Sunday, May 19, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 5/19

Good morning everyone.  I hope you all had a good week.
We have had many days of lovely weather this week.  Thursday evening we had a heck of a storm come through our state.  We had wind gusts of 60+ mph!  You couldn't even see across the street the rain was so fierce.  Many areas had tons of damage and many are still without power.  We had no damage at all thank goodness.
Yesterday got in the upper 80's and it was sunny and humid.  Just a little taste of summer!  Today storms returning for a part of the day.


I have been enjoying watching nature and seeing all the pretty flowers starting to bloom.  Saw my first groundhog of the season Thursday morning.  I am HOPING he was just passing through, and not staying.  I haven't seen it since.  Still haven't seen another hummer yet!  Usually start showing up regularly around first of June.

I found out the young couple next door are NOT going to move for at least another year.  I am so relieved.  They are just so sweet and have the sweetest 18 month old named Charlotte.  I was so dreading the thought of new neighbors - not ever knowing what you may get.  God is looking out for me!

My week:
  • Cooked a dozen hard boiled eggs for snacks or adding to meals
  • Did lots of yard work and pulled lots of weeds
  • An old boss from 30+ years ago showed up at my door, offering condolences and he brought me a perennial to plant in the garden from his yard.  So very thoughtful.
  • I planted up 5 hanging baskets and planted a few pots
  • Cleaned inside of windows and mirrors
  • Cut my hair and did a quick color job.  I don't feel quite as old and frumpy now!
  • I went out and had a breakfast/brunch with my high school friend.  I needed that - it was quite cathartic.  She is one of my oldest friends.  We talked about everything - cried together - laughed - gave hugs - etc.  We spent 5 hours just talking!!!!!!! 
  • I used power tools this week!  I got around to altering the squirrel feeder that G & I planned of fixing.  I also cut some lattice to cover the 2nd rain barrel (which I also got set up).  I am always afraid an animal will try to walk across it (just covered with screen) and fall in - now it is protected. 
  • I put up the last bird feeder I got for Christmas (it's big - holds 10 lbs. of seed).  Found a place that I hope squirrels won't get to on the front porch.

  • I ran to my regular Kroger for the first time in weeks.  I had a hard time in there.  Everything I saw, I thought "Glen would love that".  I managed to get what I needed - milk, juice, cat litter and some peppers without losing it completely.  I did buy 2 - .99 bags of peppers.
  • Saturday I made a quick trip to the park up the road to the Farm Market - just to do something different.  I did buy lettuce.  I petted lots of sweet doggies!
  • Made fruit juice ice cubes to jazz up drinks
  • I did stop at 2 side by side yards sales across from Kroger the other day - they were huge.  Bought nothing.
  • I FINALLY got all the important stuff taken care of regarding Glen.  I have put off so many things - because as silly as it sounds - it just seemed to make things so permanent.  But all is taken care of and everything is process.  Relieved to have those things done.  Sigh

Easy meals this week:
Homemade Subway type sandwich (roll from freezer, lunchmeat and lots of fresh veggies added)
Turkey/cheese sandwich, a  few chips and a banana
Diced potatoes/onion/smoked sausage fried together
Smoked sausage (leftover) and hard boiled eggs
Waffles - (extra in the freezer)
Stuffed bell pepper - steamed pepper in micro, then filled with dirty rice (box mix) and cheese
Refried beans (freezer), dirty rice (leftover), cheese and tomato burrito

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

LADIES IN THE U.S. -  Don't forget this will be a good grocery stock-up week with Memorial Day coming up next weekend.  Look for those great deals that happen at holidays - hamburger, hotdogs, sausages, buns, pop, chips, condiments, melons, corn, etc.  I have already seen some super ads for this coming week.  Be penny wise and stock-up when the prices are cheap!!!!!!!!
Even swimsuits and summer wear are being advertised 50% off at some stores.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

How was your week?  Did you find any deals or great savings?
I pray that you each have a blessed week and please stay healthy and safe my friends.
Blessings from my little humble home to yours.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Before Buying

There are things that we all need to purchase.  We need food, health and beauty items, medications, pet supplies and proper clothing.
BUT, do we NEED all the stuff we buy?  Probably not.

I know folks who just LOVE to shop.  They buy to be buying - although they would differ with my thoughts.  Some people have clothes hanging in the closet with tags still on them.  Some people don't know when to stop with flowers for the yard (there are other ways to get them than buying at times).  There are people addicted to buying purses, jewelry, shoes, tools, knick-knacks for the home, etc.

I have been trying to get rid of things and now I will be working even harder on that.  I want no one to have to deal with this stuff when I am gone.  It just isn't fair to anyone.



So there are a few questions we should all ask before making purchases.
  • Do I really NEED it or do I WANT it?
  • Do I already have something that will serve the same purpose?
  • Am I just buying it because it's cheap?
  • Will I LOVE it as much next week or next month as I do today?
  • Do I want to maintain or clean it?
  • Will I use it faithfully?
  • Can I really afford it - without going into debt?
  • Do I really have the extra room for it?
  • Is it actually a real value?
  • Will it truly bring me joy?
I think the first, second and last questions are the most critical for me.  I know we all look at things differently.  
What are your criteria for making new purchases?

I look around my house as I am sitting here, and yes most everything I SEE brings me joy.  But there is so much that is put away - that I never see and rarely use.  WHY?  What was I thinking when getting it?  I don't use many things, I don't love them and I don't need them and more importantly they sure don't bring JOY.
It's time to pass them on to someone who might love, need and use them.

The next time you go shopping - stop and ask yourself a few questions.  You just may save yourself some money.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Easy & Sturdy Mending

We always have items that need mended (at least I do).  I have lots of jeans, but they are all older.  Can't remember the last time I bought a pair of new jeans at a 'real' store!  Any jeans I have purchased in recent years were from thrift stores - and that hasn't happened in years.
I wear jeans almost exclusively!!!

I have always had a time of wearing out knees and the bum area of jeans - too much crawling around on the ground!  OK - I know people actually pay huge money for the look I end up with - shredded knees and such.  Not this gal - I can't stand my knees poking through.

I don't like iron patches, as I have never had good luck with them sticking well.  I just can't sew patches in place on knees with my sewing machine.  I can't get them in the right position without bunching up and sewing something extra into the mended area!!!

Here is what I use.
This stuff is great and lasts and lasts.  It can be purchased at most craft and fabric stores.  Not only do I use this on jeans - but I have used it on crafts as well.  We all have that project that is just an odd size or area to sew.   This stuff is great and holds up very well wash after wash.

As you can see in this picture, patches can be small or large.  The one on the left is the inside of a pair of jeans - knee patch.  The one on the right is patching I did right in the zipper/crotch area.  It was difficult working around the zipper and thick seams with sewing machine - sew I fused it!
I can always add a pretty patch to the outside of the knee or bum area with the same product.

I have used this product mending fabric purses, jeans, and craft projects.  I have 'fixed' small rips in the seam of pillows, without removing all the stuffing.  I have applied appliques to items easily.  This works wonderfully on any oddball area and on all kinds of fabric.
My neighbor called a month or so ago, asking for suggestions on attaching fabric to a chair she was recovering.  She used this to get everything attached and set - them she added brads for a finishing touch.  She called and said it worked so well, and that she would never be without it from now on (she doesn't sew).

I keep this on hand all the time.  If kept properly capped a bottle will last for ages.  I have a larger bottle (in stock) that I got several years ago when Hancock Fabric went out of business.  I don't ever want to be without it.

If you have never tried it (or any product that is similar), think about giving it a try.  Some areas sell a product called Liquid Stitch which is the same thing.
Hopefully this tip will help with your odd mending and craft projects.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up 5/12

Good morning and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the Moms of humans and fur babies!  I hope everyone has a special day.

It is rainy and chilly here today.  I sure wish the weather would get and STAY warmer!  They are calling for frost the next 2 mornings!!  Last year on Mother's Day it was almost 90*!
I did buy a few plants this week - but not putting out veggies for a few days - not taking a chance with frost.  Nights should maintain 50* for good planting here.  Looks more like end of the week will be better.

Many flowers are starting to bloom.  I have columbine blooming, and the poppies are starting to pop open.  My clematis has lots of big buds.  The peonies are covered with buds as well.  Leaves are coming on the grape arbor.

I put my hummingbird feeder on the 3rd and finally saw my FIRST baby of the season on the 10th.  Just one - but it is a start.  Still awful chilly at night around here.

  • I did some yard work the first part of the week.  Got the pampas grass all cut back, and did mowing and some trimming.  So much to do  (just not a lot of gumption to do it).
  • No heat all week - until yesterday morning.  The house was downright chilly, so I turned it on for one cycle.  Same this morning.  House holds heat well.  Rest of the week the windows were open and the house got lots of fresh air.
  • I had to order more checks from the bank - no charge for seniors!  Can't remember the last time we ordered checks.  Glen did everything online - not me!
  • Gave my neighbor a couple cans of coffee - I don't drink it, so someone should get use.
  • Donated to "feed the hungry" Post Office food drive yesterday
  • Went through a LOT more paperwork
  • I received a pretty wreath from a friend in Colorado.  It is on my front door in honor of Glen
  • I patched 4 pairs of old jeans - which will be great for just bumming around in
  • I did more cleaning - some regular that has been neglected last couple weeks and more deep cleaning
  • I cooked up a pound of ground beef into taco seasoned - used in a few meals
  • I ran to Big Lots one rainy day - just to get out of the gloomy house.  I got a couple deals.  I found 2 - 3 1/2 pound bags of cat food marked at .50 each and 2 - bottles of shampoo for .50.  Super deal for sure.


Simple meals this week:
Homemade bean/cheese/ salsa burrito
Mac n cheese topped with a little taco meat
Soft tacos
Cheesy baked potato topped with last of the taco meat
Tuna patty and leftover mac
Homemade small pizza
This and that - finished all leftovers

How was your week?


Taking things one day at a time and trying to move forward.  I finally got all the paperwork I need to move forward on some financial things.  Things sure are different.  I guess the only thing that is consistent in life - is change!  

I pray that each of you have a great, healthy and safe week.  I do love all my friends here.   I saw a prayer in the paper the other day I'd like to share.
"Show us, O God, how to simplify our lives.  Focus us on what is essential to live a life of love.  Help us to let go of the rest.  Amen."

Blessings from my humble little home and world to yours.
God bless you all.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Couple More Kitchen 101 Ideas

Today will be a couple more K101 ideas.  Just basics - but helpful.
Summer is coming upon us, and we can all use new ideas for food and drink. I hope this inspires someone!

I love this!!!  I make myself a lot of sparkling water with the soda stream.  This is a great way to add some flavor.  I like just a hint of flavor.  This would also be great for iced tea - I am thinking lemon or orange flavored Kool-Aid.  Just add a cube or two to a glass of your favorite cool drink!

Fresh fruits and veggies are a go to in the summer.  This is a refrigerate vs. don't refrigerate list.
I am OK with the refrigerate side - BUT I DO refrigerate apples, oranges, cucumbers and peppers.  I have a problem with those items going bad too quickly if not refrigerated.
I NEVER put a tomato in the frig.  I remember Mom would sometimes put a plate of leftover sliced tomatoes in the frig and I wouldn't touch them (and I LOVE tomatoes).  It sure did change the flavor in my opinion.
Do you agree with the lists?

  
Oh my, this is surely one of my favorite things.  Lettuce is a great spring/early summer garden food and this is just one more way to use it.  Everything is better with bacon!!!!!
I don't usually add egg or radish, but may try that.  YUM!

Hopefully this gives you an idea or two.
ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Kitchen 101

Just a couple of tips to help us all out.  Canning season is fast approaching and it always good to have a quick reference to measures.
I like how the measurements have conversions as well.





Hope these help someone.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up

Well, there isn't a lot of frugal news to share.  I will try.

The weather has been wet, with a side of more wet!!  Until today - 10 of the last 11 days have had rain.  The only one that didn't was Tuesday - the day of the funeral.  For that I am thankful.
It has rained at least one day of every weekend since the first of February.
The weed are growing like crazy, as well as the grass.

Hopefully if the dew dries, I can mow today.  It needs it again for sure.  So many weeds to pull out of the flower beds.  Today and tomorrow are supposed to be dry, then more rain comes in for most of the week.  Garden will wait as well.  Today is truly beautiful outside.  Sun is shining and the sky doesn't have a single cloud.  It has been ages since we have had such a day.

The kitties are still not completely understanding where daddy is.  Lilly lays in his spot on the bed all day - every day.  At night I lay there, and she comes in and lays in his power chair.  Coogy just loves on me constantly, and lays with me at night.  He sits and stare at me, as if he is thinking.

  • I did put the hummingbird feeders up on 5/3 just in case.  Not much blooming, so I want them to have food if they show up.
  • I have not purchased groceries in almost 3 weeks, except 1/2 gallon milk a 2 liter bottle of pop and 2 vine tomatoes
  • Have done laundry in cold water
  • I have been eating once a day - nothing to brag about.  I did cook a couple eggs, and some pasta w/chili beans once.  Other than that it has been a sandwich, salad, or bowl of soup.
  • I have not turned on the heat in many days
  • I returned the library books this week, so I wouldn't forget.  Never finished reading - will get them again later.  I have tried to read, and just can not concentrate
  • I did go to  the feed store for the bird/squirrel feed.
  • I have been enjoying some beautiful roses and a lovely battery angel candle I received.  The roses smell so lovely,  I keep changing the water and babying them, so as to make them last.  I also have some houseplant planters, adding lots of green to the house.
  • I did figure out the bill situation - utilities and insurances are basically all we have.  Paid what was due.  Did some banking, till things are settled.
  • I had to go back to the cemetery in Thursday, so make all final decisions on the grave marker.  We had paid for it, years ago when buying our plots - but had to decide on style and granite backer.    I went by Glen's grave and was totally surprised at how neat it was.  I figured I would see a lot of mud two days out and rain - but it already had sod.  This all seems so surreal.

So there you have it.  I am just getting through a moment at a time.  EVERYTHING has changed.  The quiet is deafening!!!!  When attempting to watch TV, I have chosen all different things - I just can't watch our 'regular' programs.
I know I have to move forward and live the best life possible to  honor Glen.  He would want me experience life as well as I can.  I spent years staying by his side, and not venturing more than a few minutes away (in case something happened).  Well, I was right here, and it happened anyway.  
He would want me to hook back up with friends and family and do stuff.  Many have reached out for "when I am ready".  I have family and friends checking on me daily.  I have felt so much love.

I truly want to thank YOU ALL again for all the love and prayers that have been shared.  You just have no idea what it means to me.  You are all my friends and just gems in God's world.
THANK YOU!

May you all be blessed and have a good week.  Stay healthy, happy and frugal.  Hug, love and enjoy!
Blessings from this girl's humble little world to yours.
God bless.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Moving Forward

Well, moving forward is most difficult.  May I just say THIS SUCKS SO BAD!
I know we are never ready to lose anyone - but I sure wasn't ready for my sweet Glen to move on so soon.  This is just awful.

I am trying to make heads or tails of things.  I have to wait on several things until I get the actual death certificates in my hands.  I understand that, they have to have proof.
Luckily I can survive until that is all taken care of.

I sat down yesterday and went through bills - trying to figure what had been paid and what needed to be.  I paid our property taxes.  I think I have figured it all out.  I will be doing things 'the old fashioned way' - writing checks!  No online stuff for me.
Oh my word, Glen was sure a packrat when it came to paper work.  Why oh why, were there folders of things that weren't important at all from 5-6 years ago?
I have started to just go through things slowly.  I did go to the bank and transfer some money to take care of things for the next couple months - at least until everything is settled.

Lists and more lists are being made.  So many things to think about and do.  I have always been a list person - but now especially.

I had this saying put on his memorial card.  I love it and thought it may resonate with others as well.

THANK YOU to each and every person who has sent love and prayers and virtual hugs. I am so overwhelmed by the love from every corner of the globe.  My cup is full of love!
Thank you for the words of advice.
I will not be making any big decisions for ages.  I am now just moving forward one day at a time.  That is the most I can do at this time.  This is just so difficult and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Starting next week, until I get my head back on straight, I will be posting  little informative memes just to help folks out.  I will get myself together soon.

Again, THANK YOU for all the love.  Family, friends, and faith has held me up.  God is my comforter.
God bless you all.



Sunday, April 28, 2019

Gratitude and Change

I have to say that I am total overwhelmed by all the comments.  The love, prayers, sadness and tears shared with me from every corner of the globe is just astounding.  I know I am totally surrounded with love.  I cannot begin to express what it has meant to me.
Every single service person I have had to deal with this week has been absolutely lovely.  All were so kind, compassionate and caring.  I have been hugged and I have been cried with by professionals.  It has been astounding.
My family and friends have surrounded me with love and support.

I have had a lot of loss in my life, but Tuesday was by far the absolute worst day I have ever experienced.  The shock and suddenness and tremendous loss is beyond words.
I am comforted by all the support shown and by knowing that my sweet husband is in the Lord's presence.
Everything about my life changed Tuesday morning.  It will never be the same.  I don't know why or what direction life will take, but I give it to God to direct me and hold me up.

I will have a second worst day this Tuesday when I see my sweet Glen's actual face for the last time.  I then have to figure out things about going forward.
I will need to check his retirement and social security accounts and insurance eventually.  He set his retirement up so that I would also receive full benefits for the rest of my life.  I have to work on paying bills - he paid everything online -  and I don't have a clue how to do that.  Needless to say I will be visiting with the bank a bit.  He did make sure that I would be OK financially, for that I am grateful.
I have to get used to new routines.  My life was very structured with him and now nothing.  I do have my sweet kitties to take care of and my nature - so I have some things to do each day that are important.

My kitties are so confused.  Lilly eats her breakfast in the morning, then goes in and lays in "daddies" spot on the bed all day.  Both have gotten sick a couple times this week.  Their world turned upside down as well.  They sleep with me at night, and Coogy loves on me constantly.

I do believe my blog posts will be changing some as well. 
I will not be doing bargain hunting and shopping for a long time.  Goodness knows I have enough food here to feed an army, let alone just me.  I well imagine my only food purchases will maybe be milk and something fresh.

I probably won't have weekly menus to share for quite a while.  How interesting and varied can it be when it's only me?  Soup, sandwiches, a salad or cheese isn't much to write about.

That big garden I had planned for this year - will be much smaller.  There will be no need.  I will grow enough for myself and maybe my neighbor and maybe a few things to make 'canned' gifts from.
So please be with me as things evolve - as I am sure they will.

I look around and wonder why do I have all this stuff?  My sweet man was an absolute pack-rat on his own!  WHY oh why did he keep so much paperwork and stuff?  Eventually I will get through things and figure it all out.

So for now, I will go forward one day at a time.  I will see the joy again I am sure - but it will take time.  Glen would want me to be happy and continue on a positive path of life.  That I know for sure.
He is in every nook and cranny of this house and I do feel surrounded by his presence and love.


Again, thank you all for all the beautiful thoughts and words.  It means so much.
Hang in there with me - as I will get back on track soon.

Love harder, hug tighter, and speak kinder every day.
God bless you all my sweet, sweet friends.  I love you all.



Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Worst of Times

I have been missing this week, but it has been a tremendously horrible week.
Sadly, I must say that my sweet teddy bear of a husband, Glen, very suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday.
We had a great start to our morning and had made plans to go outside and do a couple projects - and then our world turned upside down.

He went 10-15 minutes without a heartbeat or respiration.  His heart was revived, but he was on a ventilator.  Too much damage had been done to his brain with basically the most grim outcome.  We had discussed ours wishes many times over the years - so I knew what I had to do.  It was the hardest decision ever in my life, yet an easy one.  I knew he was already in the Lord's hands and I knew he would never want to just have his body exist.


My life just changed forever in a moment.  I am so numb, sad, angry, overwhelmed and just broken hearted.  Yesterday was the first day in 33 1/2 years that I did not get to see him.
I have made arrangements and will follow his wishes on that as well.  I can't wrap my head around all there is to do.

I will be back here as soon as I can.  Please keep checking in.

HUG your loved ones and tell them you love them.  A split second can change everything.
Please talk to your loved ones about their wishes as well.

I love you all.  I am so glad to have so much support.
God bless.


*Please forgive me if I do not respond to each comment - I will be reading.
 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Frugal Happenings 4/21

Happy Easter to all who celebrate.  HE IS RISEN!  What a glorious day.

Today the skies are clearing and the temperatures are going back in the right direction!  We had rain for 3 straight days and crazy winds and cooler temps.  Woke to fog this morning, but sun is shining now and we should get to about 70* today.
The world is most definitely coming back to life.  Trees are leafing and flowers are popping up,  All is green and looking lush.

I have been rather sore this week.  Monday I had gone out to do some errands, and when I came home I decided to go to the basement for something.  I still had my 'shopping' shoes on. (I never wear shoes going to the basement - carpet on stairs).  Well step 2 I slid and landed on my bum and rode the stairs down on my bum and back.  UGH!  My right arm was on handrail and hung tight - so I pulled the muscles a bunch.  Left elbow hit the cement block wall, and rug rash and bruises on lower back, hip, and upper legs.  BUT I AM FINE!!!!!  Thanking my lucky stars!
I guess it is a good reminder of how quick things can happen.

My frugal week:
  • Renewed library books on-line
  • Refilling pantry jars from home stock
  • Working on baby quilt
  • Got to air house and have no heat several days first of week
  • Took a big bag and a box of goods to the Christian thrift store
  • Received 2 - 8 count bags of hoagie buns from the thrift store for FREE.  Will repackage and freeze
  • I went out bargain shopping on Monday.  MEIJER - got a 20 lb. Honeysuckle White turkey for .49/lb. (limit 1).  Also a whole boneless ham for 1.99/lb. (10 lbs.).  I will slice and freeze in various size packages.  I can't buy deli ham that cheap (no way close).
  • Ran across the street from there to MENARD'S and purchased 24 cans of diced potatoes and 48 cans of tomato sauce.  .49/can with a .40 per can rebate!!!!!!!!  Final cost will be 9 cents per can!!!!!!  WOOHOO - I have already sent in rebate.  What a deal.
  • I was gifted a cook book of soups and stews - so many yummy looking recipes.  I can't wait to try some of them.
  • Doing all the regular stuff - laundry cold, making tea, eating from home and scratch, recycling what I can and just staying home!
Meals this past week:
Homemade white chicken/bacon pizza
Blueberry pancakes
Cube steak, mashed potatoes & steamed asparagus
Chili/cheese dogs and fries
Pork pieces with sautéed veggies over rice
Spaghetti with meat sauce (used veggie rotini instead of spaghetti)
Homemade sausage/egg/cheese/tomato McMuffins  - Yum!!!

How was your week?  Did you get any good deals or recycle anything? 
Anyone still de-cluttering?  It is an ongoing project here!

I hope you all have a glorious Easter with your families.  Prayers that your week be healthy and happy and frugal.  I hope that each of us do a little to help our yards, neighborhood, community, or towns in this Earth week!  May we each work at it everyday.

Blessings from our humble homes to yours. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

To Preserve and Protect

I think this is why human beings are on this planet.  Our job is to preserve and protect the earth.
We only have this one planet, and thus far I truly don't think we have done a crack up job of taking care of it!!!!!
I will not refer to humans as the superior being - as there are times I don't think we are.  Animals do not go out of their way to trash the world, to ruin nature, to fill the earth with filth and rubbish. to cut down all of our trees and put up parking lots.  They hunt for food and use what they kill.  They make their homes to flow with nature.

I think we really need to educate the youngsters of today.  I am a firm believer that if WE don't - the concern and respect for the earth will be gone in a few years.  Many young people don't have a clue where their food comes from and how it evolves to get to our plates.  They don't realize that we can ruin this planet to a point of no return.
YES, there are some young folks trying to get into farming and learning the old ways - but I think they are few.  I would love to see people turn off devices and get back in touch with nature.

Earth Day is April 22nd.  This has been celebrated for about a half century now.  It is a gentle reminder to us all to do what we can to take care of what we have.  There are many ways to do that on many levels.
  • Reduce, re-use and recycle - number 1 in my book!
  • Quit using plastic whenever possible.  Many stores have obligated to stop giving plastic grocery bags completely in upcoming years.  Some states have already outlawed them.  Plastic and Styrofoam does NOT break down.  Use cloth grocery bags and produce bags.  Quit buying individual serve containers.
  • Use more glass containers.  Buy in bulk (less packaging) and store products in your own glass containers.  Use glass as leftover jars. 
  • DO NOT litter!!!!!  If you see litter - PICK IT UP!  Don't wait for someone else to do the right thing
  • Plants trees and bushes - they help keep your air clean 
  • DO NOT use chemicals on the land - keep it natural.  Yes, there are ways.
  • DO NOT use chemicals in your home.  You are contaminating the air you, your children, your pets, and everyone else is breathing.  Natural ways of cleaning is so much healthier and it works.
  • Be resourceful and mindful of all of your utilities.  Do not waste water or power.  Collect rain water if possible to use on gardens and plants or even for gray water for your home.  Turn off lights when not in use.  Keep your heating/cooling to a reasonable level - fresh air is wonderful!
Next time you hard boil eggs or boil potatoes or steam veggies - let that water cool and use it to water houseplants or garden plants.  It is full of nutrients.  
Another re-use of water is when canning.  After I am done with my water bath canner for the day - I carefully take it outside and pour that scalding water on weeds/grass at the fence row or around the porch or driveway.  They die lickety-split!
You can use tub water to flush toilets or even to water plants.
Shower water can be caught in a bucket and re-used.  Otherwise it is just flowing down the drain for no reason.

This is what I use for areas that I simply want no growth.  I use in the gravel area out back and behind the shed (where mower won't fit).  I also use to keep the fence row (under the fence) clear.  It works quite well and there are no harsh chemicals to harm animals or humans.  The stuff you buy at the store is horrible!  Yes, you may have to repeat this every so often - but to me it is worth a little extra work to keep the animals safe.
NO it doesn't really work as fast as it says in the picture - but within a day two weeds and grass are dead.
Do not spray on desirable plants!

Yes, this is what I use as a fertilizer as well.  Many of us have used or still use Miracle Gro - but read the labels!  There is nasty stuff in it.  I don't want that leeching into my food.  I will continue to make my own.
Also think about using chopped and blended (with water) banana peels, egg shells, homemade compost, manure tea, etc.  There are so many natural things that will make your garden flourish and they are all healthy for your body!

Let us help the earth and leave it a better place for the future.  I sit back and watch the state of the world now and often wonder what it will be like when the babies being born today get to be our age (if that even gets to happen).  It is sad.

We need to do our best to protect and serve the earth - it is a wonderous thing that we have been gifted.  We need to educate and teach anyone who will listen.

IF WE EACH DO A LITTLE - THAT BECOMES A LOT!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Let's Not Forget Nature

We often think about stocking our pantry with our garden items and store bought items, but with many times forget about nature!
There is so much growing in our yards that we can use each and every day during the spring, summer and fall.  We just need to look around and do a little research.
I think we all need to learn to play with our food!!!!

Now is the time in much of the U.S. that folks can find mushrooms flourishing in the woods, there are fiddle heads and wild onions and garlic.  There is much out there that can be eaten and much that is quite nutritious.

I like making jellies with different items.  So many flowers and 'weeds' can be used.  Dandelions, violets, clover, peonies, lilacs, honeysuckle, roses, lemon balm and mints can all be used to make jelly.  I have used several of these and they are quite tasty and just fun!

These are so good for you.  The greens are tasty in salads, soups, and homemade salves.

Don't forget to take care of the bees as well.  PLEASE don't kill the beneficial weeds (flowers) and plant lots of lovely flowers.  Without bees - we will have no crops.  They are unsung heroes in the plant kingdom.

I will be doing posts on beneficial weeds.  There are so many yard plants that add to our diets and health and well being.  There truly is no reason to be hungry.

Please do not use weed killers.
NEVER eat plants that have been sprayed with chemicals and beware of animal "locations"!  If you know what I mean.
My kitties always go to certain areas to potty - so I know much of the yard is SAFE!

Take care of nature and it will take care of you.
We all need to educate ourselves of the benefits of 'wild' plants and lovely flowers.  The may someday be the secret stash of food that we all will need!

I advise everyone to get a book or two to have on hand about all the benefits.  OR read and copy from posts and other internet sites.  Make yourself a binder with all the oddball information that you can - you never know when it might be needed!

LOVE THE BEES AND WEEDS AND FLOWERS!  

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Frugal Happenings 4/14

Good morning to all.  Happy Palm Sunday to those who celebrate the Easter season.
It is a very windy, wet, gloomy and chilly day here.
This week we got to over 80* one day and had much lovely weather.  Tonight they are calling for flurries!!!  Old Mother Nature just can't decide!
It seems my allergies are going absolutely crazy!

The grass is green, the trees are leafing!  Tulips blooming, and the peonies have grown in leaps and bounds this week.  In one day - they popped up at least 8".  I swear we could have watched them grow.


This week we had that nightmare (that we all fear) happen.  I was out in the garage getting the mower ready and thought I would get something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner.  No problem - IT WAS ALL THAWED!!!  AS IN ALL BAD!  A GFI on the outlet had popped, thus turning off power to that outlet.  It could have been much worse.   I don't have to replace the freezer and that freezer didn't have the bulk of food in it.
It was just starting to get stinky!!!!  I got everything out and in the trash just 20 minutes before the trash truck came to pick up.  (I used my bin and the neighbors).  I was so thankful I didn't find it later - as all that meat would have set outside for a week smelling!
I lost a couple small turkeys, a ham, lots of shrimp and fish and some chicken.
I calculated what I paid - approximately $220 for all - regular price would have been about $400.
Our insurance will NOT cover any of it.  That sucks!
Lesson learned - check the freezer every couple days. (We are getting a new GFI outlet as well).

My frugal week:
  • Did a bunch of yard work.  Got the front flower beds all clean.  Raked all those gazillion sticks out of the yard.  Mowed the yard (the saga begins) - the front got done twice!
  • Got one rain barrel set up
  • Picked a lovely bouquet of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths
  • Got to air the house bunches this week.
  • Rarely had the heat on
  • Got the freezer all cleaned and ready for new purchases (what a smelly job)
  • Cooked a really small pork roast in crockpot
  • Cleaned all the window jambs this week (that part between inside and outside windows).  They sure got dusty and dirty over the winter
  • This was a good grocery deal week.  I got lots of goodies for continuing to stock up.
  • ALDI - had butt ham portions on for .65/lb.  I got 2 - each was $5 and some change.  (we prefer butt over shank).     8 oz. cheese blocks were 1.49 each.  Got a few to add to our cheese supply (we love cheese).  Cream cheese was .69/8 oz.  I added several of them as well.  Butter 1.99/lb.  (6) YAY!
  • KROGER - 18 count eggs/.99 (I got 2).  Fresh potatoes 10lb./1.99.  Maxwell House coffee - 3.99. (3)  Pasta - .49/lb. (6).  Green beans - .49/can (6).  Found a 1 pound bag of chopped walnuts for 2.49 (in the freezer now).  I also found a marked down rump roast (4 lbs.) for $9 - regular price $18 (Easter dinner). Fresh  asparagus - .99/lb. (3 lb.)
  • Did all the normal stuff and used all leftovers
Meals this past week:
Homemade pizza bites/rounds -  (made with older slider buns)
Taco salad
Cold sandwiches and chips (the day of freezer clean-out TIRED)
Goulash (added leftover taco meat as well)
BBQ non-breaded chicken tenders and salad
Pork roast, smashed potatoes and steamed asparagus
Pork/rice/cheese enchiladas (sort of)
 
Added filling and just folded over soft taco shells - covered w/sauce & cheese (EASY)

So there you have it.  Getting ready for spring/summer, cleaning (whether I wanted to or not), and bargain shopping.  That pretty much sums up my week.

What did you do this week?  Any deals?  Getting any yard work done?

May you all have a blessed and wonderful week.  Stay healthy and safe and frugal my friends.
Have a wonderful Holy week.
Blessings from our humble home to yours.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Here's My Plan For The Summer

I have a plan for my pantry and our future.
I guess it may not be much different than what I do now - but I plan on working it harder.

My plan is to buy just the basics I need each week - remember - I have lots of food here.  Basically, all we would need would be milk, eggs, and occasional fresh veggies or fruit.  Summer is coming soon (as in gardening), and Farm Markets will be starting in a few weeks, so I will be able to have lots of fresh on hand.  We don't eat much that isn't fresh during the summer, so that is a help.


I will be spending my money on stocking up.  I should never need to spend more than a few dollars on have to haves and the rest will be stocking up.

As usual, I will be watching markdowns and clearance and making purchases at Aldi (case lots) and odds and ends at the Dollar Tree.
I know this isn't buying all local - I wish I could find all I want locally.  It really is hard to do here in the city.  I will try my best with farm stands and local farm markets.

There are some items that have to purchased at stores.  Toilet paper is one, and pet food, dish soap, health and beauty, peroxide and medical are others.  I try to keep plenty of items on hand - but I want to be able to feel totally comfortable, should the worst happen.

I don't really have a grocery budget - never have.  I buy what I want and need.  As I said, we have plenty here - and when I plan my meals - I go to the pantry and the freezer and get my supplies.  I will continue to use our supplies, but I will concentrate on adding to the lauder.
I plan on growing as much as possible and canning/freezing what I can.  I plan on watching the farm stands for things I have no luck growing.  Stores will fill in the rest.

I am making a concerted effort this summer to fully prepared for anything.  I am in no way trying to panic, I just want to be prepared for whatever.  I want to feel secure.  SECURITY IS EVERYTHING!
I know prices are going to continue to rise for many, many reasons.
Our pantry is kind of like another bank account for us.  Sale prices are literally money in the bank.

SO, that's my plan and I am sticking to it!!!!!!
What is your plan this summer?


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Just a Bite or Two

Here is a couple of recipes that appealed to some of you.  You know I am all about easy.  So I guarantee you, these are simple and yummy.
ENJOY


DILL PICKLE CHEESE SPREAD
1 - 8 oz.  pkg. cream cheese - softened
1 C dill pickle relish or chopped dill pickles
1 - 2 oz. pkg. of chipped beef or ham*
A little garlic powder

After the cream cheese has softened, add chopped pickle (I used a 1/2 pint of homemade dill relish) and diced up meat.  Give it a couple good shakes of garlic powder.  Mix it all thoroughly and refrigerate.  Let it set at room temperature for 1/2 hour or so before serving.  Serve with crackers.
This is so good.
* you could leave out the meat if you don't have it - but it is a tasty add.

MEXICAN CRUNCH WRAP
Large soft tortilla
Tostada shell
Desired filling
I mixed together 1/2 lb. ground beef fried with taco seasoning added, 1/2 can (or equivalent homemade) refried beans and 1/2 C cooked rice for my filling this time.
It is probably different each time.  Use whatever type of filling you want!

Lay your large tortilla down and place tostada shell in the center. **(I didn't have tostada shells this time and I used a taco shell broken in half in each one.  Laid it to form a circular shell)
Add filling and/or cheese - then fold over the excess tortilla to cover everything.  I used the George Foreman to toast lightly on both sides - do not squish (just let the lid lay on the top of wrap - you may need to turn so it all gets toasty).
You could use a waffle iron, quesadilla make, or a griddle.  If using a griddle, place something slightly heavy on top to hold in place (closed up) - then turn it over and grill other side for a couple minutes.
Geesh - I hope that makes since!!!!!!
Better than Taco Bell - as you can put what you want in it.  CUSTOM MADE!


POOR MAN'S SWISS STEAK
This is a recipe my Mom used to make and it is still a favorite of ours today.
Make and fry large hamburger patties - then top with a can of condensed Vegetable Beef soup and 1/2 can of water.  Let the meat simmer in the soup.  Serve with mashed potatoes and use that soup and veggies as gravy.
If cooking for more than 2 people you would probably use 2 cans of soup.

This is so simple and a good hearty meal.  We love it.
Sorry no picture!

Hope this gives you a new bite or two to try at your house.
Simple, frugal and yummy!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Frugal Happenings 4/7

Well here we are at the end of the first week of April.  How did this happen already?
We are finally getting a little better weather.  It has warmed up a little and should be decent most of the week.  We do have a prediction of that nasty four letter "S" word later in the week.  Just flurries - but still!
Things are really greening, and I see the first mowing being this week.  My forsythia are trying to bud out, and many flowers are poking their little noggins through the ground.

It has been a very quiet week.  I went out Wednesday, to make a grocery run and noticed a ways from home that the temperature gauge in the Blazer was starting to peg out at the high point.  Crap!  I knew enough to not drive it any further.  Gladly I was in a really safe and nice area.  I called AAA and they came (no extra charge) and took me and my Blazer to our shop.  The shop brought me home.  After 3 days - I got it back Saturday afternoon.  My radiator cracked down the side.  It was original (2002).  It could have been worse.
I really anticipated a huge bill - it ended up being around $360, which I didn't think was that bad - considering.  THAT is why we save!

So needless to say, I did noooooooo shopping this week.

My frugal week:
  • I did go up to the library on Monday - hadn't been in a while
  • Made an apple walnut cake with items I had on hand
  • Got to air the house many times this week
  • Only heat was first thing each morning
  • I found a sturdy wooden captain's chair (think dining room) out back in the neighbors heavy trash area.  I brought it home and will use it as a plant stand somewhere out in the yard.
  • The daffodils finally perked back up after the 20's and I picked a lovely bouquet for the kitchen
                                                         They sure make me smile!!!!!
  • I got a lot of mending done this week
  • Made up a batch of dill pickle cheese spread
  • I did manage to get some yard work done - as things started to dry out.  Rain coming again today!
  • When I got to p/u the Blazer - I did stop to get G's scripts at WM (he was out).  3 scripts of 90 days each was $45 total.  Not bad at all.
  • All the usual stuff - making tea, meals from home, cold water laundry, etc.
Meals this past week:
Baked fish, oven fries and home canned slaw
Southern stroganoff (spicy & made with ground beef) green beans
Pork chops, fried hominy w/onions & peppers
Cold sandwiches, cheese spread & crackers and chips
Mexican crunch wraps
Poor man's Swiss steak and mashed pots
Fried chicken and potato salad

                                                               Mexican crunch wraps

It sure is amazing how lost one feels when there is no handy dandy vehicle to jump into sitting in the drive!  It is a bit humbling, but it also proves that we don't have to be on the go all the time.

How was your week?  Did you get any deals?
How is spring (or fall depending on where you live) starting out?

I pray that you each have health and healing for you and your families.  Stay safe and stay frugal.
Blessings from our humble home to yours.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Living & Eating Local

I have been re-reading a book that I read at least once a year.  It is a true story about trying to live ON ONLY foods that are local.  I find it fascinating - and wonder just how many people could do this.

The book is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, A Year of Food Life - by Barbara Kingsolver.
It is really an interesting read.  Not only does it tell of her families journey to eat foods that are produced locally for at least a full year, but it also gives a great deal of information and history (good, bad, & ugly) of our food production.


Could you survive with ONLY foods produced in say a 100 mile radius of your home?
Now there can be a few exceptions like - some flours (although there are many small mills), coffee, yeast, baking soda & powder, salt, and oils (could probably render lard).

If we started today - you have what you have in your pantries and freezers to use, but can buy no more food supplies that aren't local.  You can grow your own - or buy from local vendors.
Local vendors - is not WalMart, Kroger, ethnic stores, Aldi, etc.  Local means farmers and orchards.

For us in our area:

FRUIT - we could get or grow - apples, peaches, cherries, berries of all sorts, rhubarb, grapes, persimmons, pawpaw's
Cider would go in this area as well as home made grape juice.
Basically there would be no citrus, pineapple, mango, kiwi, etc.  No tropical fruit at all.

VEGGIES - pretty much anything.  There are tons of veggies that can be grown in our state.  I don't think we would ever be wanting of much

MEAT - There are many vendors at our farm markets that sell meats - all cuts and types.  They are all in state vendors.  YES, the meat is more expensive by a long shot - but it is also better quality.

OTHER - we can buy eggs local, milk (at farm market), and various cheeses.
 If need be, there are also artisanal breads that are made locally, as well herbal teas and things like soap.
We have some grain milling operations within 50 miles - where we could get various grains and flours.
We could use local honey in lieu of sugar.
We could gather black walnuts or hickory nuts - they produce well and are here for the taking in our area.  There would be no pecans or cashews!
We could hunt mushrooms.
There are many herbs and plants to be gathered (many would call weeds) - such as clover, dandelion, plantain, thistle, wild garlic & onions, fiddle heads, etc.
It would mean making our own pasta - and there would be no rice us.
**********************

I love this idea as it is helping the local economy, the small farmer and businessman, and it would be much healthier.
Yes it is a lot more work and takes effort.  It would cost more - BUT I think this may be how things will go in the future.
I love the idea of not helping major corporations and big farma - I love the idea of not filling our bodies full of preservatives and chemicals - I love the idea of getting back to God's food (natural) - I just love the idea of local.

Yes, it would mean giving up some things we eat now - but I think it would also encourage us to try new things and widen our foodie horizons.
What do you think?
COULD YOU DO IT?

This is how our ancestors lived!!!!!!!!  Farm to table!
They grew and/or bartered, they hunted, they fished, they gleaned from the woods, fields, and surrounding lands - they preserved anything they could.  They survived.  We are testament to that - we are here!
In the book - they even followed this rule on the rare occasion they ate out - they found farm to table restaurants.

Here is another book I found at the library.  I am anxious to read it as well.  Should give a lot of ideas for finding the things that would fill our pantries and tables.

I am sure that I couldn't do this exclusively - but it sure would be neat.  I love the idea.
I try to get as many local veggies and fruit as possible in the summer and fall months - perhaps I need to try harder.

If you have never read Barbara Kingsolver's book - you should.  It is truly fascinating.  You can skip the technical stuff if you must - but her families story is so interesting.  I love the interaction with the locals and neighbors.

So what say you?  Could you do this?  Would you even try?
I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.



Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Love of Money & Stuff

We all know that money is important.  It pays for our home and vehicles.  It buys our groceries.  It pays our bills and it buys us those things we want and need.

Stuff - I am sure we all have too much.  I know I do.  I work regularly getting rid of and parring down my things.  WHY did I keep this or that?  What was the purpose?  Why did I buy that?  I ask myself these questions on a regular basis.
The stuff we have is money we HAD!

Some people don't understand that spending and spending is not going to make you happy.  Many people are just trying to fill a void in their lives and one day they will figure out  - it doesn't work.

Last week we had a long time friend come by to visit.  We hardly see each other any more.  Maybe once or twice a year.  She is a bit older than I am - she is 67 and is still working.
Back story:  Her husband passed away several years ago (suddenly).  She has been receiving his social security and his work retirement. (That is what we live on).  She is also working.  The house and vehicle were both paid in full when he passed.  He was very frugal and worked hard and saved.
After his passing - she remodeled the house (it did need it).
THEN she went on a spending spree!  She literally filled an entire room (floor to ceiling) with QVC purchases (which she ended up selling at yard sales for next to nothing).
She buys lotto tickets EVERY day.  She goes to casino.  She probably owns 50 pairs of tennis shoes of many styles and colors (minimum).  She goes and tans every day.  She eats out a lot.  When she cooks she throws away leftovers.  Her groceries are bought at the corner gas/village mart.
As you can see ………….. my head is about to explode!!!!!  I think:  How did we become so different?

She looks around our home and says "still the same".  Yes it is!  She asks why I don't I buy new stuff.  Don't I want new things.  Why do I stay home so much?  
I told her there is really nothing I want and there is definitely not anything I need.  She laughs and shakes her head.
I say "I am a simple person - you know that".  Her comment "you sure are".  She seems to think we are weird and a joke.
Now you might see why we don't get together much any more!

I just don't understand the 'I have to have or the I am owed' this or that mentality.  She is old enough to know better.
Our big difference is - we have a nest egg and an emergency fund.  She has none.  Her furnace recently went out and she had to finance a new one.  We purchased ours out right.

We have enough to be comfortable and pay our way.  We have an emergency fund.  Yes, come fall we have additional income when I start collecting S.S.  That will go in savings for our future lives or whatever we want to do.
We have enough.  When I leave this earth - it won't matter how much stuff I had.

Three weeks ago on the news there was a story of a house fire - it took responders a long tome to get inside because all doors and windows were blocked with piles and piles of stuff.  The guy was a hoarder.  He died in the house that day.  I learned the next day that I went to school with him and had classes with him back in the day.  To date there has been no obituary or service for him - no money to do so.
So sad - what good did all that stuff do him?  None.


I was recently reading Amish Values for Your Family by Suzanne Woods Fisher and came across a paragraph I though was so true.
"Folks just keep wanting more and more.  Bigger houses.  Newer cars.  Bigger televisions.  They get all stressed out with these debts, and they forget what's most important.  They could live with a whole lot less stress if they could just cut back and live a little simpler...…..Live in a smaller house.  Drive a car until it's broken down for good.  I know the kids would sure be better off if Mom and Dad were home, paying attention to them."
The love of money and stuff.
What is everyone trying to prove?  And to who?

Me - I am a simple gal.  I don't want for much - just a healthy, happy life.  Enough to live out my life and be able to lend a helping hand now and then.
A roof over my head, food for my table, my family (their health) and my Savior.  I NEED nothing more.

I think we all need to pay attention and be mindful of money, to make do with what we already have, and outsmart ourselves when big desires kick in and improve on our self control.
Being frugal or thrifty does not mean being cheap.  It is all about being a good steward of what we have.
We can still live a good life and be happy and have nice things and do good deeds - but we don't have to struggle with stress and debt.

I discovered years ago that I can cut back without feeling deprived.  Actually, today I feel quite the opposite.  I feel pretty rich and smart!
I have an abundance of resourcefulness and creativity, and I have peace that wasn't there before.
I now measure my spending against our goals in life - to be able to live our days out with peace and happiness and little stress.  That is success in my book!!!!!!!

Take time to re-evaluate your situation.  Look at the long road ahead.  YES, be prepared with the goods that could save your family (your pantry) - but look at the other things.  
**  Do you live the simple life as well?
**  Do you think you can have enough?
**  Can your creative mind overcome your desire to buy new things?
**  Can you be happy and content with less?

DON'T LET YOUR LOVE OF MONEY AND STUFF TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE.
LIVE AND BE HAPPY WITH LESS!!!!!!!



Sunday, March 31, 2019

Frugal Happenings 3/31

Good morning.  Here we are on the last day of March.  Woke to a white world here this morning.  Yesterday we woke to 50's and rain and more rain.  It rained the entire day.  I was watching a fascinating TV show and noticed I didn't hear the rain hitting the window any more.  YAY!  Looked outside and everything was turning white!!!!!
We got close to and inch of snow.  Crazy.

We had a decent weather week.  Ups and downs, but did get to air the house some.  The outdoor kitties sure were loving the warmer weather.  They love laying out on the deck and sunning, and this was the first week they actually had several chances, when it wasn't too cold or raining.

Things are really starting to green up.  I can see buds on the trees, and my daffodils were just starting to open yesterday morning.  Sigh!  I am betting the blooms don't survive the snow, ice and 20's.

Good morning from Lilly and Coogy - our indoor babies.  They have actually started sharing the same areas to sit.  They are just too sweet!

My frugal week:
  • Finished up the kitchen deep clean.  Polished all the cabinets - they look so pretty & fresh
  • I used up ham broth and ham from the freezer this week
  • Did lots of paperwork this week
  • Working on de-clutter more
  • Put up 18 more individual bottles of water.  Neighbors gave me more pop bottles.
  • Got to air the house 2 1/2 days this week
  • Ran to Kroger for one of their 4 day specials.  I got 5 - 4 lb. bags of sugar for .99/bag.  I also found 2 bottles of Hidden Valley cheddar/bacon dressing and 4 bottles of zesty Italian dressing for .69 each on clearance.  I also got 4 big bottles of Hunts catsup on clearance for .79 each.  They are remodeling the store (again - ugh) and getting rid of a lot of goodies.  Those were my only shopping parcels this week.  Oh, I did buy a gallon of milk too.
  • Made tartar sauce
  • Doing all the normal stuff - making tea, eating all leftovers, cold water laundry, etc.
Meals this past week:
Ham and beans and homemade cornbread (from scratch)
Ham & beans with rice and cornbread
Chili/cheese baked potatoes
DINER food (we bad) - it was sooooooo good!
Tuna patties, salsa mac n cheese
Finger foods - spicy summer sausage, cheese slices, crackers, dip & veggies (we were both tired)
Smoked sausage, fried cabbage and buttered noodles

Kind of quiet of the frugal front.  The week has been stressful, as we are being bombarded with a lot of extended family stuff - but that is another story.

My plans are to continue to go through areas I haven't yet and get rid of more stuff.  Hopefully by weeks end, it will be warmer and perhaps dry out a little so I can do some yard work.
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?  Any great deals or frugal finds?  Are you spring cleaning yet?  
I am sure we are all anxiously waiting for the temperature to change up a bit.

I am adding a lovely prayer from our paper this week:
"Awaken our senses today, O God, to beauty.  Enliven our spirits with hope.  Enrich our lives with virtue.  Season our lives with joy.  Amen"
This just seems fitting for myself - but I imagine for many.

May you all be healthy and safe this week and stay frugal my friends.  
Prayers for those having health issues, that you are touched by the healing hands of God.
Blessings from our humble home to yours.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

My Favorite Frugal Cookery Books!

It is a well known fact. that I LOVE cook books!  Do I use them often?  Not really.  I cleared out many of the books last year, and I  am sure I still have close to a hundred.
I love going through them and getting ideas - then I kind go off on my own.  I do follow recipes for baking (for the most part).
We just love food, I love easy and yummy recipes and if I can add frugal in there too - it's a win-win recipe for me!

I have several books that have long been my go to books.  Now I do have my Mom's very old and fat  (and well worn) cook book.  I do several baking recipes from it - as they are sure fire favorites of the family.  There are even sweet little notes and suggestions written in the margins in her hand writing.  Many of those recipes have been past on by myself to many of the younger generations in the family.  Those are just special.

Here are a few of my favorite books - that get used often.
I like simple.  The one on the top right that is hard to see is 500 Recipes Using Zucchini.  My MIL found it at a yard sale and thought of me years and years ago.    It was put together by a garden club in Southington, Ohio.  Copyrights are 1968-1988.  I have tried to find information on it, as many others have wanted one as well.  Goodness, my brother actually copied the entire book himself on his home printer.  It cost a small fortune in ink!!!!!
The things we do for our recipes (and our zucchini)!!!!!

I love Amish recipes as they are pretty straight forward.  That book also has a lot of other types of tips and hints and stories as well.   The other books are pretty self explanatory.

I was going through the bookshelf in the other room this week, trying to do some de-cluttering.  There are many books that have been read - and won't be again.  I will keep all my cooking, medical, gardening, herbs, and crafting books, as well as G's books on mechanics, guns, and home fix-it.
There are so many self help books that just may come in handy someday.
If I have read a novel - it really needs to go.
OK - I have veered off path here.
I found these 2 books tucked away in there - and I think they are very wise keeps as well.  The hamburger book is dated 1960 and the other 1980.  Good and easy recipes never go out of date!!


The Amish book I purchased new in the late 80's at an Amish 'fair' of sorts.  All the others came from yard sales for pennies.

If you don't have any simple and frugal cooking idea books - you might think of getting a couple.  They are just fun, but they may give us some super ideas in days that we have little money or variety of pantry goods to work with.  We can't always depend on having a computer to fall back on.  I want good old fashioned hands-on books as well.

Do you have any good basic, easy, fun and FRUGAL books that you tend to use a lot?
I am sure there are many, so please spread the word on ones that are good.
Let us know if we need to be looking for some new ideas.

HAPPY COOKING



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Meat = Good Eats #4

Today we will talk about stocking up on meat.  I know, not everyone eats meat - and those that find that offensive, probably shouldn't even read this.  We all have our own thoughts on the subject, and it is doubtful that they will be changed by a blog post.

I have an ample supply of meat - a huge percentage is frozen.  I have never home canned meat,  Have you?  It is just something that scares the beejeesus out of me!!!!!!  I am very intimidated by a pressure canner - crazy I know - but that is me.  One of these days I will get brave!!!!

So other than home canned meat, which is shelf stable - there is store bought canned meat supplies that are shelf stable.
WHY do I mention that?  Well, if things go south for our world, and there is disruption of power - shelf stable will be hugely important!  All that freezer meat won't do us a bit of good - except we will have one heck of a cookout for the neighborhood - then the meat will be gone!

I know lots of people are now getting into self canning meat.  They are emptying their freezers and canning.  People are getting scared and want to prepare.  YES, you can process previously frozen meat.  There are many videos and instruction on-line that tell how to do this.  I do believe I will be checking them out in the near future.

So, if we don't can meat ourselves, we need to think about having that particular protein on our shelves.  I know a lot of us keep dry beans, peanut butter, powdered eggs, and even protein powder on hand.  Hopefully, we would be covered for protein - but shelf stable (ready to eat) meat would be nice to have as well.

Some of my stocks include all sorts of meat.
I keep some cans of corned beef (G loves this stuff), luncheon loaf (SPAM or other brands), tuna, chicken and I always have a few of the little canned hams.
I really like the 'Spam' like luncheon loaf from Aldi.  It is a lot cheaper and it tastes good.  If you have never tried - dice up and add to a pot of soup beans.  It truly is good and a great substitute if you don't have ham.
I get those little hams at Big Lots - as they are quite cheap there.  They are just a neat item to have on hand.  Tuna and chicken - well, those are pretty much self explained.

We also keep some mackerel on hand (not much - as it  is stinky), and of course salmon.  I do like mackerel, but it is highly smelly - so I generally cook it  on the grill.  It is also messy to deal with - but I think salmon is too.  So that is just me.  These are very high in protein, so they are good items to have on hand.  Mackerel is much cheaper than salmon, but can be fixed the same way.
I have seen canned shrimp and clams and crab as well.

There are many more items that can be kept on the shelf.  Jerky is a good one.  That lasts a long time.  Pepperoni can be left on the shelf for extended periods of time (until opened).  Pickled bologna and Vienna sausages are also available.  We both enjoy pickled bologna (with crackers) every now and then.  You can also find chipped beef (dried beef) in jars.  That is something I need to get.
There is canned turkey and beef pieces as well (like chicken).  I have had both of those in the past and they are fine.
You can find shelf stable sausage patties and even cooked ground beef.  I have seen the ground beef at WM and for a 28oz. can it runs about $6+.  Not something I would keep a lot of - but it sure might come in handy in an emergency situation.
There is even cooked and shelf stable bacon available now!


You can check out a lot of different sites for large cans of meat and other foods - such as eggs and peanut butter.  LDS sells these items, much can be purchased through WM (online) now, Sam's Club has some survivalist items, Lehmann's sells them - there are many places.
There is quite of variety of meats that are available that are shelf stable - you need to check them out.

I am NOT suggesting that people panic!  I am suggesting you just get busy and get prepared - cause I do believe with all my heart that lean times are coming.  I think the weather situations will have more to do with this than anything (at least in the short run).

If you think meat and groceries are expensive now - JUST WAIT!  So much has been destroyed already and more bad weather is heading in.  I heard this morning that nothing will be dried out until well after May - and that is if ONLY one more big weather event happens.  If there are more - not much will be happening this year in those areas.
Not only have the farms been destroyed (along with homes and towns), but also the roads.  The infrastructure will have to be repaired as well so transportation will be slowed and stopped in many instances.  There is also no power in these areas due to the flooding.  It is a accumulation of devastating things.
It takes great time to replenish livestock and fields and buildings and feed and farms - IF it can EVER be replenished back to normal.  Many farmers will be done now.

I truly don't mean to sound like a panic monger, that is not my intention.  It is just common sense.  If you want your family to eat in the future - you need to get your bums in gear now and PREPARE!
I do not have delusions that any agencies would help us.  We are on our own.

Get busy - add to your pantry as you can.  Maybe make an extra effort now - add a few dollars to your grocery fund each week and stock up.  Make the effort - it is truly important to you and your family.
I just can't emphasize how very important this is.  Don't wait - as prices will be increasing soon!