Saturday, October 15, 2016

Frugal Friday - Middle of October

My husband and son hiking this summer.

We're heading toward Ordination and Installation this week - whee!  What a busy time this is!   My parents are here and I'm so grateful.  There are all sorts of things that they can help with and leave us free to do more pressing things.  It's also just lovely to have them here!  These visits are so precious.

Some frugal things from the last week:

* Made meatloaf, cornbread, vegetable-barley soup, and cookies at home this week.

* Mom did a bunch of yardwork for us - thanks Mom!

* Scrubbed the kitchen within an inch of it's life this week.  It looks great!  Now we just need to finish painting.

* Lowered the hem on two pairs of pants for my son this week.  Sewed a button back on my spring/fall jacket.  Sewed the last of my son's Cub Scout patches on his vest.  We'll hang that in his room with his Arrow of Light as a decoration. 

* Ordered my son a new winter jacket on clearance sale.  Saved over $40!

* Spent more time cleaning out and my husband took another load of items to the thrift store.

* We picked pumpkins from the yard and our children brought home a HUGE pumpkin from an event at school.

* Used a refund from insurance to buy new shoes for the ordination and my parents bought my son a white dress shirt and red tie.

* Renewed books from the library and returned a few items. We checked out a new audio book to listen to in the car.

* We spent a lot of time this week finalizing plans for Ordination.  I'm REALLY  looking forward to it and I'm going to be happy when it's over all at the same time!

What did you do this week?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 9, 2016

I'm missing my zinnias already!  The frost got them all as well as our pumpkins, the tomatoes and the peppers.  I guess that means it's officially fall!  I still have a few zinnias on our table and the piano and I will enjoy them while I can.  We'll get all those dead plants pulled out sometime this week.

We are in full swing with everything and my parents are coming for a visit for John's Ordination and will be with us for about 3 weeks.  They arrive tomorrow.  Other family will be coming in as well to stay for varying amounts of time.  We're certainly busy with preparations and all the other regular happenings!

Sunday, October 9, 2016:
     Breakfast:  Peanut Butter Toast or Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies
     Lunch: Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Banana-Strawberry-Apple Salad
     Snacks: Fruit
     Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli  (the children and I, John was at a funeral)

Monday, October 10, 2016
    Breakfast: Waffles from the Freezer, Bananas
    Lunch: Leftover Stuffed Squash from Saturday
    Snack: Apples
    Dinner: Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Couscous, Maple Glazed Brussel's Sprouts

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Craisins and Almonds
   Lunch: Leftover Meatloaf and Couscous
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Vegetable Barley Soup in the Crockpot, Bread, Sliced Apples

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
    Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, Bananas
    Lunch: Leftover Soup and Bread
    Snack: Carrot Sticks
    Dinner: Roasted Butternut Squash, Chicken Flavored Rice with Spinach

Thursday, October 13, 2016
    Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
    Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Yogurt, Carrot Sticks
    Snack: Crackers
    Dinner: Turkey Sandwiches, Carrots and Celery, Apple-Strawberry-Grape Salad

Friday, October 14, 2016
    Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
    Lunch: Leftover Soup and Bread
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

Saturday, October 15, 2016
    Brunch: Spinach and Bacon Fritatta, Banana-Grape-Apple Salad
    Dinner: Turkey, Spinach Salad, Roasted Potatoes
    Dessert: Apple Crisp

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Frugal Friday - The first full week in October

This was John's first full week in his new Call.  I'm feeling a bit like I've been tossed in the air an haven't landed yet - we're figuring out schedules and new responsibilities and all that jazz.  It's been good and crazy and I'm so happy we're here!   I figure by the time the new church year starts in late November, we'll be settled into a routine again.  That I'm looking forward to.
This week we picked a lot of produce.  We had our frost this week - it was supposed to be  a hard freeze but turned out to just be a frost.  We had picked all the produce possible just in case, so now we have green tomatoes all over the kitchen!   
We still have green pumpkins on this monster - yep that's a single pumpkin plant and that's not even all of it - it extends in both directions both right and left as well!   We have harvested 9 and there are 4 more that the voles have taken care of.  So a total of 13 pumpkins so far and another 4 that are ripening.  We have a second plant that also went crazy this year but not quite this big.  We've harvested 5 pumpkins off that one and 2 were vole food from that one.   

Our butternut and acorn squash plants were done for the year so we cut the fruit and brought them in  and then pulled up the plants.  We didn't catch this one before his was hopelessly caught in the edging, so we pulled up the edging and brought it in too.  It's just wedged into the ironwork and not grown around it, so it should be fine to eat.  We'll eat that early this next week.:

Other frugal things this week:

* We made cornbread, pizza, French toast, sugar cookies, beef stew and chicken noodle soup at home this week.

* I processed pumpkins from the garden so we could use the pumpkin later this year.   I toasted the seeds for snacking. Delicious!

* We did a lot of end of season clean-up in the yard - head heading, removing annuals and vegetable plants after they were done and doing a final reading.

* I picked the rest of the zinnias and put them in the living room and on the kitchen table.

* A parishioner gave us a Hubbard squash as a "welcome tot he community" gift. Yum!

* I caught up the ironing again (I feel really accomplished when that happens!).

* We've kept the heat off and opened the curtains to let the sun heat up the house during the day.  Our upstairs/main level has really poor air flow so this happens pretty quickly.

* I purchased a new dress for my husband's Ordination service on clearance sale for $40. Original price?  $160!  Whoot!

* I polished several pairs of leather shoes.

* I tacked a fallen hem on a pair of my husband's pants and sewed a button back on to one of his suit jackets.

* The children went to work with my husband on their day off.  They watched videos on the computer and played on the air hockey table in the youth room while my husband did his work.  They also played Frisbee in the church parking lot.  We didn't have to pay for someone to watch them that day.

What did you do that was frugal this week?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Super Savings - October's Beginning!

I can't believe October is here already!   Where did September go?  We dug out some of the fall decorations this week and dug out some of the dead veggies in the garden.  The nights are getting cooler and the leaves are starting to turn. 
I guess that means it's officially fall. 
We've had rain, rain and more rain lately.  I went to pick the Rose Hips and most were moldy or rotten so I scrapped that plan.  May be next year.  I'm starting to feel like we need a boat or something with all the rain we've been having.  The perk?  Beautiful skies like this one:
The down side?  Hail!  We've had hail twice now.  This is a photo from the first round, about a week and a half ago.  Sigh. 

All that said, the weather we had this weekend was beautiful!   Couldn't ask for better weather.  Middle temperatures, nice light breeze, plenty of sunshine - just perfect! 

Here's our frugal and not-so frugal week:

* Returned some items that didn't fit and exchanged them for ones that did.

* Had our oven repaired.  It went out last week and we opted to have it repaired rather than buying anew one - under $200, including the repairman's time,  for an oven that works better than it has in years!

* Made homemade pizza, pancakes, and chili this week. 

* Picked tomatoes, green beans and acorn squash from the garden this week.

* Moved John into his new office at work this week - he has a great space and a beautiful, well laid out church to work at. 

* John started his new Call this week.  The congregation is so excited to have us and we're excited to be there!

* We enjoyed the treats at worship services both last Sunday and today.

* We finished making and mailing Ordination invites this week using things we had and two sheets of printed craft paper I bought for about $1.   Since we had most things on hand we only needed to buy the paper and buy stamps.  I was really happy to use up some of the things we've had for a while.

* I cut flowers from the yard for the kitchen table. 

* We used decorations we already have to start decorating for fall.  We'll do more this week.

* I taught two extra Jazzercise classes and was paid extra for those.

* I did some sewing this week, finishing a couple things that I've been working on for a while.  That makes me feel good.

* We picked up books and videos at the library and watched a few videos online.

* We enjoyed the children's school Fun Run fundraiser.  We ran or walked the 5K, played games and ate treats.  The best part? Talking to all our friends!   We had a blast, the school raised a ton of money and we didn't have to sell anything!

What did you do this week that was frugal?

Friday, September 30, 2016

My Friday Belly Laugh

So, John asked me to help him with picking out hymns for his Ordination Service.  As we were working our way through what is fondly known as the "New Red Hymnal", we came across this:

"All Depends on Our Possessing"

Listed under the heading of "Grace".

(Evangelical Lutheran Worship #589, if you're interested and have a copy).

The combination of the title and the heading gave me the biggest belly laugh I've had in a while. 
I guess that's what happens when you have a hymn without a title and you take the first four or so words of the hymn and make that the title.
The entire first line of the hymn reads as follows:
 "All depends on our possessing God's free grace and constant blessing." 
Whew.  I was worried there for a moment.
What gave you a good laugh today?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Super Savings - More Produce and a bit of shopping

We had our CSA's fall Harvest Party this weekend.  At the party, the CSA owner puts out any "leftover" vegetables and fruit that they can't use themselves.  We brought home lots of Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and HUGE parsnips.  I'm so excited!  

We also picked three more pumpkins, several more tomatoes, chocolate peppers and green beans from the yard.  There were even some more strawberries - enough for us to each get a couple.  They are heirloom variety so they're tiny but flavorful.  I'm really hoping they come back well next year!

At the grocery store this week we bought $36.02 worth of groceries ($0.16 in sales tax).  Here's what we purchased (no pictures because we were on the way back out the door after dropping these at home):

S&W Black Beans 2 15oz cans @ $0.69 = $1.38
Toilet Cleaner $2.19
Baby Spinach 2 @ B1G1 = $2.99
Apples 4.63lbs @ $1.39/lb = $6.44
Black Plums 2.06lbs @ $1.99/lb = $4.10
Russet Potatoes 2 5lb bags @ B1G1 = $2.49
Strawberries 2lbs @ $2/lb = $4
Mozzarella Ball $4.99
Gallon 1% Milk $3.00
Smart Balance Spread $2.99
1 dozen eggs $1.29

Total including tax $36.02
Total Saved according to store receipt $9.15 or 20%.

We've had voles in our back yard so some of the pumpkins have gnaw marks - nothing that broke though - but I will bake and freeze those pumpkins this week.  The rest of the squash will be stored and used later.  We still have several winter squash coming and I'm planning on harvesting rose hips this week too.  I've never done that before but I love rose hip tea and I'd like to try to make that myself this year.  We have lots of rose hips so I'm hopeful I will be successful. 

Come back Monday to see what we're eating!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Frugal Friday - There's a cross in my tomato....

How's that for a surprise when I cut open a tomato from our garden this week?   I had to take a photo, since it was so unusual.   Even our children commented on how unusual it was. 

It's been another busy week around here.  John starts his new position next week and I'm really excited to start a new routine.  There have been several viruses going around at work and I've been trying to make sure I get enough sleep and exercise and eat well.  So far so good!  I'm hoping it continues!

I feel like this week was a week of a lot of doing rather than much of anything else. Our grocery shop last week was quite a bit higher than I would have liked so this week we're hoping to keep it low again.  I feel like we didn't do much this week but I'm not so sure.

Here are some of the things we did this week that we "frugal":

* Ate one meal at church for the Capital Campaign kickoff and brought home several small bags of leftover crackers.  The meal was delicious!

* We picked lots of veggies from the garden this week - including strawberries!  I can't believe our strawberry plants are still producing!   I'll take it!

* We finished the current round of painting in our house and rehung all the decorations, rearranging some things.
* Made soft pretzels and waffles from scratch at home this week.
* We ate all but that one meal at home or brown-bagged meals.
* Scrubbed the kitchen cabinets and walls in preparation for painting last this next week.
* Went to bed early several nights this week so that I stayed healthy. 
* Returned two pairs of slacks that didn't fit my son.  Received store credit for the slacks which we'll use to buy something else later.
* Picked some more of my dwindling flowers to decorate the kitchen table.
* Dug out the fall decorations we already owned and started decorating the house for fall.   Our daughter wants to make a few more decorations too so we'll do that this next week. 
What did you do this week that might count as frugal?