Monday, May 16, 2016

Frugal week....some LOL

I planted the last of the sweet potato slips I had raised....only to have them hit by frost the last 2 days. I am hoping that dead leaves is the only thing that died on them. I think the eggplant got nailed also, but if that's all I lost, that's not bad.

I picked some rhubarb and added it a casserole we were having as there wasn't enough to really do anything else with.

I picked cucumbers and we had them for supper.

I repaired our trellises to the gardens with what I already had.I used red yarn I had from my yarn stash to tie the tomato plants to the bamboo poles and trellises.

Planted peppers,strawberries, onions, broccoli, cauliflower,basil,cilantro,rosemary, chocolate mint, peppermint, spearmint and more tomatoes in the gardens and pots..

We gave 4 flats of different plants to a friend who just had her 7th daughter.

We gave 5 flats of different plants to 3 of our kids that are trying  to garden and put fresh food on the table.

I went through my seeds and gathered what I want to plant this coming week/weekend.

I went through the produce that was in storage in the upstairs and brought it down to the kitchen to focus on using it up and looked up some new recipes for using it. One that will be tried is spaghetti squash as hash browns.

I set the big dehydrator up so I can deal with the last 4 pumpkins this week. I'll cut them into pieces , bake and then peel and then puree in the food processor and then dehydrate...THEN grind to powder in the blender and store in mason jars. I use it in powdered form a lot fast that way since it's just us and I don't want to open a pint of pumpkin. Easy to toss powdered into sauces and stews also for a bit more nutrition.

We ate from home, though I did buy some things from the deli at the local IGA  for over the weekend as we going to be gone 2 days most the day and I knew our habit to whine "we'll have to cook" would cause us to buy out.I chose things that were on sale and then got 5 cents off for bringing my own bags and fuel pts.  Good thing I did as Hubby got sick and I was asleep on my feet when we got back in both nights.Would have costs us 3 times as much to order out or get fast food than what I spent Helped us limp through the weekend into this afternoon (both of us still battling feeling ill) when we finished it for lunch instead of the order of pizza and chef salad we would have went with or fried chicken from the local restaurant.

I went to Aldi's for my fruits and vegetables. They have good food a lot cheaper than other stores.I got $3 off 2 different packages of refrigerated ravioli that they will no longer carry. They don't sale well here.

 I shopped Krogers for the sales and moved our grocery day from Thursday to Friday so we could get double fuel points. I had over $25 in coupons and clearance there.

Still about 1/4 under budget, we run mid-month to mid-month. WHICH was good as the printer DIED and that's not something we can go long without and we went to physically see the one I picked out to order on line at a store we were going by anyways between deliveries to the kids and found one like we used to have that was over $200 for $110(about $50 cheaper than the one I had planned to buy). So I paid for it out of the grocery money and STILL am under budget. That money now goes back for meat in the fall.

My older daughter gave me some skorts that a co-worker was getting rid of, they were big on my daughter so she knew they would fit me. Means the fabric I just bought can be saved for later or used for something else. A couple of the skorts still had tags on them.

I did/do have 2 stress fractures in my feet...I have tape and knew how to deal with that. Will have to get new shoes as these are definitely worn out and no longer supporting my feet. I try not to wait too long because I do get stress fractures easy (bones in ball of feet too close together) and KNOW better.SO buying a new set of every day shoes is on the to do list this week.

I'm still dealing with issues of my nose....see the ENT doctor on Friday and hopefully (probably wishful thinking) he can do something about the constant blockage on the left side and the bruising that turns even my right eye lids black and blue. I thought the first round of surgery had dealt with the issues, seems like it just transferred the problem to the other side of my nose even though BOTH sides were fixed. LOL  The BLESSING is I do NOT have nose bleeds any more...probably just jinxed myself.So the expense of tissues is WAY down.

I have cut the electric bill down again. Even the landlord was shocked as it's NEVER been this low in over 10 yrs. I think I just walk behind my Hubby and unplug and turn off things.

I continue to use the water filter pitcher for our drinking water and coffee makers instead of buying water.

I used the empty water jugs to fill for emergency water. Figured I wouldn't be making coffee in the coffee maker if there was no electric to run the pump.

I started putting back distilled water for the humidifier for this fall and winter. Figured I could pick up a case (3-1 gal jugs) a couple times a week I should have enough to get a good start this fall. It takes 21 galls a week during Dec - Feb. BUT by keeping the humidity up, we can keep the heat down and we don't have the sinus problems either.

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Blessed be

2016 International Year of the Pulses

Which is dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Check this out for more information of eating Mediterranean.

A cook book my son suggested and I love is Italian Country Cooking  The Secrets of Cucina Povera by Loukie Werle. My favorite being Pancetta,red wine and radicchio risotto.

My Nonna (actually my great uncle's mother in law, my adopted by heart grandma) was from the old country...Italy...Northern Italy. They raised cattle so beef there and here. Meals are more "earthy" in the north than the south that has access to the sea and it's food. More cream and butter in the north with more tomatoes and salads in the south.

I loved and felt more at home at Nonna's than any where else. Looking back I know it was the lifestyle and the food that I was comfortable with.

My parents grew up eating beans, fried potatoes if they had it, bread....and if they had it,milk gravy and bread or oatmeal for breakfast. My Dad never saw a day that there wasn't something on the table to eat.My Mom wasn't so lucky. There was time neither of them got anything for Christmas or their birthdays but felt lucky because the family was together and could sing together. Other families during the Great Depression didn't have their families together.

In that, Mom wasn't much of a cook, Dad actually was better, being the only boy and the middle child he was taught by his sisters(his mom was disabled completely), Mom taught me to read a recipe, Dad taught me to cook without one.

Nonna....raised poor, married poor,  and lived a different way.I learned about frugal meals that were flavorful and healthy. How to grow vegetables that my parents had never heard of and how to preserve them.

Now that I'm older I understand that the convenience of our food has caused our health more harm than it has ever given with easy it was suppose to be.

Check out oldways

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 7th , my frugal week

Rascal My Garden buddy. He will stay with me even during the hottest part of the day so I set my timer to make sure he (and myself) get a break from the sun and get a good drink of water. I can toss his ball that he usually goes no where without into the shade and sometimes he will just lay there with it as long as he can see me

Volunteer garlic, ended up being 30 plants I transferred to another garden as we were digging that old one up completely and had moved what herbs were in it to another garden.Makes up for the garlic that didn't grow over the winter. I do better with fall planted garlic so we will see how this goes.

Kira, or Miss Kira as our daughter that talked me into going to the no kill shelter that thought it was closing its door to get her due to her being a black lab retriever like our daughter's late dog and being named Kira like her....She is her daddy's girl. IF he is sleeping she is either in the room beside the bed with him or at the bedroom door. She check on me but she prefers to be protecting her daddy.

 We went to auction and got most of the plants I wanted/needed. What we didn't get we got at an Amish green house (low priced), our local hardware store (had a sale) and Walmart (on Sale). We had to buy potting soil for straw bales and garden dirt for the sq ft gardens that needed redone . Kind of kicked our rears for not buying the garden dirt last fall when it goes on clearance but since we were buying so much the manager discounted it for us.STILL we came in under budget for the gardens compared to the last 3 yrs of about 1/3 rd.

 I stopped looking at the sales ads from the local grocery stores when they come in. If I don't NEED anything, I'm not going and seeing something on sale triggers the "might not find it cheaper and have to go without" even though there is no place for it...Hoarding is NOT good . Pantry and freezers are full.Frig isn't crowded.I am trying to use up some condiments that we don't use often to get them out of the frig and NOT restock them.

I did some ordering using coupons, sales, swagbucks... I got some patterns of clothes of the style I prefer to wear that was on clearance, saving 80%. I saved 50% off my order for nonfood pantry items and we saved 50% of getting our lawn mowers fixed and regular maintenance by having one of Hubby's coworkers do it instead of the local shop. Hubby doesn't do that type of thing.

We have to buy drinking water here as the well water even ran through a whole house filter system isn't fit to drink or even using in the coffee maker. I found my old water filter pitcher, got new filters for it and ran water through it. After figuring out the price of filters etc we will save about 50% using the filter. Since we don't drink cold water I don't have to deal with it taking up space in the frig.

We ate out twice, once with friends and the other while going to auction, both times using coupons and then got ice cream...not with coupon.

We didn't throw out any food...nothing. Usually something slips by but not this week.

What have you done frugal?

Blessed Be

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Goals


I plan to be harvesting strawberries and rhubarb. I plant to plant these vegetables and more (this is only about 1/3 of what I plant). Friday we will be going back to the Amish produce auction to hopefully be able to get the last of the vegetables we plant as it is a lot cheaper to buy it there than even the green house.

I plan to eat more from the pantry, eat 5 veggies and 3 fruit a day along drinking more water and walking the perimeter more often with the dogs. I plan to start back up on my yoga that I had to quit doing while dealing with the nose issues.I plan to be better organized about our meals. I don't think I can do the cook today, left over tomorrow as our one son does because Hubby takes leftovers for his lunch. I will have to make sure I prep as with the gardens going in and everything else, I won't want to walk in the house at 4 pm and wonder how to get dinner on the table by 5 pm when everything is frozen. I do have an Instantpot that two of my kids rave about their own. They forget to thaw and it seems to save them from eating out. One is single and the other is a family of 7 (or more depending on how many friends are at the table).

I plan to continue "decluttering/down sizing" what we have and deep cleaning and winterizing as I go.

I plan to finish getting stuff to start using the smoker that is attached to our grill and to use BOTH regularly.

I plan to create a picnic area close to the grill, an area for the portable fire pit and deal with a couple areas that we step off the front porch that is starting to be a mud spot instead of a grass area.

I plan to do my sewing on a regular bases. No sense having the fabric if I'm not going to use it.

I plan to start working on some afghans that the family needed mended and crafts for the Christmas gifts and new great grandson that is due in Aug.

I plan to paint the room I want to turn into my craft room.

I plan to get out of bed earlier as I think I am starting to over sleep...after of years of not sleeping well, the nose surgery side benefit was I can stay asleep. I didn't have sleep apena, was tested for that more than once.

I have a some classes I want to do that are available when I can work them in.

Have a Great May.

Blessed Be