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Frugal Friday - The beginning of November 2020

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New dirt in our garden bed - the two baby tomato plants did not make it through our freeze, unfortunately.  Our weather has been so up and down here.  Today we are in the high 30's F (~5C) for temperatures but we have a "stiff" wind today.  That makes it seem much colder when outside!  After a few days of sunshine the clouds today make it feel like real winter, even though it's not quite there yet. We found out that the new windows for our remodel project are a couple of weeks out so we are on hold with everything for a couple of weeks.  I am okay with that.  It gives us more of a chance to clean things out and work from home.  Once they get started on the windows, we have three to four weeks where we will not be able to work from home easily each week.  I am grateful that we do not need to change things up yet again for a few more weeks. Here are some things we have done the beginning of November that we felt were frugal: *  We continued to eat more from our pantry a

Menu Plan - The Week of November 8, 2020

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  Roasted Veggies are a staple for dinner around here! This fall seems to be flying by so quickly!  We have had up and down weather here in Minnesota - something very normal for this time of year.  Last week it was lovely, mild weather with lots of sunshine and this week started out with cold and snow and ice.  I am so grateful for a warm, safe, sturdy home and the ability to cook warm food when it is cold out and make something cool when it is hot out. So many are not so fortunate! The garden is done for the year (and currently under snow and ice), but our freezer, pantry and refrigerator are very full.  Here is what we are eating this week: Sunday, November 8:          Brunch: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Yogurt          Snack: Popcorn          Dinner: Chicken Divan Casserole, Whole Wheat Buns Monday, November 9:          Breakfast: Eggs and Toast, Bananas          Lunch: Salad with leftover chicken, cranberries and almonds or leftover Chicken Divan          Snack: Yogurt          Dinne

Menu Plan "Monday" - Week of October 18, 2020

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Our garden produce from the 13th of October.  The weather is so weird here - last week I was harvesting garden produce, today we received about 4 inches of heavy wet snow! October snow of this magnitude is not common in Minnesota, though a "dusting" is not unheard of.  It should melt and be warm enough to stay snow-less for the next week or two.  I am sincerely hoping to have no significant snow until after Thanksgiving again!   We are working on eating the things in our freezers that need to be cooked in the oven or on the stove top as we are heading toward a time when we will not have a working stove top or oven for up to six weeks.  I have several things that can easily go in the slow cooker and we have an electric skillet.  We will need to be creative!  In the meantime, I am enjoying the food we are making! Here is what we are eating this week: Sunday, October 18:           Brunch: Eggs, Toast and Smoothies           Snack: Finnish Ribbon Cookies           Dinner: Wild Ri

Frugal Friday - The Beginning of October 2020

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My entire 2020 Carrot harvest. Ha!  We have had lovely, lovely weather this week!  It has been right about 70F (~21C) and sunny.  The fall colors on the tree leaves are amazing and I have been trying to spend as much time as I can outside.  We started the fall yard work for the year - raking leaves, cleaning up flower and vegetable beds and turning and adding compost and fresh dirt.  We have two beds completely done and the first round of leaves raked.  John and I and Buddy and I have taken several walks this week and John and Missy have been running regularly.  I have also enjoyed many a cup of coffee on my patio while doing email or reading.  It has been lovely.  I am hoping it lasts a few more weeks!  This week I harvested the winter squash and my three lonely, tiny carrots you see above.  I planted an entire package of carrot seeds this year, thinking I would get enough to can.  Most never came up.  I was going to replant and then ran out of time.  I had what I thought was one carr

Frugal Friday - The End of September 2020

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  Man, this week was a rough week.  A lot of the overtime at work has caught up with me and I had the worst PHN flare I've had in almost two years.  I knew things were getting stressful but I did not realize how much.  I don't know about you, but I feel like 2020 has been a year of three steps forward, two steps backward, and then something veers right or left or up or something.  I am sure some extra sleep will help, as will taking an evening off but the truth of the matter is that my workload currently is unsustainable.  I have several co-workers who are "retiring" or choosing not to renew at the end of their contract or the school year or the term.  Next term could be a real mess if enough people do not continue.  While tempting, I still have more days when I enjoy my work than not.  Until that changes, I will push forward.  With my PHN flare and all the work this week, it seems like we did not do much that was frugal.  We did do a few things: * We made and ate all

Frugal Friday - Week of September 20, 2020

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Angel Food cake batter - Missy loves making these! This was a busy week - things going on with the remodel, having my cousin, Diane, here overnight at the beginning of the week and then few days into this weekend due to a medical procedure (she lives quite far away from the hospital here), the first full week of programming at church (mostly virtual or take-home) and first exams for both of my classes at work. Whew!  I'm grateful that it is the weekend. We did not do too many things this week outside of the ordinary due to the number of things we had on our plate this week.  Here are some things we did this week that we counted as frugal: * We made all our meals at home this week or packed lunches to take with.  I even sent some snacks to the hospital with Diane.  Meals included two types of soup,  stir fry, soft-shell beef tacos, and baked chicken.   * I repaired a fallen hem on a skirt. * We harvested tomatoes, eggplants, lettuce and green beans from the garden this week.  I wi

Menu Plan "Monday" - Week of September 20, 2020

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  We made spaghetti and meatballs at the cabin we rented this summer.  I often "cheat" and buy our favorite store bought meatballs when they are on sale - so much less work and cheaper than buying the ingredients for homemade meatballs.  We do prefer the taste of homemade meatballs, but these are good most of the time. We still have garden produce coming in right now - tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, eggplant (aubergine) and winter squash (acorn squash this year).  I am hoping to can salsa this week some time - I received a cookbook on small batch canning for my birthday this summer; it is perfect for our little garden!  John loves their salsa recipe so I will can some for him to eat later this year. Here is what we will be eating this week: Sunday, September 20:         Brunch: Egg Bake with Potatoes and Spinach; Blueberry-Banana Smoothies         Snack: Popcorn         Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Salad Monday, September 21:          Breakfast: Eggs and Toast          Lunch: Le