Showing posts from August, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I posted this photo earlier this week, but look a little closer...Notice all those glass jars?  All salvaged and all re-used multiple times now.  I like glass jars for storage for several reasons: but mostly I like that I can have varied sizes for varied uses and they are I can see through them and that means I'm less likely to forget what is IN them and will use up my leftovers in a timely manner.

Friday:  We traveled to see the kids.  I made my reservations earlier in the week using Priceline and saved a couple of dollars over the hotel's website prices.

Froze bottles of water, a bottle of milk and a bottle of grape juice.  These did double duty.  The frozen bottles kept our insulated bag nice and cold,, replacing the need of taking ice with us.  The milk and juice were a planned ahead savings.  Last trip we had to buy juice for our Shabat kiddush.  I thought it unnecessary when we had a big bottle at home.  I just refilled a well washed soda bottle.  Milk, ditto. …

A Budget Stretcher/ Leftover Makeovers

One area that can create a slow and steady leak in the budget is in the kitchen.  Our intent is good.  We buy good foods to feed us several meals and somewhere after the first and perhaps second day, we're faced with leftovers that sit there and spoil because no one will eat them, everyone groans when you announce that it is dinner, and you yourself groan thinking of eating them once more.  That's if you even eat leftovers.  I've talked to many people and I'd say that roughly 75% of those I spoke with tell me the same thing over and over again: "We don't eat leftovers. I just throw away whatever is left."  Seriously? 

I confess that I occasionally 'lose' a leftover in the fridge.  Just today I found a cup of cooked summer squash and a half cup of broccoli salad.  I don't like to toss foods but I don't PLAN to toss them!

This is where I hope I can help you to re-think leftovers.

The number one mistake people make about leftovers is thinkin…

Weekly Menu Plan

Image  Some weeks I look back at the previous week's menus and wonder why I even bother to plan.  I used two meals from that week's menu.  Oh well.  Most of that food is still on hand and will eventually make it into rotation of meals once more.  Thankfully I used the items most likely to spoil (or froze) so no waste there.

The week ahead isn't too busy so meals should work out rather well this week.  We bought an 8pc fried chicken this past week at the grocery.  My only excuse is that we were shopping rather late, we were hungry and tired and wanted to be done and home and still had another store to go.  It was not a good way to shop and in future we'll skip it and wait as I'd thought I'd do in the first place.  I should have listened to myself!

We ate chicken for dinner that night, and today for dinner as well.  I have a huge chicken breast leftover and plan to make a meal from that for Monday.  I didn't get all the foods I'd planned last week.…

Bulk Buying and Warehouse Stores

Ella wrote:  I am curious what you think about warehouse stores like Sams Club. Perhaps you don't have those in your area, but given that you sometimes buy in bulk and try to have stock on hand, just wondered if you belong to one and what you think about it. 

I don't currently have a membership at Sam's Club (nearest to my location).

Mind you, when we had growing kids at home, we shopped routinely at Sam's.  It was more than worth my while to buy six heads of romaine at once when I knew full well we'd eat them in less than two weeks time.
In some ways I miss shopping there because invariably dairy products were an excellent buy, as were Over the Counter meds, minerals and vitamins and fresh seasonal produce (like blueberries or cherries) for canning or preserving. Flour, sugar, olive oil, seasonings were almost always good buys as well.  The meats at our Sam's were beautiful cuts, and fairly priced but buying two HUGE chuck roasts would eat up a chunk of the…

Menu Monday

I haven't thought too hard about meals since last week.  The roast chicken was made Saturday morning.  We had sandwiches from one of the breasts then, a light supper that included the legs (1 each) Saturday evening and then the other breast divided between the two of us for our dinner yesterday and I put the carcass on to boil last night.  With the thighs and wings, plus the pickings of meat from the bones, I have about 3 cups of chicken.  I'll be incorporating that into this week's meals.  I love how meals seem  to just naturally stretch and grow these days. I call it a blessing.

I made a Plum Tart using this recipe:

Monday:  Corn and Bean Enchiladas with Cheese Sauce, Pineapple Salad, Pudding
I am not locked into the idea of a meatless Monday but I do try to serve meals that use no meat at least once a week and are very light (used more as flavor/seasoning) twice more.  These enchiladas do not co…

Coffee Chat- Bucket List, Quilt, Guilt, and A Wake Up Call

Come on in and have some coffee with me.  It's cooler outdoors and coffee seems just the sort of thing I want this time of day.  Decaf of course, or I'd have a harder time than usual sleeping.

"The Bucket List" was on this afternoon.  We didn't get to see it all, but we watched the last hour perhaps of it.  A good film and one of my favorites of the modern day sort.  Which made me think of something I found while clearing out files earlier this week.  I didn't feel well and that was just the sort of piddly job that allowed me to feel I was accomplishing something without expending any energy and feeling worse.  I found my Bucket List from 2005.  I'd crossed off several things in 2005 but I'd put it away, no doubt in January 2006 which is when I'd normally have set aside 2005 things from my notebook.  In the seven intervening  years, I'd only done two things on that list.  TWO.  In SEVEN years! I can't remember but one of the things I'…

For the Purpose of Clarification...

Arden asked a very good question this past week when I posted my intent to return to more frequent postings on thrift.  Here's her comment:
Something you said stuck out a bit. You said the home is paid for but it is still taking all of a full time income to make it. That seems high to me. We have one income also but we have a large family to provide for (8 children, 2 adults), numerous pets, 2 cars, etc. Plus a dh that commutes almost an hour each way so our gasoline prices are almost equal to our food budget. My dh makes an average salary for our area but our family size is far from average. If it were just the two of us and no mortgage, I would think money wouldn't be a huge issue.

I did reply to this via email, but am not sure that when I reply in that manner you all get my retorts.  And I thought it well to address this.

It is true that our home is paid off.  Why is it still taking a full time income to make ends meet? 

My husband works as a paramedic in a sma…

Thrifty Thursday

Our folding clothes drying rack doing it's job...We even carry this on vacation with us to hang clothes that need to dry.  It's very handy for damp towels or swimsuits.

Friday:  I was busy in the house this morning.  I followed my home-keeping routine yesterday but didn't quite finish the tasks.  Today I cleaned bathrooms and vacuumed, planned weekend meals and prepared food for today.

There was more leftover rice than I'd anticipated.  This changed my meal plan slightly.  Chicken Fried Rice seemed a nice way to use it up (with half the chicken I'd set aside last night after stripping the carcass).  I use what I have on hand for vegetables in the fried rice.  Today that was: julienned carrots, frozen Green peas, celery, onion, broccoli stems (and a few of the florets cut into small pieces).  I found that cooking my scrambled egg in the microwave took only 20 seconds and made it much easier on the cook.  One less pan to clean up (or if I'd used the same skillet a…

Thrifty Thursday

Buying a new slipcover instead of a new chair...I saved us about $450 on the conservative side.  This chair was perfectly sound, but the old blue cover was worn, stained and torn.  My new slipcover covers those defects and matches the color of our other recliner perfectly.

Saturday:  Planning ahead really paid off this past week.  I had a feeling...and I've learned to go with those feelings when I have them...that John would want to attend service somewhere this weekend.  So I planned a meal that might easily be reheated in the microwave.  I made a simple salad to go with it and when we left home this morning, I was assured of a quick and easy meal for us whenever we got back home.  As it happened, that was around 2:30 since John wanted to run to town for mower gas after we got back.  I had dinner on the table in about 9 minutes from start to finish.  Not bad!

Plenty of time to think about future savings today.  Hanging the clothes on the line meant our electric bill rose only abou…