Sunday, July 31, 2016

Frugal Happenings 7/31

Hello there my friends.  WOW, can you believe this is the end of July?  It seems like the summer is flying by.
It has sure been hot and humid lately.  We are getting a tiny reprieve with the extreme humidity for a couple days.  We have had spotty rain this past week - enough - but nothing to get excited about.
The garden is still going good.  I sure love having all these fresh veggies to eat and can.

I stopped at an ethnic supermarket this week on my way home from visiting rehab.  I am still not sure if it was Asian or Mexican!  I really think it was a combination of both.  Oh my, were there some weird things in there!!  There were veggies I had never heard of - which was cool.  The meat department is where I got a bit grossed out.  Packages of sliced beef tongue, intestines, stomach, etc.  YUK!  I know people eat that stuff, but it is NOT my thing.  I truly think I would be a vegetarian first.  LOL!   It was an interesting experience.
I like walking through new places and learning about different cultures.  It was a FREE adventure.

I was doing some canning this week, and noticed that the wire rack for my canner has broken clean through in two places, making the jars sit crooked.  I checked out pricing for a new rack - a new canner w/rack would only be $7 more - so that is what I am going to do.  I can still use the old one, just can't put 7 jars in it any more.  Thinking on how I can repair that rack!

My frugal week:
  • I have been de-cluttering big time.  So much un-needed stuff in this house
  • went to the library for FREE reading material
  • Line drying laundry
  • Used rain water when needing to water garden and pots
  • Had to have lost some weight this week.  Mowed and trimmed and did a ton of yard work - boy was it hot!  I drank 2/3 gallon of water and sweated up a storm.  It surely help clean toxins from my body!!!
  • Made our first pot of fresh green beans this week (from garden) and used the last potato I had in them
  • Harvested crops - picked approx.  33 lbs. of produce this week.
  • Stopped by Kroger on my way home this week, to look at clearance.  Got a package of 10 - 1/4 lb. 80% lean burgers - regular price $10.00.  (That's $4/b.!).  I got it in mark downs for $5 - a much better deal. Repackaged and froze.
  • Found 3 cans of Carnation evaporated milk for .49 each.
  • Got 8 pounds of baby carrots for .39/lb.
  • Made dip from scratch
  • Picked 2 floral bouquets for the house
  • Canned 10 quarts of pickled (spicy dill) veggies (love for salads)
  • Washed the inside of all the windows (kitty nose prints) with homemade window cleaner and rags
Canned pickled veggies - includes carrots, a few green beans, yellow squash, cukes, and cauliflower.  YUM

Pretty phlox - it smells so good.

I noticed when I was leaving Kroger this week - that they already had ceramic Halloween pumpkins sitting outside for sale.  I sure wish they would wait till after Labor Day - it makes it much more exciting.  Of course, Christmas decoration will probably be out in the next couple weeks!  CRAZY!

Meals this week:
Pork chops - steamed broccoli (garden)/cauliflower - salad
Sausage - eggs - stir fried squash/onions
Chicken strips - brussel sprouts - salad
Bologna/tomato sandwiches - cheese strips (I got over hot this day - so dinner was sandwiches)
Tuna patties - fresh green beans - mac n cheese
Burgers - leftovers - salad
Meat/cheese/veggie rollups
We have tomatoes and cucumbers for every meal!

Snacks - chips and dip, nuts and fruit

Well, we tried for the Powerball this week - figured it was worth a shot.  Someone had to win at some point - figured my chance was as good as anyone else's.  I don't live in NH - so NO big win here!  Oh well, I still consider myself very wealthy IN MANY OTHER WAYS THAN MONEY!  Money is nice, but the other things in life mean more to me than it does.

What have you all been up to this past week?  Have you been doing any canning, freezing, crafting?
Give us a shout!  I love hearing from you all.

God bless you all.  May your week be safe, healthy and happy.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Basic Pantry Prep

This is the time of the year that most of us are busy working in our yards and gardens, and preserving the fruits of our labors.  We are all trying to be productive, yet stay cool.
This is all wonderful, as all the fruits and veggies we are preserving, will be wonderful nutrition for our bodies this winter.

BUT, we need to prepare our pantry with other things as well.  Sometimes we just need some items that are fun, we need our spice mixes to add flavor, and we need some yummy basics to add to our meals.
I'd like to start a feature, giving you ideas for home prepared basics to keep in your pantry.  Home prepared, means no chemicals and preservatives, and they are healthier versions of store bought.  It is also cheaper to make your own.

Mixes can be put into any type of jar.  You don't have to use your canning jars - but they are great if you have extras.  During the coming weeks, think about keeping and using old mayo or olive jars, or spice containers.  Think about all the containers you have, and how you can re-use them, instead of throwing them out.

3/4 C uncooked rice
1/2 C uncooked broken spaghetti (little pieces)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
Mix all these ingredients into a jar.  It should all fit into a pint jar or a quart storage bag.

1 recipe of knock off
2 Tbsp. butter (or coconut oil if wanting dairy free)
2 C chicken/beef/veggie stock
Lightly brown the mix in the butter.  Add broth.  Cook until rice and pasta are cooked through.

3 C dried kidney beans
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Adjust seasonings on your desired level of spiciness.
Mix all together and store in a quart jar or a storage bag.

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 recipe CHILI MIX
6 C water
2 C diced tomatoes
TOPPINGS IF DESIRED - shredded cheese or sour cream

Brown ground meat and place in a slow cooker with the other ingredients.  Cook on high for 8 hours or until the beans are tender (great workday dinner).  Serve warm with toppings if desired.

2 C powdered milk
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C chicken bouillon
2 Tbsp. minced onion
Mix all together and store in a large jar or storage bag.

1/2 C above MIX
1 1/4 C water
Combine the mix and water.  Stir until it slightly thickens.  If you need it thicker for a recipe, just stir and heat a little longer.
Cr. of CHICKEN - add some diced chicken pieces
Cr. of MUSHROOM - add 1/4 C diced mushrooms
Cr. of CELERY - add 1/4 C finely diced celery or 1 tsp. celery seed
Cr. of POTATO - add 1/2 C mashed potatoes

This will make adding a cream soup to a casserole easier and cheaper!

I think it is just so handy and much healthier to have these mixes on hand.  We don't ever have to feel the need to run to the store for an added ingredient or something for a side for dinner.
Times MAY get quite difficult in the future.  We may have economic downfalls, job losses, trucker strikes, heath issues ........ the list goes on and on.  BE PREPARED for anything.
(This would be a great rainy day project)

The more prepared and complete your pantry is, the better off you and your family will be.
Keep watching!


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Frugal Happenings 7/24

Good morning my sun shines!  I hope this finds you well and happy.

Are you staying cool?  It is so unbearably hot in many regions of the country.  We are under a heat advisory here.  Todays highs should get in mid 90's with humidity levels in the 80% range!  Can you say AWFUL?  Thank goodness for the invention of air conditioning!!
I have been checking all the water bowls and bird baths a couple times a day and adding cool clean water for the cats, squirrels and birdies.  Bless their hearts.
The kitties and the squirrels have their very shady spots where they hang out all day.

I only used my new dehydrator once this week, as I was pretty busy with other stuff.  Looking forward to playing with it more in the coming weeks.

The garden is starting to produce more every day.  It is just the coolest thing in the world to me, to be able to walk out in your yard and pick fresh wholesome food for your bellies!  Life doesn't get much better than that!

My frugal week:
  • Got a dehydrator, which will pay for itself in no time
  • I got 10 cases (24 cans ea.) of cat food for the price of 6!  I stopped and got 5 cases on sale at .40/can (cheapest ever around here).  I bought lots of items at the store and the total was high, so I didn't notice an error till I got home.  For 4 cases they charged me the CAN price of .40, instead of the case price of 9.60!  The next day I went back to get more on sale, and I took receipt  to show them their error and so I could pay up.  They thanked me for being honest and told me to consider it my lucky day!  WOOHOO
  • I trimmed up my hair and gave myself a dye job at home
  • Stopped at fresh Thyme and got 4 huge heads of cauliflower for .88 each, as well as seedless grapes for .88/lb.!  Strawberries for 4 lbs. for $5.
  • Hardboiled a dozen eggs for the week ahead
  • Canned 6 quarts of kosher dill spears
  • Made another quart of ice cream from scratch
  • Picked approx. 30 lbs. of produce from the garden this week
  • Laundry in cold and line dried
  • All the basic and normal stuff we do everyday
  • Used the Soda Stream several times on flavored water
  • Made a big bowl of cauliflower salad - YUM
  • Been using rain water for watering plants
Isn't that the yummiest looking picture?

Meals this week:
Roast/potatoes/carrots in crockpot
Beef Manhattens (hot roast beef sandwiches with mashed pots smothered in gravy) with leftover beef
 a nice mess of fried zucchini and a salad
 jalapeno/cheese stuffed zucchini boats
steak burgers/corn on cob/garden salad
mushroom/beef/rice and cauliflower salad
cauliflower salad and salsa and chips

Snacks - nuts and lots of fresh fruit!

Now that my garden is starting to really produce, I hopefully will be doing a lot of canning in the coming weeks.  How is your garden and canning going?   What kind of goodies are you preserving for the winter?
How did you save money this week?

I PRAY that God will protect us and all innocents of the world.  Praying that the horrible meanness and terrorism will stop and we can all live in peace one day soon.

I hope you each have a safe, productive and healthy week.  God bless each of you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pantry, Prep, and Planning 3

Today I would like to touch on our pantry prepping and planning on non-edible things (human), and still prepping on a budget.  It can be done - although you may be using some unconventional items (or new to you).

  • Watch for coupons and sales, and match the 2 up.
  • Don't be brand restricted (if SHTF does it really matter how good your hair smells?)
  • Learn how to make many of your items.  It is easy and very cost effective.
  • Shop Dollar Tree and other dollar stores.  I buy all my shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, etc. at the Dollar Tree (they accept coupons now too).  Name brand items for so much less money.
Many people don't stop and think about their pets when stocking up.  Our animals are members of our family - so I could never forget them.
  • Buy large bags of whatever dry food they like when it's on sale.  If necessary keep those bags enclosed in large rubber or metal trash cans (to keep out varmints)
  • Have plenty of canned food on hand
  • learn how to make or dehydrate treats for your pets from healthy human food
  • You can make litter from shredded newspaper if necessary
  • Keep mint or lavender in your yard (natural flea remedies, and also essential oils like mint, lavender or eucalyptus or rosemary.
  • Watch for coupons on pet food and pair up with good sales.
  • Animals shouldn't eat the same things you do (with spices) - but you can make homemade pet food with meat, rice, veggies (unseasoned).
You can make most cleaners from basic ingredients - and many of those ingredients can be used in cooking and baking as well! 
  • If you must have brand name cleaning products - then again watch for coupons and shop the sales at dollar stores.  You should never buy household or hygiene products at the grocery store - they are way more expensive there.
  • Essentials to have on hand -  BAKING SODA, distilled or cider VINEGAR, PEROXIDE, bar SOAP (like Zote or castile), essential OILS, WASHING SODA and/or BORAX. 
  • Keep old rags (or cut up old t-shirts) and/or newspaper for cleaning
  • Old toothbrushes - to help in cleaning tiny areas
  • Keep lots of TP on hand!!!!!!!  Granted we could wash or use alternatives, but that is one luxury I don't anyone wants to be WITHOUT!!!!!!  Look for sales and combine with coupons when possible.
  • For long term emergencies - CHARCOAL, PROPANE, or WOOD for cooking
  • A generator for frig, furnace, etc.
  • WOOD if you have a fireplace
  • LOT'S of blankets and coverings - don't ever get rid of any
You need to have basic first aid supplies on hand at all times.  Dollar stores are a great resource for buying many basic items.  Band-aides, plain aspirin, gauze, peroxide, etc. can be had very cheaply.
DON'T forget to watch yard/garage sales.  I have purchased wrist guards and new ace bandages for pennies.
Places like Sam's or Costco are good sources for large quantities of over the counter meds
Keep a good antibacterial ointment on hand.
Pure Aloe Vera is mandatory in our home - I use that for all sorts of ailments (external and internal)
I keep sanitary pads on hand strictly for absorbing compresses (non-deodorized)
**When renewing your medical scripts, go in before you are completely out of medicine - usually 3-4 days is allowed.  Keep those extra meds (marked and separate), in case something would happen that you couldn't get your meds.  At least you would have a few extra on hand.

I hope this gives you a few ideas on things you need to have in your pantry for basic existence JUST IN CASE it all hits the fan!  There are frugal ways to be prepared with our non-edibles. 

What are your ideas on basics that are needed?  Let us know your thoughts.

Monday, July 18, 2016

New Toy

Well I went out and bought myself a new TOY today!  I hardly ever do that.
I usually think about things for so long, that I talk myself out of them.

I bought a dehydrator, extra trays and a book about drying food!  WOOHOO!!!!!  It really wasn't that expensive, and I figure all the food that I can save will pay for it in no time.  I can look for deals at stores as well.

I looked at WM and then at Rural King.  WM only had one cheapy model and I didn't like the brand of it.  There really must be a craze happening with drying food.  Rural King usually has about 6 different kinds in stock - and today they just had one.  I nabbed this one for a decent price, and IF I LOVE it, well maybe I will get a bigger one someday.

Do you dehydrate?  Let me know what kinds of things you dry.  I'm excited to get  started.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Frugal Happenings 7/17

Hi there everyone.  I hope this finds you well and happy.  Do you all have a good week?  I sure hope so.

My week was so-so.  Stayed home a lot again this week.  I have been dealing with extended family issues (brother), and it is just so hard not having control over a situation.  Everyone that knows me, knows I like to be able to have control in a stressful situation, and I have always been the go to person in the family.  This time - no - as my brother has kids.  So as much as I'd like, I can only give my say, then I have to walk away.  It has been very stressful and at one point I had a pretty nasty anxiety attack - but I am better.

I talked with Ron today, and he really seems to understand the seriousness of the situation - which he didn't before.  He and I had a nice brother/sister visit.  I feel better today.
I know many of you have had family situations, that have gone sideways too - so I knew you would understand.  Thanks for listening.

On to fugal time!
  • I did play barber this week, and went and shaved my brother and trimmed his hair.  It was badly in need
  • Did laundry in cold and with dehumidifier water and line dried
  • Reclaimed 1 huge and 1 smaller rubber totes from the garage to use for gifts and other storage in the basement.  I scoured them outside and air dried and they are perfect for what I need.
  • Made ice cream
  • Saved another cereal wrapper for the wax paper.  I haven't bought wax paper for a couple years
  • Cut basil and dried
  • when I had to water (once) this week, I used rain water.  We have had a lot of rain
  • Meals from home, scratch and leftovers
  • Got to have the windows open one night and one day this week.  I'll take those days when I can!
  • I have been picking several different types of veggies.
Aren't those peppers pretty?  My plant are loaded.

Cherry tomatoes gave us a few this week.  Regular tomatoes are starting to turn.  YUM

Certain types of lettuce are still going strong - others have already seeded.

  • I got a $35 rebate check from Menards - that will help when they have a great sale I can utilize
  • I mailed in a $3 rebate from a while back.  I almost forgot about it, but got it postmarked a day before expiring
  • Saved .30/gallon on gasoline this week
  • G had a friend come by one day and helped him accomplish 3 projects in the garage he has been wanting to do.  I sent our friend home with cookies.
Meals this week:
Leftover Chinese, made a veggie/hominy goulash, had baked fish/dirty rice/garden veggies, homemade pizza, beef & gravy with garden veggies served with mashed potatoes, hamburger hash & salad, homemade nacho's supreme.

Snacks were smoothies, nuts and popcorn.

How are your gardens growing?  Are you doing any fun crafts?
I know here in the U.S. we are all geared up in summer mode and gardening, but we have friends here who are in the middle of their winter.  Warm wishes to those followers!

Check in with us this week and let us know what you have been up to.  We all love hearing what everyone is up to.
Prep, Plan, Pantry 3 will be this week too.

God bless you all.  May your week be happy and safe and full of joy!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fun Frugal Reading

Do you have some favorite books that you use in your frugal life?
Do you have any that really guided you into this lifestyle?

I have a lot of personal self help books that I have on hand and have used over and over in the past many years.  In my opinion, they are all reference books.  I reread them all over and over.

Probably my favorite of all times is The Tightwad Gazette.  I have all 3 volumes from the original printing, and they are flagged, highlighted, and underlined to the max!!  These were my first books on the subject - all bought at yard sales for less than $1 each!  I used to get her newsletters monthly, and decided to just get the books.

Many of my other favorites are ALL books from Living on a Dime, books written by Jeff Yeager (I have 2), The DIY Pantry, and Meals in a Jar.
I absolutely adore ANY books that are The Gooseberry Patch.  Most are cookbooks, but they also have all kinds of handy and crafty ideas in them.  I love my Amish cookbook - it also contains many useful tips, and my Mom's old cookbook.
Many cookbooks are NOT just cookbooks - they contain a wealth of information that we need every day.

Two books I keep on hand for all homesteading issues are Country Wisdom and Know-How and The Encyclopedia of Country Living.  I have had these two books for years and years.  You name it, and they explain how to do it!
I also have ALL of my Dad's Organic Gardening magazines from the 60's and 70's!!!  Oh yes, we were both pack-rats!

I am continually getting books at the library with helpful hints, gardening ideas, herb uses, etc.  I just find these things so extremely interesting and I absolutely LOVE to learn new things.
I also have several books in my personal library on health and herbal and self care.  You just never know when you might need these things.

I have many, many more books than I have not listed, but these are my favorite go-to books.
What do you like to read and keep on hand?
 I'd love to hear what self help books others read and use - so I can extend my own library.  I like to get books cheaply, but a self help book is something I will make an investment into - because it will be used for years!

I know that with the internet, many people have given up on buying and reading actual books.  I have a tablet and have many books downloaded on it, but have yet to really read any of them.  I LOVE BOOKS!  I want to hold it in my hands and turn the pages while I learn! 
Sound crazy???  Maybe - but I don't care.  I guess I am old fashioned.

PLEASE share with us some of the go-to books you all use.
I am always game for a new read!  How about you?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pantry, Prep, & Planning 2

Hey gals.  let's talk some more about being prepared for whatever hits us.
Several of you have mentioned that you are worried, like myself, about the state of our country.  It is so sad right now.  All the violence - hate crimes, home grown and foreign terrorism,  and of course all the crap going on with government officials.
Has anyone else ever noticed, that when there is a big political fiasco going on - there is a hate crime or terrorism act to gain our attention?   Coincidence?  Not in my opinion.

With that being said and not getting too political - folks we need to be prepared for anything!!!!  This world is getting just to dang scary and evil and no one is going to take care of you and yours - unless it is you!

Crystal mentioned in the comments last week about trying to prep, yet stay within a limited budget.  Let's talk about that some.  It is very possible to get and do a lot with small amounts of money.  I know some people are on very limited funds - so if you can add $5 worth of extras a week - that would help a lot.  Add what you can. 
Watch the sale, use coupons, and get extras. 
Let's say you normally buy 2 cans of corn, or a bag of beans a week - buy 4 cans or 2 bags.  If you do this every week - your stockpile will grow.

1.  Garden.  If you can garden - any at all - that is a huge plus.  You can save the money from eating fresh and use on other things.  If you grow enough - you can - can or freeze for the future.

2. Know your neighbors - if they garden, they may have surplus that they can give you.  It is always nice to be on good terms with your gardening neighbors!

3.  Barter - if you know anyone with a garden or who cans - barter with them.  Maybe you can tend their garden when they are on vacation, or help them in the yard.  Maybe you are a great baker, and trade baked goods for canned goods.  There are so many things you can offer for trade.  Use your imagination.

4.  Gather and glean where allowable.  Many farmer's harvest their crops, but leave tons of valuable produce in the fields.  See if they will allow you to gather it.  Heck tell them you will sign a waiver (if need be) to not sue them for any reason. (Many farmer's could be leery of lawsuits).

5.  Forage - do you have a neighbor who doesn't use the fruit on their trees?  Do you live near a woods?  Ask the neighbors if you can gather the fruit - which helps keep their property clean too - maybe even give them some of the end product.  Go into the woods and hunt for wild berry bushes, nut trees, crab apples, etc.
Know what you can eat from your own yard.  Research edible "weeds".  There are tons that are edible and so good for you.
There are even parts of plants you raise for one thing - that are good also for something else.
The leaves on broccoli plants are edible and FULL of vitamins, the outer leaves of cabbage plants are edible.  Grape leaves can be used in cooking.  Raspberry leaves are often used in herbal remedies and teas.  DO YOUR RESEARCH - it could save you money or your life.

6.  Don't forget about the dollar stores.  They aren't like the dollar stores of old - there are so many deals to be had, and many name brands.
I often buy pasta to add to stock, as I can get a 24 oz. box of macaroni for $1 vs. a 16 oz. at the grocery for the same price.
Many times you can get MUCH larger cans of sauces for $1 vs. smaller cans at the grocery for a higher price.
We love hominy - and I get a 1lb. 9 oz. can at Dollar Tree for $1 - whereas a 14 oz. can at the grocery can be $2 or more.
Cleaning products and health and beauty products are probably the best buys at the dollar stores (Dollar Tree).  Don't buy those items at a regular grocery.

7.  Bulk stores - these can be good, if you have a large family, have a way to divide items into smaller packages, or have someone you can split a purchase with.  It is NEVER a deal, if you buy a huge package of something, that you won't use in a timely fashion, and waste it.

8.  Cook from scratch - this is always cheaper than buying prepared food and healthier as well.  Make sure you have several cookbooks on hand (in case you have no access to internet).  I love the old cookbooks - because the tend to be more basic.  Our grandmas didn't use fancy ingredients, they kept things easy and frugal.

9. Farmer markets - try checking with them just about closing time!  Many vendors don't want to pack up items, and will give you a deal to rid of stuff.

10.  Specialty stores - I know there are a lot of towns that have scratch and dent stores (oh how I wish).  These are great for getting deals.  If you live near Amish territory, Amish stores often sell in bulk for a great price.  Take time to look at Asian, Mexican, Indian, etc. stores.  You would be amazed at how cheap you can get spices, rice, beans, and many times meat.

So, see there are many ways to stock-up on the cheap.  Try and think outside the box, and keep your eyes and ears open for deals.
IF you have a chance - spend a day going through you area dollar stores and specialty stores (Asian, Mexican, etc.) and make a list of all the items that are cheaper than the grocery.  This list will help you know if a grocery sale is really a sale as well.

I hope this gives everyone a few ideas on how to prepare for the future on a limited budget.  If you have other suggestions PLEASE let us know.  We are all eager to learn and save money.

NEXT 3 P's - will discuss non-food items we should have on hand.

HAPPY PREPPING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Frugal Happenings 7/10

Hello there my friends.  I hope you all had a great holiday week.

I, for one couldn't be happier that the 4th is over.  It was horrendous here, for 2 nights.  So many people in the area had illegal fireworks going off, it sounded like WW3!  The police won't do anything, so I have no idea why we have those laws.
My concern was for all the pets, elderly, and Vets in the area.  It had me feeling like I was losing my mind, so I can't imagine how they felt.
There are still people setting off fireworks, but they aren't as bad.

Our weather has been hot, humid and wet for a big portion of the week, then yesterday it turned lovely.  No AC yesterday or last night and none as of this writing.  The heat and humidity returns this week however.  I love these little breaks we get!!!!!

We have been getting plenty of rain for the garden, and several things are now starting to produce, at least some.  I love fresh from the garden veggies!

It has been really quiet on the home front this week. 
Frugal happenings:
  • laundry in cold and line drying (have to pick the right day with no rain)
  • 2 rain barrels are full (110 gallons)
  • Eating lots of fresh veggies from the garden
  • Have been sorting, straightening, and inventorying our pantry and basement stock
  • Received about 5 dozen canning jars (almost all quart) from G's aunt and uncle.  They had a neighbor getting rid of them (free), and thought of us!  Even got about 5 blue ones!  YAY
  • Did a lot of yard work on Saturday - so free exercise
  • enjoying getting a break from the AC for a couple days and loving fresh air.
  • Biggest FRUGAL - stayed out of stores and spent NOTHING this week!!
Meals were a variety this week - some were just plain simple!
Burgers, baked beans and chips - bologna sandwiches with leftover beans and chips - garden veggies and pasta skillet and garden salad - tator tot casserole - pork chops, mac n cheese, salad - leftovers from the week and hot smoked sausages - Chinese (yes I caved and ordered out)

I was so tired Saturday night, so we ordered Chinese (G's favorite).  It has been since April since we ordered any.  This will also be our dinner tonight.

Snacks were gooey/nut biscuits (homemade), chocolate drizzle pretzel cheesecake (homemade), nuts, fresh fruit, and popcorn.

This coming week I will post again about the 3 P's and incorporate some of the things mentioned in the comments from others.

How was your week?  Give us all a shout out.
Hoping your upcoming week is safe and healthy.  May God be with and bless you all.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pantry, Prep, and Planning

Hi there everyone. 
I am sorry I have been AWOL this week.  The holiday really threw me off - which is kind of funny - since I don't go to a job daily!

I have been working on straightening and inventorying the pantry upstairs, the prep area downstairs, and making plans for the future.
Some how my pantry always gets messy.  Those dang Gremlins must get in there and party or something!

My prep stash in the basement, drastically needed to be worked on as well.  I am notorious for getting items, and then taking them downstairs and just setting them down.  Well, this week they are finding homes!

I am also going through my home canned goods and making an inventory - so I know just what and how much to can this year.
It seems this is just a never ending project for me.
I am truly hoping to have much canning, and a ton more prep done before fall.  I know a lot of people think I am nuts and that I am a conspiracy theory person - and maybe I am.

I really feel that "IT" will hit the fan big time this fall.  I believe that either right before or right after election time, we will be under marshal law.  No matter which way the election goes, it is going to tick off a LOT of people, and I think there will be riots and looting, like we have never seen.  I think it will be widespread as well.
We are going to have to fend for ourselves.  As most people know, when a crisis arises the stores only have a limited 3 or 4 day supply of groceries - and it won't last that long if there is looting.

Brexit made the financial institutions and stock market  fluctuate drastically, and you can bet the elections will do it as well.  Shoot, all it takes is for someone in D.C. to fart sideways and the stock market drops!!!!
We are so much closer to having a country in MAJOR crisis, than I think most people will dare to admit.

Take time to inventory what you have, assess what you need, get it, and store it.  You WILL need it sooner than you think.
Can and freeze everything you can get your hands on this summer and fall.  It may save your family!
BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST and pray for the best.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Frugal Happenings 7/3

Happy July 4th weekend.

This week has been a little quiet around here.  I did get a couple good finds.  We worked around the house and yard some.
Amazingly, for this time of the year, we have had some wonderful weather this week.  It started out really hot, then cooled right down.  We haven't had the AC on (except for a couple hours) since Wednesday.  Sleeping at night with the windows open has been lovely.
Today our highs are to be in the 60's and it is raining!  Give it a couple days and we will be back to upper 80's and 90.  I am not looking forward to 90 at all.

The garden is doing well.  Slowly starting to get more harvest.  I give it a few weeks and I will be a canning fool!  I can't wait.

Saw something unusual for our area today.  The neighbor was mowing, and there was a bird that seemed to be going crazy.  I thought maybe it had a nest close by - but it was a swallow!  It was collecting bugs as they mowed.  I have never seen one in the city before.  it was really cool to watch.

This weeks frugal ways;
  • Made a new bottle of Febreeze
  • Laundry in cold and line dried
  • We were gifted a 2 lb. bag of spicy trail mix.  G is loving it!
  • Mowed, weeded, and did lots of yard work (free exercise)
  • G did some maintenance work on my little tiller.  Should be working perfectly again
  • Cut G's and my hair at home
  • With G holding the ladder - I lopped/trimmed several low branches from our trees
  • Got a great deal on fish for the freezer.  Kroger had a sale on whiting fillets - 2 lb. bags - USA - for 2/$5!!!  They were originally 11.99 a bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  NO way would I have spent that - but the savings I gained on buying 12 bags was $113.88!! WOOHOO!                                         We now have 24 lbs. of fish in the freezer.
  • Also got 2 - 5 lb. bags of Martha white flour on clearance for 1.49 each.  Originally was 2.99.
  • Picked more lettuce, another cucumber, and the first 2 yellow squash
  • AC off much of the week, and enjoying fresh air
  • All meals from scratch
My fish purchase. We are set with fish for months to come.  My freezers are officially full again.

Meals this week:  Mac n cheese with hot sausage and salad, stir fry veggies and chicken served over rice, ham and cheese roll-ups and leftover mac n cheese, chicken strips, mashed potatoes and wilted lettuce (YUM), loaded baked potatoes, stuffed pepper skillet dinner

Snacks:  trail mix, fresh fruit, nuts, popcorn, fruit smoothies

How was your week? 
I hope you all have a great holiday weekend with family and friends.
Hope to hear from you all this week.

Blessings to all.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Picture Day 2!!!!

Here are a couple more pictures.

The cucumbers are growing well.

These just make me smile.

Corn growing behind the shed.  I did not plant this - the squirrels did.  No reason not to let it grow there - they will reap the benefits from it!!!!

Going to have some peppers!!!  This is just one pot of them.

Click on any picture to enlarge.


Picture Day!

Just thought I'd share a few yard and garden pictures to end the week.
I hope you enjoy them and SMILE!

My grapes are really loaded.  I didn't think I was going to have a lot this year.  So happy.

"What you looking at Willis?   Poor baby is so tired!!!!!

The main garden on June 30.  It sure is a growing!

Well, I was going to add more - but this darn this won't let me.  May have to do a Picture Day 2!!