Frugal Friday - Week 46 of 52


I am still trying to figure out how we have gotten to November already! Never mind that it is about half over already.  We have recently had temperatures that feel more like January than November and snow right along with it.  Typically we don't have snow until the end of November.  Oh well, it makes the Christmas lights look pretty and I am enjoying the clean, white look of everything.

We have tried to stay cozy the last few weeks, as it has been so cold.  Pulling out the hats, mitten and boots and enjoying the Halloween holiday.  We have Thanksgiving coming up here in the US next week and I am looking forward to one last blast of all things Autumn (my favorite season!) before Advent is upon us.   I did have to put the Jack-o-Lantern's in the compost bin today; they had frozen earlier and were definitely on their last legs.

This year has been a hard one - the last month or so, extremely difficult. Mentally, physically and socially.  I will not share details but I will say …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of November 11, 2018

We are already heading into winter here in the Upper Midwest - it has been about 20F (approx. -7C) for the last few days and we have a bit of snow. Not much snow; just enough to make things white and slippery on the roads.  I was not ready for winter yet, but it is here and I will deal.

We have had a difficult few weeks - so many icky things and more money going out than we really would like.  I am weary and ready for a mental break from everything.  I am hoping that the holidays will provide that this year!

We have very full freezer and cupboards after all the summer and fall produce. I have two large baskets of winter squash sitting in the pantry and I still have green tomatoes ripening, though only a few now. We are eating well!  I am very grateful. 

The children have plans for Christmas treats - candy, cookies and snack mixes, as well as dry hot cocoa mix using what we have on hand. They are going to be making a few gifts starting this weekend and I am excited to see what they …

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 14, 2018

We had SNOW here on Sunday afternoon - about 3/4 of an inch of snow.  I was definitely not ready for that.  Most years we get what we call a "dusting" (just enough to see the flakes come down and maybe catch on shaded spaces long enough to take a photo) this time of year but more typically, we do not get anything resembling snow until well into November.  Thankfully, it melted. 

That means it is time for soups, stews, chili and other fall dishes - roasted squash, shredded pork sandwiches, and lots of apple pie! YUM!  Fall is my favorite time of year and we have beautiful color here with so many different types of trees.  I really want it to linger a bit this year. 

We spent $62 on groceries this week, after spending only $25-$35 for the last two weeks (our budget for the grocery store is back to $40/week).  Baking supplies were on sale, so I used the extra in the grocery budget to stock up a little.

Here's what we are eating this week:

Sunday, October 14:

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 7, 2018

Better late than never, right?  I had some big meetings to prepare for and blogging slipped to the back burner.  We are still primary eating from the pantry, freezer and the gardens.  We started the week with quite a few leftovers from the previous week - both from home and two meals that we were treated to by my Parents.  And, yes, we are having pizza twice this week - Monday it was the only thing we could all agree on (even though there were other things originally on the menu!). 

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 7:
    Breakfast: Toast with Peanut Butter, Yogurt
    Lunch: Out for Lunch (my Parent's treat)
    Snack: Homemade Angel Cake
    Dinner: Leftovers

Monday, October 8:
     Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
     Lunch: Leftovers
     Snack: Yogurt or Cottage Cheese
     Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Tuesday, October 9:
     Breakfast: Waffles from the Freezer
     Lunch: Snack-y - Apple Slices, Cut Veggies, Cottage Cheese, Nuts
     Snack: Angel Cake

Frugal, um, Sunday - Frugal Happenings this Past Week

I have been remiss at posting about our frugal things since school started.  Now that we seem to have settled into a rhythm of sorts, I am finding a bit of time for things less urgent (like blog posting!).  I'll pick up with what we did this week that may count as frugal rather than trying to recap since my last Frugal Friday post.

We have had so many large bills this year - several emergency visits, many, many doctor appointments, several scans, and medications.  We had a large plumbing repair (the only original pipes left in the house - after almost 50 years, I guess it was time), and both cars needed new tires and one needed new breaks.  I feel like all we have done this year is spend money!   John and I renewed our commitment to keeping expenses down the rest of this year, trying to catch ourselves back up to comfortable (to us) levels of savings and the like.

Here are some things we did this past week with that in mind:

* I baked four loaves of bread, cookies and an Angel Ca…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 30, 2018

I think I blinked and September was gone!  How does that happen?  Anyway, it did.  Autumn is my favorite season so I'm rather glad in some ways.  I don't feel like we really got a summer, so that part is a bit sad for me.  A few of the trees are starting to turn and that is my absolute favorite thing so I am greatly enjoying it!

We received one last "box" of produce from the CSA.  We received Brussels' sprouts, parsnips, carrots, peppers, winter squash, decorative gourds and pears.  Several friends have given us apples - approximately 75lbs total with the offer of many more if we would like them. I have diced and froze several 2c portions for baking later this year and have dried approximately 20lbs for snacks later. We are also harvesting the last few items from the garden - tomatoes, winter squash, peppers, and soon we'll harvest our own Brussels' sprouts.   I am so very grateful for the abundance of produce we have this year!

We spent $36.50 this wee…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 2, 2018

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…