Monday, September 21, 2015

Frugal Friday - On a Monday!

Produce from our back yard a few weeks ago.
It's been a couple of week since I posted a Frugal Friday post - I had the flu, including having to miss a day at work, and then, after catching up everything that didn't get done that day I missed, I have had a raging head cold. 

Thankfully, it appears we're all on the mend (Missy caught the head cold too - way worse than I had it, poor thing).

It's been a pretty quiet couple of weeks with me being sick and everyone getting into the swing of all things school around here.

We've done some frugal things:

* Ate most of our meals at home and brown-bagged almost all the lunches.  Enjoyed lunch at our church on Rally Sunday (last Sunday) with the rest of our congregation.  I had a free lunch at work one day too - I guess that's a perk of having to go to meetings...

* I paid cash for 3/4 tank of gas rather than getting a full tank with my credit card.

* Used a gift card to get ice cream after the first day of school and a punch card to get a free loaf of bread from a bakery.

* Tried on all of our clothes - man, do we have a lot of clothes!   Put some back into our closets, put some in the mend pile, put others aside for a garage sale and a few others to take to the consignment store (I'll take store credit rather than cash so I can get more bang for my buck there!).

* Made a mock apple crisp using zucchini.  It tasted good (John was really surprised!).

* Updated the budget book and budget.

* Slept a lot - went to bed early, came home early and took naps and have tried to stay home while I've been sick.  Hate being sick but I'm glad that I can do that! 

* Enjoyed cookies that a co-worker brought to share one day.  They were delicious!
* A friend gave us ornamental pumpkins - they had grown more than they wanted so they shared!
* Submitted the paperwork for a rebate.  Will use that rebate to buy a couple of Christmas gifts.

* Took advantage of a good sale and store credit to order Christmas gifts for my husband and my father. (My husband's family draws names - there are 26 of us so far - and we don't know who we have or I would have ordered for my father-in-law too.)

* Put together a list and schedule for making Christmas gifts this year - we only had $100 for Christmas this year (so far - that rebate will get a couple of additional things too) and I will end up making most of our Christmas gifts this year as a result.  If I'm really on the ball, I'll post about it as I make things this year!   I should be able to make most things using what we have on hand and a gift card or two that we already have.

* Picked a ton more squash, cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden. 

* The children enjoyed the return of fall programming at church.  They love the pre-confirmation program and I'm excited that they are enjoying it so much.  They get a treat while they are there and get to do several things during the year that we wouldn't do on our own. 

* Our pre-paid cell phones didn't ring up with the triple minute code my husband entered so he called and they credited our account with the triple minutes. 

*  FREE LAUGH:  One evening while I was making dinner, I looked out the window and saw a squirrel trying to steal the one cucumber that grew outside the chicken-wire garden fence.  It was hysterical, since the squirrel didn't realize the cucumber was still attached to the plant and he'd run and the cucumber would pull out of his hands and he'd go back and try again!  He eventually gave up and took several yellow pear tomatoes that had fallen to the ground and ran off. 

What have you been up to this week?

Menu Plan Monday - September 20, 2015

Heart-shaped potato!

I think we're officially starting to slide into fall here.  I'm excited - fall is my very favorite season and my daughter is getting all excited about fall decorations around here.  And, since she's 10, it's all about glitter too. (When I washed the throw rugs last week, my dryer's lint trap was FULL of glitter!  At least the decorations look good!)  I'll share some of the decorations with you as we go through the next few weeks but today it's all about what we're eating!
Saturday is BUSY for us this week - Missy and I have a girls' morning and John and Buddy have a Scouting event that will take most of the day and then we have the Harvest Party for our CSA in the evening.   Other than that, it's a "normal" week - if we can call any week normal that is!
I didn't get the freezer cleaned out and defrosted this summer, so I'm hoping to do that in the next few weeks so we're eating soup (I had four turkey carcasses in there!) and trying to eat the "stuff" out of the freezer so we can defrost it before it gets too cold outside.

I've also been picking more crookneck squash, cucumbers and tomatoes from the yard.  We're almost done and this week I can probably pick the winter squash too.  We'll see!   We have a cantaloupe and a watermelon left from last week and a few oranges as well as Patty Pan squash and zucchini coming out our ears.  That's the setting for this week's menu, I guess.

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Sunday, September 20:
    Breakfast:  Fruit Smoothies (fruit from the freezer)
    Lunch: BLT's on Homemade Biscuits, Sliced Peaches
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Turkey, Patty Pan Squash, Melon-Banana-Peach Salad

Monday, September 21:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins with Bananas
    Lunch:  Crackers with Peanut Butter, Apples, Yogurt, Cut Veggies
    Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Turkey Noodle Soup, Cornbread, Melon

Tuesday, September 22:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Walnuts and Craisins
    Lunch: Leftover Soup
    Snack: Cut Veggies
    Dinner: Sauteed Bear Meat with Onions, Zucchini-Potato Pancakes, Apple-Banana-Peach Salad

Wednesday, September 23:
    Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Bananas
    Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Yogurt, Cut Veggies
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Waffles, Sausage, Peaches

Thursday, September 24:
    Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
    Lunch: Leftover Bear Sautee and Zucchini-Potato Pancakes
    Snack: Cut Veggies
    Dinner: Beef Barley Soup (made with bear meat), Biscuits, Apple Slices

Friday, September 25:
    Breakfast: Waffles (from the freezer), Peaches
    Lunch: Leftover Soup
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks
    Dessert: Mock Apple Crisp (made with Zucchini)

Saturday, September 26:
    Breakfast/Lunch: At events out today
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Pot Luck: Bring Salsa and Chips and Ginger Cookies

What are you eating this week!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Super Savings Saturday - $39.23 mostly fruit and yogurt shop

HI everyone.

September is just speeding by and we've had the flu and head colds already here at our house.  I'm hoping that means we're done for the school year!   I can hope, can't I? 

One grocery shop this week.  We bought the following:

2 cans Butter Kernel Corn @ $0.59ea (Store Coupon)
3 cans Butter Kernel Peas @ $0.59ea  (Store Coupon)
2 cans Starkist Tuna @ $0.69 (Store Coupon)
Hormel Little Sizzler Sausage 4 @ 4/$5  (Store Coupon)
Yellow Bananas 5.45lbs @ $0.67/lb
Granny Smith Apples 2.19lbs @ $0.99/lb
Pink Lady Apples 2.77lbs @ $1. 49/lb
Peaches 3.32lbs @ $1.49/lb
Whole White Mushrooms $1.50 (Store coupon)
20 cartons Yoplait Yogurt @ 20/$10 ($0.50/carton)
1 Dozen Eggs $3.49

Total Today: $39.23
Saved (according to store receipt) $3.16 or 7%

No photo today because we had a saga with the eggs.  John accidentally left them in the cart at the store (we don't have employees bagging groceries at our store - we bag our own and then load them into our cars on our own as well).  He didn't realize this until he got back home and then went back to get them.  In the meantime someone stole them rather than turning them back in to the store, as they should.  Anyway, we gratefully didn't not have to purchase another dozen eggs - the store believed him - but, sheesh. 

Way more excitement than a family with head colds needs right now! 

We all took a nap this afternoon after that.

I hope you are well and I'm looking to get back to a somewhat more regular blogging schedule this week, writing some posts ahead.

Come back Monday to see what we're eating this week!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Frugal Friday September 4, 2015

Flowers from our camping trip.
This week has flown by so fast - I guess the last week of summer always does!  I *think* we're actually ready for the first week of school next week.  Hard to believe!  I'm never this ready.  That probably means I've forgotten something important or something like that but I'll take the "Wow! I've got this" feeling I have right now.

It's been a pretty frugal week this week, though I did hire a sitter one morning so I could go to work and get things together there.  That wasn't frugal but necessary.

Here's some of the frugal things we did:

* Blanched and froze both beans and peas.

* Collected seeds from my lettuce and basil for use later.

* I participated in a local parade and John and the children came to watch.  The children brought home a free Frisbee that a group was handing out.  I was also two hours of free entertainment!

* Made and froze zucchini bread again.  We have zucchini coming out of our ears here.

* I made four loaves of French Bread, biscuits, eggplant parmesan, chicken stir fry and stuffed zucchini from scratch this week.

* Shredded and froze zucchini to use in making zucchini bread later this year.

* Picked up our last CSA share of the year - it included watermelon and cantaloupe! YUM!

* Picked lots of yellow pear tomatoes, another crookneck squash, and three large cucumbers.

* My husband and I had an at-home date night watching a movie that I had gotten for a birthday gift back at the beginning of August.  I made individual apple crisps using diced apples from the freezer and other ingredients that we had on hand for a date-night dessert.

* We played UNO and Phase 10 card games for family night this week.

* We used a snow cone maker that my husband received as a gift several years ago and syrups we already had to make snow cones as a treat on an especially hot day we had.

* I froze celery leaves to make soup stock with later.

* Found a package of paper lunch sacks that I'd been looking for.  The children need to take lunch in a disposable sack when they have field trips at school so I put them where I can find them this time!   That saved me buying more.

* Inventoried the fabric that I had bought to make placemats and/or tablecloths in the past to see what I had and decided what I could make without buying anything.  I can make two tablecloths and matching napkins without buying anything.  So I will make those first. 

What did you do this week?