Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My! October

Can you believe it?  October gone and here's November teasing us with the year end.  There's two months and then we'll be in a brand new year all over again.  I don't want to hurry this year out but I confess I can't wait to see what next year holds!

This month I'm listing posts/comments in order of posting.  I'm too strained with foggy brain to figure out how to make sure I get them all in the right category this month.

I started this month with a Savings post.  These two comments I especially wanted to make note of here.  First from Lana  came a very good hint, sort of hidden like a gem in her posted comment.  She was telling how this past spring, rather than buy cut flowers for dinner parties, she used baskets filled with bulk purchased six packs of annuals.  After the party, she planted the flowers in her yard.  So smart!

And Erika  was pleased to discover that I found the canned potatoes froze better in prepared ahead entrees or soups.  They never seem to take on the soggy texture that fresh potatoes do.  I confess I'm not fond overall of canned potatoes but they are handy for Canned Vegetable Soup (that's multiple cans of vegetables dumped in a pan and heated with broth) and if you happen to have enough leftover to freeze, you never have to pick out the potatoes.  I've also used them in pot pies or stews I wanted to freeze.   psst....check out Erika's blog.

Settling Into A New Budget Season Sarah and Lana recommended a blog:  She is experimenting with meals and such from 1943.  If you garden you'll enjoy seeing her victory garden, too!

Georgene the series was BBC's Wartime Kitchen and Garden.  The link will take you to all 8 episodes.  Kathy this link is for you, too.  As for your question about whether I feel the need of stocking up check out my post, State of the Union Address, the Economy this week.

Vicki  I thought the broken pot would be cute on it's side, too.  I even bought the pansies to go in it but the two halves are too shallow for plants on their own and the doggone thing will not stay together unless it's sitting upright, so it's a broken upright pot.

Sparky136 thank you for the suggestions for storage in my pantry area.

I did two "I Wonder as I Wander" posts this month.  I must have felt very random indeed this past month.  In the first post I mentioned Goulash.  Lana shared this link to a recipe for Goulash that she thinks tastes much like her mother's.  This discussion went on for nearly two weeks and no one's recipe appears to be the same beyond the use of macaroni, ground beef and some form of tomato for flavoring.  I love recipes that evolve like this.

Settling Into a New Season
Sarah gives a very short but informative history lesson about war time Britain in her post. Well worth reading if you're interested in those War Time programs I'd mentioned enjoying on YouTube.

About my CVS haul  Sparky 136  shared about her haul.  $.11 folks!  Go check it out in the comments.

Lana I don't do half so well as Rhonda but I do well on occasion.  It's worthwhile to employ all the methods I can.  I have plenty of razors on hand right now but gracious those things seldom last more than two or three shaves anymore, so there's always room for more.  Katie is keeping me supplied with coupons of late which helps.  I've got ECBs to use up this week or I'll lose them and I won't lose them, so I'll be curious to see how well I can do.
I do suggest you just read the and if you do nothing else look for those items that allow you to get back exactly what you're paying out of pocket  Like Propel water this week is $1.25 with $1.25 in ECBs earned.  You're essentially getting water for free and $1.25 to use on another purchase, etc.

Rhonda, tell Jeff I'm giving him a shout out for being a great support partner to a CVS

QAC September  Angela  Don't be disappointed but all my purses are just 'crammed on a shelf' at the moment,too.  It is my intent to redo my closet and make the storage there more efficient and make the spot attractive as well.  Nothing like the glam makeovers I admire most online because it's mostly going to be me and me and me and my super slim budget that gets this job done, but I hope at that time to have nicer storage for bags and shoes and every thing else.

Lana, I should add here that I also splash Worcestershire in my sausage gravy.  This is a trick my former Rabbi used in making his sausage gravy and it really adds that little something  that keeps it from being bland and allows one to decrease the black pepper that often needs to be used heavily.

Sarah, What a blessing to have been taken under the wing of your friend's mother...My own lessons were learned by watching Granny and Grandmama.  I don't recall ever seeing my great grandmothers working though I know both did a great deal.  My mom was more or less the sort to tell me what she wanted done and then leave me to it, so not a lot of example but plenty of instruction.

Sew Blessed Maw (Judy)  I credit drinking lots of fluids with keeping me stable while I've been sick.  But yes, I am slipping up a little here and there too.  Eating just a wee bit more than I ought of some things and not nearly enough of others.  I am tracking my numbers and doing well,  but once I'm a little more clear headed and not so miserable with this cold, I'll be back on the straight and narrow.  I really don't want to be stupid with this when I've had a relatively easy time over all.  So many people have to struggle hard to find the foods they can eat and no matter how careful must work hard at this.  I've been very blessed and  I know it.

Fair Day   Sew Blessed Maw(Judy) the pot you admired was an electric coffee pot...wasn't it pretty.  I've had three or four and each have been bought by the same woman.  She gets them for her friend who has had a stroke and can't lift a heavy pot.  They apparently work very well for her but tend to get broken, so she buys them up and saves them for her.  Very thoughtful isn't she?

Lana  I agree...we've let date night lapse about our house as well...though ours tended to be breakfast out or something at midday rather than evening meals out.  I plan to introduce those days at least twice a month.  John and I tend to get too absorbed into the usual and we talk more deeply when we're on dates.

Sarah  This is a proper fair by all means and has loads of rides, loads of vendors of all sorts, a huge food court, livestock, concerts.  It's the Georgia National Fair and comes about once a year.  There is also a state fair and several county fairs in varying sizes.  Then there are the parking lot amusement rides that show up here and there and stay a week.   I can't vouch for every state but I can tell you that Georgia appears to be 'fair' minded!

Karla, We don't go every year to the fair either.  And we never ever buy more than a VFW burger when we're inside the gates either.  They are not making money on us but they make plenty on other folks to make up for it.

In my Fun Coffee Chat  I introduced my new back porch piece, which is still looking mighty rough. It still needs some hard cleaning and I've got to figure out quickly what to do about that 'counter top'...But I mean to get it painted in the next week or so if the weather will just dry out.  I'd have loved a baker's rack and was in fact holding out for that when John mentioned his desire to have storage for those pieces of equipment near the outlet.  This seemed a good compromise.

I went on to discuss nursing homes and my view point about them, which is favorable overall.  I was glad to see that it touched a chord with so many of you as well.  Tammy, Karla, Crystal, Lana all shared their positive experiences.  It's not an easy choice, I understand this but I confess I am forever puzzled at people who are so adamantly against nursing home care.  My own mother is the same and she has worked in only the nicest of homes.  I just shake my head in puzzlement.

Karla, The crazy thing with blood sugars is that sometimes numbers will be off for no good reason at all or you'll react wildly to something that has been usual.  I did make a poor choice on that particular day but yes, my overall tiredness might well have been an indication I was already 'off'.  Too little water, too little fiber, too little exercise, stress can all increase numbers.  A poor night's sleep will do it, too.   And then there are just random times when everything might have been just so and numbers swing crazily out of control anyway.  I'm still trying to figure out why I've been so 'normal' this week while sick.  I've done NOTHING at all in the line of work, exercise and I'm running very very good numbers.  Go figure!

In an expanded post Practice Makes Perfect  I was pleased to read your comments about 'finding' your own recipes that you could make.  Rhonda shared about finding her own pie crust recipe, just as I found my own biscuit recipe.  Deanna shared that she'd learned to make gravy with roux but her mom had never mastered Gelatins.  It's good to know we all have those little things that we just must work a bit harder at...

Practice Practice  Leigh  I agree that it is hard to see holes in the pantry and not quite be able to afford to fill them.  I'm watching hard for sales and I've tucked away a small amount from my allowance that was 'extra' over the last couple of weeks to use when those sales come along.

Pam I loved how you 'made do' with the sale on chickens to make up for the lack of pheasant when you had no hunters this year.

Lana it is truth that though I have holes in my pantry, should I need to plan meals from the pantry and freezer we'd do right well for a little while...and then I'd get super creative and probably figure out how to stretch it for another little while!  I think this is why Pantry/Freezer challenges are so good anyway.  I like to dig in deep and find those things I'd saved and meant to use or that were about to expire and make them into meals, rather than just deplete the usual stuff.  I need that creative muscle to stay fit.

Well Seasoned  Pam  We don't have birds fly into our windows here ever but they used to do it all the time at the nursing home...I can just imagine how frustrated you must feel with them.   I didn't get to Goodwill at all that day.  I had so many errands to tend to that day that I just made one quick stop at the gritty dusty, organized store.  I did find a really pretty cut glass sugar bowl for Katie.  Golly what sparkle that thing has now it's been washed!

Well Seasoned Saver  I wrote in this post about a phone call with Samuel in which he shared the day he'd realized we were poor...I don't like to say we were poor and I mean that.  I look about at all we've been given, have saved for, earned, made do with and I feel rich and I mean that.  As Lana said "God always provided all that we needed and more."   Some would be shocked now to know just how we manage if they knew our income but I know how much less we have had.

Kathy In Illinois  John had two sons, Danny and JD (he's the oldest).  I had Amie, Samuel and Katie.  Katie was just born when John and I started seeing each other and he adopted her as his own child after we married.  JD says that Katie is proof osmosis really does work, lol, because she is so much like her daddy.    Danny passed away a year after we'd married.  He had some severe physical handicaps and was unable to speak.

Gramma D  yep, I've heard those groaning pennies myself, lol.

Colleen Gold Your trip story reminds me of a friend who said his mom would buy a big pack of the cheapest bologna, two bags of chips, bread and soda and they'd drive from here to the beach and spend the night...In the car.  They'd eat bologna sandwiches, swim all day long and the next night pack up and drive home again, lol.  I think there were about six kids in that family.  Can you imagine?  But I'll just bet they didn't think they were poor either, not with a whole day at the beach for fun!

Rose (Sparkiedoll)  I remember those rare weeks when $2 was all we had to spare and I stood at the meat counter and debated on a whole chicken or two pounds of ground beef...And yes, I did manage somehow, just as you did with your 38p.

Dale, Your story made me cry, too.  I could so feel that loss and how hard it must have been on your mama and Daddy.

There were several comments on this post and I so appreciate all of you sharing your own experiences.  It's true that Samuel honored me with his tribute that night.

In the next to last post of the month, State of the Union,  Jill shared her textiles expertise.  Be sure to go to this post and read her comment.

Anonymous asked if I had health insurance prior to getting ill this year.  Yes.  I'd had insurance for about three months.  We bought the lowest cost policy we could because we knew stretching our budget to cover the fees was going to mean lots of adjustments.  It's been a real blessing on many scores, but the 'unthinkable' happened and our out of pocket for this years bills alone must be paid as well, which is a ridiculously high amount. We thought the odds were in our favor...

Wendi thank you for taking time to comment.  I think it's a shame when a family has less because of increased medical coverage costs.  I am still puzzling out how we were forced to buy what we couldn't afford to begin with...even while being deeply grateful that I had this coverage!

Crystal H.  I can say honestly it's been many years since I had a toilet paper shortage...but John had to make do with a skimpy little four roll pack he picked up when I was in hospital because I'd been waiting on a good sale price to restock!  I am planning to stock up on several multiple roll bulk packs when I see the next sale.

Sarah, I don't know about pre-existing conditions.  My stuff was all newly diagnosed this year after I got insurance.  However, you must purchase in 'tiers'.  I bought the lowest tier coverage which was for people who rarely never are sick...and at the time I wasn't!  But it is highly unlikely I will be allowed to purchase that same low tier.  I will have routine doctor visits at least until April 2016 when I may come off my coumadin therapy.  The total out of pocket for covered services on this low tier is very high, $7200.  That means that I would have to pay that much out of pocket next year.  Not pre-existing but just trying to manage my costs overall is the biggest concern.  And of course, the higher tiers have a higher monthly premium which is the concern for me. My friend shared yesterday her monthly fees are increasing $237 a month.  That's the sort of jump I'm concerned about!

And yes, I am in agreement.  I think we are all waiting for that proverbial 'other shoe' to drop where our national economy is concerned.

Kathy, Yes he is deserving of a raise as are all his co-workers...They make a pittance and I mean that sincerely, well below the statewide average.  However, it is where he works and where his loyalty lies regardless of raises and until he retires there he shall be.

Gramma D, I like that that particular candidate has a lot of people 'thinking' hard about things, but I agree, I should ever have been his kind of 'poor' when I started out!  I'm seriously concerned about our candidates as a rule.  None of them seem to have a clue about what a real person lives on annually.

IM  You know how when one light bulb goes out in a house a dozen seem to go out?  That's the way things wear out when money is tightest, lol!  I'm not in the least surprised at your having so many items to replace at the end of that year and a half.  We're having a tiny season in our home.  Plumbing woes two weeks ago, well woes yesterday...Things never seem to go bad as often when you're feeling flush with savings and income does it?

Leigh, We pray over our purchases at grocery every single time we go into the store.  It's important to us to ask for guidance, ask for vision to see those good buys we might otherwise miss, etc.  And we always end our prayer THANKING God for the blessings we're going to have at the end of that shopping.  It is a very important step and one I'm glad you reminded me of.

And in the final post for October, Rose noted that I was making 'Suffolk Pokes' in my yo yos.  Georgene I am sewing those yo yos into squares and then plan to piece together a coverlet that will be backed by a solid piece of fabric. I am thinking I'd like it to be about the size of a nice lap rug.

Lana, I am cautious about meatless meals at present as I need to adjust for diabetic requirements.  I have several recipes saved on my Pinterest board that I shall look into.  I know it's do-able just a bit of a stretch for me to figure it out.

Well dears that is October all wrapped up with comments and answers to questions.


Lana said...

We managed to get out for date night tonight and had delicious BBQ and conversation. I agree that talking is much more meaningful while out. I have tried to figure out why but am at a loss. I would like to bring the meaningful conversation home at least in some part.

I wish I could show you all how beautiful those baskets were with the annual plants filling them up. I lined the baskets with double layers of plastic wrap so as not to ruin them and took the plants out of the 6 packs and just filled the baskets full.

Hope you feel much better soon!

Lana said...

You might try a search on Pinterest for diabetic vegetarian recipes. It came up with quite a lot.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Enjoyed the post.. especially the story about the family that went to the beach and slept in the car, eat bologna , and enjoyed the beach.. Bet the children will enjoy that vacation better than any others they will have..
Have a blessed week.
ps thanks for the info on the diabetic stuff you eat.. I am trying to improve my eating and pay more attention..

Diary for July: Week Two

July 7, Shabat Saturday:   So very much I want to chatter over today and perhaps I will...I don't typically write on Shabat, having al...