Showing posts from August, 2014

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - The August Wrap Up Edition

August was a very busy month for us with two weeks of Vacation Bible School (VBS) - each at a different church, camping and then John starting Internship.  In there we also had back-to-school night, my cousin's book signing and a few other things as well.  It was a good month and I'm so grateful for so many things.  Here are a few of the things I was grateful for in August this year:

Birthdays! My mother-in-law, me, our nephew, my father-in-law, two of my cousins, and my youngest brother-in-law all have August birthdays.  That means lots of cards and gifts being sent around. The children and I made my mother-in-law a necklace using things we had on hand as a gift. It turned out cute but I totally forgot to take a photo.  She liked it, which is the best part! My mother-in-law sent me these cute kitchen towels as a gift. John bought me these beautiful flowers (only $5 at the farmer's market!) and some super decadent chocolate.  That's all I wanted this year! And this hys…

Super Savings Saturday - CSA, $39.95 shop with $13.48 spent OOP

We had a surprise yesterday - John got paid!  

We totally were not expecting to get paid - either one of us - until September 15th so that was a very nice surprise. 

He gets paid very little and almost all of it goes to pay for our medical and dental insurance, we only have a little left from his paycheck for other things.  So that's what I took to the stores today - a little! 

I took $30 and bought hose for me to wear to work next week (I had one pair left and that had a huge run in them - I'm not someone who likes to wear dress shoes without socks of some sort), Q-tips and a package of index cards that we needed.  I also took $1.50 from an envelope of cash that I'm using to buy supplies for 6 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and bought 6 notebooks, one for each envelope for $0.25 each.  That leaves me with $5.67 to spend on goodies for the boxes (I started with $20 back in May). 

I had $15 left after that to spend at the grocery store along with $26.45 in gift car…

Frugal Things We did this Last Week

Boy, this week has just flown by - starting internship, back-to-school night, a meet-and-greet, and getting ready for all the "stuff" that goes into teaching a new semester.

Here are some things we did this last week in the "frugal" category:

* I  made chicken broth in the crockpot using the carcass from the chicken we roasted on Sunday night for dinner.

* I made Irish Soda Bread, biscuits, and pancakes from scratch.

* John and I blanched and froze green and purple beans, broccoli, and yellow and purple beets.

* I hemmed 7 pairs of pants for my children for school.  I ordered them unhemmed (5 for my son and two for my daughter) which is slightly cheaper so I could order them for the sale price early in the summer and still have them fit length-wise when school started.

* I added ribbon and decorative patches to a uniform skirt that had glitter glue spilled on it.  Someone had brought it in for the swap and it had been put in the "throw out" pile because t…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 23rd, 2014

How did we get to the last week of August already? 

It's a busy week this week - John started his second phase of Internship (Vicarage) on Sunday, complete with a reception after Worship for all of us, and we have a meet-and-greet with the Internship Committee on Thursday this week.  The children have back-to-school night on Wednesday night which includes school photos.  We also wind up summer swimming lessons and my cousin wrote a book and is having a book signing at her local library this week!  Missy was invited to a pool party on Friday and Buddy is just hoping for a play date with a particular friend before school starts.  We'll see.  I also have two meetings at work to attend this week and another meeting with my advisor in addition to figuring out John's new schedule and what that means for childcare and school pick up and drop off!

Anyway, it's a busy week with more driving than I'd like, but it will be a good week too and we'll start school with a ba…

Super Savings Saturday - The No Photo Edition! (And $0 OOP!)

I sadly neglected to take photos of our groceries this week because, well, there were other things that were way more urgent!  We got both CSA boxes this week and I did a quick run to one store with a gift card to pick up a couple things.

CSA #1 contained the following this week:
Patty Pan Summer Squash
Sweet Peppers - Yellow an Green
Tomatoes - big, little, Roma and yellow pear, and yellow and red grape and cherry - these literally take up a whole shelf in our fridge this week!  (And, yes, Buddy was WAY happy about this!  And I think I need to make either sauce or salsa.)
Green onions
Yellow Onion
Clove of Garlic

CSA #2 contained the following:
4 oranges
5 peaches
2lbs red grapes
2lbs green grapes
5 yellow plums
6 purple plums

At the store I purchased with a gift card:
1 gallon milk
18 count eggs
2 packages of bacon (gotta have BLTs with all those tomatoes!)

From our yard we picked;
A handful of green beans
3 purple cherry tomatoes
3 gree…

Frugal Things We've Done the Last Few Weeks

I am pretty positive by now that I live in a time warp.  I blink and *boom* two weeks (or more!) have gone by!  Yikes! 

These last few weeks have been so busy that I feel like I've lived about a month and half in the last two-to-three weeks! They've been good, but busy!

In the middle of all that we're still trying to stretch the budget until we get paid again - which won't be until the middle of September by our calculations.   That means frugal is still the name of the game around here!  Here are some of the things that we've been doing lately around here to save money and live more frugally:

* Ate almost all meals at home.  Exceptions have been: The weekly potluck at church on Wednesday nights (we've brought food we already have in the house), a dinner out with a gift card for our 16th anniversary, and the coffees I bought myself with a gift card while on the other side of town.  We also used a refund to treat ourselves to our favorite Chinese Takeout after …

Menu Plan Monday and a Little Shopping

Our CSA boxes have looked pretty much like this the last two weeks - though in varying amounts and this last week we got green onions too.  Here we have in the front row: Broccoli, raspberries, green & purple beans, and peas.  Back Row: Lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, a mutant cross between a zucchini and a patty pan squash, green and purple kohlrabi and a clove of garlic.  We'll see what we get this week!  I blanched and froze the peas since we have a ton of those and we can't seem to eat through them fast enough.  I have a whole head of cabbage leftover from a few weeks ago in the crisper drawer too.  Two weeks ago we got 5lbs of cherries - they're all gone now (I was hoping to freeze some) having been eaten by my parents and my children!  I can't eat cherries so I was okay with that!

I went to the store this weekend with a gift card and spend $22 on milk, peaches, apples, carrots (those aren't ready yet in the garden) and some frozen meatballs that were on…