Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Last Week's Frugality

Icky the Pumpkin Man is back on the porch!
        Last week was a very frugal week!  I was able to save $59.71 on my grocery bill!  I chose the loss leaders and used coupons for them as well! I stayed under my allotted $75 food budget --only spent $72.35.  I was able to get stocked up on Chunky soups, my hubby's pretzels,  Pillsbury biscuits and crescent rolls! 

      The weather was cool last week so we were able to turn off the A/C.

       I cooked a beef roast and stretched it for three meals. My Aunt gave it to me last Christmas.
We had roast beef and vegetables two nights and then beef and noodles another night.  It was a nice big roast and we enjoyed it tremendously! It is especially appreciated because I won't spend my food budget  on such expensive meat!

Two of my faux pumpkins!
        I resisted the urge to buy a pumpkin to carve.  I just put one of my faux pumpkins out on the porch instead--saved $3.99! 


       As some of you know, I take my mother to the Goodwill most Saturdays and this past Saturday was no exception.  I found an American Girl Doll($10) 2 weeks ago and low and behold, I found a box of 18" doll clothes last Saturday!  The box had maybe 12 outfits and 3 pairs of shoes/boots and was only $10!  I am so excited to find the doll and clothes for only $20!  My Granddaughter is going to love them!  Score and Cha ching!!

       I  found a cute little jar for $.50.  It will be adorable filled with small cookies or candy!

      I found a bag of gold mylar shred for $.50.  It will be perfect in a gift basket this Christmas!

      Since my Granddaughter loves to read, I picked up a Disney chapter book for her for a quarter!
This will be given for Christmas also! I try to give books every year to encourage her to read more!

    All in all I had a very good week and got some Christmas gifts purchased!
How did you save last week?


Frugal Blessings!
Lisa


      












        
        
          


        

Monday, October 9, 2017

Last Week's Frugality

Hello Dear Readers,
  I was off of work last week to get ready for my youngest daughter's wedding on Friday night.
I am sad to say last week was not very frugal. We ended up eating out most days because you couldn't see the tabletop or counter for wedding stuff!.  I made the cupcakes for the rehearsal dinner, made the wedding cake, made more cupcakes for the wedding, made a 5 pound cheese ball, made a batch of Oreo truffels, and finished up the flowers. I was busy--too busy to cook and had no place to cook! My kitchen was a mess!  I could say I was frugal by making the wedding cake and saving the $400, but the restaurant expenses were pretty high!  Good thing this is our last wedding to pay for!!!
   We were given lots of tomatoes, peppers and turnips by my cousin--thank you Charles!
   I did use my Kroger points for gas to save $.30 per gallon but that is about it for me!
   What did you save money on this week?
Frugal Blessings,
Lisa


PS I will post wedding pics soon!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Last Week's Frugality



Hello Dear Readers!

    Last week was a pretty frugal no spend week.  We ate supper at home every night but Sunday and my Dear Momma bought KFC for us.  We had a pint of mashed potatoes left over so they were refrigerated and warmed up for another meal.  I love using leftovers—I feel so virtuous for not having them go to waste!

    We didn’t go anywhere we didn’t have to go.  No pleasure drives, just work and back.

    My son cut my DH’s hair and trimmed his beard. He does a great job!

    For my daughter’s wedding this week, we want to serve appetizers—cheese cubes, crackers, and cheeseball.  I priced the cheese at Sam’s Club and the cubes were $9.99 per 2 lb bag. $5 per pound.  When I was at the grocery on Sunday, I realized that Meijer had their one lb cheese blocks on sale buy one get one free!  So I bought 8lbs. and got 8lbs free!  It was about $2.25 per pound! I saved over $45 by buying the blocks and cutting them myself.  It won’t take long to cut but what a savings!

   I made the backdrop swag of flowers from left over wedding flowers and some curly willow I had in a churn in my living room! So there was no out of pocket for it—just used what I had on hand and it is beautiful!

     I also bought cotton fabric and made the napkins to go in the baskets for the appetizer and dessert tables.  Spent less than $4 for all of the napkins(8).  Pretty reasonable and they were too easy!

  The only things we got completed on our winterizing list was to turn down the water heater thermostat and to put a bottle in the toilet tank to displace and save on water costs. But if it helps reduce the bills it all good! Every penny counts! We so need to get more accomplished on our list ASAP!  Cooler weather is coming soon!

  Well, that’s about it for me—What have you saved money on lately?

 Frugal Blessings,

Lisa

  

 

   

 

 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Goal: Lowering our Utility Bills by 10%




Hello All,
  This Fall and Winter my DH and I are hoping to reduce our utility bills by 10% compared to last year by winterizing, etc.  This will be tough because last winter was a pretty mild one for us! I will be comparing cost this year vs. last year. Wish us luck!
  Here is our list:
  1. Insulate and seal the basement door--Done
  2. Insulate and seal the attic access opening
  3. Put bubble wrap on all bedroom windows
  4. Put bottle of water in toilet tank to save water each flush
  5. Buy and install dryer vent bucket to let dryer vent help heat the house
  6. Buy and install hot water heater blanket
  7. Insulate hot water pipes
  8. Caulk around all windows
  9. Put weather stripping around front and back doors
  10. Check both fans on fireplace inserts
  11. Split firewood
  12. Make draft dodger for front door
  13. Insulate heat runs in basement
  14. Replace air filter in furnace
  15. Clean baseboard heater
  16. Buy runner for slate hallway--floor is always extremely cold!
  17. Make rice bags for bed warmers
  18. Turn water heater down


Well that is our long list!  Can you think of anything else I may have missed?  Hopefully we will get it all completed!  I'll check back in later to let you know our progress!




Frugal Blessings,
Lisa

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

DIY Room Fresheners

  Hello Dear Readers,


  I just love to have a faint hint of fragrance in every room of my  home. The sense of smell is an awesome thing.  Think back on any  memories you may have of Mom or Grandma baking cookies.  How did that smell make you feel- Joyful, happy, hungry? Can you help but smile when you remember this delicious aroma?  I know I can't!  Fragrance in a room can boost your mood so why not do anything you can do to be happier!
    Just ran across something so easy to freshen up a room and boost your moods!  Most of us will have everything needed for this little project: small mason jar and ring, scrap of fabric, baking soda, and essential oil. Nothing outlandish or pricey I promise!  
     Pour baking soda into jar and add 8-10 drops of essential oil. Put fabric scrap on top of jar and screw the ring onto it.  Don't use the center disk of the lid.  Then just shake to mix the soda and oil.  To quickly refresh/scent a room, just give it a shake every now and again!


   See....easy peasy, inexpensive, and no artificial anything!


Fragrant Blessings,
Lisa

Monday, September 25, 2017

Last Week's Frugality

            


 Hi Dear Readers,


  Last week was a pretty good week frugally!  We used some coupons that Meijer sent us and got a free box of Little Debbie's snacks along with savings on eggs, milk and butter! 


  I bought a bone in half ham that we stretched for 4 meals-- fried ham and homemade biscuits, then made a pot of pinto beans with some of the cut off ham(leftovers for third meal) and saved the bone for a pot of northern bean soup.  Waste not, want not! We had a pan of homemade cornbread with the beans! Can you say yummy?  Mmmm, mmm, good!


  We ate the leftover biscuits for breakfast and used some of the apple butter I canned week before last.  It was to die for good!  Home canned foods taste so much better than store bought!


  I started my Christmas shopping. Ordered several gifts that were half off online--cannot say what because of family that may read this! They sure smell good though!


  Ordered toilet paper from Amazon!  Cheap and delivered to your front door.  Win, win!


 My DH and I made up a list of things to do around the house before it gets cold in order to save money on utilities.  He worked on sealing and insulating our basement door. One thing down and 15 more to go, but it is a start!  We are hoping to reduce our utilities by 10% compared to last year.  A big goal but with our list of improvements,  I hope we will meet it!
 
  I'll share more about weatherproofing our home in a later post.


  That's about all for us last week.  What have you saved money on lately?


Frugal Blessings,
Lisa
 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Fall!





I love Fall......pumpkin everything, sweater weather, colorful foliage, warm apple cider, crisp cool air, and everything else that goes with it! I hope you enjoy this new season as much as I do!

Autumnal blessings,
Lisa 


Monday, September 18, 2017

Last Week's Frugality




    




    I have to confess......we ate out one night last week. I know, I know, we shouldn't have, but I had to go shopping for the wedding. So my Dh ordered hoagies for everyone. We paid for convenience big time!  My daughter's wedding is costing us more and more one way or another!! :)
  My uncle gifted us with cabbage and tomatoes fresh from his garden!  Thanks so much Uncle Howard!!
 We used the rest of the chicken I cooked last week.  I love stretching meat into several meals, don't you?
  I found my dress for the wedding on clearance at Dillard's.  It was originally $169.99 but marked down to $39.99 plus tax! Savings of $130.00! I must give credit to my daughter's for finding it-Thanks Jess and Kait!
  I made the cake stand for my daughters wedding cake--cost me $2.00.  I found a large vase and a large plate at the Goodwill and glued them together with E6000 glue.  Her cake isn't too big so that will work just fine!  $2 beats the cheapest one we could find at $29.99! Score one for me!
Beautiful Botanical Apples Image!  Finished the silk flowers for the wedding.  I think they are beautiful if I do say so myself!  They cost about $165 to make all of them except the bridal bouquet.  6 bouquets, 9 boutonnieres, 5 corsages, 2 kissing balls and other décor would have cost well over $500, so we have saved a ton on the flowers alone!  Cha Ching!  The bridal brooch bouquet cost about $40 for the brooches(Gma furnished most) and flowers so that is a great savings as well--Some are over $300 on Etsy!
  I was given about a half bushel of apples so, with my Mother's help, we canned 7 pints plus of apple butter!  Yummy!
  It has been a busy but productive week--the wedding is getting closer!  I am getting so nervous but looking forward to it!  Maybe when it is over we can get back to normal! But hey, what is NORMAL????



Blessings,
Lisa

Friday, September 15, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Super Deal At Walmart

Hi,
Augason Farms Emergency Food Dehydrated Potato Slices, 20 oz  I came across a super deal for those of you that stockpile or keep a pantry well stocked!  Walmart has the Augason Farms Dehydrated Sliced potatoes on roll back.  They are regularly $11.99 but are now just $4.99 each!  Hurry and order yours, they may not be on rollback too long!  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Emergency-Food-Dehydrated-Potato-Slices-20-oz/22985135




Frugal Blessings,
Lisa

Last Week's Frugality



  Last week was a no spend week except for our budgeted food costs.  We actually spent less than we budgeted for therefore saving over $20 in groceries. It was basically a bread, milk, and eggs run! Then  I was able to use a $4 rewards on my grocery order saving even more! Cha ching!!!
  We ate at home every night.
  I cooked a whole chicken and used the broth to make chicken and dumplings.  Then with the extra chicken, I made a casserole and  I have enough to use for 2 meals this week!  $4.08 for the meat for 4 meals for 4 adults! Go Me!  But that isn't all, I cooked the carcass and made a small pot of bone broth flavored with celery, onions and carrots.  Remember to add vinegar to the pot to help leach out the bone goodness! I got 3 quart baggies full of mouthwatering, nutritious bone broth for soups this winter. SO much goodness from one chicken I found on sale!  Now that is stretching the budget!! Lol!
  I got several tomatoes from my volunteer tomato plant!  
  We made banana bread out of several VERY ripe bananas so as not to let them go to waste!
  I made home made Rice a Roni last week. Got 3 times as much for less than the price of a store bought package. Love my homemade Rice a Roni--I added a little chicken that I cooked to make the Rice a Roni an entrée!  Stretching the chicken some more!!
  Since I didn't spend my budgeted food amount, I ordered my Knorr chicken and beef bouillon  from Walmart to stock up my pantry.  2 large jars for only $9.76.  This is my stock up my stash purchase for the last 2 weeks! I use it for soup base and for gravy flavoring during the winter! 
    What have you added to your stash/pantry lately?
 
Knorr Beef Flavor Bouillon, 35.3 ozKnorr Hispanic Chicken Granulated Bouillon, 35.3 oz
They are just $ 4.88 each at Wally world.
I am not an affiliate of Walmart, just like low prices!

What did you save money on last week?

Frugal Blessings,
Lisa

  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rememberance of My Grandma

      Do you remember anything that your Granny did that brings back special memories?  I do!  One in particular was my Grandma's love of flowers.  She used to have rows of flowers in the garden and also in pots all over the house and yard. One particular container was an old galvanized wash tub that sat on a stump just outside of the back door.  Everytime you went in and out of that old wooden screen door( I can still hear the Thwack as it slammed) you saw the tub of Moss Roses she grew there. They were a beautiful mix of summer color that I haven't forgotten to this day.  She would plant the seeds very closely so the plethora of moss roses hung over the top of the tub.  I always loved those flowers.  Loved the quantity of beauty they encompassed, loved the variety of summer color they provided.  Great memories of my Grandma!  So in order to keep those sweet memories alive, I too have a galvanized container of moss roses!  I haven't found a huge wash tub for them yet, but just a galvanized bucket-my own small reminder of my Grandma! 












   I am sure Grandma is smiling down on my little bucket of moss roses right now!!
 Do you have any special reminders of loved ones in your yard?



Memorable Blessings to you all,
Lisa

Quote of the Week


Image result for Quotes From the Bible


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quote of the Week











   When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life you have 1000 reasons to smile!!
                                         ---Unknown

Monday, August 7, 2017

Last Week's Frugality

Dried spinach, onions, and soup mix oven canned for my pantry!



  Last week we basically had a low spend week--just the basics we needed such as gas, milk, bread in addition to our budgeted groceries.   I was able to start building my pantry in the canned soup category for the coming fall and winter.  I like canned soups just in case of power outages.  Its easy to heat over sterno or a candle and is good!  I was able to add 3 of the family sized cans and a couple of the regular cans of canned soup to my pantry stash.  Not a huge thing but every little bit helps! 

    I was able to oven can some dried foods I purchased from Augason Farms last month!

    I also grated and froze zucchini in 2 cup baggies for winter use! Zucchini bread and fritters are yummy!
  I also had a pretty good sized cake/cupcake order! Some extra money to buy gas and some groceries with! Yeah Me!
    I have a challenge in  mind for you all.  Use $10 a week/biweekly or monthly (whatever your budget can handle) to build your pantry stash.  Put up food or dehydrate frozen peas, whatever you need to add to your pantry, squeeze $10 from your food budget to build it up for the coming cold weather.  Please share what you have purchased/added to your pantry stash so we can see how far you can make $10 stretch! We can touch base every week on our progress!


  I was able to get 4 qts of strawberries for $1 per qt.  That is as good as it gets here in NKY!


Well, that's about it for me--what have you saved on lately?  Remember to check back in next Monday about your challenge-see how much you can get for $10 to build your pantry!


Blessings,
Lisa


 
   
  




  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Zucchini out the Wazoo




Hello Readers,


  This is another way to use up all of that zucchini! I was able to get half a batch canned!  That will be enough for my family for the next year!


Bountiful Blessings,
Lisa











Zucchini Relish       
































       



















                                     

      Directions

      1. SOAK.
      2. Grate zucchini in food processor, along with onion and bell peppers.
      3. Mix salt in with vegetables in large plastic bowl.
      4. Let stand overnight.
      5. Next morning, rinse thoroughly in a large strainer and drain well.
      6. MIX.
      7. Place shredded vegetables in large heavy pan and add remaining ingredients.
      8. Mix well and boil for 30 minutes.
      9. Pack and seal in hot sterilized jars
      10. Water bath can 15 minutes.                         
                   This is a super recipe for beginners!










      Monday, July 31, 2017

      Quote of the Week

      Image result for cancer quotes


      Last Week's Frugality




       

        Last week was  a very tight week financially as I have used up all of my PTO at work due to my cancer.  My check was short over $200 last Friday. Boy did that hurt!  I had to push back some bills until next check (I hate doing that) but it has to happen.  WE basically have had a spend free week-except for a few things at the grocery-Milk, eggs (which were on sale $.69 for 18 eggs!), and bread.

        We have not gone anywhere (except Kroger for meds and basics)to spend or to use up my gas. Staying home and not spending is the best way to save!!

        I have been eating breakfast at home each morning—I got into the habit of eating breakfast and lunch at work because I didn’t feel up to the extra work involved with making b-fast or packing my lunch!  But needs must and I am trying to eat at home and pack my lunch everyday! Lunch was catered at work Wednesday!

        I made up a menu for dinner this week using what we have on hand and trying to reduce costs of each meal a little.  Like having spaghetti with sauce (Prego I found on sale at Meijer) and very little ground beef. Just cut the amount you usually use in half.  If the budget is uber tight, then cut meat out totally. 

        We were gifted a large mess of green beans by my cousin which we cheerfully broke and cooked!  We ate on those beans for 3 days!  Leftovers are a great way to save!

        We were also gifted 7 large zucchini, and several cukes from my uncle-Thanks Uncle Howard.  I am grating the zucchini, and packing it into 2 cup portions for bread this winter.  We also use it in a Spring pasta stir fry with noodles, and also grill slices of zucchini as a side dish! Waste not Want not!   

        Well, that’s about it for last week. What have you done to save money lately??

      Frugal Blessings,

      Lisa

       

      Saturday, July 29, 2017

      Zucchini out the Wazoo



      This is one of my Family's favorites to use up zucchini out the wazoo! It is a  Pampered Chef recipe!! Yummy!!!

      Spring Pasta Stir-Fry

      This colorful stir-fry is a light main-dish meal, just right for any night of the week.

      Ingredients

        Image result for zucchini
      • 1 package (12 ounces) uncooked fettuccini noodles
      • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into julienne strips
      • 1 small yellow summer squash, cut into julienne strips
      • 1 small zucchini, cut into julienne strips
      • 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into strips
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
      • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
      • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
      • 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil leaves
      • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
      • 1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

      Directions

      1. In Executive (8-qt./7.6-L) Stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to stockpot; keep warm.
      2. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Using Julienne Peeler, cut carrot, yellow squash and zucchini into long julienne strips. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and remove seeds using Core & More; slice tomatoes into 1/4-inch strips.
      3. Heat Stir-Fry Skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and garlic pressed with Garlic Press; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until garlic is softened and begins to brown. Add carrot, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; stir-fry 1-2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
      4. Add remaining oil, remaining salt, basil and black pepper to pasta; toss gently. To serve, spoon pasta into serving bowl; top with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

      Yield:

      • 8  servings

      Nutrients per serving:

      Calories 180, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 26 g, Protein 7 g, Sodium 360 mg, Fiber 2 g




      Please note that you can add veggies or subtract veggies--This is a very forgiving recipe!!


      Delicious Blessings to you all,
      Lisa

      Friday, July 28, 2017

      Zucchini out the Wazoo!

      Image result for zucchini 


       What to do with boatloads of zucchini?  Shred it, squeeze the water out of it, and freeze in 2 cup baggies for bread all winter long! That's what!  Sop you can make chocolate zucchini bread for your family--trust me they will love it!! 
        Here is my favorite way to use zucchini:
        
            Chocolate Zucchini Bread

      Ingredients

      • 2 cups sugar
      • 1 cup canola oil
      • 3 large eggs
      • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 2 cups shredded peeled zucchini

      Directions

      In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and baking powder; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in zucchini. Transfer to two 8x4-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray.
      Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
      Originally published as Chocolate Zucchini Bread in Taste of Home August/September 1994, p14

      This bread is amazing!  I add some raw sugar crystals to the top for a little sweet crunch my family loves! Hope you are blessed with enough zucchini to be able to make this all winter long!

      Bountiful Blessings to you all,
      Lisa