Monday, October 23, 2017

In the pantry...

We went shopping for personal items and then I was rummaging around for Christmas presents and decided to straighten this area up. It's part of the pantry.. personal items, dog stuff etc but I keep it upstairs in the corner of the boys room... we don't have any kids living with us but I call the one bedroom boys rooms (most of the grandkids are boys) and then there is Becka's room even though I have some granddaughters besides Becka, she's the only one that can tolerate being in the boonies to stay. Boys love the barn and cattle.

FYI... We decided to stock for a year. Hubby is retiring (5 wks 4 days, not that I am counting or anything) as he does have other offers of work that is part time and seasonal on top of finding out ALL our doctors will be out of network with the new insurance turning a 80/20 plan into a 60/40 plan instead along with $10,000 deductible after paying $1000 a month for the insurance. YES we know we are BLESSED even with that because we know others that are paying $2000 a month and higher deductible than us.SO until we see how things goes financially we decided to stock EVERYTHING for a year since I already do that with the food.

I even stocked extra humidifier treatment and Mr Clean, I cut the squares in half, it's the only thing I can use on my enamel coated pans.

Tea and coffee along with water is the major drinks here. Our Bunn coffee maker doesn't let us reuse the grounds by adding more, makes a total mess when we tried it a couple times. I can only drink Folgers and Maxwell house, rest rips my Crohn's up. So we cut back on no more than 3 cups of coffee (Hubby drank 3 pots of coffee) and we drink tea in the afternoons and evenings ..The big red boxes of tea are top right of bookcase Yes I stocked dental treats for Rascal.That's a year supply for him.

The dog items (actually there is some cat items also) is for the 4 legged grand-babies for Christmas.
If I don't have a Crohn's attack then this will last closer to 2 years.If I have one attack cut it down to 18 months two attacks it's a year. It will be frugal for me to NOT have any (besides the fact it's out of network and horrible to go through) and to do that I have to take my meds...

My VSL#3 is NOT cheap  even for over counter and my insurance will not cover it even with a prescription. I look for it on sale and have gotten lucky enough to find it twice at a price I can afford that scored me 4 bottles each time. My doctor would love to have me drop the dosage but we fear it will trigger an attack and that will make it all worse.

The only part of the pantry left not organized is my spice and herb cabinet and the dried fruit/veggie cabinet...maybe by the end of the week.

Blessed Be 

Third week Oct...Frugal good and bad

Rascal is pouting... It was Monday morning... trash goes to the road and he gets a ride around the block (so does Mommy 😉) BUT this week Hubby was on first shift for EMT classes so he took the trash when he left for work at 5 AM...we didn't get a ride around the block (4 miles total for the block here.) So there was no reason for Mommy to go around the block either.

Five days we ate from the pantry.One of those was a failure as I roasted a chicken knowing we both would be worn out by dinner time with his classes (11 hr work day) and me in the gardens pulling the last of the harvest to go with the apples we were given. This is sitting in the mudroom for me to finish up this week.

We ate the chicken the first night, ate beef cubes ( that I thought was beef cubed steak)cooked with mushrooms and onions and baked potatoes with the line of thinking we would finish the chicken the next night as chicken and dumplings... that didn't happened due to me falling and injuring the arm I just had surgery on...pit stop at WENDY'S after I was checked out. (not torn but definitely pulled muscles that are tight still from the surgery) ... and the next night was PIZZA which feed us dinner and 2 lunches) after 18 hrs of working in the gardens and yard work that Hubby picked up on his way back from taking the tiller back to a friend that lent us his big one. He woke me up when he got in as I had sat down after showering and went to sleep, I barely remember eating.Chicken got dumped in trash with big reminder that the night we have the roasted chicken (which needs to be no later than Saturday so the bones can go to trash at road on Monday morning and not sit in the trash can all week for the wild life to take interest in) that the leftovers goes in the stock pot that evening and dealt with BEFORE BED on the SAME night.

We didn't go to Sam's club again or Lock 16 for a belated birthday meal for Hubby. Looks like Nov. for that now. I started going through the recipes for Christmas cookies and candy so if there is anything missing I can add it to this list.

We did score with a savings of 42% at Dollar General on stocking up the pantry of personal items and 63% at CVS on medical supplies Hubby felt we needed and 29% at Kroger's that was on odds and ends they had sales on, I had coupons and it was on the we use but not necessary list. The young lady at Dollar General made a point of showing me my receipt and letting me know I had another $7 in savings in coupons.

I use my herb tea bags twice and regular tea bags 3 times and found if I put those 2 together I can get another cup of tea.

I put together some Christmas presents with what I had..

I washed foil, box inserts (thanks kid for bringing me yours). Used homemade laundry soap and vinegar for the softener in the laundry , hung what I could on the drying rack and dried the heaviest first in the dryer so there is no reboot at the end of laundry due to something not getting dried completely. We turn off the furnace during the day (even today with no sunshine to warm the house). All the winter curtains on the main floor are up. The staircase doors to the upstairs and basement are kept shut with an old wool blanket at the bottom of the upstairs door so the cold air doesn't seep on down. Winter bedding is on the bed, warm throws on the backs or arms of furniture if we get chilly sitting. I added water to lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and dish soap. I wipe my razor blade with rubbing alcohol. Grandpa was a barber and told me to always do this so it would last longer even with disposable blades. I am able to use mine about a month of regular shaving.

I made apple bread to use up some of the apples for our breakfast and snacks over the weekend.

Hope you had a frugal week.
Blessed Be

End of the gardens

It always makes me sad to wrap it up... part relieved as it means the days are not so busy even with produce sitting in the mudroom to be processed.
But I did take one last picture of the flowers before the straw bales were hauled away. Next year we will be trying raised garden rows like Old World Garden Farms.

Hubby tilled up the north garden and then planted annual rye for the winter cover crop. That's the rhubarb patch behind him that I will divide up in the spring. This is from the other way.Rascal is trying to figure out where everything went.He is back by the pole where the peonies were and his potties on them.

These south square foot gardens have the fall garlic, some spring flower bulbs as the flower garden beside the house is coming up and the far end one has the strawberries.
We call this with fond memories "the tomato patch" because the first year we tilled it up was because we had 50 extra tomato plants and no where to put them.Hubby tilled this also and put rye in it. We don't PLAN to plant it but we never know.

This is at the far end of the tomato patch. It is my herb garden. There is still garlic chives, chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and curly parsley growing. I cut everything back for winter but as warm is it is right now and the rain we are getting today I can see having a small harvest if we don't get the frost like they forecasted for this week.

This one we left even knowing we will have to deal with it in the cold. I did pick the green beans off the scarlet runner beans on the trellis and have them drying to replant next year in the north garden. There are a few blooms still on it and the birds are picking at it's leaves. The flowers bloomed after the mole ate through the box and seemed to fill out more... must have needed thinned??? 

The wind is blowing the leaves off the maple trees today. It's dreary, wet and cool...not cold as that is  yet to come... just a reminder that the circle of life continues.

Nine weeks to Christmas

We do gag gifts for the kids and grandkids...great grandson gets toys. Older  family gets food gifts or something along that line.

The story on these gifts is I was putting the boxes together and taping them, putting the gift inside and then tape the top... got almost through them and glanced at the table and realized I forgot to put the gift inside... gag on me LOL.

While searching for something else I ran across and present we had bought last year for a friend but sent something else instead. They are getting it this year.

I've rechecked the list for cookies and candy... Cookies are set but I need to pull a few more candy recipes. We have some tried and true and always a few new. I check ingredients as I pull the recipe.

We STILL haven't made it to Sam's club (or Lock 16 steak house for Hubby's birthday. It looks like it's a Nov 4th run almost a month after his birthday. Guess that is the best since I am just now going through the recipes.

We have started going through the Christmas decorations as we picked up at yard sales and need to check them for lights etc.

Still a little frustrated that a gift we thought was going to be good was a back to the drawing board to replace that one.

Are you getting ready for the holidays?