Friday, January 31, 2014

Quote of the Week

"There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy."

Ralph H. Blum

Joyful Blessings to you all,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frugal Super Bowl Party Menu

         I don’t know about you all, but my DH is a huge football fan.  He is so looking forward to the game and having family over, but I dread it because #1 I am not a big football fan and #2 We don’t have room in the budget for a big party.  So I have been racking my brain for very frugal, easy, and filling foods to serve during the game.   So here it is!
My Super Bowl party menu:

      Deviled eggs—The cost of 2 dozen eggs is very reasonable.
     Drunken sausage coins—kielbasa sausage cut into thin slices, heated       in the crockpot with bbq sauce and a bit of Jack Daniels added for flavor.  I get the Bar-S kielbasa when it’s on sale for 90 cents.
    Hot buttered popcorn with parmesan cheese on top.
   Oven baked potato cubes—sprinkle with season salt and then cheddar cheese at the end of cooking time. Serve in a platter with a bowl of ketchup.
   Cheesy garlic beer bread slathered in butter!
   Homemade brownies for dessert.  Yummy!
   Fresh brewed Iced Tea

I realize this isn’t the usual Super Bowl Party fare, but it is a frugal alternative to what can become a very costly party!

Frugal Blessings,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stock Up Alert!!

  I have a confession to make.  I was an extreme couponer wanna be. I know, I know, it is almost shameful!  I used to order coupons from e-bay and use them at stores that doubled coupons to get items free or very cheaply. Well, the extreme couponer shows had to go and ruin it for the rest of us and now hardly anyone doubles coupons anymore.
  So, how to save on groceries now?  I stock up on the loss leaders and if I have a coupon here or there that’s great. If I don’t, I stock up on items that are my stock up price when they go on sale or I buy in bulk. I do plan on a garden for produce this summer, but I still need to build my pantry all year long. 
    In order to help others find great buys, I will be posting Stock Up Alerts.  When I find a great price, I’ll let you know as asap.
 For  those of you that shop at Kroger’s, they have the Kraft BBQ sauce on the buy 6 get $3 off sale.  It is 99 cents but if you buy in multiples of 6 it is just 49 cents a bottle.  Woo hoo!!! That is my stock up price!  They had the same deal last year and I bought 20 of them. We used every one and this is just in time to stock pile again!

Frugal Blessings,                                                               

Monday, January 27, 2014

Last Week's Frugality

    This week has been so cold and I really enjoy having a warm drink at work, unfortunately they start out at $1.25 per cup. So I brought my own pkts of Sugar Free Warm Apple Cider mix and just got hot water from the cafeteria. I think there are at least 6pkgs in each box and you can get them at the Dollar Tree.  So I saved a bunch there!
  I packed my lunch four times last week.  I just cannot seem to make it 100% of the time each week.  I have to do better!!

    I made garlic cheddar biscuits from scratch and served them with chicken noodle soup for one night’s supper.  Everyone raved about them!  I posted the recipe last week!

  I made up a batch of homemade Laundry Detergent. I have the recipe memorized now so it only takes about 5 minutes to make up a small batch.  I find I prefer to make up smaller batches instead of the large ones. I did use up the last of my washing soda so that is on my need to buy list.  I used some lavender essential oil to scent the detergent. Smells so good, works well, and is so inexpensive!
  We have been keeping the thermostat down at 65 degrees this past week but my Mother has been with us the last few days and we had to increase the temp to 68. She gets cold easily.
    Tom and I didn’t go out for our 30th anniversary—we stayed home and had dinner with the kids. We enjoyed getting to sit and talk with them.  They are so busy, we sometimes don’t see them for days at a time so it was nice sitting down to dinner with them.

  I made a pot of white bean soup using up the ham bone from dinner Saturday. Perfect meal for this frigid weather!

  I hung up jeans to dry in the laundry room then just tossed them in the dryer for 5 minutes to get some of the stiffness out of them. 5 minutes sure beats 50!  I hope to line dry more each week but I have one of the dryer vent heat attachments that puts the exhausted heat back into the house so I don’t worry as much about using my dryer-especially in this weather.
  We have still been eating meat from the freezer so that is helping my grocery budget out tremendously. 
  Well, that is all I can think of.  What have you saved money on this week?

Frugal Blessings,




Sunday, January 26, 2014

Anniversary Party That Didn't Happen

Hello all,
   Tom and I planned a 30th Anniversary  party for this past weekend.  Only the white death came upon us.  We received about 4 inches of snow Friday night through Saturday morning and so our town put out a level 2 snow emergency which meant our party was cancelled.   I was so bummed that I had everything ready for the party and it had to be cancelled, that I decided to serve dinner to my family party style anyway.
                                             So here are picks of the party that wasn't:

I just put 3 pieces of leather leaf fern in jar then added 2 stems of spray roses and babies breath. I tied
a hemp twine around the top of the jar and viola--a pretty, rustic, easy arrangement!
Don't you just love the little chalkboard signs?  I found them at Michael's 4 for $1.
Cheap but cute addition to the party!  Details do matter!
Yes we drank from the new blue jars!  The platter was made by my youngest Kait!
I use my large Longaberger Fruit basket for an ice bucket. The jars are available in the ad at the side of this page!
Brie with grapes and crackers!
Nibbles Platter!
Nibbling on said Nibbles platter!
This was not the cake I was supposed to have.  I cancelled it but my kids braved the snowy roads and went to the grocery to get us a cake for our anniversary.  Love them bunches!
My Willow Tree Anniversary cake topper!  Love it!
Baby pink spray roses with babies breath!
Simplicity at it's best!
Me and my Honey! 
And they said it wouldn't last!
We Still Do!
Blessings to you all,


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Look at this!

Look what is coming!  I am so excited!   I just love canning jars, don't you?   Saw these on the Ball website!  I ordered mine from Amazon!  Order yours on the link at the top right side of this page!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour
1T baking powder
1/2   t salt
1 T minced garlic
¼ cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 t dried chives-optional
Kosher salt-optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, chives, and salt.
Cut in shortening until you have small lumps.  Add milk, garlic and cheese and stir until all is moist.  Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the baking pan. Sprinkle kosher salt on top is desired. Bake about 14 minutes or until golden.  Wonderful as a snack or with soup on a cold night! Yummy!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Homemade Blessings,


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy Anniversary To My DH!

Thirty years ago today, on the coldest day of the year, with 5 inches of snow on the ground, Tom and I were married!  It was so cold that day, the water meter at Tom's parent's house froze so they had to rent a hotel room to get dressed for the wedding in. I actually laughed through most of the ceremony because my little brother dropped the ring bearers pillow! Love you Tom! Thirty years, 4 children later and they said it wouldn't last!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Last Week's Frugality

  Last week I packed my lunch 4 days. I still want to make it 100% of the time but something always seems to get in the way.  Must try a bit harder I suppose.

  The insoles on my work shoes have worn out under the ball of my feet.  I purchased the gel insoles for that area for $3.00 to enable me to wear my shoes longer so they do not hurt my feet.  I have wide feet and diabetes so finding comfy shoes to fit is not an easy task.  In the mean- time, I am scouting around for my next pair of shoes-hopefully at a discount!

    We have kept our thermostat set at 62 degrees.  Our furnace runs on propane and it is very expensive so we just put on layers and use a quilt while watching TV.  We use an electric baseboard heater in the main living area and that helps out so much! With the next Polar Vortex coming we will start a fire in the wood stove tonight.  Brrr.

 Yesterday I was able to bake several batches of quick breads for us to eat for breakfast this week—apple cinnamon bread and black walnut bread.  Yummy!  The oven being on during the day helped out with the heat in the main area of the house.  Win, Win!

  Was able to get to Meijer and buy $10 worth of the loss leaders.  Pasta was just 79 cents per lb. and mac and cheese was 3/$1 so I stocked up on a few of those.  Even $10 a week or month helps build your stash!

  I also found lettuce seeds and spinach seeds for my early garden. They were only $1 per package. I bought 3 of each—still need more but it is a start.  I have been lusting over the seed catalog.   Online I added the ones I wanted for my garden in the cart and they came to over $100.00.  You can bet your life I deleted that order asap.  Raising a garden is something I want to do to help with food costs but I cannot rationalize paying over $100 for seeds. There are cheaper seeds out there.  Maybe not the same quality of the catalog seeds but still, I choose not to spend that much on seeds.

   We are still using meat from our freezer and not buying meat at the grocery.  I have to get my freezers cleaned out and they are packed!

     Well that is about all of the frugal things I accomplished last week-What have you done to save money?

Frugal Blessings,



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Choosing to be Happy

    Lately I have been feeling like I need a change in my life. I have been in a depressing rut.  I have not been happy.

    This morning I read an article in good Housekeeping Magazine about how to live richer and happier.  I have been so worried about our money situation and just so obsessed about our financial future that I am not enjoying my life now.  The way I am going I won’t be enjoying life anytime soon. This has to stop!  I do not mean I want to stop my goal of increasing my income, but I have to start living in the present and for the future.  Worrying about it won’t help anything. I have to let go…… and let God!

  I have to concentrate on what I have, not what I don’t have.  “There are people with money and there are people who are rich.” Said Coco Chanel and this is so true!  I am rich!  I have the best family a girl could want!  I have a paid off car, a roof over my head and food in my belly.  I am rich.  I have great friends, I have a job with insurance, and I have God to look out for me. I am rich in everything that matters and I need to remember this and be  grateful.     

  The article in Good Housekeeping also said that if we give we will receive.  Think about that.  Those who give to others, be it money, time, or love do get something back in return. They get a sense of accomplishment.  They get fulfillment. They often get love back in return.  What a blessing it is to help others! Random acts of kindness are wonderful ways to minister to others and minister to your soul.  Pay your blessings forward:  volunteer in the community, donate food to a food pantry, open the door for an elderly or handicapped person-Just do something for others. Wave at a neighbor, say hello to a stranger, be open to other’s needs, and remember a smile cost you nothing!

  If we concentrate on what we can do for others and what we are blessed with, we can enjoy a happier richer life! 

Grateful blessings to you all,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Free Kindle Cookbook!

Here is a freebie you may be interested in but hurry, it  may not last long!


Last Week's Frugality

   Last week I was able to pack my lunch 4 days.  I still need to pack everyday but I will try to improve.
   I saved my apple peels(we love our fried apples for breakfast) and cooked them in water to get a pint of apple juice and a pint of apple butter.  Nothing like making something yummy from scraps you are going to get rid of! I made good use of my strainer from the Goodwill!
   I was able to pick up salad mix, and rolls in the reduced section of the grocery store and saved several dollars on Tom's birthday dinner.  I also found packages of cake mix that are half the size of a boxed mix on sale for 25 cents each and bought 30 of them.  Picked up 2 Taco Bell taco kits for 50 cents each!  SCORE!  I found a box of Hamburger Helper (I don't usually buy this anymore but potato stroganoff is my favorite) for 25 cents--I just couldn't pass this up!  I found bags of cheese doodles reduced to 25cents per bag--they are DD#2;s favorite snack. I bought 4.
    I have to tell you that as I write this at 3:51 in the am, that I am being serenaded by my DH and Shih Tzu snoring. :) Yes, I blog sitting in bed at 3am!  What can I say, I cannot sleep! Lol!
  Well, I guess that is it or at least what I can remember!  What frugal things did you do last week?

Welcome to My New Followers!

Just wanted to extend a great big welcome to my new followers!  Thanks so much for stopping by and joining!  I am honored  to have new blogging friends! Welcome, welcome, welcome!
Blessings to you all,

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Goal Progress

   Well I have great news on part of my 2014 goal on cutting our expenses! I had forgotten that we could take the car we sold off of our car insurance! That accomplishes part of my goal to cut monthly expenses by about $50! I still am going to try to cut more from our expenses but this is such a good start to achieving my goal! Now, I just need to figure out how to increase our monthly income by $200 a month by the end of the year!  Any hints or helps for getting a soap business off of the ground?

Frugal Blessings,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

     Last week I received a notice from our mortgage company that our escrow account was short thereby increasing our mortgage payment by $50 per month. Also, my health insurance rates went up by $ 70 per month. So I am having to be extremely frugal and am trying to cut costs where ever I can.      I packed my lunch last week. That can be a great savings-just takes a little forethought and planning!
       I bought several gifts for my family for birthdays and next Christmas at the 50% off sales after Christmas. I also found cookies reduced 50% and some Snickers (DH’s Favorite) as well.
       There was one loaf of frozen bread dough left in the freezer so instead of buying rolls for Christmas dinner, I baked that.
     I was able to use all of the Flex spending money for our meds this month. That is a relief—if you don’t use it you lose it!
      I picked up several semi boneless hams earlier in December that I planned on using for Christmas dinner, but I was able to save them because my sweet aunt gave me a whole ham and a huge beef roast for Christmas! Thanks Aunt Jane! I think I will be able to stretch the huge roast into 3-4 meals. Batch cooking here I come!
        I picked up a top at the Goodwill for $1.65 and it is so pretty! I also found an old wooden churn for $7.50—boy did I snatch it up quick! St. Vincent de Paul had all Christmas stuff for 25 cents each and I found a candy dish to give with candy for a small gift next year. I also found gently used books for my nieces and granddaughter for 25 cents apiece. I always give the girls books. I want them to be voracious readers like I am.
    I was given 12 of the new blue mason jars for Christmas Thank you Christina—Cannot wait to use them.
     We enjoyed bean soup (using the ham bone from the freezer to flavor it) for one supper and had enough left overs for several lunches.
     I had my son pick up my free turkey that my employers give us for Christmas. That makes 3 turkeys in the freezer!
      I gave homemade jelly to several people for Christmas! I love home canned goodies and I think others do too!
     I made a batch of laundry soap and scented it with Lavender essential oil. This is such a great money saver and so easy.
  We were given a gift card to a restaurant that we do not care for but it is my daughter’s boyfriend’s favorite, so DD is buying it from us. I want to use the money to build up my pantry a bit as I have been hitting it hard lately!
  I made a pot of French Onion soup for supper one night. My Mother had never had it and she really enjoyed it. Even with putting a slice of bread and cheese on top, it was a very cheap, but delicious meal!
   So what have you saved money on lately?
  Frugal Blessings,

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