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.





10 Weeks to Christmas....

Oh yeah...We started with the gifts and I thought since I was still canning that I take a picture of on going projects ... HA HA

I remember when my late husband would start shopping for toys for the kids in Jan. I would finish up with buying the clothes starting Oct 16th when the layaway for Christmas started.

These are the 2 presents that get shipped and usually it's at the last minute so we have to pay extra to get them there in time. SO now they can be shipped through the regular mail saving us MONEY.

I have another present for Mom O that is almost done and Hubby is working on the present for Dad O.

I have most of the great grandson's presents...just need to wrap them and finish the last 2 of his presents.

We are still thinking of Daddy's,kids and grandkids presents. Hey it's not November with me working on Tday dinner items and trying to think of Christmas. Best is we got the ones that need shipped done !!!!😀😀

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The root cellar is done

YEAH!!!! that leaves the butler's pantry and right now that's a mess from the canning. I don't keep food in the kitchen beyond different vinegars and oils. About 1/4 of the canned goods in this area was part of the emergency food that now needs ate up.

Wee Be Little pumpkins 2 a week for 20 wks Might be 4 a week as we love molasses custard baked in them also besides just having them with butter melted in them as they roast.

Canned beans. Canned meat. Canned butter. Yes that is soda behind the winter squash. For when I have Crohn's flare ups (ginger soda) or we get sick (sprite) and some coke for when we have guest that doesn't drink tea or coffee. I drink 4 oz a night of coke cola... yes really 4 oz. I like it room temp and flat. Drives Hubby buggy as the bottle sits all week before I finish it.  12 winter squash will last 12 weeks. The red crate is sweet potatoes we bought at auction and the white box is our sweet potatoes the mice left us.

The bottom shelf is the blankets and water for emergency. Shelf up in canned potatoes, mashed potatoes in ice cream container,assorted lentils, quinoa, barley, millet etc. Top shelf is juice bought on sale and odds and end veggies bought for emergency supply.

The white buckets in this room is dehydrated potatoes, hash browns, sliced and diced.The two blue crates in baking potatoes and potatoes about 3 inch diameter or more. The cat litter box is empty and just being used to keep crate off floor.Son cleaned it with bleach before passing to me.Pie plate is what I put potatoes in to bring up to fix for meals. It was my late husband's grandmother's.

Bucket next to crate of potatoes (which is sitting on another bleached cat litter bucket) is ramen noodles. The potatoes are seconds...less than 3 inches, possibly nicked or has a bit of green on them. The nicked/green ones got sorted out and are being used to make dehydrate mashed potato granules. There is about 25-30 lbs per crate of the potatoes.

I would have loved to had more sweet potatoes and delicata squash.  BUT I have plenty to get me through the year until next season.

Blessed be

Monday, October 9, 2017

Frugal first week.

We bought 2 games on sale for retirement


We bought 3 gifts for the great grandson on sale. We bought a puzzle Hubby wants to put together and frame for his dad.

We bought 8 bags of softener salt on sale . We usually wait for the 11 % rebate at Menards but this sale saved us $2 a bag which is more than the rebate. We will try to remember to go back before the sale is over and get enough for the truck to use as weight for this winter and that will be our softener salt in the spring.

I got $15 off a 101 oz can of olive oil.

I got cashews for the cheapest price I have found.

I dehydrated basil, the last of the sage, the last of the oregano and the last of the rosemary. I still have basil, and thyme and chives.

I harvested the last of the jalapeno peppers.

I dehydrated 20 lbs of onions for onion flakes and onion powder, the last 10 lbs that can't be stored is being caramelized as I sit here.

I harvested Roma tomatoes and started cooking them for sauce.

I harvested,cooked and froze the last of the eggplant.

Instead of going to the Golden corral as our standard after I have a doctor appt  about 2 hrs away one way, we went to China buffet at lunch time, Hubby got his potstickers and dumplings and we spent half of what we usually do at Golden corral. That was our eat out for last week. This week will be tonight as it's Hubby's birthday and that is part of the gift from me, I already gave his is colored tee shirts.

I pulled some of the garden plants as I harvested so Hubby doesn't have to worry about dealing with that this coming weeks.


I found some lotion in a pump bottle half price.

Hubby got his last free set of steel toe work boots . Company pays twice a year for his boots. This set won't see the inside of the plant as Hubby "breaks" his boots in for about 3-4 months before wearing them in plant to avoid blisters. These are $140 boots along with $25 sole inserts that will wear a good 2-3 years

Last year we got a membership for Sam's club through Living Social. It was the $100 membership and we got it for about half price and then a $20 gift card, and about $45 in food and when we went the first time we saved about $50 on things we bought. This year we "downsized" the membership to standard at $45...BUT we still had $30 cash rewards sitting there so I used it to pay on the membership so it only cost me $15 for the membership this year. We buy our frying oil (we deep fry 4 turkeys for our family dinner and 2 for SCARES Christmas dinner) We use around 14 gals but always want a little more as we have had issues of containers blowing a hole or splash over. Four containers of oil at 35 lbs each (est 4.5 gal.) is $28 less at Sam's than anywhere else we have priced. I always price the day we go just in case someone is cheaper.So we get 5 and consider the 5th one free for my cooking through the year.

I open curtains in morning, close them in evening. Not having to run heat or Central air or AC in bedroom. I have had to turn the fan (after the wind coming in the window isn't enough) on where I am working during the sunny days.  I have cooked from the pantry and when it's cooler I use the oven to help warm the kitchen. I've used my homemade laundry soap in laundry, quick cycle and the drying rack for about half the laundry.It takes a full 24 hrs to get things dry in the basement so I have to be careful that I don't have something start molding instead of drying. When using the dryer I wash and dry heaviest items first so it they need rebooted (I use auto dry) they can go in the next load instead of just rebooting the dryer.I've mended a couple shirts and pants.We used up ALL the leftovers from the week  :)  The electric will be up with all the canning and 5 dehydrators going.

We have figured out if we eat a "large" lunch instead of just a wrap sandwich we don't want to eat at dinner. SO using that for when Hubby retires in 7 weeks and 3 days. We decided the main meal of the day to be lunch as I can't eat a lot at breakfast. We will have soup or sandwich or chef salad for dinner instead.Not that will save us much as I have most of the pantry stocked but it will help on keeping the weight down as Hubby won't be putting in 150,000 plus steps a week when he retires.

Right now the forecast isn't calling for a frost for at least 7 days possible 10.Still with me having my back injections and now adding injections for the shoulder arm I will be down probably 7 - 10 days from this coming Friday. Hubby will be on 1st shift through the week due to EMT class so that means he won't be able to help in the mornings like he does on 3rd. SO the frugal part is working to get as much in from the gardens BEFORE the injections.

Joke of the day... Hubby yelled from the mudroom and scared the crap right out of me as he isn't one to yell... When I came running and asked what was wrong, he pointed at the small amt of white space in the freezer and told me we were in a crisis and needed to fill it back up... HA HA. That's the family's running joke about me, because any time I get white space in the freezers I fill it back up.





Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pantry mostly done

It started with this... tomato seed gathered from the field pasta tomato plants that we were given. The week ended with this. I will try to start these seeds this winter.
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It's full and having to put what is still coming in from the gardens where ever I can fit them. I pulled the last of the eggplant today. It's going to the freezer. I pulled the  sage and it's in the dehydrator along with half of the basil plants. I pulled the jalapeno pepper plant and what was left on it is now on a paper plate. I might end up putting it in the dehydrator if it doesn't finish drying on it's on.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

curbing the eating out monster.

No they don't have anything to do with eating out... these are my son's cats Cuddles to the left that he fostered for a friend and then adopted and Bailey that he got from a rescue shelter. Bailey is not happy with Cuddles who is trying to take over BOTH boxes. I used to "babysit" them a lot when son was out of town with work. He is home most the time now and I miss my grandbabies so once a month he sends me a pic of the two.

Our eating out budget is our monster. We use eating out as entertainment as Hubby doesn't like watching any movies even at home and I don't like sports unless I have family or friend in the game. We don't go to the malls and there really isn't anything around us to go do something like hiking...so we go to restaurants.We have tried putting the eat out money in with the groceries...that didn't work as well as we had hoped.It's also has been Hubby's answer to when I go down with my Crohn's and he doesn't like to cook, sometimes he won't even use the microwave.

This morning we sat down and listed the restaurants that we go to with the knowledge it averages to be $40 each time out with tip. YES I kept track this year. how many times and the costs AND told Hubby and then  I watched his face fall. It averaged out to 2.7 times a week of eating out AND $5,320.

Bob Evans ... 6 times a year as the only time we go is with my Daddy that loves this place and their sausage gravy and biscuits (he is homebound). That remains as at the age of 90  I am not going to tell him I can't take him even if I have to eat nail soup for a week.YES we pay for him. I started getting gift cards for this from Krogers and at least earn double points.

Mt Victory plaza inn. 3 times a year with Hubby's parents Mom and Dad O. Also with remain as they are in their 80s but they pay for themselves. This will drop down to 2 times a year as they are to the point of not wanting to go out in the cold and wet of winter or fall and it's about 40 min from their home.

Lock 16 steak house..Hubby's birthday and our anniversary. He can get whatever steak his little heart desires. We will drop this down to Hubby's birthday because I really don't care if I eat much steak...give me pork chops LOL.

Mizolsol China and Mel-o-dee's is when we are at our son's but he is now starting to cook for us instead of us going out to eat or him ordering in. That was 2 times a year for each., we paid for ourselves and Son paid for himself and the tip..he tips very well. But he agreed that we could drop this down to 2 total.

Perkins... 4 times a year after blood work so I don't pass out after fasting 14 hrs. I can't drink OJ after fasting so I am going to try to remember to bring my hot tea with a bit of honey in it and see if that will keep the faint away with having a bfast already fixed and just needing nuked when we get home 30 min drive home so I'm closer to fasting 15 hrs.

Golden Corral 4 times a year. Two times after my back injections which is 2 hrs from home and 2 times after our meetings with our finance guy which is 2 hrs away from home . We only live here due to Hubby's job so are looking at moving closer to kids, doctors etc. drop to 2

Hong Kong ... was 12 times a year as we meet with friends and our son but are looking at 6 times a year.

China Buffet ...we stopped going here when Hong Kong opened due to that's where our friends and son prefer. We  decided to go to China buffet 4

Inn Between Tavern. 12 meals in 12 meals taken out...it's within 3 miles of us, great food , great specials and way too much eating out... Their deep fried chicken dinner on Wed and their deep fried fish every Friday especially during Lent. SO we are giving up the chicken dinner and making it 6 times a year with 3 of those time probably being during Lent.

Cracker barrel...used to be 12 times a year is now twice a year. Both of us is okay with this just going away completely.

Taco Bells... Hum this started when I was in college and ate there every day. We have weaned me down to 12 times a year. This year I plan on 0 as I can make the same food at home...I know but the drinks keeps me going back not the food.

Wendy's 12 times a year This is Hubby's go to LOL we decided 0 I have frozen hamburgers and bacon just need to keep buns on hand so he can have his baconator. Neither of us eats French fries that much nor do I drink soda fountain pop.

Subway 12 times a year ...philly cheese steak foot long on flat bread toasted with loaded with veggies. I haven't found a flatbread equal to it nor do I keep steak around that much so we decided  4 times a year even though  90% of the time I either use coupons or my points.

Applebees... 2 times a year. Once was when his parents wanted to go another was when A friend wanted us to try their blackened steak. We decide 0 this year.We told his parents we would prefer to eat at their Chinese place than Applebees or we could bring the meal. And we can just tell the other friend we aren't going there.

Wingers... sigh their wings in garlic butter and the deep fried veggies... was 4 times a year is now 2.

KFC...not for the chicken but Monday night potpie special and Tuesday night country fried steak ...was 12 not 0

Trojans' den..12 calzones... 0

Al's pizza 6...every other month rotated between philly steak pizza, Al's combo(loaded with veggies)and taco pizza... now 3. No I can't match their pizzas.

Dairy Queen... we don't get food we get ice cream using whatever coupon. Was 12 times will go down to 6 . I don't keep ice cream on hand beyond klondikes or Hubby will eat a quart at a time and that's down from the half gal.

Wagner's... is actually a grocery store but we found they have great fried chicken and we can get exactly the amt we want for less than KFC or Inn Between. 4 times a year

New place... this was happening about 12 times a year someone from work would  want us to go with them now it will be 4

This averages to once a week with $2080 for the year.. I don't see it be that high as I know I will split the pizza up to make 4 meals so that will make 9 times of  less eating out. Hubby will be retired so less likely of coworker asking us to go with them. I decided to keep us focused to make a yearly calendar with the restaurants listed each month. When we go we mark it off ...might replace some of our favorites with new places as Son brought up going to a Mexican place he likes instead of Misolsol China... and that's okay too. I have a full pantry, I am checking to make sure I can make Hubby's favorite take out from home. Daughter suggested a couple options for me to replace my "new drink" at Taco Bell LOL. Have to adjust to making 1 drink for just me as Hubby only drinks water, coffee and unsweetened tea.

I would love to see this go down to every other week but I feel at this time Hubby might feel deprived and maybe resentful since he is retiring. To help with this I am asking him to help make the menu to get in some meals he would like to have.

Do you have an eating out monster?










Sunday, October 1, 2017

Oh yeah it's October

You know how some nights go....dead tired, fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow then when you wake up and feel like you slept all night only to find out that you only slept a few hours so you take that potty break, get a glass of water and then go back to bed hoping that you fall back to sleep only to just lay there HOURS? Yeah that night...was last night. Of course my mind decided to start running so I updated the stock pantry list and tried going back to bed and then it started listing all the work I need to get done... so I thought "dump it" on paper , got up again , got paper, pen and dumped it.

and then flipped the page and added this
Yes I even did math trying to figure if I should break the grocery money down per week or month or bimonthly and NO it didn't help me go to sleep, that happened around 3 when I might as well got up AND Rascal woke me up at 7 even though Hubby had let him out and dealt with fresh water and food.

This morning over coffee I talked to Hubby about how huge the list was and then stopped because of the look on his face...then it clicked...it's OCTOBER and every OCTOBER I am on overload between the gardens,getting ready for winter, weather changing back and forth triggers pain, pain and not eating right and not getting good sleep triggers my Crohn's and this year I focused on filling the pantry completely now instead of filling it in Nov/Dec/ Jan as he reminded me of pork for New Year's Eve and Day.

SO...

First I have several medical appointments on top of my therapy I need to stay on top of and along with that is quick simple meals for dinner that I don't have issues with and  WITHOUT eating out.

We decided on 3 things concerning the pantry...

First we will not buy anything unless it is a need and we BOTH agree it's a need. We have already agreed on what is left that is NEEDED to be stocked in the pantry. We also talked over what we think of as Fresh produce/dairy needed on a weekly/ 10 day/ bi weekly (haven't figured that one out yet) time frame and still are figuring out what is reasonable for fresh food.

I highlighted what is needed on the pantry list... we could go without it but it would make things a lot rougher. Most of them are at Sam's club and we usually go to a certain Steak house for Hubby's birthday and Sam's club is right across the street. A steak at Lock 16 in Lima OH for his birthday and Prime rib for Christmas eve is the only thing he ever asks for.

Second I would keep track of what we buy, spend per category and per store for the next 12 months starting today. http://www.lifefreedomfamily.com/2017/09/the-great-grocery-project-one-year-recap.html?m=1 is the base plan of what I plan to use.

Third, we would be using a lot of ideas/menus from Brandy http://www.theprudenthomemaker.com/

Fourth, I would keep better track of the savings   http://thecouponproject.com/downloads/savings-tracker/ I have used this savings tracker for years.

I prioritized what I was doing in the gardens and what I am processing. I will need to get up a bit earlier to get things around for the dehydrators before I start canning and I have to pay attention to leaving during the day for appointments.

I checked the weather forecast for the next 10-14 days and it's decent even if we get the rain (PLEASE) that they are forecasting. SO for those days the work..yard/gardens/weatherization will be done. The week of the 16th Hubby will be taking classes for his EMT recert on 1st shift I will focus on inside the house (weatherization, winter bedding, etc)and sewing the winter curtains.

My goal is to have this workload completely before Nov 1st when Nanowrimo starts for those that want to write books and need support to get it in gear. https://nanowrimo.org/ AND start on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Blessed Be

end of Sept of being frugal

I had a Crohn's attack at the first of the week so stayed home. Was able to still can pasta sauce and applesauce and work on pantry shelves.  I need soy sauce , that's the empty spot on the bottom where there are 2 bottles by themselves.


This one is pretty full.Bottom two shelves is assorted dried beans and canned beans.

I've done swagbucks and pinecone research.

Hubby got the truck brakes fixed and the truck is now getting 5 more miles/gallon.

I went Wed to my therapy free at wellness center and came straight back home..

Thursday we went to check out a house that really came close to what we are looking for...by Saturday it had sold when we decided to take a second look. Wasn't on the market a week.

Friday we went to Hubby's parents as his dad is having trouble breathing and they are now checking his heart as everything else has came back good. He has an ultrasound for his heart this week and then some blood work and possibly a stress test.

His mom fixed lunch and was telling me she spends $145 every 10 days for the two of them.Her daughter had her go to Aldi's but Mom O wasn't happy with the taste of the green beans until  I compared what she liked to what was Aldi's and pointed out that what she liked had salt where Aldi's didn't and she was salting the green beans also when she cooked and then turned around and told me that Dad O wasn't suppose to have salt so she had slowly replaced the salt on the table with salt substitute... when I repeated back to her what she had just said and had her check how much salt was already in the green beans she was knocking her knuckles against her head. DUH But she did give me some tips for cooking for two for when Hubby retires.

On the way back we swung by G &R tavern in Waldo OH and picked up a full roll (32 slices) of their bologna that we had ordered ahead of time. It's special bologna and something I can eat without problems. We love it fried. twice a year we buy a roll and then freeze it so we can have the sandwiches without driving 2 hrs to have it.Also it's half the price as a roll than what they serve as the sandwich.We split the roll with a friend that never goes there but loves the bologna (because we shared LOL).Plus we aren't going out to the way to go there.

Saturday I went to the community(Village) yard sales. I didn't find any curtains like I was hoping. Found one set and since all the rooms have 2 I almost didn't buy it until my girlfriend ask if I was putting a curtain in the butler's pantry. Found a winter throw rug for the mud room, a crib blanket for my feet in bed,a gray winter shawl , 5 canning jars, and 2 gym bags as mine is ripped and I figured if I didn't get the second one for $2 Hubby's would rip and I would be kicking my butt.. I found a knit neck scarf for my one daughter who is always cold, some tank tops for my other daughter that is burning up under her uniform, a circular saw and hedge trimmer for my son and a toy truck for great grandson.

We came home instead of hitting Wendy's which was right there, ate lunch and went to town to use the Kroger points for gas and I do the shopping. Saved 50¢/gal on gas. 

I went to CVS and bought CVS allergy meds(on sale) and Xlear, had a coupon for the Xlear and 30% off total price from CVS so I saved closer to 40%.

I then went to Krogers...first I hate shopping on weekends especially in the afternoon. This wasn't as bad as I feared with it being the last day of the month also. They were restocking from the morning shoppers so I did some substituting and stayed in my price point of things. I saved 21%.

Hubby dug up the sweet potatoes.... it was a good yield...for the mice. He wears a size 10 boot.

Double the amount shown in this picture and the  mice ate almost every single one. Well fed for sure...grrr but at least they weren't in my pantry doing that. We ended up with about 3 meals worth.I doubt if we will try again.

This morning we put the groceries away in the pantry and Hubby hung the onions for me.

AND we talked about where the pantry was and what we should still try to stock before he retires. What we felt would be fresh that would need to be bought, do we go every 7 days or 10 days like his mom or just when we are going to be in the town. Something for us to decide tonight over dinner.

Have a Blessed week.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kitchen Scraps...

One of the memories my youngest daughter and I share is the Thanksgiving dinner we were prepping the veggie tray and someone who will remain nameless thought they were helping tossed the peels in the trash and we looked in the trash can and mourned the lost of the the veggie broth we would have made... that is when my Daddy told me that sometimes I get too frugal in the kitchen. I looked back at him and asked who was it that told me each and every bite was important because when you are hungry one bite can mean a lot...it was him.

I wash my veggies and  keep the peelings off onions, carrots, potatoes, stems of cauliflower and broccoli plus the strings and ends of celery, bell pepper cores (without most of the seeds) and toss them in a freezer bag, when I get a gal of peelings I make veggie broth/stock. Price it at the store and you will start tossing your peelings in the freezer also. Garlic skins in the freezer bag..The ends of mushrooms also (store mushrooms in a brown lunch bag and put in frig and they will last longer). They can go together and make veggie broth or I can use the broccoli stems for stir fry,salads or cream of broccoli soup or slaw if I have enough. Mushrooms simmered are a good base for sauces, gravies or mushroom soup. Potato peels simmered make a good starch water for gravies and I have used the water also for potato soup or baked potato skins. I don't do cabbage for broth... I will make freezer slaw if I have enough of the outer tougher leaves to make it with.

I eat radish greens,carrot tops,beet greens and turnip greens...and the greens of scallions(AKA green onions).I also saute these and freeze them to toss in broth or casseroles or soups.

Citrus peels go in vinegar for cleaning or dried for zest or put in salt or sugar , I will candy them during the holidays to give as gifts.

Bones go into a stock pot to make broth... fish (which isn't very often since the grandson isn't around that fishes) pork (goes well in cabbage dishes and stews) ham (beans, cabbage) beef (noodles, soups, stews) poultry(soups, stews, noodles) not touching gravy. Gravy and bread was my Daddy's breakfast during warm months, oatmeal was for winter. That's what he ate for 16 yrs every morning.I also keep, strain and freeze these meats fat (well not fish). I have kept shrimp shells for seafood broth but Hubby's cholesterol goes up with shell fish so I don't do that unless I know the kids are going to be around.

Dried out cheese or rinds are saved to thicken or flavor sauces and casseroles.I will cut mold off and use the rest of the cheese.

Fruit skins and cores can make juice or jams or syrups including watermelon rind  as pickles or shrubs.

Bread heels, crumbs etc go into bread crumbs, bread pudding (sweet or savory) French toast, into soups, salads, dressings (AKA stuffings) coatings for foods.

Herb stems are kept in bags for adding to stocks and broths. I'll be straining it anyways and it gives the same flavor.

I simmer corn cobs to make corn cob syrup (good on corn bread and Johnny cakes/hoe cakes) and corn cob jam.If you save the husks you can make tamales.

I reuse my pickling brine including the pickled beet brine.

At one time both my parents grew grease bean a type of green bean. Mom called them shuck beans... regretfully they thought you could only eat the bean inside (like a pea) and threw away the outside which is called leather britches that can be cooked long time after you dehydrate them.

I use old cookies for topping on fruit crisps or pies or as pie crust (like a graham cracker crust)

No wine goes down the drain no matter how old or how long is has been open. I either use it in cooking or turn it into vinegar ...usually cooking.

We drink coffee, we drink day old coffee or even a couple days old coffee, or it goes in stews or gravies. Grounds go to the compost or garden.

Egg shells get washed, dried and crushed for the gardens.

Put bread heel in sugar and it will soften it that goes also for cookies when sealed in a container or bag.

Tea bags as I sit here drinking my 3rd cup of tea from the same bag. I have gathered a couple of the same tea bags and brewed in water then cooked rice in that water. Used it as a hair conditioner, tossed in the garden ...tons of things to do with used tea bags.

I cook all my winter squash including pumpkin, dehydrate it for using later. I use the squash seeds in shell for snacks and out of the shell as nuts.

When I was growing up Daddy always had a spot for the compost from the house went. He moved it every year. Just didn't plant that area... about a 4 ft x 4 ft area . Here on this farm we use the fields as we get enough compost from the manure/straw from the barns. When I check the ph in the gardens late fall I will put what is needed for it on it then to "marry" over winter.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Done this week.

I pray that everyone is finding a blessing each and every day.

As today I was up at 3 am sick with allergies and praying it wasn't like the sinus infection Hubby came down with ...my blessing is it's just a bad allergy flare up and the meds I keep on hand are working really well. It's a day of rest anyways so being totally worn out from not being able to breath and being sick from the meds I can rest.

I cleaned another shelving unit in the basement. This is one is the speciality flours, assorted bread crumbs,dehydrated eggs (top shelf) pastas (2nd and 3rd shelves, ramen noodles in 1 -5 gal bucket)) and different rices, bottom shelf (and 2 of the 5 gal buckets). School scissors is in the hanging basket to cut the panty hose the onions are in (not shown) along with the cleaning rag that I had and put there so I wouldn't forget to toss in laundry.Like it was hard to walk 10 ft to the washer and toss it with the rest of the cleaning rags...SIGH. 5  shelving units to go.

The buckets do show that gamma seal lids we got at Menards during the 11% rebate for all the food buckets so I don't have to either fix something else because I forgot to have Hubby pry open the bucket before he goes to bed or hurt myself (sure did ) trying to pry it open with my bad arm. I have found since we put them on that I am using more from the buckets than I was and we are having a better variety on the table. Boy do I miss my strength.



Other side of the same shelving unit. On the floor( actually it's on a board) you can see my shortening...the oils and vinegars sit there also but Hubby had the storm door sitting there and the flash from the camera kept reflecting so it wasn't a good picture.I didn't think I should share a picture of the flash of my cell phone. ;)


I found paprika and cayenne at my price point so stocked that up. I will make my spice blends AFTER I finish the gardens. I did go through my spice blend recipes to make sure I had what I needed to make them.I make over 2 dozen spice blends that can be bought at the store. but is cheaper for me to make it at home. A negative of being a professional personal/private chef is the costs of spices, herbs, condiments and booze that is can be required. I am thankful that I had several instructors that taught how to grow herbs, buy spices in bulk and what to sub for what you didn't want to use(broth or flavored water for booze) or couldn't afford to use. I can now use my dried cayenne for just straight cayenne powder. Next year I will have to grow cayenne so that's on my buy list for plants. Positive side is I serve a variety of foods from different countries.

I did get the good news that I will not have to have surgery on the left shoulder at this time. I do have a slight, very slight bone spur and a lot of arthritis but nothing damaged or in the way of being damaged UNLESS I throw the shoulder out of place and don't immediately get it put back into place. The reason I am not able to put the right hand behind my back isn't the surgery but how my cerebral palsy has reacted to the surgery and sling. I have some stretches added to my daily stretches for my CP and my appointment to start therapy at Hubby's company's wellness center (we pay $26/yr for the 2 of us... yes just $26) . Doc did suggest I talk to my back doctor (pain doc) and see if he can help ease the stiffness as I am due for my injections. Shoulder doc, pain doc, Crohny doc and doc...doc is primary who is also a friend. that's the only way Hubby can keep the doc's straight .

We met with our friends for dinner , no coupon and not during lunch time so that was not really frugal and worn out from being at the auction  but her hubby let us know at the dinner she was having knee replacement surgery and wouldn't be going out for dinner for a couple months.Very glad we decided to suck it up and meet them.

Our youngest owes us money and is now at the stage of being able to make us payments (She's finally back to work full time) It was going to cost her to transfer it to me since we live 1 1/2 hrs away and neither of us is driving it. I said something to our son that I owe money to (he paid the deposit for the rental hall for our Tday dinner) and he suggested she pay him because he can transfer to me for free AND since he owes our mechanic and is making payments to him on a monthly basis through me (son uses debit/credit card only and mechanic charges a fee for use of  debit/credit card) I could just pay off the bill he has with the mechanic instead of paying him. He will also get the hall cheaper by being the one to sign for it since he is a member.

A friend that stays in motels all the time due to work sent me the tea they leave in the room. Housekeeping told him they have to pitch it when he checks out because it might be contaminated so he kept it and sent it to me.

I've saved my butter wrappers and they are in the freezer. I bakes a beef roast in the oven with root veggies, a pork roast with sweet potatoes in the crock pot for the first day of fall and made cheeseburgers and onions for the last day of summer. We ate leftovers the rest of the time except when we with friends that one time.

We went to Amish produce auction. We have NEVER left with spending so little (only 1 /5 of what we budget and usually spend) and still we got most of what we went for. We got 40 of 10-15 lbs pumpkins for $28. That is 70¢ a pumpkin.We got 43 wee be little pumpkins ( the type that most people use for decorations.. we eat them) for 50¢ a piece, they are big enough that one will make a serving for each of us. We got 50 lbs of candy onions (think sweet onions ) for 60¢ lb. I have now gave the kids most of the others and will dehydrate what is left of what I had as the new onions are cured better so will store better. We got 70 lbs of apples for 40¢/lb. We wasn't going to get any but our friends let us know that it looked like not many would be coming from their neighbor. Better to have too many than not enough as we eat applesauce daily if I have it canned.

We stopped at the produce market farm and got the last of the winter squash. They didn't have delicata or hubbard so we will most likely go without.

We delivered pumpkins/potatoes and onions to 5 of the 6 kids. We got to see 4 of them as the one was running her kids to games and the other parent. She was happy we had dropped off the food but not thrilled her dad put a 50 lbs bag of potatoes on her driver's seat and passenger seat of her car.Lucky for her that her boyfriend stopped in and moved them for her as he laughed at watching her rolling them out of the car onto a blanket to pull them into the house. She might remember to get that key she made us to us before we deliver something again.  I got to play a bit with my great grandson while his momma helped Hubby unload what she was taking... and she took the rest to deliver to 2 of our friends that wasn't home so we wouldn't have to make another 1 1/2 hr one way trip or leave it where it could be stolen. I got to see my one granddaughter that I haven't seen in over a year as she is always doing something when we are in the area.

Hubby mowed all of the yard and ditches including all the trimming.

We had 5 not so good pumpkins in the 40 that I decided instead of trying to process it right now along with tomatoes etc that I would just use the for decorations. Hubby decided afterwards he would toss them to the cows and pig landlord's son has here. They were okay with that.

I washed some jars I found in the garage that had came from an auction last year and was shoved under the bench behind the metal tool box that used to sit in the truck bed. Hubby uses it for storage.

I bartered 7 pumpkins with the landlord's oldest son (he has a boy and girl) in exchange of him hauling the dead plants and straw from the gardens when I wrap that up. He said he could actually use it because they need  that type of stuff for the compost pile they have at his grandmother's house.He can get the stuff when he cleans the barn next month or in early Nov.

My son gave me a pair of flannel pj bottoms that he didn't like (too warm for him) that I can wear as long as I roll the waistband when I am walking so I don't trip on the length. So that's off my to sew list.

We decided against planting anything for winter since the gardens are still going crazy. I can buy romaine lettuce at Aldi's once a month for our lettuce needs. Our friend planted lettuce 3 times in the last month and this heat just killed it off.

I have 3 appointments still to schedule but am waiting on the one so I can hopefully tie at least 1 if not 2 in with the trip.

Hubby told me this morning after he went out and played 10(ball as we started limiting him to 10 throws after spending 8 hrs doing nothing but playing ball with him as a pup) with Rascal that I have herbs, tomatoes, and eggplants to deal with and he wasn't sure but maybe bell peppers by the end of the week as they still haven't turned orange or red yet. I know I have some onions in the one box in the north gardens that need pulled and cured. I know I have flowers to dead head.

Blessed be and have a wonderful first week of fall.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Warm snap/ preparing for our new future

Menard's had their 11 % rebate sale still going on so we replaced the bad turkey fryers that went out while I was using them canning. Hubby bought 1 new fryer (not the pot part just the burner and stand) and one burner saving over $60 of buying 2 new ones.Which was good as I canned over 20 pts of caponata in one day. We got 40 lbs of dog food bringing us up to 80 lbs so that should take us through 4 months with just Rascal. I bought 2 new throw rugs for less than $4 each, a rubber one (think front door rug) to go on the metal trunk at the end of our bed so Rascal's nails don't scratch it and it stays in place and one for in front of the stove(the picture) as that one was sliding on me and that's an accident waiting to happen... I have accidents every day don't need to "plan" for one.

Caponata: eggplant, onions and tomatoes and in this case bell peppers because I still had 6 left after canning and didn't want to see them any more LOL.



I sorted through my bag of chef potatoes (baking potatoes) and they are in the root cellar.I still have 50 lbs to dehydrate for mashed potatoes though a few of them might go in storage.

I rewrote the stock up list as I can't trust my brain and more than I can my body, as once again I fell and hit my arm that I had surgery on...GRRR.

Daddy's first ride in his Goodwill wheelchair fixed by my sister in law.Daddy was smiling all the way up the hill as Hubby pushed him up, said he enjoyed the ride back down as Hubby took him down backwards since it was so steep. Grandson(14 yr old...Daddy's great grandson) asked if he could sit on his lap for a ride. Daddy told him no...then waited a beat and said he would sit on the grandson's lap instead and it was okay if he popped a wheelie....as daughter told everyone the boys had found an old wheelchair in the barn and they cleaned it up and brought it in a pop wheelies through the house with it.

I made brownies with mini choc chips and carrot cake (cut the raisins up as Daddy can't eat whole raisins) for the family reunion from the pantry. My older daughter let me know while in route she forgot to get the veggie tray and since we were going to be there early could we stop and get something and she could pay us back. She told us what she was going to pay. We stopped and got a veggie tray, a fruit tray and a  dozen of assorted muffins and still was less than what she would have paid. PLUS she told us to bring the leftovers home.

Since we both forgot to grab some chicken that my brother brought to the reunion to bring home for dinner we snacked on the veggie and fruit trays along with what was left of the brownies and carrot cake (grandsons didn't realize  they left it or we wouldn't have had it to bring home) Hubby had a lunch meat wrap to go with is even though he was not feeling good all day. Woke with no voice and a nasty sore throat Sunday and today.

On the way back home from the reunion, we realized the route we take to the Amish auction (this coming Friday)was going to have a detour that day which also meant we couldn't get to the 2 places that was on our list with the towing the trailer to pick up winter food from so today I went over and got what I could. Winter sq isn't coming in for them very well but I got 4 squashes when I wanted 12. Might be going without if I don't find more. I did well at the Amish country store, even though I didn't get the paprika or cayenne like I wanted because of the price.I will see if I can find fresh cayenne that I can dry and grind myself.They were out of paprika so I will have to get it else where as I make other spice blends with it. By going today we can go another way to the auction and not add 60 miles detour to get to the other places while hauling a trailer which cuts the gas mileage in half as it is.

Hubby woke me up coughing through the night and when I did get up this morning he couldn't hardly talk so I called and got him in to the ENT doc which Hubby was NOT happy with me for doing...good thing I did as he has an infection and it was triggering his GERD to the point it was going to be doing DAMAGE... he is on meds for the infection and will have his primary deal with allergy meds to take in the spring and fall for now on. OTC just doesn't work for him it seems.

This week is suppose to be mid 80s with rain... I put the flower pots out to get rained on. We had to turn the AC back on as it's is way to hot in here especially for Hubby without it. AC is set at 78 °.

We are ate out twice ( medical appts both times only 9 more to go and hopefully none will result in surgery),  got the cheapest meal (bfast)we could and used coupons and both times brought food home for another meal with only adding a veggie or fruit. I only bought milk and lettuce from the store for us for our weekly (well biweekly now). The rest is stock up only.Hubby told me he would rather see me spending the money to stock up on sale NOW rather than put the money in an account earning next to nothing in interest and then spending more for it AND paying for gas to go to town for it this winter. We have 3.75 mos. of our budget saved right now for this coming winter. Our goal is/was 4 mos as we know we will have money coming in with in 2 mos of his retirement of Dec 1st.It's just the time of the retirement being winter...higher utilities, more gas costs to drive to town due to having to warm up the truck and weight in the back of the truck, on top of the health ins costs.

 In middle of writing this we lost the transformer in the back yard so everything shut down. Power surge caught it.BUT since it didn't make any sound ( they usually explode)I didn't realize it had blew. Everyone in neighborhood was out. So Hubby cranked up the generator. Two hours later everyone had electric but us. Landlord  came down to see if there was something going on that Hubby was missing and found the insulator laying in the yard, it was split in half. An hour later the repair truck was here and the transformer on the road blew as he was pulling up. He shut down the electric and within 30 mins had everything fixed (thanks (NOT) to now dead squirrel) .Waited to make sure we could turn lights on in the house before leaving.  I can say we can handle being without electric for about 24 hours before we would need to go get gas. We can get gas from the neighbor that is 1/2 mile from us. Their generator is propane ran and they have gas tanks due to their business. The propane tank for the grill is full and there is backup if needed.

Hubby took another night of work off due to still being sick. I had my MRI for my other shoulder this morning so we got all our prescriptions while in town.We also swung by the chiropractor to see if he could squeeze us in since we were in town instead of us coming back in 2 hrs later. Worked better for the doctor also as he had no one this morning and was back to back with clients later.

I washed foil and box inserts and hung them on the drying rack to dry. I hung a load of laundry I washed in cold tap water and homemade laundry soap (I use vinegar for softener). I added water to shampoo and conditioner. I saved veggie peels in freezer to make veggie stock later. I save meat grease for later also. I am collecting scarlet runner beans as they dry to replant next year. I get one bean about every other week.The birds pretty much munched down on the blooms and the mole did a really good job of messing up all the flowers and those beans in that sq ft garden.

Bought myself 2 pairs of jeans (first in 10 yrs if not longer) that was marked down 30% and bras (sorry to the  guys). Nothing is fitting right and beyond my sewing talents or it's so worn out it's not worth wearing any more...and believe me I have clothes I bought and wore regular since 2005, my jeans I've been wearing is my youngest daughter's and she bought them in 2001) I might cry when I have to give up my one skort that I bought in Philly PA in 2005 at an USPCA convention. I have taken it in more than once as I now weigh close to 25 lbs less.I found socks that fit with a rebate so I am set for winter mostly... I think I'm set but I haven't put all the warm weather stuff away and put the cold weather stuff out completely. Hubby thinks jeans is all he needs and only a few pairs for wearing for good. He has to try on his dress pants also.

Electric bill dropped 20 % since I went to doing the canning outside and not heating up the house or using the electric stove as much as I do use the pressure canner on the kitchen stove.

We checked our board games and puzzles for something to do this winter when Hubby first retires. He would like a few new board games and puzzles so I will be checking the yards sales in 2 wks. I have made a yard sale list...I am hoping to find winter curtains (need 8 sets) along with bookshelves  and maybe ...a desk. Son is going to check the Goodwill he bought his desk at to see if they have anything. Manual can opener, my spare is getting in bad shape.

I called the wellness center to see how it was going about starting my rehab there ... The lady doing it finally got the release she needed and is working out a program for me. I had glenoid labrum tear with SLAP lesion along with bone spurs, bursitis and tendonitis along with the bicep tendon having a hole in it. I am still struggling to put my arm/hand behind me.

Our son got us a hall for Tday dinner to get it out of everyone's house.At first he hated the thought when I asked him to rent it and I was paying for it until he saw the costs of us transporting everything including the gas and renting tables etc and realized we would be saving over half the costs we have spent.PLUS I made it clear it was a potluck meal this yr. so it's not us providing all the food.

Can't really remember much else that I haven't posted on Thursday...

Blessed be

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Frugal bomb...

It's only Thursday and I am going to start this because I know I won't remember much by Sunday when I usually write due to a family reunion that is 3 hrs away one way on Sunday and I will have to drive as Hubby works Sunday night.

Daddy gave me 800 jars, about 100 of them is old glass mayo jars that I won't can in but will put dry goods in so I can free up my canning jars. I'm down to about 50 jars to can with.

My new dehydrator, about half the size of my Excalibur in 2015 , this new one that I got on sale...well I got what I paid for. It either over dries the bottom and everything on top molds, OR I am rotating trays ever hr and the food falls off and it still won't dry what ever is in the middle . I decided to send it to the craft room and maybe when I get around to making something like ornaments it will work well there. So we ordered another one just like I have and it has replacement parts so if something goes wrong I can buy the parts, or strip it off the other one.

My old pressure canner needs new seal and gauge...so it's now a water bath on the stove, but the new one is doing okay still.

Meantime 2 of the 3 turkey fries that I was using for the water bath (aka Cold packer) ...are out of commission. One died completely and the other is struggling to heat up correctly. Hubby is going to replace 1 as we need 2 for when we deep fry turkeys for the ham radio group at Christmas and see if he can take the bad two and make one working one. Figures when I am starting back up on tomatoes.

I've dump hot coffee all over the kitchen floor and was thankful I hadn't put the sugar or milk in it. Tripped over a metal trunk that has been sitting at the end of my bed since 1985. Nice bruise on the shin now , along with catching myself with the arm that had surgery so I wouldn't bash my cheekbone on the corner and have to have that repaired again. Then took Rascal out to play 10 (ball) and hit the ceiling of the porch with the ball and beaned myself in the head....all of that was from 5:15 to 6.A,M.

Next day I went out with Rascal and went to kick the ball off the stoop for him...bent all 5 toes to my shin by kicking the stoop instead and falling because of it, it's not as smooth as the porch as my shoes slide very well when I kick the ball off the front porch.

Today I ran the knife through the tip of my thumb working on bell peppers.(50 lbs plus now roasted and skinned). I've yet to figure how I did that but I can tell you that bell pepper juice BURNS on open cuts.

Good thing Hubby is an EMT because we saved a small fortune on me getting medical care this week from HIM instead of the Doctor's office or ER.

Went an hour away to pick up 400 lbs of potatoes. Got 100 lbs of what they call 2nds..green spots, nicks , weird shapes LOL (18¢/ lb) I will sort through these tomorrow and the nicked ones will be used to make mashed potato granules. The rest will be split with family that only wanted 5-10 lbs. I have 2 daughters that wanted 100 lbs each for storage along with my in laws wanting to split a 50 lb bag between their family  (24¢/lb) I got 50lbs of "chef" potatoes...more like what we would buy for baking potatoes (30¢/lb)...so I walked out with 400 lbs of potatoes that averaged at a bit over 23¢ a lbs. FRESH POTATOES that have been cured by people I know as our kids grew up together and Hubby played baseball on the church baseball league with the Dads.

 I did get a couple more shelving units clean, straightened and  inventoried.
This is pretty full, there is one spot that it looks full but isn't and that is where the Miracle Whip is...Hubby won't eat mayo . That's the last jar from last year. Need that refilled.

This is chips of different flavors, marshmallows of different sizes, choc condense milk, caramel condense milk, condense milk, evaporated milk, coconut cream, coconut milk, instant milk, powdered white sauce and powdered sour cream.It also holds the majority of the appliances that we use for our family meals that are of about 50 plus people.

and last but not least...the last of the canned butter. I will use this for our "eating" butter, the dried powder butter will be for baking and the stick butter will be for cooking, mostly for pancakes or French toast. That should get us through until the cash flow starts back up.

Prayers for everyone to stay safe. Including MYSELF LOL

Blessed Be

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Where is the Energizer Bunny when I need him???

Because my batteries are definitely running low.

I forget what I have canned this week but I know today I did 24 -1/2pints of butter, 5 pints of pickles, 6 pints of peperonata, dehydrated 3 dozen eggs, 4 bunches of celery,20 lbs of roasted tomatoes for olive oil and fire roasted bell peppers to put in freezer for Brandy's Red bell pepper soup (www.theprudenthomemaker.com) I also cooked some orange tomatoes to strain and cook done for sauce tomorrow.  I put some onions that were cured in the hose to hang in the basement and picked some of the coriander off the dead cilantro.

Dishes are stacked, dinner is over due to Hubby bringing Wendy's home after he worked 36 hrs straight himself ( at the plant, then security at 5 k and the Ham Radio operator at park )




I did start working on my monthly goals. Straightening the pantry is one of them. I got this shelving unit dealt with and took a picture. Side benefit was I realized I only had one shelf of applesauce (we use 2 each year). And there is next to none of cherries or apricots.

Since this seemed to be a good way of looking at what is missing or what I have to much of  I did this shelving unit.
This one looks good, or at least will until Thanksgiving and Christmas then half of it will be gone.
To the left is another shelving unit ...it has bare spots that need filled in. ONLY 8 more shelving units to clean and straighten.

I went through Hubby's clothes. He does NOT need socks LOL... I forgot I ordered him a case as he takes a unusual size.  The rest he pretty much needs. He found hiking boots half price so I talked him into buying 2 since finding something he can wear with his ankles is hard. I found tee shirts with pockets in different colors on sale as he likes different colors but has worn black,dark gray or dark blue for work. Figured since I could afford them with this sale I would get him a nice variety of COLORS since he is retiring.

I went through my clothes, or part of my clothes and I NEED socks LOL. I wear a girls size but have a hard time finding them heavy enough for winter. My feet get cold but sweat easy. I am thinking about trying to crochet a pair for myself and see how that works , I can always wear them in bed if it doesn't. I need pj bottoms, I have flannel and I have a pattern I don't have the time right now as the garden is overflowing.

I caught a sale at King Arthur's flour and still had a discount coupon so I ordered all that I could and keep the shipping at the same price.

I've scored my Swagbucks goal twice this week...probably because I've been up at 3 am canning.

Did 2 Pinecone  surveys

I turned the furnace on twice for about an hour to take the chill (62°) off. I've been opening the bathroom curtain and the kitchen door to the mudroom to let the East sun come in and warm the house.Once it starts getting cold I won't open the kitchen door to mudroom as we don't heat that area.

I did the usual of opening curtains in the morning and shutting them at night, turning lights off, turning computer and printer off. Turning my coffee maker off at power strip so even the clock on it doesn't run.Turned ceiling fan off in bedroom.

Got rid of dehumidifier as it was only working as a fan now. Landlord will replace next year. Got stuff on sale with rebate also to set up humidifier when we start the furnace full time.

Use short cycle, tap cold with laundry with homemade laundry soap. Used the drying rack for light weights since I still can't hang clothes out on line...arm is cranky...better but cranky.

Added water to dish soap, shower soap and used the "rinsed" out shower soap to refill sink soap. Just have to shake it before using.

Continue to use turkey fryer bases for cold packers while doing water bath canning which in turns actually lets me get 3 times more done and doesn't run up the electric bill.

We are "interviewing" different financial advisors about investing Hubby's retirement money.... I had one tell me I didn't know a thing about investing and staying calm for the long haul  etc...Hubby actually started laughing out loud. Needless to say, we thanked him for his time and started to leave when his boss stopped me and asked what I would invest in and I rattled it off with the reasons why.. Told me to remember I did know about investing and asked to see the one that was so sure I didn't know anything in his office.We see another one tomorrow that a friend's parents (who did investing on their own most the time) used while they were alive.

Guess all those years of reading the Morningstar for Dad has paid off, just not what I really want to do but frugal wise I'm not willing to pay someone 1 %... example..if we take 4% to live on, and we pay the broker 1%...that's 25 % of our income NOT INCLUDING the cost of the stock/bonds etc that we would be buying.... I'll do our own financing for that price. BUT man do I hate reading the Morningstar. To those that don't know  the Morningstar evaluates funds (stocks, bonds etc) for up to three time periods: three, five and 10 years. It's like watching the Dow Jones which I didn't like doing either.

Meantime back on the home front , the garden is running over me and I can't even give the produce away as everyone else's gardens are running over them.

To those that are dealing with Mother Nature at her worse....I'm praying for you

AND thankful I'm not dealing with her.

Blessed Be

Monday, September 4, 2017

Preparing for winter

This is a woolly worm aka woolly bear worm. He/she was at my door yesterday.

Their job here is to predict the coming winter. HA HA Blonde or light brown means light and warm winter, if they are just brown means normal winter, striped colors means a winter that will change, example black then brown then black means hard winter, normal winter, then hard winter...you will notice this one is BLACK...I really hope he/she is WRONG because the last time they were black we had the a lot of snow and the year after that we had the winter vortex.I would rather have the snow, not ice or wind, just snow. Just saying, not asking for it.

Our local weather forecaster is waiting to see what type and when Canada gets snow but did say it could be a crazy winter.

Better to prepare more than usual since we also will be retired and a lower income means tighter budget, which in turns means the electric bill needs to stay down and we don't need to be having to order more propane with a service charge of $100 if we don't fill the tank. I already ordered and paid for this winter's fuel of 700 gals. That is a huge check mark for done.

SO Hubby and I agreed...grill propane tanks need to be filled after SCARES Christmas dinner (we deep fry turkeys for it). That's the first part of Dec and when Hubby is retiring. Those tanks not only run our grill but run the MR Buddy propane heaters we use in the house when it's extremely cold and provide another way to cook when the electric is out.

Draft old farmhouses out in the boonies with no wind block gets COLD.

I have plastic to put over upstairs windows including the trim as wind leaks there also. In late November I put Christmas decorations that are heavy plastic  like this  WOWindow Posters Santa Claus Jolly Christmas Window Decoration 34.5"x60" Backlit Poster  No I don't get money for this. but I have 3( Christmas tree and snowman also) of them and I put them on the worse 3 windows upstairs....it helps. I do set a reminder on my cell phone to go up and turn the overhead light on at dusk and back off before bed as that is how these are lit up (lamps work but I have 3 in one room so overhead is cheaper to do with LED light). All windows will be checked to see if they need caulked. Landlord checked outside when he power washed the siding this summer. I will put up the heaviest curtains we have (I lined them with BLANKETS) on the worst windows. I have a set of insulated drapes (came with this house) that will go in the north upstairs bedroom. That leaves 4 rooms that need heavier curtains due to the loss of ones I had . I have sheers to put under the curtains.I will tape the windows ...sigh, yes I use tape and tape the windows shut. The windows are that bad.

I will make sure we have the winter bedding aired, washed and ready.I might need blankets sooner as the nights are down in the 50's now.

 Winter clothes also...Hubby needs clothes as he has lost weight so I know his winter clothes isn't going to fit. I should be okay except for some flannel pjs bottoms, I have flannel fabric ,might need elastic with a slight shove to get the craft room cleaned back up so I can sort out my sewing supplies.

I need to clean out the garage...basically move garden table and stuff and swing so we can put a car in the garage during the winter.

Hubby moved generator out of garage to outside electric box so if we lose power it's just flip the switch and plug generator in and kick it on. He built a "lean to " to cover it so it's vented but protected.Another big check mark in the done area.

All 3 freezers are full, both refrigerator freezers are full...well might not be if I took the 50 million ice packs out of them but full enough that we need to do some eating to get turkey and ham in there.

 I have empty spots in the butler's pantry of dry goods. That's now on the stock list

We ordered dehydrated foods from Rainy Day Foods suggested by Brandy at theprudenthomemaker.com

 I have empty spots in the pantry in the basement.
This unit needs applesauce..I use 2 shelved worth what ever I can will have to be put somewhere else until I get some some room. I need cherries (next to cranberries that is next to store bought fruit) and apricots (lonely can on bottom shelf). Bread flours are to the left, all purpose to the right.

Tomato juice and pasta sauce are big holes but after walking the gardens today it's more of me having the energy to get the canning done before we lose the produce without messing up my shoulder.

I should be able to fill it before Dec.

Make sure we have extra staples to cover what I use during Thanksgiving and Christmas baking might be a tight one since I usually restock that in Dec during the Christmas sales and won't this year as we won't have any income.

The loss of the winter curtains is going to be the hardest as I have to make those because otherwise they are $100 per window due to the size of windows. I will have to look for cheap blankets if I don't find they at the yard sales the end of this month or thrift shops to line the fabric I have.


Blessed Be