Friday, November 25, 2016

Frugal Black Friday

Last night we had Thanksgiving dinner in a friend's home. Their son and his lady came in late as they had dinner at her parents home. The talk was of shopping on Black Friday. They were getting up and going here and there and the scores they wanted to get and where...when the young lady stated it wasn't a big deal to her if she even went let alone got what she had listed. The silence that followed probably came from shock. Hubby turned to me and asked what I was buying on Black Friday. I calmly looked at him and said NOTHING. Most of my shopping is done, we do gag gifts, homemade cookies and candies (Buckeyes and snickerdoodles are required 🙂) since we have so many. I give the gift on myself.

The best gift I (Hubby and I ) can give my family is our time. We live over an hour away from all of the family due to Hubby's work. So if I can go visit, even for an hour it's a memory they have . A lot of the children and grandkids that are now adults live in the same area so I can make the rounds. I just have to time it with their schedules (HA HA) and money for gas. Our parents live in the same area (over an hour from us and closer to hour and half from grandkids) so we make that a trip. I take food to our family, our parents are living on social security and the kids are trying to make ends meets with large families.

My parents on the other hand always went shopping Black Friday and on Boxing Day (day after Christmas) They shopped where my mother's sister worked and the store allowed the sister to use her employee discount for my parents as my parents had raised her and her twin. That was a frugal choice that allowed them to give a bit more to my brother and me.

I will say today we will be doing some shopping (me with a cane as I have sprained my ankle and now have tendonitis on top of it that has not mixed with my Cerebral palsy) We need a generator. Last couple years we have lost power which means we have no water as we live in the country. When we moved here the landlord had use of his uncle's generator when he bought this house from him until there was a spat between the two of them over not being honest about the condition of the house. After that we have borrowed a couple times from others that wasn't out of power. We found what we were looking for on sale and we have saved up enough to buy it so we will go get it today.I hope we don't have to use it.

Blessed be

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nov Food thoughts after talking to Hubby

I told Hubby I posted my Nov shopping list and it was mainly for Tday dinner as the pantry was full.

He immediately asked if we need another small deep freezer as we have no turkeys in the freezers. Nor do we have pork roasts, pork loin(for roasts and chops) or beef roast after I make Tday beef and noodles.

So we talked it over, as I do not think we need another freezer and do not know where we would put one unless it went to the garage which is already full because the garden stuff is there since the landlord put baby calves (just off bottle) in the pig barn where we stored the garden stuff and I haven't had time to clear the farrowing house to move the garden stuff to it so I can get my car in the garage this winter.

ANYWAYS... HA HA. Sidetracked there. We decided on three -five hams and 3 turkeys if the price doesn't drop up to 6 turkeys if it drops enough. I will cook all the turkeys except one or two depending on how many we get and what room I can make by shifting things around.

Also we decided on 50 lbs of potatoes for Tday and 50 for our storage.We might pick up another 50 in December. Save a Lot here will allow us to order 50 lbs at a reasonable price that is lower per pound than 10 lb bags.

I took another look at the pantry. We have over 100 lbs of different rices, We have over 100 lbs of onions,plenty of frozen corn,home canned green beans, a mixture of zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant,broccoli, cauliflower,bell peppers and green and red tomatoes in the freezers along with the home canned tomatoes. We have delicata squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash and jack be littles pumpkins for our winter squashes. I am okay on pasta over 50 lbs , a couple shapes I would like to have for certain dishes but I won't get them unless they are on sale.

We could use about 5-10 lbs more of sweet potatoes. Maybe more if I make sweet potato chips in the dehydrator.

I need about 6 bags of peas and carrots mixed. I will get it when they have frozen veggies on sale. I use them in my fried rice.A bag last us two months unless I serve them as a side and then it's one month

I need dried beans. I gave some to one of my kids when they lost their job and haven't replaced them yet.

We need canned 3 bean salad. They don't sell canned yellow wax beans around here or I would get that instead and make my own 3 bean salad.

We need canned pineapple. Crushed, chunks, rings yep...a case of all 3.

We need dried cranberries, they usually go on sale this time of year. Might grab a couple bags of fresh for the freezer because I am the only one that likes them,dried, Hubby will eat them.

Butter, I stock up on butter. I found a recipe to can butter that I haven't tried yet but I know we go through at least a pound of butter a month without baking

Blessed be

Monday, November 7, 2016

Making frugal choices

Every once in awhile I check out this site. Not that I base my food budget on it but it definitely shows the rise in the cost of food.

It looks so empty now. The flowers are blooming quite well, the white thing is the row cover put over the eggplant.

We chose to go get the last of the LED bulbs we needed to replace, we figured we could either spend the money now or the next 3 months when our electric bill is at it's highest.So all of that is done. We have found that we can use the lower wattage and get a brighter light than what we were getting with the CFL so we are not turning on as many lights as we were.

We used the Kroger points to get 60¢ off (200 pts for surveys) for gas (truck)

We used the Wagner IGA points to get 25¢ off for gas (ford top off)

I have dehydrated eggs and cayenne peppers and roasted several eggplants(and put in freezer).

We cleared the gardens except for the herbs, lettuce and one lonely eggplant that had 2 eggplants on it that is not quite ripe. I covered them with a row cover to help protect it. If they don't ripen by this weekend I will have to let them go as we get our first hard freeze. I will finish the harvest before that frost is here. I covered the eggplant because I can buy lettuce out of season but I can't buy eggplants.Since I need all the colors of veggies and fruit , eggplant in the freezer helps keep the costs down for filling in that blue/black/purple.I have the green tomatoes on trays under the bed and about half of them sitting to be cut and dehydrated with seasoned salt. I have bell peppers that should turn red or yellow in paper bags also under the bed. I check these every two days so when they are about 1/2 turned I put them in the mudroom in the morning sun.

We had the furnace off during the middle of the day

curtains open when it starts getting daylight and closed at dusk

power strip turned off to computer.

I use the junk mail and envelopes for scratch paper.

We went out with friends for dinner , went at lunch time and used a coupon.

I changed some of what we will be serving to our Tday dinner to what I already have to keep the costs down.The budget is $800 So far I have less than $10.I am hoping for the price of turkeys to go down because right now we need 108 lbs and that comes to over $150.00 as they are running $1.39/lb. Last year I had four in the freezer but didn't restock those.I really really need space in the deep freezers so I am using some of the older stuff for our Tday.

I used the clothes line.

We no longer have to mow which saves us 5 gal of gas every 7-10 days. Since there is cattle in the barn here the landlord's sons will be clearing our driveway,not before Hubby gets home from work in the mornings as one is still in highschool and the other works second. So instead of buying a snow blower (unless we find a good used one we can afford) we will be buying a generator something we have been going without. Not good as when I lose power I lose the water since we are on a well.

What did you do this week ?
Blessed be

Friday, November 4, 2016

Nov Shopping plans

We have Thanksgiving day dinner the Sunday before due to several family member working and being a divorced parent, grandparent.

So the majority of my shopping is for this dinner as we provide most of the food. I will not be buying
green tomatoes or onions except green onions LOL 

as we have finished most of the harvest and pulled plants. I got the plants out to the field (we don't do much compost due to using sq ft gardens and straw bales) before they came through and disk the field for the winter.. Composted the field you could say.

As for the dinner we serve the average of 40. Most are big eaters or grazers that end up eating a lot also. We provide most the food. This year it will be at our son's as he bought his house and has the best parking area. I'll be going to his home to do the majority of the cooking there the week before (feel for him as I pack my kitchen stuff into his house LOL) My older daughter is bring ham and sweet potatoes. Another daughter and granddaughter is going to help prep if their schedules allow them to that is,We have deep fried turkeys (4-6 depending on RSVP and sizes) homemade noodles, turkey noodles and beef noodles, 30-50 lbs of mashed potatoes. several vegetables sides, around 40 pies (plus I make a dessert for each person to take home as part of their Christmas gift), mini cheesecakes , homemade bread and rolls and appetizers . Usually there is 100 different dishes including the desserts,I have most of the flours,eggs and veggies. Today I will be writing out what I still need and the schedule of cooking along with equipment I need to take.  I budget $800 for this meal. It came in around $750 last year even with the family growing.

Blessed be