Showing posts from February, 2016

Frugal Friday - It's starting to look like spring out there!

The snow is starting to melt and we're starting to warm up - we've been above freezing most of the week!   We had one day where huge, fat, fluffy snow flakes and then rain but otherwise it has been really very nice.  I quit wearing my boots to work - I wasn't quite as brave as my colleague that wore sandals one day, though!
I keep feeling like we haven't been very frugal.  I am starting to wonder if it's just that we aren't doing anything 'extra' in terms of frugality lately.  Who knows?  I think we all go through times when we feel like we are not being as frugal as we possibly can.   I'm still trying to find that perfect balance between frugality, physical energy and time.  Since I have days when even the basics are physically hard, that's been a very difficult balance to find.

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

* Made homemade pizza, corn-potato chowder, biscuits, and muffins this week.

* Rearranged my daugh…

Menu Plan Monday and the Last $8 of our February Grocery Budget

This weekend was a whirlwind of Basketball games, church events and a variety of other "running" so I'm actually glad that the week has started - it's going to be calmer than the weekend was.

We did get to the store amid everything else and spent our last $8 (and change) on groceries:

* A gallon of milk $3 on sale
* Apples  ($1.94 total)
* Peanut Butter $1.99 (15oz jar - also on sale)
* 2lbs bananas $1.18

We still have oranges and a few pears in our fridge and bananas and blueberries in the freezer. We have fruit and we have carrots, lettuce, and mushrooms as well.  Our freezers are getting pretty bare - which is okay so we're not too heavy on meat.  We actually hoping to have a week or two with the downstairs deep freeze completely empty and turned off before we get around to filling it again.

We have a tournament basketball game this week or next (day to be determined) and John is on call on Monday - our busiest day this week - so we have backup plan of Culver…

Frugal Saturday - Valentine's Week 2016

I just went digging through my photos to find a photo from this week only to find that I hadn't taken any at all. Opps. 

We've still been having lovely sunrises when the clouds aren't around and the weather has warmed up to about 40F!  The snow is starting to melt, though it's wayyy too early for spring here. I'm totally enjoying not having to bundle up quite so much every time I walk outside.

We had a pretty crazy week this week, in spite of not so many things going on, so I'm feeling a bit rushed this week in general.  We did a few things that were frugal and I'm really looking forward to a trip to Sam's Club to stock up on a few things when our grocery budget resets itself.   Here's what we did this week:

* Ate most of our meals at home or took meals with us.  We ate one meal at church before Lenten Worship on Wednesday this week.

* John was assigned his Region for call by the church - Region 3: Minnesota, North and South Dakota - so we celebrat…

Work, Home and Family: Homemade Gifts Part 6 and 7: Embroidery Kits

Many years ago when I was in college, I would go to a small run down shopping mall near where my Grandmother lived once or twice a year.  There was an amazing stitchery store in the mall that also included items to make silk flowers and a few other fabric related craft items.  I think it was probably the only reason the mall was still open - that store was packed with people every single time I went in there.  My Grandmother told me she only went in when she was with someone because she was afraid she would get smooshed into a corner!  She did lovely crochet and they had beautiful crochet yarn in this store.  She only purchased when she had a special project to do - baptismal gowns, wedding gifts and the like.  She didn't need to go to that store very often, but she was always happen to go with me - especially when I was the one driving and paying!

Consistently they had two sale bins filled with items - embroidery patterns, odd-sized scraps of linen and Aida cloth, embroidery ki…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of February 14, 2016

Nothing huge this week and I *think* we're all healthy.  I like both of those!  I'm hoping to get a little baking done this week - bread and some waffles or pancakes for the freezer.  We have a full fridge and a full pantry but our freezers are getting quite bare - especially in the meat department.  Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, February 14th, Valentine's Day:
    Breakfast: Smoothies (fruit from the freezer)
    Lunch: Baked Eggs, Biscuit Twists, Sliced Apples
    Snack: Valentine's Cookies
    Dinner: Chicken Flavored Rice, Butternut Squash, Apple-Banana-Melon Salad

Monday, February 15th:
    Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Toast
    Lunch: PB&J, Carrot and Celery Sticks, Apples
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Taco Soup (in the Crockpot), Tortilla Chips, Oranges

Tuesday, February 16th:
    Breakfast; Oatmeal with Pecans and Craisins
    Lunch: Leftover Taco Soup
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Steak Stir Fry, Rice, Sliced Apples

Wednesday, February…

Super Savings Saturday - We have $8.21 left for the rest of February!

So, I can't find my cable for my iPod so I have zero grocery photos from the last two weeks for you.  I can tell you what I bought at three different stores over two weeks (if I find the cable I'll upload the photos):

Store #1:
2 bags of spinach (coupon)
1 package chicken legs (on sale)
3lb ham
1 lb carrots (coupon)
5lb flour
2lb sugar
3lb bananas
32oz yogurt
36oz Smart Balance spread
1 dozen eggs
4 15oz cans corn (coupon)
1 15oz can green beans (coupon)
1 package tortilla chips (coupon)
4 packages of Cool Aid drink mix

Store #2:
5lb flour
4lb sugar
1lb carrots
fresh mushrooms
1 package tortilla chips
2 lbs red onions
6lbs apples
6lbs bananas
2 dozen eggs
1 package crackers

Store #3:
1 container baking powder

I now have $8.21 left for the next two weeks.  I'm thinking a gallon of milk and bananas but we'll see what we need to get.  I already have a short list of things that will wait until next month unless we run out sooner (toilet paper is one of them!).

Come back M…

Frugal Friday - The Sick Chidren and a Really Long Week Edition!

Good heavens, am I glad it's Friday!  This week seemed to last forever and we all voted at work on Monday that it was such a Monday we should just all go home and take a nap.  However, since we're all responsible adults, we decided we really couldn't do that.  My colleague who was selling Girl Scout Cookies for her daughter's troop did donate a box to the "Monday of Monday's" and we all enjoyed a treat with our afternoon coffee! 

Either way, I'm really glad it's the weekend!

Both children had horrible head colds this week and John and I both felt like we were coming down with head colds, so we decided to rest and not do much this week.   I feel like our week wasn't very frugal but at least we didn't run all over and spend a ton of money either!

So what did we do this week?

* I made biscuits, pancakes (twice!), Hoppin' John, and soup from scratch this week.  We used up some black-eyed-peas from the pantry and a ham bone from the freez…

Frugal, er, Saturday - Two weeks worth of "frugal"

The last two weeks have been busy and difficult here.  John ended up in the ER twice and my shingles are back in full force. I discovered that driving is a major stressor for the muscle knots that I develop (compounded by the shingles) and my right leg has been basically numb for the last week.  Since I have an 18-mile one-way by the shortest way commute to work, that's definitely not a good thing.  Stress levels go up, shingles come back. Anyone, want to invent a way to teleport?  I'd be all over that!

After more than a month of feeling back to normal this is really discouraging for me.  I'm trying to stay optimistic, but in the middle of terrible pain and the inability to do simple things like walk across the room without holding onto things, it's really difficult sometimes. 
I feel like we haven't been terribly frugal the last two weeks.  We spent the entire amount of "extra" money we had the last month on Power Ade -type drinks, medications, and the…

Work, Home and Family - Homemade Gifts Part 5: A Playing Card Scrapbook

So that's not the best photo ever, but I think it's enough to get the idea across.   And, yes, I totally stole this idea from somewhere on the internet and I don't have a clue where anymore.  If you know, please email me so I can give proper credit.

I'm a bit behind on posts this week - it's been quite the week and a half here - two ER trips, lots of medication, 12 inches of snow, and a variety of little things have left me with little time and feeling a bit like I'm getting pecked to death by hens!  A quiet evening yesterday made up for it so I'm hoping that for the rest of the week the "pecking" quiets down!  Lent starts next week and I'm hoping for a quiet and contemplative Lent rather than a rushed, hectic one.

This was one of John's Birthday gifts.  And I had the children make this with me.

I bought the deck of cards at the Dollar Store and used scrapbook paper we already had, ribbon we already had and three ball point pens to make t…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 31, 2016

Scones - I made some this last week - cranberry and orange(what's in the above picture)- to put in the freezer for breakfasts.  I've been snitching - shhh! Don't tell!

We had a super busy week this last week and I'm really tired this week.  We're gearing up for a snowstorm this week and I'm hoping a few of our evening activities are canceled - we could all use the rest!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, January 31, 2016
    Breakfast: Cold Cereal
    Lunch: Snack-y lunch (crackers and cheese, cut veggies, etc.)
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Soup from the Freezer, Cornbread, Sliced Apples

Monday, February 1, 2016:
    Breakfast; Waffles from the Freezer, Bananas
    Lunch: Crackers with Peanut Butter, Cut Veggies, Apples, Cookie
    Snack: Yogurt
    Dinner: Turkey (in the crockpot!), Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday, February 2, 2016:
    Breakfast: Oatmeal with Pecans and Craisins
    Lunch: Leftover Turkey and Potatoes
    Snack: Yogu…