fitted for my sling which looks like this. There is a huge wedge of foam between the arm and the body. The lady had told me I had a $44 copay...hum... I politely told her she needed to call my ins and confirm that because as of 2 wks ago my deductible and copays had been met and I was what Hubby's employer considers catastrophic and they pay 100%. She really didn't want to take the time, wanted me to pay it and then wait for a refund. Very polite but I politely insisted she call them and I would come back to get the sling after I went grocery shopping. She called me 30 min later and confirmed what I told her. Kept apologizing and then one of the other ladies that knows me told it that the young lady had got nailed the week before because someone told her their copay was at zero and she didn't confirm it and let them have the sling when in reality they were suppose to pay over $500 for it. Lucky for the young lady that they were able to get ahold of the spouse and the spouse came in and paid it or it would have came out of the young lady's paycheck. I told her that she needed to confirm the day before what the copay is because with our ins it can change in one day.  I didn't have a problem with her wanting the copay but I know that it would take me MONTHS to get that money back since they can't give me credit for it as all medical bills are paid in full from the ins as of now. After fitting me she put it in a case and zip tied it shut. If the hospital feels that it is over kill and I don't need that, we are to return it to the doctor's office as ins won't pay for it if we don't use's $ about prices running wild.

Since I was in town and I had the grocery money on me with plans to stop after the appt at Krogers for the sales. I went to Aldi's had picked up this month's part of the "stock" up items.Scored as 4 of the veggies I was picking up was down to less than 50¢ a can.. We need 97 items restocked, that's 97 variety not 97 total... more like cases.I got 11 yesterday off the list. I usually restock Aug through Nov but I am not sure how I will be doing after surgery and during physical therapy. I've been warned I should  have someone take me the first week because I will be crying when I leave therapy from how bad it hurts.

I stopped at Krogers and got the sales. Came home and picked a few veggies out of the gardens.

Have my list of MUST DO BEFORE SURGERY for today and ready to get started.

Blessed Be

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Frugal preparing for Surgery

Surgery is Thursday afternoon.... I have bought clothes from Goodwill what I couldn't bum from others with acknowledgement that my son is buying some of what I bought off me when I am done with them. I might use what is left for paint shirts since I just toss what I had been painting in into the trash.Figured when the shirt is HARD after washing due to the amount of paint on it , it's time to toss it.

I dug through the medical equipment bag and found a mesh sling to use in the shower so my main sling isn't getting wet nor am I chancing messing anything up when I get the go ahead to shower. I think it was the youngest that had the sling. I have other supplies including the stool softener that seems to be number one with everyone that had the surgery that I talked to...makes me wonder if they didn't know that pain medication causes your digestive system to slow down and can cause constipation.Our friend that has had this surgery 3 times told me the worse was physical therapy and being able to reach above your head...he could only lift to the top of his head...I'm still hanging clothes on a line that is 6 ft from the ground... going to be some difference there I think. More worried about my elbow freezing up on me again with the lack of movement by being in the sling for so long.

Hubby doesn't braid hair and he's not the greatest on ponytails either even with his own ponytail, so I dug out my bandanas and tied them so I can pull them on with one hand to keep my hair out of my face while working in the gardens.
This herb garden is running me over daily with harvest...which is very good except for the lack of rosemary,basil and oregano...the rabbit must be Italian.Bunny sure hopped right by the lettuce and spinach to those 3 herbs and never touched anything else.

I have inventoried the pantry (not freezers) and wrote out what we need to be stocked so it doesn't matter which one of us is doing the shopping. I also listed the most I would pay for each item.

I have made a general menu based on what we have  with side notes of what is needed to be bought for the meal when it's made. We decided we would sit down on Thursday when we do finances and figure out a menu for the coming week as Hubby will be doing the prepping and I am trying to not over load him since he is doing my work in the gardens ...can't wait until he has to start doing the canning.  We decided on one meal a week either store bought made or eating out to give him a break.I don't think it will happen that often because of what I have prepped and put in the freezer that it's more of a thaw, combine and warm up type meals but I would rather budget for it than not.

We have decided for Aug since I am down and he might be buying one meal a week out that we would buy milk, eggs, in season fruit and lettuce as our lettuce  is done from Aldi's.Dog food for the dog as we are only doing 5 lbs at a time instead of the 40lbs as usually with the dampness we can't store it in the basement or garage. I've been using coupons and sales to keep the cost as the same as the 40 lb bags.Any other money goes for stocking up.

I mended some clothes, changed some buttons  on a couple things so I can wear them after surgery using buttons from my late mom's button can. I'm down to a flat sheet that the hem got ripped out by the wind on the clothesline, a skirt that needs a hook and eye on the waist band and a skort that needs a new zipper in the mending basket.

We have ate zucchini, the last of the lettuce , the last of the spinach and green tomatoes from the gardens. I left the last head of lettuce and spinach to go to seed.

I have harvested and preserved spearmint, peppermint, choc. mint, chives, garlic chives, thyme, curly parsley, flat parsley, cilantro for coriander seeds, and basil. I bought a jar of oregano (maybe bunny will quit eating it) that was on sale from an Amish store.

I repotted 7 pots of flowers that were root bound and now have 7 pots plus 14 more areas in the gardens of flowers.All of them are doing fine.

I saved 10% on my MRI bill by paying it in full early.

I combined errands with tests being ran for surgery.

Used Kroger points and Speedway fuel card to save on gas money. Used sales and coupons when shopping. I shop Aldi's FIRST. We would use the motorcycle if it wasn't storming so much. Wet roads and bikes aren't the greatest either. We only have the truck right now besides the bike.

Helped a daughter fix her roof that her landlord was dragging his feet on doing (been 2 months). She'll be breaking her lease as she has already started court proceedings against him for not honoring the repair list he signed off on that he was going to do when she moved in. Well I guess that means HE broke the lease not her.Meantime she is living there until the court part is over. She likes where she is but you can't live with roof leaking and ceiling dropping, broken pipes and no furnace in OH winters. She paid for the supplies, and two meals and gas.Helped as we were bringing her car to our mechanic and she offered it to be used to go see my Dad after my surgery so I don't have to flip with her brother or rent a car as Dad can't get in a truck.

I cooked 10 lbs of hamburger and bagged it for meals and put it in the freezer. While doing that I had a bit more (not a pound) of hamburger so cooked it also, added a can of black beans that someone had given me, some leftover corn, homemade salsa and simmered for taco soup. Served it with cheese quesadillas and topped the soup with cheese and sour cream. Hubby thought it was really good , especially after I told him how I put it together.

I have two 2 x 2 square pots to plant for fall crops that I can do after surgery with one hand. Sort seeds is on the I'm bored list.

I have made a list on the whiteboard of things I need to get done that I can do with one hand so when I start the "I'm bored, I can't do anything" crap with Hubby he can pick something off the board and tell me to do it...Yes I can act like a whiney 2 yr old that needs a nap after I've had surgery...he's worse and he admits it.

I wrote out what I have to get done before surgery... each day is listed separately and priorities are noted. Keeps me on track and will become the list of what he needs to take care of after I have surgery.

I cancelled our Amazon subscribe and save as it is no longer saving me money.

I open curtains and windows in the mornings and late evenings (if not humid) and close them in the late mornings. Fans are on when we are in the room. Central air is off when I have a breeze and no rain.

I used the clothesline, homemade laundry soap and tap cold water cycle doing the laundry.

I started my Christmas shopping from what I already have here.

I mailed out the rebate forms that  we had from this past week. Checked coupons and sales for this week's to buy for stock up. I am breaking it down to what is on sale with coupons only unless I am at Aldi's

Have a frugal week. Blessed Be

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mid July... 11 days to surgery..staying frugal

I have a post it on my desk that I sit down at every morning that says"what can I do frugal today?"

Sometimes that is only take a shower when I really really want to soak in the tub even though we don't pay for water (live in the boonies) we pay for the electric to heat the water and the electric to run the pump for the water. BUT the last few days I've had to soak due to a rash from the weeds we cleared from our daughter's. Not the type of soak I was wanting. I used epsom salt, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol and Aloe on the advice of my doctor since I am allergic to so many things that most use for rashes

Wikibuy cancelled my order for the 2nd dehydrator. I got one during Amazon's Prime day sales for half of the normal price cheaper than what I would have gotten through Wikibuy and BIGGER... that is frugal.

I made 5 gallons of laundry soap that cost me less than $1.50 to make.Used the clothesline or drying rack when I did the laundry.

Used the inserts to the cold cereal (Hubby's meal before he lays down in the mornings)to layer meat on cookie sheets for the freezer to freeze individually before I bag them. I buy cereal when it's on sale and I have coupons that puts a big box around $2.

Hubby fixed his tailgate twice and then fixed his rear lights.

AC has been off a couple nights and I kept the windows shut and just turned the fan in the bedroom on low. Windows open every morning, curtains closed in the afternoon.Hubby ran the window AC in the bedroom when there is enough breeze I won't turn on the Central Air.Lights off when not in room or needed, Computers and coffee makers on powerstrips that are turned off ( I unplug at night or during storms)

The fuel tank for the tiller is to be in this week and that will be fixed. They gave us a discount due the wait of getting the part in.

We used Speedway fuel card and Kroger pts for our gas.

I am weeding daily to keep up with it so Hubby isn't overwhelmed when I go down on surgery. Cherry tomatoes are starting to turn, eggplants are about half my thumb length, bell peppers are getting a decent size, Should have a couple nice green tomatoes to fry next week.Still have lettuce which is a shock with this heat.

I got my son's wardrobe done without buying anything to refinish it. Score for both of us.

I am working on the buy list to be stocked up when Hubby retires and by doing so I have found some things that should have been in one spot but was in another so we aren't as low as I thought.I brought a bookcase that was sitting in the farrowing house (storage building now) that we bought over a year ago and used it upstairs to sort the Personal Items on for storage.I moved a smaller bookcase into another bedroom upstairs to put empty canning jars on so I can get to them if I try canning with one hand.

I dehydrated spearmint, peppermint, thyme and basil.

I used milk/water mixture to treat the mold on the plants. I use borax and sugar at the base of the hummingbirds feeders to get rid of the ants. I use borax to scrub the bathroom and floors.

I changed a 30 day med order to a 90 day on 2 prescriptions saving $10 between the two so that is $40 a year.

We went to a hog roast on behalf of the man that Hubby had to do CPR (none of the Medical people had ever seen someone that gray that survived with very little damage). I took 2 salads from our pantry and gardens.We took water also instead of buying it.

I picked up medical items I will need after surgery on sale at Dollar General.

We went to Menards to pick up weed killer for our daughter (should have done that before we all got rashes from the honeyvine milkweed) and ran across several good FOOD buys of things we needed to fill in the pantry. I almost have my pasta filled back in and I got a few more boxed dinners that Hubby thought he could handle to get us pass the two week mark.I figure by then I can start cooking with one hand and not mess myself up.

I fixed egg sandwiches tonight for dinner just to see if I could crack eggs one handed, fry them and then make the sandwich and then cut it. Closing the bread sack was the hardest.

We are at what Hubby's employer considers catastrophic medical wise so we no longer have copays or deductible which hit just at the right time with the surgery in 11 days. What we do owe is sitting in the saving waiting for the bills. Two of them will give us discounts for paying before the due date. We try to wait until about 3 -4 days before it's due to pay it.

I wrote up a menu for 37 weeks even included sides on some. If there was a recipe I noted where it was (computer bookmarks main, side etc, what cook book , BRANDY.( The Prudent Homemaker) yeah the eat beans for a week and whatever is on her menus that I had already in the pantry and freezers is listed.

 I am half way through my have to be done before surgery list. Even if I only get 1/4th of what is left done... I will consider it a success.

May you find peace in your day
Blessed Be

Monday, July 10, 2017

Second week of July...remembering

Do you have a certain bowl that when the family sees is they can tell you what is in it without looking?

This bowl used to belong to my late Husband's grandmother. After the rest of the family had went through and got what they wanted before the auction, we went through it for what he wanted. I asked for this bowl. He told me that that bowl had mashed potatoes in it during the cold months and either potato salad or macaroni salad during the warm months. SO that's what I put in it. My kids will also tell you that is held popcorn many times also.It was at one time the only large bowl I had. The kids keep trying to claim it.

This bowl doesn't see much action now days with just Hubby and me. I only make about 1/3rd of the potato salad and now pasta salad (Hubby prefers it) and less than that with mashed potatoes. Popcorn is only once in awhile since I have to watch corn products with my Crohn's. Even though it's not used regularly, it sits in the front of the cabinet with mixing bowls.

Why? Because it reminds me to be frugal in the kitchen. Grandma Cate grew all their food and took care of the farm animals while Grandpa ran the sawmill. If she didn't grow it, find it wild and can or dry it  they didn't have it to eat. They ate fresh in season, milk came from the cow in the barn, ham from the pig. She had chickens always and 2 turkeys that she raised for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I never got to meet her but I try to honor the lessons she passed to her grandson who is now with her.

Hubby and I spent his "shut down" working around the house and helping our youngest with her to do list at her house. Older daughter didn't have anything that needed done right now but will before winter hits so we postponed going to her house. Yard work caught up, all gardens weeded and planted , there is no room for anything else at this point.. I potted up 8 of the tomato plants and 2 dozen onions to give to youngest daughter as she is the only one gardening this year besides us. I found some strawberry plants that had came up in the old strawberry box so I transplanted them into the new beds. The old bed got killed off last winter and these just started up. We put the swing together and moved the set into the garage so we can sit and swing in the garage during the heat of the day when we are out in the back yard area.Moved the fire pit to the driveway. It's portable and kept blowing away in the other area of the yard , I can roll it in the garage during storms and it's not going to catch anything on fire in the driveway plus the garden hose is right there if needed.

Wikibuy cancelled my dehydrator order due to lack of back to hunting for that.

Turned off AC when we were outside all day. I opened windows and doors every morning,open curtains in the morning, close the top of them in the afternoons to keep the sun out but breeze coming through the screens.Walked behind Hubby turning off lights and fans when he left the room. He got better by the end of the week of stopping before he left a room and checking to make sure he left nothing on. He called it practicing for retirement of not having me nagging him about it. It's funny because he used to get on the oldest about her leaving tvs and lights on in HER home 24/7 and then complain about her electric bill.

We went out once with our friends (coupon) and ordered calzones once (daily special).

We ate onions and lettuce from the gardens and I had mint tea from the garden.. Have blooms on tomato plants and some soon to be cherry tomatoes. Have an eggplant growing. Have spinach that will be ready this week. Have jalapeno peppers that I can pick today for our meal. Harvest spearmint and peppermint.Checked the garlic that is curing.

Moved dehydrator to garage. Usually in the summer I set it on the table on the front porch so it doesn't heat up the house but this summer the table is turned upside down every day to keep it from blowing away with the storms that are rolling through. So it went to the garage. The good side of that is Hubby cleaned half of one side of the garage so nothing would be around the dehydrator and in doing so found several things he thought he had lost. Lost it alright in his clutter of dump here and deal with it later.

I finished son's wardrobe and can take it to him on Thursday when we flip our truck for his car so we can go see Dad and take Dad out to eat. Dad can't get in and out of our truck. Son uses the truck to haul stuff he can't move in his car while he has it.

I finished getting the emergency supplies with a note to myself that we can eat everything in that area in December as I get fresh supplies in March.

I decluttered a couple boxes in the front room and put them in storage where they belong.

We used Speedway fuel card and Kroger points for gas.

I combined coupons and sales to stock up for this winter when we have no income and for items that I will need while down due to surgery.

I bought Hamburger Helper ...4 boxes (my coupon stated I had to have 4) that was on sale. I don't usually buy Hamburger Helper but Hubby used to when he was a single parent. So I got them for when he is cooking while I am down. We figure 8 wks of me not cooking at all. I can't lift my pots and pans with one hand (both shoulders need surgery, right one is the first one to operated on). I found hamburger on sale, I cooked 3 lbs and divided it in to 4 bags (yes I know that's less than a pound but Hubby who is a big meat eater doesn't realize it ), and labeled the bags for the Hamburger Helper and froze it. I will make some meatloaf in cupcake tins. prebake them and then freeze them also. I found pork loin on sale and then marked down, cut it in half for pork roasts as we have plenty of pork chops in the freezer. I can always use the meat slicer to cut it in to pork chops if needed. I found London Broil beef marked down, cut it in half and froze it. It can be London Broil or sliced on meat slicer for Philly steak or stirfries. I am trying to get 8 wks of meals that are just warm up or finish putting together.

I got several medical supplies, dish soap and body soap with coupons and on sale. I bought Olay bar soap, coupon and sale to make laundry soap. It seems to be the only soap both of us can stand the smell of .

We both are losing weight but decided (again) to postpone buying anything.

I watched fireworks twice from our front porch and Hubby worked the pit during the fireworks in town. We had brats and watermelon and potato salad on the 4th. We ate twice a day while he was off work and had a snack of ice cream that I had put between cookies and froze.I think I will put some in the freezer before surgery including some brownies.

We get the grocery ads on Tuesday in the mail. They go straight to the burn trash.

I decluttered the area that I store the bath/health products.

I took yarn that I already had from other projects to crochet a twin size afghan for my great grandson that I am now finishing up as his first birthday is right after my surgery.

I got frozen peas and frozen peas and carrots for 10 for $10 to finish the "stocking" of the freezers. If I don't freeze or can anything , we will be okay going through the winter until next garden season.We use one bag a month except in the spring when peas come on.

I transferred more savings to Ally bank and noticed we made more in the interest in one month than we did in 2 yrs together from our regular bank.

We carried individual thermos of water while out instead of buying water some where.

I've started a list of items we need from Menard's , we are waiting until the 11% rebate comes along. I still check Lowe's (no Home Depot around) to see what they are sale price is .

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hello July

and the flowers continue to grow LOL. If you read June's post this is the same flower box. Notice how much the scarlet runner beans have grew.You can just barely see the red on the blooms that are starting. You will also notice spots from where flower pots sat for a week to catch the rain that kept coming in like a watering hose set on a timer.

Mommy Hummer isn't around any more but Daddy Hummer is using the back yard feeder while Baby Hummer is using the front yard feeder... much longer and I won't be able to tell the difference between Daddy and Baby as Baby's green feathers are getting more like Daddy's.

I got all the warm weather clothes, bedding and furniture throws out and the cold weather ones washed, dried and put away correctly (meaning I didn't dump it somewhere instead of walking upstairs and putting it in the closets where it belongs out of season).

We got all the yard mowed (4 hr job just mowing) and the bushes all trimmed and about half the things trimmed with weed eater ...that will be finished tomorrow. Plus Hubby needs to cut a tree that has decided to grow up in the lilac bush. Landlord's oldest (has cattle and hogs in the barn here at the house) did some tree trimming on the other trees and then hauled that wood including some bigger limbs that had fell out of other trees during the storms for us since we "look" after the cattle and hogs for free.

Bugs got the rhubarb but I didn't cut it down, I hope the bugs stay on the rhubarb and leave the rest of the garden alone.

Garden produce done:rhubarb, strawberries(which we didn't get any due to late freeze), snow peas, garlic scapes, leaf lettuce, radishes, beets(actually just the greens as the beets didn't grow),rose petals and lavender.

I pulled the garlic, it's about a month earlier than normal but it's ready and with the constant flow of rains I didn't want it to rot in ground.It's taking it about 2 wks longer to cure than normal.

I harvested one lonely green bell pepper that is suppose to be red or orange but fell off it's plant during the last storm.I can't eat green bell peppers (messes with my Crohn's) so Hubby is going to get to eat it with his brats tomorrow with cooked onions.

I planted more tomato plants and still have 18 more to get in ground this coming week.

I planted more onions...over 100... and I have 200 more to plant. I just can't bring myself to toss them away and no one wants them to grow so in they go. I usually store them in panty hose hung from rafters or rod in closets along with drying a few. A friend mentioned she cuts some up while in the "green onion" stage including the green and dehydrates them for winter....she also stores the dehydrated green to use instead of chives. I grow chives regular and garlic so I don't need to do that but a mixture of onion and their greens would work for me I think.

I have 3 heads of lettuce that need ate this week...We will only eat two and I will let the other bolt and reseed for this fall. There is some spinach ready also.

I need to replant lettuce, spinach, onions (SIGH) and then I will have to think because I am having surgery and will be down to one shoulder for about 4 months...end of July until end of Nov. and then the plan is for me to have the same surgery on the other. I don't think the doctor thought I was funny when he asked how I was even using the arm with the way it was torn and I held my arm up and said like this. But Hubby is concerned with him being able to handle MY workload on top of his and taking care of me.

I spent $30 at the end of June for sea salt grinders (idine salt causes me issues with my Crohn's) tortilla wraps, milk and lunch meat that I had coupons for and was on sale. Even though we don't care for sandwiches much we have been eating lunch meat, cheese and veggies in wraps for our mid day meals. I struggle to eat, always thinking of causing a flare up.

I have my son's wardrobe and small cabinet yet to do and a set date to go to the older daughter's to help her with yard work that she doesn't have tools for.We want to go see both our parents before my surgery.

I had 71 declutter missions from Home Storage Solutions 101 declutter 365 at the beginning of June. I am down to 55 (go me ;) ) 22 which can be done with 1 hand!

Yeah that is a biggy. If you wonder why, tie your dominate arm to your side as if in a sling and not move the arm away from your body for the day.I  saute a lot of fresh veggies that have to be cut...try cutting with one hand. I have a meat slicer, mandoline, chopper, and apple peeler. Hubby knows he is going to be prepping. Better is I was born left handed and was changed to right due to superstition so I'm not as bad off as other can be.

We hauled 3 loads (about 5 -10 boxes) to thrift shop. Took some leftover scrap wood from the old homestead (moved in 2008) and built 4 bedside stands for the youngest daughter and her kids. I thought that dropped it down to only OUR stuff...nope, I already saw 4 boxes of assorted toys and books that belong to the grandkids that they have out grown so nope, not yet. I should have charge when it went over a certain amt of time of me storing this.

I switched where I was getting my vsl from and saved over $10 a bottle AND it arrives on time.

We bought a plumbing auger (snake), we have a drain that is starting to cause problems and we have natural drains (hole in concrete basement floor for pipes to go into to flow down field tile and then we have a separate sewer line which goes to the septic tank and leach beds. Luckily it's the gray water drain but I don't like using much drain cleaners because the fumes come back up those natural drains in the basement. Got it on sale and used it here and then at the one daughter's who was going to pay around $60 for a house call.

We used our Kroger points and Speedway fuel card for gas.

We have been doing better about eating out of the pantry until last Friday when I was in the ER for my Crohn's (stress of medical issues and surgery).
Yes Hubby is sleeping. He's had a lot of practice through the years of sleeping at the hospital with one us. He is the one the kids, especially the girls want with them when they go in , even now as adults.

The bad news was partial blockage of bowel and major Crohn's flare up. The decent news was I could go home with a pain med of my choice( I can only take 3 different ones or I flare up) and drink my meals for 3 days and see if I could "get through" it. Better news was if we paid the copay right there as I was being registered we could save 5 %..Hubby wrote the check. That made the fourth medical bill we paid that we got discounted for paying before it was due.

Not so much good news is Hubby bought his meals for the weekend at the grocery store since I was on liquids. The OK news was he bought a family size meal of fried chicken and split it up so I wasn't smelling him cooking. He used the last of the chicken to make himself chicken salad. I am thankful today I am back to eating somewhat. I'll probably be eating baby food while in my wheelchair when I get older.

We researched money market vs savings etc for our new savings for emergency acct. Best interest was Ally Bank.

I ordered a 2nd dehydrator just like my other one. Excalibur dehydrator. I found one on Amazon for what I thought was the lowest price I could find until I hit Wikibuy and got it for $40 less. I read about Wikibuy on Forbes.

I have a lot of things I have to get done before the surgery at the end of the month or they won't get done at all. Like my great grandson's afghan for his first birthday about a month after my surgery.

The "good" side of this surgery besides getting my arm and shoulder fixed is it will give us the expenses of when it's done on the NEW ins that starts in Jan. We pay 10 % now and will be paying 20% then.

One last picture...this is our lane, 2/10ths (why don't they call it 1/5th) of a mile. Hubby usually mows it last so when he is coming back up it he knows he is coming home and the job is finished.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

End of June frugal

I have scarlet runner beans on the trellis. These were "leftover" flowers from the ones that went into hanging pots my daughters made. So I decided to plant them here with the scarlet runner beans I plant each year for the humming birds.They like the red blooms.

Every day frugal choices... windows open when it's cool, curtains shut during hottest part of day. Fans when in rooms and turned off when not. AC only when it's above 80° and it's set for 78°. We wash dishes by hand,,,no dishwasher here. I mix blue Dawn ,2/3rds soap to 1/3rd water and put that in small dish soap bottles. I use blue Dawn because it is a multi-use item. I use vinegar to clean the windows and the sinks (vinegar and baking soda helps keep drains clear).Turn off power strips to coffee makers, computers etc. We had summer heat in  the 90s-100s and now are down to low 70's with night lows in the low 50's ...was tempting to turn furnace on when the house was down in low 60's but instead got "Fall" like clothes back out and wore them. Did laundry with cold tap water, homemade laundry soap and dried on clothes line and drying rack.Make a point of transferring money to savings acct every week even it's only $1. Save all my change. Use Speedway rewards card for 3¢ off a gal. Used Kroger's rewards card  and split the point into 2 different fill ups. Used CVS points to get money off items that was on sale and I had coupons for. Kept my Walgreen's card connected to my exercise tracker to get points there.

Didn't water the gardens because of all the rain. Also couldn't fertilize so that's going to go farther.

Reorganized stock up in upstairs... made list of what is needed to run us through 6 months, figuring 4 months without income or very little income beginning of 2018 when Hubby retires. Researched his options with retirement. We paid off our Ch 13 (slow pay bankruptcy) in Dec that was caused when he went to 3 days a wk for 2 yrs and medical bills going through the roof with my heart failure. Rebuilding credit and savings and researched the credit cards to get. One for each of us. Didn't worry about interest rate because we pay in full before it's due. Do need to research best place to put savings for 3-6 months emergency fund.

Did click list at Kroger's. Definitely kept me reined in.  THEN went a week later to Kroger's with paper coupons after matching meat coupons with sales . Yes meat coupons that are so few and far between.My meat slicer I replaced has had a work out.  I also pulled a London broil that had been in the freezer and sliced half of it very thin for  Philly steak subs(wraps) and then used the leftover for stir fry with snow peas from the garden and finished those leftovers in a frittata. The other half was marinaded,
 grilled and then sliced. We used the leftovers on top of salad from the garden. Sliced eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini with my meat slicer for several meals.Sliced chicken breasts and did the same as the London Broil.

Harvest garlic scapes, garlic, storage onions, green onions, lettuce, snow peas (done), radishes (done),
thyme, oregano, garlic chives, chives, rose petals(done), and lavender. Have more herbs that will need harvested and processed for storage this coming week.

Cut my pain meds in 4ths with approval of doctor.

Got a $20 discount, swagbucks and 2 days free on the car rental I got last week when we were down to only the motorcycle and it was storming.

Our son borrowed our truck while his was in for repairs and he found we had a very small gas leak in the fuel line as he parks in the garage and we are on a gravel lane. Our mechanic (who lets us make payments without interest) said if he can just repair it instead of replace it he will. That will be done during shut down so we won't need to rent a car. Mechanic will bring Hubby back home when he drops it off and drop off truck here at home when it's done. Our youngest has our car as she lost her ride to work when she left her ex.

I cashed in my Pine Cone survey points and my Swag bucks.

Our landlord decided to NOT raise the rent with property taxes that went up and since we pay for our dogs to be here on a monthly charge we figured he would just want to leave is as if we still had Miss Kira but he actually lowered it by 5% due to us doing all the mowing including the part he said he would take care of in the lease. He has mowed the entire thing a couple times when our mower was down for repairs.

Hubby repaired the riding lawn mower, wheel broke off the mower deck.

Hubby got a bonus and we put half in savings and the other half was for a trimmer as ours died and it's big need here. We found one at the hardware store on sale for $50 cheaper than I had priced everywhere else at PLUS we had a $25 coupon off  $100 of anything we bought at the store AND then since we bought a gal of the fuel (50/1) for it we got another discount and double the yrs in warranty and they do the servicing of it for the warranty. SO I was able to put more in to savings. :)

Compared to last year we lowered our electric by 5 %. this past month AND our propane usage by 35%

Blessed Be

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mid June frugal?

The climbing rose bush has went wild. The front garden has exploded with flowers(weeds that bloomed) and the birds are thrilled. Frugal we don't have to buy bird food except for the hummingbird and only because we feel it's better for them to have calcium etc to make the egg shells stronger. AND YES I know the back door is propped open. When we are out we prop it open so Rascal will go get a drink of water...bugger butt won't drink out of the outside pan that he drank out before. LOL.

I harvested rose petals, lavender, spearmint,peppermint and choc mint for tea.

I harvest thyme, oregano, chives and garlic chives for the dehydrator and for use.

I harvest lettuce (had some bolt before it got the size of baby lettuce), green onions, some of the garlic bulbs to cure and snow peas. Might get one more meal off the snow peas.

I transplanted a hanging basket that now is 4 pots of flowers.

I planted Italian green beans (wide green bean), over 150 candy onion starts, beets, carrots, nasturtiums, zucchini, yellow summer squash, Armenian cucumbers, pickle cucumbers , red noodle beans and yard long green beans.

We had/have several doctor appts this month. Hubby has one left, I have 5.

Hubby was diagnosed with GERD. ENT doc put him on generic meds and changed his diet...which is now a lot closer to mine (SMILING BIG TIME). Not that I wanted him to have GERD but I'm not having to fix extra stuff for him any more .

I have a bone spur in my rotor cuff that is going to be dealt with ...Jumping the hoops of ins as both shoulders have issues but I can only to one at a time and have to wait for the MRI to be approved etc...

I used short wash with tap cold water and homemade laundry soap and used the clothes line.

I dug out the old drip hoses and put them in the south gardens. We were going to change how we watered but with knowing we will be moving within a year or so we decided to hold off on buying anything for gardens.

I have 2 rooms to finish prepping for summer this coming week and putting the last of the cold weather stuff away.

We took 3 loads of "stuff" to the thrift shop.... I think we are almost through what was the kids stuff. LOL

I turn AC off during the late evening to morning hours (unless it's storming) and leave the windows open.. Hubby runs a small AC in the bedroom while he sleeps days , it's set at 75 with med fan. He prefers 72 but with having the ceiling fan on also (only room with a ceiling fan) he sleeps ok.

We are looking for a home with land, our realtor is sending us updated lists that meets what we told him we were looking for in 6 different counties. Saves everyone time and gas instead of running around. When we go look at the houses , we do a "run by" before we call him... pictures of what looks far off the road or without close neighbors aren't always what they really are.

Hubby ride the motorcycle to work when it's not forecasted for rain.

I changed some of my routine to help ease the grief of losing Miss Kira along with Rascal changing some of his also. Miss Kira did  perimeter clockwise..Rascal walks counterclockwise. If I use the word perimeter he will walk in the driveway and watch me but not walk with me. If I say walk, he runs to the edge of the perimeter across the driveway and waits for me. He begs (sits pretty and barks at the truck door) for a ride in the morning when Hubby gets home and then doesn't care the rest of the day...if I/we are leaving and we tell him he can't go, he goes and lays down unlike Miss Kira that would HOWL and CRY and then go pout.. The only thing he begs for is a ride not food or his treats. He definitely was following Kira's lead instead of being himself. He is more of a barker than she was and he is jumping up and checking whatever is going down the road where she only did it if someone pulled in the drive.

We had our small tiller fixed instead of replacing it but are replacing the weed eater instead of fixing it. Based it on price and the age of what we had.

I broke down and applied through our bank for a credit card so I could rent a car when we went to go to Dad's as we only have the truck and bike now. I don't care for credit cards but rental cars required credit cards. I got a limited at my request amt for 0% interest for 15 billing cycles (which is less than 15 months) and then it goes up...but since I don't carry a balance I don't really care what it goes up to.Bank thought I was weird for requesting a low amt but what ever LOL.

We ate from the pantry except for twice, both times got "lunch" out and took home leftovers for dinner due to doc appts.

Blessed Be.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What I bought,what I will buy, what's in the garden

and the plans for it... just so you have some understanding of our home life... Hubby works graveyard shift at a physical demanding job. Both of us have  cholesterol issues...well he doesn't if he doesn't eat certain seafood). Mine is all over the place and it doesn't seem to matter if I just look at it or eat it. I have Crohn's. Regretfully with Crohn's it isn't just a one diet fits all and a lot of time something I ate last week that was fine won't be fine next week. It also calls absorption issues so I fight malnutrition constantly. I border lined diabetes due to meds...steroids... I am on a different steroid that doesn't seem to mess that up as bad and I am SLOWLY coming back down the dosage... My GI hopes I can come back off completely without a flare up. We eat from the pantry will fill  that I fill with food from my 1200 sq ft gardens and the Amish produce auction along with sales from the stores. I regularly shop Aldi's , Kroger's, Wagner IGA, Anna IGA( both IGA cut their meat and grind the hamburger and sausage in house), CVS and Walgreen's. Once a year I get meat from butcher shops, Kah and Davis butcher shops and I get my bologna (half roll of about 17 thick slices) from G&R bar and grill (well known in OH).

for total of $187.41

What I bought for emergency supplies in tornado shelter
2 beef stew
5 gal of water
4 canned kraut
4 canned peas and carrots
4 canned hominy
4 canned wax beans
Instant mashed potatoes

What I bought for stocking the pantry
2 each lunch meat ham and turkey (on sale with coupon now in freezer)
4 canned hominy
2 sweet relish
2 dill relish
2 coney sauce
3 tortilla wraps ( in freezer 3 sizes)

What I bought for NOW
10 lbs potatoes
1 milk
2 cottage cheese
10 lbs on sale apples (Hubby takes one to work every night and for apple salad plus to lettuce salads)
 ice cream 1 bucket and 2 Klondikes
4 Hot pockets/lean pockets for Hubby for lunch when we have soup or there isn't enough left to make his lunch from. (coupon with sale)
2 shredded cheese Co jack and moz)
1 each lunch meat:turkey and ham. (coupon and sale)
1 sliced cheese (coupon and sale) provolone
Ammonia (outside of windows need washed)
lettuce ,lettuce is just coming up and isn't going to produce enough ...planting more 30 day mix bag of romaine and 1 bibb
1  celery
2 avocado
4 ears of corn on the cob (I eat one for lunch)
4 limes
bag lemons
Lipton instant tea ( I make ice tea for me and can't drink it fast enough to keep it from going bad so I use instant lemon tea mixed with raspberry tea)
3-8 pks coke (sale with coupon)
4 canned hominy (Hubby eats it when I eat spinach)
1 ea. tortilla wraps of 3 sizes
1 pk of 8 slider buns that I also use as rolls
4 lbs strawberries (lost this years crop due to late freeze)
2 lbs grapes
1 pint blueberries
2 lbs bananas
2 lbs peaches
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2 lbs slicing tomatoes.
5 doz. eggs

What I will still buy this month 
raspberries (sale)
strawberries (sale)
2.5 gal jugs of water (emergency supplies)
asparagus (sale)
chicken breast (sale)
London broil beef (sale)
Havarti cheese slices (sale)
bulk sausage
paper plates (sale)
pork loin (sale) for roast and chops.
pork tenderloin (sale) to smoke for "Canadian bacon"
tomatoes/ milk/ bananas/ in season fruit later in month.
cabbage or cole slaw mix
Hamburger patties (Wagner's)
sausage patties (Wagner's)
smoked sausage
BRATS (LOL Hubby just reminded me)

potato salad
mac salad
pasta salad
cole slaw
cucumber and tom salad (sometimes onion also)
anti-pasta salad (pepperoni, black olives, canned mushrooms, cherry tom, in Italian dressing)
Jell-o salad
broccoli salad
carrot raisin salad
assorted lettuce salads
mixed fruit salad
egg salad
deviled eggs
bologna salad
chicken salad
cucumbers sandwiches
123 pasta
mac and cheese
wraps (meat and veggies in a tortilla wrap)
quesadillas/burritos/ enchiladas/tacos
smoked sausage
brats (grill)
hotdogs (grill)
pork chops (grill)
steak (in freezer/grill)
hamburgers (grill)
sausage patties (grill)
chicken (grill)
fried bologna sandwiches
options for homemade subs/pizza/calzones

In the gardens
rhubarb about done

green onions (few)

snow peas are blooming but the regular peas didn't make it

lettuce is coming on a little bit

Will plant beans, radishes,other lettuce, spinach (again) zucchini and yellow squash

tomato plants are in except the 36 baby plants I was given that should have been started earlier. They might be big enough to plant next month. We plan to cover them this fall if necessary.

Planting more Candy onions for storage.

what is your plans?
Blessed Be

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

To do for June

We have a 60th birthday party that is 3 hrs away, 12 doctor appts/ medical testing and 2 days for Ham Radio field day, not counting going to see our parents (2 trips) and our kids  this month as 3 need help around their homes and 1 is having surgery on her shoulder.

We have lawn care (4 hrs each time) and gardens which is averaged at 3 hrs each time not including harvest and processing.

Hubby going to have to go to work to rest.

I had to get right up on the window (notice I remembered to move the screen up last night) and zoom in when he started drinking...this is Baby Hummer... he (as he is getting bright green feathers like his Daddy. Mommy is a greenish gray color)Baby Hummer is almost as big as his Mommy. We eat our bfast and watch them come and go.

I am half way through my classes and should finish up this month and hopefully finish or come close to finishing great grandson's afghan at same time.

We need to weed, plant last of plants and seeds and harvest last of rhubarb (grateful for rain even with the problems it's causing of getting into the gardens)

I need to flip warm weather clothes and cold weather clothes

I need to finish flipping warm weather curtains and cold weather curtains

I need to flip out warm weather bedding and furniture throws and cold weather bedding and furniture throws.

Which means I NEED to winds to drop down to around 10 mph with gusts under 15 instead of the 15 mph and the gust over 20 as everything in storage or in use like furniture throws need washed and dried

I need to put the swing together. Older daughter gave us back the old set we had gave her but the swing was in too bad of shape to use.

I have a few pumpkins and winter sq that is STILL good that I need to process

I need to clear the area beside the garage that has became the drop it and deal with it later of misc stuff that needs hauled to junk yard or limbs to be burnt.

I need to finish stocking the root cellar for emergencies .

We need to take 1 load AT LEAST every 2 wks to thrift shop...I just love it when I send a pic to my kids's cell phones and they ask me why I've held on to something of theirs and the answer is BECAUSE you put it here>>>DUH.

I have my son's wardrobe and a small cabinet he asked me to refinish and I've dragged my feet on it.Both simple and maybe only 20 hrs together. Time to get that off the list also.

I have been doing Home Storage Solutions 101 Declutter 365 since Jan. I'm ahead sort of.. I'm down to 71 of the "to do's ) but these 71 will most likely take me the rest of the year. My goal is to do 6 this month. Four of them has to do with flipping season clothes.

Set goals have a better chance of being done that just thoughts/wishes on the air.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Frugal end to May

Rascal was messing around the climbing rose bush and got this stuck on him some how so I put it in the vase for my dining table.

It's been a rough week emotionally, 2 different tornadoes was within 1/4 of mile from our son's, worried a lot as he has no basement, he had some limbs down but no real damage, then  our dog Miss Kira  passing and Hubby , who is an EMT at work having to do CPR on a co-worker for about 10 min and said he didn't think the guy was going to come back...THANKFULLY , he is recovering and now out of ICU. I gave Hubby the last of the grocery money to get gas to go see him and to donate some to help the guy as his wife and him are raising 3 young grandkids. My emotions triggered my Crohn's and then we had a 2 hr drive (1 way) to Hubby's brother's wedding the day after Miss Kira died, rough leaving Rascal here alone. We used Kroger points and Speedway gas cards to save on gas.

The Gardens have been soaked repeatedly that I am not sure if I will be able to finish planting or get in to weed what was planted.  I keep moving the potted plants off the porch to the yard when it's going to rain to not have to water them .I did plant some scarlet runner beans in the front flower bed, more for the blooms for the hummingbirds than for the beans. I was given under size tomato plants that need to be repotted and allowed to get bigger before planting in the garden.
Sorry, I keep forgetting to raise the screen in the mornings so I can get better pictures LOL. This is Mommy Hummer... Daddy Hummer usually uses the other feeder ...this morning (when I didn't have my phone) Baby Hummer came by himself to feed at this feeder. The other day he was with Mommy Hummer.

I have been listening to my online classes through our health ins (we have earned enough pts that if Hubby doesn't retire this year, his health ins will be free next year and mine will be $1.50 a week.Plus we save $ on the copay and deductible and have a 90-10 plan instead of the 80-20 plan with larger payments,co pays and deductibles. We are planning on him coming out this year BUT you just never know what life is going to throw at you. I work on the afghan I am crocheting for my great grandson. Over half way done. On the days I don't have class I do Swagbucks videos for the same length of time.

I mixed equal amounts of 20 mule team borax and sugar for the ants.

I harvest thyme (twice), garlic scapes (twice), chives, garlic chives, lavender and rose petals.

We ate most of what was on the menu, the leftover was what Kira (and Rascal also even though he ate 3 bowls of dry dog food also) was eating as she could no longer handle dry dog food.

Electric bill came in $50 under budget.That will go back up as I had to turn the dehumidifier on because it's 90% humidity in the basement pantry.

While I was in the root cellar during tornadoes I made a list of what was still missing and plan to have it finished by July. Part of it I think I can find stuff we have to work (like plastic to keep things from getting wet if the house gets blew off it's foundation), so that's the focus of this week.

We also started listing what we use daily so I can makes sure that is stocked for the 4 months we go without income. Our neighbors that farm and run a construction business said they thought they could give us some off and on work, that was nice for the offer even if they can't do it at the time because construction and farming slows down a lot during the winter.

Do the same routine with opening curtains (binder clipping tops to limit sun coming in) and opening windows. Run fans when we are the room. Hubby uses the ceiling fan when he sleeps during the day. We do have a room AC that he also uses if it's too hot for him to sleep so we don't have to use the Central air. When we do use the central air it's at 76.

Hubby needed new shoes( he does one pair for yard work, one for dress..yard work need to go in the trash), there is one pair that is the best for his feet. We priced it at a big shoe store while killing time before the wedding and it was running about $150...OUCH. He was talking about just finding something else. I found them on Amazon for $90... Since they will last him for at least a couple years (yard work pair is over 4 yrs old) it's a price we are willing to pay. I found the shoes I wear at Walmart so used my swagbucks to order through so I would get some back. Also ordered 3 blouses that were on clearance as I wasn't finding anything to go with 4 skirts I bought at yard sales and thrift shops and am down to 1 outfit to wear to weddings and such. We can wear jeans to church.

Blessed Be

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Friday(5/26/ 17) morning at 8:30 I lit this candle on behalf of my older dog Miss Kira. Hubby was taking her to have her put to sleep as she had stopped eating on her own and only ate a little from my hand as I tried to get her to eat. She gave me a kiss instead and I let her go...with heartbreaking and fighting denial that made me want to pretend she would be instantly cured of the tumor or better go in her sleep....

I stayed home with Rascal, he was only 6 wks old and hadn't been with his mommy due to his mommy fighting to live after being starved while she was expecting. So Kira was his doggy mommy when I am just mommy.... I side tracked him so he wouldn't get upset with her getting to go in the truck with Hubby and him not. (her favorite thing to do was ride in the truck with her Daddy without Rascal and me) When Hubby brought her collar home and put it with her leash in the mudroom. Later when the breeze changed direction her tags made a sound and he ran to the mudroom to see her.. with tears running down my face I took the collar and let him smell it. His eyes became sad and his head dropped and walked away and hide between my foot stool and the couch where she hid when she wanted to be left alone. He knew she wouldn't be without that collar,

But life goes on as we grieve . I have her lamb that she rested her head on, at time Rascal and I both need to smell it to smell her one more time. I know her scent will fade with time, and so will the  grief...Walking the perimeter for me is hard, she was my perimeter buddy and her cute prance brought a smile through the worst of weather we walked in. I remind myself she isn't in pain, wasn't when we let her go. She's not stuck in a perimeter and can roam to her heart's content. Her ashes will bring joy to others as they were mixed with wild flowers and sprinkled in a meadow. She loved walking through my flower gardens and smelling the flowers several times a day.

My Hubby grieves, she loved him the most and made that clear. She would sit in truck for hours with him. He said he needed to be the one to take her, to tell her to go on as she stopped and looked back at him as she left him.

Rascal is withdrawn and we try to let him have his time of grief but encourage him to eat, to play to go outside though one of us usually go out with him so he doesn't feel so alone. His routine and habits will change as he is now "top dog" as Hubby calls him. He finally slept on the loveseat and then on the couch that she had claimed as hers. He now lays beside Hubby's chair at the dining table where she laid instead of by me like he did... He's not playing unless we push the issue with him. I get him out to play 10 (10 throws of the ball) and am lucky to get 1 at this point. He will go out with me when I can bring myself to walk the perimeter but doesn't walk with me even if I take the ball to play 10, he will catch the ball and then go back up to the drive to watch me but not be with me.  I hope some day that he will walk with me.

I grieve, I just grieve. She had brought me out of sever depression when I got her out of the shelter 7 yrs ago. Spent 5 yrs of her life in the shelter ( first 2 owners lost their homes and gave her back).Now I fight the depression without her. I fight it in honor of her, to be there for Rascal as she would want me to .... I try to keep in mind she's better, she's free, she's happy...

I told Hubby I am not sure I could handle losing one of the kids, grandkids or great grandson. I nearly starved myself to death when I lost my younger brother...the grief just hits harder and harder as I age.

Hold your love ones a little longer today, call. text, whatever, the ones you can't hold and let them know you love them.

Life is too short, far too short, and shorter when they walk on 4 legs.

Blessed be  my baby girl..Miss Kira
Your last walk baby, I love you. I miss you girl


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

this week

started out being really frugal.

Monday we went to Wagner's IGA and hit the clearance cart to go along with the few odds and ends I didn't want to pay the Kroger's prices. Did a huge score on different breads and sweets for the freezer.Plus points for fuel and 5¢ each for bringing my own bags.

I stopped a FISH thrift shop and got 2 pillows to recover,scarf,2 skirts(one which be use to recover the one pillow)5 nightgowns of the style I love but never want to pay the price for and 1 pair of shorts for a total of $11.

I went to doctor appt... I had dropped my A1C from 6.4 to 5.8 (GO ME) and my cholesterol below 200, WITHOUT the statin ..haven't seem that low in a decade. Doc took me off 4 different meds as my blood work showed I was finally up to normal. Doc changed my one med from 90 days to 360 and sent it to a certain pharmacy because they sell it for half the price of getting it every 90 days for a year.. Saved me around $50.

I went to CVS to pick up Hubby's meds and the clerk caught I had been bumped out of the rewards for prescriptions so she put me back in.

I maxed out on May's pts at Walgreen as my FITBIT tracker is connected to their app. I now have a $10 credit but 3000 pts away from having a $20 credit.

I went to Ollies as they had fans in and  I had a 15% off coupons. I picked up 4 fans of different sizes and styles for 1/4 th less before the coupon than I had priced elsewhere.

Hubby called our phone company and complained that the credit we were suppose to get from April when both our land land and internet was out for a week wasn't on the bill like it was suppose to be. Took him 2 hrs to get it dealt with which didn't put him in a good mood at all but as I reminded him it got the credit If it's not on the next bill he will go through the roof.

I requested a credit from my GI office as they had charged me for her to file out family leave and she doesn't do that unless you are having a procedure and the front desk didn't know that as she had just started...also I found out my ins PAYS for that to be done so I shouldn't have paid anyways.She lets the hospital doctor do that instead. BUT Hubby's employer wants it filed in Jan so my primary was able to do it since he does all my blood work and meds to fight the malnutrition the Crohn's causes.  They were suppose to credit it to the Jan bill , then when that didn't happen it was send a check and then when I went in April it still hadn't been credited or sent . My GI nailed the billing office and stood over them until she saw that is was credited to my bill from April... GOOD DOCTOR.

I made potato salad, after I boiled the potatoes I just lifted them out instead of dumping the water and added some cold water and then put the eggs in to boil them.

Tuesday we had chiro appt and dogs went to vet.
I scheduled a manicure (not my norm) for Friday when we go in for another doctor appt at the salon across from Chiro. Since I'm not getting a gel just a regular manicure it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be. This is my Mother's day present from the's going to cost them $5 each including the tip.
Our chiro was less than $6 for the two of us thanks to our ins now covering that .


Took the dogs to the vet to get their nails clipped (takes 3 of us to hold them down and clip). I always get the dogs weighed. Miss Kira...our older dog...about 100 yrs in dog years...had dropped another 3 lbs in one month... she did that in April and we didn't think anything of it as she was starting to run the perimeter more with the warmer weather... but this time I knew it was bad we had another dog, Cookie do that when she got cancer..Miss Kira has a tumor in her spleen/intestines that is already the size of a baseball. Doc felt it pretty good and she didn't moan, yelp or anything while he did it so she's pretty much pain free at the moment. She jumped down from the table that is 4 ft off the floor which bugs the crap out of me but shows she's stable in that area. No sense of doing a MRI as I wouldn't have her operated on at her age and there is a possible chance of the tumor exploding when they cut her open. Her quality of life means more to me. We almost lost her the spring of 2011 right after we moved here due to someone tossing rat poison out and her getting a hold of it. Almost put her into kidney failure even though I got the package away from her and her teeth was only through the cover on top. Law said the package had been coated with grease so everyone was watching out...our landlord had his dog poisoned a couple years ago and they never found who did it...anyways...she's moving slow,her perimeter walks are closer to half the perimeter in the morning and not much during the rest of the day. Her eating is slowing down unless it's people food then she can out eat me. Good thing we scored on bread as that with eggs is her favorite and french fries...She's eating grass at the edge of the garden pretty much every time she does go out. AND she finally didn't look away when I took her picture yesterday.

She is getting her way pretty much with what few weeks we have left with her. We know from Cookie that 4-6 wks will pretty much be the end and we won't let her go into pain . She still lays on her tummy so we know when she stops that or we can see the shape of it in her belly like we did Cookie it will be time to let her go... MEANTIME she has scored extra rides in the truck from her Daddy...

on the other hand Rascal... who loves getting his picture taken.

Yes he is begging,that's about as far as he raises his front feet unless he is wanting a hug. He has stayed close to me, he isn't trying to get her to play any more. isn't swiping the chew bone from her to get her to chase him. He is smelling her more instead so I know even though I haven't picked up the odor YET he has.He isn't playing 10 (fetch the ball) with me, just wants to be close but not play. When I walk the perimeter he stays with her most the time now. Protecting the weaker of our pack.

I did the wash on speed wash, tap water cold, homemade soap and then dried everything on the clothes line. She laid in the house on the hassock to watch me out the window (she didn't want out as I left the door open so she could come out whenever she wanted) and he laid under the tree watching her and me.

Hubby told me to feed her whatever she would eat. He didn't want her to feel hungry and she does let me know when she wants something but I think the dog food isn't going to be what she eats much longer. Rascal will definitely eat her share.

Blessed Be