Sunday, January 31, 2016

February goals

To cut the non-food amt spent to 2/3 rds of what it is running now. I don't think we can get it any cheaper than that because of the softener salt and filter we have to buy being out in the boonies. Still I will try.

I am looking for a cheaper place to buy printer ink.

I will combine sales and coupons which I started this month.

We will eat from the pantry. January we ate out 4 times and I bought Chinese from the store (so I count that as eating out). We would like to bring that down to 3 facing  Valentine's day  and our anniversary this month. I know we will eat at least once at the local restaurant for Lent as they have a great fish special on Fridays.

I put together a coupon book to keep better track of my coupons.I arranged it in the order of how I shop instead of alphabetical.

I downloaded a savings tracker

I am putting together a grocery price data workbook that will include my inventory. Goal is to buy at the cheapest and keep track of the inventory without going down and doing a count every month. Plus if possible (my friend that I call Guru) have place were it will let me know I should buy if on sale or a need now.

Hubby would like to retire in 3 yrs. So everything we do know needs to reflect that. Not only financially as in finishing off the last of the debt incurred when he went to 3 days a week for 2 yrs but in the home as of right now we rent a home of 2200 sq ft and use a 1 1/2 car garage, 2 stalls in the pig barn (no animals on the farm any more) and over half the farrowing house which would be 3 10x12 storage units. We want a  2-1/2 car garage and 1400 sq ft with a basement...lots to get rid off.

It's still too cold to plant here but I am hoping towards the end of the month I might be able to plant some lettuce and such in containers that I can cover when it's cold.

Blessed be

Frugal end of Jan

Looking back of the past month I see some improvement on being frugal.

I fixed a pair of pants.

I started 2 more sweet potatoes to make slips to plant this spring. The first two got nasty and had to be pitched. I've never had that happen before so I don't know what caused it.

I ordered the last of my seeds using coupons. I want to order candy onion sets from a local green house yet.I will most likely buy my spring plants from the Amish produce auction.

I combined sales with coupons to get a year's supply of vitamins and 6 mos supply of other vits that I have to take due to my Crohn's . Crohn's can stop you from getting nutrition from the food you eat.On top of I live in Ohio so my Vit D is low to begin with because we don't get the sunshine to keep it up.

I got my doctor to send my prescriptions to a mail order instead of the local pharmacy and saved there.

I baked bread so we didn't buy any.

I repaired my bread board that we use to cut the bread on.

I canned 7 quarts of applesauce and made 5-1/2 pints of apple butter out of the peelings and cores and then mixed the apple "juice" with the other juice we had in the frig.

We ate mostly from the pantry.

Blessed Be

End of Pantry Challenge 1.31.16

We didn't waste food and very little went to the compost also. We looked back and realized that we went from Dec 24th until today eating mostly from the pantry.


Out of 5 weeks we ate out 4 times and I count the time I bought Chinese out of the freezer section as eating out since I normally make my own.

That's an average of once a week....

We ate once at Bob Evans as I had a coupon from them .Saved $9.47

We ate once at Perkins as I had a coupon from them for my bday .Saved $8.56

We bought take out at Davis meats (smoked rib lunch) that actually fed us 2 days.

We bought Al's pizza with a chef salad (and then I listened to my son lecture me about buying fast food that I can make at home) with the excuse we leaving the grocery store and very hungry and Hubby was going to already be  2 hrs late getting to bed so he could get his sleep in to go to work. That excuse didn't work with son HA HA.

I bought the Chinese at of the freezer section at store because I got sick while in the store and knew I wouldn't be cooking and I can eat Chinese when I am sick...

Two of the times we wouldn't have ate out if I hadn't had the coupons...

We were able to stock the staples back up because I wasn't buying much food beside perishables.

PLUS we were able to stock a lot of non-food up since "Food" money wasn't being used.

I also did a lot of use left overs for second and third round dishes that stretched the pantry...not that my pantry needs to stretch as I maintain a pantry to feed us at least a year if not pushing 18 months.

Blessed Be

Monday, January 25, 2016

Being frugal

We have been eating from the pantry mostly all this month.

I have changed my shopping to focus on using coupons with sales or mark downs. I have now started my routine "route" in the store at the clearance rack that is on the far side of the store.

I have a friend that is making me a grocery price sheet (he calls it a data base)that will also show me lowest paid and then will allow me to use it to make a running inventory of the pantry etc with a possible buy on sale and need to buy now spot on it for my grocery list. He is getting ready to retire in the next year and is looking at doing this kind of thing for individuals . Works for both of us.

I have dehydrated the last of the eggs except for what we will  use in the next month, if needed I will dehydrate more so we don't lose them. I used the dehydrated ones in my baking this week.

I've used mostly of what we have at home for fighting this sickies that we have been battling. I know I will have to be checking coupons and sales to replace what we have used up.

My doctor wanted me to see a specialist for nutrition other than the one that is local and Free for us, our ins would not pay it and the costs was hundreds. So the FREE nutritionist contacted the one the doctor wanted me to see and they suggested a study course. It usually runs around $500....that was on sale online for 50% off.Another nutritionist just happened to have the catalog with the code for 80% off and then I got additional 20% off the total because I ordered more than one course and it totaled over $100. I ordered courses (not covered by ins) that my two doctors have been wanting me to change my lifestyle to. Works better for me because now I don't have to drive 1 hr each way for the classes AND I have a DVD and book that I can use, not just a 4 week class of twice a week. I used the money we saved from eating from the pantry to pay for it.

I ordered the seeds I need for this year using sales and coupons. I have some of the lettuce seeds I gathered last year to replant this year.

Blessed Be

Day 25 of Pantry challenge

We have one more week from today of this challenge. I pretty much can say we will be eating out MAYBE tonight because we have a coupon for a free meal for one at the local restaurant due to my birthday last week and it expires tonight and we are next to nothing on the dog food. I think Rascal's ball is eating also since I find it in the bowl several times a day.

Other than that the menu is planned out.

Thoughts so far, I bought Chinese out of the grocery store freezer section when I first got sick (still am but getting better every day and I hope I didn't just jinx myself) I counted that the same as eating out because usually I make my own Chinese except egg rolls and pot stickers ...that's on my to learn list. We ate out after going to Sam's club to get baking supplies using a coupon for 50% off one meal , we used it at lunch and got the cheapest meals on the menu since we like everything there it wasn't a hardship at all. Last Friday we got take out after going to the store and running errands and found ourselves struggling to finish the errands...and BOTH of us was horribly sick. The local butcher shop smokes ribs on Friday for their lunch special, we got that and it fed us for 2 days, which we both spent covered up and hacking.

Lessons learned so far....when I am busy processing produce , we run for fast food, when I am sick we run for fast food, IF Hubby is sick, I make soup LOL....Taco Bells, Wendy's , Subway and pizza (with chef salad, we eat the salad BEFORE we eat the pizza)is our stand bys, sometimes it's fried chicken from a local restaurant (bets KFC ) though it doesn't beat Mel-O-Dee's in New Carlisle OH.

SO to combat that I now have sub buns and lunch meat in the freezer, taco supplies of assortment (Hubby is a crunch wrap and I am tostada,Mexican pizza, hard tacos, soft tacos, etc) Hamburger patties I formed and froze along with those buns. AND I dug out my Tightwad Gazette that has a  5 min pizza crust recipe. I can make the crusts in the morning and prebake( I prebake anyways) and just add the topping later that day.

For some reason we usually eat salad when out or ordering pizza but I struggle to put it on the table regularly. I think it's because we don't add the same ingredients to our salads. SO on that line I will be planning an area in the frig for "salad" toppings when the lettuce starts coming in a couple months from now.

What did I buy this month?

Dairy:Milk( on sale bought 2 times as much ), heavy cream( marked down), half and half (marked down), buttermilk (on sale),butter (OUCH), cottage cheese,yogurt,sour cream, some sliced cheese (that was half off for the freezer and frig).

Dry goods: tostadas(on sale),assorted sizes of tortilla wraps(coupons), Sub buns (coupon plus 50% off) hamburger buns (marked down, note this is now on my to make my own list).

Meat: bacon (coupons and marked down and on sale SCORE,) ground pork (coupon and marked down) bulk sausage( on sale and coupons).

Veggies: ice berg lettuce (cheapest), green onions, ( I use both green and white parts) celery, carrots, colored bell peppers (green one trigger my Crohn's)

Fruit: Avocados (on sale)

Stock up: 25 lbs of all purpose flour, 25 lbs of granulated sugar, 2 lbs of yeast, 13.5 lbs baking soda, 35 oz of corn starch, 60 oz of baking powder36 oz sea salt,2 gals of white vinegar, 1 gal of canola oil, 3 lts of olive oil, 5 lbs of yellow corn meal,25 lbs of parboiled rice, 8- 30.65 oz coffees (on sale and with coupon for each)4-6 lbs 9 oz (#10) cans of tomato sauce (on sale ...possible pasta sauce or pizza sauce), baker's special dry milk and easy roll dough improver.

What we saved on food , we spent of stocking up non food I now have enough laundry soap(well , the stuff to make the laundry soap) and dish soap to go a year. I have enough body soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotions, and dental items to go 6 mos.

There are things I see I need to be taking care of more (which being sick all winter and worse through this month isn't helping) and some things that just need to go away. I did quit buying Velveeta mac and cheese and Hubby has requested that it be stocked. He uses it like Hamburger helper when I am sick (NOW he tells me).

Blessed Be

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

Frugal things I did last week

I decluttered the master bedroom might have just went HUH? but by decluttering the closet I found extra clothes that had been bought on sale that had been forgotten about due to being in a box on the top shelf and was back on the to buy list.SO they got taken off the to buy list.

We ate from the pantry until the 7th...when I got a massive headache and thought I was coming down with the flu (that the neighbors had) in the middle of the store while shopping for non food items.  I bought Chinese out of the freezer section and we ate that and the leftover of it mixed with other leftovers until the 10th when I made potato soup.

I bought non-food items, with coupons matched to sales.Only 4 things didn't have coupons.

I got my Yukon Gold seed potatoes for the gardens ... actually I got 50 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes for $10 at the Miami Valley Amish produce auction. It costs me $20 average for 10 seed potatoes at the nursery. I saved a lot of money by going this way and have Yukon Gold potatoes to eat at the same time.

I did the same to get my sweet potato slips (green shoot off sweet potato that you plant to grow more sweet potatoes) Slips cost $19 average(usually about 2 potatoes will make this) I got 10 lbs for $6  so we have sweet potatoes to eat also.

I got bananas (another auction item) for 35¢/ lb .Picked up 20 lbs, some to dehydrate, freeze, and eat.

I also got at the auction brown organic eggs...I've seen them for $4.36 a dozen at a couple stores locally. I bought 17 dozen at $2 a dozen. Several dozen will be dehydrated so later I can used dehydrated eggs and flour to make pasta and braided egg bread (fingers crossed I get around to the bread LOL)

We changed electric supplies and lowered the electric by almost 1 ¢ . Doesn't sound for much but that's about $12 a month.

I used Walmart's savings catcher and they found lower prices for the non food I bought so we have that small amt back.

Blessed be

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Eating from the pantry Day 6

doing very well considering that yesterday I had a migraine and wasn't hardly up to eating let along cooking.

We ending up with me making grilled cheese and adding what ever we wanted from the frig to that meal and Hubby took leftovers from the last couple nights.

Tonight we are having Ruben Casserole and leftover mashed potatoes , tomorrow will be leftover casserole on bread for sandwiches with the possible apple salad.

Meantime I am checking the sales at the stores, going through the coupons to match the sales and then making my shopping list .

Blessed Be

Dehydrating Eggs for powered eggs.

Every January I have to deal with extra eggs that was bought for the cooking of Christmas and New Year's Eve. Most years I end up with bad eggs because I can't get them used up fast enough or even have to make a special trip to town because I didn't buy enough.

This year after reading "Food Storage: Preserving Meat, Dairy and Eggs" by Susan Gregersen and David Armstrong I started thinking about dehydrating my eggs and making powdered eggs.

Then I read Brandi's post over at about her ordering powdered eggs and decide to try to make my own.

this is 4 eggs beaten and dehydrated at 135° for 8 hrs

then I ground it in my blender until it was powder

I then took 1 level tablespoon of powder and mixed it with 1 tablespoon water and stirred until the powder was dissolved and then let it rest for a minute.

I nuked it in my microwave for 30 seconds on full power.Looks just like scrambled egg.

It tasted like scrambled egg that I had cooked too long in the microwave so next time I'll try 20 seconds or 75% power.

Reality is I no longer with be tossing eggs that went bad before I can use them or making special trips to town to buy eggs for baking or scrambling.

BETTER is instead of getting this through Walmart (closest store that actually has it) for 56¢ a serving (one egg is a serving) which if you think about it is $6.72 for a dozen eggs, I am getting it for the price of the eggs and my electric which was 67¢ for the 8 hrs.

I did use my fruit leather tray for this,but have no desire to buy more so I will use either wax paper or parchment paper as long as I am careful to not fill it so full it over runs the paper.

Blessed be

Monday, January 4, 2016

January goals

can you tell today is catch up the blog day?

My goals for January


To not injury myself again (pulled groin then adductor on top of already bad back) right after I fell backwards over the concrete lid of the septic tank and knocked myself out, slight concussion with mild whiplash ).

To take my Crohn's meds which means I have to eat a protein,carb to take them twice a day.

To take my vits,calcium and Vit D to stay healthy and repair my thinning bones.

To eat a rainbow of colors to keep the Crohn's from making me malnourished .


To post at least once a week.

To read 1 new blog a month.


To eat from the pantry with minimum bought at the store for this month (and hopefully next couple months)

To finish preserving what is left of the fall produce (apples,pears, pumpkins,potatoes, (red and white), onions and butternut to say the least possible other winter squashes)

To finish bagging the frozen turkey meat that is on cookie sheets.

To finish canning the turkey broth after I remove the fat on top of it (fat goes in jar and in freezer for use later).

To learn to make powdered eggs (I found a way but haven't tried it)


To sort through and reorganize of what I am going to plant


To make brown paper patterns for aprons

To make brown paper patterns for my pj bottoms


Put away Christmas decorations in correct containers

Clean kitchen from top to bottom

Organize kitchen aid mixer attachments for easier use

Declutter four rooms


Drop off give away items to thrift stores.

Order seeds needed for garden

Attend Amish produce auction (with friends)

Make January shopping list.


To learn one new thing

To read one new book

goodcheapeats pantry challenge

Jessica Fisher over at is having her annual eating from the pantry challenge. Not only is this a good way to use up what you have but it saves you money.

Our pantry probably is closer to Brandi's over at

I have 26 shelves in the pantry, 10 are double or triple stacked. I have a 27 cubic, a 20 cubic and a 7 cubic deep freezer along with my French door 26 cubic frig with it's freezer. I have 250 lbs of potatoes, over 300 winter squashes and close to 100 lbs of onions in cool area storages. One being my mud room that we insulated to keep warmer and now have to keep the kitchen door shut as we opened the windows to cool that room down to store produce.(I adjust the windows to keep it at the correct temp) (thankful it got cold before I had Hubby put in the AC in the window)plus I have 12 shelves in the butler's pantry with half of them double stacked and 2 shelves of dried fruit and dried veggies in the dining room china cupboard along with a 5 shelf cupboard  also in the dining room filled with spices and herbs and extra brown and xxx sugars and salts.

In total at last inventory I had over a year's worth of meals. GOOD for me, been a time that grocery money was very little for a period of 2 yrs. Thankfully the gardens did well but winter was a time of hunger.

This month we started eating from the pantry. I usually do it in late Nov or early Dec but we were actually still eating fresh produce from our gardens and the Amish produce auction we go to regularly. With warmer than usual Dec turnips, radishes and other root veggies were still coming in fresh.

It's nice to have some support from other bloggers about eating from the pantry for a period of time.

I did buy a calendar (on clearance) to keep track of a menu as I want to look back next year and see how we did....4th day in and I can tell you I haven't fixed one thing that was already on the two week menu I did. Like today was going to be cabbage rolls...but I am playing catch up with the laundry because I was down (kind of still am) with crud and a strained adductor. With a wringer washer it's more hands on than an automatic (but my electric dropped $30 a month) so I decided since I had cooked hamburger I would do pasta and cheesy bread and salad...all things we have in the pantry.
I will just write what we eat on the calendar and put a highlighted orange star on it.

Are you eating from the pantry?

Frugal things I did last week

because most of December was making theses
Twenty five of them later with my tears of frustrations on the last 3, you would think by then I would have had it down pat. All filled with packing pellets AKA snowman poop and 10 gag gifts with a small amt of cash. Then after delivery I pulled my groin muscle and that strained my adductor muscle I already have a bad back and struggle with leg pain because of it and then if that wasn't enough I caught the know the crap between the head cold and chest cold but won't go away but you are thankful you didn't get the stomach crap that was going around ..yeah that crud.

So last week I roasted 2 turkeys and froze the meat then made broth and canned it after following old timer's directions of skimming the fat off the broth and froze the fat to use later.

I sliced up what was left from the prime rib that I roasted for the holiday and now have some for a couple quick sandwiches and some for soup in the freezer.

I found mild sausage and hot sausage on sale so bought that and cooked it and strained the fat in to pint jars. Meat will be for casseroles, omelets , quiches, pizzas and calzones among other things. It went in the freezer in 1 cup servings (sandwich bags work well and then put in a freezer bag). Fat is in the frig.

I found hamburger on sale, made some in to patties so I don't have the excuse we can't have hamburgers because I forgot to thaw them, and cooked the rest with some water (trick learned when I cooked in a day care to make the meat less greasy), strained the water off and cooled it and took the fat off it for the freezer also.

Milk gravy tastes better if you use a favored fat to make it with.

I made a point of not turning the Christmas lights on during the day until Christmas eve and Christmas day.