A Year of Savings: 2013

May 8:  Mama gave me a stack of her recently read, still current, magazines.  And a bundle of coupons from her Sunday paper.  I consider it a score on two counts: I can stock up on any really excellent buys on personal care or pet food if a sale comes along with those additional coupons.  I make good use of the magazines: first I read them for inspiration and ideas, I gather coupons from them, I remove the photos and recipes I can use or want to ship off to the younger ones for their use.

Bought cushions for the patio furniture today.  I looked at the dollar store sale and the cushions were nice, but not enough of any one kind to make out.  These were just a little more than the sale price at the dollar store, but comparable to the usual price and I think better quality.

Coffee Chat - Back To Basics x 3

Come on in and have a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea with me.  There are a few Lemon Brownies left...Not sure why they are called brownies but they are lemon for sure and pretty good.  It's a Pinterest recipe and is fairly inexpensive to make.  John's not fond of sharply lemon-y treats so I took advantage of it being Mama's birthday dinner.  I'll be making a chocolate cake here in the next day or two, with chocolate frosting, per his request.  It's a recipe I've held on to years and have never made. We'll see how it turns out.  I'd meant to make it Monday but I discovered I had only three eggs and I needed them for breakfast the next morning.  John does like his breakfast eggs and I'd already skipped them that morning in favor of another breakfast protein.

Menu Plan Monday

Well here we are once more.  Time to get back into routine.  Holiday aside, meals are planned once more.  Next task today: begin a freezer and pantry inventory.  It's moving on towards June now and high time I checked to see what I've got on hand and what is needed in the months ahead.

I had a 'practice' run of pantry cooking this weekend.  I skipped grocery shopping last pay period, saving my money for food for a little trip we took last week.  Not replenishing at home was fine...until we had to prepare a company dinner...I made a meal which will appear below in the menu plan, but it was a scraped together affair.  Truthfully, I might have made it until grocery day this week if I'd tried, but John was paid early due to the holiday, Publix had some too good to miss sales on items we can't buy at Aldi and when John was called in to cover for the other team due to a holiday presentation at Andersonville, I took advantage of his being gone and went off to pick up the sales items and enough produce to get us through until we go to Aldi later this week.  It's amazing how just having lettuce and tomato and an apple or two on hand can feel like a booster shot to the pantry.

Come Join the Creative Home Acre Hop

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

I love reading Manuela's blog.  She's co-hosting the Creative Home Acre Hop.  This week I'm featuring my 'new' table.

Menu Plan Monday? No...

And why not? You may well ask.  What's with breaking the routine?  Well it's just that.  It's all just routine basic foods and nothing to get all excited over.  John asked me to lighten up during the work week and the result is that I'm plopping a salad and meat or a sandwich of sorts on the table.  And then I got all involved in a half dozen things.  Cleaning, and gardening, and trying to end a longtime project and just trying to be quiet long enough for a husband to get a few hours of sleep.  He says I don't bother him but I've noticed if he knows I'm in my chair clipping coupons, or looking up family history or writing a post or newsletter, he sleeps longer and harder than when I'm trying to put away dishes or walking back and forth in the house.

I'm going to take a break of a couple of weeks time here.  Not headed out anywhere this week but just wanting to catch up on the things I've missed doing with John working.  Tomorrow I'll run a few errands but I'll be home by the time John's ready to sleep.  Wednesday I'll be working away at moving things around.  Katie is moving and that means half my shed will soon be empty.  All the things I've been squirreling away here and there indoors can now go out to the shed.  That will be a rather massive undertaking, as I also mean to move out excess furniture I can't use any longer and that means rearranging things and that means I'll want to un-decorate so I can re-decorate.  Then there's yard work that must be tended to, groceries, a baby shower, synagogue, a cook-out for EMS.  It's just going to be very hectic. 

Front Loaded Days

So...Nine months into having John at home all day every single day since he began working nights, I've finally figured out another part of the strategy to getting things done: Front loading my days.  This is step four in the night-shift saga.  Do you remember all the steps?

#1.  I had to get used to having John about day in and day out just at first. This was helped along by those many vacation days he had to use up from September through December somewhat.  Gracious if I hadn't gotten used to having him around all day long by December, I wasn't ever going to get used to it.

A Year of Savings: 2013


May 1:  I had buttermilk in the fridge that was nearing the 'best buy' date.  I poured into half cup containers and froze.  I saved out 1/2 cup, added 1 cup of milk and let sit at room temperature overnight.  Now I have 1 1/2 cups 'fresh' buttermilk.  The buttermilk cost me $2.49 for a half gallon.  My savings today: $3.29.

Made four meals at once.  Dinner for today, a quick to eat meal for tomorrow after shopping, and two meals for the freezer.  Skipping our usual shopping day meal saves $11.49 (we eat at the same place and get the same thing each grocery day).  Putting a convenience meal or two in the freezer used items already in the refrigerator.   A bag of bell peppers (savings $1.49), 1/3 pound portion of grilled sirloin (savings $3.99), 1/2 can turkey Spam (savings $1.25).

Weekly Menu Plan

I've been looking at recipes in magazines and it seems to me that they are pretty basic these days.  Titles like "Five Ingredient Main Dishes", "Dinner in Under 30 Minutes",  "Weeknight Family Favorites in 15 Minutes or Less"...Gracious but I get tired of these hurry up and toss it on the table sorts of meals!

I like to play with my food.  I like to cut and dice and slice.  I like to sear and brown and saute and roast.  I like to season with a bevy of herbs and spices and let the food soak it in.  Yes, there are good 15 minute and 30 minute and 5 ingredient meals.  They do have their place.  Like when I'm on vacation and the beach and a sunset walk is just beyond that stove... But a hurry up and get it done sort of cook I am not on the average day.  I enjoy cooking.  I like to eat it.

Please, Let's do coffee...Coffee Chat

Hello... I needed a vacation.  From myself as much as from other things.  No, we didn't go anywhere, I just stepped out of being social for a bit, snugged in here at home, skipped out on public places and sort of zoned out.

Truth told, I was world weary last time I wrote and then went through a little spell of having my feelings hurt deeply.  I suffered through the usual bit of "but he said..." until I was most thoroughly sick of myself.  I sat here alone one night, very late and cried out to God for the umpteenth time,  "What should I do?" and went off and read As I See It Now and found the post (click on the link to read) that answered my question.  Forgive.

A Year of Savings: 2013

April 22:  We were up very early.  Incentive to work was sadly lacking but needs demanded we do just that.  Laundry was top order with guest bedding making up the bulk of loads.  We didn't do much of anything beyond the housework.  Even our dinner was more or less scraped together.  No money spent...There's a bonus.

April 23:  John repaired the frames of two more of our windows.  Only 9 more to go...He's done a very nice job on the windows he's worked on thus far.  AND he is saving us the cost of having someone come in and reframe them.  Our expenses have been the cost of a gallon of Kilz and the cost of a quart of spackle, about $30 I think which is nothing compared to having them reframed!

My February to March Capsule Wardrobe

I struggled a bit with this capsule.  The weather has been more than usually all over the place in February here in Georgia.  I never re...