Good morning. It is a blustery cool and cloudy day here. Sure fills like fall.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Saving at the Grocery
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
I Wonder What our Ancestors Would Think
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Weekly Wrap-Up 9/27
- Still picking tomatoes. I think this week I may pull out the regular plants and harvest everything to ripen inside.
- Did more yard work - here and there. Just deadheading lots of plants.
- Froze the balance of the chili for another day
- Chopped up some tiny colored peppers I had and froze for future use
- Cleaned out the bedroom closet (again). I had an added shelf that was moving - so I screwed that in for safety - and just got rid of a lot of stuff
- Dropped 4 boxes and a big bag of stuff at the church thrift store
- Picked up a FREE loaf of thick cut bread at thrift store
- AC off 95% of the week. I turned on for one cycle on 2 different late afternoons
- I ran to Kroger when out. They had ground beef on sale for 1.77/lb. I needed a few refrigerator items. GOOD NEWS - ALL shelves were well stocked and full. There was canned goods galore and lots of tomato products, pumpkin in cans, paper goods and cleaning supplies, soda pop of all kinds (had hardly nothing for well over 2 months - can problem?), lots of variety of meat and no limits on anything, There were also assorted sizes of canning jars!! It looked like the good old days!!!!! (I understand not all areas are so blessed yet). Just trying to give some encouragement.
- Did a decent clean up of the main part of garage. Looks so much better. Need to work on de-cluttering out there at some point and work on the shelves. AT least the floor area is clear!
- Brought in all items that might be freezable - paint and such
- Started working in basement - OH MY GOODNESS! I did get the craft table cleaned off. I went through a huge tote and sorted saved jars (not canning). I cleaned the little hall between laundry room and living area. I brought up a lot of things to just trash. (at least I started this project)
- I went through what items I have purchased for Christmas baskets. Not as much as I thought. I need to get busy with that.
- Used rain barrels to water plants
- Doing all the basics - cooking from home, laundry in cold, line drying, airing house, drinking water - porch sitting!
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Budgeting - What Do You Do?
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Info and Recipes - Misc.
Today I am just showing a couple things that may come in handy this time of the year. It is fall and winter will be here before we know it. I think many are working on making holiday gifts and looking to cook comfort foods.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
It Is All About Perspective
I saw this story on FB and it really resonated with me. What is poor? What is rich? Everyone has their own opinions and truthfully it is all a matter of perspective.
I have had people jokingly (I think) say "if I had your money - I'd...." - I laugh. I know we worked hard to have what there is now. Diligently we worked to pay everything off and be debt free. We invested some money and we saved. I am in no way rich financially - but I am so very rich in other ways. I am comfortable and I have enough! Enough is good. I pay my bills and have some left. I can help others when need be. I am good.
I know people who have a ton of money, pay cash for everything and travel the world. Glad for them - but are they truly happy? I wonder sometimes. Some people I know really covet money - and I don't think they are really aware of that. But their world revolves around money - getting more - and never seeming to have enough.
One day a father and his rich family
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Weekly Wrap-Up 9/20
Good morning to everyone. This coming week is the official start to fall in our area. It sure has come around quickly, considering how little we all did this year!! You would think all the staying home would have made the time seem slower - but it sure seems like it went by quickly.
- Still picking tomatoes and eating them every day
- Did a lot more yard work - deadheading flowers, trimmed bushes out back for the final time this year, weed whacked - the grass is basically dormant so all there was around was the occasional pop up weeds, started cutting back the peonies (trash bin full) - lots of odds and ends
- Made a batch of beans and rice and used in different ways
- Changed the bed quilt to a heavier one for fall
- Windows open most of the week
- Laundered what seemed like everything!!! Clothes, bedding, throw rugs, table toppers, furniture covers - you name it
- Turned off the ceiling fans for the first time in MONTHS
- My brother came by to get some ham seasoning I have and he brought me peppers - YUM
- Ran up the road to the library. Got a couple new books
- Been watering everything with water from rain barrels
- Washed ALL the bedding for the kitties in the greenhouse (ready for cool weather) and sprayed the greenhouse with natural flea spray - kitties got their flea meds as well
- Made my first chili of the season!
- Washed the full glass panels in the security doors - inside and out
- I have been doing more de-cluttering and packed another box
- NO grocery shopping or shopping of any sort
- Just doing all the normal stuff we all do - nothing too exciting
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Fall - Harvest Time
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Inexpensive, Easy and In A Pinch Meals
I think most that read this blog do pretty good as far as stretching their dollars and their pantries. I know many read that don't comment, and we all need new ideas. I like reminders, alternatives, and just different choices sometimes. How about you?
Whether you are short on dollars, or the pantry is getting low, or weather is bad and you need to stay in, or you choose to stay home because of illness, or you are just bored - here are some frugal and easy ideas to stretch the budget and the pantry.
- MACARONI AND CHEESE - pasta is very cheap and a staple in most pantries. Cheese is a protein - so add meat or not. If you do - chopped up hotdogs, ground beef or sausage, ham pieces, smoked sausage, tuna, leftover taco meat.............. whatever you have. This can be a meal in itself or add a veggie as a side. You can also add veggies to the mac - broccoli, peas, tomatoes or salsa, asparagus, etc.
- ONE POT MEALS - can be anything. Chicken, pork, ham, smoked sausage with potatoes, carrots, onion, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, peas................... Put what you have in a crockpot and let it simmer together for a yummy combo. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can fix.
- RICE & BEANS - add meat or not. Beans are protein. I can make a meal of beans and rice, maybe add a biscuit or bread and a salad. You can add corn, hominy, mushrooms, onion - anything you want. **Use in burritos, enchiladas, put leftovers in soup or chili
- VEGGIE SOUP - always an easy throw together pot of goodness. Whatever you have leftover in frig - add pasta or rice to extend if needed - add meat or not - add a few cans of this or that - and season. No limits whatsoever and it can be added to over days and can make many meals! Hearty food!!!!
- FRIED RICE - super easy and tasty. Add egg, meat or not, and any kind of veggie you have. There are no rules. Add a bit of soy sauce or make your own sauce. Super good and very filling!! ******You can do the same thing with spaghetti and turn it into lo mein! One of my favorites
- BAKED POTATOES - NO limits whatsoever. Top with anything you have and make a meal of it. I do this about once a month or more. So good and cheap!
- BREAKFAST - another favorite. You can do anything and mix and match. Eggs, waffles, pancakes, French toast, toast, biscuits and gravy, egg sandwiches, quiche, bread pudding - all cheap and easy things to make. Cereal or oats or granola are good options. Add fruit (canned or fresh) if you have it.
- ROAST VEGGIES - YUM. One or a variety - have fun with it. Can add a small side of meat if you choose - or serve with pasta or rice. OR make stuffed peppers with whatever you have on hand.
- SALAD - tuna, ham, chicken, egg, pasta, rice, lettuce, potato, pea, bean, corn - salads can be hot or cold. Many, many meals here have been salad - serve with toast or crackers for a super inexpensive meal. Salads can be any combination of food you desire
- PATTIES OR FRITTERS - tuna, salmon, mackerel, corn fritters, potato cakes, zucchini fritter, dressing/stuffing fritters. bean burgers - there is just no limit to what you can put together.
- FOIL PACKETS - can be done in the oven or on the grill. Generally meat and whatever veggies you have - a little seasoning or butter and wrap it up and cook. Great for camping. Easy and no clean-up!
- OTHER SOUPS - chili is a fall/winter favorite. Make with meat or not. Add pasta to stretch it or serve over rice. Add cheese or sour cream - so many options. Potato soup is super frugal and easy to make. Any kind of cream of soup - broccoli, asparagus, corn, etc. I am sure we all have canned soups on hand as well - don't dilute much - pour over pasta or rice or add them to the soup. Jazz up a normal can of soup with cheese or sour cream - whatever you have.
- BEANS - soup beans, green beans, any kind of beans! Protein, flavorful and frugal. Add some corn bread and you have one super delicious dinner.
- SPAGHETTI OR ANY PASTA MEAL - spaghetti is about as easy as it gets. You can add whatever you want to pasta sauce to make it more hearty - veggies or meat. Lasagna, casseroles, goulash, etc. Pasta of any kind can be used for any dish - it is just pasta after all. If you don't have one kind - substitute another type.
- EGGS - hard boiled eggs are a yummy and filling addition to a meal. Scrambles, soft boiled, over easy, fried, frittata's, quiche. Add to salads. Eat as a side dish. Make a meals of hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, maybe a little meat, some fresh veggies and crackers. YUM
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
De-Clutter and Help Others
My home - so full of stuff! I am slowly and deliberately getting rid of stuff. I am making progress - albeit slow progress. Main floor is coming along pretty good. When done there, then it will be the dreaded basement. There is so much storage down there - things that haven't been touched in years. WHY?????
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Weekly Wrap-Up 9/13
Happy Sunday everyone. My goodness, we are almost half way through this month already! Crazy - how time flies.
- Used leftover refried beans in a lasagna I made - added protein, didn't waste, but you couldn't even tell it was there
- Used dehumidifier water in laundry
- Cut a bunch of stuff from the back fence - some small wild trees coming up and lots of spent flowers
- Picking tomatoes - still getting tons of cherry toms. I checked out the price of organic cherry tomatoes this week - boy have I raised a fortune!!!! They were 5.99 for a 12 oz. container. YIKES
- Watered plants with water from rain barrels
- I ran to Kroger and Ollies - just because this week (had to get out). I wanted seedless grapes that were on sale and sale cheese (4/$5 - for 8 oz. pkg.). I got a bunch of DEALS!!
- Cleaned out all the upper kitchen cabinets and loaded up 3 boxes of stuff to donate. I cleaned the tops of the cabinets as well - I have storage up there too. 3 boxes so far to deliver to thrift on Tuesday (closed Mon.) and 2 bags of trash! UGH. It is amazing what we accumulate and keep! I mean how many small appliances does one person need?
- I received a letter this week! A snail mail letter - doesn't happen much today. I also wrote one in return!
- I organized spice and baking cabinet
- Using what I have, cooking from home, just doing all the normal stuff
- Got to have the windows open some and fresh air!
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Let's DIP Into Fall
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Easy Jar Meals - For the Pantry or Gifting
I like soups in the winter, and my brother and sister always rave about getting soup "jars" in their Christmas baskets. That is one of their favorite things.
It makes for a different meal or two - and they don't have to think about what to mix together.
Today we will do soups. All 3 of these are going in my baskets this year. I have everything here to make them.
WILD RICE AND MUSHROOM SOUP
2 3/4 oz. pkg. of country gravy mix (or equivalent of bulk gravy mix)
1 1/2 Tbs. chicken bouillon
2 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. dried celery flakes
1 tsp. parsley
1/4 C instant wild rice (uncooked)
2 Tbsp. dried mushrooms, chopped
Pour gravy mix in a one pint jar. Combine bouillon, onion, celery and parsley - pour over gravy mix. Layer rice and mushrooms - seal with lid.
Empty into a large saucepan. Add 7 cups of water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes - until rice is tender.
1/3 C dried yellow split peas
1/3 C dried green split peas
1/3 C dry lima beans
1/3 C dry pinto beans
1/3 C dry kidney beans
1/3 C dry great northern beans
1/4 C dried minced onion
3 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
Combine all the ingredients together in an airtight container.
Combine 8 cups of water and soup in a large pot. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let it set for an hour. Return pot to heat and stir in 2 chopped carrots and 2 chopped celery stalks.
****ADD ham hocks or ham (if desired). Cover and simmer for 2 hours until beans are tender.
Remove hocks and tear meat from bone, chop and return to soup. Serves 10.
****I plan on gifting this jar recipe with a can of diced ham.
CREAMY POTATO SOUP
1 3/4 C instant mashed potatoes
1 1/2 C powdered milk
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
2 tsp. minced dried onion
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. seasoned salt
Combine all ingredients together. Place in a quart size jar or baggie.
Place 1/2 C soup mix in a bowl and add 1 C boiling water. Stir until smooth.
Great to serve for a quick meal or with a sandwich!
Easy peasy! I plan of gifting all three of these along with some other things.
You can always gift with a couple soup bowls or mugs to jazz up the gift. Maybe add a box of crackers or a bag/box of oyster crackers.
I would love to receive 2 or 3 of these as a gift. Food is always appreciated. WE ALL HAVE TO EAT! I like getting different things like this.
Hope this gives you some ideas.
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Tid-Bits of a Ho-hum Holiday
We used to always spend Labor Day weekend camping with friends. Lots of cooking over a fire, smores, good cheer, craziness and shopping!!! Yes, the town that was closest to our campground had an entire town flea market and yard sales for 3 days!!!!.
We always spent Sunday - going to town and walking the entire town looking for that special bargain. Always had to get a bag (or 2 or 3)of fresh fried pork rinds and lemonade shake-ups. I always went to the grain mill and got a bag or fresh corn meal.
We would go back to the campground and have dinner all together. Someone (who didn't like to shop) always stayed back and made a huge pot of soup beans or stew over the fire - cooking it all day.
Lots of fun.
Now it is another day - just one with no mail delivery!!!! No big deal. After we both retired, Glen used to joke "hey, we get a three day weekend". LOL - like they all weren't!!!!!
Now it is just another day.
I did get to visit with an old neighbor, who used to live next door. He and his family were in town, and came by for a short visit. That was nice. Got to see his new baby in person, instead of pictures. Why are baby feet so grab-able?????
Saw an ad that made me laugh out loud. My goodness, I have a small fortune in my refrigerator.
I picked tomatoes early. I went out and filled up a bowl of cherry tomatoes in about 10 minutes - came in and emptied it to a bigger bowl and went out and picked that many more. I also picked larger toms. I managed to get myself bit about 7 times from mosquitos!!! I figured morning in the cool would be better than evening - not so much.
Momma kitty hasn't felt good for a few days. She has a kitty cold/flue and is congested. I have been giving her natural remedies in her food. She gets echinacea, Vit. E and CBD added to her food at different times. She is improving. It usually lasts about 7-10 days. She ate a lot yesterday, and today she is back to napping in her usual spot instead of secluding herself. I feel much better about it today - she is getting up there in age - so I worry about her.
Birds - I have been watching them. The birds all come at once to the porch feeder. None will be there - then they all show up. They are so well mannered!
They line up and wait their turn. Once one flies off the feeder, another one jumps on. Too bad people can't be so patient and well mannered!
I have pigeons that visit out back. UGH - not a fan, but they are here. They DO clean up a lot of the corn hulls that the squirrels drop - so I guess they can be helpful.
I have NEVER seen a pigeon at the birdbath. I know that sounds crazy - but it is always the little birds and the cardinals and blue jays. I guess because it has been so dry - we have no puddles any where around - so a pigeon has to do what a pigeon has to do.
There was one in the birdbath and 6 lined up on the handrail waiting their turn!!! It was hilarious. I watched and watched (as did Coogy) and when the last one was there - it just sat down in the water and seemed to doze off. I wish I had gotten a picture.
I also found a new You Tube series to watch. I first saw it on the TV menu board - and I tried to record - but I guess that isn't possible. Not a regular channel. SO I looked it up and there it is on You Tube.
This guy is good. He is a young, energetic and kind of funny guy. Supposedly he is an award winning cook. I believe he has like 150 short episodes covering all kinds of food. It is all about cooking with little or no money and planning ahead.
Struggle Meals with Frankie Celenza - there are many others now trying to use the name - but his were the best! You might want to check it out.
I enjoyed watching several episodes - learned a few tips as well. I subscribed to his channel for new videos.
I did some more sorting and cleaning. Did laundry. WOW - can you stand all the excitement???
So there you have a ho-hum holiday weekend! LOL
At least it was peaceful and frugal!
How was your weekend?
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Weekly Wrap-Up 9/6
It is a cool and lovely morning here. In the upper 50's when I went out this A.M. and now in 60's. It will be warming and a couple chances of rain coming in the next day or two. We can sure use it.
This week the temps will be going back to 'summer' and then cooling again next weekend.
We have had a couple really nice days - seasonal temperatures and no humidity. Love it!!!
It is Labor Day weekend here in the states. I hope you all have a SAFE weekend if you get together. Once retired and then alone - it is just another weekend - with no mail or trash pick-up on Monday!!!!! LOL For many, this is the last hoorah of the summer.
- Got to open windows a lot and have fresh air. No AC a good part of the week - especially mornings.
- Mowed and trimmed entire yard on Monday - then neighbor did the front and way out back again on Friday for me.
- Been picking lots and lots of tomatoes. I FINALLY have my first bell pepper on the plants out back!!!!! I guess better late than never!
- Colored my hair with supplies on hand
- Used my crockpot for the first time in ages! I did a small portion of pork roast and it made 3 different meals for me
- Refilled all the outdoor bins of critter feed with supplies I have on hand. Not going through nearly as much last couple weeks. They are all finding new sources of natural food! (Walnuts, thistle seed, other seeds, etc.)
- Paid all the bills and balanced the checkbook
- Dropped off 4 banana boxes of goods and some pictures to the church thrift store. They were thrilled
- No grocery store again this week!!! The only time I left the house was to take mail to P.O. and go to thrift store for drop-off
- Put out my fall door decorations
- Dug my potatoes - my experiment! I didn't get a lot, but for the first time and using a potato that would have been thrown out - not bad. I just did them in a barrel planter. It was a fun experiment and the first time in my life to try.
- Totally cleaned out the bathroom closet - it is like a 7' tall pie safe. My goodness it is so much better now - looks so neat
- Did a lot of porch sitting this week - enjoying the weather & nature
Thursday, September 3, 2020
The Peace of a New Day
That is it - but there is so much more to it.
Coogy wakes me every morning. He rubs my face and pats me with his paw, ever so gently. I give kisses and pets and I talk to him for a minute or two.
I get up - bathroom and dressing.
Coogy gets a spoonful of wet food several times a day - if you give him too much, he will eat it all and proceed to yack. So it gets put out in dribs and drabs!
My outdoor kitties are always at the back door waiting for breakfast! (I bring in all food overnight to prevent critters). Fluffy is often on the handrail and peeking in the door's window. Momma is right there as well. I go out and we have a morning routine. They surround my feet and they are talking! I figure they are either saying - good morning, glad to see you OR about time, we are so hungry! Either way I have to stop and pet and pet each one and talk to them before we ever head to the backyard.
We make it out back and there is my "newly acquired" cat Blackie. He comes running and squeaking out his baby sounding cry - and right under foot!!!! We go in the greenhouse and they each get a bowl of dry food and I split a can of wet food for them. Happy babies!!!!!!
Next I check the corn for squirrels and make sure there is some out for them and put feed in the bird feeders.
All the while it is still kind of dark out - this is close to sunrise - so there is just enough light.
I then walk to the porch and pick up the paper before going in.
This morning I sat down for a moment on the porch and just was AWARE.
I could hear the cardinals chirping away to each other. I was hearing a few other birds chirping and waking up. There was a rooster crowing off in the distance. I hear crickets galore. Only a glow of lights coming from a couple houses that I could see. I am thinking how cozy they must all be still in their beds. No traffic at all. The moon was bright in the western sky and there was a haze in the distance. The temperature is cool with a gentle breeze. The grass was still covered with dew.
The peace and quiet was deafening!!! AND BEAUTUFUL!
Coogy is curled up in his bed with a full belly and the outdoor kitties have all secured their usual spots to take their morning naps.
I am standing at the sink/counter this morning getting meat and veggies ready for the crockpot - and I see motion out the corner of my eye. I look right to the window and there is a hummingbird drinking at the feeder which is just couple feet from the window. They are just so beautiful.
I wish I could have captured this morning on tape and sound for you all. It was so lovely. No matter what is going on out in the world - there was peace in my little world this morning.
That is what we all need to remember!
Your world can be blissful - no matter what is going on.
So take time in the morning to just be AWARE and enjoy all the tiny little blessings that are put in front you. Each little thing IS a blessing!
I like to sit and watch the sunset as well - last night the sky looked to be on fire again - so beautiful. The only problem with sunsets is the mosquitos!!!!! They love me! LOL
You woke up today. Take a few minutes to just observe the sights and sounds around you. We all need to do that more often. There is beauty to be found. Look for it and quit looking at the ugliness.
Be thankful YOU ARE BLESSED.
Have a fantastic day my friends.