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Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 2, 2018

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Storm clouds rolling in last week - very beautiful but more than slightly worrying!  These were south of us, so the rain we received was just that - rain, along with some wind.  There were other areas that received far more rain than they needed and even had flooding.  I am very grateful that we did not.  We had had several strong storms this year and I am grateful to have some rain instead.

The weather is supposed to be cooling off a little this week with perfect fall temperatures and off and on rain. I think I'm ready for fall and a routine again.  School starts this week and I think we are all ready to get into a routine.

We bought a small number of groceries this week and collected our CSA, which included zucchini, cucumbers, beets and a few other things.  We have plenty of food and I am enjoying all the fresh vegetables. We are still harvesting tomatoes, lettuce, and winter squash from the garden.  We had house guests for a couple of days over the weekend and they brought it…

Frugal Friday - Week 35 of 52

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Our second "summer" event at the end of the summer here was to spend all day one day this last week at a friend's cabin.  The above photo is the children on a float behind a personal water craft.  They had a BLAST!  Both want to return as soon as possible and do it again.  That won't happen this fall but maybe next summer.  John went on the water craft with our friend and they hit a wake and rolled - he was soaked but fine and we all laughed because it was like watching slow-motion!  (No worries about the water craft - it shuts off if the driver falls off.) It was a great time and free other than gasoline to get there.  We were there with two other sets of friends - lawn games, a bonfire, fishing and really good food. It was a wonderful end to the summer.

School starts after Labor Day (September 3rd) so we are heading into school next week.  The children had Back to School Night this week where they bring all their school supplies and the communal school supplies fo…

Frugal Friday - Week 34 of 52

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We had a week that seemed very scattered this week - here and there and everywhere, it seemed!  We did make two plans for "summer" before summer finishes and one is our now-annual trip to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store in Jordan MN.  It is a hike from where we live but once a year it's SO worth it - we love to go and look more than anything else but the children love to buy a few things too.  It is not necessarily frugal but it's something we all look forward to and we can spend as little or as much as we want to.

I have to say my favorite part of the whole trip was a little girl - she looked preschool age - looking at a women I'm assuming is her mother in disbelief when she was told she could have both a package of gummy bears and a candy necklace!  It was SO cute!  Her eyes were so big and she looked so excited!

I also enjoyed watching our children explore all the different candies and other items that were available.  They have a lot of other items too -…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 19, 2018

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We have been having lots of this lately - along with BLTs (bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches) with fresh tomatoes and lettuce from the garden.  We have had a lot of roasted garden-fresh zucchini, carrots, potatoes, broccoli and kohlrabi on the sheet pans with either chicken or sausage.  I always feel so spoiled eating all the fresh garden produce!  It is so delicious!

We have a whole watermelon in our fridge picked straight from our garden and waiting to be cut this week as well as a pineapple, so you will see those on the menu left over from last week.  I am also planning on baking oatmeal cookies, no-bake chocolate cookies, and no-bake energy bites for snacks this week as well as bread for sandwiches and toast.

We have several events this week that are providing meals or snacks: one at church, one at a get-together with friends, a party with another group of friends, and two days where we will take a picnic lunch with us for the day, just to make things easier for us.

Here's…

Super Savings Saturday - August 18, 2018

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The above photo shows our garden harvest, the CSA box contents and our very messy table earlier this week.  We did a large grocery shop after our vacation, including many things to make freezer meals for the fall.  We will assemble those next week (and I'm hoping I can do a post too!).  The box of mango just visible in the back left is part of that - we sliced and froze them for smoothies later this fall.  They were just 88-cents each; a HUGE deal for around here!

The acorn squash and the small basket are the produce from our garden.  The basket contains a handful of green beans, cherry tomatoes and a purple pepper. 

The CSA box is the rest of the produce - cucumbers, baking potatoes, yellow zucchini, a variety of peppers, two onions, a bulb of garlic, green beans (in the plastic produce bag, back center), thyme, tarragon, one each purple and green kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and a produce bag of tomatoes (just visible on the right).

The produce from the garden was no cost out o…

Frugal Friday - Week 33 of 52

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It's Mid-August and more than halfway through the year.  This summer has felt like a sprint to me - Summer Session (Term) teaching, a two week vacation with my parents (a wonderful time!), and now getting ready for Fall Semester (Term).  We are planning a couple of lazy days in the next few weeks to make up for that. 

I fell off a ladder right after Summer Session was over (early July) and broke my left foot, so I have been in an immobilizing boot and using crutches since then.  That has really put a damper on the plans for summer - we had hoped to do a major cosmetic remodeling on the main level of our home.  We did get a few things done in spite of the broken foot and will hopefully get the rest finished before class starts.  I get the boot off today and should be able to do more, though I will need to be careful for a few more weeks.  It has healed well and I am grateful!

Here are the frugal things we managed to do this last week:

* We made soup, bread, no-bake energy bites, p…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of July 8, 2018

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We had a lovely, low-key Independence Day last week and then spent the rest of the week enjoying a family wedding.  It was one of those weddings that was just lovely and so enjoyable.  I am so happy we were able to attend! John officiated and it was a sheer joy for him to marry this lovely couple.   We also enjoyed delicious food and wonderful family time around the wedding itself.

This week, we're back to whatever passes for normal around here.  I have decided that "busy" is just the season we are in right now - with teen-age children, we have many activities, we both work outside the home and we have several church activities.  I am truly okay with that.  I just have to wrap my head around my time right now!

John and I made a trip to the grocery store on Monday afternoon and picked up a few things, including ground (mince) beef on sale for a very good price - limit of one 3lb package.  I separated the package into smaller portions and put them into the freezer so we …