Sunday, January 27, 2019

Frugal Happenings 1/27

Good morning.  Here we are in the last weekend of the month.  Time flies!
We have had a roller coaster of weather this past week.  We went from frigid and snow on the ground, to fairly warm for this time of the year and downpours (we had a backyard lake), back to cold.  Woke to about an 1" of snow this morning and the temp has dropped about 5degrees since I got up.
We are going to have a couple warmer days - then we take the plunge into the polar subzero for a couple days.

It's winter, it is to be expected - guess that doesn't mean we have like it!  LOL
Never happy are we?  We are cold, cold, cold.  Southern hemisphere is hot, hot, hot.  It sure would be nice if we all got a compromise!!!!

Despite the weather we have been enjoying watching nature.  We regularly have between 10 and 12 squirrels playing and eating in the yard.  Every morning at dawn and every evening at dusk we have at least a dozen cardinals visiting,  There are 3 varieties of woodpeckers that visit as well, along with all the other pretty babies.
The outdoor kitties have their heated house and bed and spend a lot of time in there!  Smart.  They do love to come out a roll in the sunshine.

Another quiet week here.
My frugal week:
  • Kept the brine from the bean salad to use over salad
  • Been replenishing daily pantry items from basement stock
  • I had to go pick up a script for G - so I ran to the grocery.  I did spend around $20 on fresh veggies, fruit, milk and ice cream.
  • Had our 33rd anniversary this week - so we celebrated with take-out from Outback!  YUM!!  It provided us with 2 nights each of a full meal - used gift cards and it was all FREE!
                                                          Bloomin' onion!   YUMMO
  • Received 12 more individual pop bottles from the neighbor, so I cleaned and put back 12 more bottles of water
  • Made squirrel/bird treats (small suet balls of sorts) as treats for our wild babies (had everything here)
  • Saved the really nice heavy containers from take out to use for sending homemade goodies with others.
  •  I made a refrigerator type cheesecake.  Used a cheese ball mix that we received in our goody basket at Christmas.  2 packs  per box - so I can make a second at some time.  I also topped it with 1/2 jar of raspberry pie filling (had no blackberry) - froze balance of fruit topping.  It made a very tasty fruit flavored light cheesecake.
  • G ordered our kitties flea meds from Amazon this week.  W have 4 cats that need them from time to time and the Vet charges $18 each for a doze of Advantage II - we ordered them for $9 and change - each.  From the Vet 4 doses would cost $72 - we got 12 for $128 (included tax) and no shipping.  Now we have it when we need it.
  • We have been using the pantry and freezer, making our own drinks, laundry in cold, and doing all the normal things.
  • It seems I can't get warm!  I wear jeans, knee socks, and 2 tops every day - but once cold it is hard to warm up.  Not to turn up heat - my slippers help a ton and I throw and fleece throw around my shoulders while sitting around (my back between my shoulder blades gets so cold).  I seem to be able to get warmer by doing these things without costing a dime!
Meals this past week:
Grilled chicken/Swiss cheese on rye sandwiches and salad  (bread from freezer & leftover chicken)
Tuna patties, salsa mac n cheese, salad
Pork chops, leftover mac/cheese, and asparagus
Cheesy brats on buns and potato salad
Chicken and dumplings, homemade dressing and green beans

Finished up cinnamon rolls from last week and had cheesecake and also apples for desserts
Leftovers for lunch or breakfast

There you go - nothing exciting.  We just keep plugging away day by day waiting for spring!
I currently have everything out and selected to make a pot of hamburger soup today - that will last us a couple days for dinner, as well as lunches.

How did everyone do on their no/low spend January?  We ended up spending about $50 for the entire month (not counting flea meds).  That was the orchard and 1 grocery visit.  I am petty proud of that.  I think I will continue on using as much as possible from home in Feb.  I really see little difference in my stock.

I pray for your health and safety in this coming week.  Those in cold areas - please take care and stay warm and cozy.  Those in hot areas, I hope you can find relief.
I pray we can all find ways to continue to simplify our lives, instead of wanting more and that the Lord will help us be content with what we have.

Blessings from our humble homes to yours.


  1. I went outside today and I had to look down to make sure I put my jeans on. They were there thank goodness but it sure didn't feel like it. I came back inside and put on some fluffy pants. Within the next few days I'll have to put long johns under my jeans if I go out to keep warm. Husband has those flannel jeans that he wears to keep him warm. You did really well on no/low spend January! Great week you had too. Stay warm Cheryl!

    1. Good idea on long johns. I need to get some.
      Thanks - I didn't miss spending money at all! LOL
      You stay warm as well.

  2. Wow you did well only spending 50! That is great. I too suffer from the cold and often wear a shawl around my shoulders.

    1. Thanks. I didn't miss it a bit.
      Got to stay the best we can!

  3. Happy Anniversary! It sounds like you had a wonderful date.

    Hubby and I talked about doing a low spend January because of Oreo's vet bills. We decided against it. I am trying to get our food storage to 6 months worth. With our youngest starting college in August/September, we feel it is better to stock up now while we can and then if we have to we can live off of our pantry if we are tight then.

    My youngest is now eating GF. I asked around to friends and family if they could check prices when they shop at Costco, Sam's Club or Restaurant Depot. I do not have memberships to any of these. Only BJs. They do not sell GF flour. My friend called me from RD. They had 25 pound bags of GF flour for $30. She picked one up for me. My youngest will try it and if she likes it I will have my friend get me more. That is an amazing price for GF flour.

    Have a wonderful week. I use a rice bag that my oldest made me when I get a chill. It really helps.

    1. Thank you and yes the dinner date was nice!
      That is great that you can get stuff and not have to belong. Do you have Aldi in your area? They have a lot of GF stuff now.

      Love the idea of checking with the friends and family with different memberships.
      Smart thinking.

    2. We do have Aldi but they don't have GF flour. I have gotten wraps, bread and cake mixes there.

    3. Good, at least you can get some products there. I never thought about before, but they don't carry the flour. Good luck

  4. 33 years!
    Congratulations to you and your husband.
    Your bloomin onion looks delicious.

    Wow, Cheryl, $50 for the month is fabulous. Great job.

    1. Thank you. Kind of seems like yesterday - yet forever! I sure remember it was a cold and snowy evening.
      It wash delish!

      Thanks. We'll see how next month goes!

  5. Hi Cheryl,
    My adult kids get Heat Tech shirts from When they have a sale it is really good. They also have socks and tights that are heat tech.
    Stay cozy.
    Barb in PA

  6. Congratulations on your anniversary! Also, really impressed with the$50 grocery spend for the month! Super job!! We are looking to do a low spend Feb so am pre buying birthday presents for my husband, dad and niece ...already have Valentine's day gifs bought last year... along with baking and sticking to making my own snacks we should do well. Keeping warm this winter has been tough for me too...don't know why but the cold seems to go right through me ugh...sipping hot tea and keeping my slippers on in the house instead of just Sox has helped ...have a wonderful week stay warm and God bless

    1. Thank you!
      Hope you have a successful low spend Feb. We don't do anything for Valentines day any more. Just us and no need.
      This has been the first year I have been so cold as well. With me, it may be age!
      You have a great week as well.

  7. Good morning, and congratulations on your anniversary. We are just getting over 24 hours of cold rain. When you don't have so much room, you need to shop a little more. I keep master list of staples and just try to keep the items on that list, with hopefully a backup, just in case I miss noticing it is low. This week it was milk. I wanted to make mac and cheese but had no milk. I did have evaporated milk I could have used, but didn't want to open it just for a little, and with very little extra space in the freezer, found something else to make. Can you make a couple of those warmers with the rice - either sew a little bag, or put some rice in a sock and heat it in the microwave? With arthritis in my hands, they help a lot in cold weather.

  8. Space can be an issue for sure. I always liked the idea of placing cases of goods on the floor of a closet, then placing regular closet on top - kind of like a false floor.
    You might want to consider getting shelf stable milk - then when you need it, you have it and the rest can be put in frig and used as normal milk.

    Cold rain can sure go right through you. Stay dry and warm.
    I am doing good with the slippers and covering my back. I do not want to be overly warm in bed - need cool to sleep.
    I have tried the rice bags - but just didn't work well for me.

  9. I second the long johns idea! I tried a pair years ago and was amazed at how much warmer I felt all day long. Our house back then wasn't insulated whatsoever, so I always had a pair on at home. I don't need them quite as much where we are, as our house is much better insulated, but I'll definitely have them on on Wednesday. -15F is no joke!

    Start checking Walmart (if you shop there). When they start stocking things like bathing suits, they put their long underwear on markdown, and I got all my sets for about $4 total years ago. I nearly danced out of the store that day!

    1. I was rummaging around today and found a pair of tight legging I had forgotten about. They will go under the jeans in the next few days for sure.
      Thanks for the tip on WM - that is a good idea. Winter stuff should be n sale any time now - if not already!

  10. Congratulations to you & your hubby.

    Normal frugal week here. No worries about simplifying my life. I have a simplified life, lol.

    It is super cold. One of my outdoor birds froze to death. I was so upset when my DH told me.

    DH & I have a weird plumbing problem. We already have put some money into it. We are thinking it was going to be thousands of dollars more. We have been under a lot of stress about it. This is why I kept talking about Federal Worker's and emergency funds being wiped out because our emergency fund that was wiped out this Spring was going to be wiped out again after we just started rebuilding. It's starting to feel like a Groundhog Day loop.

    My neighbor came out Sunday and talked to my DH while he was outside trying to fix the problem. He said our utility company was doing work a couple of weeks ago on the sewer lines. DH called them on Monday and they came right out and fixed it. It was on their end. We might still have some residual issues, but we are feeling more hopeful.

    When we first bought our home my DH said to me the first home improvement was insulation. He bought $2500 worth of insulation for only $250 because his work use to blow insulation. My DH was the one that did it. He stuffed our home like a Teddy Bear. It is negative 0 right now I was walking around all day in a short sleeve shirt and the heat low. I am so grateful he did this.

    1. So sorry you are having plumbing problems. I know in our state the utility company is responsible for all repairs up to the meter. I sure hope the cost isn't too bad for you.
      Insulation helps a bunch! A few years back we had the ceiling insulated with the blown in stuff. The walls were good, but not the ceiling. It did make a big difference - a wise investment in my book.

      Oh my, poor birdie. I have a heated birdbath and water bowls - for all to use. I worry about all the animals almost as much or more than I do humans!

      Take care and stay warm.

  11. Happy Anniversary to you and your dh, Cheryl. That bloomin onion looks great. :)

  12. Happy Anniversary Cheryl! I am so happy for you and your husband!
    I was going to gloat over my $100 grocery bill for the whole month and then I see you did $50! Maybe next month I can cut the bill to $75 or $80 as there are still many pantry items. I'll be planting my brussels sprouts, cabbage, and leeks this weekend to set them out April 1st under the row covers, maybe that will help our grocery bill through the summer when the pantry will be lower than it was last year when I didn't do any pantry challenges!

    1. Thanks kiddo. $100 is great - you did good. I have a really big pantry and 2 freezers - soooooo.
      WOW planting already? I guess it is getting to that time!
      I always do good in the summer - as we eat so much from the garden.
      Great job!!!!!!