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Showing posts from January, 2017

Frugal Things This Past Week - The Last Full Week of January 2017

So, still no photos this week - I haven't taken a single photo.  We ended up with food poisoning this week - long story - and Missy is having trouble recovering so that's been top priority this week.  We have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow just to make sure everything is okay.  Our furnace blower also went out this week. Definitely not frugal but a necessary repair and definitely cheaper than a new furnace.  Our furnace is about 10 years old so repairs happening at this point are pretty likely.  I feel like I've been playing catch up all week and photos definitely were not on my mind.

Anyway, here's some of the frugal things we've done around here this week:

* Made homemade biscuits, bread, oatmeal cookies, chicken noodle soup, and fried white fish.

* John brought home leftovers from a funeral lunch for dinner one night .

* I taught a couple of extra Jazzercise classes which made up for the two that I missed at the beginning of the month, so I don't lo…

Goals Update - Last Full Week of January 2017

No photo today.  I have been very lax about taking photos lately.  I really should get better at that. 

It's been one of those up and down weeks - lots to do, an ill child, my leg deciding to cramp up for no discernible reason, and another round of snow making the commute slow on top of it all.  Do you ever have those weeks where there's nothing seriously wrong but you still want to scream in frustration?  That's this week for me. *SIGH*.

Anyway, here's the goals update.

Work:
* Clean up my desk at work
* Do the shredding at work Started this.
* Clean out and organize my notebooks for both of my classes Finished one class.
* Be completely ready for classes to start
* Redo a section of my T/Th class curriculum
* Meet with a research colleague
* Put together a Power Point presentation

Family:
* Celebrate John's Birthday
* Make two gifts for John for his Birthday
* Visit my in-laws 
* Date out with my husband
* Attend an appointment with my husband
* Meet my cousin and …

Menu Plan Monday - Third Week of January

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It's hard to believe that the month is almost over.  We've been so warm that we had heavy fog for the last two days - not a problem unless we have to drive somewhere, which seemed to be the order of the days.  We made it and I was very happy to have a quiet afternoon at home on Sunday afternoon.  That time included a board game, a nap and some time baking cookies to send with lunches this school week.

I'm so grateful for my crockpot!  We came home Sunday early afternoon to hot soup and it took just a few minutes to whip up a batch of cornbread and we were eating within 30 minutes of coming home.  We'll do that a few times this week too.  It makes our whole family's life so much better.

After scoring some good deals this week, we're getting restocked again, particularly on meat, I'm looking forward to what we have to eat this week.  So here's what it is:

Sunday, January 22:
   Breakfast: Cereal
   Lunch: Taco Soup, Cornbread
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner:…

Super Savings Saturday - A $43.21 Stock Up!

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The grocery store closest to us had a HUGE buy-one-get-one sale this week!  I still only had $40 (and a bit of change left from the last few weeks) so I had to watch what I bought, but I was extremely pleased with that purchases.  I did skip two things on my list - a second dozen eggs and a jar of peanut butter - since I was already maxing out my budget.  I had a total of $45 in my groceries envelope so I was determined to stick with that.

This is a very busy weekend for us - basketball tournaments for our son, the children's first dance at the middle school they attend, a dear friend's wedding (my husband is officiating), worship, a visitation and funeral.  Whew.   I think we're all going to be ready for a nap, come Monday afternoon!

I squeaked to the grocery store between things on Friday evening (I think I made it in and out in record time!) and picked up the haul above.  Here's what we got:

Kellogg's Mini-Wheats Cereal 2 @ 3/$6 = $4
Boneless Pork Tenderloin B1…

Goals Update - Mid-January 2017

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Well, progress is slow here.  This month is proving much busier than I had anticipated and my father-in-law has had some unexpected health issues.  I have been wrestling with trying to do all the things and rest and relax like I want to.  A good problem to have, right?  Well, yes, and no. 

You see, after being sick constantly for almost 10 years now, trying to catch up is a bit like trying to push a wet rope up a hill.  If you work hard enough you can get it up the hill but it won't be anything like you want when you get there.  In a lot of ways I'm totally okay with that - my life is way better in so many ways than it was before I got sick.  In other ways...not so much.  All the partly finished and need-to-be-done things hang over my head and making extremely slow progress is not going to get them done in the time frame that is required.  I'll figure it out eventually, but I'm super frustrated in the meantime.

On that cheerful note (*cough*), here's what I'v…

Menu Plan Tuesday - Week of January 15, 2017

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I'm having a hard time believing that January is half over already.  Where on earth does the time go these days?  After putting together our budget last week, John and I are going to be extra careful to stick to the grocery and miscellaneous (clothes, household items, etc.) budgets for the next few months.  If we stick to the budget we should have a new van purchased and all the outstanding medical bills paid off in about 18 months.  We're pretty excited about that!   But that means battening down the hatches and preparing for the ride!

I inventoried the deep freeze yesterday and, after meals this week, we have very little meat left - a package and half of chicken, several turkey carcasses and a beef bone, lake fish (from a parishioner - about 2lbs), a single venison steak (from my cousin) and a package of shrimp that my parents bought us over Christmas.  We're good for vegetables - green beans, kohlrabi, corn, spinach, and tomato sauce.  I even have a few loaves of sweet…

Super Savings Saturday - A $38.76 Shop

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We did a quick shop Friday morning between running around for other things.  I hadn't planned on buying the pizzas, since we were driving to my brother-in-law's house to visit for the afternoon and evening.  Instead, John got called to a deathbed and we had to wait to leave.  The pizza then took the place of the lunch we had planned to eat at my brother-in-law's house.    That added an unplanned $10 onto the shop for this week.  We managed to stay within the planned $40/wk budget anyway.

Here's what we bought:

1.02lb Beef Stew Meat @ $5.99/lb = $6.11
2.45lb Chicken Thighs @ $0.99/lb = $2.43
3.12lb D'Anjou Pears @ $0.99/lb = $3.09
3lbs Pink Lady Apples $4.99
Pineapple $2.99
Pizzas 2 @ $4.88ea = $9.76
Sour Cream $1.39
Butter Quarters 2 @ 2/$5 = $5
Yoplait Yogurt 6 @ 20/$10 = $3

Total Spent: $38.76
Total Saved (According to Receipt): $5.22 (12%)

We still have a lot of vegetables in the pantry and the freezer and some meat as well.

Come back Monday to see what we'…

Frugal Friday - The Second Week of 2017

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It's been a week of getting back into the swing of things.  We're all back at work or school, though I'm not back in class yet.  John didn't have anything extra this week (weddings, funerals, etc.) and even had one fewer nights of meetings this week.  We loved the extra time at home this week! 

Here are some things we did this week that count as frugal:

* Made vegetable barley soup, biscuits, soft pretzels, waffles, crustless quiche, and tacos at home this week.

* I worked on making two birthday gifts.  Unfortunately, I didn't finish either.

* John attended an all-day meeting that included lunch.  A parishioner invited him over for dinner one night when he had meetings.  

* We finally came up with a perfect for us budget for 2017.  I'm super excited about what we should be able to with this budget.

* I planned meals for the next several weeks using an inventory of our freezers and pantry.  We should be able to eat very well and not have to waste food.  I lik…

January Goals Update - Starting Week Two

This week was back-to-work week for me and, honestly, it was good to get back into a routine.  We're dealing with "winter weather" here - something normal for us in Minnesota this time of year.  Messy roads, slow commutes and shoveling/snow plowing are all the order of the day.  Keeps us on our toes!  

Last week was a slow week since I had a bad PHN flare and need to rest and recover. I didn't get much done.  I was totally okay with that since I was technically on vacation last week and didn't need to get anything done!  So, my completed tasks aren't very many from last week. This week will be better!

Work:
* Clean up my desk at work  Did this Monday this week.
* Do the shredding at work
* Clean out and organize my notebooks for both of my classes Got one class almost finished.
* Be completely ready for classes to start
* Redo a section of my T/Th class curriculum
* Meet with a research colleague
* Put together a Power Point presentation

Family:
* Celebrate J…

Menu Plan Tuesday - Week of January 8, 2017

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Sorry this is a day late!  We had a super busy weekend and the weather here was first super cold and then yesterday my commute time took forever, so I ran out of time to get this up!  Thanks for your patience.

John and I did a shopping trip late in the day on Saturday and came home with the following:


We spent to $48 and change on 3 1/2 lbs of apples, a loaf of bread, bananas, two gallons of milk, laundry detergent, two bags of pretzels, a marked-down box of pasta, decaf coffee and filters, and two loops of sausage.  Yes, we bought a lot more "junk" than we usually do.  Either way, we have loads of good food in the pantry, fridge and freezer so we're fine.

We are also eating with extended family a couple of times this week, so we aren't going to need a ton of fresh veggies and fruit over what we already have.  We're pretty excited about spending some time with extended family since we don't do that often enough!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Su…

Frugal Friday - First Week of 2017

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I am seriously having a hard time believing we're in 2017.  Anyone else still want to write "2016" on dates and things?  Sheesh.  Hopefully I'll come to my senses and get over that soon. 

Honestly, 2016 was a pretty decent year for most things - John getting his first Call, finding a medication that actually helps my PHN, and the children having a seriously good year in school this fall.  I'm really happy that we can actually do some planning and budgeting and settle into a rhythm again after being pulled hither and yon for the last 2 and a bit years.

This year, 2017, has gotten off to a rough start.  After literally months of very low PHN flares I had a terrible flare this week - Monday and Tuesday were absolutely awful and Wednesday and Thursday were slowly better.  I'm still struggling today with pain but it's way better than it was earlier this week.  I seriously dislike weeks like this because I typically end up behind the following week on doing a…

Work, Home and Family - Gifts 2017 - Gift #1

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Gift #1 2017: Teacher Christmas Gifts This was our teacher gifts for 2017 at Christmastime.   Our children are in Middle School now (6th grade), so they have a lot of teachers!   This year, it's as follows: Homeroom/Language Arts Science/Industrial Arts Math/Faith Formation Physical Education/Computers Band General Music/Choir Before/After Care 3 confirmation guides  If you're counting that's 10 teachers!   That's a lot of gifts!   We had a budget of $20 for all these gifts.  So here's what we gave: A mug, cocoa mix, peppermint stirring sticks, and a Christmas tree ornament. We made the ornaments using Popsicle sticks, ribbon, pompoms, glue and embroidery floss that we had.  We also made the cocoa mix from items we had in the pantry and I packaged them in freezer canning jars that I've had for years but haven't used.  I used stick-on name tags to write ingredient labels that were then stuck on the jars.  We purchased the mugs at a local dollar store for $…

Goals for January 2017

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Happy New Year everyone!

It's a whole new year.  I always enjoy the refocusing that a new year brings and all the reflection that come with that.  I feel pretty spoiled since I get that twice a year - once in January with the new year and once in August/September when the school year kicks off.

I've been perusing the seed and plant catalogues, hence the photo above.  I have so many plans.  To that end, I've made up a pretty detailed to-do list for each month of the year.  These will fill in more as the year goes on but for now I'm quite happy with what I have come up with. 

I have some "extra" time this month since I don't go back to class until halfway through the month and I am taking this first week completely off from work.  My goals for this week include exercise, finishing a couple of house projects, rest, and some things like sewing and other creative things.  I have no delusions about how much I can get done during that week so many of the thin…

Menu Plan Monday - Week of January 1, 2017

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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that it's 2017.  How on earth did that happen?

Anyway, Happy New Year!  

We did a $52 shop on Saturday, which included $34 of crab legs, which is a large part of John's birthday present.  So we spent $18 on mostly fruit and milk plus a cucumber and a couple of other little things.  John celebrates his birthday on Tuesday this week so we have crab legs for dinner that night.    Mom and Dad spoiled us rotten by buying us groceries while they were here in December and we're hoping to do a pantry challenge either this month or February to use up some of what we have, particularly in the freezers.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, January 1, 2017, New Year's Day:
      Breakfast: Yogurt, Fruit
      Lunch: Breakfast Tacos with eggs, potatoes and bacon
      Snack: Christmas cookies
      Dinner: Beef Stew from the Freezer, Crackers, Clementine's

Monday, January 2, 2017:
     Breakfast: Cereal and M…