Friday, November 10, 2017

Five Frugal Things ~ November 10, 2017

This past week, my frugal adventures were:

•  I took advantage of the wonderful November grocery sales at Kroger and used the opportunity to stock up several items in our pantry and freezer, in order to see us through the year, until next November.

•  I used coupons in a booklet I was given at Petsmart (because we adopted our cat from the local shelter) to receive free cat and dog foods.  I simply presented the adoption paperwork and the little flyer I was given at the shelter to the cashier, and she handed me the coupon booklet with many "freebie" coupons, and several money saving coupons, on a variety of pet supplies!  I still have some coupons for free items that I will use next time.

•  I washed and dried a sheet of foil that was only used to cover a cake in a 9x13" pan.  I also continued my habit of washing, drying and saving zipper style bags.  If they are easy enough to wash quickly, and haven't stored greasy items or raw meats, they are fair game to be reused, in my opinion!

•  used a coupon for a free container of cat litter,  saving us $7.99!

•  a $40 fee was waived for us on a service that we needed to have performed!  (Businesses have been lenient on certain things in this area since hurricane Harvey's flood waters devastated so many lives here.)

I hope this offers encouragement to you if you are attempting to save money for things you may need or want or just trying to spend less!

Thanks for stopping by! ~TJ

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Simple Living, Extraordinary Life ~ The Dailies 11/8/17

US flag at the post office. SO thankful for the men and women who serve our country!
It's midweek!  Today's weather is much more to my liking.  It's cloudy and cool, with a high of 68°F.

We started our day in the usual laid back way.  I warmed up some apple, raisin, cinnamon oatmeal for hubby's breakfast from the big batch I made a couple of days ago (I usually aim for three days worth of meals when I do "big batch" cooking if it is something I don't intend to freeze).  I've never been big on eating when I first wake up so I just sit and have my coffee with him while he eats, and we converse about the day ahead and life in general.

A little while later, I take Dollface for a quick walk and then let Galahad out, first in the front yard on his leash while we keep him company, and then in the backyard on his tie out.  After bringing him in, I had to run a couple of errands.  First to the post office to see about having a new lock installed on our mailbox, and then to Target to pick up an order I placed online and had delivered to the store.  I ended up doing a little "window shopping" while I was there but I behaved myself and didn't buy anything!  I did, however, treat myself to a Starbucks frappuccino, as I had just enough to cover it on a gift card that had been given to me.

At day's end, I reflect on how peaceful the day was, how smoothly it went, and how thankful I am for it!

I hope you enjoyed your day!
Thanks for stopping by! ~TJ

Simple Living, Extraordinary Life ~ The Dailies 11/7/17

sunflower still shining as evening shadows creep across the yard
Today I took DH to his doctor appointment.  After dropping him off at home, I made a trip to Kroger & Randall's grocery stores to take advantage of the sales before the weekly sale cycle ended.

I was able to stock up on pasta (.38 per 12 ounce package), some canned green beans and peas (.49 each), bacon ($4.49 each), frozen brussels sprouts and broccoli florets (.99 per pound) and a few other things that were on sale in anticipation of our Thanksgiving meal.  I always try to stock up on the great deals that come around this time of year in amounts that will see us through the year until the next holiday sales.  We're fortunate to have a spare upright freezer in addition to our fridge's freezer, along with a large walk-in pantry to store our food stores.  I use our Food Saver to vacuum seal many items as well, to extend it's life.  It's such a blessing to have our own little "grocery store" full of food items bought at the lowest prices possible!

Today's meals were kept very simple.  Since we don't mind leftovers, many times I will cook a big batch of something that will provide for several more meals.  Some days we just kind of graze, as our appetites dictate.  Today I made some cream of wheat for hubby's breakfast (one of his favorites).  Since he had the appointment, and wasn't very hungry during lunchtime, I noshed and nibbled here and there.  By the time I got home from grocery shopping, we agreed that a heated up frozen pizza would hit the spot, since I had lots of groceries to put away.  I'm so thankful that hubby is fairly easy going!

The weather today was sunny, warm and in the mid 80's!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Simple Living, Extraordinary Life ~ The Dailies 11/6/17

hundred year old oak
I discovered a Youtube channel today called Great Depression Cooking (link is to the first video I watched. I'm not affiliated with it in any way.).  It was hosted by a cute lady in her nineties named Clara and filmed by her grandson Christopher.  She shares recipes that her family ate during the depression of the early 1900's here in America, stories from that time of their lives and bits of wisdom that life has taught her.  One of her statements that stuck with me (this is not a direct quote) was how life is so much better for our population at large than it was in those days but people are still "squawking"/complaining/griping about their lot in life.  So true.

After spending the day watching her short videos when I had a moment to spare, I found myself taking mental trips down memory lane.  Back to the days of my childhood spent with my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother.  And then the days of my own young motherhood, of which many were spent as a single mom.  And how we all cooked and served our own versions of depression fare.

It also got me to thinking how quickly, if we don't record the minutiae of our lives, it can be forgotten and lost in the next generation's own struggle of building their families and lives.  And how knowing those little things can birth a new and great appreciation for your own lot in life.  Since I have never been the best journaler, but have developed a new hunger to know my own family's history, I have vowed to become better at recording "the dailies" of my life, on the chance that someday my own offspring begin to wonder "what was it like when...?".  

So here we go (this should be about as much fun as watching paint dry for most of y'all, lol!)...

Today's tidbits:

In addition to getting to know Clara ^^^ (RIP Clara), today I had some errands to run that could include our miniature dachshund, Dollface (named by my daughter).  Bank and veterinarian's office to pick up Galahad's (our cat, who was named by the shelter we adopted him from).  (Since my children are grown, I find I apparently need to continue nurturing, so the pets are my new "babies" that I tend to humanize, much to my family's eye rolling dismay😂).

On the way to the bank, I stopped at a local park that I love so Dollface could get a bit of exercise.

Other than that, we followed our usual routine: breakfast (homemade apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal), lunch (leftovers), dinner (leftovers), a snack of DIY microwave popcorn in the evening, and all the little tasks in between.

I hope you took time to savor those little moments in each day that all add up to your extraordinary life!

Thanks for stopping by! ~ TJ 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Slow Cooker "Loaded Baked Potato" Soup Recipe~

A favorite soup of ours for cooler weather is a hearty, stick to your ribs, potato soup.  We consider it a "loaded baked potato" soup.  It's a recipe that I change up slightly  each time I make it, depending on what I may or may not have on hand as far as ingredients and "accessories" (cheese, sour cream, etc.) goes.  It is a recipe that is very forgiving and leaves much room for experimentation.  This soup can be very inexpensive in it's barest-of-bones form, or as rich and decadent as your tastes and pocketbook allow!

Slow Cooker "Loaded Baked Potato" Soup 

•  6-8 medium to large potatoes (uncooked and diced into roughly one inch pieces) *I use enough to cover the bottom of my slow cooker (see in sidebar) completely *I usually use russets that I buy on sale in 5-10 pound bags 

•  1 cup of diced onion *if I don't have fresh onion, I use dried minced onion (1/2-1 tablespoon, or onion powder 1/2-1 teaspoon 

•  4-5 cups of either chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (or a combination) note:  you may need to add more liquid, just make sure the potatoes are covered with liquid to cook in.

•  2-4 garlic cloves, minced or 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder/granulated garlic

•  1/4 cup butter or margarine

•  1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped fine, or 1 tablespoon of dried parsley 

•  1-2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

•  pepper to taste (I like white pepper when I have it)

Combine all ingredients listed above into slow cooker, cover and cook approximately 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, or until potatoes are tender and mash easily with a fork. 
Once potatoes are tender, mash and blend all ingredients  (I like to use my immersion blender to mash and blend directly in the slow cooker but a regular blender could be used as well.  If using a blender, I only fill it about 1/3 full at a time since the ingredients are hot and can expand when blending. Either way, please use caution when blending as ingredients are HOT!

Next, add in:

•  1 cup of either milk, half & half or cream

Optional:  Once soup ingredients are blended, feel free to add your favorite "loaded baked potato" toppings.  We like:

•  sour cream 

•  shredded cheese *we usually have, and use, either colby-jack or a Mexican blend but use what you prefer/have on hand

•  bacon *I usually use my kitchen scissors to cut up several slices of bacon & then cook until crisp but other bacon "bit" products would work

•  chives or green onions, chopped

If you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy it!  If you have any ideas or suggestions on how you would make it adding your own personal touches, please share!  I love learning from others!

Thanks for stopping by!~TJ

* posts may contain affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.  My family and I appreciate your encouragement and support more than you can imagine! 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Five Frugal Things ~ November 3, 2017

Enjoying our backyard wildlife is always a simple pleasure that makes life feel extraordinarily rich!
I'm still pinching those pennies y'all! Always have (during the majority of my life) and always will, I'm sure!  Lately I have:

•  used some over-ripe bananas to make a frugal banana cake

•  used green onions from our garden abundance in soup and baked potatoes

•  loaded a Walmart gift card with money to use for a few cents off per gallon on gas when I filled our vehicle up with fuel.

•  stayed home unless absolutely necessary.  When I do have to run errands, I plan and map out each stop so I am essentially making a "circle" and not zigzagging from place to place, wasting time and fuel.

•  researched the lowest price on flea prevention for our feline and purchased it at the best price I could find.

I hope this might give you an idea or two to add to your money saving plan!

Thanks for stopping by! ~TJ

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Five Frugal Things ~ October 25, 2017

beautiful autumnal colors in my container garden! 

Wow, it's been a while since I posted my five frugal things!  I'll just jump in where I left off...

This past week, to save money, I:

1)  juiced some limes that were on their way out😵.  I used the juice to make a glass of limeade and also to just splash into my glasses of drinking water to give it a zing.

2)  made my stain remover for laundry.

3)  made powdered laundry detergent.

4)  made a large batch of granola (my favorite cereal!)

5)  ran across an unadvertised buy one get one free deal on pork chops and pork roasts so I bought one of each and put all four in the freezer to use later.

I hope you are all enjoying some cooler weather (if that's your cup of tea~ it is mine!) and finding new ways to save money!

Thanks for stopping by! ~ TJ


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