Sunday, January 7, 2018

Frugal Happenings 1/7

Howdy everyone.  It is hard to believe we have already ended the first week of the year.  It will be spring before we know it!!!  I anxiously await that time, but I am trying to just bide my time and not wish my life away!

It has been cold this week - oh, so cold.  Some days it didn't get out of the single digits and nights were well below zero.  Brrrrr.  We are having a heat wave coming through starting today!  LOL.  We MAY hit 32* today, but we have snow, ice and rain coming through as well.  The weather man says we may get to the upper 40's by the end of the week.  People will be out in shorts (seriously).  People around here are crazy!
We reached a couple record lows this week that broke weather records that stood for over 100 years.
I feel sorry for those in the southern hemisphere as well.  Our friends in Australia are having some terribly hot temps that I don't think most of us would want to endure.
Hope everyone stays safe - whether hot or cold!

I can't get our garage door open.  It doesn't appear to be frozen, but perhaps the locking release is broken.  I guess we will call the door repair guys this week, although I hate to.  I do need in there, as bird seed and squirrel feed is in there, as well as freezer number 2.  I guess we will bite the bullet.

My frugal week:
  • I made pudding with chilled shelf stable milk that was needing to be used
  • Saved boxes, bags, tissue paper, and card fronts for next years Christmas
  • Changed out the furnace filter on Jan. 1 with one on hand
  • I know it sounds crazy - but I made ice cream.  I use a big spoonful daily in my homemade mocha frappe - I ran out and wasn't leaving home.
  • I want to show you my home crafted gifts I received for Christmas - meant to show them before now
Aren't these the coolest?  I just love them.
  • I did some re-arranging on the basement pantry - still more work to do
  • I have worked some on the craft area - it makes my head spin!!
  • Got the upstairs pantry all cleaned out and organized.  YAY one thing DONE!
  • Stayed home until yesterday.  Hadn't left the property since the Thursday before new years.  I was getting cabin fever big time.
  • I did a cat food run - mainly dry food
  • While buying cat food at WM (cheapest) I walked the perimeter of the store and I found a 14.8 lb. Cumberland Gap (so yum) whole semi boneless ham on clearance.  This will provide so many meals in the future.  I love Cumberland Gap products, but generally will not pay the price they cost!  This was a deal.
  • While out, I also ran up the road to Kroger (yeah I know).  I got milk (1.39/gal.), a bag of 5 yellow tomatoes (.99/bag) and a bag of 3 huge orange bell peppers (.99/bag).
  • We have really been using the heck out of the bagged veggies I got for 1.99/bag before new years - sure has come in handy
  • I soaked a 3/4 lb. of black eyed peas last weekend.  Used part for NY dinner and the others went in freezer for quick cooking at a later date.
  • Using the Soda stream a lot this week

Meals this past week:
Seafood assortment for NY Eve - our yearly feast!
Corned beef, cabbage, and blacked eyed peas (NY day tradition)
Reuban sandwiches, chips, and dill pickles (kraut and pickles home canned - chips from get together)
Steak burgers, dirty rice, and fresh veggies as a side
Strip steaks, roasted veggies with mushroom gravy
Beef and bean burritos
Cheeseburgers, baked beans, and fresh veggies as side (in Italian dressing)

I had decided to strive for a no spend pantry challenge for the month of January, except for essentials.  I told G the other day, we have been eating basically from the pantry for weeks and it hasn't even made a dent.  I did get the ham and fresh items, so that isn't too bad.  I really don't need anything else for quite a while.
I do believe we could eat from our pantries/freezers for months and months (except maybe milk, eggs, & fresh).  I even have frozen eggs, powdered eggs, shelf stable milk and lots of veggies and fruit canned - so we are in good shape.

I plan to work on my project list more this week.  Looking forward to a few days of warmer temperatures!

How was your first week of the year?  What are you working on?  Any deals?
Who else wants to join in the no spend pantry challenge his month?

Prayers that you all stay safe and healthy in the coming week.  I pray those feeling frigid temps get a reprieve as well as those suffering the extreme heat.  God bless you all my friends!


  1. You've been a busy lady. I'm always inspired, when I visit you, to be busy, too.

    1. Laura this was a fairly quiet week in my opinion. Usually on the go, but it was just too cold!
      Hope you are feeling better

  2. Cheryl, When you thaw those frozen eggs out, do you only use them for baking and such?

    The big thing around here is selling our travel trailer. No more payments,storage fee or ins. money going out for it. Yahoo!

    1. YAY on the trailer. Got to love having no more payments!
      It is amazing how many things that ties in to, isn't it?

      I use the eggs for baking and eating. They make great scrambled eggs.
      Have a great one!

  3. You got some great deals!!!! We are eating out of the pantry also. I feel like it is loaves and fishes- God seems to keep multiplying what we have.

    Like you I have stayed home. The last time I went anywhere was last Tuesday and then to church this morning. Thankful for the time at home and I have gotten several things off my to do list.

    Have a blessed day - it is all the way up to 22* today!

    1. Cheri - it is like the loaves and fishes isn't it? I keep using, and it's still here. Good for you and using your pantry as well.

      It seems like I get things done slowly - but at least I am working on it!

      Heck we got to 32* WOOP WOOP!

  4. Oh my Cheryl you had a great escape shopping trip! We had one today and it felt good too. I love all your deals! You received some of the cutest gifts ever. People are so talented! Have a great day!

    1. Yes Vickie it felt wonderful seeing other people! I think I could be a hermit - but getting out once in a while calms the soul!

      I know, the kids did a great job on the gifts. I told them they need to try to sell things like that. They sure know my heart!
      have a good one.

  5. HI, new here. I did not know I soak beans and freeze them. Wow!

    1. Hello Saundra. Welcome!
      I always soak my dry beans over night before cooking. I drain them and wash the next morning, then add water , flavorings, etc. and cook.

      Often I pre-soak more than needed and place in bags in the freezer. That really helps break the fibers down and they cook so much quicker.

      I hope you come again, and share and learn with all of us. We tend to have some fun!

  6. I have been grabbing the items that I need to make sure my pantry stays stocked, like a case of olives, and the 5 allowed little bags of cheese for 99c/each. (I never let my pantry get empty, for me, it defeats the purpose of a stockpile). But, I do need to rotate the items, and not let it get out of hand because I let the stock get too big. Balance is what I strive for. So, this month is low-spend, but not No-spend.

    I will need milk in the next couple of days, but am in pretty good shape right now. I desperately want to use up home-canned items, and frozen items this month, along with any items that have been lurking around on the shelves. Yesterday, we went to the meat shop and picked up the 1/4 beef we had on order, and now the freezers are no longer looking like they've been emptying out--now they are crammed again. So, I'm glad I emptied out what I did!!

    I soaked a big bowl of pinto beans and made both chili and refried beans. My kids love the homemade refried beans, and although I have a couple of cans in the pantry, they way prefer the homemade ones, and so do I. They are much less expensive, too.

    Your gifts are gorgeous!

    1. Becky it sounds like you have a real plan with your pantry. Rotation is a huge thing - you don't want anything going to waste. that defeats the purpose.
      YAY on all the beef. That is wonderful.
      Dry beans are so cheap, yet so many people don't buy them. Yes, they are a little more work - but so good and frugal.

      Thanks on the gifts. I love them. Have a great day!

  7. Hi Everyone!
    I am trying to cook from the pantry/freezer in January too. We have a side by side fridge, so the freezer always seems to be packed. I try to stay on top of rotating things in and out.
    This past month I stocked up on 39 cent a pound frozen chicken leg/thigh quarters. I packed them individually and we enjoyed some BBQ chicken last night.
    I also bought the 99 cent a pound pork roast that Kroger had on special. Sliced it into pork chops and 1 roast. The freezer now has 4 packages for the future. We enjoyed the pork roast on New Year's day and leftovers from it for several days.
    Kroger currently has a 5 for $5 sale that ends tomorrow. The pasta sauce that we enjoy is included in the sale. I stocked up on 15 jars for the pantry. While there, I spotted 2 eggplants in the reduced veggie bin. Picked those up and combined with some ziti from the pantry, made 2 pans of baked ziti with eggplant. Of course, some was divided up and frozen for future meals.
    Thank you Cheryl for all your frugal tips. I find SUCH encouragement from you and our online frugal friends. :)

    1. Hi Ellie. What great deals you have gotten. It is amazing how little we can actually spend to stock up our freezers - IF we watch for those kinds of deals. Great job!

      I have never liked egg plant, but I surmise I just don't know how to fix it right, as everyone I know really enjoys it with sauce and baked. Maybe I will have to try again.

      Thank you for your sweet words. I love the idea that we can share ideas and learn and we live all over the world. Just proves we are more alike than different!
      Have a good day!

  8. Sounds like you are getting so much done. I just seem to be spinning my wheels. We too are eating out of the pantry and it seems like we are not making a dent either. I love buying a big ham and using it for many meals. I need to get myself centered and I am so frustrated, What is wrong with me?

    1. Breathe, breathe, and breathe again! Go at it slowly - you can do it.
      It is really frustrating when you try to do too much. Nothing gets accomplished.

      Pray and spend a little alone time meditating on what you want to do. I have total faith in you!

      Hey, you are pantry cooking and that is huge. Give yourself credit!

  9. Hi Cheryl, We have had warmer temps this week but Sunday will be 16 degrees. Cold again! You are the lucky one to receive homade gift for Christmas! They are the best! Good luck on your pantry challenge. Nancy

    1. Nancy same here. It is supposed to get frigid again by next week. UGH
      Thanks - so far so good!

  10. Great deals!
    We were having trouble with our garage opener too this week, and dh was able to add grease to it so it works now.
    Love your crafted gifts! They are so cute!
    My son made me one of those pallet signs that have a snowman on one side, and a scarecrow on the other. It makes me smile every time I see it.
    Hope you have a great week.

  11. Wow Cheryl, always I learn something good from your postings! Like others, the beans being frozen after soaking is nice. I finally have some room in my freezer too as I also have been trying to use up the backlog.

  12. Cheryl, new here but have been reading several of your posts today. My grown daughters and oldest daughter's BFF from 1st grade on (they're 42 this year!) have all joined me in No-Spend Low-Spend January. I've been posting on our progress as we are all trying to Eat Down The Kitchen this month so nothing goes bad. Low-Spend works for me, which I consider spending half or less of what I usually do and sticking to buying needs when it come to groceries. I started doing this years ago and it has helped us to become debt-free and then pay off our house in 2013. It is a great way to clear out the house, donate what others may need, and generally do less to be more. I'll be reading along with you this year to learn all the new tricks I can and get inspired.