Saturday, November 11, 2017

Frugal Things First Part of November

A fairy house that our daughter and a friend built.
It has been a crazy couple of weeks.  John has a synod meeting for a couple of days, we celebrated Reformation Day with the Confirmation of 8 young people at our church, there were two events at our children's school and we've been trying to get Christmas gifts started and the fall cleaning done around the house.  Whew! I have been trying to take a minimum amount of work home in the evenings and on the weekend for the last two weeks and it's been going okay. That still needs some tweaking but I'm pleased with it so far.  We are doing some big time planning for 2018. Hopefully, I can share that with you when we're through - I'm pretty excited by it!

Here are some things we've done that may count as frugal in the last week:

*Made coffee cake, calzones, bread sticks, and French bread.

* Returned books from the library and picked up some new books and a movie, stopped by later and picked up an item on hold.

* Froze bananas that were going bad to later.

* Made up a plan for making Christmas gifts for my family and our church employees.

* I spent quite a bit of time working on embroidery. This will be used later for gifts.

* Ate most meals at home or brown bagged meals.

* Ate one meal at a Confirmation Party, one meal out on a date with a gift card, and brunch at a friend's house.

* Decorated for Halloween and fall using decorations we already had.

* Finished winterizing the yard ourselves.

* Hemmed a pair of pants for my son.

* Tightened a button on my husband’s shirt.

* John brought home a huge apple pie from a parishioner. Yum!

* Cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom, including washing rugs and linens and cleaning light fixtures and vents.

* Used Amazon’s deal of the day and some gift cards to order an electronic item required for my job. Doing this saved me over $150!

* Attended a free concert.

* Attended a high school play today with super cheap tickets.

* Went to two craft fairs and bought a few Christmas presents. I'm more than halfway done with Christmas shopping. I just need to get sewing!

* Bought our son new tap shoes and jazz shoes using some store credit we had. His old pairs were too small.

* Stopped at Barnes and Noble to window shop and get updated Christmas lists. That's quite enjoyable and since we didn't buy anything, that was free.

* Updated the budget book and paid bills. Put together a spending plan for the rest of the year.

What did you do this past bit for frugal activities?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 29, 2017

Pan fried Yellow Zucchini breaded in cornmeal.

We had SO much zucchini this year. I can only shred and freeze so much, so we asked around for new recipes to try - we already had quite a list of our own. This was a recommendation from a friend.  It was perfectly good, though it's not a new favorite. It will make a nice addition to our menus when we need a break from our 'usual' recipes.

We have a kind of crazy week this week - with events two days this week and another event on Saturday .  That means we set up the menu to deliberately have leftovers for several meals.  We're eating mostly form the pantry and freezers as well. Normally, we'd still have a week or two before the garden stragglers are done but we had snow this last weekend, so we're officially done.  Sigh. 

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 29th, Confirmation Day (at church):
     Breakfast: Toast, Banana-Raspberry Smoothies
     Lunch: At various Confirmation Parties
     Snack: More Confirmation Parties
     Dinner: Meatball Soup, Cornbread

Monday, October 30,:
     Breakfast: Biscuits, Eggs, Applesauce
     Lunch: Leftover Soup
     Snack: Cut Veggies
     Dinner: Apple BBQ Chicken, Rice, Apple-Grape Salad

Tuesday, October 31, Reformation Day, All Hallows Eve, Halloween:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Dates and Walnuts
     Lunch: Leftover Chicken and Rice
     Snack: Cut Veggies
     Dinner: Leftover Meatball Soup

Wednesday, November 1:
     Breakfast: Lemon Scones, Banana-Peanut Butter Smoothie
     Lunch: Salad with Leftover Chicken and Cranberries
     Snack: Cut Veggies
     Dinner: Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Leftover Meatball Soup

Thursday, November 2:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Yogurt, Dates and Chia Seeds
     Lunch: Leftover Chicken and Rice
     Snack: No Bake Energy Bites
     Dinner: Roasted Potatoes, Yams, Cabbage, and Carrots, Homemade French Bread

Friday, November 3:
     Brunch: At a Friend's House
     Snack: No Bake Energy Bites
     Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

Saturday, November 4:
     Brunch: Potato and Ham Frittata, Applesauce    
     Snack: No Bake Energy Bites
     Dinner: At an Event
     Dessert: Root Beer Floats (a parishoner kindly give us a gift card to get ice cream in honor of my husband's ordination anniversary)

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Super Savings Saturday - $30.17 Shopping Trip

Holy cow - a post two days in a row! Are you as surprised as I am? *Grin*

No photo, though.  I just didn't get to that today when we went to the store.

We went to one store today.  We've been trying to really watch our pennies lately (long story that I may tell sometime) so we shopped today with what I had in my wallet. 

Here's what we purchased:

One 15oz can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)  $0.99
One 18oz jar of  Applesauce $1.99
1lb carrots $0.99
1.95lbs Harrelson Apples 1.95lbs @ $1.69/lb = $3.30
2.18lbs Yams 2.18lbs@ $0.99/lb = $2.16
One Red Mango $1.49
One gallon 1% Milk $3
Two 8oz Cheese 2 @ $0.99ea = $1.98
5 8oz Yogurt Cups 5 @ $3/5 = $3
Carving Pumpkins 2 @ $3.99 = $7.98

Total Spent: $30.17
Total Saved (According to the receipt)): $3.10 (9%)

We did not make it to the pumpkin patch this year so, we bought pumpkins so the children can carve pumpkins and roast seeds.  We had almost everything we needed for meals this week, so we just bought some basic produce - fruit and carrots - and dairy. We still have quite a bit of produce - green beans , tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and spinach. And enough meat for at least a short while.

Come back Monday to see what we're eating!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Frugal Friday - End of October

Tap.  Tap. Tap.  This thing still working?  *SMILE*

Yep, pretty sure this still works!

I hope everyone is well and having a good fall.

We have been busy.  All the typical things plus 3 funerals, 2 weddings, two family events, and a short trip to visit friends have taken up the weekends.  It's all been good. I'm really ready for a weekend at home! Thankfully, this is that weekend. Even better the children are off today and we got a cozy day at home.  Good thing too - it's snowing here in Minnesota today.  Not a ton of snow (what we usually call a 'dusting').

Anyhow, frugal things from the last week or so, now that I have time to pause:

* Made bread, soft pretzels, zucchini bread, and waffles here a home.

* Made soft pretzels with the Sunday School children at church as part of our month-long celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

* Used craft supplies and Lego's we had on hand to complete a school project the children needed to complete.

* Our daughter used ribbon we already owned and a charm she bought with babysitting money to make herself a necklace.

* I used fabric scraps from previous sewing to make a baby quilt for our niece, who is expecting her first baby next month.

* I cleaned out and reorganized the freezers. Then I made a menu through the end of the year, which means we can buy fewer groceries through the end of the year.

* Our son helped me pick green tomatoes this week, before the snow and freeze. I have them ripening in a paper bag on the windowsill in the kitchen.  We’ll enjoy BLT’s this next week.

* My husband brought home a loaf of banana-walnut bread and a jar of current jam from a local organization’s Pastor Appreciation dinner.  Yum!

* The children made Halloween costumes using what we had at home.  We did give them $5 each for any needed supplies.  Our son is going to be Poseidon from the Percy Jackson series – swim trunks he owns, a Hawaiian style shirt borrowed from my husband and a trident bought at a thrift store and painted with paint we had on hand.  Our daughter is a show girl, using a dance costume and tights from a previous year at dance, a pair of my shoes, a top hat bought at the thrift store and a wooden dowel painted black and white for a dance cane.  They turned out great!

I think that’s it for now.  What did you do this week that is frugal?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Menu Plan, er, Tuesday - Week of August 27, 2017

Last week of Summer Vacation!

Lots of veggies in the fridge this week, both from our yard and the CSA.  I seriously had three shelves full in the fridge of vegetables.  So, lots of vegetables this week!

John brought home part of a meat and cheese tray and about a dozen sandwich buns leftover from a church lunch and a parishioner gifted us with a dozen delicious cookies.  We're so spoiled! We did buy milk, strawberries, apples and spinach as well as some toiletries this week. We didn't need to buy much.

Sunday, August 27, 2017, Sunday
     Breakfast: Toast and Jam
     Lunch: Pasta with Sautéed Vegetables
     Snack: Popcorn, Cookies
     Dinner: I honestly don't remember 😊 Obviously something exciting! Ha, ha.

Monday, August 28, 2017, Monday:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with dates and walnuts
     Lunch: Sandwiches, Spinach Salad with strawberries and cucumbers
     Snack: Cookies
     Dinner: Baked Perch, Fried Zucchini, Strawberry-Apple Salad

August 29, 2017, Tuesday
     Breakfast: Pancakes with Strawberries
     Lunch: Yogurt and Fruit
     Snack: Zucchini bars
     Dinner: Baked Turkey Sandwiches, Homemade Cole Slaw, Cucumber Watermelon Mint Salad

August 30, 2017, Wednesday:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Walnuts
     Lunch:  Leftover Coleslaw and a Hard Boiled Egg
     Snack: Zucchini Bars
     Dinner: Taco Soup, Corn Bread

August 31, 2017, Thursday:
     Breakfast: Breakfast Sandwiches
     Lunch: Leftover Soup
     Snack: Popcorn
     Dinner: Roasted Vegetables, Chicken Rice
September 1, 2017, Friday:
     Breakfast: Maple Oat Scones
     Lunch: At a family event
     Snack: Popcorn
     Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

September 2, 2017,Saturday
     Brunch: Vegetable Frittata
     Snack: Soft Pretzels
     Dinner: Hamburg Gravy, Roasted Vegetables, Rice

What are you eating this week?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Frugal Friday - This Past Week

We played board games a few times this week. My children received Harry Potter Clue for Christmas last year and it has been a hit!

After spending the first part of summer teaching, the middle part working to get my health and energy back, I've been spending the last few weeks catching up on all the things that needed to be done.  I feel like we have been terribly busy.  I know that's not necessarily true but it feels that way.  Since I haven't posted a Frugal Friday for quite a while, I am going to just start with this past week on frugal things we've done.

Here we go!

* Ate all meals but one at home.
* Attended a taco buffet pot luck for one meal.  We brought shredded cheese from the freezer.

* Harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and peppers from the garden this week.

* Hemmed five new pairs of pants for my son for school this fall. I found that if I order them on clearance sale in June unhemmed, I save a large amount of money and I can hem a double hem that can be let down later.

* I blanched and froze beans, corn, and cabbage.

* I used items we had on hand too fix a curtain rod. 

* I used items on hand to make tie backs for three sets of curtains.

* I used zucchini to make cookies, bars, and bread.

* I worked as an "expert" at an event for the Solar Eclipse.  We did not have a full eclipse here, but at over 80%, it was quite good.  My family was able to attend for free and I was paid a small gratuity for working.

* The children and I scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen and the master bedroom. I had a bit of painting to do in our bedroom, so the walls had to be washed before painting.  Finished up the painting using things we had on hand, including paint.

* Hemmed a set of curtains that were way too long for the location they are in. I will use the leftover fabric to cover a cushion on a bench.

I think that's it for this week.  What did you do this week?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 13, 2017

Apple Pie! John's Favorite!

I'm so surprised that August is already halfway gone! This summer is sizzling by in a blink.  The zucchini and cucumber plants are trying to take over the garden and we're heading toward school starting yet again (we start 'late' here - September 5). 

We spent $40 on groceries this past week and collected our CSA box, which included Swiss chard, cucumbers, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, peas, carrots and onions this week.  We still have kohlrabi, beets, and cabbage from previous weeks.  I have to admit that I'm really feeling quite blessed that we get to have home-grown veggies most of the year thanks to our CSA! All the work branching and freezing for later is definitely worth it!

Anyway, here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, August 13:
     Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
     Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Apples, Strawberries, Cherry Tomatoes and Sliced Cucumbers
     Snack: Popcorn
     Dinner: Pizza (we didn't get to that last week)

Money, August 14:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Dates and Walnuts
     Lunch: Leftovers
     Snack: Root beer Floats (the children won root beer at a carnival and we had ice cream in the freezer)
     Dinner: Chicken, Rice, Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad, Strawberries

Tuesday, August 15:
      Breakfast: Smoothies, Muffins
     Lunch: Leftovers (we had a bunch from last week that need to get used up!)
     Snack: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
     Dinner: Pan fried Potatoes and Veggies (zucchini, cabbage, onion)

Wednesday, August 16:
     Breakfast: Maple Oat Scones
     Lunch: Leftover Rice with Pan-fried Veggies
     Snack: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
     Dinner: Grilled Fish and Potatoes, Kohlrabi Coleslaw

Thursday, August 17:
     Breakfast: Oatmeal with Blueberries and Walnuts
     Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Leftover Slaw
     Snack: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
     Dinner: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Zucchini 'Fries', Watermelon

Friday, August 18:
     Breakfast: Eggs, Smoothies
     Lunch: Lunch: Leftovers
     Snack: Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
     Dinner: Rice Bowl with Pork and Cabbage, Watermelon

Saturday, August 19:
     Brunch: Spinach, Potato, Zucchini Frittata, Hashed Brown Potatoes, Apple Crisp
     Snack: Popcorn
     Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

What are you eating this week?