Sunday, October 19, 2014
1) Went through my fridge and made sure to put anything in the freezer that might be in danger of going bad soon. A couple of things I froze was pico de gallo in 1/2 cup containers (I figure I can use these in taco soup or something similar) & leftover ricotta cheese that didn't get used in the pasta dish I bought it for (I bought too much).
2) I took advantage of Randall's freebie deals & got a 22 oz Chili's frozen meal; a Dannon Creamery caramel flavored cheesecake dessert & chewable calcium 50 ct. Whoo hoo! I was so excited! (I gotta start watching for these...and for Kroger's Friday freebies too.)
3) I found some seed packets that were marked down to .20 each and bought a few varieties I didn't already have.
4) I got 2-2lb. packages of lunch meat and a 1 lb. package of breakfast sausage that were all marked down 50% to put in the freezer. The fam likes ham (:
5) Continued to use things I have on hand rather than giving in to the temptation to buy more. Such as drinking tea from my tea stash and putting blinders on when I'm going past the teas in the store (WHYYYYY am I so tempted by certain things???!!! Lipstick & fingernail polish, I'm lookin' at you!)
I'd love to hear some of your frugal things! Have a frugalicious day!!!~TJ
Well...not really...I'm not a social media maven but I post once in a while. I'm trying to get better, lol! On the bright side, I don't blow up anyone's account with oversharing!
I'd love for you to come on over to my Facebook page & give it a "like"! And let me know yours so I can get to know you too!
I'm also on Instagram & twitter: @AvonLadyTJ
Hope to "see" you there!!!~TJ
Friday, October 17, 2014
>>>homemade salmon croquettes with dill sauce, sliced fresh tomatoes with cracked black pepper and pink Himalayan sea salt
>>>grilled ham & cheese sandwiches with chips
>>>pinto bean and sausage stew; corn on the cob & homemade corn bread
For a sweet treat I made Fantastic Cinnamon Raisin Bread! Winner!!!
Between the salmon croquettes recipe, which I doubled, and the pinto bean and sausage stew, which made enough for more than two meals, we were set for the week!
I'd love to hear some of your delicious meals! I need all the inspiration I can get, lol!
Here's to tasty treats & eats!~TJ
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
My hubby always brags to people that I can stretch a penny so far that it cries for mercy. As flattered as I feel that he's proud enough of that fact to actually share with people he knows (and not embarrassed by it), I know that I, by no means can hold a candle to some of you. And there was a time that I had to be even more careful and thrifty with my money. But seasons change in our lives and with that the wiggle room with which we can spend.
I was reading a blogger the other day that was sheepishly telling her readers that she and her spouse had decided to raise their grocery budget. She felt she might be letting her readers down since she has a money saving blog. But there's no shame in that! (You go girl!) She/they have been blessed and possibly wouldn't be able to get to the point of spending more money now if they hadn't been more careful with their money up until this point. Even still, I remember reading long ago when they were having to be veeeerrry frugal, that they decided that her having her hair professionally done (colored & cut I think. Ohhh, my sad little memory!) was an expense they felt was worth it. Then and even today, I couldn't begin to be as "with it" as she budget wise and I prefer to color my own hair. (I tried twice to have a "professional" color and highlight my hair & figured I could do as well myself. I do have someone cut my hair though.) Anyway, I'm only bragging on this blogger-I think it's great!
And I would wish prosperity for everyone. But sometimes we have situations beyond our control, and there's is no shame in that. We just have to do our best with what we have and pray for better times.
And thank goodness for a gazillion money saving websites to glean knowledge from! Because...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
3) I bought two dog toys marked down 50%. I always check the markdown & clearance areas in the stores I frequent. You just never know what you will find and when I find products I use anyway...SCORE!!!
4) I've been keeping a large bowl in the kitchen sink to catch runoff water from washing our hands, rinsing veggies, etc. I use this water to water my plants. I've been surprised to realize that this is enough water to water ALL of my plants each day. The outdoor container plants usually need to be watered everyday so this is saving on our water bill!
5) And speaking of water, I have been making a concerted effort to turn water off during times it might normally be running down the drain unused. For instance, when showering, after wetting my hair & body, I turn the water off, soap and shampoo up before turning the water back on to rinse off. Or while brushing my teeth, I turn the water off while brushing and then turn it back on again to rinse.
These are all little things but they add up! And as I always say
Have a great day!~TJ
Monday, October 13, 2014
Where groceries are concerned, I do prefer to spend more for organic milk, cream, sour cream and most cheeses, some organic produce (I go by the "dirty dozen" list when deciding how to spend on organic produce) and occasionally other organic food items. For whatever reason I haven't wrapped my head around yet, I still buy regular butter, cream cheese and American cheese slices. Mostly because I have to "pick my battles" so to speak moneywise and also because hubby is particular about his American cheese (: Anyway, I do what I can.
I also prefer to spend the extra money to purchase humanely raised chicken and eggs. I would love to buy organic, grass fed but again, money is not a limitless supply around here so I do the best I know how. We don't eat tons of beef although hubby loves him a good ribeye! When I buy fish it's wild caught.
All that being said, if it ever came down to spending the extra money for organics & higher priced items or going hungry, I will definitely make fillin' our tummies the priority!
But for now, in order to be able to continue to afford to buy these higher priced items, I will do my best to be as economical as possible in all other areas. For example, I've decided that I have enough makeup, lotions & potions to last until the cows come home (& I don't own any cows so they wont be comin' home any time soon!) so I have put myself on a "makeup starvation diet". I will stick to my favorite frugal motto which is...
Back to the grocery budget...a few things I am going to begin doing on a regular basis are
- making all our bread. We love our French bread recipe and having the luxury of having my bread maker, it wont be a sacrifice, it will be a pleasure! (note~I prefer to use the dough cycle only and bake breads off in the oven.)
- baking in general. Cakes & cookies are easy and economical enough, especially when I stick to tried & true recipes for basic sweet treats like oatmeal cookies, peanut butter cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. And to make things easy on myself, I've started making bar cookies to save the time of dropping each. little. cookie. tray. after. tray. It's one stop shopping! I also have favorite recipes for quick sweet breads (zucchini! and banana! Yum!) And muffins and cakes! Oh my! Biscuits and pancakes have become hubbys specialties.
- building up our stockpile/pantry with sale items.
For now, that is what I am really, really, really going to concentrate on. I know all these things. I've done all these things during lean years of being a single mom to three chirren. But more prosperous times led me in new directions. Well, it's time to tighten the belt a bit again so we will be able to continue to enjoy many things that we have for a good long time.
Little things I already do and have been doing in the kitchen (because I'm basically a frugal chick anyway) are:
- make my own broths from bones & veggie scraps.
- wash & reuse (fairly clean-no greasy, meaty ones) Ziploc bags & aluminum foil.
- look up recipes in order to be able to use ingredients I already have on hand. Online searches make this fairly easy.
- improvise a bit when cooking & following certain recipes. Sometimes I just don't have the ingredient called for so I do an online search for substitutions for the ingredient the recipe calls for. After years (and yeeeeeaaaars) of cooking, I feel a little more comfortable doing this.
- I save that bacon grease y'all. To season all kinds of good things mainly veggies/green beans. I'm not sure if that's just a southern thing or not.
- Meatless meals and simple meals. We don't always require a big production when it comes to meals. Sometimes a quick sandwich with chips or fries suit us just fine. Leftovers make for a quickie meal as well. And some days we just graze. I portion out a lot of meals that make too much for us and that serves for other meals in the future.
- I cook up dried beans and divide them up into two cup portions to freeze for future recipes.
- I try to buy in bulk when it will be economical. If I can store it safely for future use I'll buy it. But only if it's the better deal. Sometimes buying smaller sizes end up being cheaper. My calculator is my friend for figuring out price per ounce/pound etc.
It's all about balance.
Thanks for stopping by!~TJ
Friday, October 10, 2014
>>>leftover homemade mac & cheese, green beans
>>>homemade chili with beans (I halved the amount of meat, used ground turkey instead of beef and used crushed tomatoes instead of sauce [twice the amount called for] & also added about a half teaspoon of granulated garlic) rice, shredded Colby cheese and homemade cornbread
>>>a simple dinner of seasoned pinto beans (that I cook up from dried beans, portion & freeze), pico de gallo & corn tortillas
>>>"rotisserie" chicken in the slow cooker, Normandy style veggies
As I've probably mentioned before, since it's basically just the two of us (DD rarely eats at home), many meals stretch into two or more meals. If we get tired of eating them, I will portion them out and freeze them for future meals. So, that's why I only have four meals listed for this past seven day week!
I hope this inspires some ideas for anyone reading that might be wondering what to cook for dindin if your dinner makin' mojo has fallen into a rut!
Thanks for stopping in!~TJ
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The past couple of days I have ventured outside to plant some seeds and re-seed things that didn't sprout. I am no master gardener and am still learning as I go. I plant most things in containers as our soil is very sandy and riddled with clay. Gumbo. The soil, not the delicacy.
Some things I've recently planted are: spinach mustard greens, mesclun, lettuces, kale, parsley, catnip, tarragon, radishes, assorted flowers (annuals and perennials), fennel, broccoli raab, small sugar pumpkin, chives and spearmint.
It has finally dawned on me that all my efforts of trying to garden in the relentless heat were based on info that's got totally different climates in mind. Yes, the seed packets and books may say to plant at certain times but I must take into consideration that many plants just can't take our heat. And neither can I. This realization has been such a relief since I have battled the heat and mosquitoes in dogged determination the past few "
Anyway, my garden report is a good one: I was able to harvest a bit of Swiss chard, a carrot and a bean! One bean. And one carrot! It's something. And there are more beans on the bush, just not big enough yet. My morning glory vines are climbing and thriving and I feel very confident that soon, I will see some lovely flowers adorning our fence! Our Meyer lemon tree (is still alive) has lemons, still green and heavy, hanging from it's branches that I'm sure will be big, yella & juicy in their own good time! I have several tomato plants that have struggled through the summer that I'm hoping will perk up and produce some tomatoes once the weather continues to cool down. My sweet and opal basils, thyme, oregano, green onions and rosemary are thriving, and my dill and cilantro are hanging in there. And a beautiful, spidery white lily that was planted a couple of years ago recently bloomed, much to our delight!
I would love to add some pictures with this post but my camera is experiencing technical difficulties. (I think it needs a new battery). And my phone camera has been dropped one too many times to produce decent pictures, lol!
Thanks for checking in! I hope you are enjoying the cooler temps!~TJ
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Today we have the plumber in fixing things we have put off for a while (since we were having a hard time finding a plumber we could count on and trust). New toilet fixtures, a new kitchen faucet, the bathtub faucet. The closet is still torn up from the leak and that will have to be addressed by having someone replace the carpet and repair the drywall in the wall where it had to be removed in order for him to get to the leaky pipe.
I feel like our house has had a small explosion within the walls since stuff is everywhere. Anyway, since life is like that at times, I'm just taking a step back from my usual "daily goal" list and am going to focus on getting my sewing/craft room in some sort of order. It has gotten so out of control I've lost all interest in going in there and being creative. I haven't sewn or worked on any scrapbook pages. The clutter and disorganization just overwhelm me!
We are also making plans to get someone in to landscape the front yard and are in the process of researching companies. I'm hoping for something very low maintenance since I'm not a big outdoorsy girl when it comes to going out in our extremely humid, brutally hot weather and doing yard work. Add in voraciously hungry mosquitos and...no thank you! I do enjoy those rare days that are truly lovely to spend time out enjoying our backyard and I don't mind puttering around planting seeds for my container gardening efforts here and there.
Friday, August 22, 2014
The cable guy came out and the cable worked for 24 hours before showing signs of the same troubles again. They are supposed to be out Monday.
Thankfully, we found a good plumber that came out right away and took care of the leak but there are still things related to the leak that need to be taken care of. (Imagine damp carpet we are in the process of cleaning and drying out and the closet contents all over our bedroom, office, and guest bedroom until the drywall can be repaired and carpeting issues resolved. Yeah.)
I share these happenings not to be a downer or to complain, but to encourage you, so that if you are going through some things as well, you know you are not alone. It can sometimes feel that way. And sometimes problems happen in a "when it rains it pours" fashion, magnifying the situation.
All we can do is try to laugh about it and keep a sense of humor and remember that "this too shall pass". But in the meantime, I believe the stress has gotten to me. My ongoing neck and shoulder issues seem to have flared up over these past three days as well. Pain. In the neck. Literally. And because of that, I have been taking it as easy as possible. So, my daily goals have been set aside for the time being and I have only focused on taking care of those daily things that must be taken care of. Plants and pets and the like.
Therefore, I'm only going to list our last couple of days dinner meals and then get back to nursing my aching neck and shoulder with tlc and gentle stretches.
Wednesday- we had Schlotzky sandwiches since the plumber was here and the water to the house was shut off. I had a veggie, hubby had a fiesta chicken.
Thursday- Chicken enchilada casserole, made with some turkey I had in the freezer. So, technically, turkey enchilada casserole. (low carb= no tortillas but hubby had Frito scoops with his)
Friday- Spicy black beans and rice (made with beans that were in the freezer that I had cooked and divided and frozen for quick and easy meals such as this.)
Not ideal. I would like to have had salad or veggies with our meals but I just wasn't up for a big production, I felt happy to have just made the entrees and gotten a hot meal made. I was trying to have as few dirty dishes to wash as possible, lol.
Have a great day y'all!~TJ
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
And to place a cherry on the top of our day, just as I had come to terms with the fact that we had been stood up, I decided to go ahead and go to the grocery store. When I stepped into our closet to get my shoes, the carpet was wet and there was a mighty funky odor. So we spent an hour emptying out the closet to save our stuff from whatever is leaking. I guess we'll add that to our "to do" list for tomorrow too.
I never made it to the grocery store. / ': Oh well.
C'est la vie!
Enough venting. Moving on.
apple cider vinegar mixed in daily.
I'm not even going to worry about this one today, lol!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
interest everyone but I, personally, enjoy having a peek into
other people's menus and the things that fill their days. It
often gives me motivation and inspiration when I'm feeling
"blah" as far as the "day in and day out" goes. So...I thought
I might offer the same. Besides, it keeps me accountable
when I know others might be looking on. And that, in itself,
Monday, August 18, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
I always seem to be a little late on any new bandwagons. Recently, after hearing about it, I discovered
If you're interested in saving money when you shop online and haven't heard about Ebates yet, I encourage you to check them out by clicking any "Ebates" word in this post and it will take you to there website where you can sign up and begin earning cash back on your online purchases.
*when you follow the link and sign up with Ebates through my blog, I will earn a small referral fee, and I thank you and very much appreciate it!
*I purchased all these products myself